Gore Vidal doesn’t know Scripture


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30 Replies to “Gore Vidal doesn’t know Scripture”

  1. Where does one start? When I read something as completely condemnatory as this I literally don’t know where to start.

    Suppose you had to reply to this on the spot. What would you say?

  2. Vidal has gone a bit ga-ga in his dotage but the usual suspects still adore him and this is prime fodder for such unthinking types. I suppose really the only fit reply to such a barrage of nonsense is to laugh at it.

          1. He didn’t say it was. How about explaining why one thing in the quote is in error.

          2. “the great unmentionable evil in our culture is monotheism.From a barbaric bronze age text known as the old testament”

            Yes he did.

          3. Wow, I really didn’t expect the awful arguments offered here. See that little dot in the middle of your quote? And the hook thingy just after your quote in the original? That’s a period and a comma respectively. “From …” is a modifying clause that modifies where the three Abrahamic religions came from. And for everybody else, the first sentence is a thesis statement. He supports it with what follows.

  3. See what I mean, Joel? Some people really like this way over the top stuff and, if you question it, demand to be shown where the error is, despite the fact that poor senile old Vidal is offering nothing more than an opinion.

    1. Gore Vidal at 67 might be called old, but certainly not senile. Harvard doesn’t usually invite senile people to give the Lowell Lecture. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Gore_Vidal

      And yes, it is his opinion, but so what? That doesn’t mean it is wrong. Obviously the Old Testament is a barbaric Bronze Age text. And the Abrahamic faiths are literally patriarchal. So what is wrong with the rest?

      1. You obviously haven’t seen the senile old coot’s encounter with the BBC four years ago:
        The empirical facts speak for themselves.

        You agree that it’s merely an opinion, which puts it in the same category of statements as “Red is nicer than blue” (or in Vidal’s inflated rhetoric, “Red is the complete antithesis of horrid, awful, appalling blue, that unfortunate colour that has surely inflicted plagues and famines upon humanity for centuries”).

        1. The above quote is from 1992. 16 years before the YouTube video. As for your simplistic idea about fact vs. opinion, there is such a thing as an opinion supported with facts. They are technically called a theory or thesis. You might call your theism an opinion supported by facts. I would disagree which your facts, but I wouldn’t put your theory in the category of red is better than blue. Rather, I would argue your facts are wrong. Now, can somebody please tell me which facts in the Vidal quote are wrong?

          1. “there is such a thing as an opinion supported with facts”

            And he hasn’t bothered supplying any. But you obviously adore the silly old coot, so you’re welcome to adore his every hyperbolic muttering.

  4. Barbaric: 2 Samuel 24:10-17. I could go on all day and night with more. Bronze Age: okay you got me. Most of the Hebrew Bible was composed in the Iron Age. A little poetic license. The point being society has changed quite a bit since then. For instance, everybody agrees slavery is bad now. Patriarchal: Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Polygamy. Complementarianism. Burkas. conservative Christians don’t ordain women. As for your own balliwick, evangelical biblical studies, name some promenent scholars who are women.

    1. First, you haven’t proved much. Second, I’m not evangelical. Third, Islam is mo more Abrahamic than Mormonism is.

      Further, texts as narrative is a different than texts as constitution.

      1. Besides point two, you haven’t even addressed my claims. (and I forgot one doozy for patriarchal – the Catholic Church. I wasn’t even thinking that hard.) I showed you mine, so now you show me why Vidal is wrong.

    2. “Bronze Age: okay you got me. Most of the Hebrew Bible was composed in the Iron Age. A little poetic license.”

      No, an error in fact, even when your venerated Gore makes it.

    3. “conservative Christians don’t ordain women.”

      Another error of fact. Some conservative Christians do indeed ordain women, and have been for decades. Educate yourself.

  5. Whoops, actually read your bio just now. I got a little greedy with that last point. Anyway, I don’t think you can dispute the patriarchal history of the Abrahamic faiths. Btw, I’m in MSP too, maybe we could have coffee.

    1. Mark,

      You and Gore Vidal know nothing when the Old Testament was written. IT IS NOT A BRONZE AGE TEXT. It is mainstream Old Testament scholarship these books were recorded much much later than the histories and stories they tell. Read books for yourselves rather than listening to talking points by a dilettante.

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