It may not have the cache of Michael v. Satan--whole books have been written about that--but a similar conflict is shaping up Saturday afternoon next to the Huntington Beach Pier.
A street preacher who regularly evangelizes to inattentive tourists passing by will find himself joined by atheists tearing up passages plucked from the Holy Bible.
Backyard Skeptics, the loose coalition of Orange County nonbelievers fighting thousands of years of religious dogma with stunts as provocative as handling snakes, is behind the Good Book chopping.
"[T]to demonstrate that no one can live by certain laws of the bible, and that many verses in the bible are immoral or just plain silly and should not be approved of in today's modern culture," reads a statement Backyard Skeptics leader Bruce Gleason of Fountain Valley sent over.
It won't be pages from actual bibles that will be ripped up but photocopies of biblical passages. Backyard Skeptics explains it will mirror the scripture shredding Thomas Jefferson did to remove what he believed to be immoral, nonsensical and contradictory parts--which left an 88-page Jefferson Bible.
To prove the point, what's billed as the largest group of non-theists in Orange County cites surveys where biblical passages have been read to modern Christians, who respond negatively without realizing what they just responded to.
As examples, Gleason's release asks, "Should a woman who was raped be forced to marry her rapist? Should children be stones for insubordination? Should non-virgins be killed on their wedding night?
"Both the Old Testament and New Testament have laws that no good Christian would live by without being thrown in jail."
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Extending a virtual olive branch, the statement has Gleason agreeing "that there are many parts of the bronzed-aged text that teach fairness and goodness," but then he adds, "those verses are good whether or not you believe in an omnipotent law-giver."
The demonstrating, skies opening and Surf City smiting is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.