Atheist wants warning label on Bible

MADISON, Wis. -- Reports of a Pennsylvania man who cut off his hand and gouged out his eye after reading the scriptures should prompt the government to place a warning label on the Bible, atheist Anne Gaylor said Monday.

'WARNING! Literal belief in this book may endanger your life and health,' was the label she suggested in a letter she sent to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer Protection and released Monday.


'Bibles should not be allowed to be sold or circulated without some such warning,' she said. 'We truly have all the evidence we need that we are dealing with auniquely dangerous book filled with lethal teachings.'

Ms. Gaylor, president of Freedom From Religion Foundation, said group members sent her news clippings about 'biblically-inspired acts of personal violence.' She cited cases of child abuse and snake handlers.

'... the bible says to beat your child and he will not die -- you will deliver his soul from hell,' she said.

'Further, it is a book that is promoted by our president, by some of our legislators and by many in the media,' she said. 'This request is not made lightly or facetiously ...'


She said Gregory Giles, 21, Connellsville, Pa., told authorities he severed his hand and gouged out his eye 'to repent his sins.' She cited several chapters and verses, including Matthew 18:8-9, which she quoted:

'Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.'

In her letter to bureau director Terry W. Lazin, dated May 3, Ms. Gaylor said, 'Somebody has to warn people; the clergy and politicians are not about to do it.'

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