I started responding to comments in my last post and, as I wrote, I decided I needed more space. And, it's something I want to discuss. I am particularly interested in how my respected theist readers respond to this.
Let's talk about "respecting religion". Sure. I know that some people have no problem reading the Bible, having faith, and remaining sane. It's probably the norm. But, when faith allows less sane people to flourish in their absurdity, we have to stop it. When everyone "respects" the abusive man who is "just following the Bible", it's time to get real. Nancy believed every word of the Bible that she read. She believed that her husband had power over her and that her role was to be submissive and obedient. Thomas had been told to lead forth a righteous family and, no doubt, some one pointed him to the passages in the Bible that back up the duties of a father.
Thomas, no matter how nuts we think he is, was following the mandates of the Bible. Wrong or right, the Bible justifies most of his delusions. So, if you defend the Bible, then you're defending him. The Bible says "spare the rod, spoil the child" (and about ten other justifying verses). If you see the problem with following those verses, then how can you defend the work as a whole?
Just how many awful verses of advice would the Bible have to maintain before you'd see that it's a book we shouldn't respect?