Most people are aware that the bible is divided into two parts: the old testament, which is Jewish; and the new testament, which is Christian.
But in reality, it should be divided into three parts, and I'm not talking about that kooky book that the mormons keep trying to give away.
The first part of the new testament - often referred to as "the gospels" - tells the story of a dude, little bit long-haired, little bit liberal, little bit hippy, little bit peacenik, who preached a philosophy based upon the outrageous notion that people really should be nice to each other. This idea scared people so much that they killed him, or so the story goes.
Whether you believe that this guy really existed or not, and, if so, whether you believe he was in any way supernatural or not, there are worse philosophies to live by.
Those first four books talk about love, peace, understanding, tolerance, and general, all-round getting alongness.
It does downhill real fast after that.
Later books in the new testament were written by a howling bigot, apparently called Paul, and they are as different from the first four as it's possible to be. Gone is the love, peace, understanding and tolerance. In their place are hatred, intolerance, bigotry and more judgement than you can shake a big stick at.
If you want to find passages against homosexuality in the new testament, don't bother checking the gospels - it ain't there. Jesus never mentions hot man-on-man love. But it is in Paul's ravings, and in spades. He even says they and their friends should be put to death.
Want to hear about how the loving god described by Jesus - who is, well, god - will bring down his wrath on unbelievers? Paul's your man.
Want to see where it is in the new testament that women are condemned to be the slaves of men? Look no further than Paul.
Want passages that detail how Christians are better than everyone else and should look down on them? Yep, go to Paul, go straight to Paul, do not pass go...
Here's a good one, Jesus is repeatedly quoted as saying that humans must choose salvation. Paul doesn't think so, he repeatedly claims that god choose how we would believe "before the foundation of the world". Yes, Paul contradicts god. Mmmm, tasty.
So, why, you may ask, do so many Christians seem to follow the word of Paul instead of the word of Christ? And isn't the term "Christian" - meaning "follower of Christ" - an inaccurate name? Shouldn't they be "Paulians", given that the embrace the hatred and bigotry of Paul over the love and tolerance of Christ?
Whenever anyone supports the notion of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, they are following the teachings of Paul, who hated homosexuals, and not those of Christ, who tolerated everyone.
Check out what Jesus said about public prayer and ask yourself; is going to church an Christian act or a Paulian act?
What about Christ's opinions on religious rituals and opulent churches? Is the Pope a Christian or a Paulian?
Don't get me wrong. I'm an atheist, so as far as I'm concerned it's all a bunch of bollocks anyway, but Christianity might actually be a nice, pleasant religion if it wasn't for all of the bloody Paulians screwing it up
p.s., ask any gay, anyone who has that much seething hatred for homosexuals is almost certainly closeted, hmmm Paul?