Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Scripture Says….What? for the Week of August 14th

open bibleListener David from Westminster, California emailed us and asked:

The “Scripture Says…What???” feature on your show is great. I suspect most of my theistic friends have no idea that the quotes you give are in their holy books. I’d like to share the quotes with them. But, I’m never going to get them to listen to the podcast. Would it be possible for you to post the quotes each week to the website or as blog entries somewhere?

Great idea, David! From now on, the Ask an Atheist crew is going to put up our latest finds on to our blog to make them easier to share with your friends. Scripture Says…What? is a segment where we look at the funniest, scariest and just plain weirdest passages in holy texts like the Bible, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita, or even Dianetics.

We’re not just doing this to point and giggle — though, to be perfectly honest, that is part of it. We’re also highlighting how many religious believers treat their holy books like software license agreements, and just click “I Agree” without reading what they’re agreeing to. Books often held up as beacons of truth, wisdom and beauty have scenes in them straight out of a Quentin Tarantino movie.

This week’s Scripture comes from the Christian Holy Bible, New International version in Judges 1: 19:

The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots.

So, after pages of God basically acting like the invincibility star from Super Mario Bros, and faciliating in the effortless vanquishing of multiple armies, he suffers a shocking loss to the Canaanites in the low lands.

It seems the creator of the universe, who can “stop the sun in the sky” and bend reality to his whim, has a kryptonite-esque weakness. Despite his omnipotence, he can help you win any fight with any foe. Unless the other guys have chariots made of iron.

Go figure.


About the Author: Mike Gillis

Mike Gillis is co-creator, and co-host of Ask an Atheist. He hosts the Radio vs. the Martians! and Mike and Pól Save the Universe! podcasts. He also enjoys comic books, the Planet of the Apes, and the band Queen.

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Kara C

Good to know. If the men of Judah come for me, I’m sitting it out in my Mustang!


If Yahweh can’t help an army defeat chariots made of iron, then logically he shouldn’t be able to help an army defeat another army of tanks or other vehicles.
So why do military leaders ever feel the need to pray? It says right there in their holy book that God can’t help them in this situation.

Henry (from San Jose)

It may not be quite as funny as some other scripture quotes, but I’d suggest using 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 for “Scripture Says What?”: 9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or… Read more »

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