From a conversation on Bart Ehrman’s blog: here
Gary: Dear Dr. Ehrman, the Bible has been the cause of massive persecution, suffering, and mass murder. It may contain some fascinating stories and even a few pearls of wisdom, but for a recovering ex-fundamentalist Christian like yourself to say that he “cherishes the Bible” is disturbing to say the least. I see no difference between someone “cherishing” the Bible and someone cherishing Mein Kampf. Both books preach hate. Both books preach fanaticism (follow me and abandon all else, even your family), anti-Semitism (New Testament), racial purity and ethnic cleansing (Old Testament). Please choose your words carefully, Dr. Ehrman. Every time you say something like this, my Christian relatives and their pastor proclaim that “Bart Ehrman is coming back to Jesus”.
…During this terrifying health crisis, I would encourage people seeking wisdom to read a good science book. I believe that the primary reason why a significant minority of Americans are out on the streets protesting the advice of scientists and medical experts regarding quarantining is that they have spent much more time obtaining their wisdom from the Bible than they have science books. Cherish science, dear readers. Science is our salvation from this crisis, not ancient texts.
Bart Ehrman: I certainly wouldn’t turn to a biblical author for guidance for a vaccine! But our amazing scientific advances do not help us in trying to make moral *sense* of what is happening.
Gary: Are you seriously recommending that people turn to the Bible to make moral sense of the coronavirus pandemic?? My goodness, Bart. In normal times, the Bible is certainly an interesting source of information regarding ancient Jewish philosophical concepts. I don’t dispute that. But encouraging your readers to obtain morality lessons from the misogynistic, anti-gay, anti-semitic, genocide and ethnic cleansing endorsing Bible during a deadly pandemic?? Come on.
If you want to give recommendations regarding good sources of information regarding morality, I would suggest referring your readers to a secular humanist site, not the Christian Bible (or the Jewish Bible, or the Muslim “bible”, or the Hindu “bible”).
Your opinion carries a lot of weight, Bart. Whether you like it or not you are a significant representative of the atheist/agnostic/non-supernaturalist movement, a movement which is fighting an uphill battle against the deadly beliefs and superstitions imposed on our culture by organized religion. Please do NOT encourage people to read the Bible to find their morality!
End of post.