Eh? We’re as surprised as Heman Mehta at Friendly Atheist:
She talked about how having multiple authors (because “God” didn’t write it) led to “two different creation myths, three sets of Ten Commandments, and four contradictory versions of the Easter story.” She explained the possible forgeries, the mixing of literary genres, the possible mistranslations, and the numerous examples of “inside baseball” that made sense to the writers but not necessarily to people reading it today. More.
Valerie Tarico has written hundreds of articles promoting atheism. We would have thought that her kind of thing was right up Salon’s alley.
Here it is at Alternet: Why is the Bible so badly written?
Mixed messages, repetition, bad fact-checking, awkward constructions, inconsistent voice, weak character development, boring tangents, contradictions, passages where nobody can tell what the heck the writer meant to convey. This doesn’t sound like a book that was dictated by a deity.
A well-written book should be clear and concise, with all factual statements accurate and characters neither two-dimensional nor plagued with multiple personality disorder—unless they actually are. A book written by a god should be some of the best writing ever produced. It should beat Shakespeare on enduring relevance, Stephen Hawking on scientific accuracy, Pablo Neruda on poetry, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on ethical coherence, and Maya Angelou on sheer lucid beauty—just to name a few. More.
Salon should like that. So what happened?
Salon tweeted, “Thank you for your feedback. We heard you. Upon further review, we determined that this article, which was republished to Salon from a partner website, did not meet our editorial standards.”
And the article is indeed gone, as gone as Gunter Bechly’s Wikipedia entry.
Mehta thinks that religious pressure was to blame:
It’s possible that the people at Salon were just upset that the usual batch of right-wing commentators weren’t happy with the piece. Anything that brings the Bible back down to earth always rubs that crowd the wrong way.
Is Salon really sensitive to religious pressure? That doesn’t sound quite right. This story (“Alabama conservatives are right: Roy Moore’s behavior is perfectly biblical — and that’s the problem”) and this one (“God as the original terrorist: 6 ways the Bible condones horrific acts of brutality”), both by Tarico, don’t suggest that at all.
At Why Evolution Is True, Jerry Coyne offers,
Why was the article pulled? Well, it’s still up on Alternet in what appears to be its original form (I’ve also archived it here), and I’m not sure why it didn’t meet Salon’s abysmally low “editorial standards”. There are parts of it that aren’t written particularly well, but they’re no worse than the fare you usually get at Salon. More.
Perhaps Tarico and Coyne needn’t be too upset about avoiding a venue with “abysmally low ‘editorial standards.’” But the closest we’ve been able to come to an explanation is some of the critical tweets cited by Coyne: “Your article decrying a “badly written” book can’t even bother to quote or cite any scholarly evangelical definitions or defenders of inerrancy or inspiration,” “Was this article written by a fifteen year old who just discovered atheism?”, and “Frontiers in Theology By 12-Year-Olds”.
Those are apt criticisms but imagine Salon actually caring… ? Well, the piece was probably far more widely read as a result of getting banned at Salon.
Prediction: The Bible will outlast them all, so there must be something wrong with Tarico’s approach. Also with Salon’s. That is, Tarico’s wrong but who really cares?
See also: Mark Steyn on Richard Dawkins getting dumped at Berkeley
Evolution News and Views on Dawkins dumped from Berkeley: Did it serve him right?
Dawkins dumped from Berkeley due to “hurtful words”