- Published on Sunday, 08 November 2009 00:14
- Written by John Draper
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Portuguese Nobel literature laureate José Saramago has returned to the public spotlight to promote his new book "Cain" which retells the story of Adam and Eve's first-born son in a light-hearted, irreverent tone. This time around, Inter Press Service (IPS) reports that he is telling the Catholic Church what he thinks about the Bible, which he describes as "a manual of bad morals," and a "catalogue of cruelties and of the worst of human nature."
"About the holy book, I tend to say: read the Bible and you'll lose your faith," said the first, and so far only, Portuguese-language writer to receive the Nobel Literature Prize, which he won in 1998.
According to Saramago, there is nothing "divine" in the Bible. And although "Cain" has offended the Church, it won't offend Catholics, he said, because "they don't read the Bible."
It took "a thousand years and dozens of generations" to write the Bible, which depicts a "cruel, spiteful, vengeful, jealous and unbearable God," said the writer, who recommended people not to trust "the God depicted in the Bible."
He said he would not have to settle accounts with God, because "the human brain is a great creator of absurd notions, and God is the most absurd one of all."
Catholic Church officials lashed out at the writer's statements, especially when he said that "without the Bible, we would be different, probably better, people," and that he could not understand how the Bible became a "spiritual guide, when it's so full of horrors, incest, betrayals and slaughter."
"I'm not looking for controversy, but I have a few convictions and I say certain things. None of this is free: Cain has kept me company for many years," Saramago responded to a question from IPS.
Writing this book "was an exercise in freedom for me," said the polemical, provocative writer, who at the age of 86 maintains his rebelliousness intact - the same rebelliousness he showed when he joined the Communist Party, which was driven underground by Portugal's 1926-1974 dictatorship, in 1969.
Source: IPS on Richard Dawkins.net