Kimberly P. Yow

Kimberly P. Yow

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Famous author ripped after trashing the Bible as a ‘work of fiction,’ ‘fertile ground for hypocrisy’

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Social media users hounded Pulitzer Prize finalist and famous author Joyce Carol Oates on X this week after she put out a post declaring the Bible to be a “work of fiction.”

Oates also referred to Scripture as a “fertile ground for hypocrisy,” insisting that Christians tend to pick and choose what verses are most convenient to their personal belief systems.

The “Black Water” author made the comment Thursday in response to a religious remark posted by podcaster and writer Matthew Sitman, who was replying to a news story about the alleged mistreatment of an Alabama inmate.

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He wrote, “The state of our prisons, and our treatment of incarcerated people, is such an abomination. We cage, torture, and exploit so many and call it justice, when really it is a profound sin that calls out for God’s wrath upon us.”

His subsequent post, which said, “Widows, orphans, prisoners. No Christian can, without doing great violence to Scripture, get around the extremely clear obligations we have to such people,” caught Oates’ attention.

Taking issue with it, she commented, “’Widows, orphans, prisoners’–really, these entirely disparate categories have something in common?”

Sitman’s co-host Sam Adler-Bell replied to Oates, writing, “Read a book (the bible).” The curt response prompted her to deride Christianity. 

Oates declared, “The bible, as you call it, is a work of fiction; or rather, an anthology of fictions. It is not ‘the’ bible for much of the world’s population & those who claim it as their own select those verses that appeal to them while ignoring other verses. Fertile ground for hypocrisy.”

The author’s attack on Christianity prompted a flood of responses from Christians and conservatives on X.

Adler-Bell responded with a bit of humor, stating, “Owned by Joyce Carol Oates for being a theist… the things I suffer for @MatthewSitman.”

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Lawyer and X influencer Damin Toell slammed Oates, asking, “What do you call it, Joyce? Is there a secret name for the Bible that you use?”

Political theorist and author Philip Bunn replied to the author, saying, “Imagine being a famous author, one of the most prolific of your generation, 85 years old, American Philosophical Society member, National Book Award winner, and these are the things you occupy yourself with tweeting. All because you decided to dunk on widows and orphans today.”

He also added a lament for her legacy, stating, “There was a time when she was favored for a Nobel. Imagine being a literature student studying Nobel winners two decades from now and sifting through these tweets.”

Orthodox Christian and The Family Research Council Senior Editor Rev. Ben Johnson rebuked Oates, stating, “Imagine minimizing the impact of a book that has sold infinitely more than all the books you’ve written combined.”

Podcast host and author Kale Zeldin blasted Oates, saying, “Always amazing to see famous public intellectuals out themselves as ignorant lightweights.”

Christian author Taylor Patrick O’Neill noted that Oates’ take was not as interesting as she may have thought. He wrote, “It’s 2024. We’re still doing the ‘I bet you didn’t know that there are other religions, Christian’ shtick? Yeah, there are other holy books. Wild. The Bible is still the right one.”

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