GIARDINIERI: Bible scariest thing to read this Halloween

Column: Thoughts From the Back of the Class

It is that time of the year where you get to dress up as someone else and forget about your problems for a night. 

Halloween is an industry that is worth approximately $9 billion! That is insane. It is literally just one day where children trick or treat and adults drunkenly crawl from bar to bar. 

It is a time where you either get tricks or treats. I guess my professors did not get the memo, because it seems like all they were handing out this week during midterms were tricks. 

Around this time of year, there are a bunch of those top-five scariest people, places, etc. that get released every year. I am a sucker for these kinds of lists and recently read through a list titled something like “These books will keep you up at night forever.” 

It was pretty a thorough list that included everything from Stephen King to Bram Stoker. But as I finished the list, I had a fleeting thought. Why is the Bible not in this list?

I mean, if there is any book out there that deserves the title of the scariest book, I think the Bible is it. Actually, you know what, I think it is probably the most dangerous book ever written as well. I am not talking about the content itself, I am referring to all the pain and suffering that it has caused over the years. 

Now, the Bible itself has never physically hurt anyone. The book itself has never walked up to anyone and whipped out a cross and stabbed someone. That is crazy talk. Books can not walk. 

I am talking about some of the ideas and principles that the Bible promotes. 

That is what makes it so dangerous and scary. The Bible is open to interpretation. Everyone who has read the Bible interprets the scripture in their own way. 

A large majority of any population would say that nuclear weapons and assault rifles are the deadliest weapons ever created. I agree with them that they are dangerous, but just not the most dangerous in my opinion.  

To me, the most lethal weapon ever created is an idea. An idea in the right hands can make a civilization do amazing things, like go and plant a flag on the moon. But an idea in the wrong hands can create something that can devastate a whole country.

Ideology like communism is an idea that has torn apart and destroyed the lives of countless many. What makes an idea so dangerous is that you can not kill it. It is not something that you can ignore, wish away or wait for it to die. 

An idea can be immortal. A person or animal can be killed, but an idea can live on forever.

Ideas are the most dangerous weapon that you can arm a person with. It is even worse if that person has no ideas or principles to begin with. When a person is a blank slate and has no moral compass, they can be injected with any ideology out there. Sometimes that injection can lead to a lethal overdose that irrevocably corrupts their mind. 

For example, a person like that can read the Bible and then decide they are going to follow every single rule that is written in there. That person who previously had no moral compass will now hold in contempt all those who do not believe in the word of the Lord. 

This person will misinterpret the good principles of the Bible and skew them to their own hateful tendencies. I am not writing this because I have a vendetta against religion. I am writing this because some of the ideas that have grown from the Bible have caused irreparable damage. 

I mean, look at the crusades. Those were some of the worst massacres that have occurred in our young history. I think religion is interesting and serves a purpose in some of our lives. Some people need a set of rules to follow that tell them what is right and what is wrong.

So, this Halloween, if you are looking for a quick scare, then I recommend reading the Bible and thinking about all the horror that it has caused. You can also think of the ideas that it has promulgated and how that has affected the course of history. 

Maybe that will keep you up at night this week.

Kevin Giardinieri is a School of Engineering sophomore majoring in industrial and systems engineering. His column, “Thoughts from the back of the class,” runs on alternate Thursdays.


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