Salon Retracts Article Criticizing Bible; It Didn’t Meet “Editorial Standards”

Valerie Tarico has written literally hundreds of articles about atheism for a variety of websites. Her latest piece for Alternet, going over the many reasons the Bible is a poorly written book, was no exception.

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.

Tarico included plenty of links to back up what she was saying, and this was the sort of article that you’d expect to see on sites that allow for opinionated pieces about religion.

But after Salon reposted the article and tweeted it out, they must have received a lot of pushback from religious people, because the next thing you know, they unpublished the piece for an odd reason.

First of all, let’s all collectively roll our eyes at the idea of Salon having editorial standards. They’ve published plenty of irrational, fact-free, unjustified taking cheap shots at the “New Atheists.” As former staffers even said years ago, the site’s low editorial quality could be attributed to the editors’ desire to get “big traffic numbers [while] paying little attention to the site’s editorial side.”

But even if we set aside the Salon-bashing, what “editorial standards” did Tarico not meet? They didn’t tell her, that’s for sure, and her attempts to get a response from the website have been unsuccessful so far. She told me this morning that, before publishing the piece, it was “reviewed by a Presbyterian ordained religion professor and by a professional editor,” all the more reason to question which standards she supposedly failed to meet.

(Also worth asking: If the article didn’t meet their editorial standards, how the hell did it end up on their website for days?)

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. Blowhard Matt Walsh said the article was akin to “Miley Cyrus calling Pavarotti a poor singer.” Others were equally quick with retorts.

Other right-wing commenters are now blasting Salon for taking down the piece. They weren’t happy when it was up. They’re critical now that it’s down. And nobody at Salon has explained what Tarico said that was unpublishable.

What a cowardly move on their part.

You can read Tarico’s original article right here. (There are a few changes on that version that weren’t in the Salon piece. The Alternet version, however, is identical to what Salon published.)

(Image via Shutterstock)

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