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tweeted it out, they must have received a lot of pushback from religious people, because the next thing you know, they unpublished the piece for an odd reason.
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.
— Salon (@Salon) February 8, 2018
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.
It's a book only smart people can read. You should just stick with Harry Potter.
— Tracy, drinking wine (@lipstickclergy) February 8, 2018
Was this article written by a fifteen year old who just discovered atheism?
— Eric M Hamilton (@ericmhamilton) February 8, 2018
The fact that it is still amongst us after almost 3000 years shows it has the relevance of Shakespeare and all the other things. How many thousands of religious texts have been lost? Yet, the Bible remains. And will long after the factually laughable writing of Salon dies.
— Jared Huber (@jaredhuber98) February 8, 2018
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.
(Image via Shutterstock)