Speaking at the launch of his new book “Cain”, Jose Saramago, who won the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature, said society would probably be better off without the Bible.
Roman Catholic Church leaders accused the 86-year-old of a publicity stunt.
The book is an ironic retelling of the Biblical story of Cain, Adam and Eve’s son who killed his younger brother Abel.
At the launch event in the northern Portuguese town of Penafiel on Sunday, Saramago said he did not think the book would offend Catholics “because they do not read the Bible”.
“The Bible is a manual of bad morals (which) has a powerful influence on our culture and even our way of life. Without the Bible, we would be different, and probably better people,” he was quoted as saying by the news agency Lusa.
Saramago attacked “a cruel, jealous and unbearable God (who) exists only in our heads” and said he did not think his book would cause problems for the Catholic Church “because Catholics do not read the Bible.
“It might offend Jews, but that doesn’t really matter to me,” he added.
Father Manuel Marujao, the spokesman for the Portuguese conference of bishops, said he thought the remarks were a publicity stunt.
“A writer of Jose Saramago’s standing can criticise, (but) insults do no-one any good, particularly a Nobel Prize winner,” the priest said.
Rabbi Elieze Martino, spokesman for the Jewish community in Lisbon, said the Jewish world would not be shocked by the writings of Saramago or anyone else.
“Saramago does not know the Bible,” the rabbi said, “he has only superficial understanding of it.”
The author caused a scandal in Portugal in 1992 with “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.”
The book depicted Jesus losing his virginity to Mary Magdalene and being used by God to control the world.
Saramago quit Portugal at the time and moved to Lanzarote, in the Spanish Canary Islands.
Â Are you a Mormon? Perhaps you’re just a Christian, or maybe just religious. Well, there’s something you should know..Â masturbation is pure evil, don’t do it and don’t associate with people who do.
Masturbation is a quickly-forming habit that can adversely affect both men and women of all ages. Despite what some might tell you, masturbation is not harmless. If you are trying to overcome masturbation, be assured that it is possible (even though, like any habit, it may take some work). If you are determined to do it, you will be able to. This page will give you some tips that can help you along the way.
Determination is the first step. That is where we begin. You must decide that you will end this practice, and when you make that decision, the problem will be greatly reduced at once.
But it must be more than a hope or a wish, more than knowing that it is good for you. It must be actually a DECISION. If you truly make up your mind you will have the strength to resist temptations which will come to you.
After you have made this decision, then observe the following specific guidelines:
1. Never touch the intimate parts of your body except during normal washing and using the bathroom.
2. Avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company and stay in this good company, especially when you are feeling particularly weak.
3. If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, YOU MUST BREAK OFF THEIR FRIENDSHIP. Never associate with other people having the same weakness. Don’t suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will. You must get away from people of that kind. Just to be in their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind. The problem must be taken OUT OF YOUR MIND for that is where it really exists. Your mind must be on other and more wholesome things.
4. After you bathe, don’t admire yourself in the mirror. Stay in the shower just long enough to clean yourself. Then dry off and GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM into a room where you will have some member of your family present.
5. When in bed (especially if that is where you masturbate), wear pajamas or other clothes so that you cannot easily touch yourself (and so that it would be difficult to remove those clothes. The time it takes to remove your clothing gives additional time to controll your thinking and overcome the temptation).
6. If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, GET OUT OF BED! Go into the kitchen and make a snack, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if you are not hungry. The purpose behind this suggestion is that you GET YOUR MIND ON SOMETHING ELSE. You are the subject of your thoughts, so to speak.
7. Never look at pornography on the internet or elsewhere. Never read about your problem (even on sites claiming to be “educational”). Keep it out of mind. Remember — “First a thought, then an act.” The thought pattern must be changed. You must not allow this problem to remain in your mind. When you accomplish that, you soon will be free of the act.
8. Put wholesome thoughts into your mind at all times. Read good books, scriptures, talks of church leaders. Make a daily habit of reading at least one chapter of Scripture, preferably from one of the four Gospels in the New Testament, or the Book of Mormon. The four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — above anything else in the Bible can be helpful because of their uplifting qualities.
9. Pray. But when you pray, don’t pray about this problem, for that will tend to keep it in your mind more than ever. Pray for faith, pray for understanding of the Scriptures, pray for members of your family who need help. Pray for your friends, BUT KEEP THE PROBLEM OUT OF YOUR MIND BY NOT MENTIONING IT EVEN IN YOUR PRAYERS. KEEP IT OUT of your mind! The attitude of a person toward his problem has an affect on how easy it is to overcome. It is essential that a firm commitment be made to control the habit. As a person understands his reasons for the behavior, and is sensitive to the conditions or situations that may trigger a desire for the act, he develops the power to control it.