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Reason and Revelation Volume 26 #1

Swapping Bibles for Pornography

Americans have been swapping things ever since Native Americans began trading items with the Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock nearly 400 years ago. Americans customarily have swapped everything from phone numbers to cars. Recently, however, a new kind of swapping took place at the University of Texas in San Antonio. The student organization known as Atheist Agenda ran a “Smut for Smut” campaign in which religious materials, notably Bibles, were exchanged for pornography. UTSA Students were asked to exchange the very book that condemns fornication, adultery, and the lust of the flesh, for pornography labeled from 0 to 5 (Playboy magazine, which was labeled as zero, to the really “hard core” stuff).

In an interview this past month with Tucker Carlson of MSNBC, the president of Atheist Agenda, Thomas Jackson, stated:

Well, first of all, you know, pornography gets a lot of negative press, and it’s smut. A lot of it really is. And we wanted to make the comparison between that and the smut that is religious scripture or a lot of it, you know.... [W]hat we’re doing is trading something that’s very, very bad for something that’s only moderately bad (2005, emp. added).

Admittedly, Bibles were not the only kind of religious text swapped, but apparently most books that the student-led atheist organization received were Bibles.

When asked why the group was sponsoring the “Smut for Smut” program, Jackson said: “All right. Well, we have Bronze Aged tribal nonsense, these things written by people in tents ages ago, and we’re using this to renounce science standards in our classrooms in America. We’re using it to kind of influence our political agenda” (2005). He later added: “Religious texts actually contradict each other. If you read the Bible, it contradicts itself on nearly every page” (2005).

Aside from the fact that the Bible writers were extremely accurate (and inspired!) in their writings (see Thompson, 2001), and never contradicted each other, the situation at UTSA is just one more sad indication of the blasphemous, anti-Christian sentiment that has infiltrated many college campuses. Parents, beware when you send your 18-year-olds off to get an “education.”


Jackson, Thomas (2005), “The Situation,” MSNBC, Interview with Tucker Carlson, December 6.

Thompson, Bert (2001), In Defense of the Bible’s Inspiration (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), second edition.

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