A very favorite chapter of the bible for christians is Romans 1. They spend a lot of time reading this chapter because it confirms one of their favorite fantasies, that everyone knows there is a God and if they say that they don't they are obviously in denial.
Now Paul is of course hugely influential in christianity and basically all christian theology is really Pauline theology. He wrote the majority of the epistles in the New Testament and he does a lot to fill in what would otherwise be a pretty skimpy canon. I have read his writings over and over and I pretty well understand what he is trying to say. But I simply think is is wrong.
The first thing I would like to point out is that Paul never actually met Jesus. He had some sort of vision, but that is not the same thing. And yet he dominates the New Testament. Why is that? How did a guy who was not even around at all during the time that Jesus was supposedly on earth, choosing disciples and setting up his church, end up being the number one dude in the New Testament? This is a question that has not really ever been satisfactorily answered.
Now Paul likes to threaten. He does plenty of this in Romans 1 and reveals himself quite clearly to be your standard, intolerant, religious bigot. After he gets all of the obligatory introductions out of the way he starts right in on the ungodly and says the wrath of God is against them. So there we have it, this supposedly peaceful God of Jesus Christ is really no better then the Old Testament maniac who is constantly throwing fits and threatening death and destruction when he does not get his way.
And then he tells us that no one has any excuse for not believing in this god of his because his existence is so plainly revealed by his creation. And not only his existence but also apparently what we are supposed to not do. I mean he says that this gods invisible attributes are clearly seen! So here we have the delusion of many followers of this god, that really it is so obvious and that we are all complete morons for not plainly seeing this god. Actually it gets worse because what Paul is really saying is that deep down, we really do believe in this god, but we didn't like him so we didn't glorify him as god. So god punishes us and gives us over to all sorts of horrible things that Paul lists in some detail.
And then of course Paul condemns homosexuality, calling it a vile passion. So now we come down to it really, this god of Paul's is extremely concerned about the sex lives of his created beings. Of course, we know this god, he is completely exposed now. He is the same megalomaniacal attention whore that so much in ink is spent on in the Old Testament setting all these rules for who can and cannot have sex with whom and telling us what horrible things should be done to people if they break these rules.
Now I for one am sick and tired of chrisitans throwing this crap in our face and trying to scare us. I am not scared of Paul and I think he is full of shit. He is just another religious nut who just happened to be lucky enough I suppose to have his letters preserved and ultimately saved in the bible. And he is one of the main reasons why a lot of christians think atheists are really not atheists at all, that deep down we all believe in god.
So don't be afraid of Paul. Especially since later on in Romans 9 he says some incredibly lame and stupid things that most chrisitans don't even believe, and that is that god creates some people to be saved and some to be burned. And even better, he tells us that he burns the one group to show the others how lucky they are to not be burned! I mean you can open the chapter right up and read to them, they will start to quickly figure out ways to get out of what Paul obviously has to say there. And then you can play then game with them, that obviously, even though they say so, they do not really believe the bible at all.