CHESTERFIELD, Va. – Many Virginians reacted to the Bible verse painted on the back of a van that calls on women to be “silent and submissive,” but the owner said he was trying to send a different message .
People have long been posting images of the black truck on social media, and last week it made headlines after it was spotted in Leesburg.
Truck owner Tom Hicks said he put the scripture in it about five years ago.
The verse is taken from First Corinthians and reads: “Women will be silent and submissive”.
Along with the verse, Hicks painted over three crosses, the fish symbol, and the phrase “Read the Bible“.
“The reason I put this particular message, I want people to read the Bible, I want them to see this message and say it’s true,” he told CBS 6.
But Hicks said the real reason behind the verse is that it is atheistic and conveys the message that the Bible itself is offensive.
“At the moment I don’t believe there is a God, so I guess you’d say I’m an atheist,” he said.
“It is an odious and hateful work that Christians are trying to overthrow and they are talking about love,” he added.
Most who read the message on the tailgate think that Hicks is trying to send a biblical message.
The Northern Virginia driver, who spoke to WUSA on condition of anonymity, called it “outrageous and offensive.”
“It worries me that something like this has become accepted in some ways,” she said. “And that it’s normal for people to feel free to show such hateful and misogynistic thoughts.”
Hicks said he hopes people’s offense translates into action.
“I hope people will read it and learn for themselves, these preachers and priests and ministers, they are making things up,” he said.
Regardless of Hicks’ reasoning, Christians have said that the Bible is not a book of hate.
“There are parts that are offensive to people because not everyone wants to believe the gospel, they don’t want to believe that Jesus came and died and rose again, but it’s true,” he said. Amy Meadows.
As for the single verse chosen by Hicks, a 27-year-old Baptist preacher has his own comments.
“Looking at this, you can definitely see that it’s been taken completely out of context,” said Pastor Joey Anthony of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. “Especially when you think about what the Bible says.”
“Jesus really lifted women to a level – where, like in this culture, they were considered second-class citizens – but Jesus loves everyone and he really lifted women to a different level,” he said. -he adds.
There is violence in the Bible, Anthony acknowledged, but there is also love.
“The very person who wrote this scripture in Corinthians, also wrote in Ephesians that husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the church, which is unconditional love, and that is a sacrificial love,” Anthony added.
Hicks said he never thought of removing the scripture verse from his tailgate, but considered highlighting different verses.
He also said he got used to people taking pictures of his tailgate and saying obscenities to him.
But he also said one of the most common responses was other drivers knocking him down.