November 20, 2006 12:00 PM

In his controversial latest, Oxford prof and atheist Richard Dawkins dissects ideas passed down by generations of those he calls “faith-heads.” Positing that readers raised on the Old Testament are “desensitized” to God’s “bloodthirsty” nature, he argues below that the Bible may shock newbies.

Winston Churchill’s son Randolph somehow contrived to remain ignorant of scripture until Evelyn Waugh … in a vain attempt to keep Churchill quiet when they were posted together during the war, bet him he couldn’t read the entire Bible in a fortnight: “Unhappily it has not had the result we hoped,” reported Waugh. “He has never read any of it before and is hideously excited; keeps reading quotations aloud … or merely slapping his side & chortling, ‘God, isn’t God a sh–!'”

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