Tom Hicks, a self-identified atheist, is offending people in Chesterfield, Virginia, with a Bible verse that he painted on his black pickup truck (video below).
The verse, "Women shall be silent and submissive," is actually a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 14:34: "Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says."
"The reason I put this particular message on, I want people to read the Bible," Hicks told WTVR. "I want them to see this message, and say is that true?"
Social media users have been posting pictures of Hicks' truck, which has had the Bible verse plastered on the back for about five years.
Hicks also adorned his vehicle with a Christian fish symbol, three crosses, and the words, "Read The Bible."
Hicks said that he wants people to understand that the Bible is offensive.
"It's a hateful, hateful piece of work, which Christians try to turn around, and they talk about love," Hicks told the news station. "Right now I don't believe there's a God so I guess you would say I'm an atheist."
A female Northern Virginia driver opined to WUSA: "It was so outrageous and so offensive. It concerns me that something like this has become accepted in some ways. And that it's ok for folks to feel free to show such hateful and misogynistic thoughts."
Hicks told WTVR: "Hopefully people will read it, and learn for themselves. These preachers and priests and ministers, they're making stuff up."
Amy Meadows, a Christian, countered: "There are parts of it that are offensive to people because not everybody wants to believe the gospel, they don't want to believe that Jesus came and died and rose again, but that is true."
Hicks did not choose a verse that mentions Jesus Christ.
Pastor Joey Anthony of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church stated: "The very person who wrote that passage of scripture in Corinthians, also wrote in Ephesians that husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loved the church, which is an unconditional love, and it's a sacrificial love."
The Apostle Paul, who wrote both Corinthians and Ephesians, was never married and wished other people would remain single as he had in 1 Corinthians 7:7.
Paul's admonishment for women to be quiet and submissive in 1 Corinthians 14:34 was not written about the bounds of marriage, but rather about women in church.
Hicks is considering highlighting other verses on his truck. The non-believer said that he is used to people shouting obscenities at him, making obscene gestures and taking pictures of his vehicle.
The Friendly Atheist criticized the pastor's defense:
That’s a weak defense. As any Complementarian will tell you, you can love your wife while still thinking her value is only as great as her uterine output and that she should remain subservient in certain parts of life.
So hats off to Tom Hicks for getting people to talk about the nasty verses in the Bible. He says he may swap out that verse for other ones in the future. Even if it means he has to endure more drivers giving him the middle finger while on the road.