Chelsea S. Link '12, a self-described atheist, has never been afraid to challenge mainstream religious beliefs or the views of her own family members.
"My grandmother almost had a heart attack when she found out," she said.
Link is refering to her New Year's resolution to read the Bible from cover to cover by the end of 2012 and blog about her reactions to the Old and New Testaments on her website "Blogging Biblically".
"It's the kind of thing everyone should read because it's so culturally significant," Link said about the Bible. "If you're into Western literature at all, you should read it all the way through."
Her resolution inspired her to create her blog, in which she documents her responses to the best-selling book of all time. Her posts highlight specific verses and include her interpretations of them.
On Jan. 9, Link wrote a post she entitled "Santorum's Gay Sex Riot Nightmare." The article got over 400 hits and since then her blog has gathered a following.
"A lot of people think that reading the Bible will make me want to convert, but one of the reasons I'm reading it is to become as conscientious an atheist as possible," Link said.
Link said that she sometimes gets comments from complete strangers about her blog. "When I donated blood a couple of weeks ago, one of the girls who was a volunteer there saw my name tag and asked, 'Are you Chelsea Link? I love your blog!'" Link said.
Lately, however, Link has also been receiving negative messages and scathing remarks about what she has written. Though she said that she has not gotten the kind of hate mail that the famous scholar and atheist Richard Dawkins gets, people have expressed that they find her blog to be disrespectful.
"My approach is to be totally honest about my feelings and people's beliefs," Link said. "I may think the Old Testament is absurd, but I'm also not afraid to admit when something is really beautiful. I try to point that out so people see that I'm being even-handed."
"God's rules are whack," she continued. "In the Ten Commandments, 'thou shalt not kill' is sixth. There's so much other stuff before there's any mention of human relationships and behavior."
If you'd like to hear Link speak about her views, come listen to her on Monday during morning prayers at Memorial Church where she will discuss agape and Humanism. That, or just spend some time reading her blog.
This post has been revised to reflect the following correction.
CORRECTION: April 8, 2011
The April 7 post "Harvard Atheist Bible Blogger" incorrectly identified Link's topic of discussion at Memorial Church. In fact, Link will be talking about agape and Humanism.