My attitude towards religion has long been identical to that held by Thomas Edison, but while I refuse to consider the claims to truth or insight made by any religion on its own behalf as more than so much nonsense, one thing I do recognize is that, to paraphrase Gershom Scholem, the study of religious nonsense can nevertheless be worthwhile. In particular, if one is willing to read the Bible with a critical cast of mind, considering it as the product of historical, human forces that it is rather than the revealed and inerrant truth that so many Jews and Christians consider the Bible to be, a great many insights into the past become accessible.
For instance, it is almost universally taken for granted that Jezebel, wife of Ahab and Queen of Israel, was the very epitome of wickedness, and in making the case against her it helps to no end that nearly the entirety of the extant testimony on her life and deeds is that provided by the hardly anonymous compilers of the Books of Kings [ספר מלכים]. Even with the odds stacked so heavily against the long-dead Phoenician queen, however, enough information is provided in the Bible for it to be possible to arrive at a radically different conclusion from that which the Book of Kings' compilers would wish us to.
The long and short of it is that unless one buys into the worldview that worshiping more than one imaginary being is sufficient grounds in and of itself to justify a person's slaughter, the portrait provided of Elijah by the Bible is that of an extremely xenophobic and utterly ruthless religious fanatic, a man capable of having 450 human beings put to death simply because they were priests of Baal: in our own day we would rightly condemn such a zealot to the accursed ranks of Osama bin Laden, but because Elijah happens to be a "hero" of a book the West has venerated for more than 2000 years, we are willing to celebrate his barbaric actions as "righteous". As for the supposed "harlotry" of Jezebel, on the other hand, absolutely no evidence is actually provided for it, and indeed the real portrait the Bible paints of her is of a loyal wife and mother who goes to her death with a dignity few of those who condemned her could ever muster - least of all the Elijah who fled to Mount Horeb to avoid facing the consequences of committing mass murder.
Was Jezebel a saintly figure? Very likely not, even if we refuse to accept the tale about her scheme against Naboth at face value; in all likelihood she was just as vain and tyrannical as any other consort of a ruler with few checks and balances on his authority. Still, that hardly makes her the embodiment of wickedness the Bible would have us believe that she was, while what we do know of the "prophet" who vilified her makes clear that he was a far viler character than the victim of his wrath ever was: certainly, if Jezebel had ever committed an act of slaughter on the scale Elijah did, the Bible would have made sure to record it, rather than needing to use the tale of Naboth's vineyard to demonize the "wicked" queen.