The Oppression of Religion…?

“If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures. Once again, we need look no further than the Jains: Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: “Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.” Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept. Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a theologically defensible reading of the Bible.”  Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation  My bold emphasis

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Jesus Was/Is A Myth

If one follows the many earth sciences closely enough you are presented with facts that if followed deeply enough and cogitated about long enough, reveals to you that all is not as it seems.

For example, science tells us that actual humans (Homo-sapiens…us), have walked the earth for near 200,000+-  years. Among scientists this is pretty much an un-disputed fact, Other, almost humans, walked the earth for several million years…some modern day European and Asian people have actual DNA from some of these ancient ancestors, meaning there was inter-breeding and viable, fertile offspring.

DNA and the old bones are telling this story…this is indisputable, non-judgmental,   unbiased science that is narrating the story of our ancestors life, not a book written by goat-herders–millions of years after the real beginning of the tale.

All of the above, and more, leads us to the necessity to re-examine and measure many old tall tales that have been passed off as truth to billions of people…namely the Biblical myths of our earthly Genesis.  Moses nowadays is thought to be pretty much a mythical figure.  His “contribution” to the Bible (The Pentateuch) is probably a product of earnest Jewish scholars of the sixth or seventh century BC …long after the reputed time of Moses…trying to keep a tribe together

We know that the essential stories of Genesis…Adam/Eve, Noah, dispersion of language, slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, Exodus, exploits of Joshua, etc. are mythical or allegorical tales.  Some people may think this is not a big deal, but some cogitation on the subject proves otherwise.  In fact if these stories are not true, the consequences ricochet through time…to the story of Jesus, and then go even greater lengths to prove the whole chapter–maybe the whole book–is only myth.

Follow this: there was no Adam/Eve as portrayed in the Bible. The Bible gives clues that much of civilization and early technology was miraculously “there” almost as soon as the story got going. This irrevocably puts the stories into the fifth or sixth millennia BC…a time that is extremely well researched and known about by our earth sciences.  The bone evidence and DNA evidence agree in their respective branches that there was never a time when our ancestors only numbered 2 in the case of Adam/Eve, and further out, the 6 mythical procreating members of the mythical Noah’s Ark.

As stated above man/womankind has walked the earth for 200,000 +- years…there was never an Adam/Eve couple six or eight or ten or fifty thousand years ago.  No Adam and Eve mean no “Original Sin” which irrevocably means there was no need for a Jesus to die as “blood atonement” for non-existent sins.  If you think about it God said, before Paul invented Original Sin, that children are not guilty of the sins of the father. Also the blood atonement think is kind of stupid…it’s nothing but theater, a contrivance to batten up a weak plot line.

With that thought in mind we go to some thoughts of people who are, or were, in the front lines of scholarship in matters of the Christian religion.

“It is important to recognize the obvious: The gospel story of Jesus is itself apparently mythic from first to last”Robert M. Price, professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute

“We can recreate dimensions of the world in which he lived, but outside of the Christian scriptures, we cannot locate him historically within that world”Gerald A. Larue, The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You to Read.

“The question must also be raised as to whether we have the actual words of Jesus in any Gospel”Bishop John Shelby Spong.

“According to the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, a faithful account of the actions and words of Jesus is to be found in the Gospels; but it is impossible to reconcile this with the existence in the text of contradictions, improbabilities, things which are materially impossible or statements which run contrary to firmly established reality”Maurice Bucaille, The Bible The Quran And Science

“Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it”C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic, The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy

“Even if there was a historical Jesus lying back of the gospel Christ, he can never be recovered. If there ever was a historical Jesus, there isn’t one anymore. All attempts to recover him turn out to be just modern re-mythologizing of Jesus. Every “historical Jesus” is a Christ of faith, of somebody’s faith. So the “historical Jesus” of modern scholarship is no less a fiction”Robert M. Price, Jesus: Fact or Fiction

“So unreliable were the Gospel accounts that “we can now know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus”Rudolf Bultmann, University of Marburg

So Prof. Bultmann is saying that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are unreliable, so bad that we can’t be sure about Jesus. Just how much faith can we put in the Gospels?  Let’s see what some other scholars believe…

“We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John”Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, The Gnostic Gospels.

“All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions”Steve Mason, professor of classics, history and religious studies at York University.

“The gospels are so anonymous that their titles, all second-century guesses, are all four wrong”Randel M. Helms, Who Wrote the Gospels?

“But even if it could be proved that John’s Gospel had been the first of the four to be written down, there would still be considerable confusion as to who “John” was. For the various styles of the New Testament texts ascribed to John- The Gospel, the letters, and the Book of Revelations– are each so different in their style that it is extremely unlikely that they had been written by one person”John Romer, archeologist & Bible scholar, Testament.

“Paul did not write the letters to Timothy to Titus or several others published under his name; and it is unlikely that the apostles Matthew, James, Jude, Peter and John had anything to do with the canonical books ascribed to them”Michael D. Coogan, Professor of religious studies at Stonehill College.

“Yet today, there are few Biblical scholars– from liberal skeptics to conservative evangelicals- who believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually wrote the Gospels. Nowhere do the writers of the texts identify themselves by name or claim unambiguously to have known or traveled with Jesus”Jeffery L. Sheler, The Four Gospels

“The bottom line is we really don’t know for sure who wrote the Gospels”Jerome Neyrey, Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass.

“The world has been for a long time engaged in writing lives of Jesus… The library of such books has grown since then. But when we come to examine them, one startling fact confronts us: all of these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a single scrap of contemporary information — not one! By accepted tradition he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustan age historians flourished; poets, orators, critics and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions the name of Jesus Christ, much less any incident in his life”Moncure D. Conway, Modern Thought

Some really bad press for a few people from the Christian religion. They keep saying there is all this evidence that their religion is the true one.  I’m wondering where it is.

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Ten Plagues and Moses

“And if anyone can show me one example in the history of the world of a single spiritual person who has been able to show either empirically or logically the existence of a higher power with any consciousness or interest in the human race or ability to punish or reward humans for their moral choices or that there is any reason other than fear to believe in any version of an afterlife, I will give you my piano, one of my legs, and my wife.”  Tim Minchin

God: Moses…
Moses: ……
God: Moses…
Moses: Eh, what?
God: Moses I have been thinking about the plight of the Jews in Egypt.
Moses: Really…You have…after only 400 years, you’re thinking of us?
God: [pause]  has it been that long?
Moses: Yes, but it’s alright Boss…good…thank you.
God: I will take your people out of bondage after 10 very terrible and nasty plagues.
Moses: [pause] ten…plagues?
God: Is that a problem?
Moses: Well, it’s just that 10 is a lot of plagues.  Couldn’t you do it in maybe one or two?
God: I don’t think so; for you see, I will harden Pharaoh’s heart against me.
Moses: Wait a minute…you are going to stop Pharaoh from setting us free from slavery?
God: Yes.
Moses: So…so you can bring more terrifying plagues upon the people?
God: Yes…Hmm, I’m thinking maybe something with first-born also.
Moses: Do you see nothing wrong with this plan God?
God: [pause] No…why?
Moses: Is there like maybe a supervisor up there I could talk too?
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The God of the Hebrews

The God of the Hebrews

“Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind; Thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee” Leviticus 19:19

So said the Lord God Jehovah.  This is the God of the Hebrews speaking, and He’s damn serious about interfering with their lives and customs. This is the “Word of God” writ large. This is the God who created the universe, our world, and US, for God’s sake…He doesn’t want men experimenting and finding out that by doing certain things with their animals and food gardens they can improve their lives; get more milk and meat perhaps and improve their crops resistance to pests or drought and yield more.

Why would a magical and supernatural sky God say such a thing to a poor humble farmer and expect them to honor such an order?  Is this how the Hebrew God amuses Him/Her self?  What possible advantage could be had by not mixing some fabrics together? This is the God who kept telling the Jews to go and massacre men, women, children, babies, and animals for the sin of not believing in Him.  You know…the genocidal God.

And why do modern day Christians and Jews happily go about today with mixed fabric clothing and eat beef, chicken, pork, and other foods that have been genetically modified for a thousand years?  Did God give in at some time in the past and allow such advances that man could work on his own?

Did any of the Leviticus laws make much sense?  Oh sure, the Christians say that the death of Jesus’ made the Old Testament laws not applicable to us anymore…yet they hold on to the ones they want to keep, like homosexuality.

Why didn’t this all-seeing, all-knowing God make laws prohibiting Slavery, rape, pedophilia, treating women as third class humans, murder for religious reasons?  You know…some really useful laws that would benefit these poor souls and help them rise from the grinding poverty that all people suffered in those times.

Come to think of it, why was this God absent for the nearly two hundred thousand years that modern humans have been populating this earth?  And then why on earth pick on a scraggly small tribe of dirt poor Middle Eastern goat herders???

The Biblical stories when taken apart piece by piece make no sense whatsoever. There is no real God there, only dreams and campfire stories of goat herders.
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Sargon the Great and Moses

Sargon of Akkad / Mesopotamia (c.2300BC to 2215BC)
His birth story from Wikipedia Here
“My mother was a high priestess, my father I knew not. The brothers of my father loved the hills. My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the banks of the Euphrates. My high priestess mother conceived me, in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes; with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose over me. The river bore me up and carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water, took me as his son and reared me. Akki, the drawer of water, appointed me as his gardener. While I was a gardener, Ishtar granted me her love, and for four and […] years I exercised kingship.”   
The river would have been the Euphrates.

Moses of the Hebrews / Egypt / Promised Land / Israel (c. 1396 BC+- to Feb-Mar 1271 BC+-
His birth story From the Jewish Encyclopedia Here
In the Exodus account, the birth of Moses occurred at a time when an unnamed Egyptian Pharaoh had commanded that all male Hebrew children born be killed by drowning in the river Nile. Jochebed, the wife of the Levite Amram, bore a son and kept him concealed for three months. When she could keep him hidden no longer, rather than deliver him to be killed, she set him adrift on the Nile River in a small craft of bulrushes coated in pitch. Moses’ sister Miriam observed the progress of the tiny boat until it reached a place where Pharaoh’s daughter (Bithiah, Thermuthis) was bathing with her handmaidens. It is said that she spotted the baby in the basket and had her handmaiden fetch it for her.
Hmmm…Sargon the Great, who we know was real, was born in secrecy and his mother built a small craft and set it / him free on the river. Story from somewhere around 2300-2200 BC in the Babylon / Mesopotamian area.  Sargon is the first individual in recorded history to create a multi-ethnic, centrally ruled empire, and his dynasty controlled Mesopotamia for around a century and a half.

Moses whom many Biblical scholars now think may be a mythical character who lived around a thousand later than Sargon…if he (Moses) were real, has the same birth myth as a great historical character who lived a lot earlier. Also to be considered in this story is that those same Biblical scholars think that the story of Moses and his writings was a pious fraud, written by Hebrews who were exiled in Babylon (Mesopotamia) in around 587 BC to help bring the Hebrews tribes together in faith.

One could reasonably conclude that parts of the birth myth of Moses was “borrowed” from Mesopotamian writings they came into contact with in Babylon.

Also one could look at the mythical Gilgamesh flood story (circa 2700 BC), the greatest surviving work of early Mesopotamian literature, and see some mighty close similarities with the story of Noah and his Ark…which was part of the Pentateuch that Moses was supposed to have written around 1270 BC, but was probably written by Hebrew scribes in the 6th century BC.

I think this part of Biblical myth can also be reasonably thought of as another Hebrew “borrowing” of storyline from the Mesopotamians.  Boy those Hebrew’s are sharp…

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What I Learned in Bible School

In very late 2006 or very early 2007 some friends of mine convinced me that I should take a Bible study.  As my wife had within the previous few years took on the mantle of a professing Christian, the friends intimated that my following in her steps would be good for me and for my wife.  Having long been at least agnostic, and leaning very heavily towards atheism, I told them several times that they would probably be wasting theirs and my time.  Well they didn’t listen and they finally wore down my resistance.

I would meet with them once a week for what was supposed to be a 1 hour study. Inevitably that 1 hour stretched into 2 or 3 hours.  There was not one page of their study material that I did not question or have some legitimate objection too.  I was not trying to be difficult or mean to them—they were friends after all—but what they were saying and the stuff from the Bible just made no sense to me.  I was excited because I was finally laying out and writing down what was heretofore just a vague feeling or sense.  I was getting organized and I researched and researched everything, I was learning about the Christian history and its dogma…and it did not bode well for the Christians.  I started this blog in November of 2007 to try to keep some track of what I was learning.

I learned that the earth, sky, waters, animals, plants, and the human race are not roughly 6,000 years old. There is just too much conclusive evidence that this is not true

I learned that there was no Adam and Eve (4000+- BC) as portrayed in the Bible. There are thousands of anatomically modern skeletons and hundreds of thousands of human bones that go back hundreds of thousands of years.  There is no doubt, at all, that modern humanity did NOT begin 6000 years ago.  Then there are the tens of thousands of bones of human type species (Homo-erectus, Homo-habilis, Homo-neanderthal, etc.)  that did not make it through to our times, and they made and used tools and fire and there is some evidence of art.  They walked upright and didn’t live in trees and surely they were our long lost cousins.  I also learned that All of humanity alive today has their ultimate roots in Africa.  The fact that there was no Adam and Eve has tremendous consequences down the road.

I learned that there was never a whole earth covering flood (2350+- BC) that destroyed all of mankind except for a mythical man, his wife and three sons and their wives.  The evidence against the flood has been known since the 1700’s and keeps getting stronger as the years go by.  I learned that people keep searching this one mountain in modern day Turkey for remains of Noah’s Ark in vain and that at least 5 people have perpetrated a hoax on the public by announcing they have found the Ark. One person even doctored some wood planks at home to try to make them look old enough to have come from such a vessel.

I learned that there was never a Tower of Babel scenario (2000+- BC) such as told in Genesis.  We now know beyond a doubt that there were already millions of humans spread ALL over the earth at that time.  The Biblical story is nothing more than a fairy-tale, a crude attempt to try to explain the different languages that were spoken at the time the story was written.

I learned that Moses was probably a fictional character, as we know that the work attributed to him (The first five books of the Bible…the Pentateuch) was written by more than one person (3-4) and was probably written around 600-550 BC as a fictive work passed off as holy to bring the Hebrews tribes together again after the exile in Babylon.

I learned that the Exodus as described in the Bible is just a fairy tale. Archaeologists have been scouring the Sinai for over a hundred years looking for signs of at least a million people passing through and living on the land for 40 years…they have found Nothing!  They did find evidence of much earlier humans visiting and living there, but no Israelite signs from the era supported by the Bible story.  This also means that there was no exodus of Hebrews trodding across the Red/Reed Sea, no burning bush, no water spouting rock, no Ten Commandments carried down Mount Sinai, no golden calf, and no manna from heaven.

I learned that Joshua did NOT fight the battle of Jericho. Extensive archaeological work has determined that most all of the towns he was supposed to have squashed were already empty and in ruins at the time indicated in the Bible—both the 1400’s BC and the 1200’s BC theory. But then he was a fictional character anyway so it doesn’t matter.

I learned that Moses couldn’t have written at least some parts of Genesis because he wrote (probably in the 1400’s BC) that Abraham came from “Ur of the Chaldee’s” but we know from history that the Chaldeans did not control the city until around 600-500 BC.

Also Moses wrote that Abraham rescued Lot from the city of Dan which did not exist under that name at the time of Moses.  300 years later the town of Laish was captured by the tribe of Dan and renamed Dan.

I learned that God cannot defeat Iron Chariots used by us war-like humans.

I learned that God does not answer prayers…at least not of those with limb amputations.  Not once in all of recorded history has God ever restored some poor person’s amputated arms or legs and there have been many, many millions of people who have suffered this. You may even know someone from the armed forces who lost a limb or two in Iraq or Afghanistan…or Viet-Nam. The Bible tells us that Jesus raised the dead and threw out spirits or demons and healed some really bad diseases, and he himself was supposed to have risen from the dead, but no mention of limb re-growth anywhere.

I learned that God was really really mean. One mistake in the garden and He curses Adam and Eve and ALL the billions of their offspring to a miserable life with disease and famine and wars and all manner of horrible torture and deaths.  He orders the tribes of Israel to murder man, woman, and child of innocent villages or towns. He fire-bombs villages, He orders running thru pregnant women with swords, bashing babies skulls against the walls or rocks, beheading hundreds or thousands, tossing live people into the fires and who knows what else. And, the animal cruelty you don’t even want to know about.  All in all, the God as described in the Bible is a horrible figure…not God-like at all.  Of course we know that the entire God ordered killing was just the Hebrews way of conquering territory and booty.  There was no God to order all that murder and mayhem.

-end part 1

Warning: This video has a few cuss words…easily offended–don’t watch.

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We Shall Abolish The Orgasm

Quote of the day

“We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent there will be no need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”  George Orwell


No orgasms, no loyalty, no love, no laughter, no art, no literature, no science.  Sounds like a religious nut jobs wet-dream. Pat Robertson and crew would be behind this 100%.  Pat of course is a Dominionist (Sarah Palin is one also I hear), whose goal is either a nation governed by conservative Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of Biblical law…primarily the Old Testaments first 5 chapters—the Pentateuch.

“In his 1992 study of Dominion Theology and its influence on the Christian Right, Bruce Barron PhD, writes,

“In the context of American evangelical efforts to penetrate and transform public life, the distinguishing mark of a dominionist is a commitment to defining and carrying out an approach to building society that is self-consciously defined as exclusively Christian, and dependent specifically on the work of Christians, rather than based on a broader consensus.

According to sociologist Sara Diamond, the defining concept of dominionism is “that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns”. In 1989, Diamond declared that this concept “has become the central unifying ideology for the Christian Right.”  In 1995, she called it “prevalent on the Christian Right”. Journalist Chip Berlet added in 1998 that, although they represent different theological and political ideas, dominionists assert a Christian duty to take “control of a sinful secular society.”
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism

They got their wish in 2000 (as they predicted) in electing ol’ GWB.  Of course there is still that controversy over his actually being “voted” in.  From that point the religious right had control of the Republican Party.  Its members are overwhelmingly evangelical fundamentalists.  The “teabagger movement” (who are totally controlled by outsiders) is really pissed that a black-man, who they deem an Islamic Fifth Columnist,  has control of “their America”…and he was actually “voted” in…How dare those lefty liberals.

The 2012 election cycle is going to be pretty exciting.  Keep an eye out for all those Republicans who might enter the primaries.  Really scary religious fundamentalists are waiting for their chance to take over.

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