JC Myth (1.1): Gods and Goddesses: Our Mother, the First Deity

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Chapter One: Gods and Goddesses: “Our Mother, the First Deity”

Our love for our mother is natural. She feeds us, cuddles us, and kisses our booboos. She provides everything we need, and we love her because she first loved us (1 Jn. 4:19). She went into the valley of the shadow of death for us, destroyed her body for us, gave of her own sustenance to bring us into being, and then sustained us, again, from her own body through breastfeeding. Mother is “food, warmth, comfort, reassurance. She is the only help of the helpless.”[1] She is life, for without her we wouldn’t exist and then, as soon as we were born, we would die. We “eat and drink” her so that we might have life (Jn. 6:54). In summary, our mother gave us her blood wherein is life (Lev. 17:11), she provided for us the breath of life (Gen. 2:7), she birthed us through “water and blood” (1 Jn. 5:6), and we partake of her body as we nurse from her sweet “manna” (Ex. 16:1).

The connection between a mother and her children is even greater than we once realized, as we have discovered that a fetus leaves DNA in his or her mother, which travels to her brain and “many organs of the body including the lung, thyroid muscle, liver, heart, kidney and skin,” remaining with her throughout her life and even being passed to other children.[2] Walker wrote that the “supreme deity . . . before fatherhood was understood, was a Great Mother, the creatress of the universe.” We have generally called her “Ma, or Mah, or Maa, or Ma-Ma, which linguists say refer to ‘mother’s breasts’ in nearly all languages.”[3] As Walker noted, when we pray we lift up our arms like a baby reaching for his mother.[4]

Because women create and sustain life, the natural inclination of the ancients was to imagine a goddess as the supreme being, as any god had to be related to the birth process. Joshua J. Mark wrote regarding the ancient goddess Inanna:

“Inanna is the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, procreation, and of war who later became identified with the Akkadian goddess Ishtar, and further with the Phoenician Astarte and the Greek Aphrodite, among others. She was also seen as the bright star of the morning and evening, Venus. Through the work of the Akkadian poet and high priestess, Enheduanna (2285-2250 BCE) daughter of Sargon of Akkad (who conquered Mesopotamia and built the great Akkadian Empire) Inanna was carefully identified with Ishtar and rose in prominence from a local vegetative deity of the Sumerian people to the Queen of Heaven and the most popular goddess in all of Mesopotamia. . .

“In the Mesopotamian pantheon Inanna is the daughter of the sky-god An, but also is depicted as the daughter of the moon-goddess Ningal and her consort Nanna. Alternately, she is the daughter of the god of wisdom Enki and sister to Ereshkigal (goddess of the underworld) and Utu the sun god. Her husband Dumuzi transforms in time (as Inanna does into Ishtar) into the dying-and-reviving god Tammuz and, annually at the autumn equinox, the people would celebrate the sacred marriage rites of Inanna and Dumuzi as he returned from the underworld to mate again with Inanna, thus bringing the land to life. Her temples throughout Mesopotamia were numerous, and sacred prostitutes of both genders were employed to ensure the fertility of the earth and the continued prosperity of the communities.”[5]

Regarding Inanna, historian Gwendolyn Leick wrote:

“Inanna was the foremost Sumerian goddess, patron deity of Uruk. Her name was written with a sign that represents a reed stalk tied into a loop at the top. This appears in the very earliest written texts from the mid-fourth millennium B.C. She is also mentioned in all the early god lists among the four main deities, along with Anu, Enki, and Enlil. In the royal inscriptions of the early Dynastic Period, Inanna is often invoked as the special protectress of kings. Sargon of Akkad claimed her support in battle and politics. It appears that it was during the third millennium that the goddess acquired martial aspects that may derive from a syncretism with the Semitic deity Ishtar.”[6]

Tina Rae Collins

My goal is to share my book The Judaeo-Christian Myth one article at a time. If you find these articles interesting or you don’t think I’ll reach my goal (always a possibility, I suppose), and/or you just can’t wait, you can purchase the book by clicking on the picture above or the title in this paragraph. Thanks for reading!

[1] Walker, Man Made God, 23. [2] Robert Martone, “Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brains: the connection between mother and child is ever deeper than thought,” scientificamerican.com, 12 Dec. 2012, web, 16 Nov. 2014. [3] Walker, Man Made God, 57. See also: Peter Farb, Word Play (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974), 317. [4] Walker, Man Made God, 58. [5] Joshua J. Mark, “Inanna,” Ancient History Encyclopedia, ancient.eu, 15 Oct. 2010, web, 23 Apr. 2015. [6] Gwendolyn Leick, The A to Z of Mesopotamia (Scarecrow Press, 2010), 89.

 

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JC Myth (1.0): Gods and Goddesses

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Chapter One: Gods and Goddesses

“These infantile stories of the creation of man and the remarkable revelations made by God, are conflicting and bear upon their face the evidence of exaggeration and credulity. The evolution theory has swept from us the myth of Adam and Eve and the eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, which does away with the necessity of a redeemer and the vicarious atonement and original sin. It has opened our eyes to the knowledge that there is no one standing between us and our Creator; that every one must work out his own salvation and be his own savior, answering for his sins according to the law of compensation; that the laws of nature are unchangeable; that the same force that shapes a dewdrop will round a world; that suns and stars float in space, and are held in their place by the same law that guides the earth in its course around the sun; that spring comes to gladden the earth and make it green; that winter’s frost robes it in a white winding sheet of snow; but the vegetable world is not dead, it is only asleep to blossom again.”[1]

“It is often not truth that we seek, but comfort. Comfort me. Tell me something that makes me feel wanted, needed, cared for, loved, safe, protected, absolved, acquitted, guaranteed, accepted, valued, and even noticed, even if it’s not the entire truth . . . These are the instinctive characteristics of a child’s yearnings toward . . . mother.”[2]

***

Gods and goddesses, whether they be real or imagined, and whatever we call them—Hercules, Jesus, Adonai, Cupid, Santa Claus, El Shaddai, Mother Mary, Superman, Superfly, or even Crowley the King of Hell[3]—they intrigue us and give us someone to revere and adore as well as someone to lean upon in times of trouble or seek out when we need a favor. But from where did we obtain our concepts of the gods and goddesses?

In the beginning was the goddess.[4] Even if she has been “obscured after fifteen centuries of assiduous cover-ups,” the Mother Goddess “preceded male gods in every mythology in the world.[5] As agriculture developed in the Paleolithic period, “the cult of the Mother Goddess expressed a sense that the fertility which was transforming human life was actually sacred.”[6] The Spirit that moved on the waters (Gen. 1:2) was the mother of Jesus. He stated: “Even now did my Mother the Holy Spirit take me by one of my hairs, and carried me away to the great mountain Tabor” (Gospel According to the Hebrews 4:1).[7] Although not included in the canon, this Gospel may have been written as early as the first century CE and is the only one the early church fathers mentioned by name (Jerome, Commentary on Ephesians 3, and other frequent mentions during the first five centuries of the common era).[8] [9]

While Mother is warm and loving, Father has power; and religion is not only about a soft place to lay our heads and rest; we also want a powerful god who can defeat our enemies and do away with the one aspect of life that brings us the most fear: death. Barbara G. Walker, who has spent thirty years studying more than 400 reference books as well as ancient texts in order to find the sources for religious concepts, wrote:

“In all cultures around the world, supreme deities are always parent figures: a mother at first, then later on, a father. People apparently desire the parent figure to provide for them, nurture, love and help them, get them out of trouble, tell them what to do, punish them when they disobey, and be available for appeals. These are all the functions of God; these are the reasons for God’s existence in the human mind.”[10]

Tina Rae Collins

My goal is to share my book The Judaeo-Christian Myth one article at a time. If you find these articles interesting or you don’t think I’ll reach my goal (always a possibility, I suppose), and/or you just can’t wait, you can purchase the book by clicking on the picture above or the title in this paragraph. Thanks for reading!

[1] James Palatine Dameron, Spiritism; The Origin of All Religion (San Francisco, self-published, 1885), 2. [2] Ken Dahl, What Is God and How Does It Work? A Call For Honesty About Reality and Religion (2014), 84. [3] Supernatural, created by Eric Kripke, 2005-present, TV show. [4] Wilhelm Schmidt, in The Origin of the Idea of God (1912), theorized that originally the primitives believed in one god, known as the Sky God. Karen Armstrong, A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (New York: Ballantine Books, 1993), 3. [5] Barbara G. Walker, Man Made God (Seattle, WA: Stellar House Publishing, 2010), 14, 268. [6] Armstrong, 5. [7] B’sorah HaEv’rim: The Goodnews according to the Hebrews, reconstructed by James Scott Trimm, 4:1:34, pdf. [8] “Gospel of the Hebrews,” wikipedia.org, 18 Jan. 2015, web, 24 Jan. 2015. [9] Steve Rudd, “Rejected Books,” bible.ca, n.d. web, 24 Jan. 2015. [10] Walker, Man Made God, 38.

JC Myth: Disclaimer

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When I speak of Yahweh I’m not talking about an unfathomable creative force or all-encompassing spirit or energy. I’m referring rather to Israel’s tribal god, who inherited the house of Jacob from the Canaanite high god Elyon (Deut. 32:8-9). I’m discussing the main god of the Old Testament, who is the protagonist/antagonist in the Israelite scriptures and whose rivals are the likes of Baal, Molech, and Ashtoreth.

There’s a reason we don’t wake up in the morning to find a story on Facebook about Prince William and Prince Charming playing cricket together. Will is real, but the disarming Charming is a figment of our imagination. The Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t sit down to tea with Cinderella; at least, she hasn’t since she’s been a grown woman and given up fairy tales. As with princes and princesses, so with gods and goddesses. A true god doesn’t do battle with fake gods. If Molech and Baal (gods whom Yahweh fought) aren’t real, we ought to assume the same about Yahweh.

So, we can’t confuse the make-believe Yahweh with any consciousness that might pervade the world. Obviously, we and our universe are good; therefore the force, energy, or entity that developed us must be good (and I have no quarrel with him/her/it). Whether that power is sentient or concerned with us or our planet is not the subject of this book. Here we are dealing only with the Judaeo-Christian myth.

Tina Rae Collins

My goal is to share my book The Judaeo-Christian Myth one article at a time. The articles will be numbered, so they will be easy to follow. This one, being the disclaimer, has no number. If you find these articles interesting or you don’t think I’ll reach my goal (always a possibility, I suppose), and/or you just can’t wait, you can purchase the book by clicking on the picture above or the title in this paragraph. Thanks for reading!

JC Myth: Introduction

JC Myth Picture for Blog

My goal herein is to present evidence to support the thesis that Judaeo-Christianity is a religion based on myth. A myth is a parable, allegory, or unproven story; and the biblical tale certainly qualifies. We don’t know who wrote the Bible or when, and, I believe, it is a parable explaining the reuniting of the god to the goddess (which includes the reconciliation of the man to the woman and the god to humanity).

I don’t want to mock anyone’s faith, whether that faith is in the god Tammuz or the god Jesus. Until recently I believed in the deity of Yahweh and Jesus from the time I can remember, and my faith has always been extremely important to me. I love my fellow seekers no matter where they may be on their spiritual path. Sometimes my words may sound mocking, but my purpose is only to motivate a desire to reevaluate inherited beliefs. We are all searching, and none of us has all the answers to life’s questions. It is my sincere desire not to appear arrogant or condemning, but I also don’t want to pussyfoot around and not make myself clear. If something I say is upsetting, I ask the reader to pretend I’m saying it about Bacchus,  Hercules, or  Zeus. If  it wouldn’t seem horrible for me to speak what I’m saying about those gods, then I trust the reader to understand that, from my perspective, that’s exactly what I’m doing when I talk about Yahweh or Jesus. I’m not judging those who believe in Jesus and Yahweh. My heart is to share my own thinking about Judaeo-Christianity, not to condemn others.

Finally, I want to say that my new beliefs regarding the gods of the Bible came about due to great love for them and deep search for truth. And my de-conversion from Judaeo-Christianity proceeded more from studying the Bible than by examining other literature. While the writings of scholars have helped to open my eyes, it is the words in the biblical scriptures themselves that have convinced me that they are not the word of a god. As I worked on my doctoral project, We Are Emmanuel: How Man Became God, many questions arose from the pages of the Bible that provoked a great desire to seek answers; and each new solution I found served to prompt more questions. Preparing my dissertation was the most difficult mental and spiritual undertaking of my life. I’ve heard of others who went to seminary and lost their faith in the biblical gods. I’m not sure what the varied reasons are, but for me it wasn’t what the school itself taught me but what I discovered in my studies while searching for resolutions to my own questions so I could present an honest paper. As answers came, I found myself torn between explaining the metaphorical meaning of the biblical texts and declaring that the whole Bible is a myth. In the end, I cut about fifty pages from my dissertation and saved it for this book, leaving in the dissertation only my interpretation of the biblical texts, without my thoughts concerning their veracity or inspiration. I believe my dissertation makes a good companion book (to be read first) for this one, as I think it prepares one for moving beyond fairy tales and fantasies to the reality we all need to grasp: if there is a god, it is not Yahweh; his story is simply another myth like that of other gods.

Having come to this conclusion, I am compelled to put my thoughts on paper. This book is a brief introduction to a great volume of information that is available to any who wish to pursue these ideas further. Again, I hope my thoughts will be received with an open mind and that my words won’t be a source of pain, anger, or disillusionment. We all flow together in this great big ocean we call life, and we need one another. Therefore, whether we agree or disagree, we should exhibit love toward one another and grant free will to all to make personal choices without fear of persecution or loss of affection, friendship, or association. My readers are, of course, free to criticize my thinking or take it and toss it out the window just as they are free to do with the Bible or any other piece of literature. I hope, of course, that all who read this book will seriously consider the evidence I present and, if they disagree, provide absolute confirmation for their own beliefs before proclaiming me to be a godless heathen. Without absolute proof, my readers (no matter how many agree among themselves) must admit the possibility that they could be wrong. And if they could be wrong, I could be right. So, if they can’t substantiate their own beliefs to be 100 percent accurate, then I pray that they do the right thing and not judge or condemn me; and, whether we agree or not, I pray that we remain loving family, devoted friends, congenial acquaintances, or kind and considerate strangers.

With deep love for one and all,

Tina Rae Collins

My goal is to share my book The Judaeo-Christian Myth one article at a time. The articles will be numbered so the book will be easy to follow. This one has no number since it’s the introduction. If you find these articles interesting or you don’t think I’ll reach my goal (always a possibility, I suppose), and/or you just can’t wait, you can purchase the book by clicking on the picture above or the title in this paragraph. Thanks for reading!

Christi and Athea

11.17.13
Moonbeam aka Tina Rae Collins

My name is Christi. I worship the god Hewhay and have faith in his son Auhsey, my savior. Auhsey loves me and has promised to marry me soon. Since he is royalty, I’ll become a princess! Auhsey will bestow upon me amazingly expensive gifts, including a huge mansion. I’ll even rule with him over my fellow human beings. What joy that will be! It will especially be nice to have authority over the humans who don’t like me (payback time!).

My best friend is Athea. Athea was raised by parents who aren’t followers of Hewhay and Auhsey, so Athea can’t bring herself to believe in a supernatural being who can see her when she’s sleeping, knows when she’s awake, and knows when she’s been bad or good.

When Auhsey comes for me, he’s going to torture Athea. He says he’ll put out both her eyes, break her legs so that she can never walk again, and beat her in the head till she has the mind of a two-year-old and will sit around day and night drooling all over herself. She won’t be able to sleep, and Auhsey says he’ll make sure she can never die so she’ll have to suffer forever.

Athea is a good person–the best person I know. She loves everybody and does all she can to help others. I’ve never heard her say an unkind word about anybody, and she’s been my best friend since we were in kindergarten. But I know, because somebody wrote it in a book, that Auhsey is right to inflict great punishment and suffering on my friend Athea. I told her she should believe, so it will be her own fault when Auhsey pounces on her and beats the living daylights out of her.

Does it all make sense to me? Well, no, not really. I mean, truth be told, I cannot imagine a god who would reward my complete and total narcissism! Although I know Auhsey plans to bring down unfathomable pain and misery on my best friend just because she wasn’t raised to believe in him and can’t accept fantastic stories written by human beings who know no more than she does, I still long for him to come (and quickly!) so I can be rewarded with pleasures. I look forward with great anticipation to watching my friend endure terrible abuse and mistreatment just so I myself can live a life of ease and gratification.

So, yeah, it doesn’t SEEM right, but I know it is. I must somehow deserve Auhsey’s goodness since I believe in him, while Athea deserves his wrath since she doesn’t. So I will praise Auhsey for his vengeance and holy righteousness in torturing my dear Athea because it’s what she has merited whether I understand it or not. Auhsey’s thoughts are not mine. Obviously I simply can’t understand concepts like justice and the difference between right and wrong. But, whew, whatever the reasons, I’m glad it’s Athea being punished and me being rewarded! As my pastor said, “If only one person gets to be with Auhsey, I want it to be ME!”

I’m so excited! (PLEASE come quickly, Auhsey!) I’m going to be a princess! I’ll receive amazing gifts! I’ll live in a mansion and rule over other people, who will be forced to bow down and grovel to ME! Praise Auhsey! He is awesome because he is good to ME!

Read more: The Judaeo-Christian Myth

Tina Rae Collins, March 8, 2016

Grateful Heart

11.17.13
Moonbeam aka Tina Rae Collins

As I have struggled through life I’ve had more than my share of handouts–mainly from the government and many individuals, but some from the church too. And I appreciate everything I have received.

 

My family stood in line for commodity cheese and whatever else the government provided before the Food Stamp program existed, and then we lived on food stamps. My hunger was satiated by free lunches in grade school. When I was graduated from eighth grade, Betsy Layne Grade School had a dance and charged ten cents for the students to attend–that money bought my dress and shoes for the graduation (I was the valedictorian and had to give a speech).

 

I was on the work program in high school, cleaning bubble gum off the bottoms of chairs and doing some secretarial work in the principal’s office. At Pikeville College I worked on the Work-Study program for Dr. Leonard Roberts (teacher and author) and, later, in the college library. I paid for college with a scholarship (because I was valedictorian in high school too), my work (through the government program), and financial aid (and during my senior year I also received help from the Rehabilitation Center because of my asthma).

 

I’ve been on WIC, and I’ve received help to pay my heating bills and medical bills. When my husband left me, the church my sister attended sent me a check for $500, with which I bought a car and licensed and tagged it (I lived in the head of a hollow with my children and had no means of transportation).

 

Today, I live on Social Security and whatever I can earn by editing manuscripts and selling the books I write. Being helped by others has in no way stopped me from trying to excel on my own or reaching for the moon.

 

I can’t be thankful for what I have received (that has kept me alive and made that life worth living) and then turn my back on disadvantaged people who are coming behind me. I can’t! I was given to freely, and I want the same for others who need it–whether it benefits me at the moment or not.

 

Take away government schools; take away free lunches; take away financial aid for college; take away free prenatal care, WIC, and food stamps. Take away HUD and anything else you want to take away. Do whatever you feel you have to do. But don’t expect me to support you. My grateful heart won’t let me.

 

Tina Rae Collins, PhD
March 12, 2016