JC Myth (10.5): Our Legacy: “The Clock’s Running”

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Chapter Ten: Our Legacy: “The Clock’s Running”

I’ll end this book with a few words from Frank Sinatra that appeared in Playboy Magazine in 1963.[1] He first stated:

“I believe in you and me. I’m like Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in that I have a respect for life — in any form. I believe in nature, in the birds, the sea, the sky, in everything I can see or that there is real evidence for. If these things are what you mean by God, then I believe in God. . . Now don’t get me wrong. I’m for decency — period. I’m for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man. . . I’ve got no quarrel with men of decency at any level. But I can’t believe that decency stems only from religion.”[2]

Then he went on to say:

“Have you thought of the chance I’m taking by speaking out this way? Can you imagine the deluge of crank letters, curses, threats and obscenities I’ll receive after these remarks gain general circulation? Worse, the boycott of my records, my films, maybe a picket line at my opening at the Sands. Why? Because I’ve dared to say that love and decency are not necessarily concomitants of religious fervor.”[3]

The interviewer from Playboy said, “If you think you’re stepping over the line, offending your public or perhaps risking economic suicide, shall we cut this off now, erase the tape and start over along more antiseptic lines?” Sinatra responded: “No, let’s let it run. I’ve thought this way for years, ached to say these things. Whom have I harmed by what I’ve said? What moral defection have I suggested? No, I don’t want to chicken out now. Come on, pal, the clock’s running.”[4]

The clock’s running. Darlison wrote that, like Jesus, we are all crucified between two thieves, those thieves being our past and our present.

“What do these bandits steal? They steal our life. They are the past and the future, the twin thieves of everyone’s life. . . The past consumes us with regret, remorse, revenge, nostalgia, habit; the future eats away at our life with anxiety, uncertainty, procrastination, fear. . . We enter into the life of promise today. Now. It’s now or never. By destroying, or transforming, those twin thieves of our lives we enter into a whole new way of being, resurrected life, when the tomb which held us fast is broken open . . . This is the consistent message of the world’s spiritual traditions. This is the perennial philosophy.”[5]

As I said earlier, it wasn’t the wizard who brought Dorothy Gayle back home; but the truth is, it really wasn’t the kind and pretty Glinda either. It was Dorothy herself who had the power to transform her life. She didn’t need to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald  City to find a powerful being to grant her wish. She could make it home on her own. And she was happier in her own little house with her family and friends in good old Kansas. Dorothy finally realized that the life she was given was enough for her; likewise, our current earthly lives should be enough for us. Let’s not ignore our vital present in order to weep over our sinful past and dream of a future castle in the sky in a city of gold. Despite what we may have been told, this is not a dress rehearsal; this is the main event. My friend John Marra wrote, “Since this is the only life any of us can actually be certain of, let’s try to fill it with all the love, joy, and happiness we possibly can because it’s so precious.”[6]

The clock’s running! If there is more after this life, great; but destroying one another in search of an ideal that may never come to fruition cannot be the right way to live. All religions, including Christianity, separate humans from one another when even the biblical scriptures urge unity. I hope it won’t take much more time before we realize that when we leave here we may go the way of every monkey, squirrel, and cockroach; therefore, our time, money, and energies should be used to help one another live a better life now (here, on Earth, in Kansas or wherever we may be), because we don’t know what is beyond the grave. Even if we exist after this life, it may not be as the people we are now (or as people at all). The only legacy we may have is whatever we create in the here and now. Let’s make the only life we know we have one of acceptance of all people, regardless of their religious views or way of life that may be different from ours. As my friend Dale Stanford said, any god who might be out there watching us will surely honor that behavior.

This book could be my undoing in the eyes of many—the last straw for some or the final nail in my coffin; and my friends and loved ones will no doubt wonder why I don’t pretend I still believe in Yahweh and Jesus rather than bringing disrespect upon myself and creating shock waves in my personal environment. The answer is the same as it would be if I had been worshiping Baal, Mithra, Chrishna, or Hercules, and I suddenly discovered that my god wasn’t real. Would I keep quiet then and feign belief in a pagan god just because the crowd was worshiping him? No, I wouldn’t. I can’t profess to worship a god I consider to be pagan (no matter how many others believe in him), nor can I worship a human being (Jesus, if he was truly a historical figure). I also can’t, and in my opinion shouldn’t, keep quiet. I must raise my voice along with the voices of others who are breaking the shackles of superstition and paganism. So my readers can feel sorry for me, they can pray for me, they can even turn me over to Satan. But let’s let it run.

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] “Frank Sinatra’s views on organized religion were decades ahead of his time,” deadstate.org, 29 Aug. 2014, web, 8 Nov. 2014. [2] “Frank Sinatra’s views on organized religion were decades ahead of his time.” [3] “Frank Sinatra’s views on organized religion were decades ahead of his time.” [4] “Frank Sinatra’s views on organized religion were decades ahead of his time.” [5] Darlison, “Two Thieves.” [6] John Marra, facebook.com, 24 June 2015, web, 24 June 2015.

 

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JC Myth (10.4): Our Legacy: “We Are Free”

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Chapter Ten: Our Legacy: “We Are Free”

We don’t need a devil to blame our bad deeds on, a savior to pay for them, or a magic fairy godfather/godmother to grant our wishes and allow us to live in his/her fancy kingdom with a golden street (if we only believe with all of our little hearts that it is so). The Bible came to us via myths, some clever magic may have been performed to help us believe it, and it was originally nothing but a metaphor. If we would use the Bible for good, that would be wonderful. Unfortunately, Christianity and other Abrahamic religions promote disunity, discord, hate, and war. We criticize, ostracize, and kill one another over whose myth is the truest—over which superhero (Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man) is the greatest. It was supposedly the Word that reconciled man to Yahweh. He spoke and it was so. As Isaiah 55:11 says, “God’s word went forth from his mouth, didn’t return to him void, but accomplished what he wanted and prospered in the thing to which he sent it.” Jesus was, after all, the savior of the world, not just believers (Jn. 4:42, 1 Jn. 4:14). Of course, some say the world is Israel only (Jews and the dispersed Israelites), and that salvation was accomplished in the first century CE never to be repeated (Gen. 17:5-14, 35:10-11; Deut. 32:9; Ps. 147:19-20; Isa. 11:11-12, 61:9; Jer. 31:31; Ezek. 37:21-28; Mic. 5:8; Mt. 4:15, 10:6, 15:24, 19:28; Lk. 1:32-33; Jn. 1:10-11, 7:35; Acts 2:36, 6:1-2, 21:21, 23:6, 24:15, 28:20; Rom. 4:11-19, 11:25-27; 1 Cor. 10:11; Eph. 2:11-12; Heb. 9:15; 1 Pet. 1:5; 1 Jn. 2:18; Jude 1:15-19; Rev. 21:3, 12). If indeed Jesus was the savior of Israel only—since Israel was Yahweh’s inheritance and the only people over whom he had authority—or this salvation happened in the past and won’t be repeated, we who are living today and/or are not Israelites can happily ignore Yahweh’s promises and death threats. But, as I noted in footnote number 784, it isn’t the purpose of this book to determine whether the Bible teaches the salvation of Israel only or the whole world. Therefore (assuming Yahweh eventually took all humanity under his wing), according to the Bible, the Word accomplished its purpose of reconciliation. So, believers or non-believers, we can all relax. Mommy and Daddy are back together and all is right with our world. Robert Farrar Capon wrote:

“Christianity is the proclamation of the end of religion, not of a new religion, or even the best of all possible religions. And therefore if the cross is the sign of anything, it’s the sign that God has gone out of the religion business and solved all the world’s problems without requiring a single human being to do a single religious thing.[1]

Mommy is back home, Daddy is sexually satisfied, and life goes on “forever and ever.”

I was lying in bed one night thinking about how I have drastically changed my religious views, and suddenly I had what I would call, for lack of a better term, a spiritual experience. It dawned on me that no god put a man and woman in a pit with a monstrous snake, no god drowned innocent children and newborn puppies or ripped apart mothers to abort their babies, no god picked a “pet” among his children to fight and kill his other children over a piece of ground, no god murdered his own son because of his unforgiving nature, and no god is going to burn anyone. No god like that exists! When that thought struck me, the most amazing relief came over me. I felt what seemed like chains begin to break apart all over my body, falling at my feet. As I watched I realized that they weren’t chains after all but brown scales; and they literally covered every inch of me to the point that they were my body. I had been hidden or disguised by them so that my true body wasn’t apparent. I watched the scales fall and listened as they clinked onto the floor. And what emerged was a smooth pink body that radiated a soft white glow. I was light, glowing and producing heat. I was wispy as a feather and could float into the air. I was at peace. I felt joy. I was reborn. I was free. I believe the truth has set me free.

See, I have visions too. But I don’t plan on teaching them as doctrine and attempting to gather a following based on them. Robert M. Price said that

“as long as the individual prophet is the only one to believe as he does, we call him insane. We say he has a delusion, because he is the only one navigating by this compass, on these particular seas. . . And after a while, when enough people believe it, we no longer call it a delusion. We call it a religion.”[2]

Karen Armstrong wrote, “As an epileptic, I had flashes of vision that I knew to be a mere neurological defect: had the visions and raptures of the saints also been a mere mental quirk?”[3] Shouldn’t we consider the possibility that biological, psychological, political, and environmental issues might have come into play with regard to the visions and god-encounters of the ancients?

I don’t have an answer to whether a god exists or what he/she/it might be like. Martin Luther “doubted the possibility of proving the existence of God.”[4] Even Mother Teresa had her reservations about his existence.[5] The fact that people say they have faith proves they don’t have knowledge of a god, and especially the god Yahweh. Religions are based on faith, and faith is not fact; if we could call a god’s existence a fact, then faith would disappear. I believe the Bible is about nature. It’s about sex. It’s about love. It’s about life. And life eventually comes to an end. When we die we go either to the tomb-womb of Mother Earth or to some realm or dimension we know nothing about, perhaps to be resurrected through reincarnation in a new spring or to live “somewhere out there” (or maybe we remain right here but operate on a different frequency or vibration).

Again, I don’t know whether there is a god or what happens after this life, and neither does anyone else. And we all know we don’t know. I think it’s time we admit this truth. Obviously, I have a hope that our consciousness continues after death. Events in my life make me believe we may be eternal. But my visions (yes, I have had my share), encounters, revelations, and beliefs are mine alone, and should be given no more credence than any other person’s. I don’t expect anyone to accept them as true; likewise, I have no obligation to take on the beliefs of anyone else, whether the person be a prophet, priest, preacher, or poet. Our faith, or lack of faith, is personal; and we have every right to our own thinking on spiritual matters. As someone said, “Religion is like a penis. It’s fine to have one and it’s fine to be proud of it, but please don’t whip it out in public and start waving it around. And please don’t try to shove it down my child’s throat.”

So, as for what I say, everyone is free to ignore it, ponder it, or research the matter on his or her own. If what I’ve said seems false, may all reject it; if it rings true, I hope all will consider it. Surely I have presented enough evidence to at least prompt the reader to do a thorough study of the life and times of the Israelite god Yahweh and a more in-depth and impartial investigation of his so-called book. At the least, I pray that Christians will think twice before judging and condemning their fellow man based on the “high and holy” thinking of a people who didn’t even know human trafficking was wrong.

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] Robert Farrar Capon, The Mystery of Christ . . . & why we don’t get it (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1993), 62. [2] Robert M. Price, “He Really Is Santa Claus,” robertmprice.mindvendor.com, 1996, 2007, web, 10 Apr. 2015. [3] Armstrong, xviii-xix. [4] Armstrong, 278. [5] Michelle Singer, “Letters Reveal Mother Teresa’s Secret,” cbsnews.com, 23 Aug. 2007, web, 14 Nov. 2014.

 

JC Myth (10.3): Our Legacy: “The Facts of Life”

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Chapter Ten: Our Legacy: “The Facts of Life”

When people are faced with insurmountable evidence against their beliefs, they often say, “I walk by faith,” as if that takes away any obligation to reason or provide evidence for their beliefs. Blind faith seems to be considered a virtue. As Carl S. wrote: “We frequently find social stigma attached to someone who is ‘lacking in faith,’ as if believing in anything, however outrageous, is acceptable if it is sincerely believed in. What’s so special about that?” He continued to say that if we don’t have faith maybe the reason is that we can’t force ourselves to trust without evidence and our lack of faith is therefore the “positive, mature attitude to maintain.”[1]

Let’s imagine we never heard of angry Yahweh or lowly Jesus. We know nothing of a talking snake, original sin, or a god’s mating with a human then killing his son because he couldn’t stand the humans he made and he just had to take his vengeance on someone. We’re reading the Bible for the first time. Can we believe this book full of magic and wizardry like other fables, legends, and fairy tales that we know to be false? Should we believe it? If my crazy neighbor Noah tells me God is going to pour down water to drown the world and I therefore need to get into his boat, or my fanatical cousin Lot rants about how God is going to rain down fire and brimstone so I need to get out of the city, why in the name of sanity would I believe either of them? Why should I be expected by a rational god to believe them? I hope my readers will be honest and admit that they wouldn’t believe their cousin or neighbor any more than I would believe mine and that such non-belief is rational and wise! When I was little my two oldest sisters told my next oldest sister and me that if we made horses out of corn stalks and corn silk and put them in Mommy’s sewing machine drawer overnight, when we woke up they would be real, live horses. We believed our sisters because we were innocent and gullible and had tons of faith. But we shouldn’t have! And nobody should be rewarded for being ignorant enough to accept nonsense just because another human being says it did or will happen.

We must look at the facts (as knowledge surpasses faith); the facts do not justify faith in the Judaeo-Christian gods. At the time the Christ myth came into being, people were superstitious. (Even the New Testament declares that [Acts 17:22].) They were already accustomed to honoring fake gods and goddesses. Naturally one more wasn’t a problem for them. But it should be for us.

Despite all that has been said here, we can surely learn from the myths of the Bible (as we can and do from all myths—that is their purpose). Eckhart Tolle wrote, “The man on the cross . . . is every man and every woman.”[2] He further noted that “Christ can be seen as the archetypal human, embodying both the pain and the possibility of transcendence.”[3] Bill Darlison put it this way:

“The person on the cross is you. It is I. It is Everyman, and Everywoman. Crucifixion is not just an archaic and barbaric punishment for a few unfortunate lawbreakers; it is a condition of life. Crucifixion is the perfect metaphor for the human situation because, unlike most types of execution, it delivers a slow, lingering, painful death. What’s more, it takes place for all of us on Golgotha, Calvary, ‘the place of the skull’ (Golgotha is Aramaic for ‘skull’, Calvary is ‘skull’ in Latin) which is itself an image of life stripped down to its skeletal essentials. We are all poised in pain on the cross of life. None escapes, and all attempts to insulate ourselves from life’s pains are fruitless. . . The message of Easter is not that once upon a time a single individual’s death paid the price of sin and he was rewarded by having his corpse reanimated. . . The story of the literal crucifixion and literal resurrection from physical death of a single human being is biologically impossible, historically implausible, and, in the way that it is often presented, it is morally questionable. But the story of our own resurrection from spiritual death while we are still alive is the most important and liberating message we will ever hear.”[4]

Not only is the crucifixion/resurrection the story of our lives; in fact, it’s the sequence of each day. We wake up with a clean slate to greet the morning sun; we struggle to make it through the day; then we lie down at night, either in peace or torture based on what happened that day (or, at least, how we dealt with the day’s happenings); either way, we close our eyes in our “little death”[5] of sleep. Arthur Schopenhauer said, “Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.”[6]    John A. Sanford wrote: “The world-creating Logos could be seen in the movements of the heavenly bodies, in the majesty of the skies, in the great ocean with its abundance of life . . . in the tiniest unit of life.”[7] The story is written in the sky, in the seasons, in the womb, and in the stages of growth/aging of each individual (Gen. 1:14; Ps. 19:1-6, 84:11; Mal. 4:2; Rom. 1:20; Rev. 22:16). We come into the world naked and unashamed, we play our part, we fall into a deep sleep, and we return innocently to our source (even if it is only as dust in the wind). We have our spring, summer, fall, and winter. And, again, we must work in the spring and summer (day/youth/strength) so that when our fall (evening/old age/weakness) comes, we can harvest and eat; if not, we will either freeze to death, being unclothed, or we will die of starvation in our winter—we will be naked and hungry (we will go down in shame). As the Psalmist said, we labor in sorrow for seventy years and then are cut off and fly away (Ps. 90:10). We live our seventy weeks, or our seventy years, with our seventy family members, bearing whatever cross is ours, and then we face our 70 CE (Ex.1:5, Dan. 9:24). Just as with the biblical characters Adam and Jesus, the only way to “return to God” is to die. This process is repeated throughout the biblical texts in various ways. It is the cycle of life.

So, even if we conclude that the Bible, like all ancient scriptures, was written by men, that doesn’t mean it offers nothing beneficial. Surely we are all a part of the energy, force, intellect, or whatever exists that holds us all together. No, I don’t believe that power is a personal, male, mind-reading, bloodthirsty, vengeful god who destroys “the blameless and the wicked” (Job 9:22). Still, both the blameless and the wicked do die! Some creative force brought us all into being, some force will take us out, and we are indeed unified with the universe. That, we can agree on. Maybe what we call God is simply consciousness, or “the life force”;[8] thus it truly is in everything and everybody, as the Bible (and the Egyptian god Aten) says (Acts 17:28, Col. 1:16-20).

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] Carl S. “Everyone Is Lacking In Faith.” [2] Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (New York: Penguin Group, 2005), 102. [3] Tolle, 144. [4] Bill Darlison, “Two Thieves,” Roads for Traveling Souls, billdarlison.blogspot.com, 18 Apr. 2014, web, 7 May 2015. [5] George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five: A Novel (New York: Bantam Books, 2015), 450. [6] Arthur Schopenhauer, “Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes,” brainyquotes.com, n.d., web, 10 Apr. 2015. [7] John A. Sanford, Mystical Christianity: A Psychological Commentary on the Gospel of John (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1994), 23. [8] Eben Alexander, MD, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife (New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2012), 156.

 

JC Myth (10.2): Our Legacy: “Hats Off to the Israelites”

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Chapter Ten: Our Legacy: “Hats Off to the Israelites”

American Jew Marcus Eli Ravage wrote the following mocking words to Christians:

“Our tribal customs have become the core of your moral code. Our tribal laws have furnished the basic groundwork of all your august constitutions and legal system. Our legends and our folk-tales are the sacred lore which you croon to your infants. Our poets have filled your hymnals and your prayerbooks. Our national history has become an indispensable part of the learning of your pastors and priests and scholars . . . Our ancient little country is your Holy Land. Our national literature is your Holy Bible. What our people thought and taught has become inextricably woven into your very speech and tradition, until no one among you can be called educated who is not familiar with our racial heritage.

Jewish artisans and Jewish fishermen are your teachers and your saints, with countless statues carved in their image and innumerable cathedrals raised to their memories. A Jewish maiden is your ideal of motherhood and womanhood. A Jewish rebel-prophet is the central figure in your religious worship. We have pulled down your idols, cast aside your racial inheritance, and substituted for them our God and our traditions. No conquest in history can even remotely compare with this clean sweep of our conquest over you.”[1]

Graham wrote regarding Ravage’s words: “So true are [Ravage’s] mocking words, that every Christian in Christendumb should hang his head in shame.”[2] We have given up our own ancestry and culture, replacing it with that of the Jews. As Mack wrote: “What do you suppose [the people of Southeast Asia] thought when they first learned about Adam and Abraham and the Christ, and then discovered that their own ancestors, heroes, and gods would now have to lurk in the shadows as demigods and forest spirits?”[3] We (by that I mean I) have wasted our lives poring over ancient Hebrew (and Roman) writings while totally ignoring our own heritage. May this stop now!

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] Marcus Eli Ravage, “A Real Case Against Jews,” Century Magazine (New York: The Century  Co., 1928), Vol. 115, No. 3, Jan. 1928, 346ff. See also: Graham, 276-277; and Murdock, Did Moses Exist? 497. [2] Lloyd M. Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 1979), 276. [3] Mack, 295.

 

JC Myth (10.1): Our Legacy: “That Old-Time Religion”

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Chapter Ten: Our Legacy: “That Old-Time Religion”

We have compared the god-men of the Bible to the gods of other cultures and found them to be virtually identical. Again, the truth seems to be that the Jews collected all the god stories they could find and claimed them as tales about their own god, and the Christians did likewise. As Barbara Walker wrote:

“the Bible is a highly diversified collection of writings, put together more or less at random over many centuries and extensively edited, revised, added to, subtracted from, mistranslated and misunderstood in a variety of ways. To regard any of it as historically accurate is simply a delusion that can be maintained only with considerable damage to the faculty of reason. . .

“scholars know now that the Old Testament contains innumerable lies, mistakes, contradictions and bits of plagiarism; for the writers were not really creative authors. They were copiers and collectors of earlier texts, which they often garbled or misunderstood. They didn’t create their own unique creation myth; they adapted it from many earlier sources.”[1]

Graham noted:

“The Jews would have us believe their entire book is a revelation from this God, yet how can it be since all the other races had the same material? Here we repeat, there is scarcely anything in their scriptures that cannot be found in the literature of older races. This they will deny, tracing as they do their lineage back to Adam, but their antiquity is as mythological as their history, so also their calendar . . . As for revelation, there is no such thing. All knowledge is humanly acquired sometime.”[2]

The stories we have inherited reflect the mindset of the ancients as they attempted to grapple with theological issues and curiosity about their origin and the calamities and good fortune that came their way. While we may never have a clear answer as to who first began propagating many of these legends, we have no choice but to accept that the biblical account borrowed from other traditions.

Dennis Bratcher observed:

“Since the Israelites shared the cultural milieu of the Middle East, it would not be surprising, as pervasive as these myths were in that area, that they would use some of this imagery. . . While the specific origin of many of the symbols of apocalyptic writings cannot be traced, several basic elements . . . have a common background in Canaanite and Middle Eastern culture”.[3]

Tarico wrote:

“Preliterate people handed down their best guesses about gods and goodness by way of oral tradition . . . Their notions of what was good . . . and how to live in moral community with each other were free to evolve as culture and technology changed. But the advent of the written word changed that. As our Iron Age ancestors recorded and compiled their ideas into sacred texts, these texts allowed their understanding of gods and goodness to become static. The sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam forbid idol worship, but over time the texts themselves became idols, and many modern believers practice—essentially—book worship, also known as bibliolatry. . .

“Adherents who think their faith is perfect, are not just naïve or ill informed. They are developmentally arrested, and in the case of the world’s major religions, they are anchored to the Iron Age, a time of violence, slavery, desperation and early death.

“Ironically, the mindset that our sacred texts are perfect betrays the very quest that drove our ancestors to write those texts. Each of the men who wrote part of the Bible, Quran, or Gita took his received tradition, revised it, and offered his own best articulation of what is good and real. We can honor the quest of our spiritual ancestors, or we can honor their answers, but we cannot do both.”[4]

Tarico’s words are enlightening. Our ancestors changed their scriptures as their knowledge advanced, but many today remain stuck at an outdated level of discernment because they refuse to move past the philosophies of the ancients.

Curtis Hinson wrote:

“In the twenty-first century, one ought to be able to worship any deity or no deity freely, but without the expectation of suspension of criticism from those outside a given view. If faith is humanistic, that is, if it contributes to human well-being and advancement, then it has value for those who practice it. If a faith causes harm and oppression, however, if it causes “Othering”[5] (in the Lacan/Levinas sense), then it cannot be seen as a positive contribution to the world or to its adherents.

“Genocide, rape, and slavery are all described with varying levels of approval or disapproval attributed to God and the Israelites. The Israelites had a tribalistic worldview that allowed the juxtaposition of atrocities with a benevolent tribal God. The Torah contains what may be beautiful theological metaphors—yet cannot be accepted uncritically as a whole without severe cognitive and moral disconnect. With a more ancient view of canon (such as the concept even existed in proto-form), this was not an obstacle at all. Different genres (some of which are extant in modern literature), parallel but disagreeing narratives, and internal disagreements or clashes were expected, as a less literalistic and more oral view of the (then mostly oral) tradition made this a non-conflict.

“In the modern, Western Christian view, particularly the fundamentalist flavor thereof, where the canon is forced to harmonize where it was never intended to harmonize, across internal theological development, three different languages, and several centuries of history and many more centuries of textual transmission and translation, the resulting God cannot be respected as God without suspension of moral judgment and an absolute privileging of text and theology. Those of us who do not share this privileging are in no account compelled to suspend criticism. The constructed god is an assault on human progress.”[6]

As Tarico noted, while this “focus on the written word . . . has allowed Christianity and Islam to become more powerful than any religion in history . . . it has also allowed both traditions to become stagnant and cruel.”[7]

Our forebears recognized the need to evolve. Perhaps they did the best they could with the information available to them. I truly believe that is so of some of them. They were simply attempting to understand their world. Let’s not degrade their legacy by refusing to further their knowledge. They left us a heritage of a curious mind and a heart to discover new truth. What legacy will we leave our children? Do we want them to cling to outdated, ignorant ideas, or do we want them to add their own more enlightened thoughts to what we already have? We must set the example! Maybe that “old-time religion” shouldn’t be “good enough for me.”[8] Of course, the truth may be that the ancients knew more than we do and we should move back beyond the time when the Jews and Catholics literalized the myths and return to the truths we can glean from nature.

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, 39-40, 99. [2] Graham, 231. [3] Dennis Bratcher, “Speaking the Language of Canaan: The Old Testament and the Israelite Perception of the Physical World: How the Scriptures Appropriate Non-Hebraic World Views,” Christian Resource Institute: The Voice: Biblical and Theological Resources for Growing Christians, cresourcei.org, 2013, web, 16 Feb. 2014. [4] Tarico, “These are the 12 worst ideas religion has unleashed on the world.” [5] “Othering is the process of casting a group, an individual or an object into the role of the ‘other’ and establishing one’s own identity through opposition to and, frequently, vilification of this Other.” Yiannis Gabriel, “The Other and Othering – A Short Introduction,” Stories, music, psychoanalysis, politics, reviews, the odd cooking recipe . . . , yiannisgabriel.com, 10 Sept. 2012, web, 12 Jan. 2015. [6] Curtis Hinson, message to the author, 12 Jan. 2014. [7] Tarico, “In Defense of Cherry Picking the Bible.” [8] “(Give Me That) Old-Time Religion,” traditional gospel song, 1873, written down by Charles Davis Tillman, 1889, wikipedia.org, 20 Jan. 2015, web, 23 Jan. 2015.

JC Myth (10.0): Our Legacy

JC Myth Picture for Blog

Chapter Ten: Our Legacy

Christianity is a cult of human sacrifice. . . not a religion that repudiates human sacrifice. It is a religion that celebrates a single human sacrifice as though it were effective.[2] (Dr. Sam Harris)

The doctrine of original sin, which lies at the foundation of Christianity, is illogical and unjust. To hold all mankind . . . responsible for the indiscretion of Eve for eating an apple that was placed on a tree to tempt her . . . and that, to atone for this original sin, besides being driven out of the Garden of Eden, which science has shown to be a myth, God had to send His only son Jesus to be crucified between two thieves, to ransom all men, condemned and lost in consequence of the indiscretion of Adam and Eve, who did a good thing by eating the apple that opened their eyes to their ignorance and nakedness, is contrary to all reason and common sense.[3] ( James Palatine Dameron)

But, after all, who knows, and who can say whence it all came, and how creation happened? The gods themselves are later than creation, so who knows truly whence it has arisen? 7. Whence all creation had its origin, he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not, he, who surveys it all from highest heaven, he knows or maybe even he does not know.[4] (Rigveda)

Ecclesiastes 3 (BBE): 19  Because the fate of the sons of men and the fate of the beasts is the same. As is the death of one so is the death of the other, and all have one spirit. Man is not higher than the beasts; because all is to no purpose. 20  All go to one place, all are of the dust, and all will be turned to dust again. 21  Who is certain that the spirit of the sons of men goes up to heaven, or that the spirit of the beasts goes down to the earth? 22  So I saw that there is nothing better than for a man to have joy in his work — because that is his reward. Who will make him see what will come after him?

If there is a god, I’m pretty sure he/she/it isn’t the one in the bible. That god is too exclusive just as are all of the other man-made gods. The Hebrew/Jewish/Christian god is nothing more than another tribal mythical god as with all of the other Ancient Near East religions of the past. A universal creator would be exactly that—god of everyone and everything, no exclusivity at all! How he would deal with us after we die is up to him. If we live the best life we can and try to treat others with love, how could he not accept that?[5] (Dale Stanford)

The Bible and Christianity don’t stand up under scrutiny. There are too many glaring contradictions and inconsistencies, incoherent reasoning and moral repugnances, ethical sidesteps and magical presuppositions. As a spiritual entity it is corrupt and self-serving, ego-centered, narcissistic.[6] (Craig Lee Duckett)

We are incapable of knowing either what [God] is or whether he is.[7] (Blaise Pascall)

It seems to me that the idea of a personal god is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously.[8] (Albert Einstein)

Pure inspiration is confined to no particular person, age or nation. . . Everything that moves anywhere in . . . Nature sustains a relation more or less intimate to the spirit which animates the world. Every creature enjoys a living communion with the all-animating principle; and the relations which subsist between the little worm and the creation of worlds are just as intimate in principle as those enjoyed by man.[1] (James Palatine Dameron)

The Hindus consider the Vedas to be inspired, the Japanese the Shinto, the Muslims the Koran, the Jews the Tanakh, and the Christians the Old and New Testaments.[9] Christians have, for more than 2,000 years, proclaimed their savior to be “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6); and they have lived their lives based on Jewish/Roman literature telling them so. But why would the Jews and Romans above all others have a direct line to the creative force of the universe? If all Christians seriously considered this question, I believe they would be atheistic with regard to Yahweh just as they are concerning Zeus and other fake gods. The Judaeo-Christian myth tells the story of a god who was separated from his wife but reconciled. It is a sensual romance that teaches us a good lesson, which is that unity is necessary to happiness and fulfillment. While I appreciate the message, I can’t ignore the truths I have learned that have helped me to see that the Judaeo-Christian tale is a myth like all other deity legends. Therefore, as those before me left their understanding of spiritual matters for me to read, I must leave mine for those who come behind me.

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] Dameron, 48. [2] Sam Harris, PhD, “Sam Harris demolishes Christianity,” youtube.com, 20 Jan. 2012, web, 7 Feb. 2015. [3] Dameron, 76-77. [4] Rigveda, X, 129, 6-7, tr. A. L. Basham, The Wonder That Was India (London, 1954), 247-248. See also: “Mircea Eliade ‘From Primitives to Zen’: ‘Who Can Say Whence It All Came and How Creation Happened?'” Myths of Creation and of Origin: Myths of the Creation of the World, mircea-eliade.com, n.d., web, 22 Dec. 2014. [5] Dale Stanford, facebook.com, 21 Aug. 2014, web, 21 Aug. 2014. [6] Craig Lee Duckett, “The World Simply Does Not Behave the Way Described in the Bible.” [7] Armstrong, 297, 299. Pascal (1623-1662) was a French theologian, physicist, and mathematician. [8] Albert Einstein, “Religion and Science,” New York Times Magazine (9 Nov. 1930), 1-4. See also: Albert Einstein, The World as I See It (New York: Philosophical Library, 1949), 24-28; and “Albert Einstein on: Religion and Science,” sacred-texts.com, n.d., web, 22 Apr. 2015. [9] Watts, “Jesus: His Religion or the Religion About Him.”