My mother is Catholic and my father Protestant but both were non-practicing modern Americans. Church was for the music on Christmas Eve.
But my mother always complained if there were electric guitars. She thought they were inappropriate. Of course, that was soon after the Summer of Love, so she probably imagined Jimi Hendrix jamming at the altar: ’scuse me while I kiss the sky…
I guess my Mom cared more about Christmas Eve than my Dad, so I was baptized Catholic in Panama, where my father began his career in the US Foreign Service.
When we lived in Madrid in the 1960s, I was sent to the local Catholic Church for First Communion. On the big day, I wore a white robe (a dress really) and a wooden crucifix necklace, and I had a little book with pictures of the Saints and Jesus and stuff.
Back then, in Franco’s Spain, the Catholic Church was stuck in the Middle Ages: smoke and incense, candles everywhere, dark hallways, and bloody crucifixes. I was 8 years old, but I remember looking at portraits of Jesus and thinking that this was not a real person. My intuition told me this was all fiction.
Later, in Catholic middle school in Washington DC, we were made to attend mass each week. My friends and I would snicker at the absurdity of it all. Sit. Stand. Kneel. Repeat. Some words in Latin. It was like Monty Python.
But nothing prepared me for the ridiculousness of an evangelical service: the pogo dancing, the thrashing about, the tears… And there were plenty of electric guitars besides.
Before I start my vivisection of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, I should add that I am not taking an atheistic or agnostic perspective (as Christopher Hitchens did) but rather a non-Christian (anti-Christian) Deist perspective.
I think this world was “created” (way more than 8,000 years ago), as a projection from a higher force in higher dimensions. This world is not a cosmic fart. But I also believe that this world, or realm, was hacked and now malware runs in the background. It’s why the graphics are so great but the plot sucks.
I believe there is an ongoing struggle between good and evil, but this does not necessarily need personification or anthropomorphizing. Nevertheless, many of the terms and concepts I use below are religious ones because I am having this debate with religious people.
I think this world allows for an individual’s independent and sovereign search for the truth, for restoration or reunion with the creative force. Reason and empathy are the only required virtues in the struggle for completion. Additionally, the herding of people into one divisive religion or the other is actually a conspiracy to sabotage that quest.
I think natural law is the only valid law, where rights are inherent by virtue of human nature, and where free will is only limited by respect for the rights of others.
Natural law transcends man-made law, and it transcends, and even cancels, Biblical law (which is ultimately man-made as well, or completely corrupted by man and therefore null and void).
What is behind the effort to replace natural law – self-evident and universal – with Biblical law? What new kind of control system was being established?
The founding of the Abrahamic religions was spiritual coup d’etat, usurping the worship of the divine and herding people into a cul de sac.
My objections to Christianity are many. Where to begin?
First, the message of the Christian god is this: Let me save you from what I will do to you if you do not believe in me.
Also, Christians emphasize a direct relationship to god but then insert a third person into the equation: Jesus, for whom historical evidence is very scant. I think it is non-existent, but will settle for scant for the sake of argument.
Arguably, Jesus was a newer edition of recycled Babylonian and Egyptian mythology. Lots of hero worshipping going on. With the Virgin Mary and saints added to the mix, we now have polytheistic idolatry.
Christians insist that the only path to Heaven is believing in Jesus. And failing to pass this theological litmus-test can condemn a soul to an eternity in Hell, where you will burn in the flames forever. But god loves you so much.
Second, it is important to consider that Christianity has been endorsed by the authorities, by most western governments at one time or another, by the oligarchy, by feudal lords, etc…, and is therefore, by necessity, infused with lies, and part of the matrix of parasitism and predation. It cannot be otherwise. In the Bible, whatever kernels of truth can be rescued here and there are wrapped in a package of lies.
Here, Christians are quick to explain away the “Divine Right of Kings” found in so many places in the Bible. I’ve heard their explanations. Not convincing. Christians cloaking earthly kingdoms with the mantle of the divine, and urging blind obedience, is inexcusable. There is no justifiable defense for the Divine Right of Kings.
Metaphorically, or symbolically – politically speaking, that is – the only place for a crowned head is on the chopping block.
Third, and as a function of the above, Christianity is a stand-down religion. For medieval Catholicism it was about focusing on the afterlife, but for modern evangelicals it is about accepting injustice and oppression as part of god’s plan. I guess Catholicism is for peasants and Protestantism is for the proletariat.
Christianity is the blue pill. It is about living with the inevitable outcome of the Book of Revelation. In fact, in that hallucinatory screed, the emergence of a New World Order is deemed inevitable and irreversible. If enough people buy into it, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Christianity shares much in common with the New Age movement, which is also designed to defang humanity and protect the power elite: “It’s all good. You create your own reality. Even if you are a refugee in Sudan, no worries, kid, it’s all in your head.”
Fourth, there is the inherent Christian contradiction of this world unfolding according to god’s “plan” but one in which we supposedly have free will. But not enough free will to actually change that plan! So apparently, we only have free will within narrow corridors. For example, we get to decide if we will order a chocolate or vanilla milkshake. Nothing consequential enough to actually change human destiny.
Fifth, Christianity condemns the physical human body as impure, and it produces a long list of sexual sins. Clearly, there are and should be sexual transgressions in natural law, namely those that violate another person’s sovereignty or dignity: rape, pedophilia, and necrophilia. That’s it. A short list.
What happens among consenting adults is part of the deal of being a sovereign individual, entitled to experience physicality, and to enjoy the fruits of an earthly life when they see fit.
I would further claim that a quest for any “spiritual truth” is impossible without a full experience of sensual reality, or as the New Agers would say, without first-hand knowledge of all “frequencies” in the spectrum. So, Buddhist aspirations to renounce the physical world are mistaken.
If the Bible says homosexuality between consenting adults is a sin, then Satan must have inspired those and other passages. Why? Because any infringement upon the natural and sovereign rights of an individual has diabolical origins.
Indeed, the establishment of external power or dominion over a person, when this breaks from natural law, is Satanic. Basically, I’m accusing many believing Christians, Muslims and Jews of being in a Baphomet cult – of being unwitting Satanists.
Curiously, many Christians are running around claiming that the number “33” is Satanic, as it represents the one-third of angels in Heaven who became “fallen angels.” But then they ignore that, as most commonly described, “33” was the age of Jesus when he was crucified. If there really are no coincidences and “all is number” what are we to make of this?
Sixth, most Christians are narcissists and commit the sin of arrogance, of being certain about many things that are unknowable.
Here, Christians want to be godlike: to know who is blessed and who is cursed; and to know who is saved and who is damned. Christians spew forth scripture to reinforce their judgment of others: chapter this, verse that. They know the past, present, and future. Don’t believe me, just ask them. They know it all. It’s in a book that was written and re-written countless times by committee.
My beef with Islam can be briefly stated because Islam has the same faults of Christianity, but to the “nth degree.” Most fundamentalist Muslims are even more certain, more belligerent, and more inclined to mete out Old Testament punishment.
Individual sovereignty and natural rights are even more violently infringed upon in Islam than in Christianity.
Muslims claim that Islam is the newest edition, the corrected and updated version of what came before. Their god needed to return, clarify, modify, and amend.
Tiny shards of Judaism recognize the dignity of people, with efforts to call attention to a single god.
Nevertheless, Judaism can be condemned principally for its Talmud, a book predicated on a sense of religious, cultural and genetic superiority, and that places the chosen people above the non-Jewish “goyim.”
The Talmud provides countless – countless – passages that rank the goyim as animals; that prioritize the property and cattle of Jews above goyim; that punish non-Jews (heathens, barbarians, the impious) for crimes against Jews but pardon the reverse; and on and on and on. The Talmud is super saturated with hate speech and essentially becomes a handbook for how to establish dominion over and exploit the non-Jew.
Much of this sense of genetic superiority is carried over into the Old Testament, and the modern state of Israel, a squalid apartheid state, advances the agenda.
Deuteronomy 7 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you—
2 and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.
3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
Here, other passages on the Bible also depict the unions (of Jews with non-Jews) as the Jew becoming “polluted” and engaging in “whoredom.”
Enough said. Reading the Talmud and much of the Old Testament, and parts of the New Testament, should bother the modern person. For the more sensitive, it will shock the conscience.
I cannot be accused of “blasphemy” for claiming that the true Creator is not the god of the Old Testament, as that god was thin-skinned, vengeful, and partisan.
If I reject the oligopoly of Christianity, Islam and Judaism – then I will proudly accept the charge of “heresy.”
I would add that these three religious franchises have defiled the divine, smearing and denigrating human dignity. No one even remotely attached to these false religions, on any plane of existence, can judge me or mine – not in this world or the next.
Your “law” is null and void.
Some of my Facebook critics are wrong when they call me a “humanist” because they merely equate this term with atheism, Marx, and Darwin. It’s not that simple.
What is behind the Christian effort to denigrate the word “human?” So they can pursue an “anti-human” agenda and contrast it with a cartoonish denigration of “human.” Another Satanic inversion sponsored by modern Christians.
I am only “humanist” insofar as I stress the inherent value and goodness of human beings, with a respect for timeless and universal natural law.
Mainly, I am a “Deist” in that I think we will remain incomplete, and severed from our true nature, without a quest for the divine.