The response I got from some readers on the Antichrist article has pointed out the need to do a systematic debunking of the Christian paradigm. Since writing such an article could tie me up for weeks, I’m going to do it in a modular way. As I write each module, I’ll post it as an entry, and I will collect all the modules together on a page linked at the top of the blog: Debunking the Christian Myth. We’ll begin with something I wrote in my old blog…
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a good person, and I’ve felt an inexplicable urge to reach out for something beyond what I can see — to reach out to God. Since I was raised in the United States, the authority figures around me pointed to the Christian Church, telling me that is where God could be found. A dutiful child, I did what I was told and looked for God there.
As time progressed, I found myself dissatisfied with the definitions of God that were proffered to me. The book I was given contained many beautiful ideas, and many of those ideas resonated with me, but there were also many other ideas that struck a sour note, and the entire spiritual narrative made little sense to me: eat an apple, be condemned forever; kill God’s son, all’s forgiven. Say what?!?
To give you an example of the sort of ideas that repelled me, let me share a few NIV Bible passages on the practice of slavery from Exodus 21. I remind you that this is the supposedly righteous “Creator of the Universe” speaking directly to Moses:
>>> 7 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her.9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter.10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.” <<<
…In this passage, Yahweh states that it’s okay for fathers to sell their daughters into permanent slavery, and he gives rules for what can and can’t be done with her afterwards. In the context of this passage, does being a good father entail getting a good price for your daughter on the slave market?
>>> 2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.” <<<
…In this passage, Yahweh establishes a condition under which a married male slave who is freed must leave behind his wife and children because they are his master’s property. Is this what religious folk mean when they talk of “family values”?
>>> 26 “An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.” <<<
…This section is where Yahweh gets progressive and establishes the world’s first workers comp law. If you poke out the eye of your slave, you have to set him free?!? How revolutionary and enlightened!
And here is the most inspiring passage of all…
>>> 20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.” <<<
…So if a slavemaster beats his slave, he’s to be punished only if the slave dies from the beating (and only if a rod was used)? Hmmm, it’s pretty sweet to be a slavemaster in Yahweh’s kingdom, isn’t it?
Even as a young child, when I read passages such as this, my heart and mind raged against them. Whether they condoned barbaric acts or presented scientifically false information, such verses stuck in my mind like splinters. In time, these vile ideas fermented to the point that I could no longer stomach them, and I had to spit them out.
Naturally, it took a while to get to that point, because the belief system I was taught told me that I would burn forever in a pit of fire if I didn’t hold my nose, swallow every bitter concept, and “just have faith.” This cage of fear kept me locked up for years. Eventually, though, I was able to make a prison break and start looking for God on my own.
As I searched for the truth of things, I looked into a variety of religions and found the same sort of problems. Every belief system I found was a mixed bag of inspired thought, myth, superstition, cultural bias, and flagrant falsehoods. And every “holy” book I found was written by men, compiled by men, translated by men, and interpreted by men (and those men had a variety of agendas, both pure and impure, driving what they did).
Over time, it became clear to me that there was no one out there who could hand me an understanding of God or myself. Such an understanding had to be a personal journey, and I had to earn it. Since each fragment of God’s consciousness begins its journey from a different place, each must chart its own unique path back home.
Looking back at my former religion, I used to see it as a well-meaning but misguided interpretation of our relationship to God. Now that I have been awakened to what’s really going on in this world, though, I see it in a more sinister light. In its roots, it began as a religion based on animal sacrifice. With this in mind, we must ask ourselves what sort of entity feeds off of the negative energy released when a living thing dies a traumatic death? Is it God or someone else who savors such a thing?
I will leave you to ponder this question until next time.
(Update 1 – 7 September 2015)
Here is a Christian TV network campaigning to end slavery while at the same time proclaiming the Bible to be the complete and unerring “Word of God.” As I’ve just shown you, Yahweh’s own words in that book proclaim that slavery is perfectly acceptable, so what are they doing? Are they rebelling against their own god? I think I’ll put a yellow “x” on my hand signifying “Shine a Light on Inconsistency Day.”
BTW, the whole species is enslaved to varying degrees, not just 27 million.