Is There a God?
The Truth Shall Set You Free
George Carlin of Religion
The Abrahamic Religions
History of Judaism
Reasons People Are Religious
Religion: Business, Politics, and War
Terminologies and Notations
About the Author
[_History of Judaism is part of the Is There a God? series. _]
Is There a God?
Book One: History of Gods
Book Two: History of Religion
Book Three: History of Humans
[*Epicurus (341-270 BCE). *]
Is god willing to prevent evil, but not able to?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him god?
Where Does Evil Come From?
If god wants to prevent evil,
but he can’t,
then he is weak.
If god can prevent evil,
but he doesn’t want to,
then he is evil.
If god can prevent evil,
and wants to prevent evil,
then why is there evil?
If god cannot prevent evil, or
he does not want to prevent evil,
then why call him god?
The Truth Shall Set You Free
The beliefs of your parents, if they are false, should not be your beliefs.
The beliefs of your peers, if they are outlandish, should not be your beliefs.
The beliefs of society, if they are dogmatic, should not be your beliefs.
The beliefs of your ancestors, if they are contentious, should not be your beliefs.
The beliefs of your country, if they are unjust, should not be your beliefs.
Abandon all false, outlandish, dogmatic, contentious, and unjust belief systems.
Accept what is right and not who is right. This is the path to spiritual enlightenment.
Through spiritual enlightenment you will know the Truth and
The Truth shall set your mind free…
George Carlin of Religion
“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” —Mark Twain, American writer (1835 – 1910)
When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims: Religion. No contest. Religion.
Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ‘til the end of time!
But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!
But I want you to know something, this is sincere, I want you to know, when it comes to believing in God, I really tried. I really, really tried. I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is fucked up.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the résumé of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you’d expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run Universe, this guy would’ve been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say “this guy”, because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man.
No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he’s at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn’t give a shit. Doesn’t give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results.
So rather than be just another mindless religious robot, mindlessly and aimlessly and blindly believing that all of this is in the hands of some spooky incompetent father figure who doesn’t give a shit, I decided to look around for something else to worship. Something I could really count on.
And immediately, I thought of the Sun. Happened like that. Overnight I became a Sun-worshipper. Well, not overnight, you can’t see the Sun at night. But first thing the next morning, I became a Sun-worshipper. Several reasons. First of all, I can see the Sun, okay? Unlike some other gods I could mention, I can actually see the Sun. I’m big on that. If I can see something, I don’t know, it kind of helps the credibility along, you know? So everyday I can see the Sun, as it gives me everything I need; heat, light, food, flowers in the park, reflections on the lake, an occasional skin cancer, but hey. At least there are no crucifixions, and we’re not setting people on fire simply because they don’t agree with us.
Sun worship is fairly simple. There’s no mystery, no miracles, no pageantry, no one asks for money, there are no songs to learn, and we don’t have a special building where we all gather once a week to compare clothing. And the best thing about the Sun, it never tells me I’m unworthy. Doesn’t tell me I’m a bad person who needs to be saved. Hasn’t said an unkind word. Treats me fine. So, I worship the Sun. But, I don’t pray to the Sun. Know why? I wouldn’t presume on our friendship. It’s not polite.
I’ve often thought people treat God rather rudely, don’t you? Asking trillions and trillions of prayers every day. Asking and pleading and begging for favors. Do this, gimme that, I need a new car, I want a better job. And most of this praying takes place on Sunday: His day off. It’s not nice. And it’s no way to treat a friend.
But people do pray, and they pray for a lot of different things, you know, your sister needs an operation on her crotch, your brother is arrested for defecating in a mall. But most of all, you’d really like to fuck that hot little redhead down at the convenience store. You know, the one with the eyepatch and the clubfoot? Can you pray for that? I think you’d have to. And I say, fine. Pray for anything you want. Pray for anything, but what about the Divine Plan?
Remember that? The Divine Plan. Long time ago, God made a Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought, decided it was a good plan, put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, the Divine Plan has been doing just fine. Now, you come along, and pray for something. Well suppose the thing you want isn’t in God’s Divine Plan? What do you want Him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn’t it seem a little arrogant? It’s a Divine Plan. What’s the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and fuck up Your Plan?
And here’s something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren’t answered. What do you say? “Well, it’s God’s will.” “Thy Will Be Done.” Fine, but if it’s God’s will, and He’s going to do what He wants to anyway, why the fuck bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn’t you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It’s all very confusing.
So to get around a lot of this, I decided to worship the Sun. But, as I said, I don’t pray to the Sun. You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Two reasons: First of all, I think he’s a good actor, okay? To me, that counts. Second, he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesn’t fuck around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that God was having trouble with.
For years I asked God to do something about my noisy neighbor with the barking dog, Joe Pesci straightened that cocksucker out with one visit. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a simple baseball bat.
So I've been praying to Joe for about a year now. And I noticed something. I noticed that all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same 50% rate. Half the time I get what I want, half the time I don't. Same as God, 50-50. Same as the four-leaf clover and the horseshoe, the wishing well and the rabbit's foot, same as the Mojo Man, same as the Voodoo Lady who tells you your fortune by squeezing the goat's testicles, it's all the same: 50-50. So just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish, and enjoy yourself.
And for those of you who look to The Bible for moral lessons and literary qualities, I might suggest a couple of other stories for you. You might want to look at the Three Little Pigs, that’s a good one. Has a nice happy ending, I’m sure you’ll like that. Then there’s Little Red Riding Hood, although it does have that X-rated part where the Big Bad Wolf actually eats the grandmother. Which I didn’t care for, by the way.
And finally, I’ve always drawn a great deal of moral comfort from Humpty Dumpty. The part I like the best? “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.” That’s because there was no Humpty Dumpty, and there is no God. None, not one, no God, never was.
In fact, I’m gonna put it this way. If there is a God, may he strike this audience dead! See? Nothing happened. Nothing happened? Everybody’s okay? All right, tell you what, I’ll raise the stakes a little bit. If there is a God, may he strike me dead. See? Nothing happened, oh, wait, I’ve got a little cramp in my leg. And my balls hurt. Plus, I’m blind. I’m blind, oh, now I’m okay again, must have been Joe Pesci, huh? God Bless Joe Pesci. Thank you all very much. Joe Bless You!
May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008
The Abrahamic Religions
“It seems to me that Islam and Christianity and Judaism all have the same god, and he’s telling them all different things.” —Billy Connolly
In the first book,[_ History of Gods_], we witnessed how different civilizations worshipped gods for hundreds (and some thousands) of years. The beliefs of those civilizations changed according to social progress and geopolitical events. Now, if god is singular and eternal, why had civilizations changed allegiances from one god to another? Or from many gods (polytheism) to one god (monotheism)?
The Middle East has been the biggest exporter of religion. The three major Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) are the products of the Middle East. The spiritual headquarters of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are within 666 miles of each other (distance from Jerusalem to Mecca). Therefore, it is no surprise that in the 21st century, the Middle East is still mired in religious conflicts and wars.
We need to understand that religion is an ideology (a set of ideas and beliefs). Religion is not about race (proper word is ethnicity). Anyone, regardless of ethnicity, can adopt a religion as their own. For example, in the Christian religion, the adherents include Caucasians, Africans, Indians, Arabs, and Asians. The same is true of any religion: You can convert to any religion, regardless of the color of your skin. You are simply adopting a belief system when you convert to a religion. Therefore, someone who is anti-religion is not a racist.
History has shown that the vast majority of people adopted the religion of their elite and rulers. For example, Christianity proliferated on the back of the Roman Empire. Similarly, Islam proliferated on the military conquests of Muslim conquerors:
-Khalid ibn al-Walid,
-Sayyed Mahmud Khan,
-Ottoman Empire, and many others.
In other words, the state religion was often the de facto religion for the majority of its citizens—people were born into the religion of their parents and state. This is to ingratiate themselves with those in power, either to fit in or to curry favour. The remaining potential adherents are impressionable and are easily indoctrinated into religion, especially the most vulnerable groups in society and those at distressing periods in their lives. Examples of these groups are the poor seeking to better their lot in life, and those facing personal tragedies seeking guidance.
[*Judaism, Christianity, and Islam *]are known as “Abrahamic” religions because they stemmed from the beliefs of a man named Abraham, if he existed at all. Abraham had borrowed his religious ideas from other cultures, most of which were discussed in book one, History of Gods.
We have to keep in mind that what we consider myths and fables today, our ancestors accepted as religion. Perhaps 500 years from now our descendants will look at our religions as myths and fables.
In 2017, the world’s population was estimated at 7.5 billion people. Of those 7.5 billion, over 6 billion identified with a religion. The other 1.2 billion identified with the group “Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist”—this group was also the fastest growing. This trend demonstrated that people were leaning away from religion. However, to the chagrin of many, Islam registered an increase of 500 million new adherents from 2004 to 2017 (1.3 billion to 1.9 billion).
Top Religions of the World
1) Religion: Christianity
Adherents: 2.2 billion (about 1.2 billion were Catholic)
5) Chinese traditional religion
7) Folk religion (ethnic religions excluding some in separate categories)
8) African traditional religions
[*9) Sikhism *]
[*11) Spiritism *]
7 million 0.1%
4 million 0.06%
16) Cao Dai
4 million 0.06%
1 million 0.02%
20) Unitarian Universalism
Source: Pew Research Center. Islam, the world’s fastest-growing religion, is expected to jump from 1.8 billion in 2015 to 2.76 billion by 2050 according to the Pew Study.
The list above only includes the top 21 religions—there were hundreds of them in the world. In the US alone, there were about 313 religions and denominations. Some of these were fringe religions that included groups who worshipped animal spirits, aliens, and psychoactive substances. And several of them were still polytheistic; as examples, Druidism, Wiccan, Santeria, and Shintoism. Buddhism is not covered in this book because it is considered more philosophy than religion. In Buddhism, there is no deity to worship, just the teachings of a prince-turned philosopher.
We’ll focus on the three religions that have been in perpetual conflict since c. 70 and 632.
In circa 70, about 40 years after Jesus’ supposed death, the first writings of Christianity appeared.
In 632, Muhammad, founder of Islam, died and Islam exploded in the Middle East under his successors.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are known as Abrahamic religions because they share the same root. These Abrahamic religions have always been in the global conversation. The inter-faith and sectarian violence between these religions are regularly in the newspaper and on television. Throughout history, the adherents of these Abrahamic religions have been responsible for all the major religious wars and conflicts around the globe. As examples, the Crusades, Jihads, pogroms, and holocausts. For these reasons, we’ll focus on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
“There are no great religions. They’re all stupid and dangerous.” —Bill Maher
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are considered Abrahamic religions because in c. 2 000 – 1 800 BCE a man named Abraham claimed that god spoke to him. More amazingly, that god had created a covenant with him. In this covenant, god agreed to make Abraham the father of all the nations on Earth and his descendants would be the Chosen People of god. This rocking covenant was supposedly arranged in Canaan (modern-day Israel, Palestine; and parts of Syria, Jordan, and Egypt). At the time of Abraham’s divine revelation, Canaanites were polytheists (believed in many gods), as were most people in the Middle East.
Also, in Abraham’s time ( 2 000 – 1 800 BCE), the Hindus, Chinese, Sumerians, and Egyptians had already established advanced civilizations, each with their own religion. It’s reasonable to conclude, based on the historical pattern of how knowledge was passed from culture to culture, that Abraham (if he did exist) borrowed from existing religions to form his own belief system.
“Religion has what is easily the greatest bullshit story of all time.” —George Carlin
The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were copycats of other religions before them. It started when Judaism copied from the Mesopotamian and Mediterranean pagan religions, then Christianity copied from Judaism, then Islam copied from Judaism and Christianity. Had our ancestors stuck to worshipping the Sun, we wouldn’t have a world full of people hating each other over fictional characters.
Again, we’ll only discuss the Abrahamic religions in this book because they’re still problematic in current affairs. The perpetual and violent conflicts between the three main Abrahamic religions and their deep-rooted sectarian wars affect global events.
Even those who have vehemently denounced religion, they’re still caught in the crosshairs of the continued religious nuttery.
The Historical Origins of Abrahamic Religions
As the oft-told story goes, Abraham (birth name Abram) was born circa 1 800 BCE in Ur, Babylonia. His father was Terach, an idol merchant (sold statuettes and figurines of pagan gods). In their time, polytheism was the religion of the day. However, Abraham had a divine revelation that there was only one god responsible for creating the Universe and everything in it. He was so sure of his belief that he began teaching it to other people.
To Abraham, polytheism (belief in many gods) was idol worship and he tried to warn his father, Terach, of that folly. One day, Abraham was assigned to watch his father’s idol shop. After his father left, Abraham took a hammer and smashed all the idols, except for the biggest one. Abraham then placed the hammer in the hand of biggest idol (the last god standing).
When Abraham’s father returned and asked him, “Why are all the gods smashed up save for the biggest one?”
“All the gods got into a fight and the biggest god destroyed the smaller gods,” Abraham replied.
“That’s absurd! These are statues. They’re not alive. They have no power, not even the biggest one.”
“Then why do you worship them?” Abraham inquired.
As time passed, Abraham’s god, the one true Creator, summoned him and made an offer he couldn’t refuse: If Abraham left his home and family to serve god, then god would make Abraham the father of all nations. This god also promised Abraham and his descendants a nation of their own. Who could refuse such a generous offer, especially one from a god? Abraham accepted, thus establishing the covenant (B’rit) between the Jews and god. Although there was no witness to the agreement, the religious Jews hold the covenant as true. Thus began a long, painful road for humanity.
The Offsprings of Abraham
Abraham and Hagar: Ishmael. According to the “sacred” scriptures, Abraham’s first wife was Sarai (Sarah), who was unable to have children. So Sarah offered her maidservant, Hagar, to Abraham. Together, Hagar, the maidservant (some call her a concubine) and Abraham had a son named Ishmael.
Abraham and Sarah: Isaac. When Abraham was 100 years old (yes, 100) and his wife Sarah was 90, she was miraculously conferred with the ability to conceive. Apparently, god had made Sarah fertile again when she was 90 years old. After this rocking miracle, Abraham and Sarah had a son named Isaac.
In summary, as it pertains to the Jews and Muslims: Abraham had two sons: Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar (the maidservant). Isaac was the son of Abraham and Sarah (Abraham’s wife).
Ishmael. Ishmael was the eldest son of Abraham and went on to have 13 children (12 sons and one daughter). Ishmael’s sons were Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadar, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, Kedemah. His only daughter was named Mahalath (aka Basemath). Ishamael’s children became the patriarchs of the Muslim Arabs. Ishamael died when he was 137 (yes, 137). His descendants were known as Ishamaelites (aka Muslim Arabs). To the Jews and Muslims, Ishmael was the ancestor of the Arabs, or Arab Muslims. This prophecy was fulfilled when Muhammad declared himself a prophet in circa 620. In retrospect, the entire story was backdated.
Isaac. Isaac was the second son of Abraham. Isaac and his wife, Rebecca, had two sons: Jacob and Esau. However, Esau was considered a black sheep in the family who “sold his spiritual leadership to Jacob for a bowl of lentil soup.” Needless to say, Esau didn’t have godlike qualities.
Jacob (aka Israel). Jacob was the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. Jacob had 12 sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph and Benjamin. The 12 tribes of Israel were named after Jacob’s 12 sons.
￼A painting of Abraham, who according to the Old Testament was the father of the modern-day religious Jews and Arabs and also “the father of all nations.” The Caucasians, Chinese, East Indians, and Africans may disagree with the assertion that a Middle Easterner was their only ancestor. Photo: Wikipedia.org
According to the rocking holy scriptures, Abraham, this man of god, was quite the gigolo. Sarah was his first wife but not the only one, and Hagar was his first concubine but not the only one.
Genesis 25:6: But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
Genesis 25:1: Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
[*Genesis 25:4: *]And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
Chronicles 1:32: Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan.
By now, if you’re thinking this was simply a sibling rivalry or long-running family feud with myths and fables thrown in to make one side look good, you’re correct. Because that’s what exactly what it was.
The 12 Tribes of Israel, each named after Jacob’s sons. Jacob was the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. Map: Wikipedia.org
In summary, as centuries passed, the 12 tribes of Israel dispersed throughout the Middle East. Then became enslaved in Egypt, where god, in a form of a burning bush on-top Mount Sinai, revealed himself to Moses (a descendent of Abraham). Seeing that his Chosen People were suffering, god eventually forced the Ten Plagues on the Pharaoh’s people. Moses then parted the Red Sea to escape Pharaoh’s wrath and saved the Israelites from bondage. God then gave Moses the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai.
However, the Israelites reverted to worshipping idols and were punished by god, and they had to wander the wilderness (some say desert) for 40 years. Eventually they settled down in Judah (Canaan, Israel), where they were taken captive and enslaved by the Babylonians, then subjugated by the Romans. These events were a part of a historical pattern of the Jews being enslaved, exiled, and persecuted.
“Religion: The belief that an unseen, all powerful entity made everything in the Universe just for you and that you’re special; your ancient, retranslated and rewritten texts are the right ones and all those other religions are completely wrong without a single shred of evidence. Makes perfect sense.” —Freethinkers
In Abraham’s time, circa 1800 BCE, there were thriving civilizations in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and other parts of the Middle East besides Canaan. In Abraham’s time, the Canaanites were a tiny minority in the global population, as the Israelites are today. Even as a population within the Middle East, the Canaanites were a very small minority, as the Israelites are today. The Old Testament’s claim that Muslim Arabs are the descendants of Ishmael (first son of Abraham with maidservant Hagar) is hard to digest. Based on population projections the math does not add up. Most present-day Muslim Arabs are descendants of the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and other Canaanites who had converted to Islam after 632. that is, most modern Jews and Arabs are not the descendants of Abraham.
Even if we believe the Old Testament, only a fraction of the present-day Arabs are descendants of Ishmael (if he did exist). At the time, he was one man surrounded by millions in the Middle East. Again, the math simply does not add up.
According to the Old Testament, the religious Jews are the descendants of Isaac and his son Jacob (Abraham’s grandson). Again, these religious Jews believe they’re The Chosen People of god—chosen as a light unto humanity, to show the rest of the world how to live, as an exemplary example of god’s children. Similar to how the modern-day Arab Muslims could not have been the progeny of Ishmael, the modern-day Jews could not have been the descendants of only Isaac and Jacob. Abraham was only one person among the hundreds of thousands in Canaan. The majority of modern-day religious Jews are the result of their ancestors’ conversion to Judaism, not by their heredity to Abraham.
We’ve learnt that the Jews, Christians, and Muslim believe that Abraham was a prophet (messenger of god). But how did Christianity establish itself as a dominant Abrahamic religion?
The story of Judaism did not begin with Abraham (circa 1800 BCE), but was dated in the Old Testament to the first person and prophet on Earth: Adam. According to the Old Testament, god created Adam from dust, then from Adam’s rib cage, god created Eve, the first woman. Going with this theory, Adam and Eve (Middle Easterners) were the ancestors of all the Africans, Chinese, East Indians, Native Americans, blond-haired-blue-eyed Scandinavians, and everyone else on Earth.
Adam was the first prophet and Abraham was the 13th mentioned in the Old Testament—there were 12 prophets in-between. Abraham was a remarkable character because of what the scribes had written about him, notably that god had made a sacred covenant with him and his descendants, and he was chosen by god to be the father of all nations. More importantly, Abraham was the champion of monotheism (a single god).
Now, if Abraham championed the concept of one god and that one god just happened to favour Abraham and his children, some would say that was nepotism (nepotism: favouritism granted to relatives). But that’s another story.
Judaism is wrapped up in a series of books, about people who baked bread, ate bread, lied, stole, cheated, killed animals, got in trouble, had sex, had regrets, suffered, and made sacrifices to a fictional character in the cloud. In brief, about life, about experiences common to every person.
The Hebrew Bible (Tanach)
The Hebrew Bible consists of 24 books in three categories:
[_—The Five Books of Moses (Torah, Chumash) _]
—The Eight Books of the Prophets (Neviim)
—The Eleven Books of the Writings (Kesuvim)
Memorizing them is not required, as that can lead to utter confusion and even madness, since each major denomination of Judaism has different interpretations of the holy books. Therefore, different interpretations of what god wants. Therefore, different gods. Because a single god cannot consistently contradict his own words and actions. Either god is confused or hypocritical, or those who created him are.
David Hayward, Nakedpastor.com
The Five Books of Moses. The books in The Five Books of Moses are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Five Books of Moses is the common text of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The Five Books of Moses is known as the Torah in Judaism, Old Testament in Christianity, and Tawrat in Islam. Although, The Five Books of Moses are referenced by Christians and Muslims, they are not the only ones. There are 19 other books in the other two categories.
The Eight Books of the Prophets (Neviim). The books in The Eight Books of the Prophets are Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and The Twelve.
The Eleven Books of the Writings (Kesuvim). The books in The Eleven Books of the Writings are Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra/Nehemia, and Chronicles. Now, what’s religion without the prophets (messengers of god)? Prophets for profit.
Prophets in the Old Testament
Notice that Ishmael, the eldest son of Abraham (with maidservant Hagar) was not a prophet according to the Jews. According to Jewish tradition, Ishmael was the father of the Arabs, and as sibling rivalries went, it appeared Ishmael was disowned. However, Abraham’s other son, Isaac, with first wife Sarah, was noted as a prophet; and so was Isaac’s son, Jacob (aka Israel). The divine irony was that there were, as of 2015, roughly 1.8 billion Muslims and only 15 million Jews.
“Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people’s business. I live by the golden rule: Treat others as you’d want them to treat you. The religious right wants to tell people how to live.” —Jesse Ventura
Also notice that Jesus Christ and Muhammad are not in the Old Testament (Torah in Judaism, Tawrat in Islam). Jesus Christ is a prophet to the Christians and appears in the New Testament (Christian Holy Bible, circa 70). Muhammad is a prophet of the Muslims and appears in the Quran (aka Noble Koran, Qu’ran, circa 632). The Muslims also acknowledge every Jewish and Christian prophet as their own. However, in practice they put Muhammad above all.
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, infanticidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” ―Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
Religion is an evolution of social and geopolitical events. Increasingly, religious texts have been evolving to make them more agreeable with new scientific discoveries. That is, religion has been updated to keep up with science. However, there are some detrimental practices that remain to this day. For example, the practice of circumcision (surgical removal of a genitalia’s foreskin) is a religious custom of the Abrahamic faiths. According to the “sacred texts” Abraham circumcised himself to seal his covenant with god. To this day, circumcision is compulsory for newborn Jewish males and customary for males of other Abrahamic faiths. Circumcision has no scientific validity, except for the belief of a sheep herding, Bronze Age culture.
“This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; every man child among you shall be circumcised.” —Genesis 17, 10-14
There is no scientific basis for infant male circumcision. If there were health or evolutionary benefits to being circumcised, we would be born circumcised. Research has shown that the long-term health risks of circumcision outweigh any benefit espoused by the for-profit medical industry (refer to research compiled by Dr. Morten Frisch, or visit Intactamerica.org). Circumcision, like animal sacrifice, is another outdated practice conjured by a delusional goat herding “messenger of god.”
Christianity and Islam
Islam became an Abrahamic religion when it adopted the Old Testament (Tawrat in Islam). In the Old Testament, Abraham and his sons Ishmael (Arabs) and Isaac (Jews) were the ancestors of the Arab Muslims and religious Jews. Christianity became an Abrahamic religion because Jesus Christ was supposedly the Messiah the Jews had been promised.
Although, the Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe in the Old Testament, the Jews have a variant of the Old Testament called the Talmud (interpretations and comments of the Old Testament, or Torah). The Christians and Muslims do not subscribe to the Talmud, which has divinely-disparaging remarks about the Christians and Muslims.
The Torah consists of five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. In Christianity, the Torah is called the Old Testament; in Islam the Torah is known as the Tawrat. Therefore, Christians and Muslims believe in all the Jewish prophets (messengers of god in the Old Testament). In other words, Christianity and Islam are continuations of Judaism, or they’re different branches of Judaism. The Christians believe Jesus Christ is a prophet, the Messiah, the son of god, and god reincarnated into a human body. While the Muslims believe Muhammad was the last prophet (messenger of god) on Earth.
The four main Abrahamic religions are Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the Bahá’í Faith. The Bahá’í Faith was founded by Bahá’u‘lláh in Persia (Iran) and has about 5 million followers.
Below is a list of the four Abrahamic religions.
Judaism was the first Abrahamic religion and the oldest.
[*Founded: *]circa 1 800 BCE
Adherents (2015): 15 million
Founded by semites but spread far-flung by the Roman Empire.
Founded: circa 30-70
Adherents (2015): 2.2 billion (about 1.2 billion are Roman Catholics)
Founded by the tales of a single man: Muhammad.
Founded: circa 620 – 632
[*Adherents *](2015): 1.8 billion
Founded: circa 1844
[*Adherents *](2015): 5 million
It gets more convoluted when we take into consideration the different branches (subgroups, denominations, sects) within the major Abrahamic faiths.
Judaism. Judaism has four major denominations: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist.
Christianity. Christianity has five major denominations: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant. Of the 2.2 billion Christians, about 1.2 are Catholic.
[*Islam. *]Islam has several denominations (sects): Sunni, Shia, Sufism, Yezidi, and Ahmadiyya. The vast majority of Muslims are Sunni (75-80%), followed by a distant second Shia (10-15%).
Polytheism to Monotheism
One reason monotheism made more sense than polytheism was that it simplified the concept idea of god—people only had to remember one god instead of dozens, hundreds, and even thousands. However, religion was subjective and arbitrary, always favouring the people who created it and subject to various interpretations. As centuries passed, monotheism achieved the opposite of its original intent. The dozens of denominations of monotheism had made Abrahamic religions convoluted, just like polytheism. People only worshipped one god but their interpretations of that god’s will and word were vastly different. In this regard, monotheism had fractured and became polytheism in a different form.
“Denominations often form slowly over time for many reasons. Due to historical accidents of geography, culture and influence between different groups, members of a given religion slowly begin to diverge in their views. Over time members of a religion may find that they have developed significantly different views on theology, philosophy, religious pluralism, ethics and religious practices and rituals. Consequently, different denominations may eventually form. In other cases, denominations form very rapidly, either resulting from a split or schism in an existing denomination, or if people share an experience of spiritual revival or spiritual awakening, and choose to form a new denomination based on that new experience or understanding.” —Wikipedia.org
In 1800 BCE, the “known world” was confined to the continent in which people lived. Science was so underdeveloped and crude that people thought they’d fall off the Earth if they travelled beyond the horizon. For about 2 400 years (circa 1800 BCE – 620), while all the descendants of Abraham (Middle Easterners) were fighting to be god’s favourite children, what were the millions of Africans, East Indians, Chinese, North American Natives, Europeans, and South American Natives doing? Merrily living and believing in their own gods, as witnessed from the previous chapter. In other words, while the Judaic god of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims was being established in the Middle East, hundreds of other gods were being worshipped in other parts of the world.
If there was indeed only one true god, surely everyone would had heard of her or him. And if god’s word was final, why were there so many different interpretations of it? And more importantly, why did it keep changing? Could it be that our ancestors created god in their own image? Like we create god in our own likeness.
Most of the civilized world would come to know the one true god concocted by a goat herding, Bronze Age gigolo. However, monotheism wasn’t proliferated by god himself but on the backs of the Roman Empire’s legionnaires.
The will and word of god changes according to a specific religion, denomination, congregation, and priest/rabbi/imam. Every person who claims to know god, to represent him, and to communicate with him has a different interpretation of his will and word. God is like a popularity contest, whoever makes him look the best has the most followers.
Think of ancient religions in this way: If you believe in 2000 year old ideologies, then you are 2000 years behind in your thinking. The truth is liberating.
Be suspicious of those who claim they are connected to god in someway. And especially distrustful of those who require that you go through them to reach god. No all-knowing and all-powerful god needs a middleman to represent him, nor validate him.
“There will be no peace in the Middle East until the Jews and others involved abandon their myth-based beliefs.” —Garry Greenwood, All the Emperor’s Men
We are all Humans. We become segregated when we label ourselves as Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, or Hindus.
In the beginning, man made god, then the problems started…
History of Judaism
“The ideology of Judaism remains a lightning rod for intolerance to this day…Jews, insofar as they are religious, believe that they are bearers of a unique covenant with God. As a consequence, they have spent the last two thousand years collaborating with those who see them as different by seeing themselves as irretrievably so. Judaism is as intrinsically divisive, as ridiculous in its literalism, and as at odds with the civilizing insights of modernity as any other religion. Jewish settlers, by exercising their ‘freedom of belief’ on contested land, are now one of the principal obstacles to peace in the Middle East.” —Samuel B. Harris (Sam Harris)
Judaism is the oldest surviving monotheistic faith (according to some sources the Judaic calendar dates back to ca. 3000 BCE). However, Judaism was not the first monotheistic faith. The first recorded monotheistic state religion was Atenism, when Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (pharaoh c. 1353 – 1334 BCE) promoted monotheism and instituted Atenism as a state religion. However, it could be argued that all polytheistic religions started as monotheistic ones. For example, someone had to invent one god first before they invented two, three, then dozens.
Moses parting the Red Sea to free the Jews from bondage. Although it never happened, as of 2015, billions of people still believe it as a factual event. The Red Sea has an area of 438,000 square kilometers and a mean depth of 490 metres.
The holy scriptures of Judaism were written over a period of roughly 2000 years by dozens of scribes. During that period, those holy scriptures were rewritten, retranslated, and re-updated countless times. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction. Moreover, those who wrote religious texts had a dubious history of backdating events to make them appear prophetic and divine.
In order to understand Judaism, we need to be familiar with the many books that comprise the religion. The Hebrew Bible (aka the Tanakh, Mikra, Jewish Bible) is the holy book of the Jews. The Hebrew Bible is comprised of three traditional subdivisions: the Torah, the Nevi’im, and the Ketuvim.
The Torah is the common book of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). The Torah (aka The Five Books of Moses) consists of five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
In Christianity, the Torah is known as the Old Testament; in Islam, the Torah is known as the Tawrat. However (and there’s always a “but” or “however” with religion), in Orthodox Judaism the Torah can refer to all the religious texts of Judaism. That is, the Torah and Hebrew Bible are sometimes used interchangeably.
Obviously, the Torah is the most important text of the Abrahamic faiths. From the Torah,
—the Jews have the Talmud (interpretations and comments on the Torah);
—the Christians have the Holy Bible (aka New Testament, Christian Holy Bible);
—and the Muslims have the Quran (aka the Koran, or the recitation).
Again, the Hebrew Bible is a collection of writings authored by many scribes over a period of 1 000 – 2 000 years (from circa 1500 – 400 BCE to 1st century). Depending on the source, Judaism was founded circa 2000 – 1500 BCE). From circa 450 BCE to 50 (a span of about 500 years), there was no new contribution to the Hebrew Bible. The inability to pinpoint exact dates to events and people, is another example of the unreliability of religion texts. Again, add the practices of backdating and personal interpretations and it’s mind boggling how billions of people still take religious scriptures as history.
For over a thousand years, the Hebrew Bible’s narrative was passed from one generation to another through speech, song, poetry, hieroglyphic; and many languages such as Aramaic (Hebrew), Greek, Latin (Roman), and English. The Hebrew Bible, and therefore the Torah, had been rewritten and retranslated countless times through different modes of communication and languages. The evolution of Judaism was obviously the work of men, and not the will of god. If there were a powerful, everlasting supreme being, it would not be so ambiguous and imprecise with its plans.
Judaism Quick Facts
Formed: circa 2000 – 1500 BCE
Origin: Canaan (Israel, Palestinian territories)
[*Adherents: *]15 million as of 2015. It is assumed that most religious Jews are European converts and not the original Semites of the Middle East; eg the Khazarian theory of Ashkenazi ancestry.
[*Deity: *]Monotheist (Yahweh). However, in the early stages, tottered between polytheism and monotheism.
[*Sacred Texts: *]
-Hebrew Bible (aka the Tanakh, Mikra, Jewish Bible)
-Torah (aka The Five Books of Moses)
-Talmud (rabbinical commentaries and interpretations of the Torah)
[*Headquarters: *]Israel (state religion), Jerusalem (spiritual)
[*Holidays and Remembrances: *]Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, Chanukkah, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Pesach (Passover), Lag B’Omer, Shavu’ot, Tisha B’Av
Major Denominations: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Kabbalah
The Khazarian Theory of Jewish Origin
Contemporary Jews don’t have typical features of the ancient Semites (a member of any of the peoples who speak or spoke a Semitic language, including in particular the Jews and Arabs). Similarly, millions of South Vietnamese Catholics do not have typical features of the original Christians (Canaanites and Romans). Similarly, blond-haired, blue-eyed Scandinavian Buddhists do not have typical features of the original Buddhists (Nepalese or East Indians). Similarly, hundreds of millions of Indonesian and Malaysian Muslims do not have typical features of the original Muslims (Arabs). These are examples of how people of different ethnicities became affiliated with a religious group through conversion.
The conversion factor raises many questions: Are the modern Jews the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Or more broadly, are they even the descendants of the Semitic Jews? Do they have the typical physical features of the original Semitic Jews?
Debate on European Jews’ origin settled? Jews of European origin are a mix of ancestries, with many hailing from tribes in the Caucasus who converted to Judaism and created an empire that lasted half a millennium, according to a gene study.
The investigation, its author says, should settle a debate that has been roiling for more than two centuries.
Jews of European descent, often called Ashkenazim, account for some 90% of the more than 13 million Jews in the world today.
According to the so-called Rhineland Hypothesis, Ashkenazim descended from Jews who progressively fled Palestine after the Muslim conquest of 638 AD.
They settled in southern Europe and then, in the late Middle Ages, about 50,000 of them moved from the Rhineland in Germany into eastern Europe, according to the hypothesis. —Dr. Ruchama Weiss, Ynetnews.com, February 5, 2013
Mr. Benjamin Freedman, a Jewish industrialist born in New York, wrote in the Economic Council Letter published there of October 15, 1947: These Eastern European Jews have neither a racial nor a historic connection with Palestine. Their ancestors were not inhabitants of the Promised Land. They are the direct descendants of the people of the Khazar Kingdom. The Khazars were a non-Semitic, Turko-Mongolian tribe.
New DNA Research Confirms That Modern Khazarian “Jews” Are Not the Descendants of Ancient Israelites or The Seed of Abraham. In 2001, Dr. Ariella Oppenheim, of Hebrew University, a biologist, published the first extensive study of DNA and the origin of the Jews. Her research found that virtually all the Jews came from Khazar blood. Not only that but Oppenheim discovered that the Palestinians—the very people whom the Jews had been persecuting and ejecting from Israel’s land since 1948—had more Israelite blood than did the Jews. In sum, the vast majority of the Jews were not Jews; some of the Palestinians were. Some of the Palestinians even had a DNA chromosome which established that they were “Cohens”—workers at the ancient Temple and synagogues of the Jews.
[*The Definitive DNA Study. *]Now comes the ultimate, definitive DNA study, by Dr. Eran Elhaik and associates at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Entitled, “The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses”, and published by the Oxford Journal on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, the study confirms Oppenheim’s research and the many scholarly books.
Dr. Elhaik and the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine conclude in their report: “The Khazarian Hypothesis suggests that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and Converted to Judaism in the eighth century…Following the collapse of their empire, the Judeo-Khazars fled to Eastern Europe. The rise of European Jewry was therefore explained by the contribution of the Judeo-Khazars.”
The Khazars (c. 618 – 1048). Khazaria was surrounded by powerful neighbours. The Byzantine Empire (aka Eastern Roman Empire) was Christian. The 8th century Persians were Muslims. The Slavs were pagans. When pressured to convert, Khazaria’s monarch chose Judaism to avoid offending his neighbours. Map: Fgcp.org
Now, with all the available information and scientific data, are the modern-day religious Jews the progeny of Abraham (if he did exist)?
Semite: 1) A member of any of the peoples who speak or spoke a Semitic language, including in particular the Jews and Arabs.
2) A member of any of various ancient and modern peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including the Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs. A member of any of the peoples descended from Shem, the eldest son of Noah.
Khazar: A member of a Turkic people who occupied a large part of southern Russia from the 6th to the 11th centuries and who converted to Judaism in the 8th century. —Google Dictionary
In brief, the Khazarian Theory states that the Kingdom of Khazaria (c. 618 – 1048) was a buffer state between the Christian Byzantine Empire (aka Eastern Roman Empire) and the Islamic Umayyad Empire. When pressured to convert to either Christianity, Islam, or paganism, the Khazarian ruler decided to convert to Judaism, as not to offend his powerful neighbours. After the ruler had converted to Judaism, his subjects followed. When the Khazarian empire collapsed, its people dispersed throughout Europe. The second Diaspora, as it were.
The Khazarian Theory is very viable as it explains why there are millions of Jews of non-Semitic origin.
The problem with religion may not be the original religion itself, but with the converts who had absolutely nothing to do with the original religion. That is, people who had converted en masse to a religion they knew nothing about until they were introduced or indoctrinated into it. And the supreme irony? These new converts were more zealous of their new religion than its original adherents. These newly converted lunatics, in their zeal and certainty, gave religion a bad name.
And as for Noah’s Arc and the great flood? A little comparative mythology from a Wikipedia article may shed light on the story’s authenticity.
The Genesis flood narrative is similar to numerous other flood myths from a variety of cultures. The earliest known written flood myth is the Sumerian flood myth found in the Epic of Ziusudra.
There is no scientific evidence supporting a global flood. Searches for Noah’s Ark have been made from at least the time of Eusebius (c. 275–339) to the present day. Despite many expeditions, no scientific evidence of the ark has been found…
The Genesis flood narrative is one of several similar flood myths. The earliest known written flood myth is the Sumerian flood myth found in the Epic of Ziusudra. Later and very similar Mesopotamian flood stories appear in the Epic of Atrahasis and Epic of Gilgamesh texts. Many scholars believe that Noah and the biblical flood-story derive from the Mesopotamian versions, predominantly because biblical mythology that was today found in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Mandaeism shares overlapping consistency with far older written Mesopotamian stories of the Great Flood, and because the early Hebrews are known to have lived in Mesopotamia, particularly during the Babylonian captivity.
The parallels–both similarities and differences–between Noah’s ship and that of the Babylonian flood-hero Atrahasis have often been noted. Noah’s ship is a rectangle, while Atrahasis is instructed to build his in the form of a cube; Atrahasis’s ship has seven decks with nine compartments on each level, while Noah’s has three decks, but he is not given any instructions on the number of compartments to build. The word used for “pitch” (sealing tar or resin) is not the normal Hebrew word but is closely related to the word used in the Babylonian story…
The Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, composed about 2500 BC, contains a flood story almost exactly the same as the Noah story in the Pentateuch, with a few variations such as the number of days of the deluge, the order of the birds, and the name of the mountain on which the ark rests. The flood story in Genesis 6–8 matches the Gilgamesh flood myth so closely that “few doubt that [it] derives from a Mesopotamian account.” What is particularly noticeable is the way the Genesis flood story follows the Gilgamesh flood tale “point by point and in the same order”, even when the story permits other alternatives…
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah’s_Ark
The flood supposedly occurred in circa 2 348 BCE. However, as history tells us there were thriving civilizations on every continent of the Earth during that time and they had no record of the great flood.
“We know the Biblical flood never occurred because there were great civilizations thriving during that time. They kept good records and not one mentioned they were wiped from the face of the Earth. The Chinese (Neolithic Dynasty), the Egyptians (Dynasties 4, 5, and 6), the Mesopotamians (Early Dynastic Period), Sumerians (Early Dynastic IIIA and IIIb), Peruvians (Norte Chico Civilization), and many more. We find a continuous line of culture, construction, art, and historical records that runs through the time Noah’s flood was supposed to have happened.”
In other words, Noah’s great flood never happened. It was a fable, like all the other extinction level floods before it.
Moreover, Noah, like Abraham, was one person among millions during his time and place. The descendants of modern-day Semitic Jews and Arabs could be traced to the millions of other Semites besides Noah. More disturbing was that according to Genesis, Adam and Noah both lived to be over 900 years old.
Comparative mythology is a politically correct way of stating “how one culture borrows ideas from another culture.” Or steals if they claim those ideas as their own.
The Prophet Moses
A major figure in the Abrahamic faiths is Moses. This prophet supposedly lived 1393 – 1273 BCE or 1500 – 1300 BCE, depending on the source. God supposedly chose Moses to deliver the Jews from bondage in Egypt. However, there was no Egyptian record or other historical records of the Egyptian 10 plagues or parting of the Red Sea (Exodus) that Moses supposedly performed on behalf of god.
￼In Exodus, Moses parted the Red Sea to drown Pharaoh’s army and free the Jews. Photo: Cornell.edu
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tablets of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.” —Exodus 24:12-13
On Mount Sinai, Moses received from god the two tablets inscribed with the 10 commandments. Photo: Wikimedia.org
The 10 Commandments (Exodus 20 : 2-17
1) I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2) You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the Earth beneath, or that is in the water under the Earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
3) You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the Earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5) Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
6) You shall not murder.
7) You shall not commit adultery.
8) You shall not steal.
9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10) You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
The 10 Commandments also appear in Deuteronomy 5:4-21.
These days, we don’t worry about coveting our neighbor’s ox or donkey. It appears that god forgot about progress. As with every religion, Judaism attempts to provide moral lessons to its adherents. And like every other religion, these moral lessons are wrapped in supernatural beings and superfluous events. Minus these supernatural beings and superfluous events, religion is simply a philosophy with rituals and traditions. Judaism is no different.
God also revealed to Moses the creation of the Universe and everything in it. Moses recorded these revelations in The Five Books of Moses (Torah in Judaism, Old Testament in Christianity, Tawrat in Islam). Again, The Five Books of Moses are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
The Torah (The Five Books of Moses) as described by Wikipedia.org:
Genesis begins with the so-called “primeval history” (Genesis 1–11), the story of the world’s beginnings and the descent from Adam. This is followed by the story of the three patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), Joseph (Genesis 12–50) and the four matriarchs (Sarah, Rebekah, Leah and Rachel). God gives to the patriarchs a promise of the land of Canaan, but at the end of Genesis the sons of Jacob end up leaving Canaan for Egypt due to a regional famine. They had heard that there was a grain storage and distribution facility in Egypt.
Exodus begins the story of God’s revelation to his people Israel through Moses, who leads them out of Egypt (Exodus 1–18) to Mount Sinai. There the people accept a covenant with God, agreeing to be his people in return for agreeing to abide by his Law. Moses receives the Torah from God, and mediates His laws and Covenant (Exodus 19–24) to the people of Israel. Exodus also deals with the first violation of the covenant when the Golden Calf was constructed (Exodus 32–34). Exodus concludes with the instructions on building the Tabernacle (Exodus 25–31; 35–40).
Leviticus begins with instructions to the Israelites on how to use the Tabernacle, which they had just built (Leviticus 1–10). This is followed by rules of clean and unclean (Leviticus 11–15), which includes the laws of slaughter and animals permissible to eat (see also: Kashrut), the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), and various moral and ritual laws sometimes called the Holiness Code (Leviticus 17–26). Leviticus 26 provides a detailed list of rewards for following God’s commandments and a detailed list of punishments for not following them.
Numbers tells how Israel consolidated itself as a community at Sinai (Numbers 1–9), set out from Sinai to move towards Canaan and spied out the land (Numbers 10–13). Because of unbelief at various points, but especially at Kadesh Barnea (Numbers 14), the Israelites are condemned to wander for forty years in the desert in the vicinity of Kadesh instead of immediately entering the Promised Land. Even Moses sins and is told he would not live to enter the land (Numbers 20). At the end of Numbers (Numbers 26–35) Israel moves from Kadesh to the plains of Moab opposite Jericho, ready to enter the Promised Land.
Deuteronomy is a series of speeches by Moses on the plains of Moab opposite Jericho. Moses proclaims the Law (Deuteronomy 12–26), gives instruction concerning covenant renewal at Shechem (Deuteronomy 27–28) and gives Israel new laws (the “Deuteronomic Code”). At the end of the book (Deuteronomy 34) Moses is allowed to see the promised land from a mountain, and then dies. The text emphasises that no one knows where Moses is finally buried (34:6). Knowing that he was nearing the end of his life, Moses had appointed Joshua his successor, bequeathing to him the mantle of leadership. Soon afterwards Israel begins the conquest of Canaan.
Today most academic scholars assume that the Torah has multiple authors, and that its composition took place over centuries.
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torah
Questionable Books About the Jews
On the subject of books, a few controversial ones written in the 20th century were scathing of the Jews.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
The first was The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. First published in Russia in 1903, it was the tale of a Russian secret service agent who supposedly recorded the clandestine meetings of Jewish leaders (International Jewish Cabal, Zions, Zionists).
“The Protocols purports to document the minutes of a late 19th-century meeting of Jewish leaders discussing their goal of global Jewish hegemony by subverting the morals of Gentiles, and by controlling the press and the world’s economies. It was still widely available today in numerous languages, in print and on the Internet, and continues to be presented by some proponents as a genuine document…Adolf Hitler was a major proponent. It was studied, as if factual, in German classrooms after the Nazis came to power in 1933, despite having been exposed as fraudulent by The Times of London in 1921. The historian Norman Cohn suggested that Hitler used the Protocols as his primary justification for initiating the Holocaust—his ‘warrant for genocide’.” —Wikipedia.org
The Economic Pinch
The second was The Economic Pinch by US Congressman Charles Lindberg, Sr. (father of the great aviator Charles Lindberg). [_The Economic Pinch _]was about the US Federal Reserve Bank (a privately owned bank) run by the Jews and purportedly owned by International Jews. The book suggested that the US Federal Reserve Bank and other central banks owned by the International Jewish Cabal (under the Rothschild’s banking system and dynasty) were in cahoots to oppress or enslave people through usury. The book also blamed World War I on the International Jewish bankers for financing both sides of the war.
“I have long since believed that in spite of all the vigilance that can be infused into post commanders, the specie regulations of the Treasury Department have been violated, and that mostly by the Jews and other unprincipled traders…The Jews, as a class, violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department, were hereby expelled from the Department.” —General Ulysses Grant , December 17, 1862, General Orders No. 11.
The third notable anti-Semitic book was Mein Kampf (1925) by Adolph Hitler. Hitler blamed the world’s woes and suffering on the Jews, which resulted in the Holocaust of World War II.
Enough of conspiracy theories and back to the delightful subject of religion.
Baal versus Yahweh
In the 9th century BCE (about 1 000 years after Abraham’s time), Canaan and the surrounding regions were still polytheistic societies. There were two supreme gods competing for the title of the one true Creator of the Universe. One was Baal and the other Yahweh. Then the Clash of the Titans took place.
“It was the program of Jezebel, in the 9th century BCE, to introduce into Israel’s capital city of Samaria her Phoenician cult of Baal as opposed to the worship of Yahweh that made the name anathema to the Israelites. The competition between the priestly forces of Yahweh and of Baal in the ninth century was attested in 1Kings 18. Elijah the prophet challenged Baal’s prophets to settle the question whether it was Ba’al or Yahweh who supplied the rain. Elijah offered a sacrifice to Yahweh; Baal’s followers did the same. According to the Hebrew Bible, Baal did not light his followers’ sacrifice, but Yahweh sent heavenly fire to burn Elijah’s sacrifice and altar to ashes, even after it had been soaked with water. Directly after that event, Elijah had the prophets of Ba’al slain, and it soon began to rain.” —Wikipedia.org
Amazing, isn’t it? The only thing left is to make a movie about the epic battle: Battle of the Gods or Divine Bullshit—in 3D.
It is important to note that the beliefs, practices, and principles of modern-day Judaism were not codified until the first century CE—roughly the same time the story of Jesus Christ miraculously appeared. These codes became known as classical or rabbinic Judaism. As noted, like all religions before it, Judaism was an evolving religion. From Abraham (circa 2000 – 1800 BCE) to the rabbinic Judaism period was a span of about 2 000 years. The authors of the Hebrew Bible were not known but it’s generally accepted that there were dozens of authors over the 2 000 year period. Therefore, the word and will of god was not revealed to his Chosen People at once but over 2 000 years. Times change, people change, religions change. Or religion changes with the times.
In the last chapter, we met roughly 60 prophets in the Torah. However, central to Judaism was not the prophets but a Messiah.
A prophet (messenger of god) was a person selected by god to deliver his message to the people—all the greatest minds in history haven’t figured out why an all-knowing, all-powerful god can’t deliver those messages himself but required middlemen to do it.
A Messiah, on the other hand, was a messenger of god and also the anointed leader of the Jews.
“The future Jewish Messiah to come is thought to be a human leader, physically descended from the paternal Davidic line through King David and King Solomon. He is thought to accomplish predetermined things in only one future arrival, including the unification of the tribes of Israel, the gathering in of all Jews to Eretz Israel, the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, the ushering in of a Messianic Age of global universal peace, and the annunciation of the World to Come…The Messianic Age is a theological term referring to a future time of universal peace and brotherhood on the Earth, without crime, war and poverty. Many religions believe that there will be such an age; some refer to it as the consummate ‘kingdom of God’, ‘paradise’, ‘peaceable kingdom’, or the ‘world to come’.” —Wikipedia.org
Some Jews believed that Jesus Christ (if he did exist) was this promised Messiah of the Jews, sent by god himself. Jesus, a Jew himself, was rejected by the Judaic establishment. On the other hand, the Jews who believed that Jesus was the Messiah became known as Christians.
The Jews are still waiting for their Messiah to appear on Earth, while the Christians are still waiting for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and their Kingdom of Heaven. It’s been thousands of years in waiting, but if the Jewish Messiah appears or Jesus Christ reappears, humanity will be waiting with video cameras to capture evidence.
All religious miracles were written decades after they supposedly occurred, by people who weren’t even there. Graph source: A-revolt.org
“When the Messiah comes every Jew will have 2 800 slaves.” —Simeon Haddarsen, fol. 56-D
The selling of outlandish, undeliverable promises are drawing points of religion. For example, the Quran promises Muslim males that if they become martyrs in the name of Allah, they’ll be gifted with 72 virgins in paradise. Now, how can any man resist 2 800 slaves to do his work while he enjoys the company of 72 virgins?
The Jews: A History of Enslavement, Persecution, Oppression, Expulsion, and Genocide
The Jews are entwined with Judaism, whether by heredity or conversion. One is a Jew if their mother is a Jew. Or one could be considered a Jew if they converted to Judaism. However, if god made the Jews the Chosen People, history tells us that they were chosen to suffer. Or is there another side to the story?
If we examine a nation that has at least a 500 year history and study its timeline, we’ll notice that its people have been attacked, oppressed, enslaved, and even conquered numerous times by internal and external powers. Suffering and injustice are not exclusive to the Jews. Although it’s unfair to compare suffering, we’ll do so for the sake of comparative suffering.
Let’s take Vietnam (founded in c. 2 879 BCE) as a comparison. From Wikipedia.org:
The history of Vietnam is one of the longest continuous histories in the world, with a cultural history of around 25,000 years. Archaeological findings from 1965, still under research, show the remains of two hominins closely related to Sinanthropus, dating as far back as the Middle Pleistocene era, roughly half a million years ago. Ancient Vietnam was home to some of the world’s earliest civilizations and societies—making them one of the world’s first people who practiced agriculture…
The Xích Tỵs and Qins were among the earliest foreign aggressors of Vietnam, but the ancient Vietnamese managed to regain control of the country soon after the invasions…
Once Vietnam did succumb to foreign rule, however, it proved unable to escape from it, and for 1,100 years, Vietnam had been successively governed by a series of Chinese dynasties: the Han, Eastern Wu, Jin, Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang, Sui, Tang, and Southern Han; leading to the loss of native cultural heritage, language, and much of national identity. At certain periods during these 1,100 years, Vietnam was independently governed under the Triệus, Trung Sisters, Anterior Lýs, Khúcs and Dương Đình Nghệ—although their triumphs and reigns were brief…
At various points during the imperial dynasties, Vietnam was ravaged and divided by civil wars and witnessed interventions by the Songs, Mongol Yuans, Chams, Mings, Dutch, Manchus, French, and the Americans. The Ming Empire conquered the Red River valley for a while before native Vietnamese regained control and the French Empire reduced Vietnam to a French dependency for nearly a century, followed by an occupation by the Japanese Empire. Political upheaval and Communist insurrection put an end to the monarchy after World War II, and the country was proclaimed a republic…”
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Vietnam
During the American-Vietnam War (1955 – 1975), more bombs were dropped on Vietnam than all of World War II (1939 – 1945). Going by history, it could be argued that the Vietnamese suffered just as much as the Jews.
Now, let’s take Russia. It is estimated that 8.7 – 14 million Russian soldiers lost their lives fighting Nazi Germany in World War II. In total, about 24 – 30 million Soviet Union citizens lost their lives in World War II. The Russians had been ruled by the Golden Horde (Mongols) for about 300 years; attacked by the Huns, French (Napoleon), Communists (Lenin), Germans (Hitler); even their own leader, Stalin, killed an estimated 34 – 49 million USSR citizens (millions of them Russians).
Again, if we examine any country that has at least a 500 year history, the theme of suffering was a common denominator. Again, suffering was not unique to the Jews. However, what was unique to the religious Jews was the persistent believe that their suffering was the will of god as a lesson to others. Every injustice and crime against the Jews was wrapped in supernatural excuses (god had a hand in their suffering, and for a divine reason).
Even if we accept the myths and fables in the Hebrew Bible as historical events—yes, the Jews were conquered by the Assyrians, taken into captivity by the Egyptians and Babylonians; subjugated by the Persians, Romans, then the Muslims, and so forth. Then we remove the supernatural events (Noah’s Arc saving humanity, Abraham’s covenant with god, Moses parting the Red Sea, etc.), we’d end with a history of the Jewish people that was similar to those of other peoples. However, more often than not the Jews created Holidays and Remembrances as reminders of their suffering. The problem with this is that their plights were mixed with the occult, leading many to doubt if those events were embellished, exaggerated, or fictionalized.
However, what was unique was the number of times the Jews were expelled from territories and countries they had inhabited. Since 250, there were 109 known Jewish expulsions. And the reason behind the expulsions? Religion, of course.
109 Places the Jews Were Expelled From Since 250
250: Carthage, Tunisia
415: Alexandria, Egypt
554: Diocèse of Clermont, France
561: Diocèse of Uzès, France
612: Visigoth Spain
642: Visigoth Empire
1276: Upper Bavaria, Germany
1322: France (again)
1349: Heilbronn, Germany
1349: Saxony, Germany
1360: Hungary (again)
1420: Lyons, France
1424: Zurich, Switzerland
1432: Savoy, France
1439: Augsburg, Germany
1444: Netherlands (again)
1446: Bavaria, Germany
1453: Breslau, Poland
1462: Mainz, Germany
1483: Mainz (again), Germany
1484: Warsaw, Poland
1485: Vincenza, Italy
1492: Spain (Spanish Inquisition)
1496: Naples, Italy
1498: Nuremberg, Germany
1498: Navarre, Spain
1510: Bradenburg, Germany
1510: Prussia (Germany)
1515: Genoa, Italy
1519: Regensburg, Germany
1533: Naples, Italy
1541: Naples (again)
1542: Prague and Bohemia, Czechoslovakia
1550: Geno, Italy
1551: Bavaria Germany
1555: Pesaro, Italy
1557: Prague, Czechoslovakia
1567: Würzburg, Germany
1569: Papal States
1571: Brandenburg, Germany
1593: Brandenburg, Austria
1597: Cremona, Pavia, Lodi; Italy
1614: Frankfurt, Germany
1615: Worms, Germany
1619: Kiev, Ukraine
1654: Little Russia, Belarus
1669: Oran (North Africa)
1669: Vienna, Austria
1670: Vienna (again)
1712: Sandomierz, Poland
1738: Wurtemburg, Germany
1740: Little Russia, Belarus (again)
1744: Prague, Bohemia; Czechoslovakia
1744: Livonia (Baltic Sea)
1745: Moravia, Czechoslovakia
1753: Kovad, Lithuania
1761: Bordeaux, France
1772: Deported to the Pale of Settlement (Poland/Russia)
1775: Warsaw, Poland
1789: Alsace, France
1804: Russian villages
1808: Russian villages and countrysides
1815: Lbec, Bremen; Germany
1815: Franconia, Swabia, Bavaria; Germany
1820: Bremen, Germany
1843: Borders of Russia, Swabia and Bavaria
1820: Bremen, Germany
1843: Borders of Russia, Austria and Prussia
1862: U.S. areas under General Grant’s jurisdiction
1866: Galatz, Romania
1891: Moscow, Russia
1919: Bavaria (foreign born Jews), Germany
1938-45: Nazi controlled territories
1948: Arab countries opposed to the establishment of Israel
What stood out from this expulsion list was that nearly every country and territory the Jews had been expelled from were Christian, and all of those countries and territories were Christian and Muslim. At the time of those expulsions, the Roman Catholic Church was very influential and meddlesome in politics, to the point it had a hand in selecting the Monarchs of Europe. Going further, the Church dictated who those monarchs could or could not marry. The rulers were petrified of being excommunicated by the Church. As every good Christian knows, the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus Christ. And as every good Muslim knows, the only Jew was a dirty Jew. Religion incites hatred and in this regard, it’s reasonable to conclude that religion was the primary factor behind the Jewish expulsions throughout history.
Monotheistic religion could be summed up as humans hating and killing each other over an imaginary friend in the sky.
“Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we’ll read the Book of Esther. We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2 500 years ago.” —Benjamin Netanyahu, 2015
In 1941, Hitler executed a scheme called “The Final Solution”, which was outlined in his anti-Semitic book Mein Kampf. Hitler and the Nazis believed that the Jews were a nuisance and blight on humanity. Their plan was to “exterminate” the Jews once and for all. According to many historians, roughly 6 million Jews were murdered in the World War Two Holocaust.
[*An act of god against his Chosen People *]or an act of evil men? Nazi Germany was a Christian nation. The Nazis thought of themselves as Aryans, superior to other peoples. However, the original Aryans were of Indo-Iranian descent (closely related to the Persians). The irony? It was the Persian King, Cyrus the Great, an Aryan, who had freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity. Photo: Wikipedia.org
Again, humans performing atrocious acts and killing each other in the name of god. No one should be killed for their beliefs. At worst, they could be scolded and mocked, but never beaten or killed.
“Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. Take your pick and choose wisely.” —Sam Harris
Looking at the horrific Holocaust images above, it’s obvious that the Jewish god Yahweh, the one true Creator and all-powerful and all-knowing, wasn’t able to save those victims. Like every other Human Being, they had lived, hoped, laughed, dreamt, and loved. No human should be subjected to these crimes against humanity, regardless of their religious conviction. Religion has always made people irrational, hateful, and vengeful, which are always a bad mix, especially for the religious psychopaths in power.
“Anti-semitism is nothing but the antagonistic attitude produced in non-Jews by the Jewish group.” —Albert Einstein
“Today I believe I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” —Adolf Hitler
The divisive and duplicitous nature of religion are alive and well today.
The Chosen People
It could be burdensome on the psyche to have to live up to the standard of being the Chosen People of god. As a favourite of god, every action is scrutinized and every mistake magnified. If one falls short, one is labelled a charlatan. Therefore, despised by the masses. This is one theory of historical Jewish Persecution. Another theory is that as god’s chosen people, the Jews try too hard and in turn fail attempting to fulfill that label. They develop esoteric plans and theories that are beyond what is necessary to build a fruitful and strong society. Two examples are:
1) Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s Communist Manifesto. About 80% of the Soviet Union’s Communist leaders were Jews.
2) The world’s central banking system, which is run almost exclusively by Jewish bankers. In this central banking system, governments and citizens are indebted with loans that are mathematically impossible to pay off. Thus, our children are in perpetual debt paying off the interest on government loans they did not borrow. It is indentured servitude in another form.
Yet another theory for Jewish persecution is that after the Jewish Diaspora (dispersion of Jews throughout the globe) of the Babylonian Exile (circa 587 BC) and the Second Diaspora (circa 1048, Khazarian theory), they became a tiny minority in every country they had inhabited. As a tiny minority, they were easily scapegoated for every ill, corruption, decline, and injustice. To be fair, if we examine a modern nation or one of antiquity that has at least a 500 year history, we’ll notice that it faced the same cycle of history, with or without Jewish influence. Nations were formed, they struggled, they rose, they fell, and the cycle began anew. The reasons these nations fell were the same: complacency, short-term thinking, infighting, corruption, over-extension, and most importantly greed.
These are human attributes and it is humans who govern nations. As examples, Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire, Alexander the Great’s empire, the Roman Empire (West and East), and other great empires of antiquity that were free of Jewish influence had succumbed to the cycle of history. Or in many cases, nations were simply conquered by external powers. But as history has shown us, those conquerors eventually assimilated into the cultures of those they’d conquered.
It is foolhardy to blame a very small, religious minority for everything wrong with history and the world, when all the facts prove otherwise.
There is no one precise definition of a modern-day Jew. A Jew could refer to:
1) A Semite (many Arabs are also Semites by ancestry).
2) A descendant from one of the 12 Tribes of Israel (Jacob—if he did exist); or of Shem (Noah’s son), or of Isaac (Abraham’s second son).
3) Someone who converted to Judaism, eg Ashkenazi (Khazarian) Jews.
4) An atheist, Christian, Muslim, or adherent of any faith who has a Jewish heritage.
There are millions of people who refer to themselves as “Jews” of Jewish Heritage but are atheists. Therefore, they do not adhere to the teachings of the Hebrew Bible. Simply, these atheist Jews are Human Beings, and should be free from being labeled as Jews, Christians, or Muslims. They are citizens of Earth, like everyone else.
In the end, we’re all humans and religion complicates our relationship with other humans, not to mention it clogs our mind with hogwash that has little to do with a modern society. Once we become a devout religious person, we set ourselves up for segregation within the Human Race. That is the divisive nature of religion.
We now understand why Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are called Abrahamic religions: Abraham is recognized as the founder, and Judaism is the parent religion of Christianity and Islam. As with any familial relationship, there are bound to be sibling rivalries and blood feuds. The Hebrew Bible does not consider Ishmael (Abraham’s first son with maidservant Hagar) to be a patriarch of Judaism, nor does it consider Ishmael a prophet. However, the Hebrew Bible does recognize Abraham’s second son (Isaac) and grandson (Jacob) as prophets. This is an obvious slight to the Arabs, as Ishmael is considered the father of Muslim Arabs (obviously, not all Muslims are Arabs). But we also know from population projection that Ishmael could not have been the only ancestor of the Arabs. The millions of Assyrians, Babylonians, Canaanites, and Phoenicians were also the ancestors of the modern-day Arabs.
As blood feuds go, what nice things do the Hebrew sacred texts say about Christians and Muslims? The Talmud (interpretations and comments on the Torah) contains many insulting comments about non-Jews, particularly Christians and Muslims.
The Talmud refers to a non-Jew, especially a Christian or Muslim as a goi (goy) or goyim (goim). In general, a goyim (sometimes defined as cattle) is a derogatory name for a non-Jew. The bitter divide between the Jews and Christians (Gentiles) in the Talmud is so deep that the rabbis refuse to mention Jesus Christ by name. They only refer to him as “that man”.
By now, if you’re thinking religion is getting comical, wait until the next two chapters: Christianity and Islam. The stories get even better, or worse depending on one’s interpretation. But yet billions of people still believe, so there must be something appealing about these bizarre stories.
To the religious Jews, Christians and Muslims are idolaters, murderers, fornicators, unclean, feces, beasts, and animals. In general, non-Jews are unclean animals to be avoided when possible, and when in contact to be taken advantage of. With dogmas like these, who doesn’t love religion?
“Since Christians follow the teachings of that man, whom the Jews regard as a Seducer and an Idolater, and since they worship him as God, it clearly follows that they merit the name of idolaters, in no way different from those among whom the Jews lived before the birth of Christ, and whom they taught should be exterminated by every possible means…This is best demonstrated by the names they give to Christians, and by the unmistakable words of Maimonides which prove that all who bear the name of Christian are idolaters.(42a) And anyone who examines Jewish books which speak of the ‘Worshippers of the Stars and Planets,’ ‘Epicureans,’ ‘Samaritans,’ etc., cannot but conclude that these idolaters are none other than Christians. The Turks are always called “Ismaelites,” never idolaters.” —(42a) Vide Infra. ch. II, p. 42
“A Jew must not associate himself with gentiles because they are given to the shedding of blood.” —In Abhodah Zarah (22a)
“An Israelite must not associate himself with the Akum [Christians] because they are given to the shedding of blood.” —Iore Dea (153,2)
“Animals of the masculine sex must not be left in the barns of the Gentiles with their men, nor animals of the feminine sex with their women; much less must animals of the feminine sex be left with their men and of the masculine sex with their women. Nor must sheep be left to the care of their shepherds; nor must any intercourse be had with them; nor must children be given into their care to learn to read or to learn a trade.” —Abhodah Zarah (15b)
“Why are the Goim unclean? Because they are not present at Mount Sinai. For when the serpent entered into Eve he infused her with uncleanness. But the Jews were cleansed from this when they stood on Mount Sinai; the Goim, however, who were not on Mount Sinaim were not cleansed.” —Abhodah Zarah, 22b
“When ten persons are praying together in one place and they say Kaddisch, or Kedoschah, anyone, even though he does not belong there, may respond Amen. There are some, however, who say that no dung or Akum must be present…“When Jewish women come out of a bath they must take care to meet a friend first, and not something unclean or a Christian. For if so, a woman, if she wants to keep holy, should go back and bathe again.” —Iore Dea (198, 48) Hagah
“A woman must wash herself again if she sees any unclean thing, such as a dog, an ass, or People of the Earth; a Christian (Akum), a camel,(47) a pig, a horse, and a leper.” —(47) In the Vilna ed. of 1873
“God created them in the form of men for the glory of Israel. But Akum were created for the sole end of ministering unto them [the Jews] day and night. Nor can they ever be relieved from this service. It was becoming to the son of a king [an Israelite] that animals in their natural form, and animals in the form of human beings should minister unto him.” —Midrasch Talpioth (fol. 225d)
“The teaching of the Rabbis is: He who pours oil over a Goi, and over dead bodies is freed from punishment. This is true for an animal because it is not a man.(48) But how can it be said that by pouring oil over a Goi one is freed from punishment, since a Goi is also a man? But this is not true, for it is written: Ye are my flock, the flock of my pasture are men (Ezechiel, XXXIV, 31). You are thus called men, but the Goim are not called men.” —Kerithuth (6b p. 78)
“The seed of a Goi is worth the same as that of a beast.” —Kethuboth (3b)
“By wild pig the author here means the Christians who eat pork and, like pigs, have destroyed the vineyard of Israel, the City of Jerusalem, and who believe in the ‘suspended’ Christ. Else the letter ain is dropped in this word because they, as worshippers of Christ who is hanged, are also dropped.” —Buxtorf (Lex.)
“…People who worship idols, and who are called cow and ass, as it is written: I have a cow and an ass…” —Zohar, II, (64b)
“…for he is like a dog. Are we to take to word ‘dog’ here literally? By no means. For the text in speaking of dead bodies says, Or thou mayest sell it to an alien. This applies much more to the meat of wounded animals, for which it was permitted to accept payment. Why therefore does the Scripture say it may be thrown to ‘dogs?’ In order to teach you that a dog is to be more respected than the Nokhri.” —Exodus (XXII, 30)
“If a Jew enters into marriage with an Akum (Christian), or with his servant, the marriage is null. For they are not capable of entering into matrimony. Likewise if an Akum or a servant enters into matrimony with a Jew, the marriage is null.” —Eben Haezer (44, 8)
“If a goy killed a goy or a Jew he is responsible, but if a Jew killed a goy he is not responsible.” —Tosefta, Aboda Zara, VIII, 5
“A Jew may rob a Goy, he may cheat him over a bill, which should not be perceived by him, otherwise the name of God would become dishonoured.” —Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat, 348
“Kill the Goyim by any means possible.” —Choshen Ha’mishpat 425:50
“Extermination of the Christians is a necessary sacrifice.” —Zohar, Shemoth
“A Jew should and must make a false oath when the Goyim asks if our books contain anything against them.” —Szaaloth-Utszabot, The Book of Jore Dia 17
“When a Jew has a Gentile in his clutches, another Jew may go to the same Gentile, lend him money and in turn deceive him, so that the Gentile shall be ruined. For the property of a Gentile, according to our law, belongs to no one, and the first Jew that passes has full right to seize it.” —Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 156
“To communicate anything to a Goy about our religious relations would be equal to the killing of all Jews, for if the Goyim knew what we teach about them, they would kill us openly.” —Libbre David 37
The above texts are religious nuttery at their finest. From these writings, it appears that the rabbis held grudges against certain groups of people. Needless to say, they had very unpleasant interactions with their fellow humans. Either way, the grudge appears to be deep with these scribes. Only the naive or ignorant would heed these bizarre teachings.
A Jew learns as part of his sacred Bible and Talmud studies that crimes against Gentiles, such as genocide, mass murder, child abuse etc. are considered holy services to God. The Bible and the Talmud, the holy books of hate, mandating innocent Jewish youngsters to hate, to murder, to deceit, to expel, to rob non-Jews in the name of God. This leaves not only a dent on their mental structure, but turns their soul into a festering spiritual deformity.
It appears the Jews have always had it bad. People are always trying to wipe them off the face of the Earth for one reason or another. During WWII, it was Hitler’s Third Reich. In the 1960s, Syria, Egypt, and Jordan attempted to wipe Israel off the map. In 1973, in the Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Syria tried to wipe Israel off the map again. In the 1980-1990s, it was Hamas, Hezbollah, then Iraq. In the beginning of the 21st, it was Iran. These are perfect examples of religious nuttery: Humans hating and killing each other over an imaginary friend in the sky.
Based on historical events, it is easy to incite hatred against the Jews. Simply walk up to a devout Christian, point to a Jew, and yell, “The Jews killed Jesus Christ!” Although there’s no historical record of that ever happening or any historical record that Jesus actually existed. If Jesus existed, the Romans would had record of him on their census and tax records.
“They live and work together with non-Jews in communities throughout the world, liking their Gentile neighbours, enjoying their culture and even at times falling in love with members of the Goyim opposite sex. However, because of the strict law and restrictions (based on racial purity) imposed upon them, they are forced to grow up and develop in a world in which they learn the skills of obeying one command and living a double life.
“The dilemma the ordinary Jew faces, is that he has to obey the Rabbis’ interpretation of God’s laws. They educated the young minds of the Jewish nation to despise, to subjugate, to look down upon and even to hate the non-Jewish world. Failing to follow these holy commands results, as they are taught, in severe punishment by God. This must result naturally in mental aberration amongst the Jewish community.
“Loathsome example-patients of this serious mental illness, that befalls Jews, are America’s neo-conservatives who seem to take joy in waging wars in the Middle East…”
—Dr. Arnold A. Hutschnecker (a Jew), American Journal of Psychiatry, Oct. 25, 1972
Religious Nuttery Headlines
Below were a few headlines pertaining to the Jews, taken from a 30 day period in 2015.
The chilling truth about the rise of anti-Semitism. Thursday’s edition of Radio 4’s Report bristled with unease, tension and words that are difficult to swallow. Titled as a question – Anti-Semitism in the UK: Is It Growing? – it began with the information that reported incidents of anti-Jewish crime in the UK have risen threefold since the attacks in Paris this January. —Pete Naughton, Telegraph.co.uk, March 15, 2015
Opinion: Rising Anti-Semitism in Europe Prompts Exodus. While anti-Semitism has long plagued Europe, the current animosity suggests an increasing conflation of attitudes toward Jews and Israel. —Barbara Slavin, Voanews.com (Voice of America), March 2015
Anti-Semitism on the rise in US and Europe, Franklin Graham warns. Franklin Graham warned that anti-Semitism is once again on the rise, this time in the US as well as in Europe. —Mark Yapching, Christiantoday.com, March, 2015
Jews in Baltics fear creep of anti-Semitism. Jews in Baltics fear creep of anti-Semitism…are feeling increasingly uncomfortable as anti-Semitism once again appears to be on the rise. —Paul Alster, Foxnews.com, March, 2015
Anti-Semitism on the Rise in Europe. After the recent attacks in Copenhagen and France involving terrorists targeting Jewish people, Global Journalist looks at whether this is indicative of a broad rise in anti-Semitism in the region.
We examine recent incidents in France, the Netherlands and Denmark and discuss the threat from Islamic extremists and far-right and far-left political groups. —Jason McLure, Kbia.org, March 2015
Israel to blame for Australia’s rise in anti-Semitism: Margolyes. Jewish actress Miriam Margolyes says that anti-Semitism is rising in Australia and Israel is to blame.
Ms Margolyes’ comments, which sent “Miriam” trending across Australian Twitter accounts, came in response to a question from an audience member during the ABC’s Q&A program.
Speaking in the wake of the #IllRideWithYou campaign which supported Muslim Australians following the Sydney siege, questioner Erin Gordon asked the show’s panellists why Australian Jews had not seen the same levels of support.
“Who would ride with us, the Australian Jews if we are to travel in particular areas of Sydney and our religious clothing?” she said. —Stephanie Anderson, Sbs.com.au, March 2015
Hundreds of Graves Desecrated at Jewish Cemetery in Eastern France. PARIS—As many as 300 graves were desecrated at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France, officials said Sunday, the latest escalation in a wave of anti-Semitic violence in Europe.
French officials are searching for an unknown number of assailants who upended or broke tombstones and headstones in roughly three quarters of the 400 graves at a historic Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union, a small town near France’s border with Germany, a person familiar with the inquiry said. —Sam Schechner, Wsj.com (Wall Street Journal), February, 2015
Let’s remember that each Abrahamic faith claims that it is the true religion of peace. However, what people preach and what they practice are two different things. The hypocrisy of religion knows no bound.
When it comes to ethics and morals, are the Christians and Muslims any better than the Jews? A resounding NO. Let’s find out in the next two chapters why.
Reasons People Are Religious
“If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” —Joseph Goebbels, World War II Nazi propaganda minister.
“It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.” —Mark Twain
If you need to believe in someone, believe in yourself. Be suspicious of anyone, especially the rabbis, priests, and imams who preach the word of god, who claim to know god, and who profess to speak with god. These lalatalers are delusional or are con-artists taking advantage of the unenlightened. An all-powerful, all-knowing god does not need anyone to represent him or require his subjects to go through intermediaries in order to reach him, her, or it.
We are born without knowledge and from this truth the world can be a cruel place for the unenlightened. We seek guidance and direction in times of uncertainty. In times of desperation, sorrow, and sadness, be weary of those who claim god has a plan for you, because if god has a plan tailored just for you, then he also has plans for the countless trillions of his creations in the Universe. And if there were a god that immensely powerful, he does not need a middleperson to communicate that plan to you. Again, be suspicious of those who claim to know god, to communicate with god, or to represent god—the greatest wealth and power in history have been accumulated by those who claim to have a special connection with god. It comes down to money, control, and power. For example, the church sanctioning the divine right of kings to rule, both benefiting the kings and the church.
In 2017, Earth’s population was roughly 7.5 billion. Of those, 2.2 billion were estimated to be Christians, 1.9 billion Muslims, and 15 million Jews. Of the 2.2 billion Christians, 1.2 billion were estimated to be Catholics.
Followers: 2.2 billion
Unaffiliated (atheists, agnostics)
Source: Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project
Scientology: Going Clear or Going Broke?
In addition to the three Abrahamic faiths that have been a curse to humanity, fringe religions have also contributed to the mayhem. For example, the cult Scientology claims that humans are possessed by alien souls. Thus, our spirituality is suppressed and can only be freed through “going clear” audits administered by the Church of Scientology. These multi-level audits cost tens of thousands of dollars and many Scientologists have lost their homes and life savings in order to pay for these audit scams.
“Xenu, also Xemu (pronounced Zee-new), was, according to Scientology founder and science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, the dictator of the ‘Galactic Confederacy’ who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of his people to Earth in DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Scientology holds that the essences of these many people remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm. Members of the Church of Scientology widely deny or try to hide the Xenu story.” —http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Xenu
It’s common for Jews, Christians, and Muslims to mock Scientology and its followers. After all, Scientology’s creation myth is based on intergalactic aliens and lost souls. Whereby, more plausible of course, the creation myth of the Abrahamic religions is based on god creating humans from dust and a talking snake that suppresses our spirituality. Obviously, in order to free our soul, we need to go through auditors (Scientology); rabbis, priests, and imams with the Abrahamic religions. These self-appointed middlemen of god have made fortunes throughout history.
If there were a god, he would let you know directly and not through self-appointed intermediaries such as rabbis, priests, imams, clerics, preachers, reverends, bishops, pastors, auditors, and so forth. Those who claim to know the will of god or to be the representatives of god are con artists taking advantage of the ignorant, or they themselves are ignorant (con artist: a person who cheats or tricks others by persuading them to believe something that is not true. —Google Dictionary). The idea that an omniscient god needs to convey his messages through a third party is ludicrous and an obvious scam.
“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” —Mark Twain
“Beware of false knowledge. It is more dangerous than ignorance.” —George Bernard Shaw
Research has concluded that the higher a person’s level of education, the less likely they are to be religious. However, there are millions of highly educated people who do identify with a faith. This proves that people will believe anything, even for superfluous and superficial reasons, as long as they’re absolved of fault. No one wants to be told that their bad behavior is their own doing, they’d rather blame it on something or someone else. God is that perfect punching bag. God can’t be seen, can’t be heard, therefore the perfect scapegoat. This absolves the believers of personal responsibility.
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that any god conjured by humans cannot adequately describe the physical world and the spiritual world, roughly 6 billion people still believe in a deity. Let’s examine some of the reasons for this phenomenon.
“The great trouble is that the preachers get the children from six to seven years of age and then it is almost impossible to do anything with them.” —Thomas Edison
Ahhh, the rich rituals and ceremonies of religion that have lured followers throughout time are alive and well today. The vast majority of theists are indoctrinated into religion through their immediate or extended families. Through family, they learn to practice rituals and ceremonies, which are then passed down for generations. It is also through family that they adopt belief systems describing the physical world and spiritual world. As examples, Christmas, Passover, Ramadan, and Easter are major religious events that should be familiar to most people regardless of their religion.
In addition, traditions and rituals such as meditation, baptism, bar/bat mitzvah, Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), Hanukah, circumcision, Sunday Mass, prayer, confession, fasting,chanting, animal sacrifice, kosher dietary practices, and a plethora of others have been woven into the fabric of daily life over the centuries. These ingrained traditions and rituals provide a sense of belonging and community. These practices and familial indoctrination are inherited in successive generations. The sense of belonging and community are powerful psychological incentives. Very few bother to question these ancient practices, but the few who do achieve freedom of thought—a liberated mind unburdened by outdated knowledge and practices.
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” —US Pledge of Allegiance
Since religion is indoctrinated in a child’s formative years by family, and the bond to family is strong, the bond to religion is also strong and immensely harder to break in adulthood.
Religion over the millennia, through its rituals and ceremonies, has become a form of social and familial conditioning deeply rooted in the communities of the world. In turn, these communal bonds have been reinforced to the present. In summary, people tend to adopt the religion that they are raised in.
Family ties can be the most difficult to break because humans are social and communal beings, and religion is deep-rooted in the family unit. Many people’s first religious indoctrination begins in the family. Eating turkey on Easter Sunday, opening presents on Christ(mas) Eve, drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, baptizing, experiencing the bar mitzvah, praying five times a day, and other religious activities are ingrained in the family unit. By default, people become religious through the state or family. Breaking from family can be painful to the psyche—few want to admit that their beloved parents believed in falsehood. For some, family tradition is a treasured way of life. However, in order to advance, we need to break with tradition and the status quo. We create our own life with the choices we make, not with the choices our family made. Most importantly, when new facts are discovered, your opinions must change to fit those facts.
“All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of god.” —Baron d’Holbach
Christians are taught to accept Jesus Christ into their lives as their lord and savior. From this, there is a deep emotional attachment of loving someone who died for their sins. Jesus is family to these devout Christians, and how could anyone abandon the person who died on the cross for their sins? That’s just evil.
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” —Albert Einstein
Morality is the “recognition of the distinction between good and evil or between right and wrong.” Why do people do good things? Why do people do bad things? Why are some people greedy? Why are some people cruel? Is our life predetermined by an all-powerful, all-knowing entity? Does god have a plan for us?
According to the Abrahamic religions, Satan is the tempter of evil. It is Satan who seduces people to do wrong. Although no one has ever heard Satan’s voice, nor seen it, Satan is responsible for our wrongdoings. Satan is responsible for leading us astray. Satan is the deceiver. Every day we must fight Satan and defeat that mischievous devil who’s always up to no good. And if we want to do good, god has a plan for us. Only if it were that simple.
“They told me to use the brain god gave me. I did. Now I’m an atheist. Ironic, isn’t it?” —Naturalopist
According to psychological science, our sense of right and wrong, or good and evil can be explained by multiple theories. The primary theories of human behavior are:
-Social Psychology theories
All these theories of human behavior have many supporting sub-theories. If we objectively examine our life, every single action we’ve ever performed can be explained by one or more of the theories listed above.
Human nature in a historical context can be summed up in this way: same behaviors by different people in different eras. We can now explain human behaviour without the guiding hand of god or Satan.
Religion can provide a moral compass to many, but religion is unnecessary for a moral compass. The most effective deterrence to ill or evil behavior is karma, which teaches us to become aware of the consequences before we act.
The basis of morality can be summed up as:
Don’t lie, cheat, steal, or kill.
[*Or stated in positive terms: Be honest, fair, productive, and compassionate. *]
Morality can be taught because all the elements of morality can be learned. Again, when we are aware of the consequences in advance, we make better decisions.
“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.” —Carl Sagan
At some point in our life, we want to know the meaning and purpose of life. Why are we here? What are we meant to do with our time? What happens to us after we die? These are pressing questions that can be answered with religious fables, or our own perceptions and experiences of reality.
“Religious beliefs, and its accompanied rituals, are forms of emotional based focusing techniques that manage stress. In short, they’re a broad based multifaceted security blanket akin to what a child employs to soothe itself when distressed.” —Naturalopist
When faced with life’s hardships, most of us want to be reassured that there is hope, that everything will be fine, that a brighter future awaits. It’s unfortunate that people are most vulnerable when they’re desperate or distressed. They need guidance and direction, and without previous experience they’ll turn to any belief system for comfort or spiritual fulfillment.
The above is a popular Internet meme by Vine Deloria, a Sioux. It implies that spirituality is best understood through personal experience. For example, when we survive our darkest hours, we gather strength and know what we’re capable of. From there we go from strength to strength, and during these trials and tribulations, where is god? That is when we accept, through empirical evidence and personal experience, that we are the creator of our life; that we can overcome any obstacle, setback, or hardship. We create our own life with the choices we make.
For some people, religion endows life with meaning, so when people are unable to find an alternative spiritual path, religion becomes the de facto path.
Many religious people commit transgressions or petty crimes during the week and ask for forgiveness on the weekend, believing that god will forgive their trespasses. Or many non-religious people commit heinous crimes and become imprisoned for their acts. They then adopt religion hoping a higher power will forgive them—the fact that many prisoners become deeply religious is a testimony to this pattern.
The belief that god forgives all is a dangerous precedent because people who believe they’ve been absolved of all responsibility venture into society to recommit crimes. After conversion, even lifelong criminals believe they are god’s children, and of course god loves all his children. By embracing religion, they believe they’ll be forgiven and enjoy eternal life in heaven. What people believe becomes their reality, even if what they believe is false. Religion has nothing to do with it.
Closely related to forgiveness is salvation (redemption, atonement), which is a common experience across all cultures. Salvation is the soul’s desire to right the wrongs we’ve done. Many seek salvation in synagogues, churches, mosques, and temples. It can be comforting to have self-professed men of god to guide us through the darkest hours. Adherents believe god had put them in devastating predicaments to test their will and faith—it’s all part of god’s plan for them. However, a god who wants people to suffer and die must have a sick and twisted mind.
For others, salvation is simply picking the shattered pieces and rebuilding their lives. To these people, a good and just god does not put them in perilous predicaments in the first place.
“The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshiped anything but himself.” ―Richard Francis Burton
Salvation is a theme that extends even beyond death: People fear death, but they fear what happens to them after they die even more. These god-fearing people believe in heaven and hell as places of eternal reward and damnation. They want to be rewarded with an eternal life in the grace of god and avoid eternal punishment for their “sins”. These are powerful motivations for people to embrace religion.
Peter Pan Syndrome
“Faith means the purposeful suspension of critical thinking. It’s nothing to be admired.” —Bill Maher
The fear of freedom and responsibility lurks in the hearts of men. Many people don’t want to grow up, while others are incapable of growing up, because with freedom comes responsibility. They know that with god on their side, if they lie, cheat, or steal, they need only to confess to the misdeeds and crimes and all will be forgiven. The running logic is that if they kill, it’s Satan’s fault and god will forgive. After all, god created Satan. This blame game is common for theists: “God created me. If I’m immoral, it is what god wants, and he’ll forgive me because he made me in his image.” Where is personality responsibility in this line of religious thinking?
When a person can defer personal responsibility to an imaginary figure, they can justify any injustice or crime—nearly all serial killers in US history were devout Christians.
“Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” —Thomas Jefferson
An immature person wants to live in an ecosystem whereby they’re absolved of guilt and responsibility. Religion, with its quick-fix tradition of forgiveness, is ideal for the immature mind. When something goes wrong, blame the bearded guy in the sky. Or Satan made them do it.
Give yourself to god and you’ll be exonerated from personal responsibility. Who can resist divine redemption?
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” —George Carlin
One argument is that theists believe in god as the answer to everything because they’re intellectually lazy. Even without religion in the conversation, we know that the world is full of people who are naive (gullible), ignorant, or stupid.
The difference between an ignorant person and a stupid person is that an ignorant person hasn’t been enlightened, whereby a stupid person can’t become enlightened. In order to fathom the physical and spiritual worlds, we need to understand many disciplines ranging from physics to archaeology. All these disciplines require logic, reason, and the ability to construct sound arguments. But why subject the brain to such vigorous labour when we can “leave everything to god” or “let god be.”
The “only god knows”, “leave it to god”, and “let god be” boilerplate excuses are for people who don’t want to use Nature’s most complex creation: The awesome human brain.
The canned, standby god responses are a copout—cognitive laziness at its finest.
“When you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will protest until one is made for his use. His education demands it.” —Dr. Carter Woodson
Without knowing it, many people have been miseducated from toddlerhood. Call it indoctrination, brainwashing, bullshit, or by any other name, it is religion’s irresponsible cradle-to-grave miseducation of our youth. This miseducation is detrimental and wastes precious time. Those who are miseducated have lost precious time learning hogwash, then have to spend more precious time unlearning and relearning.
When we understand the true nature of the physical world and spiritual world, we can make informed decisions. In this regard, religion miseducates and moves us further from the truth.
Perhaps religion should heed its own creed, “The truth shall set you free.”
Movies and TV shows with cultural references to Jesus Christ, the Bible, Moses, and other biblical characters and events are recurring. Phrases such as “Jesus Christ!”, “Oh my god!”, and “Holy shit!” are ubiquitous in the English language, used to express excitement, doubt, contempt, surprise, annoyance, anger, and so on. In a court of justice, the placing of the right hand on the Bible and the freedom to practice religion as part of the constitution are ingrained in our consciousness. It’s what we grew with and what we believe to be true. Religion provides a sense of belonging. And in many Muslim countries, religion is a national identity.
What happens if we abandon religion? We develop a new way of thinking and a new way of life. We experience spiritual growth and science becomes our new truth, rather than the words of self-declared men of god who have a human-god complex.
Historical fact: The motto “In God We Trust” on the U.S. dollar bills was not adopted by the founding fathers, but by the U.S. Congress in 1956 in response to fears of “godless” communism. The original motto (E. Pluribus Unum) adopted in 1782, means “Out of One, Many”, which reflected the heritage of diversity and tolerance. (Source: Being Liberal)
Many people use god as an excuse for their bad behavior or atrocities. It’s the old, “God made me do it.” As examples,
—An adulterer, “If god wanted me to be with one woman, I’d be with one woman.”
—A pedophile, “God made me this way.”
—A murderer, “God will forgive me.”
—A rapist, “Only god can judge me.”
“Domestic violence happens because women do not obey men.” —Archbishop Braulio Rodigruez Plaza
In other words, god is used in a grotesque way to cover for their moral weaknesses, sins, or crimes.
Anthropomorphism: The attribution of human characteristics to divine beings, animals, or objects.
Religious Trauma Syndrome
Below is an interview Valerie Tarico conducted with Dr. Marlene Winell.
Religious Trauma Syndrome: How Some Organized Religion Leads to Mental Health Problems
Let’s start this interview with the basics. What exactly is religious trauma syndrome?
Dr. Marlene Winell: Religious trauma syndrome (RTS) is a set of symptoms and characteristics that tend to go together and which are related to harmful experiences with religion. They are the result of two things: immersion in a controlling religion and the secondary impact of leaving a religious group. The RTS label provides a name and description that affected people often recognize immediately. Many other people are surprised by the idea of RTS, because in our culture it is generally assumed that religion is benign or good for you. Just like telling kids about Santa Claus and letting them work out their beliefs later, people see no harm in teaching religion to children.
But in reality, religious teachings and practices sometimes cause serious mental health damage. The public is somewhat familiar with sexual and physical abuse in a religious context. As Journalist Janet Heimlich has documented in, Breaking Their Will, Bible-based religious groups that emphasize patriarchal authority in family structure and use harsh parenting methods can be destructive.
But the problem isn’t just physical and sexual abuse. Emotional and mental treatment in authoritarian religious groups also can be damaging because of
1) toxic teachings like eternal damnation or original sin
2) religious practices or mindset, such as punishment, black and white thinking, or sexual guilt, and
3) neglect that prevents a person from having the information or opportunities to develop normally.
Can you give me an example of RTS from your consulting practice?
Dr. Marlene Winell: I can give you many. One of the symptom clusters is around fear and anxiety. People indoctrinated into fundamentalist Christianity as small children sometimes have memories of being terrified by images of hell and apocalypse before their brains could begin to make sense of such ideas. Some survivors, who I prefer to call “reclaimers,” have flashbacks, panic attacks, or nightmares in adulthood even when they intellectually no longer believe the theology. One client of mine, who during the day functioned well as a professional, struggled with intense fear many nights.
—Dr. Marlene Winell, Leaving the Fold–A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion
Read more: www.valerietarico.com/2013/03/26/religious-trauma-syndrome-was-it-real/
“An intelligent person does not need the promise of heaven to see the merit of good deeds.”
If god wanted you to live forever, you would live forever. There is no reason for god to create trillions of life forms, let them die, then resurrect them again so they could live forever. That line of thought assumes god is inefficient with his creation process.
People who waste the only life they know are likely to seek another life in another place. It’s known as Heaven. There are several problems with this assumption.
What happens after you die? In order to live again, you have to exist. In order to exist, you have to be made of matter. In what place would you live? If god provides everything, what would you do all day along? You would get along with everyone. You wouldn’t have to worry about anything. You wouldn’t have to do anything. If all that were true, everyone would be a robot in heaven.
If you don’t exist after you die, you don’t exist. You wouldn’t know it.
If god wanted you to live forever, you would live forever.
“After your death, you will be what you were before your birth.” —Arthur Schopenhauer
“…When you died, you were supposed to live on in the memories of others. That’s what I’d always been told. Didn’t matter what you believed, which religion you subscribed to, what god you worshipped. The simple fact was that none of us knew what lay beyond. Immortality and eternal life? The only sure shot at that was the memories of those you left behind: your friends and family…”
― Brian Keene, Dead Sea
The Problem with Religion
“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” —Thomas Paine
There are countless problems with religion, but let’s focus on a very problematic one in this chapter. In every religion, there are small groups of extremists (fundamentalists) who are dangerous because they use god as a moral justification for any wrongdoing, including rape, murder, slavery, terrorism, plunder, and war.
In addition, religion is backward thinking that hampers the advancement of knowledge. The “holy” scriptures are brimming with absurdities, inconsistencies, and fallacies that it would take an entire book to distill (many have been written). Let’s look at one obvious absurdity.
God created everything, including the heavens and Earth, and everything in them. God loves all his creations and wants them to obey his wishes and laws. However, every wrongdoing and evil are the responsibilities of the devil, and the devil is always working against mankind. But if god created everything, then he also created Satan. Does god love Satan? Why can’t god stop Satan from tempting people with evil? What kind of sick bastard would create the Devil?
In this day and age, parents who want their children to benefit from the advances of science are wise to steer them away from religion. Children need to be emotionally balanced, mentally strong, and intellectually well-adapted in the digital age and science age—the age of humanity. Children need to grow emotionally, mentally, intellectually, and spiritually. Religion no longer provides comfort with its pretenses of “that’s what god wants” and “the devil did it.” These subterfuges leave children in an emotional and intellectual coma from which they have to waste more time recovering from in adulthood.
You have free will. No one can tell you what to do. You create your own life with the choices you make. Over time, those choices accumulate and become YOUR LIFE.
Religion: Business, Politics, and War
“There will be no change because the people who stand to lose from change have all the power. And the people who stand to gain from change have none of the power.” —Niccolò Machiavelli
Imagine a movie about cocaine-binged nights, wild parties in lavish mansions, sex with underaged boys, money laundering, political coverup, legal intimidation, and millions of dollars at stake. It sounds like an Oliver Stone movie, but it’s not. It’s the true story of a high ranking Vatican official’s double life: man-of-god by day and pedophile-cocaine fiend by night. For years, the Vatican knew this pedophile priest had molested many children entrusted to his care. Vatican officials did everything to hide his crimes because he was the head of a Jesuit missionary unit that brought tens of millions of dollars into the Vatican coffers. What did this pedophile-priest, man-of-god tell his child victims to intimidate them into silence? “If you tell anybody, your parents will burn in hell.” The sordid details were exposed in the PBS Frontline documentary: Secrets of the Vatican.
Again, be leery of those who preach the word of god, who claim to know god, and who profess to communicate with god. These self-appointed men of god use religion as a powerbase to further their ambition and depravity. They lie, cheat, steal, kill, and use god to justify their behavior. They have a human-god complex similar to dictators.
To many religion is a crutch for the lame, hope for the destitute, and comfort for the dying, while others view religion as a discordant and intolerant worldview. Unfortunately, religion is ubiquitous in every section of society. Its tentacles reach into business, politics, and war. Therefore, religion is about money, control, and power. Almost every major event in history has had religion’s involvement, either indirectly or directly. The crusades, jihads, and other holy wars are a few examples.
Throughout history, the Vatican has had a hand in throning and deposing the monarchs of Europe. In the Middle East, many Muslim clerics are more powerful than state government officials. What makes these Muslim imams and clerics particularly dangerous is that their only qualification is the ability to passionately regurgitate outdated teachings from the 7th century.
Religion is meddlesome and rears its ugly head in places it has no business being in.
Religion Is Business
“If you want to make a little money, write a book. If you want to make a lot of money, create a religion.” —L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology
The faith-based industry is one of the largest businesses in the world. Business defined by Webster’s Dictionary is “commercial activity involving the exchange of money for goods or services.” So, what goods or services is religion selling? False promises and exaggerated claims, according to George Carlin.
Are you ready for a new life? Are you ready for something exciting? Are you finished with being weak, timid, and fearful and guilty and condemned? Are you tired of insecurity and having no confidence? I believe god’s words have the answers to all those problems…
-How can you have peace of mind?
-How can you overcome fear?
-How do you get what you want out of life?
-Have you felt insecure, rejected, abandoned?
-Are you having problems with your finances?
-Are you lonely, in pain, or feeling despair?
-Are you sick? Do you or anyone you know have cancer, diabetes, or heart disease?
Call now! There’s a miracle waiting for you! God has a plan for you!
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then religion is for you! Do you want to donate $20, $50, $100, or $200? The more you donate, the higher your miracle will be prioritized. Your miracle is waiting for you! God’s helpers are waiting by the phone, so call now! And have your credit card ready!
God is eternal, all-powerful, and all-knowing, but he needs minions to collect money for him. He can simultaneously hear the prayers of billions of people but needs his little angels on Earth to collect donations. How much of that money really goes to god? And why would god need money?
In 2017, the religious industry had revenues of over $110 billion—all tax free. Some estimate the number was much higher because of cash donations. There are the Bible books, Bible self-help books (Bible Finance, Bible Love, Bible Cooking, Bible Healing, Bible this and Bible that). There are also Christian music, Holy Holidays (vacations to holy sites), holy wedding services, and holy merchandises such as clothing, figurines and jewelry. Religion is no longer a cottage industry, but it has become an industry unto itself. In Islam, the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca) brings in tens of millions of dollars for Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry.
“Jesus died on the cross so Pastor Joel Osteen could buy a $10.5 million home in Houston, Texas.” —Internet meme
“Jesus died on the cross so preacher Joyce Meyer could buy a $5 million private jet.” —Internet meme
God is evil and greedy if he requires that his followers donate money before he helps them.
Besides the tangible goods, there are also the intangible services that are timeless as time itself: salvation and eternal life. Who wants to be forgiven for their misdeeds? Everyone. Who wants live forever with loved ones in heaven? Everyone. After he dies, what man wants 72 virgins at his beck and call in paradise? Every man. These promises of redemption, an everlasting life, and vagina galore in paradise after death are nearly impossible to resist. What does one need to do to receive these gifts from god? Do the bidding of the middlemen (rabbis, priests, imams, clerics, etc.). For thousands of years, self-appointed men of god such as rabbis, priests, imams, and clerics have been promising their followers the impossible.
“But God loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!”[* *]—George Carlin
Every generation is told the Rapture is near, the Messiah is coming, the Kingdom of Heaven is upon us, Allah awaits. God hasn’t told us when these earthshaking events will happen. Nevertheless, prepare yourself and surrender to god (read: give your soul and property to the men with god-like complex so they can live lavishly this lifetime, while they give you an IOU (promise note) for the next life). Has anyone been to the next life and back? If god wants us to live in heaven, we would have been born in heaven.
Unfortunately, no one has died and came back to life to testify that there is an afterlife. We only live once and those who squander this life cling to hope that there’s another life. Throughout history, these self-anointed representatives of god were aware of this conundrum and took advantage of the ignorant and destitute.
￼If there were a god that constructed this 93 billion light-year big and expanding Universe, a god that created everything small and big, would he be so petty as to ask for donations?
“Follow the money trail. It will lead you to the truth.” —Naturalopist
The business of religion is about exploiting personal guilt, inherent human weaknesses, the fear of death, the afterlife, and the unknown. All of them neatly packaged in lalatales.
FAITH IS CHILD ABUSE: Teaching a child to blindly accept your religious lies is teaching them not to think. You are teaching them that belief, without evidence, is acceptable. This damages the child’s ability to reason. Add to that, teaching the child that normal behavior is sinful, and that the sinful are hell bound, and you get a clear pattern of psychological abuse.
In May 2015, Pope Francis made the following remark on greedy multinational corporations, “They support a ‘structurally perverse’ economic system where the rich exploit the poor and turn the earth into an immense pile of filth.”
Now, is the pontiff a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
The Vatican Net Worth
Besides artwork, the Vatican also owns a global network of churches and religious buildings that serve the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. While the Catholic Church gets a fair amount in donations, that’s definitely not where the majority of their money comes from.
The Vatican has a very dense and widespread investment portfolio–holding billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations. Just to give you an example–the Vatican is heavily invested in Gulf Oil, General Motors, General Electric, International Business Machines, Shell and many others. The Catholic powerhouse also has large investments with the Rothschild family, and a number of world-renowned banks. In the United States alone, the Vatican is deeply invested in the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan, the Bankers Trust Company and a number of others. Their investments are so diverse and abundant, that it could make for a separate story…
“The Catholic Church,” he said, “must be the biggest corporation in the United States. We have a branch office in every neighborhood. Our assets and real estate holdings must exceed those of Standard Oil, A.T.&T., and U.S. Steel combined. And our roster of dues-paying members must be second only to the tax rolls of the United States Government.” —May 8, 2015
Read more: www.myfirstclasslife.com/the-vatican-net-worth-what-life-style-does-pope-francis-really-live/
Religion in Politics
“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President—should he be Catholic—how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him. I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials.” —John F. Kennedy
As a non-profit institution, the Catholic Church is the largest landowner in the world. Overall, it is the 3rd largest landowner behind the Throne of England and Saudi Arabia’s monarch. The Catholic Church’s extensive portfolio of art, gold, stocks, bonds, land, and even its own bank are made possible by 1 700 years of tithe (usually 10%), donations, and tributes. From this financial base, the Vatican became very influential in politics.
However, it’s difficult to determine the wealth of Islam since Islam does not have a central governing body like the Vatican. However, oil-rich Gulf States (Arab nations that border the Persian Gulf) such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are enormous contributors to the spread of Islam. These nations have been known to financially support Islamic terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, and their offshoots. These state-sponsored terrorist organizations in turn have caused turmoil in every corner of the Earth, all in the name of god.
“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping the common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” —Napoleon Bonaparte
In 1947, religion’s political authority was on display when India was partitioned into three separate nations along religious affiliations:
—India (1.25 billion; Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and fast-growing Muslim)
—Pakistan (182 million; Shia Muslim)
—Bangladesh (156 million; Sunni Muslim)
The partition of India (into India and Pakistan, then Pakistan into Pakistan and Bangladesh) is a prime example of the divisive nature of religion and its influence in politics. In Muslim countries where Sharia law is enforced, its effects harken back to the Dark Ages.
“I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.” —George Carlin
As for the court intrigues of the Vatican, there has been wide speculation that the true power behind the Catholic Church and its immense wealth is the “Black Pope”. It is rumoured that this Jesuit Black Pope is the most powerful man in the world. Just like the politicians who have puppetmasters (campaign contributors), the Pope and bishops and cardinals also have puppetmasters who dictate policies behind the scenes in secret. The Black Pope and his secret Vatican conclaves may very well be the power behind the power.
“I do not believe that any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States.” —Thomas Edison
During the Vietnam War (1955 – 1975), it was widely rumoured by insiders that it was called “Cardinal Spellman’s War.” Archbishop Francis Spellman (1889 – 1967) of New York had called it the “war of civilizations.” He was politically connected and used his power in the Vatican and his political influence to ensure the Catholic South Vietnamese would defeat the atheist North Vietnamese. But Ho Chi Minh, a Nationalist before a Communist, had other plans.
Religion in politics goes back to the Medieval times when monarchs were terrified of being excommunicated by the Church, even the most powerful kings and queens of Europe succumbed to edicts of the popes.
“Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.” ― Robert A. Heinlein
In the US, “passing the plate for politics” is a common practice. Although, the US Constitution forbids the mingling of church and state, passing the plate for politics continues openly. In this practice, money is donated to the church and then used as political contributions, which buys influence and votes. Most laws passed at the behest of religious groups are antiquated and discriminatory, tending to persecute minority groups.
Religion, through politics, has dictated what people can and cannot do through the guise of “religious freedom.” Jesus would not have approved, obviously. The US is a country founded on the principle of freedom from religious persecution, but religion is now being used to persecute freedom.
Throughout the millennia, learned men have deliberately used religion as a powerbase. These self-declared men of god have used religion to justify hate, bigotry, war, and even genocide.
Religion in War
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” —Voltaire
“Religion: It has given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.” ―Jon Stewart
The Christian Crusades and the Muslim Jihads continue to this day. It is spiritual warfare, and where the pen fails, the sword prevails as god’s will and word. The crusaders and jihadists are alive and well today.
[*The spread of Islam *]with the pen and sword. Map: Washburn.edu
“The Bible tells us to be like god, and then on page after page it describes god as a mass murderer. This may be the single most important key to the political behavior of Western Civilization.” ―Robert Anton Wilson
[*The spread of Christianity *]with the pen and sword. Map: Worldreligions.psu.edu
The proliferation of spiritual warfare introduced people to a god that they had previously never heard of. As examples, Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei had no concept who the god of Islam was until they were introduced to him by Muslim merchants and missionaries. Now, those countries are predominantly Muslim.
Inter-faith and Sectarian Wars
Inter-faith conflicts and wars have been the hallmark of religious history.
When Judaism was concocted, it was in conflict with the pagan religions of its time.
When Christianity was concocted, it was in conflict with Judaism and the pagan religions of its time.
When Islam was concocted, it was in conflict with Judaism, Christianity, and the pagan religions of its time.
When Judaism, Christianity, and Islam became established, they branched into numerous denominations. What we have now is a splattered-manure waste of inter-faith conflicts and wars, and also sectarian conflicts and wars—wars between religions and wars within religions.
Below are just a few examples of the religious quagmire that still plagues humanity. Most were taken over a four month period in 2015. Imagine the madness we’d witness if we collected samples for the last 1,000 years.
Muslims Ambush Eighty-Two Christians As They Sleep On Their Beds, And Slaughter All Of Them In Major Massacre That The Media Is Ignoring. Muslims in Nigeria, who are all part of the Fulani tribe, ambushed eighty-two people in a Christian village as they slept in their beds and slaughtered all of them in a new massacre of Christians that the media is not paying any attention to. —Theodore Shoebat, Rightsidenews.com, March 25, 2015
[*Riots in Pakistan follow suicide attacks on two Christian churches. *]Anguished Pakistanis protesting suicide attacks on two Christian churches clashed with police and other residents in chaotic scenes in the city of Lahore on Monday, leaving one person dead and several others injured, police said.
The mainly Christian demonstrators hurled stones, damaged cars and blocked a major highway in the eastern city as helmeted riot police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds.
The protests followed twin suicide attacks at two churches during Sunday services that killed 15 people and wounded more than 70 others. The Pakistani Taliban militant organization, which is at war with the Pakistani state, claimed responsibility. —AOUN SAHI AND SHASHANK BENGALI, LAtimes.com, March, 2015
Armed Muslim Brotherhood Fanatics Attack Egyptian Church Over Plans to Honor 21 Beheaded Coptic Christians. A group of armed Muslim fanatics, who some have identified as Muslim Brotherhood members, attacked a church over plans to honor the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by terror group ISIS in the Egyptian village of Al-Our. The church’s priest said that he made local police aware of plans for the attack, but the authorities offered no protection. —STOYAN ZAIMOV, Christianpost.com, March 30, 2015
Pregnant Muslim woman attacked in France. The 29-year-old woman, who was wearing a hijab, or Muslim headscarf, was hospitalized on Tuesday after being attacked on a street in Toulouse, southern France.
According to reports the heavily pregnant woman who is due to give birth in mid-April was approached by two men after she had dropped off her children at school. —Thelocal.fr, March 27, 2015
Sydney: ‘violent attack’ on Muslim woman highlights Islamophobia. The woman, who does not wish to be named, says she was shoved, kicked and called names between Sydney’s Central and Town Hall stations before anybody came to offer her support.
“When (the attacker) became loud, I looked around me… and I just thought ‘Nobody is here to help me,’ so if I keep speaking he may come closer to me and attack me physically,” she told SBS.
She says she knew the attack was religiously motivated because of the way he looked at her hijab and told her “you people get in our way,” before pushing her. —Rachael Hocking, Muslimvillage.com, March 28, 2015
Christian militias take bloody revenge on Muslims in Central African Republic. Children were reportedly targeted by Christian anti-balaka gangs set up in wake of attacks by Muslim Seleka rebels. They brought in the bodies one by one, laying them down on a white sheet concealed behind a flimsy black curtain. Among them was a man, probably in his 20s, his head twisted leftward, the skull dented on one side and cracked open on the other. The others also had fatal head injuries that stained the sheet crimson. The first flies began settling on the five corpses. —David Smith, Theguardian.com, March 10, 2015
Brooklyn Jews attacked with paint. New York police are investigating whether two incidents in which Jews were struck with paint are hate crimes. —Jta.org, Marc 30, 2015
Jewish Sites Attacked in UK, Hungary. A group of assailants entered a synagogue in London on Sunday and attacked worshipers and property, with reports indicating that some attackers shouted, “Kill the Jews.”
Those inside the Ahavas Torah synagogue had to defend themselves with chairs against the mob, which physically assaulted at least one person and smashed windows. British police later arrested six people in connection with the attack. —JNS, Breakingisraelnews.com, March 25, 2015
[*Netanyahu urges Jews to move to Israel after Copenhagen attacks. *]Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged European Jews to move to Israel after a Jewish man was killed in an attack outside Copenhagen’s main synagogue.
“Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe,” Netanyahu said in a statement, repeating a similar call after attacks by jihadists in Paris last month when four Jews were among the dead.
Two police officers were also wounded in Sunday’s attack in Copenhagen, one of two fatal shootings in the normally peaceful Danish capital on the weekend. —AFP, Feb. 15, 2015
Power, Money, and Control
Religion boils down to money, power, and control. The unenlightened are the blind followers who donate their precious time and resources to self-proclaimed representatives of god. With all the wisdom of history at our disposal, these self-proclaimed “men of god” have no legal authority and should not be trusted with power.
Besides, if there were a god, he would provide the needs for all of his followers, rather than have them canvass streets to recruit followers to donate to his causes.
“Our religion has gotten into the kitchen.” —Swami Vivekananda
Muslims and Jews don’t eat pigs because they’re considered dirty animals (unless killed kosher-ly), Hindus don’t eat cows because they’re considered sacred, Christians should avoid meat on Good Friday. And according to King James Version (KJV), Leviticus 11:10-12, eating shellfish (shrimps, crabs, snails, mussels, clams, oysters, lobsters, scallops) are forbidden.
Leviticus 11:10-12: And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcasses in abomination.
Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.
[*Religion is intrusive. *]It is on the decline as people are turning away from human-conceived gods, as they have for thousands of years; detrimentally, only to be replaced by new gods. It is only a matter of time before we, too, will abandon the god of the Jews, Christians, Muslims and every human-concocted god.
But no one told me
(No one told me)
That the gods believe in nothing
So with empty hands I pray
And from day to hopeless day
They still don’t see me
—Hand to Mouth, George Michael
Terminologies and Notations
[* “Five percent of the people think; 10% percent of the people think they think; and the other 85% would rather die than think.” —Thomas Edison*]
This book was a short walk through history. It was a discussion between the author and the reader, therefore subjective. It is not meant as a scholarly work. It examines how religion fits into humanity’s timeline. Therefore, an explanation of a few terminologies and notations are required to make the reading easier.
Notations and Nomenclatures
BC (B.C.). BC is the abbreviation for “Before Christ.” A number postfixed with BC denotes a year before 1, since there is no year 0 in the Gregorian (Christian/Western Calendar). The year jumps from 1 BC to 1 AD. For example, 3 000 BC denotes 3 000 years before Christ’s first birthdate (year 1). If the current year is 2020, then 3 000 BC denotes the event occurred 5 020 years ago ( 3 000 + 2020 = 5 020).
BCE (B.C.E.). BCE stands for “Before the Common Era.” BC and BCE are interchangeable. Christians prefer using BC (Before Christ), whereas the non-religious prefer to use BCE. The common era begins with year 1, since there is also no year 0 using the BCE postfix. This book uses the BCE notation rather than the BC one.
AD (A.D.) . AD is the Latin abbreviation for Anno Domini (In the year of Our Lord). The BC/AD dating system was devised in 525 and became widely used in 800. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian calendar to the world that eventually replaced the Julian calendar (named for Julius Caesar). The Gregorian calendar (Christian/Western calendar) corrected the 0.002% error in the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used dating system in the world today.
CE (C.E.). CE stands for “Common Era.” AD and CE are interchangeable. Christians prefer using AD, while the non-religious prefer using CE. The common era, like the AD notation begins with year 1, not 0. When a year is not postfixed, it is generally assumed to be after year 1. For example, 2020 is assumed to be 2020 AD or 2020 CE. This book uses the CE notation rather than the AD one.
Circa (ca. or c.). Circa means around, about, approximately, roughly. For example, circa 2500 BCE means 2500 years Before the Common Era. If the current year is 2020, then circa 2500 BCE denotes the event occurred roughly 4520 years ago (2020 + 2500 = 4520).
e.g. e.g., eg is the abbreviation for “for example.”
i.e. i.e., ie is the abbreviation for “that is.”
Religion: The belief in and worship of a supernatural controlling power, especially a personal god or gods.
Deity: A god or goddess; the state of being a god; divine characteristics, godhead.
Theist: A person who believes in the existence of a god or gods.
Atheist: A person who does not believe in the existence of god, one who has no religious affiliation.
Agnostic: A person who, in the absence of evidence, is uncertain about the existence of deities; one who needs further evidence.
Polytheism: The belief of the existence of many gods; eg a polytheist is someone worships multiple gods.
Monotheism: The belief in a single deity (one god or goddess); especially within an organized religion; i.e., a monotheist is someone who worships only one god.
Mythology: The collection of myths of a people, concerning the origin of the people, history, deities, ancestors and heroes; eg many religions of antiquity are now accepted as mythology.
Fairy tale: A folktale featuring fairies or similar fantasy characters; e.g., all religious text books contain several fairytale characters.
Myth: A traditional story which embodies a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the forces of nature and of the soul are personified; a sacred narrative regarding a god, a hero, the origin of the world or of a people, etc.
[*Fable: *]A fictitious narrative intended to enforce some useful truth or precept, usually with animals, birds, etc., as characters; an apologue. Prototypically, Aesop’s Fables.
[*Pantheon: *]All the gods of a particular people or religion, particularly the ancient Greek gods residing on Olympus, considered as a group.
Philosophy: 1) The love of wisdom, 2) A view or outlook regarding fundamental principles underlying some domain.
[*Metaphysics: *]The branch of philosophy which studies fundamental principles intended to describe or explain all that is, and which are not themselves explained by anything more fundamental; the study of first principles; the study of being insofar as it was being.
[*Sectarian: *]Of, or relating to a sect; eg Sunni and Shia are two major sects of Islam.
Secular: Not specifically religious; not confined by religious rule.
Religious Text References
The Old Testament consists of 39 books if one is a Protestant and 46 or 47 books if one is a Catholic. The Christian Bible consists of 66 books, including those in the Old Testament.
The Holy Quran is a single book comprised of 114 chapters (suras) with roughly 6,236 verses (ayahs).
The Jewish Talmud is a single book organized into six major orders, 37 masechtas, and 63 tractates (treatises).
Passage: Book of Genesis, chapter 9
American Abbr.: Genesis 9
European Abbr.: Genesis 9
Passage: Book of Matthew, chapters 9-12
American Abbr.: Matthew 9-12
European Abbr.: Matthew 9-12
Passage: Book of Exodus, chapter 3, verse 2
American Abbr.: Exodus 3:2
European Abbr.: Exodus 3,2
Passage: Quran, chapter 5 , verse 20. The Quran was divided into suras (chapters) and ayahs (verses).
American Abbr.: Quran 5:20
European Abbr.: Quran 5,20
Lalatale, noun: Things and events that cannot be universally and empirically proven to exist but are believed to be true by certain groups of people; e.g. god, ghosts, reincarnation (past lives), Loch Ness Monster, tooth fairy, boogeyman, angels, demons, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Jesus Christ, etc. The Bible, Talmud, and Quran are books of lalatales.
2) Ideas and things, usually based on primitive myths, that should be universally rejected due to conspicuous bias and subjective perspectives.
3) Things and ideas that are of insular knowledge and divisive in nature, tending to cause suffering, conflict, and war, eg religion.
[*Lalataling; verb, adjective: *]1) The act of espousing and spreading things and events that cannot be universally and empirically proven to exist, usually for one’s personal gain. 2) Of or relating to things and events that cannot be universally and empirically proven to exist. …Christian Bible preachers, Jewish rabbis, Muslim imams and clerics spend their lives lalataling.
[*Lalataler, noun: *]1) A person or group who believes in things and events that cannot be universally and empirically proven to exist. 2) A person with a high degree of irrationality who tends to reject common sense, reason, and logic…Anyone who acts as a middle-person or representative of god is a lalataler. The church, synagogue, and mosque are full of lalatalers.
About the Author
[*Live your life. No all-knowing, all-powerful god that created this immeasurably massive Universe would be petty enough to think what you thought about it. Don’t waste your time thinking about god. God can take care of herself/himself. *]
If you need to believe in someone, believe in yourself.
I was born to Roman Catholic parents, baptized as a Roman Catholic, and remained one for most of my adult life, until 2007. I had a grand uncle who was an archbishop in the Vatican. My family, like most of South Vietnamese families at the time, was devout Roman Catholic. As a child I regular attended Sunday school.
In the 17th century, the Vietnamese were introduced to Catholicism by Portuguese explorers and missionaries, and again in the 18th century by the French colonists. Prior to that (Vietnam was founded in 2879 BCE), the Vietnamese had no idea who Jesus Christ was.
For as long as I could remember, whenever I had problems with life I was told to, “Pray to Jesus.” And I did, to no avail—I never saw Jesus and he never answered my prayers. As my problems exacerbated, I assumed that I was a damned person. God had ordained me to suffer. My life had been predetermined. There was nothing I could do.
Then I studied nutrition and philosophy, and a new world of knowledge opened up. It was a catharsis. My worldview changed and I have never looked at the world the same way again. I studied stoicism, buddhism; and bits of taoism, confucianism, agnosticism, atheism, and other -ISMs. All these -ISMs had one thing in common: They were attempting to explain the nature of existence (the six primary existential questions of life). Many -ISMs were similar, while others were radically different— some even wacky.
The three most important things I learned were:
1) You are what you eat—a good mind begins with a healthy diet. If it comes from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, avoid it. In other words, eat natural foods that our ancestors ate for millions of years. Avoid processed foods made in factories because they’re devoid of nutrients.
2) You can attain spirituality without religion. Religion is one path to spirituality. There are others, such as philosophy.
3) People can think or say what they want. “In the end, the only thing that matters is what you’ve done” (Alexander the Great). When you die, you leave behind your children and your work. Everything else is secondary.
If there were a god that created our unimaginably massive 93 billion light year (and expanding) Universe, it would not care one iota what you thought of it either way, anymore than you would care if an electron changed orbitals in a rock on Mars. A god that powerful would not need to be validated by anyone or anything. Therefore:
The beliefs of your parents, if they are false, should not be your beliefs.
The beliefs of your peers, if they are outlandish, should not be your beliefs.
The beliefs of society, if they are dogmatic, should not be your beliefs.
The beliefs of your ancestors, if they are contentious, should not be your beliefs.
The beliefs of your country, if they are unjust, should not be your beliefs.
Abandon all false, outlandish, dogmatic, contentious, and unjust belief systems.
Accept what is right and not who is right. This is the path to spiritual enlightenment. Through spiritual enlightenment you will know the Truth and
The Truth shall set your mind free…
If you need to believe in someone, believe in yourself.
You only live once. Make it count.
Trung Nguyen. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. August, 2014
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Written by Trung Nguyen
Compiled by Trung Nguyen
April 2015, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
A religious Jew is one who follows the teachings of the holy Torah. What if the Torah was not the word of god? Whose teachings have the religious Jews been following? Chapters include: Is There a God? The Truth Shall Set You Free George Carlin of Religion The Abrahamic Religions HISTORY OF JUDAISM Reasons People Are Religious Religion: Business, Politics, and War