10/05/2014 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Carl S. ~
Some people see commentaries as "rants." My generation had a different interpretation of that word. We used the word as a type of verbal rage. But even before then, there was a period when "angry" and "mad" were synonymous, when the angry person was thought to have gone mad while ranting. Recently, an experience brought back that particular interpretation:
A couple of weeks ago, I got quite worked up about the subject of Christians lying to children. The "igniter" was the story of Noah and the ark and how it is a complete lie. I used the words "shitty' and "shit" to describe by examples how ridiculous and immoral the Flood story is. I pointed out the fact that, if it were true, evidence would be found for it all over the earth, that geological evidence proves it never happened. I was really very angry that this fable is perpetuated as truth. But more so, that children are taught that it was a moral good for a father to drown humanity and all living creatures. During the course of my rant, I was called "unreasonable" and "irrational." This person failed to see the point: the madness is in the story itself.
All the information I've seen about the figure of Jesus leads me to conclude he, as an actual person, never existed. However, the believer I spoke to believes otherwise. This is the "Jesus" I will refer to. The texts tell that Jesus not only believed the Flood story himself, but used it as an example of his own generation, telling them that generation was wicked, just as those in Noah's time. Jesus saw no immorality in drowning humanity with all its caring, accomplishments, and animals; he predicted a worse fate to come, this time including eternal torment following the destruction of this world! (Indeed, the religious madness of destructions of not only individuals and societies, but by those who will kill "the body and the soul" has traditionally been "God's will.")
Biblical religions teach that humans are bad to the bone and deserve punishment. Jesus' attitudes continue those of the nutcase prophets who preceded him: negative, punitive, and damning of us humans. He doesn't praise our intelligence or our accomplishments. He tries every trick he can to save us from ourselves: threats of punishments, the candy of an eternal paradise, the ending of our sorrows, the forgiveness of things we feel guilty about, treasures that never corrode or fail, etc.,etc. Many mansions. Just give him your mind and conscience and everything else that is really important and dear to you.
All the information I've seen about the figure of Jesus leads me to conclude he, as an actual person, never existed.Now, the person who dismissed my anger, the person who "didn't get it," believes in the gospel stories and sayings of this man called Jesus. According to those stories, Jesus had no restrictions on his anger. In reading them, is Jesus not only angry, but a madman? Apparently, the high priests of Jerusalem thought so; thought his madness had reached a new level with his overturning of the money-changers tables at the temple. In fact, it seems these actions were the last straw, the deciding point on ridding themselves of him. (In our democracies, he'd be declared mentally ill, and/or committed to an institution for the mentally insane. (The still ignorant would haul out their priests to exorcize or kill him.)
What are we to make of a man who destroys a tree because it doesn't give him its fruit out-of-season, or destroys a herd of pigs, the livelihood of others? This is a person who, in the middle of his ministery, tells the populace to "take up your cross and follow me." Did those people hearing this think of him: "Huh! What cross? Where?"
Any man who tells the priests, "Before Abraham was, I Am," an assertion reserved for Yahweh, is surely asking to be put away. What about telling his followers that they should be ready, willing, and able to cut off their hands, pluck out their eyes, even castrate themselves (what are the women to do?) for his rewards? What madness this is!
By the texts, Jesus claims, "My kingdom is not of this earth," and then he goes on to establish an earthly church, tells his disciples that the end of the world is imminent, and yet to go over the world and baptize everyone. (Oh, wait. That last part came after he died. Maybe we shouldn't take the words seriously when they're spoken by a dead man.) Here's a man who says the world will end, soon, but that the meek will inherit it!
As a rational man, I look for rational explanations for what are termed "spiritual” gifts or curses. There is an abundance of info to explain the "madness" of Jesus and other "holy" men as mental illness, usually treatable. Those who have seen the movie, "The Madness of King George," will know that he suffered from a condition my movie guidebook calls "periodic dementia." Perhaps this "king" also suffered from the same condition? It's worth considering.
So, what inheritance did "Jesus" leave? Did he abolish slavery, give us penicillin, antibiotics, even tell us to wash our hands before delivering babies, thus saving millions of lives? Did he leave an understanding of germs or of mental diseases, Alzheimer's, of natural processes, of the universe? No. Why would he, since he believed this world was coming to an end thousands of years before you were born! But his attitudes are still around; the attitudes of a madman."King Jesus?" A nightmare. (And if that believer reads this, will I be again labeled as "unreasonable and irrational?" No. Angry, not mad.)
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