Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Occupy the Temple

Apologetics try to forget the fable from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas 4:1 of a boy murdered by the Son of God for being innocently disrespectful of a King. A very valuable tool of control was creating out of whole cloth a culturally relevant history to teach people they better not dare to oppose their Earthly masters and remain slaves under the yoke of oppression. It is an old and continuing trick. Rebels will suffer God's Will and be destroyed by magic or through His proxies, people with knives, stones and clubs if they do not fall in line. Life was hard and cheap 2000 years ago. Everyone in a village working hard for most of a 24-hour period meant a person might get a full meal if they were lucky. Fear of punishment or death from righteous torture via the Church or for the more gullible, divine wrath, was a way that the parasites of any community, the religious leaders, got away with not contributing anything to society.

3 comments:

  1. The so-called Gospel of Thomas is an apocryphal text. No denomination accepts any of the New Testament apocryphal stories.

    Of course governments will seek to subvert people's beliefs - but why single out religious ones? Any strong ideals can be distorted, be it religious or secular. Remember the Soviet Block? The USSR certainly didn't need an appeal to God - quite the opposite. They were officially atheist.

    Naturally, the State will seize upon anything that they can use to legitimise their power (and to say that it is endorsed by God is quite a trump card), but they will cheerfully ignore directives to "love thy neighbour" and "turn the other cheek." While pointing to a line in a religious (or even secular) text that says to "obey those in authority," is it really a surprise that they will rush past anything that talks about civic disobedience?

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  2. Naturally, any government will seek to subvert people's beliefs, but why single out religious ones? The Soviet Block was officially atheist and carried out a systematic programme of religious persecution. They didn't certainly need to appeal to God for their authority!

    The former USSR's intolerant totalitarian atheism is popular in the West at the moment, but is just another way of suppressing freedom of speech - the atheistic Thought Police are no different to any religious bigots of the past.

    Governments will naturally seize on parts of any religious (or indeed secular) text that they can subvert to support their aims (e.g. "obey those in authority") and cheerfully ignore anything that runs counter to their agenda (such as examples of civil disobedience). To claim that a war is "holy" is an ultimate trump card, but advice to "love thy neighbour as thyself" and "turn the other cheek" are quickly glossed over.

    Governments aside, there are also those whose religious ideals (and secular ones) lead them to try to make the world a better place (e.g. Wilberforce).

    ...none of which has any bearing upon the question of the existence of the divine...

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  3. There is no question. The divine does not exist. Magic does not exist. Spirits and spooks angels and demons are not real.

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