An argument against Cultural Christianity (or Christian Atheism)

If you’ve been around both atheistic and conservative circles, you may well have encountered people who identify themselves as Cultural Christians. Sometimes referred to as Secular Christians, these are people who formally do not believe in God and reject the supernatural claims of the Bible and the Christian faith, but nonetheless ascribe to the religious doctrine and philosophy of Christianity either because they identify with it on a cultural level or because they feel that it is the best moral framework available for a broad society. In The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey referred to such people as Christian Atheists.

Of course the term isn’t confined solely to neckbeards on the Internet who wish they were born in the Middle Ages so they can LARP as Crusaders only in real life. The term also has some purchase in the New Atheist movement: Richard Dawkins, despite his strident criticism of Christianity and indeed all of religion, has referred to himself as a Cultural Chrisitan, stating in the past that he sings carols like most British people do and resists the charge of being “Christianophobic” – a term no less of a fraudulent political label than Islamophobia and is simply used by conservative Christians to scaremonger about the secularizing of society. There is also a somewhat more malevolent aspect to the term: it was utilized by the infamous Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik in his manifesto, and I suspect because of this the position has its associations with white nationalists and alt-righters (which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me; I mean, if you’re a white nationalist concerned with the European “volk”, why would you pay lip service to religion based on a Jewish deity?). I have never subscribed to the Cultural Christian label, and in this post I intend to show that the main arguments in support of such a position are fallacious and delusional.

The main argument held by Cultural Christians seems to be that Christianity is the basis of the loose collection of ideas we refer to as the Western canon, or Western Civilization, thus to support Western civilization is to support Christianity from a cultural position. However, a cursory glance at European history (both Christian and pre-Christian) and the teachings of the Bible easily disrupts this premise.

Do you like democracy? Well, Western democracy didn’t originate in the Bible. It arguably originated in ancient Greece, in the Republic of Athens. Sure, it wasn’t perfect (women couldn’t vote and slavery was a thing back then), but it was also one of the early attempts at direct democracy – voters would have their say on every legislative issue. The Athenians were also so invested in their democratic system, and this even permeates into their normative attitudes; namely that they derided people who took no interest in politics, and considered them foolish and ignorant. Outside of Greece, the Roman Republic was another early form of Western democracy, in fact it was a classical example of representative democracy, where the electorate would appoint representatives to the legislature rather directly ratify each issue. There’s also the Althing in Viking Age Iceland, which is widely considered to be one of the earliest forms of parliamentary democracy. Similar assemblies where also held throughout the Germanic world, and even in Britain where they were referred to as folkmoots by the Saxons. All of this before Christianity took over in the respective territories, under the auspices of pre-Christian religious traditions. In contrast, the Bible implies that democracy is a bad thing because humans cannot govern themselves and that those who challenge a prophet of God in support of democracy will be destroyed by God. The feudal system that characterized much of Europe during the Middle Ages was justified with the doctrine of the Great Chain of Being – a Christian concept which entails a rigid hierarchical order that stratifies all creation as ordained by God.

Pictured: democracy in action

Do you like freedom of speech? The Bible actually forbids this to some extent, with one of the Ten Commandments forbidding cursing and Colossians 3:8 condemning “filthy language”. Publications and universities were once controlled by the Catholic Church, and in 1543 they decreed that no publication could be distributed without the permission of the Church. European rulers during the Christian age also used the state to control scientific publications and artistic expressions deemed threatening to public morality and the Christian faith. The Inquisition was another way of controlling publications, specifically the regulation of the import of books to colonies in the Americas by the Peruvian Inquisition. And as will be delved into further later on, the Catholic Church punished intellectuals who denied important teachings of the Church. Of course, this is one instance when the pre-Christian world wasn’t much better, with Socrates being poisoned by the Greek state for “corrupting” the minds of the people with skepticism and the office of the censor in Rome being the origin of the word censorship. In fact, the notion of freedom of speech as was understood since the Enlightenment was probably not practiced throughout much of the ancient world, and was chiefly defended by a handful of philosophers.

Human rights? While England did establish the Magna Carta, it was opposed by the Catholic Church that dominated Europe and annulled by the Pope. And the Protestants were far from better, rounding up non-believers and women to be burned at the stake for absurd charges of witchcraft, diabolism and conspiracy to commit such things. Also, a little thing called The Inquistion anyone? Not to mention the occasional slaughter of pagans in Europe such as in the Massacre of Verden, and the brutal conquest of native tribes in Latin America and elsewhere. The Bible also has several verses in which torture is an approved method of subjugation, persuasion, not to mention redemption, as well as endorsements of slavery.

How about scientific inquiry? Galileo Gallilei was banned from promoting the theory of heliocentrism, which is now well-established as scientific fact, by the Catholic Church and forced to comply with the Church’s declaration that heliocentrism was officially false. Nicolaus Copernicus also faced censure by the Catholic Church, with his book Revolutions banned by the Church. The Catholic Church burned Giordano Bruno for promoting the concept of exoplanets and generally contradicting Catholic doctrine. So needless to say it’s not got a great record on science. Not to mention, although some scientists like Isaac Newton would have considered their inquiry compatible with their faith on the grounds that both science and faith entailed the quest to discover and unlock the secrets of God’s creation, Christianity holds that it is a sin for Man to try and explain God’s mysteries because God is undefinable by nature. The Bible casts a man named Thomas in a negative light for doubting Jesus and asking for proof of his resurrection.

How about preserving heritage? Not only did the Christians have a tendency to destroy pre-Christian cultural artifacts in Europe, destroying idols and temples and replacing them with Christian structures, but they also destroyed the cultural heritage of peoples outside Europe. When the Spanish Christian conquerors arrived upon the Mayan civilization, they not only abolished the native religion but also burned down most of the Maya Codices, thus destroying much of the literature of an entire people and destroying what could have been a source of knowledge on the culture and civilization of that people. The Inquisition in Goa burned many Indian texts, along with many Indians, predominantly Catholic converts who were accused of being crypto-Hindus. They also destroyed Buddhist artifacts that were seized by the Portugese. There are many Saints in the Christian canon who are venerated for the destruction of former pre-Christian heritage, such as Saint Boniface and Junipero Serra. It should be noted, however, that the Christians didn’t always destroy the artefacts of the former culture. During the Renaissance, for example, artists in Christian Europe appropriated the literature and heritage of the pre-Christian classical world, often remaking them as symbols of Christian doctrine. However, those artists also faced pressure from the Church for supposedly promoting idolatry, heresy and lust, forcing the artists to justify their works within the framework of Christian dogma.

Finally, how about tolerance? Again, the Christian powers weren’t very good at that, what with destroying belief systems they found heretical. The Christian powers also frequently persecuted the Jews both racially and religiously, often expelled from the kingdoms they inhabited, and in Spain they were forced to choose between baptism and slavery.

A 17th century depiction of some youths throwing stones at a Jewish man during Lent

The argument that Christianity is the basis of Western culture can easily be disputed. Although Christianity is clearly an offshoot of Judaism and is thus based on Judaism, Western Christianity also layered aspects of Hellenic philosophy on top of it, reshaping them in its own image. The Logos is a title attributed to Jesus Christ within Christian contexts, and is generally used to refer to the word of God. The Logos also appears before Christianity in the writings of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, for whom Logos was the everlasting Word in which all things become united, and the ordering principle of the cosmos. The Logos was also held by the Stoics to be the animating principle pervading the cosmos, a portion of which is possessed by each individual, thus it is comparable to the Christian concept of the immortal divine soul. The Jews, by contrast, rejected the doctrine of the immortal soul, though in Jesus’ time some Jewish sects such as the Pharisees adopted the soul doctrine. Plato’s philosophy contained many ideas that would be characteristic of Christian philosophy. For instance, Plato considered there to be a division between matter and the soul, he believed in the existence of a divine, intelligent craftsman that he referred to as the Demiurge, he believed that the resultant creation comprised an imperfect but orderly cosmos, considered mortal existence to be a passing phase in the wider cosmic existence, and he believed that by sublimating irrational desires the individual can seek perfect purity and order.

Aristotle’s conception of the nameless Prime Mover can be seen as similar to the Christian conception of God in some respects, an eternal source of motion and cosmic order without defect (his rationale being that eternal things are always good and cannot possess defects), a being that never changes, has no beginning or end, and is an immaterial being whose activities are purely spiritual and intellectual. However, unlike the Christian God, this Prime Mover has no plan for anything that exists in his creation. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity was can be said to derive from Stoic philosophy to some degree through Seneca’s conception of a threefold divine power which “we sometimes call the All-ruling God, sometimes the incorporeal Wisdom, sometimes the holy Spirit, sometimes Destiny”. The concepts of Heaven and Hell have their Greek equivalents as well – the Elysian Fields was the realm were heroes, the righteous, and mortals related to or chosen by the gods would dwell in a blissful and happy afterlife with the gods, while Tartarus is the underworld where the rest go when they do, with all of the truly wicked and evil souls residing in the fiery pit of Tartarus. In general the concept of a transmission of a soul to an otherworldly plane after the death of the body occurs not just in Greek mythology, but several pre-Christian pagan traditions, as well as the monotheisitc religion of Zoroastrianism, whereas in Judaism there was no immortal soul and Sheol was the realm where all of the dead go regardless of moral conduct in an existence severed from life and from God.

Then there’s the little things. Many Christian Saints likely evolved from past pagan deities and figures, and others became the demons recorded within Christian demonology. The Saints also, in a sense, took on the function of the old tutelary deities, serving as the patrons of nations, cities, territories, activities, families, and other things, and they could also be prayed to for various favours, which may explain why many American Protestants and Evangelicals consider Catholicism to be a pagan religion rather than a form of Christianity. The depiction of angels as winged humans isn’t entirely Biblical (Jewish tradition has all sorts of monstrous and chimeric visages for its angels), drawing instead from the Greek depictions of beings like Eros or Nike and Roman beings like Victoria. You can see this in the angelic statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus in London, depicted as a winged angel with a bow in the fashion of a mature version of the Roman Cupid, which was conveniently renamed The Angel of Christian Charity, or how in the Roman Senate all statues of Victoria were removed from the Senate to suit Christian sensibilities, except for one statue which possessed wings. Among the differing views on daemons in Greece, Plato’s view of them as spirits that watch each individual to whom they are allotted probably influenced the concept of a guardian angel that sometimes appears in Christian circles. In general, both the angels and the demons come from the concept of daemons. And of course, many holidays we celebrate have their basis in older pagan festivals. Christmas has its roots in Saturnalia and various Germanic festivals, and St Valentine’s Day has its links to the Roman festival of Lupercalia. Even Western marriage is said to come from the early Christian embrace of Roman weddings.

Eros as “The Angel of Christian Charity” in London

Much of Christianity as we know it derived its culture and philosophy from Greek and Roman philosophy and pagan religion, which it used to form a doctrine palatable to gentiles and generate a non-Jewish superstructure for a religion that was still ultimately Judaic at its base. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to say that all of Western heritage comes from Christianity, when in reality the bedrock of such heritage was established before Christianity, mostly by Greek and Roman Hellenism. All the while, Christian power sometimes actively worked against the heritage it utilized to construct itself by destroying artifacts of Greek and Roman paganism and rejecting the principles of republican democratic governance they gave to the West.

However, to say that Western culture is Pagan culture would be anachronistic in the current context. Although the base of our cultural heritage is pre-Christian rather than Christian, things have evolved rather dramatically over the last few thousand years for European civilization, and now secularism makes up the current form of our culture, having shaped that which has come before and moved it away from strictly religious purpose. Rather than Western culture being Christian or Pagan in character, Western culture, like all others, exists as a dialectical, evolutionary continuum, wherein the form of what is considered culture and civilization modifies itself over time, sometimes gradually and sometimes radically, giving rise to new forms in a cycle of perpetual re-creation. The same condition goes for all of human history, a continuum upon itself, a continuum of our continual evolution and struggle for emancipation. It is ultimately this reason combined with the absence of anything resembling modern Western values in the Bible that I reject the argument for the Cultural Christian position, for it is arbitary to try and pigeonhole Western culture as Christian culture.

Of course there is the argument further still that Christianity was a beneficial force to the development of European civilization, and was instrumental in defending the continent from the march of Islam, especially during the Crusades. The reality, however, is quite different. The Teutonic Knights (a.k.a. The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem) often slaughtered their fellow Christians in Poland and raided the territories of Lithuania, forcing Poland and Lithuania wage war against them in the First Battle of Tannenburg. The Teutonic Knights also engaged in conquests of Orthodox Russia backed by the Catholic Church. In 1204, the Crusader armies sacked the Christian city of Constantinople, killing thousands of civilians, raping women, even nuns, pillaging churches and monasteries and smashing altars to their own God. As a result of such sacking, the Byzantine Empire was left weakened and unable to defend itself from the advance of neighboring Islamic forces, such as the Ottomans and the Sultanate of Rum. And of course, the Crusaders were known for massacring fellow Christians who followed a different sect, as happened to the Cathars during the Albigensian Crusade. Far from uniting Europeans under the Christianity, Christian power was simply the glue for a civilization that constantly went to war with itself under the auspices of the Catholic Church, with, ironically, the lives of fellow Christians crushed underfoot. And that’s not even counting the times they massacred pagan Europeans, such as in Verden.

Also, despite modern propaganda concerning how Europe’s Christian ancestors drove out Islam wherever it reared its ugly head, Christian powers in Europe actively collaborated with the Islamic Ottoman Empire during the 16th and 17th centuries, including England, France and Transylvania. Martin Luther was even somewhat sympathetic to Islam on the grounds that Islam rejected the veneration of images and opposed the Catholic Church. Islam was even tolerated by the Dutch at the tail-end of the 17th century, with Muslims being hosted in Dutch trading ports. So much for Deus Vult.

A depiction of the Sacking of Constantinople in 1204

So not only is it utterly arbitrary to attach Christianity and Christian power as the basis of Western civilization, and not only was Christian power ultimately the source of a lot of violent national and ethnic conflicts in Europe that resulted in thousands of deaths, but Christian power isn’t even the strong bulwark against Islam that traditionalist ideologues claim it to be, given that the Crusaders allowed for Islamic powers to make ingress into Europe and the Protestants were happy to ally with Islamic powers to the East in opposition to the Catholic Church. Christian power truly was a cannibalistic, self-destructive, self-betraying force in its day, on top of being tyrannical, regressive and intolerant. A force of barbarity to behold.

Finally, the Cultural Christian position often entails an attempt to justify conservative politics using religious scripture. But if you’ve ever taken even a cursory look at the Bible, you’ll soon become aware that the Bible is not a consistent political manifesto, and there are several different verses that can be used to justify any position across the political spectrum, even in cases where it doesn’t mean what the people invoking it says it means. In this context, Cultural Christianity for the most part becomes simply the secular version of the longstanding right-wing Christian trope of using an internally inconsistent and contradictory tome to justify their overarching politics.

In summary, the Cultural Christian position is a vanity. It neglects the reality that Christianity as we know it is largely a product of Hellenic ideas and philosophy mingling with apocalyptic Jewish faith, and the reality that history, culture and civilization are continuums compounding upon themselves to start with. It neglects the barbarous reality of Christian power. Its assumptions about the relation between Christianity and Western values are not actually supported by history or even the Bible, and are the work of pure propaganda and pure ideology. It exists solely as the result of a contradiction of having a conservative mindset towards religion and culture within a Western Christian context but being unable to believe in God or the supernatural claims of Christianity. It, frankly, serves to appeal to the feelings of not just Christians (many of whom reject Cultural Christianity anyway because it’s not really belief in God and Jesus) but also the atheists who hold this position because, for some reason, they feel that Christianity equals The West (which, by the way, also dovetails nicely with dumb right-wing political thought concerning the “clash of civilizations”). If someone tells you that he/she is a Cultural Christian, feel free to laugh at such a person. They deserve it.

Jesus was fucking crazy!

I will never understand how Jesus’ reputation as a peaceful hippie type leader has stayed so influential in the West. I feel the same way about the idea that the Old Testament was the evil book of the Bible and the New Testament the good book of the Bible.

Why do I say this? Because in the New Testament there is plenty that can be used to point to the idea that Jesus was not the ancient equivalent of the leader of a hippie commune as some have painted him as, but rather a crazed revolutionary.

I mentioned this first point on the last post I wrote, “The Divine Individual“, but Jesus is not here to overturn the cruel laws of YHVH. In fact, he’s very much in favor of it. So much so that one of his criticisms of the Pharisees was that they didn’t execute their sons for being rebellious.

 “For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death’. But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” – Matthew 15:4-6

For the record, here’s what the Old Testament has to say about that.

If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.” – Deutoronomy 21:18-21

That is the word of YHVH telling his believers that if you have a disobedient child then you have to punish that child with death! And Jesus is all in favor of that.

Now for some stuff I didn’t mention in a previous post. At one point, he actually advises his followers to cut off their own hands and feet in order to avoid being damned to hell for some reason.

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.” – Mark 9:43-48

He was very much a fire and brimstone preacher as well. Contrary to what the liberals would have you believe, I think he would have gotten along with the Christian right, even the fundamentalists to a certain extent, just fine. This next verse is an example of why I feel this way.

But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.” – Luke 10:10-15
Essentially he’s saying that cities that refused to hear his teachings would get a worse fate than that of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement. And make no mistake, he believed the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

But on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife.” – Luke 17:29-32

What I find most troubling about the character of Jesus is how he says he has come to pit families against each other. Literally.

 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” – Luke 12:51-53

Gee, a guy preaching about the end of the world, about a heavenly being saving their souls if they fear him and obey his every command, and having people turn on their own families for him? Why, oh why, does that sound like he might just be the leader of a cult?

But it doesn’t stop with just the living Jesus. Later on in the New Testament it’s said that, when Jesus returns, he will destroy non-believers.

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

His second coming is also set to be very destructive.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be dissolved in the fire, and the earth and its works will not be found.” – 2 Peter 3:10

Once you get to Revelations you find that Jesus is pretty much a cosmic mass-murderer on behalf of his father YHVH, and he has some angelic buddies in on the action as well.

I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested. Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great wine press of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the wine press southside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.” – Revelations 14:14-20

The last verse I want to show, just to hammer home how, in another instance where it seems the people talking about how Jesus was a peacenik don’t know shit about Jesus, Jesus turns to be something of a warmonger.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” – Revelations 19:11

Also, if you read the New Testament, there are many more verses that show that not only was Jesus a mad and violent prophet, but that the God of the New Testament is clearly no less evil than the God of the Old Testament. I really don’t know where people are getting the idea that the opposite is the case.


One thing that doesn’t make sense about the Three Wise Men

There’s one thing about the story of Jesus’ life involving the Three Wise Men that I feel, if you look at it, doesn’t really make sense. According the Gospel of Matthew, the Three Wise Men pay a visit to King Herod after visiting the newly born Jesus and inform him of the birth of a new king of the Jews, which prompts him to order his death, along with the murder of every male aged 2 and under, an event known as the Massacre of the Innocents (which Jesus and his family escape).

What bothers me about this narrative is one thing: why in the hell did the Three Wise Men tell Herod about the birth of a new king? Think about it, didn’t they know that Herod had particularly violent and paranoid tendencies (including killing members of his own family because he feared they might overthrow him) and expect him to react in a more than just nasty way to the thought of a new king showing up to take his throne? Didn’t they think that by alerting Herod to the birth of a new king they’ve endangered his life before it really began? Even worse, since they did not reveal his identity, Herod naturally assumes any baby could be the next king, and so the Wise Men have invariably endangered the lives of every baby in the vicinity of Bethlehem, and to top it all off, although Jesus survived, tons of babies have been killed, all because the Wise Men felt the need to tell Herod that a new king might be born.

And if I may say so, what kind of shit is that!?

NOTE: This all assumes that (1) Jesus was historically alive to begin with and (2) that the Massacre of Innocents actually happened. And then there’s that (3) the Bible is a reliable narrative by any stretch. Also, I’m aware that this is usually considered a Christmas subject, but Christmas isn’t actually Christian to begin with.

Thoughts on the Bible TV series

For a month, the Bible TV series (which aired on the History Channel in America) had aired in the UK. The first three episodes aired on November 30th, December 7th, and December 14th respectively, and the last two aired just last weekend. While I am aware that this is basically just religious tripe, I watched it anyway for two reasons:

  1. The whole Obama Satan thing.
  2. The promise that the show might be epic

The series is actually pretty epic, despite the fact it’s basically propaganda. But then, the actual Bible can be said to be an epic story even in spite of its nature as a propaganda book. All that shit aside, lets focus on the series.

Immediately the first thing I hate is that, whenever I watch the series, I have to deal with those fucking excruciating Christian sponsor ads (whose who watched the show in the UK will know what I mean). But that’s the least of matters.

The first episode deals with the first part of the Old Testament, from Genesis to the beginning of Exodus. It skips the Adam and Eve story through Noah telling the story to some people in the Ark, and starts with part of the Noah’s Ark story, so it doesn’t really bother with those two stories much, which is kinda stupid to me.

The second episode deals with the Israelite conquest of the Holy Land. Now, believe it or not, this is actually my favorite episode and the most epic of the three. Why? Well Biblical war tends to be pretty epic, and you have that whole game of kings here. But most importantly, this episode has Samson. The way the show’s depicted him, I’d say he’s the best character you will ever see here. Just look at him. He’s strong, and quite the badass, and engages in many mighty feats until he dies.

In the third episode, after we see the Babylonian exile, it’s all about Jesus from here, starting with his birth and his early life.  The entire fourth episode is devoted to the mission of Jesus, as well as his eventual betrayal, and the first half of the last episode is all about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Trust me, it tends to go downhill when we start emphasizing Jesus. To be honest, the “Obama Satan” in the actual show isn’t nearly as hilarious as the Internet had me believe. And if you’ve seen the last episode, then you might as well have seen The Passion of the Christ.

All in all, I find the series is watchable, despite basically being Christian tripe. It can be epic, but kinda gets less so later, but the drama is definitely there.

After this post, I will be taking a break from posting for Christmas time until December 28th. So I wish everyone a merry, festive, and indulgent Yule season, and to all a good night.

America, Israel, and “God’s chosen people”

The idea for this post started when my brother and I were talking about fighting between Muslims and other religious groups, and eventually moved on to talking about Israel and the Dome of the Rock. That’s when we began to mention the Ark of the Covenant. Experts still can’t agree on its actual existence, but one thing’s for sure, it was never a nuclear or electrical capacitor. If it was, America would probably try to find it and use it as a weapon. They’d probably go all “God wants us to find the Ark, so that we can kick the shit out of everyone else”.

Pretty alluring though.

Thinking about it, America’s overblown sense of religious place in the world has been noteworthy for a lot of its history. “God” isn’t too far away from politics in that country; presidents, schoolchildren, and anyone going to court are made to take Christian oaths, just about everyone in politics is Christian, Christianity has an undeserved influence in the country to the point of having a powerful and influential voting block, and any party that tries to downplay “God” and religion in any way is vilified until they do place emphasis on such (like when the Democrats were criticized by Republicans for not having “God” on their platform).

Americans, or at least just right wing retards claiming to represent America or its people, like advertise America as “God’s Country” (granted, though, I’m pretty sure this happens in lots of countries), act like “God” is on the side of America, and act like Americans are “God”‘s chosen people.

Yeah, did anyone forget about the Israelites?

Last time I checked, the Bible said that the Jews (a.k.a. the Israelites) were “God’s chosen people”, and that Israel was the “Holy Land” or “God’s country”, not that I actually believe this mind you. It’s in Christianity people, the same Christianity widely believed in America. So why does America, a so-called Christian nation, pick up on that mentality? You can see it in their mentality that America should have moral authority over the world, and that America should be some kind of world police.

Keep in mind though, America, as well as the West in general, does give a lot of undeserved support for Israel, only because of the religious belief that Israel is the “Holy Land”. Many of us are even led to believe that Israel is not just a free country, but the only free country in the Middle East. This belief is nonsense, and unfortunately many who speak out against it are silenced. And by the way, just because you’re a democracy doesn’t mean you’re a free country. Israel was only ever a “free country” because the West decided it was, because it suited their religious conditioning. In reality, they have a nasty tendency to oppress the Palestinians. What kind of free country forces people out of land they wish to live in? And I’m not being anti-Semitic. I don’t hate Jews. I just attack the idea that we should just mindlessly support Israel.

Going back to America, I also oppose the idea of a world police, or a “God’s country”, or a “chosen people”, because it is precisely this mentality that justifies authoritarianism, among other mentalities built on lies. I don’t think we should be supporting anyone’s attempt to impose or have some moral authority over the world, because it gives an entity the right to force everyone else to follow its standards.

Pagan deities in the Bible (and Christianity in general)

In the Abrahamic lore, El (a.k.a. Yahweh) is the supreme or “one true God” and all other gods are supposedly inferior or evil. Of course, this is classic Abrahamic oppression, as the God of Abraham chains and oppresses all the gods of the pagan world to support his tyranny.

I have always had an interest in just what pagan deities in particular were the enemies of the God of Abraham, so I looked for how many pagan gods were vilified in the Bible.

Here is a list of pagan deities mentioned in the Bible

  • Adrammelech – Mentioned in 2 Kings 17:31. He is a solar deity, supposedly related to Moloch, and was worshiped in the town of Sepharvaim. Possibly another form of Baal/Bel, since he is a Baal deity.
  • Amon – Mentioned in Jeremiah 46:25. Amon refers to the Egyptian deity Amun. He is a deity of the wind and air and listed as a king of deities in the Egyptian pantheon, and was also a transcendental, self-created, creator deity, and was sometimes even viewed as a friend of the troubled and poor. He was particularly worshiped in Thebes.
  • Anamelech – Mentioned in 2 Kings 17:31. She was an Assyrian goddess said to be worshiped in the town of Sepharvaim. She the lunar goddess to Adrammelech the sun god.
  • Asherah – Appears in Judges 6:25, 26, 28, and 30. In Semitic mythology, she was a fertility and mother goddess, cited as the mother of the world. Said to be the wife of El, until he became the God of Abraham. Worshiped mainly in Canaan.
  • Ashima – Mentioned in 2 kings 17:30. She was a West Semitic goddess of fate or destiny.
  • Ashtoreth (Astaroth) – Referenced in 1 Kings 11:5 and 30. Ashtoreth is another name for Astarte, the goddess of fertility, love, sex, and war. Astarte is actually the Greek name for the goddess Ishtar, or Ashtart. She was worshiped in Syria, Phoenicia, and Canaan.
  • Baal – Mentioned in 2 Kings 18:18-23 and 25-28. He is a principle deity of the pagan world and worshiped in many forms. On his own, he is a god of storms, the sun, fertility, and power, among various other things. He is the rival of El/Yahweh and the greatest enemy of the Israelite religion. In Babylon he is called Bel, and he was once worshiped in Egypt as well.
  • Baal-berith – Mentioned in Judges 8:33 and 9:4. He is a form of Baal and identifed with Baal-zebul, to the point that his worshipers often carried small fly statues of him. He is a god of covenants and is representative of a kind of Baal worship prevailing in Israel, at least according to Judges. Was worshipped in Canaan.
  • Baal-Peor – Appears in Numbers 25:3 and 5. A form of Baal associated with Mt. Peor. He was worshiped by the Moabites. Some identify him with Chemosh, another Moabite deity. His cult was said to be very licentious (in order words ignoring social standards, especially in regards to sexuality).
  • Baal-zebub – Mentioned in 2 Kings 1:2, 3, 6, and 18, and also appears in  the New Testament as Beelzebub. A form of Baal (often the same as Baal). His name means “lord of the high place” and was worshiped by the Philistines. The name Beelzebub was that of the devil, as implied by the New Testament and the Testament of Solomon.
  • Bel – Mentioned in Isaiah 46:1 and Jeremiah 50:2 and 51:44. Same as Baal, was the Babylonian name for him (or Baal the Canaanite name for Bel).
  • Castor and Pollux – Mentioned in Acts 28:11. In Greek myth, they are brothers who are born of one mother (Leda) but different fathers (Castor was born from a king of Sparta, while Pollux was born from Zeus). They are the patrons of sailors.
  • Chemosh – Mentioned in 1 Kings 11:7 and 33. He was the national deity of the Maobites, and was variously labelled as a destroyer and fish deity. Also associated with Ashtar/Ishtar.
  • Dagon – Mentioned in 1 Samuel 2:2-4 and 7. He was a Semitic deity of fish, fishing, grain, and fertility.
  • Diana (Artemis) – Mentioned in Acts 19:24, 27, 28, 34, and 35. She was the Greco-Roman goddess hunting, the moon, and the forest. In Rome especially, she is associated with chastity and virginity. In Ephesus, Greece, she was worshiped as a mother goddess, with the added fertility quality.
  • Gad – Mentioned in Isaiah 65:11. He was a pan-Semitic deity of fortune worshiped by many Hebrews during Babylonian captivity.
  • The Golden Calf – Appears in the Book of Exodus. It was a bull idol worshiped by the Israelites while Moses was preparing the Ten Commandments. Bull worship was common in the ancient world, and it’s possible the idol was inspired by Egyptian religion.
  • Ishtar (known as The Queen of Heaven) – Mentioned in Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:17, 18, 19, and 25. Ishtar was a goddess of love, fertility, sex, and war, and also had associations with life and death. She was worshiped throughout Mesopotamia and the ancient Middle East.
  • Jupiter/Zeus – Mentioned in Acts 14:12. In Greco-Roman myth, he was a ruler of heaven and a god of thunder, law, and civilization.
  • Kaiwan – Mentioned in Amos 5:26. In Assyria and Babylon, he was a star god associated with Saturn.
  • Meni – Mentioned in Isaiah 65:11. Meni was a pan-Semitic god of destiny worshiped by some Hebrews during the Babylonian captivity.
  • Mercury (Hermes) – Mentioned in Acts 14:12. He was a messenger of the gods associated with trade, commerce, and the underworld.
  • Merodach (Marduk) – Mentioned in Jeremiah 50:2. Merodach was a name for the Babylonian deity Marduk. He was associated with water, vegetation, judgement, and magic, and is known for his thunderbolts. May be a form of Bel.
  • Milcom (Malcham, Melchom) – Mentioned in 1 Kings 11:5 and 33. Milcom, or Melchom, was a deity of the Ammonites, probably just another name for Moloch.
  • Moloch – Appears in Leviticus 20:2-5. Supposedly, Moloch was a destroyer and a sun god, to whom child sacrifices were made in his fire. However, there is no evidence that there was ever a deity named Moloch, or that he was ever worshipped.
  • Nebo – Mentioned in Isaiah 46:1. Also called Nabu, Nebo was a Babylonian deity of wisdom and writing. Sometimes worshipped as a deity of fertility and water.
  • Nergal – Mentioned in 2 Kings 17:30. Babylonian god of the sun, war, pestilence, fire, the desert, and the underworld.
  • Nibhaz – Mentioned in 2 Kings 17:31. A deity of the Avim, also said to be worshipped in Syria in the form of a dog.
  • Rimmon – Mentioned in 2 Kings 5:18. A Syrian weather deity, although in the same Syria he is almost identical to Baal.
  • Sikkuth – Mentioned in Amos 5:26. Identical with Sakkuth. A star god associated with the deity Kaiwan and the planet Saturn.
  • Succoth-benoth – Mentioned in 2 Kings 17:30. Succoth-benoth was a goddess of wisdom worshipped by the Samarians in Babylon.
  • Tammuz – Mentioned in Ezekiel 8:14. Tammuz was a Sumerian and Babylonian god of vegetation, food, and fertility.
  • Tartak – Mentioned in 2 Kings 17:31. A deity worshiped in the form of a donkey.

I’m not not done yet. Christian demonology in general has pagan deities as evil spirits. Some I already mentioned include Adrammelech, Baal/Beelzebub, Berith, Astaroth, Nergal, and Amon. Here’s a list of others from Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal I didn’t already mention.

  • Alastor: Was a title for Zeus, or an entity identified with Nemesis. The avenger of evil deeds, especially familial bloodshed, and the personification of a curse.
  • Belphegor: Based on the deity Baal-Peor, who is another form of Baal.
  • Beyrevra: Is a demonization of the wrathful deity Bhairava, who in Hinduism is a fierce form of Shiva.
  • Cali: A demonization of the goddess Kali.
  • Deumus: Based on Deimos, Greek personification of terror.
  • Eurynome: Based on a Greek titan goddess.
  • Ganga-Gramma: A demonization of the Hindu goddess Ganga, who was the goddess of the Ganges river.
  • Picollus: Comes from Prussian pagan deities associated with the seasons.
  • Torngarsuk: Based on a powerful sky deity in Inuit mythology.

And that’s the end of the long list of non-Abrahamic, pagan deities mentioned in the Bible and Christian lore.

Christianity tries to detach Man from nature and the primal

Yesterday I posted about Chaos and nature veneration. I was planning on commenting on Christianity’s hatred and separation from nature in the same post, but I changed plans and now I’m gonna do it in a separate post. This one.

St. Boniface’s cutting of Thor’s Oak is a symbol of what I’m about to describe.

From the beginning, the Bible establishes the idea that Man is not just separate from nature, but entitled dominion over it, as proclaimed by “God”. I’m not trying to be some New Age hippie type, but I’m pretty sure this belief gives people the belief that they can exploit nature because they don’t see themselves as part of it. Yes, ancient societies used resources like wood that came from tress and rock and metals from the earth, even rural societies, but I’m pretty sure even they paid their respects or tried to give back to the earth. They probably still respected nature and the power of the natural world, or at least way better than the Christian world to come, and in polytheistic societies gods are embodiments of nature. The image above shows a saint cutting down a tree that was held to be particularly sacred to Germanic peoples, not just as a symbol of supposed dominion over nature, but also as a symbol of their faith dominating over and oppressing paganism.

One would also say the Judeo-Christian denial and oppression of sexuality could also be considered to be related, since sexuality is a part of nature. In Christianity, sexuality is seen as something to feared, and there is emphasis on keeping the soul pure. Hell, there’s no sex in the garden of Eden because “God” wants his drones to be pure. We have a shunning of pleasure, the animalistic, and a love for life and a praising of sobriety, the clean, and self-denial. You might find something like this in Catholic images of the Virgin Mary crushing a serpent, where the Virgin Mary represents purity, virginity, and the Christian faith, and the serpent represents desire, sexuality, earthly forces, the devil, and paganism. The same symbolism is found in artwork of saints trampling serpents and dragons, and the cross crushing the serpent.

The Virgin Mary trampling a serpent. Wait, that serpent is holding an apple in its mouth. Is that the same serpent from Eden?

Their main delusion is that we are separate from nature, but we are not.

Sympathy for the devil

Apparently this is Satan, and he looks cool.

This is just my opinion, but I think some of you saw this post coming. Keep in mind, this post has nothing to do with John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Yes, I have my sympathies for the devil. Satan (or Satanael), Lucifer, Helel, Beelzebub (or Ba’al), Samael, El Diablo, Shaytan, Iblis, The Red Guy, The Serpent, The Dragon, the Apostate of Heaven, the Lightbringer, the Prince of Darkness, the Morning Star, the Devil, King of Demons, Al Pacino, whatever you decide to call him. Why?

Well consider this, the Biblical god is a tyrant and a dictator in the Bible, and otherwise just plain an entity who lies about his power and spends his days trying to force everyone to believe he has any spiritual authority. Satan rebelled against such a god and, if the Bible is anything to go by, continues to rebel and works constantly to thwart his works any way he can. The concept of the devil is pretty against the notion of any spiritual authority and represents disobedience to tradition religious dogma concerning god and the human soul. That doesn’t sound so bad. And what do you think he was doing in the garden of Eden? If he hadn’t led Adam and Eve to that fruit, they’d be stuck as mindless creatures living under Yahweh forever. And who wants that?

So why is he so bad? Even if he is just a creation of the Bible, think of what he is created for. He’s part of the Judeo-Christian concept of two beings fighting for control of the soul of Man, thus “God” is painted as good and someone deserving of spiritual authority and ownership of your soul, and if you don’t believe, it’s misguidedly believed Satan will take control instead. Propaganda is what’s going on here. The Abrahamic religion’s been doing this for centuries now, constantly pressing on us to believe what they tell us to believe, without any questioning of the truth or even validity of the dogma. That, and evolving Western culture and its trends (most likely inherited from Christianity), is how Satan is evil.

I’m not saying he’s utterly good, and I certainly don’t believe in worshipping him (because what’s the point?), but I’m just saying he’s not exactly bad. In fact, he only ends up killing 10 people in the whole Bible, and most of that is on the Biblical god’s orders. And the whole Garden of Eden doesn’t count. For all we know, Yahweh might’ve told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit as a bluff, or cursed them with mortality after they ate the fruit (personally I prefer the latter idea).

Why there is no sex in the Garden of Eden

Don’t be fooled by Adam and Eve’s nakedness, or the lush greenery, or the wildlife.

We know the story of the garden of Eden don’t we? According to the book of Genesis, at the beginning of the Old Testament, the god of the Bible created Adam out of the earth and Eve out of his rib (if you don’t count Lilith being made from the earth before Eve, but that’s a different matter entirely), and they lived in the Garden of Eden with god above them, and they were pure until they defied god and ate of the tree of knowledge. But think about it for a second. Adam and Eve lived pure in the garden until the “sin”, right? What do you think that means?

They were virgins.

You see, they were pure in the eyes of the Biblical god, right? That would mean they virtually without thought, innocent of all “sinful” conduct, and I doubt they knew about sex either. Yep, Adam and Eve didn’t even have sex until they got banished from the garden for eating the fruit. To add to that, it’s been said that Eve eating the fruit of the tree is a metaphor for sex and loss of virginity. I would say that’s partly true, in that sex isn’t the only thing to it, but it’s still important to the myth. Eating the fruit could be said to be Adam and Eve’s sexual awakening, becoming aware of their of their sexuality and sexual potential, among numerous other things.

Also, is it any coincidence that Cain and Abel were born from Eve after the couple got banished from Eden and not before? Now why would the god of the Bible want to keep early Man from sexual awakening? God seems to be intent on keeping Adam and Eve away from sexual awakening and deciding good and evil for themselves. Eating the fruit is the symbol of the rebellion against god, Man’s sexual awakening, and deciding good and evil for yourself rather than having it fed to you by god in heaven. Why might that be, I wonder?

Regardless, the rebellion is still ongoing. As long as we still have the Biblical god in our minds as a deity that we worship, and as long as that god has any power, granted by faith and worship, the rebellion of the devil’s fruit will go on.

The devil’s fruit

Christianity: End of the world cult?

Note: This post is aimed at Christianity as a religion, not Christians.

It seems I’m back sooner than I thought. Not much happened, but it was a decent Christmas nonetheless. Anyhow…

What do you expect? I do not hold back when it comes to this sort of thing, so if you get offended, that’s your problem, not mine.

I never really liked Christianity, you could tell from my posts. I am aware of all that stuff about love they neighbour as you would love thyself, only that’s just a layer. Just so you know this has nothing to do with my view of the Biblical god. Tear away the layers of Christianity’s image as a compassionate institution, or even an institution politically involved in preserving the status quo (something that Jesus would actually decry for reasons that will become apparent later on), and you’ll know it’s original form.

Jesus was famous (or infamous from the point of view of the Romans, Pharisees, and some Jews in Ancient Rome) for his subversiveness in Ancient Rome (which I could probably admire). What was he preaching? Oh, the end of time, and that, according to him, it was imminent.

Christ the Lamb here becomes Christ the Warrior, and thus sets the scene for a really anti-climatic final battle, though it does make a great scene.

Before Christianity even started, Jesus was a Jewish man preaching about a new “kingdom of God”, and that god would one day save his people at the end of the “wicked” world if they repent. Naturally, the Romans didn’t like his presence one bit, though I can’t understand why they took him so seriously. After all, if he’s a guy preaching about end times, he’s no threat right? But then he got attention. Miracles had became attributed to him. Then the Romans, and the Pharisees after Jesus ransacked the markets and money-changers at the temple, began to see him as a threat to their authority. And then you know the story: Judas betrayed Jesus, the Romans arrested Jesus, Pilate sealed his fate, and he was crucified. But according to Christians, he was then resurrected, before zooming back into heaven until the end of time. If people saw that happening, they might believe that yes, the end was coming, and soon.

After Jesus’ death, his apostles (except Judas, who committed suicide) set out spreading the message he left behind. The message that the end was nigh and that if people repented and rejected the pagan ways of Rome, god would save them, and that if people did not, then they would be damned for all time. This would lead to the creation of a new religious movement that set out to convert Jews and gentiles alike, which would later be called Christianity, though the Bible might have been compiled much later. Followers might expect the apocalypse to happen within a few years, or any time for that matter, they might have thought the signs were everywhere. In 66 AD, the Jews had eventually grown fed up of being under Roman rule and attempted to overthrow them in a revolt and establish independence. Four years later, this would end in the sacking of Jerusalem and its Second Temple, thus Jerusalem had returned to Roman rule. Some interpreted this as a punishment from God, perhaps for the crucifixion of Jesus, among other reasons that could prompt divine vengeance. Still, the event was so shocking that people began to believe that the apocalypse had begun, and to this day Jews commemorate the event as the fast of Tisha B’av.

If you think about it, how would you feel if you saw this going down?

Getting back to the main point, Christianity as an apocalyptic religion has always been at the core even today, with any time in history (including the Black Plague and the Great Fire of London) being believed to be the apocalypse. Hell, there was a medieval belief that witches were a sign of the apocalypse coming (thinking about it, witches can’t seem to get a break). If there is any notable difference between the Christianity of now and the Christianity of Ancient Rome, for which many followers and saints died for, is that the church these days seems to be a politically active institution, often for preserving the status quo, aside from their somewhat humanitarian image, whereas Jesus wouldn’t feel there to be much point for structure considering that he believed it would all be destroyed by the time God showed up. Otherwise, think about it: back then they must’ve waited forever for God to show up, and even today, despite the more liberal and sugar-coated interpretations and Christian messages in the modern day (mainly designed to appeal to modern times anyway), people still wait and pray that they go straight to God when they die, or when the world ends, and we have Christianity becoming the main religion of the Roman Empire to thank for us being so ingrained in its ideas.

The fact is, 2000 years on, Christianity is still the same as it always was, and that’s not something to be proud of.