Friday, February 16, 2007

Love Of Mammon

I find the topic of who hates America to be one of endless fascination.

An anonymous poster accused me once again of hating America. I get that a lot. Mostly from people who don't believe in the strength of their own convictions. After all, if you really feel this way and feel you're on the side of right, why hide your identity? Why would someone be too ashamed to promote their patriotism in public with their real name?

I believe that essentially its because they don't believe in what they are saying. And essentially, the position that wars for lucre are an American value, is a hard one to find moral support for.

I'll go ahead and admit that though I was raised as a Christian, I'm losing my faith in man's institutionalized doctrines of worship. The more I learn about Christ in early writings made by the Catholic Church in the first millennium, the more I come to learn that he didn't do a lot of things that the Catholics said he did. In the early writings, he didn't perform miracles or claim to be the Son of God. But he was a rebel, a political activist and peacenik. He's believed to have been involved in acts of public vandalism against the Roman State. Even the Catholic Bible says he organized public protests, but the spin given in bible school downplays the hippie angle this story suggests. Finally, the Gospel of Judas gives us a glimpse of Christianity that the early Cathars would've been aware of, and that the Catholic Church almost eliminated. For hundreds of years, the aspect of the teachings of Christ revealed in the Gospel of Judas have been lost, only to be revealed when the Dead Sea Scrolls were finally released.

In the Gospel of Judas, Jesus talks about two Gods. He talks about essentially, the God of Creation and the God of the Spirit. He tells us that the God of Creation (the jewish God?) is the God of the Flesh and that to worship him, we worship the things of the flesh. He tells us to abandon the God of Creation (ie: the God of Genesis) and turn instead to the God of the Spirit, through which there is everlasting life and release from the chains of life and death. In the Gospels of Judas we learn that Jesus wanted to go to live with the God of the Spirit, so Judas turned him in as an enemy of the State, so that the Romans would send him on his way. I suppose that this was to avoid the stigma of suicide. I'm not sure God can be fooled by such a trick. It seems to imply that God can be fooled.

Is it no wonder the Catholic Church outlawed this Gospel and persecuted the Cathars that taught this, as witches, killing them in various horrible ways? And don't we see persecution to this day from monied interests, against those that preach against the worship of Mammon? The Cathars after all taught that the Church was wherever you worshipped and that those who taught the wisdom of Jesus didn't need fancy halls or collection plates. They interfered with profits and were burned alive for their trouble.

Villagers in Darfur who hold ancient tribal rights to their land are in a similar position. The oil corporations don't want to pay them for their mineral rights, so they are financing genocide instead. Dead people don't ask for a cut. And this sin comes all the way to the pump. If you want cheap gasoline, then you've got to love genocide. Genocide keeps gasoline cheap.

But I digress...

Though I don't see myself as a Christian, I nonetheless believe in spirituality. I believe that Jesus the Man, taught us some important lessons. I believe in the Golden Rule and his lessons of peace and activism. Its not a trivial point in my view, that many religions share the same core values, yet their priests are quick to abandon these teachings for the pursuit of money or power.

Some of the basic ideas that Jesus believed in are.
1. Material wealth destroys the spirit.
2. The Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
3. Get active in your community and keep your government honest.
4. Try to live without sin. This one feeds back to #2. After all you don't want people to sin against you.

There is no doubt that Jesus was a peacenik political activist. His activities against the Roman State were documented, and illegal. We believe he helped tear down the Golden Eagle from the temple, an act that got many of his fellow protesters killed. He participated in political demonstrations and marches, one of which resulted in the deaths of thousands of people when the Roman soldiers pressed them into a square and butchered some, while others died in the crush and stampede.

Jesus as a peacenik activist, if he were alive today, surely would be joining the crowds that keep marching on Washington (assuming he'd live in the US). His record places him squarely in the anti-war protester camp.

Now right there, he becomes someone I can admire, if I still don't see the need to actually worship him. He stood up to the Roman State, denounced the material God of the Jews who is heard in the Book of Genesis, and believes in the purification of spirit through thought and deed.

Jesus made it clear to us that in order to reach the spiritual purity required to shed our material form, we must cleanse our spirits and accept the spiritual God and not the God of Creation. We must also live a life that is as pure as possible, and though we must live in the material world, we should not worship material things.

Now in Bible School, I was taught what to take to heartin, and what to ignore when it came to Holy Scripture. But from year to year, as public politics changed, some of those lessons got reversed. Like the Old Testament where God commands the Jews to go out and commit genocide. Well we're not supposed to follow God's will and exterminate people of other religions, unless of course, God tells the President we're supposed to. In this case, Bush is a prophet, a mouth of God, like Moses. But then we're warned about false prophets. Does God still demand that we commit genocide? Some say yes.

Now, I was also taught that as a Christian, the Old Testament is included in the Bible for historical perspective. That as Christians we don't have a responsibility to sacrifice livestock on pyres, or kill our enemies and take their daughters to our beds. We're supposed to ignore all that, until we come to Genesis, then we're supposed to believe it again.

Its all a bit confusing, this pick and choose part of religion, that is written in God's word, open to interpretation and subject to change without notice.

If we stick to just Jesus, we can take that whole first testament of the Holy Bible, rip it out and throw it away. What's left are the gospels surrounding Jesus Christ, some guy named John who hated Nero and other miscellany.

But isn't that essentially what Christians are supposed to do? Isn't the age of prophets over, once we get to the New Testament? Then how can Bush be a prophet that is commanded by God to wage a religious war against Muslims? And if not a prophet, then how can any Christian believe that Jesus wants us to act like the Romans that nailed him to the cross? If Bush is gung-ho for war, killing and the destruction of civil liberties, how can any Christian side with Bush against Jesus?

Now in Baptist Bible Schools, I was taught that no matter what sins you commit, if you take Jesus into your heart, then you'll go to heaven. End of story... Then there's talk that if you really do this, then Jesus will guide you. Clearly Jesus takes days off when Preachers want a little hooker nookie on the side. Yet, even after snorting meth and getting to know other men in a carnal way, preachers can ask for forgiveness and Jesus will give it again. And this process can be repeated over and over. For the Catholics, there's confession, for the infinite path to recursive forgiveness.

What a racket. Doesn't this seem tailor made to appease Satan? Christians become reusable vessels to corrupt over and over again. And Jesus just takes them back. Even murderous pedophiles can share heaven with Jimmy Swaggert and George Bush I and II.

The Cathars, an extinct sect of Christianity that had access to more of Christ's teaching than we do today, thought that following in the footsteps of Christ required more than lip service. They believed that you must also think and be as Christ. We don't know everything that they believed because their tradition was mostly oral and the Catholics burned alive people that kept information about their teachings. Perhaps they have documents locked up in the Vatican that could shed light on these early Christians, but we'll probably never know for sure.

Now we come to the meat of my post. Jesus was anti-war, pro-peace, anti-sin, anti-lies, anti-murder, anti-theft, anti-materialism... How can any Christian lend support to wars based on lies, in order to steal oil for cheap motoring to Walmart, to buy junk they don't need? Jesus never taught us to go out and kill for him, for religion or for money. In fact he told us that such things were harmful to him and to his beliefs. So how can these Anti-Jesus beliefs be the basis of a our Christian culture, society and how can we call ourselves a Christian Nation if our beliefs are anti-Jesus?

Some tell me that we have to abandon the teachings of Christ now, because Jesus didn't live in such dangerous times. 'Christ will understand', they tell me.

But the Romans were slaughtering people, and people were slaughtering Romans. They didn't have push button sanitized wars. When they killed, it was face to face. Jesus was known to hang out with murderers and prostitutes. He was arrested, tortured and nailed upon a cross until dead, by Romans. All in public. And he didn't know how tough times could get, or how scared people could be? Give me a break. These are the times when we should hold tight to his words and take comfort from them.

If you're behind this war, in spite of the lies, profit taking, the senseless slaughter, the continued lies, and the plans to escalate to Iran, then why? Do you honestly believe that Jesus would support the war? Isn't support for a war for lucre, ultimately a war for Mammon? Aren't we spending lives as sacrifices to Mammon? How could anyone argue that a Christian Nation would kill for Mammon, for cheap gasoline, for convenience and shopping? Would Jesus tell us to ignore the war fought in our name and, 'Go Shopping?'.

Christians should feel deep, deep shame over support of the war. All I can figure is that they expect that as long as they accept Jesus into their hearts, that they can revel in the sin of thousands of murders committed in their names, and still trick Jesus and God into letting them into heaven.

Are Jesus and God so stupid that they can't see when you lie to yourself?

Though I've lost faith in Christianity, I believe in many of the lessons. I believe that everything we do, colors what we take with us when we leave this world. I don't believe in Hell and I don't see a purpose in Heaven. They both seem like concepts designed to scare children and the ignorant. Why would God create us, know us, then tell us that we are a mystery? If he's going to sort us after death and torture forever the souls that he made wrongly, why make them at all? If he wants a flock of monkeys for the sole purpose of worshipping him, why bother with free will. All of this makes more sense, as a way for slaves to rationalize their lot in life. If people believe that life is for suffering, but they will be richly rewarded in death, then they are more likely to allow the suffering to continue.

Wasn't the core of Christ's lesson, to fight back against tyranny in the State and the Church? Isn't that what he spent his life doing? Is it no wonder the Catholic Church rewrote his message and committed genocide against those that taught the original Christian messages?

If you're a Christian, are you a 'pro-slaughter of other people and steal their stuff Christian', or the unpopular kind? Are you willing to go against the State as Jesus did, or are you a Roman, ready to crucify those that would protest the war as Jesus would?


At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

American church patrons in no way resemble Jesus. So many use religion as a shield to cover up for unrighteous living. They feel if they drive their SUV down to the big church and drop a few bucks onto the collection plate that they are somehow justified. It makes me sick because it is so prevalent.

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Mike said...

I wonder if the religion shouldn't be called Paulianism.


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