Comments of Caution Regarding Abrahamic Bibles :
Beware the Jewish Torah, the Christian Bible, and the Muslim Quran !!!
“… for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” – Exodus, in the Ten Commandments
I have studied the Bible with Catholics, Protestants, and others. My mother taught Sunday School at our Methodist Church, I went to Catholic High School, and I have discussed the Bible with many clerics from all branches over the years. I have studied Christianity almost as much as Paganism. I am not Christian anymore, yet I have intense psychological roots in Christianity and so I feel a need to continue to address my knowledge about it. Also Christianity continually comments on Paganism, so I will return the favor. Of all the religious mythologies in the World, please do not take the Abrahamic bibles literally; specifically the parts mandating bigotry against gays, pagans, or other freedoms like “bad words”.
Jewish, Christian, and Muslim bibles all contain some good general myths, lessons and moral values; yet these books all claim to contain the only beliefs for true spiritual salvation, even when there are significant contradictions between them, and hypocrisy within all three of them. The inclusive parts about love are good, and the exclusive parts about hateful bigotry and violent persecution are evil. As Pagans we accept that our gods can have evil destructive aspects, yet ironically those monotheistic bibles claim that their god is purely good, and blame all evil on humans and their trickster spirit The Devil. The Devil has been intentionally depicted as a horned Pagan deity. The tradition of depicting evil as Pagan, is so antagonistic it would be like Pagans saying that our main evil spirit is their God, except that the old man with a white beard is not even a god at all, but simply the most evil spirit that the Goddess ever allowed to exist. To say one “believes the word of God” is one thing, but taking the words literally has led to many evils throughout history.
I will comment on the Christian Bible, since I know it the best, and it includes part of the Jewish / Hebrew Torah, and is similar to the Quran. Of the three bibles, I know least about the Muslim / Islamic Quran. My criticisms of the Christian Bible, are mostly a response to those Christian crusaders and witch hunters (including my ancestors) that waged holy war, and tortured and executed countless other humans, based on their terrible literal interpretations of the holy words of their choice. In fact many believed that they had no choice, because it was the will of God to destroy heretics, pagans, and sinners. My oldest recorded ancestor was an English crusader baron, and in America I am directly related to Judge Danforth, who presided over the Salem, Mass witch trials. It is because of their sins against humanity and the decimation of the old nature gods, that I seek to make amends for the wrongs of Christians against Pagans, and heal our connection with Nature.
Warnings should be placed in monotheist bibles that expose their doctrines of global domination (Manifest Destiny), and their persecution and conquest of pagan cultures. We must continue to make cultural changes in our New-Age of understanding, for our New World religion, spirituality, and magic. We all should have the freedom to practice Abrahamic religions, in our own personal ways by reading them as works of glorious fiction. I consider the Christian Bible to be metaphorically divinely inspired. The Bible can enrich the soul, just as manure can enrich the soil. If either one can relieve some of our suffering, than I say unto thee, “Hallelujah”. I know there are certainly many millions of people that have felt their lives were enriched by monotheist practices. The truths in religions are the archetypal metaphors and moral lessons that apply to the current needs of the people. I will quote Bishop Spong now, because as he says, “Christianity must change or die.”
Notes & Quotes on Sins of Scripture by Bishop John Shelby Spong
Let us have a Christianity that supports civil rights, equal rights, religious freedom, peace, and evolution of thought! Amen.
“Christian voices in our world continue to employ words that reveal nothing less than arrogance toward other religions, whose adherents they regard as fit subjects not for dialogue but for conversion. This attitude is regularly enforced with biblical claims that a particular religious tradition the certainty of the ultimate truth of God that is seen first as religious bigotry and later as religious persecution.” – Preface
“The Bible is a subject of interpretation: there is no doctrine, no prophet, no priest, no power, which has not claimed biblical sanctions for itself.” – Paul Tillich
“In the history of the Western world, however, this Bible has also left a trail of pain, horror, blood, and death that is undeniable. Yet this fact is not often allowed to rise to consciousness. Biblical words have been used not only to kill, but even to justify that killing. … It might be difficult for some Christians to understand, but it is not difficult to document the terror enacted by believers in the name of the Bible.”
“I had to document the evil that Christians have so frequently rendered to others in the name of our religion, including the way we have justified violence with biblical quotations. … There is plenty of guilt to go around. It appears to be in the nature of religion itself to be prejudiced against those who are different in looks, language, habit, and religion. Violence is almost always the result of such prejudice.”
“I believe the Bible must be preserved, but not the Bible that people have used to enhance the pain and evil present in human history.” – Word of God
“Perhaps the strangest claim ever made for any written document in history is that its words are, or somehow contain, the Word of God.” “By Sins of Scripture I mean those terrible texts that have been quoted throughout Christian history to justify behavior that is today universally recognized as evil.” Beyond the biblical lists of immoral mandates… “It is quite easy to demonstrate that the Bible is simply wrong in some of its assumptions. It is hard to maintain the claim of inerrancy in the face of biblical statements that are obviously incorrect. The Word of God is not infrequently simply wrong.”
Moses did not write the Old Testament (Torah). He was dead for at least 300 years. David did not write Psalms, again several years after the death of King David. Jesus’s followers did not write the Gospels. Paul was wacked. “Paul was many things, but divine was not one of them.” – A Claim That Cannot Endure
Bible and Environment
Over-breeding is a real problem in the modern World. Environmental ignorance is a real problem for civilization as well.
Climate Change Summary
As global warming occurs at the poles, ice melts. The Ocean water temperature rises, and coastal flooding is happening around the World. This causes more frequent and larger hurricanes and tidal waves that kill and displace thousands. Combined with droughts on the mainland, these disasters create more violent civil conflicts.
Biblical Anti-Environmental Attitude Summary
The quest to dominate the Earth comes from Old Testament times. Hebrews coming from Egypt, had a sky god named “YHVH” (I am that I am). They wanted their ancestral homeland back from the Canaanites, who worshiped an Earth Goddess Astarte, and her Lord Baal (Master). Hebrews were shepherds who believed in animal sacrifices to their sky god, and Canaanites were agrarian farmers who preferred grain sacrifices to their gods. The Hebrews invaded and made holy war against the Canaanites, their neighbors.
“Mother Earth is fighting back. Mother Earth is rebelling against the way she has been treated by a single species which acts as if the whole world exists to provide comfort and wealth for that species.”
“…let them have dominion over … (animals), and all the earth…” – Genesis 1:26
“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.” – Genesis 1:28
“Bad theology creates bad ecology.”
What was it about Jesus the human, that caused people to say his miracles were true and that he was the Messiah? – Chapter 31
“No, I do not believe that Jesus stilled the storm, walked on water, … But I do want to understand what the experience was with Jesus, that caused people to apply Hebrew scripture God language to him.”
Carl Sagan a devout Atheist with a Jewish background, was a friend of Spong. Yet as an astrophysicist he was always referencing religion and God. He said if Jesus had ascended at the speed of light, he would still be traveling within our Galaxy. Perhaps the point of the New-Age Movement, is that despite whether any of the prophets wanted us to believe all of their stories literally, or not; we need to use their stories and lessons in ways that fit our own lives and times.
To make a god in our own image is not a sin of idolatry or vanity, it is a natural healthy desire to understand ourselves and promote our well-being. However many cults and religions have attempted to say that their one “God” is exclusive to their faith, and “He” is only accessible to others through full conversion to their entire dogmatic system of exclusive beliefs. It is a great evil to claim that only your own god exists. To admit that all religions are myths, is not just to admit to how false the stories may or may not be; but also to understand that spiritual experiences can only be communicated through fictional metaphors, because the Spirit World is not defined by non-fiction physical reality. Religious Mythology is taken very seriously, but metaphors are less likely to promote war.
Drogo’s Comments about Mormons
Mormon Bible & The Church of Latter Day Saints
Revolutionary War veteran and Congregationalist preacher, Solomon Spalding (1761-1816) wrote a satirical historic-fiction of the lost civilization of the “American Mound Builders.” He had a skill for mimicking biblical language. Joseph Smith came from a family of evangelical Christian folk-magicians. During his years of treasure hunting he was given Spalding’s main unpublished work, known as “Manuscript Found”, which is now ironically “lost”. Together with his friends, Smith based the book of Mormon on the only existing copy of Spalding’s best work. Smith was a charlatan and learned many ways how to fool many people by using spiritual language. Only years later Mormons publicly released a paper claiming to be the Spalding draft, “Manuscript Story”, but it was clearly either a fake or simply an early Spalding draft. The draft version was clearly different than what was used to write the Book of Mormon, so it was either a false draft made by Mormons, or one that Smith had not used because it did not have the same tone as the other Spalding texts.
“Manuscript Story” and “Manuscript Found” were separate works, but the Book of Mormon is the only public version of “Manuscript Found”. If there is a copy of the Spalding version, it is very possible the Mormon Church will never let it see the light of day. It is more likely that Mormons destroyed it early on. Regardless it is important to realize that Joseph Smith did write the finished version of the Mormon Bible in order to deceive gullible people in order to get their money, and have influence and power. Beyond the evil of tricking people to get rich, Mormon’s have a Bible that ignores historic Native American Indian tribal cultures, and claims that Christianity was their original faith, and that losing their faith in God was an evil that turned their skin red. Native Americans were NOT descended from the evil Lamanites, and we need to stop the literal lies of Mormons that were apologist attempts at making white frontier immigrants feel better about taking Native American lands, killing them, and taking their religion and culture from them. Mormons can be nice people, and I enjoy talking to the elder missionaries that have come to my door over the years trying to convert me; however the Mormon Bible have evil lies in it, and therefore to take the stories literally as the Mormon Church mandates is fucking stupid. Oops I said a cuss word, which also disagrees with their beliefs.
This is the account given by Solomon’s brother, John Spalding about “The Manuscript Found” (the lost version):
“The book was entitled the “Manuscript Found,” of which he read to me many passages. It was an historical romance of the first settlers of America, endeavoring to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or the lost tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of NEPHI AND LEHI. They afterwards had quarrels and contentions, and separated into two distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites and the other Lamanites. Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps, which caused the mounds so common in this country. Their arts, sciences and civilization were brought into view, in order to account for all the curious antiquities, found in various parts of North and South America. I have recently read the Book of Mormon, and to my great surprize I find nearly the same historical matter, names, &c. as they were in my brother’s writings. I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced about every sentence with “and it came to pass,” or “now it came to pass,” the same as in the Book of Mormon, and according to the best of my recollection and belief, it is the same as my brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter. — By what means it has fallen into the hands of Joseph Smith, Jr. I am unable to determine.”
These recorded accounts were verified by several other close relatives that knew Solomon Spalding and his works.
“I well recollect telling Mr. Spalding, that the so frequent use of the words ‘And it came to pass, – Now it came to pass,’ rendered it ridiculous. Spalding left here in 1812, and I furnished him the means to carry him to Pittsburgh, where he said he would get the book printed, and pay me. But I never heard any more from him or his writings, till I saw them in the Book of Mormon.” – Henry Lake a business partner of Spalding 1833
The Spalding theory started by Ed Howe in 1834 is certainly a more reliable conspiracy theory, than the Book of Mormon is. The facts of history seem relative and sparse, yet Smith was far less educated than Spalding. Smith was certainly somewhat literate, clever, and had many other sources and friends to help him edit. Mormonism is one of the worst branches of Christianity, like Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other evangelicals; because it mandates the literal fallacies that emphasize aggressive bigotry, with the only uncompromising resolution being that you have to believe as they do, or go to Hell. Time for a change? Hell yeah!
* Christianity in Conclusion
The fact that Christian Kingdoms and Empires had become intolerant of all other religions, and even hateful of Nature, was not the fault of their loving and benevolent founder, Jesus. The blame must clearly be laid upon those who wrote and interpreted the scriptures of sin, and acted out the evil events so clearly recorded in history. European colonists in North America often rationalized their evils with the repeated mantra that they were saving primitive, barbaric, pagans by forcefully spreading Christian civilization. It is very possible regardless of our religious beliefs, to love Jesus or his story. I go even further to study Christian mythology and enjoy Gothic Architecture. For me, that is enough, and for those that think I am doomed to Hell because they are brain-washed, it will have to be enough unless they want to metaphorically feel my Pagan wrath. Heh, yes let them fear my curse words, because sometimes you just need to tell people to kiss your ass. Live and let live, but I will debate with them about enlightenment if I have to stop the spread of their corruption. It is a pain in the ass, but freedom is worth it. Freedom of spirit is true Salvation.
I believe that Christians (and all monotheists) should have the freedom to practice the worship of just one god, however I recommend for the sake of everything holy, the future of humanity, and the planet that they use a New-Age spiritual philosophy in the tradition of henotheism, so that we can all get along. I encourage my brother Christians to adopt a new Bible, just as I am doing by writing this one. Bibles should not be the authority on the word of the gods, as any person’s linguistic expression in book form or spoken, will always be from their human perspective. The Christian Bible was written by men, is interpreted by men, and so we should be cautious because some Christians are more enlightened than others, just as with all faiths.
Henotheism is the belief and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities that may also be worshipped; the believer worships one god alone without denying that others may worship different gods with equal validity.