I let October sneak up on me, it is the 12th already? Let’s see what we can find…
How about Thomas Paine? Paine wasn’t actually one of the founding fathers, which this Quote of the Month series is based upon, but he was an influential writer at the time and was at least on good terms with our founding fathers. Paine’s writings helped to stir the fire in preparation for the revolution to come, and he was inspirational to many of the day. I believe his position still stands upon solid ground. Without further ado:
“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.”
Indeed, anyone who has ever read the bible would be hard pressed not to see what Paine is referencing here. Brutal killings, genocides, the trampling upon women’s rights, the dashing of thine enemies childrens heads upon the rocks, the flud that never happened but claimed to murder the entire population of the earth save but a few. (never mind that at the estimated time of the flud, the many advanced cultures all over the globe never appeared to notice) The bible is filled to the brim with these incidents that would be rightfully labeled atrocities today. Atrocities at the order of this supposed loving god.
I can do without that kind of love…thanks.
The site where I get these quotes: http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html
EDIT: I woke up this morning, and over a cup of coffee decided Paine was worth a little more investigation, as usual Wiki was helpful. It turns out while Paine was a very influential thinker of the day, later in life he wound up being ostracized from society because of his views of religion, and a tirade against G. Washington, after his imprisonment in France that he suspected Washington of being complicit. He died a lonely man apparently, but you have to give him credit for staying with his ideals, right to the end. The Wiki page is very enlightening. I posit the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine It is always nice to learn something you did not know yesterday, and I find it odd this guy was never really mentioned in my youth at school. This guy should be right up there with Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin, indeed without Paine the colonists may never had risen to the challenge of the revolution, food for thought. I found another quote there by Paine well worth reading, I leave it as a tribute to Paine, an unknown American hero.
“I do not believe in the creed professed by the, Jewish church by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”
A friend of mine recently directed me to a scholar in the UK who has a new book positing that Jesus was made up by Roman aristocrats and generals in order to make the Jewish population they were trying to subjugate more passive. In fact, according to this guy, the entire New testament was written by the Roman government. His theory is that by introducing a peace-loving hippy (Jesus) as the tent pole of a new religion, they would tone down or altogether eliminate the rebellious nature of the Jewish tribes they were trying to rule. Essentially the Christian religion was a government sponsored project enacted to compete with the zealous Jewish missionary activity that was rampant in the area. I don’t know much more about this (I intend to buy the book, though), but it’s an interesting idea.
Correction: the gentleman is American. He’s just doing a speaking circuit in the UK.
By the Romans, or the priests cobbling x-ianity together from previously existing religions, I doubt we will ever know for sure. Who ever was responsible, they were no doubt graduates of MSU (Making Shit Up) Either way we are left to deal with the outcome. 🙂 The Michelle Bachman’s, the Westboro Baptists, The Pat Robertsons, the Glen Becks, Phil Donahue, the Republicans in general, most of Texas, and a great deal of the rest of the population…
Thanks for dropping By Ryan.
Anytime! Always interesting reading! 🙂
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