I have previously written about Judaism, a Bronze Age nightmare on this blog. As I said in that post, Judaism, Christianity and Islam claim to be three but are in fact one (a bit like the Trinity). Now I’d like to consider the problematic middle child of Abraham, the most popular form (at the time of writing) of these three-in-one religions.
The monstrous ogre of the Old Testament suddenly had a change of heart after 1,000+ years of terrifying the Jews with his rage, his unpredictability and his hatred of the people who didn’t or couldn’t follow the 613 rules he set out – born sick and commanded to be well. Suddenly he was all about love and forgiveness. John 3:16 , also known as the Gospel in a nutshell, reads…
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”
…which is certainly an improvement on God destroying the whole of humanity because he was fed up with them using the free will he had given them to behave in ways of which he didn’t approve. And the fact that God was also his own son and his own father (don’t ask me) makes the sacrifice doubly impressive to Christians.
Modern day Christians like to concentrate on the “Jesus is nice” parts of the New Testament and love to go on about the Golden Rule, as if no-one else had come up with this idea before them. The trouble is that Christians base their legitimacy on the monster of the Old Testament; Christians believe they inherited the mantle of God’s Chosen People when the Jews denied Jesus Christ and handed him over to the hated Roman oppressors for execution – the central event in all four versions of the Christian myth. Christians also conveniently forget the Jesus himself said all the rules of the Old Testament still applied – check out Matthew 5:18 and Luke 16:17.
Christianity has clearly been influenced by the peoples who surrounded the Jews. More knowledgeable people than I have pointed out that the Egyptian Horus, the Persian Mithras and the Greek Dionysus (amongst others) all bear a startling resemblance to Jesus – born to a virgin on 25th December, twelve disciples, performed miracles and rose from the dead. Christianity is the surviving form of what was obviously a very popular story in the ancient Middle East.
All the above pales into insignificance compared the immorality that forms the central core of Christianity. This is the idea that believing in Jesus and his death and resurrection can absolve you of your “sins.” This is Toytown morality of a particularly childish variety. I can forgive you if you do something that wrongs me. I can even agree, like Sidney Carlton, to take the punishment that you deserve for wronging another person. What I cannot do is absolve you of the responsibility for the wrongs you have done to another person. And I certainly cannot presume to forgive you if the person who has actually been wronged does not forgive you. Chucking in a human sacrifice of a particularly vicious kind that somehow absolves everyone of everything they have ever done makes this immortality even worse. I am not responsible for the mythical goings-ons at Calvary and I refuse to believe that anyone is forgiven for the wrongs they have done simply by believing in these bizarre events.
In short, Christianity is mere wish-fulfilment for adults, an infantile desire to turn the clock back to before they did something wrong. It is the desire to avoid responsibility for our own actions and put the onus onto a mythical figure who will take the blame that rightly belongs only to us. Being good for Jesus’ sake, how is this different from little kids who want to behave in December so Santa will bring them lots of presents?