The world around us is filled with people who are selfish, cocky and arrogant about their own religious beliefs. I say not these things because I resent the pride others take in their religion, but because the pride some of them take in their choice of beliefs boils over into a hatred of the religious choices of others who choose differently to them, and into persecution of those who dare to do so.
When one looks at religions around the world today, few are so judgmental and hostile to the faiths of others as Christianity - a faith supposedly founded upon the teachings of love, peace and tolerance of a Jewish man. A man whose actual existence is unverified by archaeology and history, and whose legacy has become not the peace, love and tolerance he is claimed to have taught to his gnostic followers - but the pain and suffering caused by those who follow the doctrine of intolerance, persecution and paranoia that is the hallmark of modern Christianity, both orthodox and mainstream.
It would seem to me that "Christianity" today is "Christian" in name only. It has become a litany of hatred, rallying of the faithful troops, a gathering of the armies of followers wanting to hear not messages of love and family-hood - but messages of us v/s them, separation and punishment for those who do not believe as they do, and the demonization and destruction of anyone outside the faith.
A minister friend of mine has been for some time telling me how people have been lodging complaints about his inclusive and tolerance sermons to his supervisor. In fact, quite a few of these people have also left this moderate mainstream church to join the more radical evangelical churches in town, precisely because they don't want to hear about Christ's love for all people - but because they want to hear how they are to form part of "Christ's army of the end times", dealing out death and punishment to all who oppose them. I found it quite surprising that it was not the old fogies and crotchety grandfolks who were complaining, or leaving - but those in my age group and younger. Somehow I find that disappointing and rather foreboding.
A lot of the Christians I know today cannot handle the truth, or the facts. They are blind to it. They need the lie that has been fed to them since leaving the womb, they cling desperately, white-knuckled, to the crutch which has been jammed under their arm to prop them up in this world, while gravity tugs at them, swaying them, threatening to topple them off their fragile support. They cannot cope without it, without that thing in their lives - a program telling them how to think or feel or act towards people or situations or objects which defy, challenge, frustrate or circumvent their rules.
The truth? That the religion they cling to, the system by which they view the world around them, and judge the people in it - and work to destroy them - is as much a human-made construct as every single other. That their religion is built upon an amalgam of bits and pieces copied and stolen from other older faiths, and stitched together to make up their so-called doctrine and dogma which they today call "inerrant", despite the fact that the rock which they have used to build the foundations of their church, consists entirely of the rubble of the older religions and cultures destroyed, assimilated and obliterated by them. That for two thousand years, they and their parents, grandparents and ancestors have lied to each successive generation, and continue to do so.
Many Christians today cannot tolerate diversity or equality. They claim to cherish democracy and democratic values because they supposedly guarantee freedom of religion - but at the very same time, they despise any other religious divergence away from their own spiritual path. They seek to deny others the right to the same equality and freedom of religion granted to them, simply because these others dare to choose differently to them. And of course, they are so
absolutely obsessed with the Christian evangelical concept and entirely human construct of "sin" - that, and being "right" all the time.
Consequently, they are known to employ underhanded tactics to undermine the democratic rights of other minority groups, utilizing the democratic system itself to do so. A casual glance at the upsurge in hatred against the Pink Community in the USA should be enough to demonstrate this - with opinion polls, statistics, medical and scientific studies and pseudo-scientific claims all forming part of propaganda and campaigns and counter-campaigns against the human and civil rights of people who are supposed to be treated equally to them. And of course, all this oppression and persecution is being labeled "just", "righteous", "fair", and even "godly" by the so-called "Christian" right.
Looking closer, you will see that similar groups have been active in South Africa also, although they are based upon, and even funded and supported by the American groups - they face many more obstacles to being more openly hateful and vindictive here. The chief obstacle to them is the Constitution, which is why they have been taking to assist whatever move on the part of our (at least) 1/3 Communist government, by supporting whatever moves it makes to undermine democracy and the Constitution which grants everyone equal protection under law.
Noteworthy of their behavior is the shit-storm in the media every time they are taken on about some matter in which they violate the law or the Constitutiton by discriminating against someone, or whenever they campaign against some group or event on the grounds of their own personal beliefs - but fail to care a damn about the extreme hypocrisy of this. It amazes me the small-mindedness, ignorance and pettiness we are dealing with.
They refuse to allow their children to watch or read Harry Potter, or use the abbreviation "Xmas" for "Christmas" because "it's evil" - but they will cheerfully push for the return of the death penalty, relaxation of gun-laws and decorate the Xmas tree every December, burn the Yule log, give gifts, and spin yarns to their children about Santa Claus and the reindeer, despite the Pagan roots to all these items. Even the date - and Santa's hat - is taken from the Roman festival of Saturnalia.
Come "Easter", they talk about Christ's crucifiction and ressurection, not even knowing that the whole idea was not new then either, but copied from at least two older Pagan religions, which each featured a son of a god or goddess, who died and was raised from the dead - and that both Easter Bunny, and Easter egg are associated with the goddess Ishtar, and that the festival is still Ostara to Pagans today. Hot-cross buns are also no more "Christian" than anything else in the religion, it seems.
Despite the well-documented representation of Johnathan and David's relationship in their bibles, they refuse to accept their gay relatives or people around them because it's "an abomination", but they will happily kick people when they are down, enjoy shellfish and have "WWJD" tattooed on their butts - while doing the complete polar opposite to everything Christ supposedly stood for.
They believe in a Trinity, and use the bastardized version of a Pagan triquetra to symbolize it (three interlinked circles), despite their own doctrine which creates three gods and then conveniently tries to bluff the world into thinking they are somehow one god at the same time - as opposed to Paganism which recognizes all gods and goddesses as different facets of the same source. For some reason, they see this as reason to kill people. Lol.
They also don't seem to mind going to church on a SUNday, despite it being the day named by sun-worshipers, MONday for the Moon, or the fact that every other day of the week is named after a Pagan god or goddess. Saturn is named after the Roman god Saturn, and Thursday (or Thor's Day) is my favorite. Some of the months of the year are named after Roman gods, March for Mars (god of war and the army) June for Juno - and some are also named after Roman emperors deified after death - July (Julius), August (Augustus) etc. Cute, eh?
They read about "angel guides", consult psychics, learn reiki and crystal magick - while criticizing diviners and tarot readers and astrology, demonizing and persecuting witches for practicing the Craft and harming none, while simultaneously eating fancy cooking with herbs and spices, spraying on perfume, burning candles or incense for meditation, or bathing in soothing oils and potions - and don't see the hypocrisy. Wow.
They criticize Paganism, but celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and other annual commemorations, despite the fact that this is a Pagan tradition - an observance which original Christianity recognized and caused them to denounce. How many "Christians" today have taken the trouble to read up on the REAL founder of "Christianity"? Know who that was? Paul? Peter? Nope... The Roman Emperor Constantine. Christian? Not by a long stretch, my friends.
Yes, early Christians were persecuted in Rome - but they returned the favor, and have been doing so ever since. As in an apparent unending circle of violence, Christians have been persecuting the other for 1800 years, while being deluded by their blind faith in their leaders that this is the right thing to do. Is there an end in sight?
Despite the well-documented history of King Solomon as a sorcerer and mystic, they dare to presume to persecute anyone who identifies with anything remotely Pagan - which they summarily portray and dismiss as "satanism" and "devil worship". Today Pagans are still tarred and feathered by "Christians" as all that is evil, have a long and blood-stained history of persecution by them, and still have a long way to go before true "democratic" equality is realized.
Go into a CNA and look for the "religious" section and see if you can find anything at all in there but "Christian" bibles and material written by Solly Ozrovitch or books with Angus Buchan and his silly hat on the cover. Nothing Muslim, Jewish, or Pagan. Ask the manager or counter clerk where to find Pagan material, they will answer "sorry, we don't stock that" - that is, after you explain to them what Pagan means.
Go into a jewelry store and ask to see pentacles, triquetras, or ankhs and they will give you a blank expression. After showing them a picture - or drawing them one - they will pull out a tray bedecked with an array of crucifixes and crosses, with maybe a single Star of David - or if they are really liberal, a Buddhist pendant - and ask if you see anything you like.
Know of a single Pagan goods store in a mall in Port Elizabeth? No? Perhaps that's because there aren't any, right? Yes, there are a very few here, run from people's homes - because they encounter such resistance from mall managers who don't want to rent space to non-Christian businesses. Surely this sort of nonsense falls under anti-discrimination laws?
How would Christians like it if Pagans were to picket their businesses or churches because of the evil they practice, or the hatred they ferment within? Oh, the shoe would be on the other foot then, wouldn't it?
Right at the end of it all, what really pisses me off about "Christians", is the self-righteous arrogance which reminds me of the archaic "divine right of kings". It says "I can and will because I have the power"... the blind, hateful and spiteful arrogance in which they act towards fellow human beings, and neighbors - and it makes some uncontactable, unreachable deity the excuse for their actions, and the justification for their cruelty and menace to society.
Alternatives to just following the blind litany of the "Christian" doctrine have surfaced gradually since the end of the generational genocide called the "Holy Inquisition" in the nineteenth century. This tells me that all the Christian Church achieved by this holocaust - aside from enriching itself and cementing its power over the fearful masses - was to inspire a departure from its greedy and paranoiac existence - a slow, gradual exodus from mindless servitude and fear and dependence - to the free thinking, tolerant independence of the old ways. It seems ironic to me that in tightening its grasp in the Dark Ages, the Church as a world power, simply sowed the seeds of its own destruction - as so many of their offspring have turned their backs on the lies, deceit and decay, myself included - and looked elsewhere for what they need.
It is an undeniable fact that over the past 20 centuries, "Christianity" has soaked its hands in the blood of those it didn't agree with, or oppressed, or didn't like - and painted it all as "their fault". "They" dared to step out of line, "they" dared to be different, "they" dared to defy "god". But who is it that was being disagreed with? God? Or the Christian Church?