Monday, November 26, 2012

Sun Stroke Revisited


Everybody looking forward to having a nice Christmas? Ever think about the tradition of Christmas and where it comes from? I did, and decided to find out. I must say, what I found reinforced my misgivings about organized religion, after all, Christmas is a good time to point out Christian hypocrisy - because "peace on Earth and goodwill to all 'men'" very easily turns to "take all you can" and "hang 'em high!" and "it's God's will".

[Back in 2009, I wrote an article called Sun Stroke, which described the deception rampant in modern "Christianity" as a religion, and also exposed the ignorance of the average Christian - who either takes for granted that the religion they follow always was the way it is today, that their doctrine is "inerrant", that every aspect of their faith is unique and different and sets their religion apart from the rest, which they frequently attack, deplore and undermine - and that everything they are told by their clergy is true. I originally wrote the article at a time when I was still considering myself a Christian, and on a path to rediscovering my own self, as well as redefining my belief system. I have since gone from being a Christian, to agnostic, and since then, Paganism. These days I identify as a practicing dark pagan witch. As a human rights activist, I often find myself referring back to some of my past articles - especially this one - and so I thought it time to revise it some, to bring it more in line with my subsequent growth and advancement.]

The infamous Kill the Gays Bill has been running back and forth for 4 years now, and since the Ugandan government seems determined to pass it this year, this could well be gay and transgender folks in Uganda's last Christmas before getting herded into camps and exterminated by folks calling themselves "Christians" - but hey, let's all enjoy the peace while it lasts.. 'Tis the season to be jolly, after all. 

Anyway, I hate to be a wet blanket - so, in the spirit of a religion that can't even invent its own festivals, I wish you all a very happy Saturnalia (and ask you to remember that Santa's red hat you're wearing is the symbol of a freed slave in ancient Roman times. Interesting symbolism... and don't forget the decorated trees and sprigs of holly and greenery about the house... AND the celebration of anyone's birth - were all considered PAGAN traditions by the early Christians - who apparently knew a lot more than we give them credit for in modern times). Now how about that? Oh, you didn't know about that? Really? 

Saturnalia... a Roman holiday festival held over seven days annually from December 17 to 23, in which gifts (particularly candles) were exchanged, and shops closed and people partied and relaxed. Sounds quite modern, except they had dancing in the street, which sounds pretty good to me. Lovely. There was a tradition of "family" including the slaves and servants - and yes, people wore those silly woollen pointy hats remarkably similar to the one we see on the modern Santa Claus - a bearded figure strikingly similar to the contemporary effigy of the Roman God Saturn. Ho, ho - holy shit.

Doomsday scholars and theologians have long been warning of the day when ecumenism would become the order of the day, with all faiths working together - and they get twitchy when things such as the World Council of Churches does anything. I think, considering they are still waiting for this "merger" to happen, they are far too late - about two thousand years too late as a matter of fact - because Constantine was the engineer of this very thing. As an amateur historian, I find it very interesting that a Roman emperor founded the Roman Catholic Church.  But then again you probably wondered why it was called "the ROMAN Catholic Church", didn't you? Who was Constantine? Well, he was a Roman emperor, who also became the FIRST pope as founder of the RCC - and not the disciple Peter, as Christian tradition holds.  Truth be told, Constantine was actually a sun-worshiper, who proceeded to blend early Christianity with the leading pagan religions of the day. The ancient Romans were Pagans, whose pantheon of gods included deities such as Diana, Saturn, Neptune, Mars and so on - but who had also adopted other Pagan pantheons into their religious view. 

Religion is such a confusing dangerous subject - funny that most people think it is so simple and even boring. Even today, some people - a certain sort of person - will kill you for even suggesting or questioning anything about their religion that they disagree with - such as postulating that 'God' may not be Caucasian, or even heterosexual. Religion - especially Christianity (or is that Catholicism?) has shaped the world we live in - even the modern world. We tend to think of the concept of "universalism" as a new thing, and yet "catholic" in effect means the very same thing. In Constantine's case, it meant the blending of pagan faiths with the early Christian church and bending both to his own will to strengthen his ailing political power base. Remarkably, this is a trend which continues to this very day.

Read especially the first paragraph of this article - (included below) especially the part about "pistis" and gnosticism - very interesting. It shows how and why the culture of obedience came into play to suppress the questioning of authority, in order to enforce state control, with "Christianity" of course being the "state" religion.

"In 325 A.D. the Roman Catholic Church was created by a pagan emperor named Constantine. It was only superficially a Christian Church. The First Nicean Council as assembled to work out the details. While it was supposed to have been made up of Christian elders from five major Christian centers (Rome, Athens, Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch), it also included elders of all the major Pagan religions of Rome. Bishops from the cults of Mithras, Tammuz, Oannes (Dagon), Ceres, Janus, Bacchus, Apollo, Osiris, Jupiter, and Constantine's own religion: Sol Invictus, were invited. It was Constantine's wish that all of the Pagan religions, then at odds with each other, creating unnecessary conflicts, be unified into one "Catholic" church. "Catholic" means universal. The proceedings of that council were conducted by Constantine with an iron hand, and one of the positions which he insisted upon, and got, was to make Pistis a doctrine of the new church. Gnosticism could not be tolerated, because it encouraged its members to question authority. Pistis was thus politically expedient, because it forbade questioning."

"Pistis" is a Greek word, meaning "faith", in no way related to the word "piston" - although a good friend gave it to me on good faith that it is far better to be pist off, than to be pist on.

Furthermore, the days of the week in use in the western world (and practically everywhere else) are still named after the ancient Roman, Greek and Germanic gods. I don't see this as much of a problem, because I suppose you have to call them something - or people would just keep missing appointments or get sozzled on a  workday instead of over a weekend. Be that as it may, here they are:

"Monday - Dies lunae (from which comes the word lunar), means moon day, from which we get the shortened version, Monday.

Tuesday - Dies Martis, means Mars day, after Mars, the Roman god of war. The day was known to the pagan Germans after their own god of war, Tiw (pronounced too) as Tiw’s (pronounced tooz) day, from which we get Tuesday.

Wednesday - Dies mercuri, means mercury day. Woden (pronounced woe-den) was the Germanic version of the pagan god mercury, and they named the day Woden’s day, from which we get Wednesday.

Thursday - Dies Jovis means Jove’s day, or Jupiter’s day. Thor was the Germanic version of the god Jupiter, so they called the day Thor’s Day, from which we got Thursday.

Friday - Dies Veneris means Venus Day. The Germanic version of this female god was Frigg, or Freyja (pronounced fry-yah), so they called the day Freyja day, from which we got Friday.

Saturday - Dies Saturni means Saturn day, from which came Saturday. The pagans also observed their Saturnalia festival in the last week of December, a time when work ceased, gifts were exchanged, and slaves feasted with their masters.

Sunday - Dies solis (Latin) which means “day of the sun” from which we get Sunday. Sun worship was marked by the use of the halo, or nimbus, which originated with the pagan Greeks and Romans to represent their sun god, Helios. It was later on that artists then adopted it for use in Christian images."
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 Loderunner” by Christina Engela
Ever since he’d decided to quit being a P.I. and to try his hand at running cargo instead, things had just blown up in Timaset Skooch’s face one day at a time. (Florpavian Flamebirds tended to do that occasionally.) Between the labor disputes and accidental deaths among the crew, (who believed in settling disputes internally) he was beginning to get a headache worse than the ones he got from getting kicked in the head. Things had just gone pear shaped again and now he found himself in the middle of a kind of cat and mouse game with some cloaks and daggers thrown in for good measure.

Returning from an evening spent visiting relatives in Mars City he didn’t know he had, he arrived at the local space terminal to find his new acquisition stolen. A few minutes later, the crew of his slightly run down loderunner “Celeste“, returned from the nearby pub, blind drunk, puzzled and now unemployed as well.

He was sure it had something to do with the 10 000,00 credits he was offered  to transport two passengers to an asteroid in the rings of Jupiter, (as soon as possible, no questions asked), by a middle-man with no neck and a tendency to smile a lot.

And to crown everything, his girlfriend was mad at him too (just a little).  He was beginning to regret ever winning that card game…

Buy: Paperback / Ebook

Published: May 26, 2016
Pages: 268
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Dimensions (inches): 4.25″ wide x 6.88″ tall (pocketbook)

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The Sabbath as few people - not even the bible-punchers set on "biblical worldviews" and supposed "biblical inerrancy" - are aware, is STILL Saturday, and NOT Sunday - which as the rather obvious name (duh) SHOULD give away - is actually the day set aside (by Constantine's edicts) for SUN worship. Scholars have reportedly demonstrated, in theory at least, how Christ supposedly rose from the dead at the end of the Sabbath day - which is actually SATURDAY, and not Sunday. Big deal, but anyway, some people make a big thing about which day they want to rest on, and which day they want to go to church on and the order of the business at hand. And the term "the Lord's Day" believe it or not, actually harks back to Roman times and refers to Baal, not Christ. Inneresting, no?

It really amuses me that whenever you allude to anything of Pagan origin to a fanatical Christian (and I do mean fanatical, not the usual tree-hugging every-day variety) they invariably get hot under the dog-collar about it and start muttering something about "the end times" (to add insult to injury, you could always ask them if that would be on a Thor's Day or a Tiw's Day).

Then there's Easter, the Christian celebration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ - or so we are led to believe. Even the name is derived from the ancient festival of Eostre, the Teutonic goddess of fertility. We all know her symbol - the Easter bunny, accompanied by the "Eostre eggs" as symbols of fertility, painted in bright, festive colors. Oh, my tail and whiskers! "Even today, when Easter has supposedly been "Christianized", the date of the holiday falls according to rather pagan reckonings, i.e. on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox." What about hot-cross buns? "Hot cross buns, associated with Lent, derived from the ancient Greeks and Romans, who baked “magic” wheat cakes with crosses scored in the top." Lastly, in keeping with pagan traditions of Greece, Rome and ancient Germanic peoples, the holiday is about renewal, rebirth - and a return from the dead.

How about Lent? Many mainstream churches observe Lent to this day, but this too was stolen directly from Pagan origins. "Coming from the Anglo-Saxon Lencten, meaning “spring,” Lent originated in the ancient Babylonian mystery religion. “The forty days’ abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess…Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz”" (Remember the name Tammuz for later.)

How about Advent? Advent is yet another example of a Pagan festival tradition stolen and adapted to "Christian tradition", also celebrated widely by mainstream churches today. Examples of Advent influence include, the Yule Log and the wreaths people hang on their doors come Saturnalia, - mean, Christmas - both incidentally being symbols of the Sun. The Catholic tradition of candles too comes from this pagan festival.



To muddy the waters still further, you have the symbolism of the cult of Semiramis and Nimrod aka Isis and baby Horus (and a host of others) aka Mary and the baby Jesus in the form of statues and such at Catholic churches - straight from the ancient Babylonian religion of the "Queen of Heaven" herself - complete with the tradition of secret confessionals and all. Nice. To add to it, Semiramis had another son called - wait for it - Tammuz (remember him?) whom she claimed was immaculately conceived from the spirit of her dead husband/son Nimrod - and who was Nimrod reborn! 

We all know the original symbol of the Christians, pre-dating the adoption of the cross - the fish - but if you were under the impression that the fish was really a "Christian" symbol, take a look at what adorns the statue of the virgin Isis and the immaculately conceived baby Horus above's head... That ain't no bald eagle, folks. But it doesn't end there - the legendary date of birth of Nimrod? December 25th. Mary Christmas, folks.

Ahem.

Things like this make me wonder if there is anything in "Christianity" at all which is actually true, unique or even "Christian" at all. I mean, they have plagiarised all their traditions from earlier pre-existing religions, from beliefs of resurrection, symbols, dates of festivals - and even the meanings of the festivals themselves. 

But wait - "modern" Protestant Christianity is different, some might say. They made a break with Catholicism after Martin Luther came on the scene, they say. Really? Even the Protestants copied most of their traditions from the Catholics when they broke away, perpetuating many of the things which undermine the very foundations of their - um, protest. 

"Now wait a minute" you might say - "Christianity has Christ - who died and rose from the dead - now that has to be unique?" It certainly seems to be taken for granted - but is it? After all, it seems to me that there is about as much proof that Christ rose from the dead as any of the others did.

"The Phrygians celebrated a spring festival honoring Cybele, a fertility goddess. Cybele had a consort god named Attis, who was born of a virgin, and who died and was resurrected after three days, an occurrence commemorated sometime around the vernal equinox. Worshippers of Attis mourned the god’s death on Black Friday, then celebrated his rebirth on the following Sunday. Attis was simply the latest manifestation of earlier resurrection myths, like those of Osiris, Orpheus, Tammuz and Dionysus, who were likewise said to have been born of virgins and resurrected three days after their deaths.Incredible, isn't it? But wait, there's more.

Christianity - the last in a long line of previous religions to claim 1) immaculate conception, 2) messiah and 3) resurrection. Confused? I am. ...not to mention disappointed.

Ah, but then you would have some hard-liners (the sort who claim that "God" placed the bones in the rocks to trick us into believing in evolution theory) who would claim that 'the devil' copied all these things to confuse the faithful. Seriously? Because all these religious traditions were far older than Christianity, including the supposedly "immaculate" conception, death and resurrection etc. Were this the case, then either "the devil" read "God's" mind and plotted the whole thing out centuries ahead to use the same devices in numerous other religions, or "God" lacked the all too mortal talent of originality. Or, more plausibly, the entire "Christian" tradition we know today is a bastardized patch-work blending of other people's beliefs being used as a tool to persecute and destroy the lives of those who do not capitulate and convert to it - even those original Pagans whose religions were merged with Catholicism, dragged kicking and screaming into the darkness of pistis, saying "Resistance is futile." Think this is a little harsh? I don't know - read this, and then tell me.

So it seems the modern Church likes to play the sad little tune about how "persecuted" they are - when the distant past is covered up - a history of persecution BY the Christian Church, in which many hundreds of thousands of people were murdered by Christian zealots, specifically many Pagans and adherents of ethnic religions, and especially at the start of their rise to power, when Pagan and Christian lived side by side. I find this failure to mention such truths to be curiously ironic, and telling of the nature of the modern rendition of this religion. Christianity represents a religion of control, conquest, a doctrine of separation, exclusion, death and destruction - an ultimatum of join us, kneel before us, or die.

Let's look at the institution of marriage, which has been fought over so bitterly of late - claimed by Catholic and Protestant alike, to be a "God-given" covenant "between one man and one woman for life" - and ostensibly a "Christian" invention to boot. Ummm... is it? And which god are they referring to?

As it turns out, the concept and ritual of marriage is not only far older than Christianity, or even the Hebrew faith - but not even the modern Christian traditional marriage ceremony in use today is unique to Christianity, or even heterosexuality. Not even the vows used today, except in language, differ much - "with this ring I thee wed" and "in sickness and in health" - and others, can be traced to ancient Egypt - as can the tradition of even HAVING a wedding ring, a best man and bridesmaids! Even the tradition of having them dress the same as the bride, and throwing the flower bouquet is the same! As a matter of personal interest, from the description given, I think the Egyptian words are more beautiful, describing the wedding ring as a symbol of mutual love, as "without beginning, without end." Beautiful! And add to that, the symbolism of the equality of Egyptian society, where rings were exchanged equally - and not solely given to the woman by the man as a mark of his "ownership" of her. Amazing - and this began over 6000 years ago! Lastly, the minor detail that same gender marriage was quite commonplace in Egypt also, in fact it is even claimed that the first official marriage ceremony in ancient Egypt was specifically lesbian! Surprised? I certainly was. Especially when, in the fight for marriage equality everywhere, right wing "Christians" audaciously claim that gay marriage is a new invention!

In fact, I am rather disappointed that Hebrew and Christian religions, as it turned out, only cherry-picked things which suited them - doubtlessly the openness and equality of the sexes didn't fit that description. Ironically, open societies of the ancient world vanished over time, while more oppressive, controlling - and what we should today consider "backward" societies, prevailed. Quite worrying, actually - as the rise of Catholicism coincided with the period known for very good reason, as the Dark Ages.

That's all very interesting... and not what they tell you in high school history. Yes, high school history is all about dates - Lord Such-n-such fought the Battle of Who Really Cares on the field of Who-Knows-Where on the 42nd of Octember 98 BP (Before Plumbing)... and who all signed the Treaty of Why Bother to end Some Forgotten Dispute about the taxation of trade routes between X and Y (which was more about City A wanting to control City B). It is more interesting and rewarding to scratch a bit and see the history they don't want you to know - because, history as they keep telling us, is WRITTEN (or re-written) BY THE VICTORS - and thinking for yourself just doesn't make for obedient little plebs.

All this and more written between the lines of the Hidden History of the great Christian faith's doctrine of "just believe what we tell you to, and do what you're told like a good little lemming".

Somehow, after all this, we are still somehow expected to "just accept" Church authority and the authenticity of the bible as is, even after it has languished under the control of these devious folks all this time - even after finding out all this and this. Well, not I. If I cannot trust it, then how can I consult it?

With all these sources confusing the issue, how are you supposed to know WHO this God is? The Christian religion is built on nothing but lies and plagiarism - and stolen lies at that. The "bible" is incomplete and corrupted, and clerics equally misled and opinionated - and still ready to urge people too kill, maim and destroy others in the name of a religion that has no substance to it. All of this leads me to believe that nobody really knows anything about this God of theirs - that they are guessing, or they are simply falling for claims made by earlier people - whether their intent was to mislead or perpetuate these deceptions, and that they simply don't bother to question anything that leads them to do harm to others.

In fact, it seems Christ may not have been the very "perfect" and even "boring" two-dimensional character these people would have us believe he was today. Go figure. No wonder they called the Nag Hamadi texts "heretical" and tried very hard to destroy them - and those who wrote and protected them - because they encouraged free thought, free will and essentially weakened their control. And so they formulated their own "orthodox" (meaning "right-thinking") version and cut it all down to something they could manage, manipulate and use to suit their own nefarious purposes, passing it off, rather fundamentalist-ically as the "Word of God" - whichever god that may be.

No wonder the RCC directly opposed and discouraged (through intimidation, torture and executions) the medieval efforts to translate its in-house version of the bible (the Latin Vulgate) from Latin to English or any other language - because in using original Greek and Hebrew texts, a host of inaccuracies and errors (both accidental and deliberate) are found. Even today scholars correcting such errors are misrepresented and opposed by conservative supposedly "right-thinking" scholars as somehow "editing the Word of God" rather than welcomed as correcting the mistakes and deliberate works of Man!

It is rather refreshing and comforting for me to know that I am free of the ties of religious doctrine, pistis and ideological oppression - as an agnostic, and an eclectic. 

"Christian" holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, Advent and Lent are false misrepresentations, and just like everything else in the Christian tradition, based wholly on un-Christian foundations stemming from the doings of Constantine and the RCC. For all intents and purposes, the entire Christian Church, both Catholic, Protestant and even charismatic evangelical - is false too, based on and blended with material stolen from Pagan traditions over time. In short, it pretends to be what it is not, and even tries to hide the fact that it has absolutely nothing to offer people in terms of actual faith and Christian salvation in the intended sense of the word - but empty ritual, CONTROL and perpetuated lies, fancy parlour tricks and misplaced trust.

It amuses me no end these days, hearing Christians complain that the commercialization of Christmas is hijacking the "true spirit" of the holiday (when even they have no clue what that really is) - and when they throw "family values" into the mix as they do with everything else (including depriving people of equality) - especially when the "true spirit" of Christmas is not even remotely Christian at all and never has been!

As for the hypocrisy of "Christians" complaining about Pagan festivals or religious groups, or some kids traipsing around the neighborhood in Halloween costumes trick-or-treating, let's not even go there.

This whole organized-religion structure is sick and twisted and full of lies and deceit - and so inflexible and judgemental - and so very full of things that have nothing to do with what it claims to - Christ. Current events in Uganda and other places, perhaps even in YOUR own home - demonstrate that this is exactly what would happen if the conservative "right-thinking" element have their way everywhere else in the world - enforced ignorance, blind obedience to doctrine, organized hatred, institutionalized fear-mongering, encouraged paranoia and prized religious piety - all based on misrepresentation, lies and ignorance.

I have even wondered if it would not have been better for Christ (if he ever really existed) to have been born into the Islamic world instead - his message might have survived untarnished and uncorrupted there (because we know what they do to people who steal or offend their religious mentality). But then today, we might have only had a different set of overly-religious folks flying planes into buildings and blowing themselves up in public places in order to get into Paradise, or is that Elysium?

They (the Christian Church) have poisoned the well they expect everyone to drink from in good faith - and then they have the nerve to blame people for not wanting to drink from it! But then, as human rights activists we often face such hypocrisy, it is par for the course.

"In God We Trust", the American slogan goes - well then, trust in your God - not so implicitly in the works of Humankind. It seems to me that if you want to learn about, believe in, worship or follow Christ, or stand for what he is supposed to have stood for - then you need to fly in the face of convention, piss on pistis, as it were - or go directly to the source, to consult Christ in your own way, without allowing some interfering middle-man to deliberately mislead you along the way or perpetuate things they themselves do not know or understand, whose origins are well hidden and obscured in the mists of time.

At the end of this article, I am not not even sure what the term "Christian" really means any more, and since it seems at least a third of the Earth is unwittingly and implicitly involved in some form of misrepresented pretend-Pagan amalgam, lightly veneered with Christianity - who it does or should apply to. In fact, though I still feel an abiding fondness for Christ and his message, whatever that was, I feel increasingly justified and even vindicated in calling myself an agnostic, and a Pagan witch.

In the end, the "Christian" principles of "goodwill to all people" (not just 'men') and peace on Earth should apply to all days and not just Saturnalia - I mean, Christmas. Pistis and gnosticism they say - faith, obedience and to forbid questioning authority... Well, nobody is ever going to "forbid" me to question authority - I question their authority to do that also. I question the authority of anyone who claims they have authority over me without me having given them express permission to say so. In fact, I now question everything ever taught to me that I didn't learn for myself - and have done so ever since my journey away from dogmatic group-think began four years ago with the original version of this article - and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Let that be the new Renaissance of our time.

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