A Twist to the Pit and the Pendulum
“You think that a Christian is a man of every crime, an enemy of the gods, of the emperor, of the law, of good morals, of all nature.” Tertullian
The most divisive system thought up by man is religion and it is quasi obvious that religion would have been utilized as the instrument for exacting persecution as well as “scapegoating” throughout history. My question is, should a democratic state and its institutions lend themselves to said persecution?
I am a Pantheist Pagan with a Heathen son and in our acceptance of our different approaches to the Divine Question, we realize that we are not part of mainstream or organized religion and that the acceptance which exists within our home is now extended in the outer world. Ours is not a sectarian, sexist, homophobic, racist, male God, in whose name centuries of divisive doctrines and philosophies have catapulted mankind into fanaticism, religious fascism, hatred, chaos and wars.
Let’s face it, religion automatically divides and splits mankind in its constant need for an opponent and in its need for the concepts of right and wrong, in its depending upon a “chosen” or a “condemned people”; religion has become a necessary evil for those who rule and control us through social and religious conditioning.
In our home we seek to experience divinity “within” and through the “natural world” which contains and surrounds us. As such we have no part in “the fires of Moloch”, the castrations of Cybele, the mutilations of Astarte, in the Baptisms and Confirmatory rites of the Church or in any of the possibly misguided practices mankind has engaged in the past or in the present, in the name of the God of his making.
“Christians and Muslims speak of an eternal hell. There cannot be eternal punishment. The life of a wicked man here is nothing when compared with eternal life. If there be an eternal damnation into fire, it means there is an infinite effect produced by a finite cause. This cannot be!” Swami Sivananda
Where is the love (love is what keeps it all together) and magnanimity of a God which would sit by passively, amused by or embroiled in the natural consequences and limited actions of mankind? In my opinion the Divine just “IS”. Nothing exists outside the reality of God, for the Divine permeates the natural ALL. Manifest and unmanifest.
The inspired Biblical writings and history show up the many crimes man has attributed to the will of God. My idea of the Divine is impersonal omnipotent Perfection and Harmony, the home and epicenter of All and Nothing which does not require barbaric sacrifices to Itself, for to IT belongs everything, even the abstract nothingness that awaits ideation.
Let’s say, in his feeble attempt to understand the ALL, in his attempt to maneuver the fear of Divine Power for his personal profit and nefarious plans, man has invented taboos, rituals and mechanisms of scapegoating, deifying the fruits of his faulty intellect and developing sanctimonious religious amnesia that sanction moral cruelty and persecution.
Where is the integrity and the greatness of an easily manipulated god? No, the Divine All is not limited Being(ness). God simply “IS”. The Divine thinks not, wants not, likes not, for those are the characteristics of “not-yet-perfected” man who projects his own petty limitations on the ALL.
Spirituality should be a gradual awakening to the Truth of All-God(ness) and not dictated by the fear of being “set forth for example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7), “that they might all be damned who believe not the truth” (2 Thessalonians ii:12)
And Pagan mankind persecuted Christian. Yes, we did! Yet, said persecutions were not as widespread or as pronounced as recorded in the “popular texts”, penned long after the events had happened. Eusebius in his “History of the Church” states that there was never imperial persecution of Christians under Emperor Decius. Did Nero or Domitian and Diocletian kills “multitudes of Christians” in Rome? The passage in Tacitus where the above is recorded has been proven to be a later forgery. The Bishop of Sardis, Melito, also stated, in 170 AD, that there were not multitudes of Christians in Rome in 64 AD.
And yes, persecution is persecution, no matter the intensity or degree, but why were some of the historical records altered? Why forge the Martyrdom Traditions which sprung up?
Ecclesiastical history stands testimony to heresies, forged records and pretended gospels. What has been termed by the Church as “pious fraud”, however in the Catholic Encyclopedia we read: “why would God need pious lies to give them (the gospels) credit? Lies and forgeries are only needed to bolster up falsehood. Nothing stands in need of Lying but a Lie”
I am not going to say what is legitimate or not inspired in the Bible, for I have immense respect for the Christian Mystery Tradition and the Galilean Christ. It transpires however, that its inconsistencies and contradictions are simply due to man’s fraudulent intervention, exacted out of a desperate and careless need to bend the truth therein contained and pervert sacred scripture in order to substantiate human agendas.
Joseph Wheeler in his book “Forgery in Christianity” (1980) quotes a certain Dr. Giles as having said “there can be no doubt that a great number of books (in the Bible) were written with no other purpose than to deceive”.
A lot of “this” is still happening in our day and age.
Why would an All-Loving Father who is “long-suffering in mercy” and who is “plentiful in forgiveness” sanction holy wars, murders, and persecutions of all sorts? Because he is a “jealous God”? Would the ALL ever display such human insecurities? Hardly!
There is nothing suppressing, vengeful or insecure about the All-Father-Mother. The divine allegories and the Christ Principle were never in need of lies for Truth profits nothing for “itself” but belongs to all equally.
In one book “The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects” (1983), Barbara Walker wrote: “The martyrs of the famous Roman persecutions were largely invented for there are no specific records and most names were taken from tombstones. It was the Christian Church that did much more persecuting and made more martyrs than Rome ever did, because religious tolerance was the usual Roman policy”.
It is also said that Maccabees (the 4th book of the Apocrypha) was used by the early Church to construct martyrdom stories and later it was used by the Catholic Church to devise the most ignoble instruments of torture and techniques employed during the Burning Times (wheels, joint-dislocators, racks, bone-crushers, braziers, pendulums, thumb screws, claws, wedges and branding ).
Walker also reminds us that when Christians were subjected to Pagan persecution, they were “very vocal and insistent advocates of liberty of conscience and freedom of worship whatever God one chose.” Their pleas for tolerance may be studied in the letters of the Apologists and this freedom was accorded them by the Edict of Milan and other imperial decrees.
But what happened when the powerful Constantine converted? The Church and its followers were very quick to take up the sword and kill as well as despoil the Pagan hordes who would not feign BELIEF. They have continued this holy crusade and spiritual warfare against Pagans to this very day and their devious methods have not changed.
In the times of Celsus Christianity was called the “new superstition”. Ammonius Saccas, founder of the Alexandrian Neoplatonic School taught that Christianity and Paganism, when correctly understood, differed in no essential points, but had common origins and were really one and the same thing.
In “The Christ Conspiracy” Acharya S tells us how early Christians were accused of incest, infanticide and cannibalistic orgies where blood drinking and unbridled sexuality were the rule of the day. Both Justin Martyr and Tertullian made reference to the fact that the early Christian sects were accused of all sorts of things because they gathered in secret and because they followed a Godman accused of treason against the state and of practicing magic.
Further to that, Elaine Pagels wrote” “Besides their acts that police could identify, rumor indicated that their secrecy concealed atrocities. Their enemies said they ritually ate human flesh and drank human blood”. This was clearly the misunderstanding of the Sacraments of Holy Communion.
“Strange” how in our times the tables have turned. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, mankind has chosen to fall into an apathetic state of “amnesia-hypnotic fear” and has relished in blissful ignorance for the past two millennia condoning horrors and forcing minorities into silence and hiding.
Pagans do not object to Police investigation, nor do we object to the application of the Law to all who commit crimes against society. The SAPS is an instrument of law enforcement of the People for the protection of the People and not an instrument to be used in persecutory campaigns by policemen with religious agendas.
Let us continue advocating dignity and freedom of choice for all men, encouraging all forms of learning and knowing, so that our potential inner glory and wisdom may become a beacon against division, exploitative segregation and persecution.
This is a battle of conscience, a moral refusal to be hypnotized into a state of ignorant dogmatic compliance. It is stilling the din of the world and hearing the voice of Divine again … addressing us from within.
With the Sword of Reason I have given my son the Sandals of Swift Unfoldment and a Shield of Deliverance saying to him (as did the Spartan Mother over two thousand years ago) “With it, or Upon it!”
Tertullian, Eusebius, Tacitus, Ammonius Saccas, Swami Sivananda
Joseph Wheeless, Forgery in Christianity, 1990
Barbara Walker, The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, 1983
Acharya S, the Christ Conspiracy, 1999
Elaine Pagels , The Gnostic Gospels, 1989
Elaine Pagels, Adam Eve and the Serpent 1989
Gerald Massey, Gnostic and Historic Christianity, 1985