Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The World Is Full Of Gods

            When I started this blog I was only doing it for a grade. As many of my reader know I am in an English Comp class at Jacksonville State University taught by Tanya Sasser. Over the course of the semester I have tried to inform my readers of the various religions that exist and have existed over the course of human history. I tried to let you know about different things that those people believe, or to give you insight to why they lived their lives in a certain way.

·         Vikings Believed that you could only enter Valhalla of you were killed in battle. So they spent much of their life pillaging and burning other civilizations. 
Photo fromWikiCommons

·         Snake Handlers think that if you are a true Christian you are invincible (they’re obviously wrong).
Photo courtesy of The Iranian

·         Hindus and Buddhists believe that you have to answer for your actions weather you “repent” of them or not. Karma even follows you to the next life, this makes them (mostly) very peaceful people.
gif from 4gifs

·         Mormons believe that it is possible for a man to rise to the level of God, if he is important enough (like John Smith). They also believe some other crazy stuff (i.e. Burnt people, and Magic Underpants)

·         Greeks believed their Gods to be fallible and imperfect.

·         Christians believe that as long as they believe in Jesus and repent of their sins, God will forgive them no matter what they do.
Photo from Outside the camp

·         Atheists don’t believe in any of it. We just feel like everyone should be good to each other and get along.
Photo from Greg Laden

·         I even showed how religions borrow stories from one another.

Every one of these groups of people feel like their answer is the only correct answer.
Everyone feels like everyone else is wrong.  Each religion has a way of forcing their beliefs on another. For some, like Jehovah’s Witness, this involves knocking on your door at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. For others, like the Catholic Church, this involves forcing the rest of the world to accept their morals, weather we believe them or not. In many cases spreading the word of religion can be a good thing, many missionaries travel to other countries and build homes and schools, feed, and clothe poor children. But in some cases it is taken too far, today in America, we deny marriages, abortions, birth control, and even sex education all based off the religious views of one group of Americans. We all need to step back and try and see the world through the eyes of someone else sometimes. We get so caught up in our own culture that we forget that other people see things differently, this doesn’t make them inherently bad, this only makes them different. 
Pic from ReasonedRants

            Even though the class I started this blog for ends this week, I will still continue to post until people stop reading. Thank you to all of my classmates who have helped me become a better writer over the last few months. I wish you all the best of luck.
Photo from OlaBetiku

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

5 More Unbelievable Beliefs

1.West Virginia Snake Handlers- In 1910, high in the mountains of West Virginia, George Went Hensley was reading his bible and came across a couple of verses he hadn’t paid attention to before.

Luke 10:19 - Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Matthew 16:17-18 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; ­They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Hensley interpreted them to mean that any true follower of Christ should be able to master snakes, and even if he did get bit “nothing by any means shall ever hurt him”, right?
Picture from FreeThinkering
“It’s ok, Pastor George said it won’t hurt”

Well, being in West Virginia, there were plenty of snakes to be found. So, he found one and was not immediately bitten. He took this as a sign that his interpretation was correct. A few years later he started his own church, requiring that all who attend handle snakes as proof of their salvation.
Picture courtesy of Legal Juice

Well, as luck would have it, snake handling is not quite the safest religious practice. In 1955 George Hensley was preaching in Florida, when he was bitten by a snake he was holding. He and his wife were “faith healers” and believed god would take care of him. He died early the next morning, the local Sheriff ruled it a suicide. Surprisingly enough, this was not enough to dissuade his followers. No, since his death churches have sprung up in Alabama, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Canada. And several more deaths.

2. Faith Healing – I cannot think of any crazy belief more dangerous than Faith Healing. These are people who honestly believe that any sickness can be cured only by prayer. This belief is present in more than just the West Virginia Snake Lovers. Jehovah’s Witnesses’ believe that you can never receive a blood transfusion, tons of different religions have a degree of faith healing.

But here is where it starts to be a problem, in 2012 a couple in Oregon allowed their sixteen year old son to die of a burst appendix when they tried to simply “pray away” his appendicitis. 
Picture of Austin, 16 years old. From NY Daily News
Due to a religious exemption in the state law regarding child abuse these two neglectful, irresponsible, moronic excuses for parents were let off with only probation.
Picture of shitty parents from NY Daily News
 And this is only one of dozens, or even hundreds of other cases.

3. Return to the Mothership – On March 25th 1997, the world was treated to the spectacle of the Hale-Bopp comet. 
Picture courtesy of Wiki Commons
Thirty-nine people gathered together to hitch a ride on the space ship that trailed the comet. 
Picture courtesy of Search-Best-Cartoon
What? You didn’t know Santa flies his space ship behind the comet? Where have you been?

Heaven’s Gate believed the Earth was about to be recycled. And that they needed to trade in their vehicles (that is what their called their bodies) for newer models. 

The next Morning police found the bodies of thirty-nine people who had committed mass suicide. The leaders thought that only through suicide could they be freed from earth and be taken on the ship to the next level of existence above human.

It is worth mentioning that in October of 1996, the group purchased “Alien Abduction” insurance for a group of fifty people at the price of $10,000

4. Where Do They Get Off? – Back in 500 C.E. there were no smart phones, or internet, not even any porno magazines. So this brings up a question, what kind of pornography was available?
In most cultures it was in art sculptures and paintings. But to the Hindu people of Khajurahu it was at church. The oddest thing is that these sculptures do not depict the gods. No, these sculptures represent sexual activities between people.

Pictures from Wiki Commons
5. God’s of Poo – No I am not talking about the gods of Pooh.
Gif Courtesy of RighteousRyan

No, I mean the god’s of poo, excrement, feces, crap. 

Poop Shrine courtesy of Tokyo Mango.

It turns out that the Romans indeed had a god for everything. In fact they had not one, but two gods for human excrement. Stercutius, the Roman god of Ordure (defined as muck, dung, waste, something regarded as vile). There was also Cloacina was one of the oldest roman gods and she was considered to be the goddess of all sewers and toilets in the Eternal City (what a crappy job, for a God).

Additional Resources:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Savior is Born

From Concord Pastor
It is December 24th the year 3000 B.C.E. A bright star shines in the east. The people are gossiping about the arrival of the son of god. Three kings set out on a quest; they follow the star in the east, until they come upon a manger with a new born child. A child born to a virgin woman, named Mary, she was immaculately impregnated by the one true god. Her husband stood over the manger as the kings presented the newborn god with extravagant gifts, and pledged their service to him.
            Many of you may recognize this story.

Many of you may even think you know who the story is about.

Would it surprise you to find out you are wrong?

No, this is not the story of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This is the story Horus, The Egyptian God of the Sun.

Horus And Jesus courtesy of Wiki commons

The similarities between Jesus and Horus (and several other gods) don’t stop there. At the age of twelve Horus was already a religious teacher, and at the age of thirty he began his ministry after being baptized. Horus was accompanied by twelve disciples who witnessed him performing miracles like healing the sick or walking on water. Horus was known by many names such as "The Light", "The 
Lamb Of God", "God’s Anointed Son", and many others. Horus was eventually betrayed by one of his disciples and tortured to death on a cross. He remained dead for three days and was then resurrected.

You may look at this and think that Horus is a complete rip off of the bible and the story of Jesus.

But, this story has been found in hieroglyphs that were made in 3000 B.C.E. Nearly three thousand years before Jesus was even born.

According to D.M. Murdock author of Christ In Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection, this story (or very similar ones) has been used repeatedly throughout history.

Wiki Commons
*Attis – A greek God from around 1200 B.C.E.- He was Born to a virgin on Dec. 25th, betrayed by his followers he was crucified, buried for three days, and resurrected.

*Krishna – A Hindu God who’s story dated back to 900 B.C.E. – Born of a virgin and a star in the east signaled his birth. Krishna performed miracles with his disciples and was resurrected after his death.

Wiki Commons
*Dionysus – Another Greek god, his story is from roughly 500 B.C.E.- Virgin birth on Dec 25th. He turned water into wine and performed other miracles. He was commonly referred to as The King Of Kings, The Alpha And Omega, and Gods Only Son. He was also resurrected after he died.

*Mithra – A Persian God from circa 1200 B.C.E. – Another Virgin Birth on Dec 25th. He performed miracles with his twelve disciples, and was resurrected three days after his death.

Wiki Commons

These are just few, the list goes on and on, dozens of gods, who all seem to share the same story. 

Why do they all appear to have the same details?

Well the answer is actually quite simple, it’s in the stars.

The star in the east is actually Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.

Picture from Post-Journal.

On December 24th, Sirius lines up with the three brightest stars in Orion’s Belt. In many cultures referred to these stars as “The Three Kings.” and, come morning, on December 25th all four stars are in line with the rising sun.

Picture From Wired.

            This is why people said “The Three Kings, follow the star in the east, to the birth of the son (sun).”
Now, we can clearly see where the story originated. But why?
Why was this story so important that it needed to be retold over and over, in different forms to many different people, throughout history?
 Well, as you may have guessed there is an answer for that too. According to D.M. Murdock, it is all based on ancient astrology and farming. 

Picture courtesy of Chita
            The story usually starts with a virgin mother. This is a representation of the constellation Virgo, which in Latin translates to “virgin.” This constellation becomes visible in August and September, the time for harvest                                                                              

Picture From AccuWeather

 The date also falls on the winter solstice, the time of year when the Earth is at is furthest distance from the sun. During the months between the summer and winter solstices the sun is slowly moving south in the sky, as a result the days get shorter. In the days leading up to the solstice the sun is at its lowest point in the sky, and the days are the shortest of the whole year. This, to ancient people, represented the death of the sun. 

Picture from ClipArt
Then on December 22nd the sun stops moving south, and for three days rises and sets in the same places. In the southern hemisphere, during these three days, the sun sets (rests) under the Southern Cross, also called “Crux.”

Picture from NASA

            Finally, on the morning of December 25th, the sun would change position again, except this time it will be one degree further north. The sun had been reborn, bringing with it longer days, warmth, and soon spring. But they did not celebrate the coming of spring until the spring equinox (also called Easter) when they planted the food for this year’s harvest.

            To long? Didn’t read?

Three Kings (Orion’s belt),

followed the star in the east (Sirius).

To the birth of the sun (Jesus, Horus, Mithra, Heracles, etc),

Who was born from the virgin (Virgo).

He had Twelve Disciples (the twelve zodiac signs),

died on the cross (the southern crux),

and was resurrected three days later (the sun starting to head north again).

So, that’s it. It is a very simple story, used to help people remember the important times of the year for planting and harvesting, centered on stories involving the stars and the sun. That is why all these saviors are “Son of God” or “God’s ONLY Son.” All these different religions are just another culture's form of sun worship.  Horus, Prometheus, Attis, Mithra, And Jesus are just a few in a long line of Sun God’s, of which Jesus Christ is only the most recent adaptation.

Additional resources.