Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a young woman who lived in a garden with her boyfriend Adam. She didn’t have any clothes on but then neither did he. Nobody seemed to notice [mostly because there was no-one else there – she could have been wearing a feather boa and combat boots and it wouldn’t have mattered really] – and anyway it was fine because global warming kept them both snug and toasty and the garden was quite some distance from the North Pole. This was somewhat strange though because Global Warming hadn’t been invented by politicians yet and carbon emissions were mostly absent – never mind, solar perturbations and cosmic rays probably accounted for some if not all of that. . When she was hungry she ate nuts and berries and sometimes apples from one of the many abundant trees that were dotted around the landscape.


One day, and much to her dismay, the apple she was about to pick came wrapped in a serpent, a lowly creature who had only recently evolved it seems and didn’t even have legs yet. Well it hadn’t evolved because of course evolution didn’t exist either but that’s beside the point. It didn’t have any arms or fingers either which is why it was wrapped around the apple and couldn’t just hand it to her. Mysteriously it was a talking serpent because it told her to have a munch but not to be greedy because no doubt her boyfriend, who was hanging about nearby kicking stones into the lake, would want some too. So she handed him half the apple and he took a bite after carefully wiping it off on some leaves or some such – whereupon all Hell broke loose! God appeared in a fiery cloud in a tremendous hissy fit – so angry that he could very well have smote the pair of them there and then but he thought better of it and just chucked them out of the garden instead, never to sully the doorstep again. So Adam and Eve were cast out into the wilderness for munching on an apple – a rather harsh sentence if you think about it. Rather like putting people in jail for life for embezzling money or driving on a suspended license. God obviously was having a bit of an off day that day.


So there they were – naked and shamed, out in the wilderness with the vultures and the scorpions. What else was there to do then than start off the human race by producing Cain and Abel? The bible is somewhat mute on the topic of how the rest of us got here because so far as I know two blokes can’t produce offspring and then there’s the uncomfortable consideration that they were brothers and mum was the only female around. Hmm – let’s not go too far up that road.


And so religion was born, or the early beginnings of it anyway because it was quite some time – and nobody seems to know quite how much time, before a few prophets like Noah or Jesus of Nazareth came on the scene and started gathering followers. Jesus was quite some lad. His mum was a virgin – or at least that’s what she told dad – he could walk on water and he was a dab hand at converting water into wine – which made him much sought after at weddings on a budget. He could feed five thousand people with just a couple of loaves of bread and a few sardines and could even raise people from the dead if he felt so inclined. When he died, after losing a dispute with the local constabulary, and being ratted out by the local Pharisees, he rose from the dead himself and popped round to see his disciples for a quick chat before ascending to heaven in a blaze of glory.


Strangely enough the ancient Greeks had a hero figure that was very much like Adam except that his name was Apollo – they even looked something alike according to the artists of the day. I never could understand BTW how come both Adam and Eve are always shown with navels? Anything strike you as odd about that? But I digress, as usual. The God figure that visited that garden bore more than a passing resemblance to Zeus – long curly beard and all – not to mention all the trappings such as bolts of lightning and fiery clouds. Later on He – or maybe it was his mate the Holy Ghost – had congress with a descendent of Eve and produced Jesus.


Now then, ‘coincidentally’ the Hero of ancient mythology was a son born of a divine father and a mortal mother and furthermore he was subsequently charged with undergoing certain trials and tribulations before coming to a sticky end for his troubles. Hercules for example, spent his time doing things like cleaning out stables, fighting huge bad tempered boars, strangling giant snakes with his bare hands, killing his family in drunken rages and setting himself on fire after being poisoned unwittingly by wifey. Quite an interesting autobiography he could have written don’t you think? Or even an ancient blog.


Jesus was said to be the SON of God – not much of a stretch from the SUN of God of many ancient religions – Sol Invictus for example, or Helios, or Baldur who in Norse legend was the God of Light [so was Lucifer but we won’t talk about him]. In ancient Egypt there was Ra and Amun. Referring to Jesus the King James Bible says: [ John 1:9] ‘That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’.


Many cultures embrace the cult of the ‘sun-hero’ who is connected to the ‘demiurge’ or creator and who in turn is the saviour of the world – one who brings about a new world order or a new beginning. Ringing any bells here?


But my point is – and you just knew there was one in here somewhere if you stuck with it long enough – that the beginnings of the Christian religion bear a remarkable resemblance to if not a direct retelling of Greek Mythology not to mention snippets and echoes of many others – gasp. In fact, there are so many ‘cross-references’ you might say [too many to detail at length here but you can email me for a list] as to make one believe that they might just – if you squint your eyes and hold your breath, cross your fingers and hope to die – be actually one and the same thing! Perish the thought – what will us unbelievers come up with next…


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