Smokes and Mirrors

Setting the Stage

I was raised in the grip of guilt and fear. These ideas were instilled early in life and in nearly every aspect of my life. I wasn’t ever beaten or abused, but fear and guilt were the tactics that were employed to try and keep me in line. I was often pointed to those verses of the bible which say that god is a vengeful and frightful god and that hell awaits those who do not fear god and follow his word. Quite honestly, the thought of a terribly powerful immortal being that sets people on fire forever if they don’t listen to him, sounds pretty fucking scary to a child of four or five years of age. Unfortunately for all those who’ve always wanted me to fit into some mold they have envisioned of what everyone should be – fear can be overcome.

Layered atop that fear was a nice healthy dose of guilt. It was explained to me that I was not good enough for god, and that I was unworthy of the great gift and sacrifice that god had given humanity. You see, all of humanity is unworthy of this gift and we must constantly be on our knees begging and praying and pleading with god to allow us to receive everlasting life. I mean, god did sacrifice his own son to cleanse away my sins – preemptively of course, because god is good like that and why not take care of sins 2,000 years in the future by having his son murdered by Romans, who also made sport of feeding people to lions. As a child, hearing that god sacrificed his own son so that I could live forever in god’s perfect city after I died. It sounded like one hell of a sacrifice, but I also thought David Copperfield could really make shit disappear. As an adult who has a mind as sharp as a razor blade, I clearly see both of these for what they are – illusions.

Turn Down the House Lights

“For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” – John 3:16

This verse is famous. Maybe the most famous verse requoted from the bible ever. It’s plastered on everything from billboards to bumper stickers here in the United States. In theological terms, it is the foundational bedrock on which Christianity stands. It is the new covenant between god and humanity, built on a blood sacrifice from god to humanity in the form of Jesus Christ, the son of god. But if there is no real sacrifice, what meaning can there be in the act?

I believe most of us on this planet know what a sacrifice is. We know that there are trivial sacrifices, and there are major ones. These most serious sacrifices are things that we will never get back. Once lost, they are gone forever. Those sorts of sacrifices have such meaning that they touch the lives of people for generations to come. One such sacrifice that comes to mind is that of Martin Luther King Jr., who despite death threats and violent acts against himself and his family, continued to march and speak for equality and justice. It cost him his life. It cost his family the loss of a father and husband. It cost this nation the loss of a man who could have been one of its greatest leaders. Quite frankly, the way we disabuse and take for granted the equality and freedom he stood up to get and protect, is a disgrace to such a tremendous sacrifice – and we should be ashamed as a nation here in the states.

Curtains Up

I’ve looked at this sacrifice made by God from every angle I can, and quite honestly there is only one way I can see it. So here is my take on it:

My issue here is that this is not a sacrifice at all. God gives absolutely nothing in this equation. Jesus also gives absolutely nothing in the equation. Neither of them makes any sort of sacrifice at all and in the end must be the fabrication of a genius amongst the fearful and uneducated. But if you just give it some thought, it all becomes clear.

You see Jesus was first in heaven just hanging out as a part of the whole of god, but then god has a plan to make himself look really good in the eyes of humans. So god forcefully implants this part of himself that we call Jesus into a young Jewish girl, so that part of himself can be born as a human – well, “humanish” anyway.

Jesus is born, works some miracles, tells people about this new message of god that he has to offer, and then is murdered by Romans for the crime of sedition and inciting unrest. Now, up to this point it does seem as though there is some sacrifice on the parts of god and Jesus – but in the next part of the story it all becomes questionable. At this point, Jesus dies and sometime within the next 3 days the body goes missing from the tomb. This is a red flag to everyone and now we want to know what happened to the sacrifice?

An Empty Stage

As it turns out, Jesus had returned to heaven and he did so body and all for some reason. Now, if you’ll think back just a bit to where Jesus came from, you’ll remember that his original home was heaven as a part of the whole of god. Is anyone seeing the problem here yet?

Look, here’s an analogy; It’s like baking a cake and then saying that you are going to make the sacrifice of not eating the cake. Instead of throwing away the cake, or giving away the cake, or even destroying the cake, you put the cake in your pantry well covered for three days and when no one was looking you took the cake back out and ate it all in one sitting.

I wonder if Abraham had actually sacrificed Isaac on that altar for god, if god would have returned Isaac to Abraham after three days? I highly doubt it. Not that vengeful and violent blood-lusting god Yahweh of the Old Testament. Did he restore all that he had let be taken from Job? Hell no he didn’t! And all of that was simply to win a bet with Satan. I’m sorry but why is it that god is willing to let his most faithful servant be physically and mentally tortured in order to prove himself to Satan, but can’t see fit just to show himself plainly to mankind?

Exit Stage Left

Through all of this, it is impossible for me to see any actual sacrifice having been made. Worse still, I have seen no evidence of any god worth worshipping. I see a psychotic, egomaniacal, lunatic and quite frankly, I’m more than just a bit convinced that this notion of god is the creation of primitive and barbaric people who were still trying to control people through fear rather than knowledge.

I am not offended that people want to convince me that a god exists – I am offended that they want me to think that this god is also a childish imbecile who has control over the entire universe, but spends his time worrying about what humans are doing with our genetals.

Photo Credits: Arthur Castro

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