Sent in by Mary R
I was raised a Catholic, and later during my teen years converted to Christianity. After many years of being a devout Christian, I started to suspect that something was wrong with many of the teachings that Christian leaders had been teaching in their churches and Sunday schools for so many years. For the first time in my Christian life a feeling of mistrust and doubt arose within me when I started to question the virginal birth of Jesus or Jesus himself being God—to me, that formula didn't make sense anymore—after I learned that the concept of Gods impregnating humans to have physical sons is pure mythology. The belief in earth-born gods or "demi-gods" (called Sons of the Gods) and their coming into the world by human birth (gods impregnating humans) was prevalent among the heathen long prior to the era of Christianity.
I also discovered that the sayings of Jesus (in the New Testament) are not original. In fact, his sayings or teachings are a body of work called the "Logia Ieosou," etc., and can be found scattered throughout the literature, both Jewish and Pagan, that preceded Jesus' purported advent.
It wasn't easy for me to face the reality that I'd been lied to.
Years and years of lies and fairy tales needed to be washed away. I took courage and began to study the origin of religions, comparative mythology, Ancient history and other subjects related to it. It was then when my eyes were opened and I could see the truth that had been hidden from me for so many years.
In my in-depth study of Scripture and Ancient religions, I came to realize that every system of beliefs has its own retold old myths and related rituals and that what I had been taught as the "true doctrine" is simply an interpretation based on the same old mythology that has been around for thousands of years—in disguise of different names but basically the same, from the past to present.
When we learn of Ancient pagan religions we can recognize that Christianity is little more than the combination of related pagan beliefs which have been organized into a complex whole religion (the one we know today). There are numerous instances in the Bible where the influence of mythology and Ancient pagan thought is quite blatant. But the fact that everyone had always told me that that whole book was the inspired word of God, made me fearful to even infer that it really wasn't. There was a time when I could remember being afraid to admit that Jesus wasn't God or some type of divine thing/entity—what if I was wrong? Would God be upset at me for renouncing him? (obviously I was very confused).
Gods are invented by people to explain unknown things. You hear the same type stories just over and over. Which one is the true one? Ra, Zeus, El, Yahweh, Jove, Jupiter, Allah, Hunah Ku, Anshar, Anu or Brahma? I'm sure that every religion would dare to say that their god/God is the true one and that the others are just idols invented by men.
(Here are some external links in case you want to know a List of deities: www.godchecker.com; www.pantheon.org; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deities)
Every pre-Christianity religion (Osirian, Hinduism, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Islam, and others), and Christianity as well, have their own texts (bibles), books that were put together by men influenced by their 'imagination.' And it was men who gave a mystical interpretation to their legends, myths, and fables that were passed down from early generations.
Religions, also, and their related rituals were invented by men. Every country or region of the world have their own; this control by religion has its origin in the oldest religions of ancient civilizations.
We all have seen that the most horrible crimes in history have been committed in the name of religion. When I read and learned of the dark side of it, I realized that religion has been nothing but a forcible 'taking over' of human thoughts, emotions, and feelings... (a persuasive way of intimidation and manipulation for the purpose of controlling masses of people by irrational promises, fear and guilt). In my opinion, that's not the best choice for a rational, thinking person.
Being a rational human being, living a moral life, loving our family, being good to our neighbors, to those who are in need, teaching our children to make sensible, reasonable, logical, realistic, and wise decisions in their lives is what I think are the best choices in life, and therefore, should be our commitment.
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Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)