Hark!  The Angel of Death!

One of the horrors that I discovered as a student of divinity many decades back was that some of our religions or subdivisions of same are really oriented towards death and dying rather than life and living. This was certainly true of the Pauline diversion of the message of Jesus towards an early end to the human race and the need to prepare for the worst when the Christ would allegedly return and only the good guys and gals (i.e. Christian converts) would make it to the city of g-d.

I am not an expert on Islam, although I did teach a comparative religion course long ago (from a pre assigned textbook biased towards Christianity), but I assume there are passages in the Koran sufficient to encourage desperate young men and women to suicide bomb with the expectation of multiple (sexual?) rewards in an after life. I am a skeptic about such things as, I suspect, are many who are formally religious believers. There is absolutely no evidence that one lives past one’s assigned 3 score and 10 or whatever. The trilemma of reconciling an all good and all powerful deity with real evil has never been done persuasively apart from “Who is this that darkens council?” (G-d’s ways are inaccessible to humankind).

As I studied the brutalities inflicted on people by Christianity — the history of anti-Semetism launched by Paul (accusing the Jews of stealing from the pagan temples in his Letter to the Romans!), his denigration of women (don’t let young widows into the church and marry rather than sexually burn), his murderous attack on gays, et al — I became a doubter.

What emerges from all this death worship is the disposition to wage wars on THEM. The gods of old were viewed as the front-line leaders of one’s troops into battle and this travesty endures into the present — onward Christian soldiers! The history of such wars between and within major religions in nightmarish, if one really takes it in. Would the U.S. have dropped two nuclear weapons on a fellow Christian nation?/ Probably not. But notice the hints that either Israel or the U.S. might do so with Iran.

Such death worship is the way to the end of the human race. We are, indeed, haunted by that Angel of Death who has apparently replaced a benevolent deity in too many religious quarters.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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