If one studies the origins of our major religions, one generally discovers that they were spun out of the fears, hatreds, wars, diseases of quite primitive times.  Joshua fought the battle of Jericho which entailed ethnic cleansing (genocide) of his enemies — possibly an exaggerated story to thrill subsequent religious followers.  Tales originally told orally were eventually written down, edited and reedited by subsequent generations of priests and scribes.

The version of Christianity that got to us through the matrix of Saint Paul was Romanized with brutal hatreds far removed from the sermons of Jesus — the victim of Roman hatred of suspect terrorists (zealots).  Paul hated gays, Jews, young widows, probably women in general to judge by his comments on them.  He was a synchophantic towards Roman authority — even in its most brutal manifestations which he declared to be the will of G-d.  Obey! Obey! Obey!

I could provide religious texts for all of the above — I studied theology for 3 years back when with thoughts of a possible career in theology.  I thought religious people were the good ones.  Then I discovered that there were good and bad who were religious or not religious.  My philosophy dissertation adviser, Ernest Nagel, the University Professor at Columbia, had written a piece entitled “Why I am an Atheist.”  He was a philosopher of science and law and one of the finest persons I have had the pleasure of knowing.  Some of my theology teachers were the best, too, e.g. Reinhold Niebuhr  who warned us against the born agains such as Billy Graham who, he feared, would launch a mindless hate version of Christianity.  He was dead right and they are out there right now fighting for control of the Republican party leadership.  They are all for war.  They have a long list of hated ones — gays, women, Jews who do not convert (an ugly little secret), Muslims, and any who threaten their acquisition of wealth or who suggest that they should follow Jesus and care for the poor and hungry — particularly our millions of American kids who are likely to be hungry at night or to be fed the unhealthy dregs of our diets.

I could go on.  But this is enough for now.  Whenever you find religious ones calling for hatred or war, you can spot them as the disciples of the devil.  I don’t believe in him, but he is a good symbol that has crept into our Western religions from a religion that did not believe in an ultimate, all powerful, all good creator and sustainer deity — the Zoroastrians (Persians/Iranians) if you want to look them up.

“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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