Some reflections on this subject triggered by a blog on a 'liberal' billboard apparently mistakingly quoting Jefferson on the subject of Christianity. (Who, it would appear from the historical record, 'believed' in the moral precepts of 'Christ', but not the magical bits of the story; going so far as to cut-and-paste his own, 'Jefferson Bible'.)
Godfather Politics: 'Atheist Group Misquotes Jefferson on Billboard' - Da Tagliare 2/11
kibitzer3 3/11 [my comment to Brama]
"The scriptures" have not stood the test of centuries, Brama. When I started studying this matter seriously over 50 years ago - "this matter" of Christianity in particular and religions in general - I came across considerable research pointing to weaknesses in all the 'stories'. But the average person doesn't read research books. The carrying culture carries the day, all too often. A shame. That attitude needs to change. That is what The Enlightenment was supposed to be all about: science and reason would prevail. As it should. And I don't refer to dogmatic science. That is as bad as the Catholic Church trying to hold back the impulse to Truth (about the workings of the solar system). Which should be behind all of our human actions. And as it works its way through the stonework of many accepted beliefs, it will uncover an ultimate Truth: well expressed by a son of the Catholic Church, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in his observation that "we are spiritual beings having a human experience". That truth, that awareness, we can ALL rally around. Or should. The times cry out for that common understanding, of what life is all about. All else is secondary, or man-made.
[my 2nd reply (ie, after my initial comment) to Brama] 3/11
I mean no disrespect, Brama. As a seeker of truth, I keep an open mind, and I see that you have read a fair amount in this matter, and I fully support those who don't take a set of beliefs purely on face value. In that spirit, I encourage you to inspect your premises further regarding the NT - and the OT also, for that matter; but for right now, we're talking about the truth, or not, of the NT, as an historical record of actual events. And a true seeker of truth will soon find that there is considerable evidence that the NT is a mishmash of material that bears little resemblance to historical truth. Or Truth itself.
For example. In our day and age, we have had the benefit of considerable evidence for the truth of reincarnation, ie, our souls experience lifetimes until we 'get it right' - clear our karma, so that we can move on in the higher realms. I fully accept the Case for a Creator, based on hard evidence; and that evidence would lead one to conclude, logically, that behind the whole shebang of life is a Plan, and Purpose; and that all could logically lead one to conclude that the best descriptive quality to give to what is behind all that would be, in a word, Love. All deductible, based on evidence. [deducible]
Religions are about beliefs. We need to move beyond beliefs, into the realm of facts. And the truth shall set us free.
Incidentally, as to your comment about Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: his wise observations led him to make this comment as well: "Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, humanity will have discovered fire." It was in 1934 that he was inspired to write this. He wrote it for our day and age. We are about to ignite the world with the fire of Love; those energies to be harnessed to show ourselves what magic we can perform in the name of Truth - the Truth that we can all believe in, regardless of our various religions and political ideologies. It's a grand time to be alive, and bear witness to this conflagration in the human heart; leaving the old gods behind.
[my reply to Mark] 3/11
With all due respect for your reading of the historical process, Mark, I read that record a different way. I read it as having brought us (actually, where we have brought ourselves; and I DO mean 'us') to the point in time where and when we can leave the old forms - of all kinds - behind, and create a society wherein we share our goods and services with one [an]other, and give of our best in the process, out of gratitude to our Creator for life with meaning (see my reply to Brama above). Thus we are at a peak point of our process, of human life on Earth; learning to live in and by Love. And anyone who has really studied history could well know this.
Incidentally, the name 'kibitzer' really doesn't have to do with being a deceiver. It has to do with lobbing in sometimes unwanted advice - what is sometimes taken as 'unwanted'. Aka [known as] a bit of a troublemaker, at times. Somebody who stirs up the pot. Anyway, that is my tongue-in-cheek take on it, and what I mean by its use. [unasked for advice]
[my 3rd reply to Brama] 4/11
First of all, re my 'a mishmash of material' comment:
What the world knows as ‘Christianity’ has been an elaborate con job, a hoax apparently mostly on the part of Saul of Tarsus. (Who may also have been the Jewish historian Josephus, according to the research of one Ralph Ellis, correlating the curious similarities between their two life stories. But that’s another story.) It was based on a feature of the day, regarding itinerant preachers (called presbyters), who told elaborate and fanciful tales of nonsense to the gullible, for a livelihood. Examples in the record. There WAS an historical figure at the time, that the later Christian church was based on; but he apparently had very little resemblance to the image worshipped by later 'believers'.
Read the likes of Ralph Ellis and Tony Bushby, in our day. (As to the latter: his ‘The Bible Fraud’, ‘The Secret in the Bible’, and ‘The Crucifixion of Truth’; the first of which contains the quote, from Pope Leo X: “How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us”.) In the day of my early research into the murky origins of this religion, it was the work in particular of some German scholars, whose research into the literature led them to the same conclusion as these more modern-day researchers: that ‘Christianity’ was based on various fables of the time, about fertility gods (like Tammuz), and such; being buried in a tomb (of the earth) for three days, and then resurrecting; etc etc.
As a kibitzer, I’m an irritant to the people concentrating on playing the game (of illusory reality) right in front of their eyes. ‘My mind’s made up - don’t confuse me with the facts.’ But we need to be confused - confounded - with the facts. Life needs to move on, to a proper conclusion, in celebration of the Most High - of our Source, Who gave us the wherewithal in which to move and live and have our separate being - ie, the realm of free will - in order ultimately to choose to return to the house of our Father.
At which point we become One [fully] again with that loving Source. Loving, and as you say: Holy.
(Read more: Atheist Group Misquotes Jefferson on Billboard | Godfather Politics http://godfatherpolitics.com/1814/atheist-group-misquotes-jefferson-on-billboard/#ixzz1ce1qlwnS)
N.B. On this subject: Many ears ago now I spent some hours in a bookshop in London (Covent Garden) reading a book about Paul, particularly how he 'went off to Arabia' and came back with his 'take' on the 'Jesus' story. I don't recall what caused him to be so inspired in the first place. And I know, from some books on the Essenes, that he was in basic conflict with the brother of Jesus about all this. But that's all another story, too.