Thursday, July 28, 2011

God, Satan, the serpent and Prometheus

I ponder a lot; I always have, but not everything I ponder ever makes it out of my head because some things are either too frightening to speak about or blasphemous.  I realize I still have much hostility toward Christianity so I chewed on this for a couple of days before deciding that, well, this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want so...

Back when Zach was in junior high and I was homeschooling him from a Christian perspective, I used to read the Bible aloud to him and we would discuss it.  It was all the bible curriculum I had, after wasting money on specific, useless curricula from very fundamentalist perspectives.  Of course I started with Genesis and Matthew and just read our way through but as I read, specifically the Old Testament, I started getting thoughts in my head that wouldn't go away.  At the time, of course, I attributed them to Satan because what I was thinking was absolutely blasphemous from a Christian perspective.

I began noticing the really evil attributes of God/Yahweh.  The thought occurred to me that maybe God was really who we claimed Satan to be.  I mean, here is a deity who demands you either worship him or suffer eternal torment, tortures babies, commits human sacrifice (and attempted sacrifice in the story of Isaac and Abraham), kills off whole nations of people who don't worship him, including infants and children, and livestock.  He sends an emissary to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go and then manipulates Pharaoh's mind so he won't let them go so he can torture the Egyptians and kill their firstborn in order to demonstrate that he and he alone is god.

He has an ego the size of the universe, demands perfection from people whom he created to be imperfect, creates people to love another person of their own gender and then pronounces a death sentence on them for it, among other things.  It really doesn't get all that much better in the New Testament, but I'll let this much suffice for now.

Of course, I was horrified by those thoughts, and yet they never ever left my mind.  Yesterday I talked to Zach about it and he mentioned that I wasn't alone in my thinking...that he and others have thought the same thing.  So he brought up Prometheus as a comparison to the serpent in the garden.  Prometheus was trying to make mankind independent of the gods and give them a chance at life.  The serpent was trying to give mankind the knowledge to be independent of the gods and have a chance at life  I hadn't thought about it that way before but it does make sense that maybe the serpent wasn't the bad guy after all.

My religious upbringing involved a lot of contrast and compare with Satan and God, even though technically they weren't opposites.  And yet there was that Zoroastrian duality taught all my life.  Sure, they gave Satan limitations, but apparently he was omniscient, omnipotent and everywhere all at once just like God was. And although it has become a fad that you have to rebuke Satan verbally because he can't read minds, this is hogwash as I was taught all my life to keep my thoughts pure so Satan didn't corrupt them.  So apparently he does too read minds.

Truth is, I don't believe in an evil entity who rebelled against God and is determined to turn us all away from the heavenly father who loves us so much he commits human sacrifice so that a select few can spend eternity gazing in awe and adoration at him.  I think Satan was a construct used to explain why bad things happen to good people because if God is all good and created everything, then where did evil come from?

When I think about it, more evil has been done under the banner of Christianity than any other.  So what religion is more evil?  Paganism, with love for Nature and tolerance for all or a system that makes rules no one can live under, causes death and destruction of whole civilizations conquering them in the name of their god, and excludes the majority of mankind from the blessings of its deity.

So yeah, still very bitter especially in light of the overwhelming Dominionist surge in the political realm and the way they've been allowed to spew their hatred and violent rhetoric in the press with impunity.  Do they think they're winning souls for Christ?  Hardly.  Nothing they've said or done will ever entice me back to a system of slavery, guilt and pain.

And we're the ones who are evil?



  1. Gosh what a post title! LOL!

    The Gnostics were there with that thinking too. They believed that the god of the bible was in fact NOT god at all. They also teach, I believe, that Jesus' message to mankind was NOT what the bible would have you believe. (incidentally I find Jesus' supposed words on the cross very interesting myself!) I don't know if you've looked at gnostic christianity much at all but I think you'd find a lot there that would speak to you after reading this post.

    Christianity isn't all bad though. The teachings of Jesus were truly revolutionary in their time. Compassion and love weren't so high on the agenda for our pagan ancestors LOL! No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater because there's a fair bit modern paganism has in common with those early ideals of Jesus, and much it has in common with the early celtic church in Britain. A lot of differences too, but all the same there is a lot they hold in common. At one point of course it was the Pagans that used to victimise and hunt out the christians for their beliefs.

    I've not read the bible any where near as thouroughly as you but I agree with your sentiments. The god I found in the bible seemed really angry and harsh. I was especially struck by this when I started reading the book of mormon too. For a religion that preached forgiveness this god didn't seem all too forgiving. I think I've read somewhere that Yaweh was probably originally some type of storm god... ie once upon a time he was a pagan god in a sea of other gods, that rose to prominance. I believe in him as A god but not THE god.

    Tough post to write huh? I'll be interested to know what you think of gnostic teachings ^_^


  2. Thanks, Nellie! I have looked into gnosticism but it's not my thing but it does have some interesting concepts.

    And to be honest, the rhetoric that Jesus was promoting revolutionary thinking isn't actually true. Most of the things he said came from generations before him and from other cultures and mythologies. Personally I think Jesus was a compilation of various messianic figures of the time and that as time went on, "he" achieved status as a god because it was the fad at the time for leaders to become gods after their deaths.

    Yes, it was a very tough post to write. And I left out much of what I had intended to say because I didn't want to write a novel. LOL Thanks for your insights though.