I thought I would share what finally broke me entirely from Christianity. I was reading a book entitled, “When god was a woman,” by Merlin Stone in which the author assembles some very strong evidence to show that early humans in the near and middle east worshiped female deities, lived in matriarchal societies and used a matrilineal line for determining family descendency and inheritance.
That in itself is very interesting. However, I then found out that the northern patriarchal tribes invaded these lands they brutally wiped out all goddess worship and replaced it with their warrior god. Thus, the beginnings of Judaism.
In fact, when you read in the Old Testament about the many cities destroyed by the Israelites at the behest of their god, those cities often worshipped female deities. The Israelites were supposedly told to kill everyone in the city as they conquered the lands because they worshiped pagan gods.
The truth, however, is that these were the goddesses who were worshipped in the near and middle east for thousands of years – longer than christianity has been around today, according to the author of this book…
I have never had so much peace about dying as I have since I believe there is no god – and by default, no afterlife. Even as a christian, one always has that nagging doubt about whether you have committed the unpardonable sin, or that god doesn’t really want you, or that you just are not good enough – that not even god can save someone so horrible.
I am in a new place now. I am in complete peace that when I die that is it. My life is over and nothing will happen afterwards. My new outlook prompts me to make the most of my life while I still breathe. This is a wonderful way to live.
Now I know the christians will come around and send me to hell, but the truth of the matter is that I do not believe hell exists so that game of fear no longer works on me. Sorry. - Stellar1
I have not always been so strongly affirming of women’s rights. In fact, I grew up in a very conservative religious home where, even though my mother was a single parent, the expectation to conform to the ideals of the church was very evident on a daily basis. I did rebel, though not in the way most would think. I didn’t go out to drink and party. I rebelled by my rejection of 1) the ideals and notions of the church concerning women (and many other points as well), and 2) the notion that everything the church had to say was truth. In fact, if I didn’t reject the infallibility of the church I would have never been able to reject its dogma.
So from a young age I rejected the social values set for me concerning traditional feminine roles. I wouldn’t accept that I was any less intelligent or capable than the males around me. It just simply was not part of my make up. I didn’t even entertain those ideas long enough to let them flourish. Instead, I would get upset each time an outward manifestation of these expectations was displayed. It would infuriate me when I was put down so that a male could be honored – simply because he was a male and I was not.
The shooting in Blacksburg, Virginia last week caused many of us to ponder the social ramifications of a violent culture, which even includes violent religious ideologies.
Last week a lone shooter chained the doors of the Science and Engineering building at Virginia Tech and went from classroom to classroom killing every person he could. One doctor said there was not one surviving patient who did not have at least three shot wounds – this young man meant to kill everybody.
In light of this incident and other such brutal attacks, some of which are done in the name of religion, I cannot help but wonder about what can possibly happen to a person in life to create such killers. Or to put it more precisely, why are our young men turning into mass murderers?
One of the primary roles of any good atheist is to dispel the many, many lies and misconceptions perpetrated by the patriarchal religious systems. Like the fact that women should be subject to men, are the weaker sex, and are not worthy of participating in religious leadership. There are many such untruths that ruled for thousands of years and still keep women in chains in various parts of the world. These ideas have convinced many women that they are second class citizens.
These lies and misconceptions have even spilled over into what we are taught of the origins of humans from a secular point of view. Therefore, when I come across information that can forever change the way women view themselves, I am obligated to share that information.
An article in the March 19 issue of Newsweek contained an interesting article on the origins of humankind entitled, “Beyond Stones and Bones.” The article had a very telling statement about how anthropologists are now changing their view of the means by which humans were able to thrive in the hostile prehistorical times.
Today I read a column by Paul Krugman of the New York Times entitled, “For God’s Sake,” in which the writer points out all of the many ways the Religious Right (RR) has infiltrated almost every part of the American government – thanks in large part to the fact that Bush is so indebted to many of these extremists.
Krugman said, “The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda — which is very different from simply being people of faith — is one of the most important stories of the last six years. It’s also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists.”
It’s scary to think these extremists are controlling the strings of our politicians – all the way to the top within Congress and the White House. So many Americans are naïve enough to think their politicians are looking out for the good of the people, when in reality our elected officials are too often obliged to men like Pat Buchanan and Jerry Fallwell who have their own selfish agenda.