reply to post by dominicus
As a student of religion and a recovering Catholic only one book came to mind as I read your post; the Upanishads
Said to be the oldest scripture on the planet - about 5000 years old - it is not what you would expect from a scripture. It is Buddhist in origin and
is a collection of stories, there is no begatting and begotting going on for pages at a time and it is the easiest of all scriptures to understand and
to take to heart. If I were forced to summarize I would say that the message was that there is a spark of God inside of each of us, and to my way of
thinking that is as pure as it is simple. Ponderous it is not, enjoyable it is.
Now as to the bible... (oh here we go, first thing in the morning on my third day on this site!) In the fourth century AD the emperor Constantine -
a pagan Roman emperor - made a deal with the Catholic Church. At the time the Catholic Church was a relatively smaller sect of the many, many
Christian sects at the time. And at that time there was no canonized
bible, just a lot of loose scriptures floating around. The various
Christian sects were gaining in prominence and threatened the longevity of the then pagan Roman Empire. Constantine had the solution though.
The Deal; If the Catholic Cardinals and Archbishops would meet in Nicea and decide which books were to be included and which books were to be excluded
(These books came to be known as the Apocrypha.) Rome would produce - so to speak - the first canonized bible and recognize the Catholic Church as the
official church of the Roman Empire. Now most of us understand today that when someone is an editor he (they) will also make suggestions to the
author for changes, and knowing that being published probably depends on agreeing to these changes, most authors will usually agree to them. In this
case the authors of the various scriptures were no longer with us and this served to make the editorial process more smooth and much quicker. The end
result? We now have a Bible in which almost none of Jesus teaching - what he said - are reproduced, save a few parables. The nuns in Catholic school
told me that Jesus only taught in parables, but about thirty seconds consideration shows this to be highly unlikely. I mean would you drop everything
and follow someone who spoke only in riddles? No one followed Nostradamus, and his quattrains were nothing but riddles. Similarly there is no record
in the bible of where Jesus went between the ages of 13 and 30, though some compelling evidence
exists that he went to India, and studied and
taught there during that time.
But the real problems with the Bible start when you consider what the Catholics did one year after they received this Roman stamp of approval. As I
said before the Catholics were a relatively small sect at the time, but once they were the official Religion of the now Holy Roman Empire the clerics
set about destroying all scriptures
which had been excluded. That's right they held book burnings for centuries on end, but they didn't stop
there. During the same time they hunted down and exterminated opposing Christian sects. Of course the guys in the red and black robes did not grab
up the sword and take to the streets murdering non-Catholics, they simply declared the next victims to be heretical and sent the Crusaders to do it
for them. This went along rather well - unless you were one who refused to convert of course - until the time came to deal with the Cathars.
In the case of the Cathars who had no weapons and kept no money for themselves, the Pope decided to send Saint Bernard - yes that's where the name of
the dog breed came from - to look them over and report back. Upon returning St. Bernard reported to the Pope that this was one of the most Christian
groups he had ever encountered and recommended they be left alone as they were truly doing God's work. Not to be swayed, the Pope sent the Crusaders
in, however there was a problem. The Knights Templar, who had been doing the Popes (plural) dirty work in this area for centuries, refused this job.
Why? Well, we will come to that.
Anyway, this was no hill for a climber, and the Pope - I keep trying to think of the Pope's name, I want to say Pope Innocent, but I don't think
that is right. This is all from memory this morning; coffee before bibliography, you know - was a climber in the true sense. The Pope simply
contracted another group of knights to do the job for him and this is what we know today as the Albigensian Crusade. When they arrived in the Langue
Doc area of what is now Southwest France the knights found that the Cathar's neighbors - who also were not armed - thought so highly of the Cathars
that they hid them away to protect them. No matter, the knights were there to do a job and they did it, they just killed everyone down to the last
woman and child.
Indeed, if you go to the Langue Doc region in the southwest of France even today they still maintain that Jesus wife and his children landed there
shortly after the crucifixion and it was the descendants of the Magdalen and the Christ who formed not only the Cathars, but supposedly the
Merovingian Dynasty which is said to be the actual bloodline of Christ.
This is just one story of the many in which the Catholic Vatican exercised their new found power to purge the planet of opposing Christian viewpoints.
And I know that some of you are about to rail about Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code, but it should be pointed out that all Danny boy did was read
"Holy Blood, Holy Grail" by Bagent Leigh and Lincoln and regurgitate it into a bestseller fiction. If you read Holy Blood, Holy Grail for yourself,
and then read the Dan Brown novel I think you will quickly come to the same conclusion I did. I promise you the story is much more compelling than
the little thriller that Brown squeezed out of it, but I will warn you that Holy Blood, Holy Grail is a large and ponderous book which requires a
serious dedication to read from cover to cover, and some previous knowledge is probably a good idea too.
So why did the Templar's refuse to carry out the Popes orders on this one occasion? Thirty-five years of reading has shown me that the Templars core
is where this Merovingian/Christ bloodline finally found it's home. Was Mary Magdalen indeed Christ's wife? Some say that the wedding in the Bible
where Jesus performed the miracle of the wine was actually Christ and the Magdalen's own wedding. Sara, it is rumored, was the name of Christ's
daughter. Was the Magdalen a whore as some say? No, she was a mystic and some say from Nubia, the prostitute label was a result of a mistranslation
of one word, and in light of all this one wonders if it could have been accidental at all.
Now we have only discussed one edit of the Bible here, and there have been many, So far I hadn't even mentioned the King James edit, which is the
version most people have these days. And yet many non-Catholic Christians today thump on the Bible loud and hard and proclaim that every word in the
Bible is true, and that God wrote it through his appointed messengers. This may have been true at one point, but unless God suddenly wanted all
Christians who were not Catholic violently culled from the planet this argument holds no water whatsoever. Whenever I meet a Bible-thumper my first
question to them is "Are you a Catholic?" "No" is the answer that invariably comes back. "Then why would you ever want to believe in a book
that a bunch of Catholic power brokers all but wrote?" The response is always slow as they search through their religious programming and can only
come up with platitudes about how God is all powerful and how he made the authors write the correct things. Evidently, according to their theory, God
then turned a blind eye to all the evil and genocide that the authors' church embarked on for centuries.
These are folks who have never given any real thought to their religious beliefs. I think Jim Marrs said it best in Oliver Stone's film JFK. "This
is Louisiana chief; how do you know who your daddy is? Because your momma told you so." In my experience most Christian take this same attitude
towards their religion. They have inherited their beliefs from their mother and father and that is good enough for them. Of course most times their
mothers and fathers inherited their religion from their mothers and fathers, and on it goes.
To me, spirituality must be a personal experience. I believe that all sprirtual roads lead back to God but that you must
decide for yourself
which road that is. I also believe that following blindly after a group - the Vatican - which concerns itself more with empire building and wealth
than helping our fellow man is not faith, it is loyalty with blinders on. Considering anything without looking at the history behind it is no
consideration at all.
So let us adjourn religion class today. Be thankful you were not popped on the skull with Father Mayer's class ring the way I was during mine, but
then again I was not educated during my religion class, only indoctrinated. I have a couple more bombs to drop on you, like what "Amen" means and
the big secret of the Freemasons which is withheld until you reach 32nd degree and are also deemed capable of dealing with it. But those areother
lengthy tomes waiting to be written. I feel I have jerked knots in enough tails for one morning.
Let me end by saying once again that the Upanishads seem to me to be the most straightforward and personal scripture on the planet and I would highly
recommend them to anyone and everyone. And they threaten no other religious belief. Isn't that refreshing?