Here we are again at that time of year where two religions celebrate that people die and die for no reason other than the mythic stories need to declare just how important believers are and how important it is to blindly obey the god they’ve invented. Rather than celebrate how humanity has risen and achieved, most religions insist that we are fallen, we are flawed, that we need something “else” to make us whole. This is the invention of humans who want to control their fellows, for few things are more effective in saying to another “You don’t deserve anything, but if you obey me, you can have it.” Or in other words, there is an invisible tiger out there. I’ll protect you from it, but only if you obey me. (for more on how ridiculous the passover story is, see these posts about the “exodus”). Some of the below is a rehash of what has been said before, but it never hurts to point out the failures of religion and the peculiar stories that are not what most believers think are in the bible.
Easter was a very weird holiday when I was growing up. It was mostly candy (my mother always got me a white chocolate cross. I never liked white chocolate but she did. Gnawing on a torture device is quite an experience) and coloring eggs but then we had to load up and go to church to hear about how God required torture and death in order to forgive humans for something that this God caused. Like most Christians, we got a version of the cruxifiction story made up from the bits that the pastor liked just like we got a version of the christmas story made up from the bits that were liked. Of course, if you were me, someone who would read anything including the backs of cereal boxes and detergent bottles, and were stuck in a pew with a bible, it didn’t take long to realize that things weren’t matching up. I wondered about it, but ignored the problems until much later.
One of those bits came back into my interest thanks to a Christian pastor who is trying to convince his flock that Easter is really important and that they need to think a lot about the fuzzy happy bits, but no too much about what the various version of the cruxifiction story say. This bit is in the gospel of john, the one that doesn’t mention one of the more appealing bits of the bible, the events in Gethsemane. In the GoJ, JC and his entourage just find a garden and go into it, Judas leads the soldiers there and that’s that. No weeping, no doubt, this version of JC is quite different than the character in the other gospels, but that’s no surprise at all considering all of the other differences.
The verses are from chapter 13. “2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.”
This version of the story has Judas as nothing more than a pawn to cause a murder. The “devil”, per the the bible and most Christians the second most powerful being in the universe, makes a man do something that will ensure that its enemy’s plan works. That shoots the concept of free will rather decisively in the foot and makes the devil somewhat of an idiot since it supposedly knew what was going down. We also have Jesus doing nothing for a man who was supposedly a friend, when he has the power to do so, when he knew this was happening. Indeed, later on in the story, it seems that JC is the actor to make sure that Judas is a puppet “26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.”
So we have a god needing the actions of its supposed archenemy for its plan to work since it needed a death for no other reason than it decreed it did. No wonder the bible decries reason and thought when such nonsense is presented. Don’t think about it, just obey. If Dante is right, and Judas is the worst of the worst in the 9th circle of hell, why is he there if he did nothing on his own and this was all this god’s plan? (I do love the Inferno, much more interesting than Paradiso or Purgatorio)
As always, rebuttals are welcome; I have a very open policy on comments. The only thing required is that you support your claims with evidence.
Addendum: CNN has quite the opinion piece by a priest. He claims that he has a guarantee of heaven and “And one day, like the Good Thief, we will see that it is all true.” Funny how Mr. Martin forgets that only one of the gospels says that there was a “good thief”. The GoJ doesn’t even mention the others cruxified; the gospel of Mark says “Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.” And the gospel of Matthew says the same thing “44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him“. The only one that relates the claim of the priest is the gospel of Luke. Hmmm, which one is right, if any at all?
And why non-Christians don’t believe this nonsense: