RELEGATING RELIGION TO MYTHOLOGY
June 2, 2013 by John Hunt
Much has already been written on how religion is being relocated from History to Mythology by scholars from diverse backgrounds, from former priests and theologians to the "Four Horsemen": Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens.
As most of us are unable to dedicate decades to this vast subject, this gradually evolving page aims to highlight some milestones. The primary focus will be on christianity, which was imposed on the Roman Empire following the Edict of Thessalonica in 380.
In western Europe the shamelessly corrupt papacy was the only sect until Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 provoked the Reformation. In some countries it remains the dominant one: and in recent centuries it has expanded into other continents. That is why it also dominates the first edition of this page.
Official Catholic Admissions
In Gift of Scripture (CathBishConf-2005) the catholic bishops of England, Wales, and Scotland assert that God is the author of the "Scriptures" (p.17). However, they continue, "We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision", as "the biblical material often went through long periods of oral tradition before reaching written form", (p.18). They recognise that it is dangerous "when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority", (p.20). Yet claiming superiority and preferential rights is precisely what religions do, including churches: especially the Vatican, which masquerades as an independent state, the "Holy See".
649, Virgin Birth: "The virginity of our Blessed Lady was defined under anathema in the third canon of the Lateran Council held in the time of Pope Martin I, A.D. 649", (CathEnc-1914-VirgBirth). With some supposition thrown in: "we may suppose that Mary confided the secret both to her friend and her spouse", (ibid.).
1215, Resurrection of dead bodies: "The general resurrection can hardly be proved from reason"; but "The Fourth Lateran Council teaches that all men, whether elect or reprobate, 'will rise again with their own bodies which they now bear about with them' ", (CathEnc-1914-Res). – Although in 1962, at the Second Vatican Council, Patriarch Maximos IV Saigh of Antioch suggested that heaven seemed little better than a monastery, with no food and no sex: so why, gazing uninterruptedly at the divine essence, would anyone need a resurrected body? (DeRosa-2000,pp.282-284) Alternatively, "There is no paradise. When you die, that’s it. Game’s over. Time is up. You are dead. Scientists … confirm this. They say that when you stop breathing and lose consciousness to the point of becoming brain dead, you’re gone, goodbye, aloha, adios, sayonara, you’re fucking dead", (McClaran-2010).
1563, Transubstantiation: "the Council of Trent defined the Real Presence to be such as to include with Christ's Body and His Soul and Divinity as well", (CathEnc-1914-TranSub).
c.1750, (Merely an) Assumption: "Today, the belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is universal in the East and in the West; according to Benedict XIV (De Festis B.V.M., I, viii, 18) it is a probable opinion, which to deny were impious and blasphemous", (CathEnc-1914-Assump).
1854, Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary: Introduced by Pope Pius IX, (DeRosa-2000,p.237).
1870, Papal Infallibility: Introduced by the First Vatican Council under Pius IX. Before the Council met, the works of Döllinger, Professor of Church History at Munich, were put on the Index of Forbidden Books because Döllinger demonstrated the invalidity of claims to infallibility. Many bishops stayed away: so, despite massive opposition, only two bishops voted against. Afterwards, Döllinger was excommunicated, (DeRosa-2000,pp.133-135&174-175). Only a few months after the legal case for charging Pope Benedict XVI with crimes against humanity was argued in (Robertson-2010,ch.9), charges were laid at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, (IrishTimes-2011). A lay view, (predating the publication of the legal arguments by Geoffrey Robertson QC), denying any suggestion of papal infallibility, was expressed in American vernacular. – "Speaking of the pope, what a schmuck! Who does this guy think he is? This guy in the big white hat is full of shit, telling us what we can and cannot do. This guy has some fucking nerve! What right does he have to be moralizing and giving out commands to the rest of the world? We are told by the pope not to jerk off, that we cannot have sex in certain positions, that we cannot lick the clit or suck the cock, and that we cannot put a piece of rubber around our dicks to protect ourselves from HIV, all without the threat of eternal torture. But if we put it in the butt crack of some poor little altar boy, all is forgiven! Though the priest sins, the pope forgives! Though they commit scandalous crimes against humanity, the pope just disregards them. He doesn’t turn them into the police. He tells them to cover up the
1–2007, Limbo: "Pre-Augustinian tradition: There is no evidence to prove that any Greek or Latin Father before St. Augustine ever taught that original sin of itself involved any severer penalty after death than exclusion from the beatific vision". Augustine then got tough: "even before the outbreak of the Pelagian controversy St. Augustine had already abandoned the lenient traditional view". After decades of controversy in the 12th century, Thomas Aquinas agonised before adopting "the much simpler psychological explanation which denies that these souls have any knowledge of the supernatural destiny they have missed", (CathEnc-1914-Limbo). However, beset by "pressing pastoral needs", as "the number of infants who die unbaptized is growing greatly … partly a consequence of in vitro fertilization and abortion", (although "Limbo, however, was the common Catholic teaching until the mid-20th century"), the "International Theological Commission" concluded, in a devilishly obscure report, "that the many factors that we have considered above give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision", (CathCult-2007). This was widely interpreted as meaning that Limbo had been abolished, though a lengthy interview with a member of the Commission was less decisive, maintaining: "However, the theory of Limbo is not ruled out", (InsideVat-2007).
2010, God sees Everything: So what was he doing while babies and children around the world were being raped and abused by priests? (McClaran-2010)
2010, Condoms: An obscure statement on "Pope Benedict’s acceptance of condom use to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections" caused confusion. A Vatican spokesperson, asked for clarification, said: "This is if you’re a woman, a man, or a transsexual". This was then interpreted as: "attempts to contain condom use to male prostitutes are shown up for what they were – a sham", (Cath4Choice-2010). The Vatican is pathologically incapable of communicating clearly to the masses: perhaps from too many centuries of its "intrinsically disordered" obsession with Latin, (Ratz-1986).
Agorio-2010: Sex Rites: The Origins of Christianity -- The Ritual Use of Sex, Drugs, and Human Sacrifice
CathBishConf-2005: The Gift of Scripture
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales + Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
Cath4Choice-2010: Pope’s Clarification Reveals Significance of Condom Statement
CathEnc-1914: The Catholic Encyclopedia
Assump: The Feast of the Assumption:
BenXIV: Pope Benedict XIV:
CTrent: Council of Trent:
LatC4: Fourth Lateran Council (1215):
Res: General Resurrection:
ThomAq: St. Thomas Aquinas:
TranSub: The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist:
VirgBirth: Virgin Birth of Christ:
CathCult-2007: The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized
DeRosa-2000: Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy
Peter de Rosa; Poolbeg Press, Ireland.
InsideVat-2007: Limbo: In or Out?
IrishTimes-2011: Charges initiated against Pope for crimes against humanity
McClaran-2010: Jesus Cries When You Touch Yourself
Ratz-1986: Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons
Robertson-2010: The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse - Penguin.
CathBishConf-2005 concedes: "it is not surprising that certain similarities are found between these religious stories of the early chapters of Genesis and traditional material from other cultures, notably from the ancient East", (p.25). This confession is something of an understatement: God's little helpers nicked those tales! But the Vatican has notoriously still not managed to apologise for its world-wide child-abuse scandal. Nevertheless, in junking the first eleven chapters of Genesis, these catholic bishops consigned to mythology: creating the world in six days; Adam, Eve, the "apple", and the talking snake; Cain's murder of Abel; Noah's arkful of animals, the global flood, and the rainbow; and the Tower of Babel. Amen!
Moving on to the New Testament, CathBishConf-2005 states: "Differences between the four canonical gospels have been acknowledged from the early centuries … the gospels are a wonderful weaving together of history and theology", (p.33). At what point does "a wonderful weaving together" become a total tissue of lies?
Skipping to Revelation at the end of the Bible, CathBishConf-2005 warns: "Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come", (pp.48-49).
complaints of altar boy molestation and fucking or they will get excommunicated and sent to burn in the flames of eternal hell. The pope is a fucking douchebag, that’s who he is. He’s a giant pile of douche", (McClaran-2010).
1930–1968, Contraception: In 1930, the (Anglican) Lambeth Conference approved artificial birth control. Pius XI responded, in "a virtuoso performance in the finest tradition of Italian opera", by issuing an encyclical, Casti connubii, narrating that "The Divine Majesty detests this unspeakable crime with the deepest hatred and has sometimes punished it with death", (DeRosa-2000,p.298-299). Pope John XXIII summoned the Second Vatican Council in 1962, so that the church could "bring itself up to date": but he then died and was succeeded by Paul VI, (DeRosa-2000,p.279-280). United Nations statistics already raised fears of rocketing global population, povery, and slums; and the Council overwhelmingly voted for leniency. Paul pulled rank, writing his own text: and in 1968 issued Humanæ Vitæ, banning contraceptives as a mortal sin, (DeRosa-2000,p.301-304).