Here Thar Be Monsters!

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26.12.10

Why Worry About Facts?

"Do you want to accompany me go to the chruch?" she asks in the standard Englishnesian syntax.

Can't think of anything I would less like to do, frankly. Two hours of hellfire and damnation speeches interspersed with over-loud rock-beat music and people speaking some kind of jibberish sold as 'the language of the angels.' Just doesn't appeal to me, especially since they generally completely mangle the facts.

"But it's Christmas," she protests.

Exactly. One of the most fact-deprived holidays of the christian calendar.

"It's Jesus' birthday. You must go to church," she protests.

Ah, just the opening I was hoping for. I love it when people step in the middle of their own ignorance. She's holding her modern mistranslation of previously mistranslated versions of The Book. I ask if I may see it.

I flip to Matthew. Ah, here it is...the shepherds were tending their flocks in the firlds when angels appeared in the heavens. I avoid the temptation to go into the validity of UFO sightings in biblical times and stick with the facts.

So, Jesus was born on December 25th, right?

"Yes, of course," she confidently replies.

I open Google and search for average weather patterns in Israel, a country which did not exist 2,000 years ago. Just as I suspected. December is the coldest, wettest and windiest month of the year. What damn fool shepherd would be tending his flocks in the fields in the dead of winter? But just to be sure, I look up current weather conditions in Bethlehem, a city which did not exist 2,000 years ago. Hmmm...10C, which is what? 50F, with a chance for rain. Sounds like perfect camp-in-the-field-with-sheep conditions to me.

"Things were different back then," she protests.

Oh, so global warming has made the region colder in the last 2,000 years? A familiar argument. Al Gore's been using it also. I understand. It's difficult when facts get in the way of a good story. So I click over to Roman fastivals, since Rome was around 2,000 years ago.

Would ya look at that...December 25th is the Roman fastival of the Birth of the Invincible Sun God. Gee, do you think there's a connection? After all, every modern christian faction is a break-away from the ROMAN church, which is a vestige of the ROMAN empire, which celebrates its rituals in basilicas, which originally were ROMAN indoor markets.

I'm just sayin'.

She has that blank look on her face that tells me that, like most christians, she has already turned off and tuned out. Most people don't want to hear facts that get in the way of fun fairy tales. But, I'm on a roll here.

So I launch into how Buddha and Mohammad were actual historical figures, whose lives are independently documented. Even Hinduism has evidence that their panteon may be based on actual, historical people and events millions of years ago, though the jury is still out. Christianity, however, requires one to take on faith that there was someone named Yeshua, who was a carpenter by trade, and who, at the age of 30, changed the world, leaving not a single historical trace of his existance.

However, there are remarkable similarieties between his story and a much older one, the story of Osiris, Isis and Horus. It's all there: virgin births through miraculous means, death and resurrections (using trees and 3 days, no less), betrayers (Seth), physical ascentions into heaven, all of it. There's even the strange way that Egypt keeps popping up in the whole Gospel storyline, not to mention numbers like 3, 13, 33 and so on.

It's still early and I haven't had enough coffe yet, so I avoid getting into the whole discussion on the etimological similarities between the names Osiris and Jesus, or the wine and bread rituals used by Egyptians and christians alike.

I really didn't want to get into Amun Ra, the highest of all Egyptian gods, the father Sun, whose name is used by many major religions when imploring the deity for favors. "Amen," "amin," "ohm," nearly everyone says, after they pray fro victory or wealth or another man's stuff. Nor did I want to get into the whole symbolism of the single eye of Amn Ra, or the All-Seeing Eye, or even the Indonesian word for "sun," matahari, which literally means 'eye of the day.'

She was still blankly staring at me, waiting for my response. Facts had completely unphased her. It's always the same argument. You have to make a leap of faith. You have to clear your mind and accept Jesus into your heart. And really, that's the problem. I can't turn off my rational mind and just swallow fairy tales as truth, especially when someone wants my hard-earned money to tell me that I'm a sinner for not following blindly in just the right way.

Nor can I accept religion. To me, it's just pro sports writ large. This team against that team. these players are stronger than those players. Killing millions to prove that this fairy tale is 'mo betta' than that one.

I can't believe that three gods are really just one. I can't believe that peace comes through war. I can't believe that love is proved by hate. I can't believe that law is established through chaos. My mind refuses to accept that black is white. I even have a hard time suspending disbelief at the movies. All I see up there is special effects, actors, lighting, camera angles, propaganda.

A control system is a control system, no matter how benign it purports to be. I do not follow. i do not lead, for that matter. I just present facts, research and think. Then I act on what I find.

I sure as hell don't want to be berated, sung to and babbled at for two hours, then asked to pay for the priviledge.

She was still waiting for my answer, as if my 38 minute diatribe had simply not occured.

OK, if it makes you happy, I'll go with you.

"Good, go take a bath," she ordered.

Now them's fightin' words.

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