I haven’t written anything for a while – I started with a hiss and a roar, but then fizzled like a damp squib, but as the year comes to a close and we are inundated with all the Christmas hype I had the following thoughts – so I thought I would try to sum them up in another 800 words…….
Over 2000 years ago a baby boy was born in Bethlehem, and now we celebrate that birth with an orgy of overspending and gluttony. That baby born as the story goes in a manger in a stable grew up to be a wise man who told those who followed him that there was only one rule to live by “Love your neighbour as yourself”. Yet religions spawned from those followers and their descendants over the years have created religions which preach a variety of rules and regulations. Like Chinese Whispers the rules and regulations have evolved into creeds. Followers of these creeds are willing to kill to prove their rules are right, and yet they all proclaim they are followers of Christ. That simple man, Jesus of Nazareth who never owned a house; who was fed by the kindness of strangers as he travelled with his friends (only later were they declared to be disciples); who created peace and love where ever he went, except for the one time he lost his temper when he saw the money lenders in the temple. Yet now, evil men (and women) preach a gospel which expects the followers to tithe 10% of their incomes to these parasites and then they use the money to build themselves mansions, to buy powerful motorcars, and motor bikes, and generally live a life of luxury. This tradition was started by the Romans who declared that the disciple, Peter, was the first Pope, and from then on have been building more and more expensive and over decorated Churches, and who dress their bishops in cloth of gold, not the simple homespun cloth that Jesus wore. In centuries past young men and women who were burdens to their families did good works when they were housed in Monasteries and Nunneries, but they were in service not only to their God, but to the Clergy above them.
Jesus built no churches, he shared what he had and he preached love for all. He didn’t tell anyone they had to believe in what his God, and he didn’t condemn others for their choices of religion.
Muslims and Jews both sprung from the teachings of Moses – from the creation myths written in the old Testament of the Bible which is now considered “God’s Word” along with the New Testament written years after Christ, possibly by some of his followers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and others by later converts, St. Paul, who had a conversion from Saul the Tax Collector on the Damascus Road.
Many human beings have a need to be told what to do which makes them easy pickings for the clever, greedy people who are willing to sell tickets to heaven with a money back guarantee to these gullible individuals who don’t want to make their own decisions about what is right and wrong.
Looking back over History we see things like the Spanish Inquisition – where so called heretics – those who refused to accept Christianity were tortured until they declared they had changed their minds. We have seen wars between Catholics and Protestants in many countries especially Ireland which left thousands of people dead and wounded. Both sides believing that they follow Jesus who told people to love one another.
This is the oxymoron of our age. Today we celebrate the birth and death of the good man of Nazareth who never wanted adoration and never expected it. He was killed by people who claimed he called himself the King of the Jews. People are still told he died to save the world, and yet the world continues to be filled with all the things he was against, particularly greed, and unkindness to others. The celebrations of his life have been overtaken by Pagan holidays which celebrated the changing of the seasons. These celebrations of winter and summer solstices still have relevance today. The world still turns; we still have spring, summer, autumn and winter though with our insistence on continuing to pollute the atmosphere we have no way of knowing how long it will be before we have mucked this up too.
Our lives are short when considered in the time the Universe has been in existence. Even if in our stupidity and ignorance we do the final irrevocable damage by letting off nuclear weapons and creating a winter that lasts for thousands of years, the earth will regenerate with or without human beings. I’m not preaching any religious affiliations, but I am trying to wake up any one who will listen. By all means celebrate time with friends and family. Serve the man who preached love by showing that love to others – not by judging others by standards that have no relevance in today’s world. Only then will we have Peace. Is it too much to ask?