About

These essays are about challenging cherished myths and shattering cruel stereotypes.

They are about replacing cruel myth with a celebration of life.

Jesus reportedly taught a simple message of joyful compassion for all people — friends, strangers, even enemies — expressed actively through our actions towards all other human beings. He comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable.

If he were to live today, he would likely be a Buddhist, Taoist, Pagan or otherwise celebrate the mystic communion with all other sentient life on earth in joyful harmony between humans and all of nature.

Sadly, soon after he was murdered too young, his followers quickly returned to the harshness and cruelty of the Abrahamic traditions, and transformed his message of gentle, celebratory compassion into one of moralistic legalism, the very opposite of everything he lived and died for.

These essays chronicle, with detailed documentation, what Jesus taught and how it was transformed into a bitter, moralistic caricature he would have found utterly unrecognizable.

My background — who I am and why I share my views:

Often, Christians who cannot fathom that someone could go beyond where they are today, will assume that I could only have “left behind” my Christian upbringing because I became disaffected by the imperfections of human Christians who failed to live up to the standards of their faith.

Those who become disaffected because of bad experiences or disappointments in the personal foibles of other Christians were never strong in the faith to begin with, or they would not be dissuaded from that which is right and true in principle by that which is personal, weak and superficially shallow.

Such people live their lives in quiet aversion to religion, though in times of crisis when they need strength, they often return to the faith because, deep down, it was not the faith or ideas or principles they questioned, but purely personal frictions.

This was not the case with me. Look at the manner in which I (attempt) to deal with matters of substance and you can see that, right or wrong, I do seek to dig beneath the surface layer. Now, transport this understanding of me back to my Christian upbringing, and you can correctly imagine that I was the “good little boy” who learned his scriptures, studied well, converted and brought friends into the Christian “fold” to accept Jesus as their savior, and the whole nine yards. Church was a very comfortable place for me, and I got plenty of approving strokes from the adults in my life. My entire family and social life revolved around my church life. As I stated, I engaged enthusiastically on religious issues, and sometimes brought in converts to the faith.

But what happened was that, in my Bible studies and other readings, I began to find matters in which the Bible was inconsistent. Scriptures that contradicted each other in a way that the “inerrant/infallible” perfect word of a perfect god should not. I found myself deeply troubled over the direct contradictions I found between Paul and Jesus, especially since the church tended to favor Paul over Jesus! I found the doctrine of blood atonement for the remission of sin to be cruel, barbaric, lacking any semblance of justice or reason, and a remnant of the “human sacrifice” instinct in primitive religious rituals.

In the beginning, the first small instances did not cause me much concern. I assumed it was just me failing to understand higher knowledge of god. But as I took questions to those more knowledgeable, and they could not answer them, and even became somewhat hostile at innocent follow-up questions when initial responses failed to address my concerns, I slowly came to the realization that it was not me that was failing to understand the faith, it was that the faith itself, though well-intended, was deeply flawed.

I further considered that, perhaps if I had been born in Tibet I would have been a Buddhist or in Mecca a Moslem, and wondered if I merely inherited the faith I was born into, or if I just happened to be born into god’s one true faith.

Eventually, I did come to realize that the faith itself was flawed. The process of coming to this realization was extremely painful and difficult. I knew that this would create an enormous strain in family ties, and most likely the dissolution of many cherished friendships. Lifestyle habits and routines would be very different. In the beginning, I kept my feelings to myself and went through the motions of observation of faith, as I’m sure many Christians do who, deep down inside, know the truth. But eventually I could not live a lie, and chose to open up my life to new directions and, with great pain and discomfort, had the strength to make that change.

Even today, I know the rites, rituals and language of Christian faith and, when family events draw me into a church setting, I can quickly slip back into that comfort zone. If the truth of Christian fundamental beliefs could be proved, I could quickly return to that life. And there would be a much more prosperous career in such a venture as well. There is not really much of a market for those speaking out against traditional faith, since most of those who are not religious simply don’t care. But if I were to have an “epiphany,” come back to the faith, and offer responses to all the points I have raised, my god! What a welcome I would get! What an audience for books, speaking engagements, the return of the prodigal son, the one who can answer the critics…. you name it! It would be a pretty sweet life!

But alas, I can find no such evidence and, the more I engage in the substance of these matters, the more convinced I am of my position. And the same honesty of principle and moral courage that gave me the fortitude to buck my early comfort zone still, yet today, prevents me from living that kind of lie.

Why do I write these things?

Some suggest that if I have left my Christian upbringing, I should just move on and forget about it, as so many do. And for years I did just that. But what I found was that there are many others who are now going through the same thing I did years ago. They know something just doesn’t add up, but they can’t quite put their finger on it. Paul doesn’t seem to say the same thing Jesus does. One scripture seems to contradict another. It is just not quite right.

I have considered that I already went through this. Seekers of truth do not need to reinvent the wheel. I have gone this route before, as have many others, and I am willing to share what I learned along the way. For Christians who are content in their faith, they will likely never look for my work and will never see it. I do not actively or aggressively promote my writings. I do not push. But I do make available for those who seek it. If someone looks for what I have written, they can find it. Seek and ye shall find. If you have found these pages, it is because you looked for them. If you understand this, fine. If this confuses you, ask yourself why you went looking for what I have to offer.

Important notice:

My book “Betrayal of Jesus,” from which these WordPress pages have been exerpted, can be ordered in both print editions and e-book formats from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, as well as other outlets:

Amazon.com (in two formats: paperback print edition and Kindle e-book):
http://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Jesus-Davis-D-Danizier/dp/0944363075

Barnes and Noble.com (in two formats: paperback print edition and Nook e-book):
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/betrayal-of-jesus-davis-d-danizier/1109135778

For Apple iPad: Go to Apple iTunes store using the iTunes app on your computer, tablet or smartphone:
Search on books by any one of the following:
E-book ISBN: 9780944363034
Author: Davis D. Danizier
Title: Betrayal of Jesus

More detailed information about the book can be found on the website of my publisher, Word Wizards, at:
http://www.wordwiz72.com/danizier/

And “like” us on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Betrayal-of-Jesus-book/139490262748695 

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  1. Bruce Woodrow

    I found your blog through a comment to an editorial cartoon at GoComics.com (June 18th). I appreciate that you have made so much of your material freely available at this blog. I expect to return often and read more.

    I am a lapsed Christian. By the time I was in junior high school, I was beginning to perceive the contradictions between my understanding of Christ and how so many Christians acted.

    There are now so called Christian “churches” that seem to celebrate hate. If there is any love left, it seems to be hidden by the public actions of both leaders and followers.

    I wonder how our civil society (yours in the US and mine in Canada) can move forward when so many seem to forget that “freedom of religion” includes freedom from religion, and that it does NOT mean freedom to impose religion.

    Thank you for sharing the results of your research and your analysis.

    Bruce
    Canada

  2. Dave,

    I am so glad I “stumbled” upon your blog here. I share most of your views here on this blog. As a Christian, I could not wrap my head around the atonement, the Trinity, Paul and Jesus’ different gospels, etc. Thank you for your honesty, time and wisdom on these pages.

  3. Mr Danizier:
    Know that you are not alone on your quest. I suggest you consider an “Open and Affirming” United Church of Christ. I think you will find like minded people there.

    For thoughts about the dying church, consider “Jesus for the Non-Religious” by John Shelby Spong. A heavy book but you can handle it.

    “Paul and Jesus” by Dr James Tabor who has labored 40 years in the study of Paul, gives the best insight to who Paul was [an asshole] but can not come right out and say it.

    It goes without saying the very best ever written about Jesus was authored before The Dead Sea Scrolls, before Qumran, before archaeology or theology existed by Albert Schweitzer in “The Quest of the Historical Jesus”. Some say John Dominic Crossan picks up the trail in “The Historical Jesus”.

    I wish you luck in your quest as a fellow traveler.

    Yours in Blasphemy,
    Cliff Sichta

    • Cliff, I have attended services and a variety of events at an “Open and Affirming” United Church of Christ in my area. I have high regard for them and find much common ground. I also have a similar relationship to a local Unitarian Universalist fellowship as well as a Church of Religious Science.

      I am very familiar with Dr. Spong and his works and have high regard for him. I have had a professional relationship of many years with one of Dr. Schweitzer’s great granddaughters.

      I find much benefit in aspects of all of these organizations and resources and, again, respect them greatly. At this time, I am satisfied with the level of involvement with each.

      Oh, and I am not a person much steeped in formality. My friends address me as “Dave” rather than Mr. Danizier, which sounds more stuffy than I prefer for casual discourse.

  4. Mr. Danizier,

    I have read through the body of your blog posts and landed in this page, wondering what led you to the conclusions you have made about the Christian faith. I think it would be of great benefit I pointed you to a faithful teacher of the Bible if you are perhaps open to someone who is knowledgeable….

    [remainder of this post has been edited out — NOTICE: I do not need you to “save” me, and this forum will not be turned into a forum for advertising individual churches or religious material.]

    • Uhm, thanks, Jack, for your concern. But I have explained my story and, no, I do not need you to point me “to a faithful teacher of the Bible…” any more than you need my Muslim friend to point you to a faithful teacher of the Qur’an or my Hindu friend to point you to a faithful teacher of the Vedas, Upanishads or Bhagavad Gita.

      I have edited out your specific recommendation of a pastor, church and sample sermon, and am only posting the introduction to your comment by way of pointing out to those who wish to “save me” that I am not interested and I will not approve messages designed to turn this forum into an advertisement for your church.

  5. Thanks for your thoughts and writing. I have not read it all but sense that we are in a similar place and point of view. Because traditional Christianity persists ( though without radiance and ‘light’ in general) I remain appalled… since it does not deserve to exist with all its crosses and churches throughout the public domain. I am often reminded that God Exists with and/or without Jesus. Gladly, God exists with Jesus, but that matter aside, God does not need Jesus, alive, dead, or resurrected in order to forgive, bless, exonerate or forgive. To suggest that human ‘atonement’ could only have been achieved via the suffering of anyone, never mind Jesus, is absurd.On this theme, I guess I could go on forever, ranting and raving, but either God is Love and stays with His/Her people no matter what they are up to ( and, to be sure, nothing of what we are up to surprises Him), or God gives up on us before they ‘get it right’. I guess there is much speculation about how this ‘sacrificial atonement’ idea got off the ground, but God knows, it has been popular! No one has ever troubled to account for the many “saved” souls who continue to act like desperate fools. In spite of all the talk of eternity, so few in the West ever trouble to consider that a human lifespan is, evidently, too short to justify a permanent sentence/judgement when it is done.It seems more likely that, with so much time available for learning growth, discovery, penance,improvement,recovery and awakening, the mere cessation of bodily functioning should not, in the glorious plan of things, surfeit the demise or ‘damnation’ of the many who did not become perfect so quickly.If we insist on the idea of sin as tenacious and irrepressible, still the God that Is can forgive, ameliorate and rectify very well without requiring the preposterous murder of Jesus by crucifixion. God did not say, ” Well I am very disappointed in humanity, so I shall arrange to have one of its very best publicly slaughtered. Surely that will make everything better again. The world will be saved, and that will be that!”
    God continues to be available to us each and all. Jesus has and continues to help me, but all of that blood of the cross stuff is impertinent enough, now that ‘death’ is behind Him.
    Dave Wilson
    Canada

  6. I first ran across your site via a graphic posted on facebook based upon your 2011/04/22/paul-vs-jesus-and-james/ page. While for me all is and, not really very many verses scenarios I am glad that the person of Jesus has had such an impact upon you that you would be compelled to write about him in further contexts. While I sense that your approach is hypothetical in general, I am not going to judge your efforts unless I may see a flaw which may cause either yourself or others harm, and in doing so I would speak with you first personally. Would you say Davis, that your views have evolved since the time you first started this wordpress site? Regards, Rammy

    • Rammy — I also refrain from judgment unless flaws cause harm. While I no longer consider myself a Christian, and do not share the views of even the more liberal and less literal Christians, at least I find them benign in points of error and often very warm, caring people whose beliefs motivate them to great kindness. I wish them well.

      Having survived a conservative Christian upbringing myself, and having see the very extensive harm that this virulent corruption of Jesus engenders, I do feel it appropriate to confront the factual flaws and moral abhorrence that causes serious hurt and inspires much cruelty in the name of the person (whether real or highly embellished) whose name they take in vain.

      As for the evolution of my own views, I do not accept any mortal human as being infallible or omniscient and I certainly to not make an exception for myself. Since the time of starting these WordPress pages, my views have remained fairly consistent. Still, I do tweak the details as credible evidence (and/or my perceptions of it) dictate, and often make small edits to these pages to add or revise material. And of course, the comments sections of these pages are changing all the time thanks to the questions and comments of readers and my interactions with them.

  7. I wanted to ask you about the unpardonable sin. This is something that I have been troubled over a great deal, especially because of having had a mental illness where my thoughts sometimes present as voices and also have not felt in my control. Do you think that this part of the scripture is literally true?

    • Is the Bible verse about the “unpardonable sin” in Mark 3:28 “literally true”?

      If you read my commentary on the Bible itself
      https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/the-blasphemy-of-bibleolatry/
      you will see that I do not take any part of the Bible to be literally factual or interrant, any more than any other ancient book of mythology or legend, but do respect it for its legitimate antiquity and its contributions (for both good and ill) to much of history and culture.

      As for the “unpardonable sin” against the Holy Spirit, various denominations interpret the verse differently, but one of the most common understandings is that it is means for someone who has received the testimony of the Holy Spirit to then deny it — to abandon their certainty of faith.

      This goes along with the assertion I have expressed in my articles, that the whole point of organized religion is affinity, allegiance and loyalty to the organization (and thus, its leaders). Notice that, in the form that “Christianity” has been handed down, the worst sin — the one for which there is no forgiveness, worse than murder, rape, torture, kidnapping, or anything else — is to violate the itegrity of loyalty, affinity and allegiance on which control of compliant masses is so dependent.

  8. Does anyone know of a church that adheres strictly to the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and disregards Paul? I cringe at church every time I see that the day’s scripture comes from the writings of Paul. I’d be so glad to be involved with a church that follows the teachings of Jesus.

    • I am not familiar with such a denomination, but that is an interesting question!
      I would join in expressing an interest as to whether there is such a church that adheres only to the gospels (particularly the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke; John was written decades later by the Johannine Community, a Pauline sect). If anyone can provide information on Internet links or other contact information about such a sect, I would be glad to pass it along via this forum.

  9. Hi! I’m trying to develop my argument for why Christianity is in essence pro-gay (I’ve already written about Judaism here http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/supporting-lgbtq-rights-is-a-jewish-value/ and am also working on Islam). Could you help me with this please? I’ve noticed, as you also say, that Paul is where all the New Testament’s homophobia comes from; do you know of any passages or anything that have Jesus telling Paul not to be so hateful, or anything along those lines? Whatever you’ve got that can help would be great! Thanks!

    • Hi Ben —
      My own view is that you could make a case that Jesus and early Christianity were neutral on the subject of same-sex equality, since there is nothing in the record either way (though that could also be seen as being pro-gay considering the prevailing views of the era).

      My essay on Paul vs. Jesus address the specific ways in which Paul directly contradicts Jesus, but there is no direct exchange between Jesus and Paul, as Jesus died long before Paul’s appearance. There is, however, in my essay, the extensive direct rebuttal by James, who was Jesus’ brother, and did write a scathing response to Paul. That essay is at:
      https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/paul-vs-jesus-and-james/

      I also touch on the issue of same-sex equal rights in my essay on Christianity and contemporary issues, at:
      https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/christianity-and-culture/

  10. Thank you, I shall follow as much as I can. Ronnie Birks

  11. Thank you David Danizier!. My entire childhood/life I was taught that I would burn in hell (fire and brimstone).——– When I began a true meditation/prayer life to GOD my eyes were opened to God’s LOVE AND MERCY. I could not understand how a God who IS LOVE could send us to eternal hell fire. I have done much searching. I will study these chapters in the Bible that you provided and I know I will find peace. Also, I believe that the TRUE writings have been so messed with-, first by the early Catholics then OPENLY by Martin Luther (as you know). If Martin Luther could so blatantly remove books from the Bible- how many more before him?

    • Yes, Rhonda, it always amazes me that some of those who accuse the Catholics of not even being Christian still use the Bible that was mostly compiled with the selections chosen by the early Catholics, which I’m sure are heavily edited. In fact, while none of the original autographs have been preserved, dealing with differences among the various versions of the preserved copies is one of the big challenges for those who translate newer versions.

      The discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi, and other finds have offered us much insight into additional gospels, additional epistles and older versions of tests which help in providing a more accurate historical perspective. Unfortunately for those who have based their beliefs on a literal interpretation of flawed texts, it does not strengthen their viewpoint.

  12. Great letter in the NC Times on Friday!

    A Kindred Spirit in Carlsbad

  13. dominick virgilio

    i love the truth in life that is the the only thing to live for it keeps me going you can’t love GOD or your neighbor without loviing thr truth and of coarse YESHua is the truth I thank GOD ever day for the internet its my CHURCH and my pulpit as a vegan christian for the last 25 years and quit going to so- called years ago you must search the truth for yourself PAUL who i used to put before JESUS was a fraud that really hurts because i loved his so-called teachings but but no one can come close to the teaches of YESHUA MR SZEKELY books about the THE ESSENEs i do follow espiecely THE ESSENE GOSPEL OF PEACE and being a health nut fits in with my lifestyle i will NEVER put anything in my body to defile it to me it would be agrave sin

  14. i am so much where you are. I’m going to my ABOUT page and, quickly, explain how my ‘column’ evolved. it was never my intention to get involved in a religious discussion but something happened and here I am. And your found me and I found you…

    Just brought home some of Kim’s ashes and sprinkled them under the Bill tree in the courtyard. That’s a story I’ll tell you about later. I’m also buying a pair of unweaned kids, a little billy and a little girl goat-Kim and Bill-and bringing them home this week. Too darling. They’ll love it here.

    Love’ya ME

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