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.
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:
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E-book ISBN: 9780944363034
Author: Davis D. Danizier
Title: Betrayal of Jesus
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