Sacred Hints on Sin-Dodging

Sin, the alleged estrangement from God due to transgressing what is claimed to be God’s “known will,” is the age-old whip of faith system chieftains. The superstition that offending some god, directly or inadvertently, brings about disastrous consequences seemed plausible in the hostile conditions of primal forests or in the depths of gloomy caves. That trait, born of fear of the unknown, is cast into the DNA of animate life as a self-preserving attribute. That natural preservation trait, unfortunately, can be mined like a vein of gold by crafty schemers for their means of control.

By chapter three of Genesis, after the compressed account of Creation is dispensed with, the plot jumps rapidly into the introduction of sin with Eve nibbling fruit from the do-not-touch Tree of Knowledge. For this alleged sinful incident not only was Eve, Adam and the serpent given a death sentence, but all life forms were condemned to experience God’s endless indulgence in vengeance! Sin is then installed as a vicious circle in Genesis 4:7 with God allegedly saying to Adam and Eve’s son, Cain, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” Cain, not understanding the concept of “sin,”–perhaps because mom Eve had already tainted all life with “original sin”–by the very next verse (8) he kills his brother Abel. Now that is divine speed-plotting. But God’s earlier condemning judgment upon sin is then shown to be amendable in his setting a protective mark upon Cain’s head so he can avoid consequences. Thus did “sin” become the meal ticket for the CEOs of any western faith system.

The great pivotal moment in sacred “history,” according to 8th century BCE priest-authored accounts, hinges upon the Lord’s alleged call for Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering to receive special blessings. The Jews celebrate that alleged irrational incident of Abraham’s unquestioning obedience (Rosh Hashanah) as representative of their faith system’s especial characteristic–this despite the fact that in the Genesis timeframe Judaism was not yet an organized faith system. Was Isaac to be a sin offering? It is never said precisely why God would have asked for such a depraved act. Some suggest that it was a test of Abraham’s devotion, but if God is omniscient (all-knowing) as claimed, what could he possibly be uncertain about? As the story is depicted (by the priest authors), neither God nor Abraham inspire any spiritual admiration. And why would Isaac be such a spineless wimp? For some spiritual cowards, however, Isaac is held to be the first Jewish martyr (although Judaism was then far from its 8th century BCE invention as an organized faith system). Functionally, there can be only one purpose for this tale: since God, the personification of the Life Principle, would never condone such child abuse, the story purpose in the priest-written texts is aimed at encouraging submission and obedience to the priest-manufactured faith system.

In the later priest-written book of Leviticus (18:7), jammed between Exodus and Numbers, this priestly lust for ugly showmanship is highlighted in a shift-the-guilt rite–allegedly with God’s okay–from the guilty party to some hapless victim. The alleged God-approved instructions read, “And he shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the door of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other for Azazel.” We should note here that the word “tent” was commonly used as an occult reference to the primordial energy planes out of which Creation is made manifest, which is why it is referred to as the “tent of meeting.” To retain their authority the arrogant priests indulged themselves in the slaughter of one goat on the Temple altar, and sent the other hapless goat out into the wilds to be torn apart by predators. Or, depending upon location, the other goat was hurled by priests from a cliff to be cruelly dashed upon the jagged rocks below. Supposedly Azazel was imprisoned beneath the mount.

Nowhere is it ever explained in Hebrew or Jewish myths why the “Lord”–a self-admitted jealous god–would ever sanction such a custom of equal offerings, for by presenting identical offerings it is openly admitted that Azazel was considered to be the equal to God. Consider also that the name Azazel is said to mean “God strengthens,” so the implication seems to be that one aspect of the creative Source, active as the Life Principle, cannot be honored without the other. What this tale inadvertently reveals is that the Source power cannot create and bring all things into existence except through an interactive process of positive/negative energy exchange and interaction.

Even in this twenty-first century of space flights and instantaneous communications around the planet there are still Orthodox Jews who practice the ancient bloody ritual of slaughtering hapless animal life (such as chickens) in an appeal to God for personal forgiveness. In Los Angeles, California, for example, there are Orthodox Jews seeking to save themselves from sin through such indulgence in animal abuse.

The Roman “fathers” and “saints” of Christianity (such as Paul, Jerome, Augustine, etc.) enthusiastically took up the sin entrapment tactic along with the submit-and-obey features of the faith by asserting how Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of the world. On that occasion, however, God did not see any reason to substitute a ram or goat (or whatever) for the spectacle. What is the reason for such spiritual injustice? Allegedly because God so loved the world that he would allow mankind to sidestep responsibility for its sins by letting his “only begotten son” be sacrificed!

Why should this alleged God-approved torture and homicide of his own “beloved” and “only begotten” son inspire the world with any spiritual love or trust? Such a concept hinges upon pre-Christian societies of the Near and Mid East in which no rite was seen to hold more august power than the sacrifice of the king or the king’s son for the redemption of the king’s people. That was impressed upon Roman awareness around 60 BCE when the Roman general Pompey captured Jerusalem, which was then weakened due to the power struggle between the two sons of King Aristobulus. Pompey installed one son, Hyreau, as high priest, and took the other brother, Antigonus (along with his sons), to Rome as displays of triumph. Eventually, however, it was Antigonus who became priest-king of Jerusalem and in his short reign before being taken by Marc Antony in 37 BCE he had slain his own two sons–presumably as sacrifice for the welfare of the people. The whole mystery ritual of redemption seemed to the Jews to be played out once again for them when Antigonus himself was scourged, then bound to the stake, and then beheaded. The Jews chose to see in this his sacrifice to redeem his people.

As noted, exploiting scapegoats, as promoted in Leviticus, was always subtly promoted in Hebrew Scriptures. Unfortunately, the only standard that such alleged godly allowance for subjecting a substitute for the guilty is that it encourages the faithful to always look for ways to sidestep responsibility for themselves. All they need do in either Judaism or Christian practice is pass the buck or find a scapegoat–then they will be free to ascend to Heaven on a comfortable mattress of lies. The rest of God’s creations can go to hell.

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