Archive for Immaculate Conception

Virgin Birth Myths

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, history, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , on September 30, 2010 by chouck017894

The first mention of “virgin birth” in the Holy Bible is in the book of Isaiah 7:14, which was composed in 7th century Jerusalem.  In that text it says, “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call him Immanuel.”  It is this verse from the Hebrew Testament collection that was utilized seven centuries later by authors in Roman Empire times to authenticate the claim of the miraculous conception of Jesus.  Unfortunately for Christian fundamentalists who point to this OT “prophecy,” the intent that was imbedded in the tale written in 7th century Jerusalem then concerned local matters.  In that timeframe the priestly scheme was implemented to present the illusion that Isaiah had prophesied the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel, which at the time composition happened to be a past event.  Thus the authors of the book of Isaiah beefed up the story by having the alleged prophetic character say, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6).   Note that in the original the action was presented in the present tense.  It did not allude to a world savior predestined to be born in an entirely different timeframe and under different circumstances. 

The notion that such an unnatural happening as a birth occurring without the necessity of having been implemented through sexual excitement must have been inspired through association with some ancient knowledge.  Amazingly, it had a sound scientific basis that was colored by faulty translation of original writings.  In the version of Isaiah that had been written in Greek from which this interpretation was borrowed, the word from which “virgin” was translated was parthenos, which actually does mean “virgin.”  But in the original Hebrew text from which the Greek version had been taken, the word was almah, which meant a young woman, not necessarily meaning a virgin.  To the Christian cult developers in Rome that fact was of little concern, for a virgin miraculously bearing a divine person was beneficial.  In fact it had been a feature in countless older Pagan belief systems such as Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek—and even on the other side of the planet where it was taught that the virgin Sochequetzal had borne her divine son Quetzalcoatl.

Obviously this widespread notion of virgin birth had to have a common source of inspiration.  That source was in prehistory references that once taught cosmological knowledge regarding the energy involvement that culminated in the immaculate conception of the universe itself—the energy involvement that is today erroneously pictured as the “big bang.”  Certainly lust, sex, explosive passion, or moral conduct cannot be conditions applicable to primordial energies.  Thus in the various cult developmental presentations around the planet the cosmic processes in which the primordial energy-substance issues out of virginal conditions became personified and literalized.  Such is the substance of the revealed word of the Lord.

The elemental and primordial is all that can legitimately claim to be virgin born, and in recognition of this all prehistory mythic accounts of virgin born saviors placed the birth scene as occurring in the lowest circumstances—to allude to primordial conditions.  In the older Pagan versions, the birth of a god was therefore generally depicted as having occurred in a cave as suggestive of the primordial void from which the universe had been made manifest.  Interestingly, caves just happened to have been used as natural stables in more primitive times.  So in the Romanized updated  version of Jesus being born in a manger, the setting was not exactly an outright misreading of ancient data, for a manger is a stall where horses are kept.  Christian observance of Jesus’ birth would later be placed immediately after the winter solstice, as were most similar Pagan observances, for at this movement along Earth’s orbit the horse of Sagittarius has just passed it dominance.

There is a nagging problem in the Christian virgin birth presentation, for Jesus is avowed to be the king of the Jews and is thus actually provided with a genealogy—two genealogies, in fact; one in Matthew (1:1-16), the other in Luke.  These were presented in an attempt to back up the claim of Jewish kingship.  The problem with this is, if Jesus was delivered out of immaculate circumstances then no mortal father can be claimed, and yet a genealogical line is attempted from Joseph who, it is stressed, acts only as a surrogate father.  Such genealogical lines are utterly pointless if Jesus was born of a virgin who had been impregnated through some  energy exchange suspiciously akin to osmosis.

Undeterred by logic, it is alleged that Joseph was the descendant of David, and so Jesus was in that way supposedly linked to the line of Jewish kings.  But even taking that peculiar patched together genealogical effort at face value, we have to wonder about certain confusions; like the book of Matthew says that Joseph’s father was Jacob, while in Luke it says that Joseph’s father was Heli.  The purpose of the varied genealogical lines was an anxious attempt to show that the character of Jesus was not only the fulfillment of the history of Israel, but that he was also the savior of the world.

As a closing note, allow an observation by none other that Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and was the third President of the young United States.  The right-wing fanatics like to quote some of his observations in their argument for smaller government, gun possession, etc. Jefferson wrote:  “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”  It is not likely Jefferson would be too keen on a Bible-based government.

Manufacturing a Miracle

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, history, humanity, life, logic, random, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by chouck017894

In December 1854, as Pope Pius IX ruled over the Vatican, the bishops from all parts of Catholic dominance were called to Rome to establish a new twist in devotion to Jesus as Christ the Savior.  In an elective process of collected bishops it was decided, with only four dissenting votes, that when Mary had died she had been raised bodily from the dead and “ascended into heaven.”   With this set in place as official church declaration Mary would henceforth be addressed and worshiped as the “Immaculate Conception.”   All this was made official despite the fact that there is not one line in original scriptures that ever implied that Mary was “immaculately” conceived—or, for that matter, that she could make atonement for sin because she was at the foot of the cross at her son’s crucifixion—“her heart pierced with grief.”  With this allegation made official, the terms “Sacred Heart” and “Queen of Heaven” became ingredients of the church’s religious phraseology.

Although nothing in any original writings of the early Christian movement had ever presented any such storyline, Pope Pius IX proclaimed that the Immaculate Conception must “be believed firmly and constantly by all,” and that any dissenter is “condemned” and “separated” from true Christianity!  (Pope Pius XII would echo the same declaration of the Assumption in 1950.)

The faithful today are not troubled that this declaration of “assumption” simply reinstated much older Pagan concepts.  The Greek grammarian Apollodorus (flourished 2nd century BCE) stated in his history of Greek religions, On the Gods, that Bacchus (symbolizing the reproductive force of Nature) carried his mother to heaven.  And according to the Roman poet Ovid (43 BCE-17 CE), Bacchus addressed his mother as Thuone, the feminine of Bacchus’ Latin name Thyoneus, meaning “the lamented one.”  Thus Thuone was the Pagan lamenting goddess–the role reinstated with Mary’s 1854 papal promotion—a role complete with all the attributes and honors once given to the Babylonian/Assyrian goddess Ishtar and the Roman goddess Juno (and other similar Pagan goddesses).

Only a mere four years after Mary’s promotion, in 1856, a fourteen year old peasant girl, Marie Bernadette Soubiroux, declared that she had eighteen visions of the Virgin in a grotto at Lourdes, France, which occurred from February 11 through July 16.  One of the more peculiar aspects of this miracle is that the Virgin is said to have repeatedly referred to herself as the Immaculate Conception—a precept initiated by the church only four years before!  The Lourdes grotto quickly became a shrine, and by 1862 the faithful were assured that they were justified in believing in the reality of the apparitions.  A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle where the visions were said to have occurred.  Twenty-one years after the spate of apppartitions, 1876, the basilica was consecrated and a statue of the Virgin was solemnly crowned.

The Catholic Encyclopedia thus assures the faithful that devotion at Lourdes was “…founded on the apparitions of the “blessed Virgin” to a poor 14 year old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux.”  It does not mention that the timing of these apparitions could not have been better for the politics of the church.