Archive for virgin birth

Winter Solstice in Faith System Disguises

Posted in Atheist, belief, Christianity, culture, faith, Hebrew scripture, prehistory, random, religion, scriptures with tags , , , , , , on November 9, 2013 by chouck017894

Every year as the hours of daylight grow progressively less in the Northern Hemisphere, western organized faith systems burst forth during the approach of the Winter Solstice in lavish demonstrations of belief that a one-time event occurred just for them a couple of thousand years ago at this time of year. In truth, that which is being celebrated is actually the cyclic celestial panorama which activates the seasons and which has set the pace of life on planet Earth for many millions of years.

Bluntly, it has been astrophysical features that have served as the basis for many portions of scriptural stories which are marketed as “holy” accounts. And it is the two major turning points in the year–the solstices–which have been artfully disguised in sacred tales and which have allowed practitioners of divine deception (faith systems) to manipulate large masses of people.

The seasonal change occurring with the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere signals a time of renewal and revival in Nature. That regulatory cyclic change which is spoken of as “solstice” comes from the Latin word sol, meaning Sun, and the Latin word sistere, past participle of stit, meaning “to stand.” The illusion in the Northern Hemisphere that the Sun moves southward periodically in the winter and northward in the spring is, as we know today, caused by Earth’s axial tilt as it orbits the Sun. In the Northern Hemisphere the Sun appears to reach its most southern point on December 21, and appears to begin a northward movement on December 25. In pre-Christian Rome the twenty-fifth of December was therefore known and celebrated as Natalis Solis Invict, meaning “birthday of the Sun.”

With the approach of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the star Murzim or Murzar (in constellation Canis Major) rises upon the eastern horizon. The name Murzim is said to mean “the Announcer,” and it precedes the appearance of the star Sirius—the brightest star in the sky—which, in turn, seemingly heralds the greater light of the Sun that is to come. Remember, Jesus allegedly said of himself, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). The month preceding the Winter Solstice (November) carried great significance in ancient cultures, and it is from Pagan study and awe of astronomical movements that the observance of Advent (from Latin adventus, “the coming”) was introduced into Catholic formality around 600 by Pope Gregory the Great. This allowed the faith system’s representatives four Sundays before the solstice to utilize the declining light of the Sun as reminder of God’s power, and it was inferred that it was only by the flock’s continuous obedience that the power continued in glory. In Pagan antiquity the commencement of the new yearly cycle was celebrated after the perceptible northward movement of the Sun was certain; then it was perceived as the “Deliverer” or “Redeemer.”

In Judaism the festival of Hanukkah, meaning “dedication” (to the light which will be increasing), is observed within the same seasonal period of the approaching Winter Solstice, being celebrated from the 25th of Kislev (third month of the Jewish calendar) to the first of Tevet (which overlaps December and January). This is known variously as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, and Feast of the Maccabees. The increase of light for the Northern Hemisphere is disguised here in the story of the Temple of Jerusalem having been rededicated to Yahweh by Judas Maccabaeus in 165 BCE, which had been profaned by Antiochus VI Epiphanes, King and overlord of Syria. Three years earlier, 168 BCE, on the date corresponding to December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, the Syrian king had dedicated the captured Temple in Jerusalem to the worship of Zeus Olympius. When Maccabaeus recaptured Jerusalem, the Temple was purged and a new altar replaced the desecrated one. This re-dedication was then planned to be celebrated for eight days, but woe!–supposedly only one cruse of pure olive oil, blessed by the priest, could be found. Yahweh intervened and that single cruse of oil burned miraculously for the whole eight days! Yahweh’s holy light prevailed.

The connection of the Muslim fast Ramadan to the Winter Solstice is far less obvious, due partly to Mohammad’s (or his scribe’s) misunderstanding of Jewish/Christian myths which allowed for their disguised ceremonial observance of the Winter Solstice period. The link to the Winter Solstice became lost in Islamic observation due to the Muslim year being calculated according to lunar phases instead of solar cycles. Also, being from a desert culture the seasonal changes were not such an obvious yearly transitional event as it was to those in higher latitudes. Therefore Islamic holidays seemingly “relocate” through each season, and in a period of about thirty-three years Ramadan makes a complete cycle of the solar year. For these reasons the Muslim celebration of Laylat-al-Qadr, meaning “the Night of Power,” which is held on the evening of the twenty-seventh day of the ninth month of their year calculation because Mohammed allegedly received his first revelation in this timeframe. Thus, although Ramadan seems not to be obviously related to the “infidel’s” recognition of the approaching increase of light (symbolizing revelation), the fasting and rites of the Night of Power were inspired by the disguised Jewish/Christian observances of the Winter Solstice.

Now back to the Christian faith system observation, which, of these three sister faith systems, is more closely aligned with prehistory (Pagan) wisdom that had deeper understanding of our direct relationship to cosmic forces. It was not any priests who initiated the Jesus cult in Rome; it was Roman aristocrats and literati, for prehistory wisdom was known and revered by them. The Winter Solstice was referred to by the ancient ones as “Mother Night,” and this was because the star Spica, the brightest star in constellation Virgo, the virgin, appears on the meridian at midnight during the longest night. This is why Christian lore relates that the Virgin (symbolic of the cosmic void) gave birth to a divine son (the Sun) which characterizes the Life Principle. Light begins to increase in the Northern Hemisphere after the Sun’s intercourse with darkness, and so light is “born” again—out of itself. Thus the Winter Solstice figuratively marks the “birthday” of life-giving light, and this prehistory acknowledgment of the life supporting Sun’s movements was absorbed into the Christian faith system and dubbed “Christmas,” i.e. Christs’s Mass.

As noted, constellation Virgo makes its appearance on the horizon at the decisive point of the Winter Solstice period, and this is the basis for all the stories of world saviors that were said to have been born of a virgin. The returning light was reason for celebration and gift giving, and this accounts for the gifts borne by the Magi or wise men or kings to such saviors (of spirit) as Zoroaster, Mithras, Tammuz, Jesus, and others.

That respect for ancient wisdom by the Roman authors of earliest Jesus cult texts gradually became smothered by those who awoke to the possible manipulative power that the new cult offered as a mechanism for social and political control. It was the passion for material power, not spiritual enlightenment and guidance that drove men to weave myths upon the ancient cosmic knowledge and build corporate-style “faith” businesses upon them.

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.

Taking the Fun Out of Fundamentalism

Posted in Atheist, Bible, culture, faith, history, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , on January 17, 2010 by chouck017894

Fundamentalism is the belief in some old “sacred” literature—usually composed by authority-hungry authors—as being literal truth and factual historical record which commonly includes elements regarded as uncontroversial prophecy.  In Christian fundamentalism, stories from the Jewish Torah are used as a springboard for the doctrine of Creationism, blended with such “miraculous” accounts as virgin birth, the physical resurrection of a world savior, and his anticipated physical “second coming.”

With such unnatural and improvable assertions accepted as fact, there was set in place the basis for unswerving and unalterable principles of religious-philosophical belief.  Unfortunately, unswerving belief and rigidity of a doctrine does not insure its value as truth.

The Christian fundamentalism that we see today in the early 21st century America took root in the early 20th century as a movement to counter the Darwinian evolution theory and the threat of liberal (nonjudgmental) theology.  It was around 1909 that a group of protesters began circulating a publication called The Fundamentals that avowed five key points regarded as holy and fundamental.  1) The infalliblity of Scriptures, 2) the Virgin birth of the Son of God, 3) the physical resurrection of Jesus, 4) Jesus as replacement in atonement for mankind’s sins, 5) and the return of Jesus in a judgmental rendezvous.

By 1925 the frenzy of fundamentalism was so infectious that a teacher in the state of Tennessee—J. T. Scopes—was brought to trial for teaching the science-based theory of evolution.  In the so-called “monkey trial” the teacher was convicted for exposing his pupils to truth.  The fundamentalists took strength from the verdict and throughout the rest of the 1920s attempted to rid churches and schools of any scientific inquiry of what they regarded as the perverse modernism of evolution. 

Fundamentalists found their cause a bit more challenging than they liked and through the 1930s, with the broader public snickering at them as extremists and anti-intellectuals, they began to pull apart, settling into various independent churches or becoming splinter denominations.  In the next decade, however, the fundamentalists attempted a new tact to attract wider following: they would present their belief in a pseudo-scholarly way, and the movement became referred to as neoevangelicalism.  It was a tact that picked up steam to develop into the political steamroller that now flattens a broad swathe across rationality in 21st century United States.

If nothing else, the fundamentalists do know how to kick up a fuss and present a facade of righteousness—just as the “prophets” of the Old Testament intentionally disturbed the things as they existed and sought to change them for their own ends.  All this was obsessively indulged in and fertilized by persons with inflated egos (Billy Graham comes to mind), and in the 1950s they discovered television and the wealth it could siphon in.  By the 1970s the fundamentalists were worming their way into electoral and legislative politics, and waxing profusely against secular humanism and happily passing judgment on such things as communism, abortion, feminism, homosexuality, and the constitutional safeguard of separation of church and states affairs. 

The exercise of control is the fundamentalists’ aim, theocracy their goal.  In that pursuit they have found it convenient to discard many teachings of the teacher as presented in the earliest New Testament books.  They claim to be devoted to a government based on Biblical examples—Old Testament blood and guts style—being careful to stifle its many glorifications of inhumane conduct, wars, deceits, enslavement and injustices that allegedly met with God’s approval.