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Showing posts from March, 2008

Resurrection

From the Nazi Holocaust emerged one benefit—Christian acceptance of our Jewish roots and apologies for past persecution. More difficult is accepting our pagan roots. When will we hear apologies for corrupting the very meaning of the word "pagan"?
Mediterranean cultures—Arabian, Egyptian, Sumerian and others—had gods and goddesses who died and rose in three days. Christian teaching used to represent these deities as foolish and phony, at best a preparation for Christ. This claim rarely comes from theologians any more, but many Christians still think our own God-image is unique and that the Resurrection proves Jesus’ divinity.Celts, Native Americans, Hindus, and people of other cultures around the world also had mythical heroes whose life, death, and rebirth or Second Coming were celebrated. We can do what Christian teaching used to do—deride all the other myths and insist ours is uniquely correct. Or we can ask, What explains the remarkable Hero with a Thousand Faces (one of …

Baha'i

Readers, for information on Bahá’í, I direct you to the long comment after Religious training and the comment here. They are wonderfully wise, thoughtful, and instructive, a response to my invitation to inform us about the Baha'i faith. They also express valuable thoughts about religions and spirituality.

Happy reading and happy Easter. More on Easter and Good Friday soon.

Easter symbolized

March 31, 2007
From a religious point of view, Easter is a more important Christian feast than Christmas, but it gets less attention because there’s less money to be made from Easter. So much for our supposedly Christian nation.

Like Christmas, Easter derives from pagan myth and ritual. The ancient religions surrounding the first Christians celebrated various saviors coming down from heaven and going back up to heaven.

A striking parallel to Easter is reported by church historian Henry Chadwick. He tells of the god Mithris, whose death was mourned on March 22 and resurrection celebrated on March 25.

The likeness of Good Friday and Easter to religious festivals of the pagans prompted them to accuse Christians of plagiarism. Besides the idea of dying and rising again in three days, Christians apparently borrowed ritual ideas.

My reporting this may give the impression that I have little respect for Holy Week and Easter. Wrong. I regard the Paschal mystery as a profound spiritual mystery, one …

Religious training & Bahá’í

Religions can be the solution to societal ills but also their cause. Their cause when superficial thinking replaces depth. When imbalance topples balance. When human emotions get the better of us.

In my last presentation I posed the question, How does Catholicism—how does any religion—get a strong hold on people? The group and I came up with these answers:

Magical thinking. I didn’t probe for explanation of this phrase so I’ll give my own and invite readers to add their ideas. I see magical thinking in myself when I expect/demand easy solutions to life’s mysteries and problems. We want it all to be rational and better—at least someday, if not right now.

Repetition. How many times does a Christian hear and say, “the ONLY Son of God,” “seated at the right hand of the Father,” “one, true Church,” and so on? How many times do Christians sleepily say "Amen" to "through Jesus Christ"?

Fear of authority. Fear of crossing the "Truth" handed to us as a given and not t…

Goddess in the Bible

Linguistic, archaeological, and scriptural studies reveal that the people of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) worshipped the Goddess. Their literature is suffused with female images of the Holy One. This information came to me primarily from Raphael Patai in The Hebrew Goddess, Asphodel Long in The Absent Mother, and Phyllis Trible in God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality.

An exclusively male God-image does not meet the psychological needs of humanity, and—here’s the surprise—it does not fully reflect our Judaeo-Christian heritage.

According to Patai, "historical scrutiny" shows that for centuries following the Law of Moses, sole worship of Yahweh by the Hebrews "remained a demand rather than a fact," because the people chosen by Yahweh also worshipped Canaanite deities. In light of the thundering Bible prophets, that did not surprise me. What dumbfounded me was the scope, the popularity, and the legitimacy of Goddess worship as revealed by researchers free of male bia…

Jesus, God, and sexism

THE SACRED FEMININE
May 6, 2016
I contributed to Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversations to Re-Shape Our World, an anthology now available on Kindle for $1.99.  More information HERE.
My chapter is entitled, "Sexist God-talk: Reforming Christian Language." When troubles assail us, we turn to Holy Mother God. Other contributors are Roy Bourgeois, Matthew Fox, Noam Chomsky, Barbara Walker, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Riane Eisler plus many more. Roy Bourgeois writes, In my years of ministry, I met many Catholic women who told me about their calling to the priesthood. Their eagerness to serve God began to keep me awake at night.May 14, 2016

I love it when men evince as deep a knowledge of what the patriarchy has wrought as women do. Such an aware person is Don, whom I’ve quoted before.  In answer to my invitation to Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversations to Re-Shape Our World, he writes, Yes! We must continue to put the Divine Feminine before the people. Patriarchy is deeply …