Wednesday, December 26, 2007

American Goy's History of Religions

The following is my own take on Christianity and other religions. Since I consider myself a (barely) functioning idiot, the title seems apt. Since this is a blog to explain stuff to idiots (as a favor from me - I am also an idiot but I am blessed with the ability to read something and then understand it. Needless to say I need to read stuff many times but that is beside the point). There is no time like now, so let us get to it then (git'er done, like that fat american says):

Since the times when records were kept, religion is found in all the cultures and societies we have information on. Let us start in the beginning of history, as far back as we know. Back in the days of Sumer and Ur, there was a popular Harleqin romance novel called Gilgamesh.

Short and sweet Wiki about religion in Sumer

Sumerians seemed to worship many gods, with each city having its own patron god/saint. Whatever works for you, buddy. Moving on, the Egyptians (the cool dudes who built the gigantic pyramids and about whom a really cool historical movie was made called
Stargate). Egyptians believed in Isus, Ra and Osiris and other cooly named gods. They as a society were really stuck on the afterlife of their folks (afterlife means after someone dies - for the idiots like me who have trouble with big words). They were so hung up on the afterlife, that they developed extremely elaborate rituals to take care of the corpse. Pyramids are basically tombs for local badasses. Heartily recommend
Ancient Egypt religion

Moving on, we go to the Greeks and then immediately the Romans. Greeks were hairy olive skinned guys who lived in the mountains in the Balkans and Crete (an island) in the Mediterranean (its a sea south of Europe and north of Africa, people). They never could agree on anything, and they spent their days killing each other. When their neighbors to the East, called Persians, invaded them, they stopped killing each other and started to kill the Persians. After they under Alex the Great basically conquered the whole of the Persian empire, they happily went back to their mountains to have sex with sheep and kill each other again. I adore these people! But I digress.

The Greeks had a whole pantheon (that is a complicated word meaning a group) of gods, with my favorite being Zeus (he was the capo di capo, the boss of bosses, the mafia don, the big kahuna) and Bacchus, who was the god of getting REALLY drunk. Bacchus helped with Aphrodite, who was the goddess of screwing. Like I said, I think Greeks were really cool.

After Greeks came the Romans, who were like the modern day Japanese are today. They copied everything that they liked. And made it better. So they copied every single damn Greek god and renamed him or her. Aphrodite for example became Venus, etc.

What is interesting about all the religions is that people seemed genuinely confused about gods and goddesses, and so even if they believed in their gods, they tried not to offend other people's deities, because what if that other badass god was more powerful in certain areas (like the sea, or Egypt?). When Romans conquered a land, they did not convert the people. Neither did the Persian empire. Or the Greeks under Alex.

They left all the local gods and beliefs in place.

During the Romans times a small, insignificant sect, who used to live in Egypt, gave the world the first monotheistic religion. And all because of a hippy carpenter. Back then these people were called slaves, today we refer to these folks as Jews.

So the Jews really had a shitty life back then - they were literally slaves in Egypt. They were released from Egypt (supposedly a bearded Moses the dude did all this cool stuff to allow the Jews to leave Egypt, but since Jews were kicked out of every other damn country that they were put in, perhaps that story is full of shall we say shit). They moved on into a region called Palestine (today also called Palestine). Then this hippy carpenter was born, and he gave rise to a new religion called Christianity. And pretty soon a new religion arose in the old Persian empire called Islam, which was like Christianity a monotheistic religion.

That mono word means that instead of a huge group of gods, these folks believed in only one dude.

It also means that whereas in all the wars before these wonderful three religions came the victors of a war left the local temples and shrines and other religious places in peace, and let people worship whoever and whatever they chose. Islam, Christianity and Judaism did not allow other religions, as their folks were taught that only THEIR religion is correct.

The Jews started the bloodshed going when they massacred the towns of Soddom and Gomorrah. Apparently the people in Soddom and Gomorrah were having too much fun, which included sex, homosexuality (gasp), and so supposedly god killed them all. Men, woman and children. Next on the list is Jericho, which also seemed a cool city until the Jews went in and KILLED ALL MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN
(Jericho). Apparently this was A-OK because god said its ok to murder all the people, and even the animals. Bloodthirsty little devils aren't they? Remind me of the Mongols, but I digress...

Since the Jews were numerically weak (read - they were much fewer of them than the screaming Christians and Islamists), they were absorbed by the powers of both religions. Since the Jews were out of the running, the next title bout was called the Crusades, and was a heavyweight match up between the crazy Christians from Europe and the insane Islamists from the Arabian Peninsula. Many hacked limbs and a sea of blood later, we come to the modern times. (Note that I have skipped Zoroastrianism, the far eastern religions of Buddha, Shinto, Hinduism and Jaynism and other stuff, because, really who gives a shit).

And here we come to today.

In an age of computers, the scientific method, biology, nuclear bombs, the internet (which allows your favorite idiot to write all this shit yo are reading), people still go to their churches, mosques and synagogues. They open little books and sing (pretty bad) songs about their god. And they argue on the internet, or even kill each other (yes, still) over whose god is better and more true.

What is really wacky about this is that each religion that followed the previous ones tried to discredit its predecessors, with its priests saying that our modern, CURRENT religion is THE ONE and THE TRUTH and EVERYTHIGN BEFORE IS BULLSHIT. So sorry, people of Sumer, Greeks and Romans, Egyptians - according to Islamists and Christians, you are in hell, because you did not believe in the correct religion... even though that religion did not exist yet.

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