Class Warfare Blog

September 9, 2017

NRA Quietly Backing Democratic Presidential Candidates

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 8:43 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

The NRA has been quietly funding some Democratic candidates for president for the 2020 election, noted an inside source. The election of Donald Trump has been a disaster for the guns and ammunition manufacturers. Without the threat of a progressive administration “taking away our guns,” there has been no impetus to stock up and guns and ammo sales have plummeted.

While Mr. Obama was president, gun sales soared as repeated NRA campaigns focused on plans of the Obama administration to confiscate Americans’ guns. During Mr. Obama’s time, of course, no such plans were made, neither were there actions taken, with only a few mild suggestions to Congress for reforms. Mandatory background checks at gun shows or universal background checks were recommended, even a one gun per month limit on sales was suggested but none of these were acted upon. Still the threat of confiscation was a constant topic in the circle of gun owners.

Since the election of Mr. Trump, the sales of guns and ammunition have fallen dramatically. While the NRA will not admit it publicly, privately officials are saying that a Democratic president will be much better for business, hence the attempts to support candidates now. Early money is like yeast, our source told us.

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September 7, 2017

Hallelujah!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Steve Ruis @ 10:44 am

I finally found out how to turn on the “Like” button for comments. You are now free to hammer that button on comments as you like.

Heh, heh, and I thought the third try was a charm … took more.

Clinton Versus Sanders, Round 2

In Secretary Clinton’s new book, she takes on Bernie Sanders as a source of her loss in the 2016 presidential election, “(Sanders) didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party.” So? Did you get the message? Did you incorporate his policy suggestions? Did you co-opt his campaign? No? Oh.

People seem to be ignoring the obvious with regard to the election outcome. For one, Secretary Clinton indeed won the popular vote by a considerable margin, so it was not the total vote that caused her loss but the distribution of votes. This suggests her campaign did not emphasize the importance of a few states that could have won the day for her.

But the overwhelming elephant in the room is how a dirt bag like Donald Trump could even get close to a seasoned professional politician in the first place. The reason is obvious: under presidents Democratic and Republican for the last forty years, the middle class has been decimated over and over. The election provided a choice between “more of the same” and “something different.” While “more of the same” won the popular vote, “something different” pulled well enough that with strategic campaigning the Electoral College delivered the presidency to someone as ill-suited to the office as has ever been elected.

What would cause people to come out and vote for a clown, rather than just stay home and not vote, the traditional way to vote one’s displeasure or despair? There were a fair number of people who opted out of voting, especially young people who liked neither candidate, but the election was determined by a simple vote of “no mas,” against the status quo that had served ordinary Americans so poorly.

It doesn’t require a large stretch of the imagination to see Barrack Obama’s election to the office as another vote against the status quo. Mr. Obama ran as someone who would change Washington for the better, as someone who actually saw poor people, and middle class people, and spoke to them rather than around them. But the desire for hope and change turned fairly quickly into “more of the same,” resulting in an even larger vote against the status quo. If voting in a Black man to the office, in a nation still substantial afflicted with racism, didn’t work, how about a clown?

Get the message?

In Secretary Clinton’s case, the answer is “apparently not.”

September 6, 2017

On Dependency

He’s a good boy and a better science writer than I ever was. Go buy a copy!

I am reading my son’s new book (Eating to Learn, Learning to Eat by A.R. Ruis) which addresses the history of school lunch programs in the U.S. One of the “concerns” that comes up frequently in the political debates is the “fear of dependency” if kids were to receive a free lunch at school everyday. (Yes, I know. It just goes to show you how many fucking morons there are.) This was not much of a debate for parents but was for the rich (White) power structures of American cities.

The evidence that children showed up at school either malnutritioned or just plain hungry were readily available. Kids were also diseased and pest ridden back in the day. That many men couldn’t pass a physical to be inducted into the Army for World War I made school lunches a national issue as well.

This is not my topic. My topic is the “dependency” claim made by conservatives and conservative interests. The conservatives have used loaded and coded language for all of my life in these debates. The “dependency” fear mongering is steeped in racism and politics.

The reason conservatives eschew giving “handouts” to poor people is not that such will make them dependent, although they hammer on that drum insistently. Their real fear is that poor people will become politically dependent on the people who are providing the assistance and then will vote for them. Conservatives do not want to get into a competition as to which political party, say, can be in charge of the “handouts” because that will just inflate the size of the assistance through competition, so they do not want to play that game. But neither do they want the Democrats, say, to become the party that provides the assistance and then gets the votes. It is not about dependency but to whom they would be dependent.

On top of that they believe that the votes of poor people will be for ever increasing “handouts” that will then require increased tax revenues from the rich to support them. So, they fear monger: such assistance promotes “dependency, is “socialism,” etc. Actually they also believe that the poor are not worthy. The Black and Brown poor are obviously not worthy, but neither are the White poor, even the working White poor. In the mind of Conservatives, if those people were worthy, they wouldn’t need assistance! Talk about a prosperity gospel … in reverse.

We are all familiar with the parental advice to not feed stray cats and dogs as the family will soon have a new pet to feed. I spin this when visiting old friends or relatives I haven’t seen in a while when the topic of their children comes up. They are invariably bigger than the last time I saw them so I say “I warned you what will happen if you fed them!”

If you feed a child or a hungry adult, all you are doing is reducing the amount of hunger in the world and allowing them to grow or live normally. You do not draw the line there. If your Vegan neighbor crashes your barbecue party and complains to you about the menu … that’s where you draw the line.

Slurs Against Atheists

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:50 am
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There are quite a number of common slurs against atheists, coming so frequently and in the same form that I suspect there is a small pamphlet, The Book of Common Slurs Against Atheists, right next to The Book of Common Prayer in church pews. Since these come up so frequently, I have tried my hand as to how to address a few of them.

Atheists hate God. Uh, how can we hate something that does not exist?

Atheism is a religion. Show me a church.

Atheists deny the power of religion. Show me that churches are struck by lightning less than other buildings … or are flooded less … or burn less frequently. Show me the power of religion.

Atheists deny all of the charitable good churches do. No, we just point out that very little of the money collected from members actually goes to charity. If you want to deny this, go to your church and ask them to open the books (let’s see: minister’s salary, utilities bill, building fund, grounds keeping, telephone and Internet, Sunday School expenses, … , no taxes, of course, … ). Whenever there is a natural disaster, church goers are asked to donate more, but so are secular people, so that’s a push, not a credit to churches. Churches are not primarily or even substantially charitable organizations, people.

Atheists just haven’t attended the right church yet. This claim belittles the effort made in becoming an atheist and belittles the position itself. The best response I have ever heard was a rejoinder “How many dicks do you have to suck before you know you are not gay?”

Atheists have no morals. Hello? How many atheists does the person claiming this know? (Generally the number is zero.) If someone whips this one upon you, ask them how they know this. Ask them how many atheists from their personal experience can they use as an example of this claim. (Most immediate resort to “Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot” the holy trinity of atheism, which is why I insist on “personal experience.” Hitler was a Catholic, by the way.)

Atheists believe life has no meaning? So?

Atheists are arrogant. Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Hello? This isn’t even on topic. All kinds of people are arrogant.

Atheists are intolerant. Only of stupidity, my friend, only of stupidity.

Atheists can’t find god. This is true. No matter where we look, there is no evidence of his existence. There is a reason theists claim that their god is “beyond space and time,” namely that such a beast cannot be found within space and time. Just how the heck can something be “beyond space and time,” anyway? They keep making this shit up and pretending it is real.

Atheists are against the mysteries in life. Yep. Every time one is removed, life gets better. When people see the fall colors in the trees of the north, they appreciate their beauty. So do I, but my appreciation is deeper because I know why they change color. My reality is so cold and sterile without mysteries, like the mystery of why people get sick or why it looks like the Sun revolves around the earth but does not.

Atheists are smug and sanctimonious. Being right does have its consequences.

* * *

At one point even all Christians were considered atheists. (In pagan Rome, “atheist” (from the Greek atheos) meant anyone who refused to worship the established pantheon of gods.) Soon, we may achieve this exalted state again.

 

 

 

 

September 5, 2017

Donald Trump Lies for Reasons, People

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 8:59 am
Tags: , , ,

People spend an inordinate amount of time pointing out that Donald Trump is a liar. (No, duh.) But that misses the point. Yes, Donald Trump is a liar. He has a proven track record of being a liar and lied throughout his campaign, so why on Earth did we think that becoming president would miraculously change Mr. Trump into someone who honors the truth above all else. Our incredulousness should be directed at ourselves, not Mr. Trump.

“The real question is who is he lying for and what is the real message?”

The real question is who is he lying for and what is the real message? Evangelical Christians lie all of the time and it is not a mark against their character in their community because they are lying for a reason. (They are persecuted, don’t you know! So, lying for Jesus is no sin.) Anyone who lies on their behalf is not seen as someone with a character defect but as a warrior on their side. The same can be said for Trump’s business lies “A reduction in corporate taxes will increase worker’s wages!” Now, there is a big lie and all business-savvy people know that. The last time there was such a tax reduction, during G.W.’s reign, the money was used to buy back stock (thus bolstering CEO pay), it was used to pay stock dividends, and it piled up as cash reserves. No part of  what they gained from the tax decrease was used to increase wages or even to expand productive capacity. This proposal is just another form of the “trickle down economics” lie that has been tried repeatedly but never once shown to work. (It keeps getting told because corporate interests have bought up the media, enough of the economists, etc.)

“Think about who benefits from such lies (beside Mr. Trump, that is a given).
This is the equivalent of the political dictum to ‘follow the money.’”

When Mr. Trump lies for his business cronies (they know this is a lie) he doesn’t lose character points, he gets “high fives” from corporate CEOs for lying for them.

So, wake up people! Stopped being shocked that Mr. Trump still lies, instead be shocked that you are shocked. Then think about who benefits from such lies (beside Mr. Trump, that is a given). This is the equivalent of the political dictum to “follow the money.”

Finally an Explanation for the Christian Persecution Complex

White Christians are probably the largest subgroup of its type (racial religious?) in the U.S. and yet, they seem to have established a mentality that they are also the most persecuted subgroup in the whole country. This is, of course, laughable in that an argument can be made that they are also the largest group of persecutors. But why is does this attitude of persecution exist in the first place and why are people buying into it at all, as some appear to be?

An article in the The Guardian shed some light on this. Josiah Hesse, the author, describes himself as “a recovering Christaholic, 12 years sober from God” in his piece entitled “Donald Trump Is No Saint, but I Know Why Evangelicals Love Him.” I have no interest in writing about Donald Trump, so that is not my focus, but in writing why he thinks evangelicals support Mr. Trump, a number of very interesting points were made by Mr. Hesse. To wit:

“When I was a young evangelical Christian, I was eager to be oppressed for my faith. The Bible and my pastors had warned me to avoid “worldly” people – celebrities, intellectuals, scientists, the media and liberals. Those were the ones forbidding us from praying in school while indoctrinating us with communism and evolution.

“Jesus once said: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.” So I went out of my way to piss people off – telling the Goth kids they were prisoners of Satan’s lies, handing anti-abortion literature to the “loose” girls, and forcing science class to run late while I debated evolution with the teacher. My entire identity became wrapped up in being disliked by a specific group of people.

“… the point of my witnessing to the lost souls of my public high school wasn’t to convert them to Christianity, it was to see how persecuted I could be.

“Which is a remarkably addictive sensation, one that became a competitive game for me and my fellow young believers. My youth-group friends and I would share stories of being punched, spit on, or called “the biggest loser in school” the way other kids would brag about sports or sexual conquests. Just as Morrissey fans discovered loneliness to be a fashionable accessory, we wanted to emulate the sociopathy of our messiah, who said in the book of John: “If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.

“Justified or not, white evangelical Christians increasingly believe they are the most persecuted demographic in the US today. But I don’t believe that evangelicals are interested in rectifying their status as a hated demographic, and would never protest for better treatment (or consciously demonize any racial minority the way the white supremacists do). For them, being despised by the world is a badge of honor that will ensure them a heavenly reward.”

So, of all of the utterances from the New testament Evangelical leaders could have focused on, they chose persecution (not faith, hope, charity, love, or a myriad of other foci available). Clearly the persecution complex suffered by evangelicals is synthetic, created as another tool of control by various church leaders.

If you want to control a group’s behavior, an effective way to do that is to give them an identity, and then give them a source of pride about that identity. Think High School (We are the Gamecocks, the mighty, mighty Gamecocks, everywhere we go, people want to know who we are!”). Mr. Trump often uses “best” or “most humongous” or whatever to pump up that source of pride, but if you over use that, you end up sounding like, well, Donald Trump, a blowhard who is blowing smoke up your ass. But if you build a persecution complex, you can charge up a huge battery with power. Hitler did it in Germany: the Germans were being persecuted, he screamed. When he built up a big enough charge, he unleashed it upon Germany’s enemies, as defined by Herr Hitler, of course. He could have instead called upon Germans to repent and eschew their sinful ways of war making (and losing) but that message seems to have lost its edge.

So, as Christianity loses its grip on the behavior of Americans, it has turned to fomenting a persecution complex, with no evidence of persecution in sight, to get its people to circle the wagons, listen to no one but Christian leaders, and fight to the death for … yeah, for what? That is the big question. The problem I see is if you charge a battery it will discharge whether you want it to or not. The real question is “Why are Evangelical Christian leaders charging the persecution battery?”

 

 

September 4, 2017

Cherry Picking for Jesus

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:56 am
Tags: , ,

The recent eclipse of the sun, visible from the U.S., was accompanied by the usual creationist/apologist babble about how God made the Sun and Moon the same apparent size, and thus creating an amazing thing (an eclipse!) that couldn’t happen by coincidence! There are referring to the fact that if the Moon were farther away or closer to the Earth, such occurrences would appear quite different. Also, if the Moon were larger or smaller, same thing. What they don’t say is that, if it were different, they would be pointing to the different version of an eclipse and pointing at it while saying “See what God did, see what God did?!”

This type of cherry picking is common among Christian apologists and creationists. They claim, for example, that the laws of physics are perfectly tuned for the creation of life, when the laws of physics are perfectly tuned for this universe. (How could they not be?) And this universe was apparently perfectly tuned to create vacuum, of which there is more than anything else and more is being made every minute in a fashion that appears to be accelerating. Did I mention that vacuums are inimical to life?

On any planet on which sentient beasts existed, there would be guaranteed to be things that were unique, that would be easily noticed. That those unique things were special, though, requires magical thinking. That the Moon and Sun have the same apparent size is not quite true, but close enough for casual observers, but the Moon comes between the Earth and Sun once a month. Why were we seeing a solar eclipse for the first time since 1979, then? Well, there are a lot of facts the creationists/apologists leave out, for which they have no explanations. For example:

  • The Moon was much closer to the Earth in our past and will be farther away in the future. Why did God do that, that way? This means we will only have this kind of eclipse for a geologically short period of time. I am sure that the apologists will come up with something, but …
  • The Moon’s orbit is at about a five degree angle to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. This is why we don’t have a solar eclipse every month. I am sure the apologists will come up with something along the lines that too many eclipses benefit human beings somehow.
  • A solar eclipse has no, I repeat, no actual effect on the planet, other than imagined ones in the minds of just one species living here … us. Solar eclipses aren’t “special” they are just rare.

So, instead of pointing to obvious coincidences and claiming “God!” how about all of the other observations they could make? How about, have you noticed how all mountains have different heights? That trees all have different shapes? That you can recognize your dog, even if it is in the company of another of its species, because no two are alike? That all things fall down, but the direct “down” is different depending where on the planet you are! (How do those things know which way to fall … puzzling?) Why are the rare things always signs of their god and not the mundane things. Why did their god make pebbles all different shapes, it makes them really hard to stack!

Hey, I have an idea, why don’t Christian apologists do something useful, like explain that if a Christian gets sick, a doctor is much better than prayers, which is why God made doctors or, I don’t know, how about it isn’t a good thing to rape altar boys, or condemn other human beings for things not completely under their control, or it would be a good thing to condemn non-defensive wars (such as every one we are currently engaged in). There is so much to do that might be useful, why wander into science when you don’t have any idea what you are talking about.

 

September 2, 2017

I Can’t Wait for the Rapture

According to some numb nuts Christians, they will soon be transported to Heaven as part of the Second Coming of Jesus™. This event is called “The Rapture.” (Don’t bother searching for this term in the Bible; it ain’t there.) Ignoring that the source of this belief is bizarre and unreliable and that Jesus hasn’t come the first time yet, I can’t wait for this event! In fact, I want all Christians raptured, not just the fundamentalist believers of this claptrap. Take them all and let their god sort them out, I say.

Think about the benefits!

All of a sudden 2.2 billion Christians out of 7.5 billion people currently alive, roughly 30% of the load on the planet, is gone. This would reduce the world’s population down to 5.3 billion, roughly what it was in 1990, which would give us a 27 year window to deal more effectively with our problems.

Regarding the population problem, basically we know that when people are secure, have enough food, and women are educated, family sizes plummet. That’s working now, so since there would be fewer people to share out resources with, we could ramp up our efforts there. There would be no food shortages anymore, with 2.2 billion fewer mouths to feed, other than one’s we cause ourselves by refusing to distribute it reasonably, of course. There would also be no housing shortages.

Socially, there would be no more whining/whinging about the War on Christmas™, or losses of undeserved Christian privileges. There would be no Catholic priests raping alter boys. Oh, and all of those Churches … they would all be abandoned properties, with the property owners all deceased (well, most anyway). All of the church property could be foreclosed upon and sold to benefit the poor and needy, a huge boon! (Damn, I would make the trip to the Vatican rummage sale, whew!)

Keep thinking!

No more would poor people be bilked out of their hard-earned money by slick preachers. (The preachers would still be with us, not being True Christians™ and all, but the cause wouldn’t be, so take your fundraisers and shove them up your asses, faux preachers.) Oh, and since Donald Trump would still be here, we would know his actual religious affiliation and/or the sincerity of his beliefs. Think about all of those politicians who pander to the Christian Right, with their Christian Nation and other stupid legislative efforts, who would still be here … and exposed for the hypocrites they are. Delicious.

Ah, there would be no more proselytizers, at least of the Christian ilk. (Are the Hare Krishna’s still around?) There would be no more people wanting to share their personal testimony with us. No Watchtower Society, Mormons on bicycles, etc. No more institutionalized hatred of gay people or LGBTQ-LSMFT people either.

We would finally find out how much work undocumented Mexican workers were doing as most of them would be raptured, too.

The biggest gift would be to take our foot off of the gas pedal of always “growing” everything (our businesses, the economy, our “carbon footprint,” etc.) which is the definition of an unsustainable path. That alone would be worth having all of those people take their exit, stage upwards.

Now if there were just a way to get Jesus to take all of the Jews and Muslims, too, hmm … I wonder if praying would work?

August 28, 2017

Put a Fork in It … Forever and Ever, Amen

Just as I was falling asleep last night, my bedroom was brilliantly lit by an actinic flash of lightning which was followed closely by a titanic blast of thunder. I was instantly awake with my heart beating a tattoo in my chest. I do understand why primitive people created a thunder god (which they eventually lost, which makes them Thor losers … sorry, I’ll get back on point). I do understand why we created invisible creatures to take responsibility for the epic natural forces that seemed so vast compared to our puny existences.

I have a harder time understanding how we got to where we are now with an incomprehensible god explained through a series of incomprehensible narratives. At least I was until shortly ago. The book I put down just before being flashed awake last night was “Jesus: Mything in Action, Vol. III” by David Fitzgerald—the author of “Nailed: Ten Christian Myths that Show that Jesus Never Existed”) has worked a small miracle; it has shown fairly conclusively how Christianity came into being without the messy details of actually needing an historical character named Jesus. That’s right, the reason the search for “the historical Jesus” has come up with so many different results is that since there was no such person, the results simply reflect the needs and wants of the searchers.

Most people, including myself, assumed there was a real person at the core of all of the narratives, but these books, written for lay people, but referenced for those wanting to follow up on references, seal the deal, slam the door, close the book, end the discussion. It is finito; put a fork in it.

The primary source of the ammunition used to bring down the tottering edifice which is modern Christianity is NT scripture itself, with a bit of OT scripture thrown in.

Even after finishing the first two volumes, in which the case was made that the narratives in the NT cannot possibly support a real person at the core of the fairy tales, I was still wondering, well, how the heck did it come to be so widespread, then? Here is a sketch of what might have happened. I wish to point out here that in a court of law, if one prosecutes a legal case based upon a theory of how things must have happened, that a defense can be made that provides a competing theory that is at least equally probable, thus showing that it didn’t have to happen as the prosecution claims it did. Since the “traditional” narrative surrounding the creation of Christianity has no hard evidence to support it, one only needs to provide a counter narrative to, in effect, win the case. The author admits his counter narrative is fictional, but it makes a hell of a lot more sense out of what facts we do have than the traditional story.

This is just a quick sketch, mind you. The amount of data and arguing points are book-length worthy, so this is just a taste. (Do go read the books, highly recommended if you are into the topic.)

In Judaism, prophecies form a one of the three legs of its tradition. The fulfillment of prophecies is used as evidence for the existence of their god, for example, so they take them very seriously. So, one particular OT prophecy implied that a savior, a warrior messiah, would come and deliver the Jews from their oppressors. Unfortunately this prophecy fell flat and didn’t even come close to coming true. This was actually not a rare occurrence but having literally hundreds of spin doctors working, most of these failures were spun away. But this prophecy seemed so important than another prophecy was made in order to redeem the first. This prophecy, too, fell flat. Instead of a Messiah rising up and leading the Jews to throw off the yoke of Rome, with Yahweh’s help of course, the Romans once again crushed the revolting Jews. The spin doctors went to work immediately to try to salvage what they could. Allow me to quote Fitzgerald here so I do not screw this up.

So Daniel’s prophecy, originally created to 1) salvage Jeremiah’s botched prophecy, 2) explain why Onias III was killed and 3) encourage the Maccabees’ uprising, inadvertently allowed later generations of Jews to re-interpret it again (and again); including certain groups of first century Jews looking for reasons why God failed to send his messiah to save Jerusalem in the War with Rome. The idea that there could have been a secret, spiritual messiah caught on among these Jews. The evolution of this spiritually victorious-in-defeat Jewish messiah is only half the story, however.

The key phrase is, of course, “The idea that there could have been a secret, spiritual messiah caught on among these Jews” (my emphasis). Yeah, that’s the ticket! The Messiah did come and He did triumph, it was just in secret. That’s why we still have Romans climbing up our asses. Really this means that Christianity was a typical mystery religion (the other half referred to). Again, quoting Fitzgerald:

If you were to ask someone in the Hellenistic world, “What would a Jewish version of the mysteries look like?” They’d say something like: you’d have a religion whose savior was a son of Yahweh, whose passion and death atoned for sins, and who now lived in the hearts of his followers, celebrated with typical mystery rituals like baptism and a sacred meal, whose initiates regarded one another as brothers and sisters, born again into a new life here, and awaiting a blissful afterlife in heaven. In short, you’d have Christianity.

All of those aspects are typical of the myriad mystery religions in the surrounding regions, promoted first by the Greeks and later by the Romans.

All of the early literature of Christianity, the letters of Paul, etc. do not mention an earthly Jesus. They do not mention a “second coming” but a “first coming.” Paul does not name or mention any disciples. He refers only to apostles, who are people who have communicated with Jesus spiritually, have received guidance (actually quotations from the OT), and proven this by having performed miracles (healings, etc.). Paul does not mention any relatives of Jesus or quote Jesus, or refer to any of his teachings. For Paul, Jesus is a spiritual being who exists in Heaven and who is promised to make a first appearance on Earth.

No actual references to Jesus being on Earth are made until the first gospel, the Gospel of Mark, is written. The Gospel of Mark has the structure of a Greek play as well as all of the markings (no pun intended) of a mystery religion. The subsequent Gospels, written later, bring in additional narratives, and change the tone of Mark until there is enough variation that one can shape any interpretation one wishes.

The observation that Christianity has all the structures of other mystery religions was made long. long ago and immediately denied by church fathers, who were, and are still, selling a completely different narrative. But the denials are weak and tepid because there is no basis for them.

Mystery religions were really popular, for very good reasons; the primary one is they promised a happy afterlife to all believers, not just pharaohs/kings/heroes. And all you needed to get this was an indoctrination into the mysteries, which of course, brings a source of motivation for the spreaders of the doctrine. Just as primitive farmers spread manure on their fields so later they could eat and feed their families, the religious promoters spread a different king of bullshit to support themselves and their families. The support for this “new” narrative is huge. Details such as Mark’s clueless disciples (representing the nation of Jews) stand in for people who do not understand the mysteries. How could his disciples be so daft when they had Jesus right there to explain things (magically, if necessary); plus things in that other narrative are rather simple, are they not? Well, the disciples could be so daft because there was no Jesus and they are fictional characters, providing a Greek chorus of those who do not understand the mysteries.

It all holds together, it makes sense of most of the NT scriptures, and since Christianity has all of the trappings of a mystery religion and all Christians know that the “other mystery” religions were made up, fictional, foundationless, etc. each of those religions (The Mysteries of Isis, the …) is further proof you can make up a religion and promote it with no factual basis whatsoever.

Oh, and why did Christianity triumph over those other mystery religions? Irony of ironies, Christianity got fortuitously adopted by a Roman emperor who made it the state religion of Rome, by imperial order. As we all know, it isn’t what you know but who you know that determines whether you succeed or fail.

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