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The CruciFiction


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A slightly edited version of a post I originally made on another forum, if that's OK, Moderators?

I was born into a cult. I wasn't given any choice in the matter. This cult was called the Roman Catholic Church among other things, some complimentary and others by far the opposite. The church didn't call itself a cult, but oddly enough, liked to bestow that pejorative on other "Denominations," which were, as I discovered later, simply variations upon the same theme.

All of these cults centered, as they still do, upon a man who may or may not have existed. He was supposed to have been born of a virgin (a new star even appeared in the heavens, for No-God's sake!) and to have been visited by three Magi bearing gifts, of gold, frankincense, and myrrh it was written. Oddly, there is not a single account of these events outside the gospels, nor is there any record of Mary or Joseph making any use of their new found wealth. You'd think there would have been; for peasants like them, this would have been the equivalent of winning the bloody Lottery!

There is a principle known as Occam's Razor which posits that the best explanation for any extraordinary event is the simplest which can be found. In this case this would be that a Roman lover of Mary jumped over the wall one night and, so to speak, put the bitch in pup. There's even a possible name for this lover, Julius Abdes Pantera, who was the Standard Bearer of a Cohort of Archers known to have been stationed in Judea at the time. In modern times he'd be a CSM or RSM, in either case a squaddie who could afford his, "Bit on the side."

After the offspring of this affair had become famous, or infamous if you like, his alleged birth was re-invented to avoid "Shame an' Scandal in de Fam'ly" as The Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth, neither of which myths are unique to what I like to call Christinsanity. They are part and parcel of several ancient tales, but their Christian versions are the ones in which "The Faithful," happen to believe. They don't like admitting their "Saviour," was probably born on the wrong side of the blanket, if indeed, that is, he was born at all.

Anyway this bloke went to do all kinds of good works, miracles even. Then he got himself strung up for what appears to have been inciting a riot. Yet this too was sanitized into today's version, not by contemporaries who were there, but by authors writing a century after these supposed events who didn't even bother to get their stories straight, in that no two of the four gospels agree on significant details.

For example, they don't appear to have known Roman Law very well; they wrote he was crucified "Between two thieves," but petty thieves weren't crucified. Armed robbers were, and if that was the case, why didn't they say so? There is a difference, I should have thought. Also, what are we to make of a certain Barabbas, whose name simply means, "Son of the father," rather like "John Smith," in modern times? He was an armed robber, and an insurrectionist to boot. Pilate wouldn't have dared to release him; he'd have soon been strung up himself. The Romans were particular about that sort of thing.

Carrying on with this gibble-gabble - bibble babble, we are told he finally died in great agony around noon. No sooner had he kicked the bucket than a violent storm broke out, along with an earthquake of such magnitude that "The veil of the Temple was split in two." Not only that there was three hours of darkness throughout the world, and, "The dead arose and appeared to many." Not all that many outside of the four gospels it would seem; not a single ancient scribe recorded either of these events. Come on! The Zombie Apocalypse ante literam happens in Jerusalem and not a single scribe records it?!

The miracles he allegedly performed were all reported to have been done by several contemporary figures, Apollonius of Tyana being but one. Turning water into wine has been, and is, a popular stage trick down through the ages; it's but simple chemistry and a little legerdemain. All in all, if anyone believes any of this tripe they may as well believe someone looking a bit like Jesus walked into an inn one Easter and asked to be "Put up for the night," then threw four nails down on the counter as payment.

No one who had the wits of a weevil would believe a word of any of the above. Nonetheless the naive and the conniving entered the priesthood or "the religious," either because they were simple minded enough to be looking for a better eternal reward or because they were cynical enough to go into it for what they could get out of it, which included in some cases being red hot after boys or girls, age being no barrier either way. I'm not saying all priests and religious were or are paedophiles or paederasts, but over the years there's been so many you'd almost think The Devil must have been looking out for his own.

Actually I'd say the reason for most of the child abuse (including physical and mental abuse) was that parents thought of the priests and religious as being the modern day "Lares et Penates." These were Roman household gods kept in little niches about the house in a practice not unlike Japanese Shintoism. It is, I've read, where we get the phrase, "Little tin gods," although I might be wrong about that. In any case it was considered very bad form to insult or in any way criticize these entities for want of a better word; to do so could bring the very worst of bad luck. It was certainly true, down through the ages, that if you criticized ordained members of the church for misconduct sexual or otherwise, you would have a thin time of it afterwards.

I left the cult when I was old enough, and have had nothing to do with any of its other copies. They are all tarred with the same brush as far as I'm concerned. The name of their god means no more to me than a convenient swear word, one which is all the more effective if you drop the F bomb in the middle of it. However, "Live and let live;" I don't care what others choose to believe, I know what I believe.



CSM = Company Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer Class Two)
RSM =Regimental Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer Class One, the senior Warrant Officer of an Infantry Battalion)

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Alternatively, Mary could have been that same soldier's ancient version of a "Shack Job." The phrase didn't originate with 1960's Hippies; it was an American military upgrade of the term, "Campaign Wife," which had been known since the 18th Century or earlier in the British Army. When a soldier posted to "The Colonies," was far enough advanced in rank, seniority and pay that he was no wet behind the ears recruit any more, and so didn't fancy cleaning his own quarters and kit (this might even include his weapons) he would seek out a local woman who would, for a consideration, attend to these menial tasks,  and share his bed as well. If she fell pregnant, that was usually the end of the relationship. The practice was certainly established by the time James Jones wrote From Here to Eternity; Prewitt keeps a shack job, although the term isn't used. It was however, well known by the 1950's.

Human nature being what it is, one has no reason to suspect the ancient Roman Legionaries of high enough rank, etc, didn't do exactly the same thing. Ancient Judea was a hellhole posting where the locals were many of them poor, and it wouldn't have been hard for a Standard Bearer to procure himself a woman of that sort, and that's very likely what a hardened old soldier like himself would have done.


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