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|Unbeknownst to her, Barbara was a direct descendant of Prophetess Miriam, through the line of Malchel, Sheba, and Jezebel. Even her pedigree was more genuine than Jesus', despite the absurd obsession with his.
Humans are major scaredy cats, and death is the ultimate human fear (sex being a distant second, which accounts for religion's bizarre fixation on it). When people heard that a man had triumphed over death and left a prescription for how anyone could do it, enthusiasm spread like wildfire. The missionary zeal and political savvy of the remaining cult members made it possible for them to infect a good deal of the ancient world with the silly notion. In the Mideast, the sect borrowed from Zoroastrianism and the local mystery religions to make it attractive to people of those cultures. In Europe, it Paganized Jesus, as previously mentioned, which made it appealing there. It was even carried to Egypt, where a bunch of smiley-faced, bleeding-heart Copts adopted the good news of Osiris-like Jesus with its promise that even ordinary people could overcome death, with the slogan: "Eternal life- it's not just for gods anymore".
Just like today, there were religionists vying to co-opt the Jesus cult, and they were split between two camps: there were the dour, punitive ones who interpreted spirituality as a matter of learning the complex rules and garnishing either reward or punishment, according to how well one adhered. Then there was the other camp who saw spirituality as liberating, positive, and a road to self-discovery and secret mystical knowledge, who stopped just short of being wood nymphs, dancing naked under the stars.
Gnostic Christians, whose center was Alexandria, fell into the latter camp. They adored the peace-love-eternal-life aspects of Christianity, but they found the authoritarian Yahweh so repugnant, that they went to the trouble of composing an elaborate, alternative cosmogony (The Apocryphon of John) to place him several levels under a much nicer, more enlightened Supreme Being, who was much more in keeping with their philosophy of life. In their tale, mischievous, egotistical Yahweh, or Yaldaboath, as they called him, got himself demoted for pretending to be the Supreme Being, and that's why there's so much evil in the world, because Yahweh was a spoiled imp who upset the order of the universe by trying to create beings in his likeness without permission to do so. All I can say is, how much opium was being consumed back then for people to have thought all this bull shit up, and then actually believed it?
Well, I think we all know that the dour, punitive camp won that struggle, so thoroughly suppressing the free-spirited Gnostic Christians, that they were never heard from again, except spottily in the heresiological rantings of the early church fathers, until the discovery of the Nag Hammadi codexes in 1945. In addition to the usual cruel atrocities that were visited upon the gentle Gnostics by orthodox Christians, a main component of their suppression was the burning of the Library at Alexandria, in which Barbara Magdelene's works perished along with the mystical writings of the esoteric Gnostics, and much of the intellectual heritage of the human species. Like I said- book burning has always been a preferred technique for compelling Christian conformity.
But just like the Old Testament declaration to blot out the name of Amalek from the face of the Earth ironically guaranteed its survival, the raving church fathers' attempts to refute the Gnostics' supposed heresies in long, descriptive, cited defamations, caused them to preserve, rather than destroy them- when the Nag Hammadi Gnostic texts were discovered, scholars knew how to interpret what they had because of all the information left by Christian theologians. The assholes.
|Surprisingly, the complete obliteration by the Christians of free exchange and discourse, and ruthlessly enforced obedience to authoritarian orthodoxy, was not what propelled the fledgling religion into a position of global power. That was caused by a political fluke. About 3 centuries later, Roman emperor Constantine's Mom was terrified of death, and became a Christian zealot, even going so far as organizing archaeological excursions to Jerusalem in search of relics of Jesus. She evangelized her son until he staged a conversion to get her off his back, and also to reap the political benefits of appeasing this growing faction of fanatics. He made Christianity the|
|official state religion, and then spent several more years killing, pillaging, torturing and raping before offering his first and only confession on his death bed, in hopes of taking advantage of the moral loophole of last-minute absolution, and acquiring the reward of immortality, as promised by the church.
With Christianity firmly ensconced in the most powerful, unconscionably expansionist empire in the world, not only was its survival finally assured, but its predominance was. Christianity has latched onto unscrupulous, murderous, terrorist empires ever since, to maintain its control.
The rest, unfortunately, is history...
And here we go again on another crusade, beating our chests, waving our dicks, and as they say in the Dead Sea Scrolls, worshipping our standards (which means flags). Only this time the plunder won't be baubles and bronzes or olive oil, but oil for our SUVs, which we seem to think are more important than the lives of foreign peoples.
How primitive are we? How evolved are we from the cavemen who clubbed people to death to steal their caves, or from the Joshuan Hebrews who marched into Canaan and stole the land by genocide? Only the scale has changed. The cavemen did it on a local scale, the Hebrews, regional, and we are stealing the world's resources from other people on a global scale. Jesus' toxic little cult has played a major role in this lack of enlightenment. What a species. We're a humiliation to the apes. To them, we're like that unwashed, toothless, moronic cousin with the gun rack in the back of his pick-up truck-- just a total embarrassment.
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