By Professor Richard A. Byron-Cox (PhD)
I am never perturbed by the dissonance my writings cause the “intellectual penny-section,” for conscientious stupidity and sincere ignorance are their lot. I however entreat the rational to subject their belief to reason, measuring it against objective reality, and to consider evidence before sentencing, so as not to demonise mere enquiry and sensible conclusion. I grew up on a religious diet praying five times minimum daily at home and four at school, with this being fortified by Religious Knowledge twice weekly. Sunday school related a multitude of stories about Jesus who was “the same yesterday, today and forever.” Additionally, my Cinderella without-fairy-godmother childhood conditioned my need for Jesus! Yet, there was always the doubting Thomas in me, saying it’s a hoax, a fairy tale.
Today, this gospel of Jesus is fully “post-modern,” swinging with the times. Now, Luke 6:20 “blessed are the poor” is a belittling redundance as Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer inter alios, are all about the money. On social media Christians instruct us, “type amen” or repeat X prayer and there will be a windfall in our bank accounts as huge financial rewards await. Jesus’ purpose now is to make us all Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. The Hebrews 13:5 stipulation to keep your lives free from the love of money is now fossilized nonsense! But Jesus himself had said, “It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eyes of a needle, that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Seems entry in the kingdom now requires the giving of tithes and bribes. The Poor are doomed!
Homosexuality is the gospel’s poster child. Homosexual preachers and marriages of homosexuals are more than fashionable. Some churches bless them as most righteously proper, saying it’s about love. But do you see the problem? Can Jesus square this with Leviticus 20: 13; “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death”? This reconciliation of homosexuality and his father’s word is multiverse shattering!
In Mathew 19:14 we read, “Suffer little children, …… to come unto me.” With preachers raping even 4-year-olds, it’s a mad man who would follow this instruction. No one knows how many molestations children and sodomies in the form of rape have been committed by the Catholic church, certainly millions, not to mention those done by all the other churches. To send young children to Jesus is indeed to send them to suffer, for it is of no concern to him that they are sexually abused.
Fria Bartolomé de las Casas sanctioned the enslavement of Africans, (slavery already being blessed by apostle Paul), leading to more than 500 hundred years of dehumanisation and genocide of black people in the Americas! “Strange fruit” hanging from the trees, as Billy Holiday sang; the murder of Dr. MLK jr. and of 4 little girls, worshiping Jesus in a church of all places; black people’s churches being burnt in parts of southern USA, and open season on black men for a racist police force horrified and outraged all. Jesus remains unmoved! From Nigeria to Tanganyika, and from South Africa to Cameron seem to be in a Christianity tailspin! It gave them bibles and took their lands; now it gives them Jesus while impoverishing their minds. Black Africa is all but in religious mental slavery! Preachers there now raise the dead! Yes, in the name of Jesus!!
There are genocidal wars against the innocent. Iraq, Liberia, Syria… are all victims of powerful states professing Christianity, and therefore supposedly backed by Jesus. I am shunned by most of my relatives for not joining their prayers for the success of these hideous aggressions that has left millions dead! The new gospel of Jesus endorses these wars -as evidenced by Trump’s supporters-, exposing him as a warmonger. I will not tread this path to heaven paved with the blood of the innocent!
Yes, 1st John speaks of antichrist; but which is the righteous church? They ALL preach and practise this gospel in one form or another. There is no exception! A decent human will not allow fraud, murder, rape, evil to be done his name and remain quiet, for silence gives consent; much more to sanction such! So where is omnipotent Jesus?! Jimmy Cliff, a mere mortal, pleads, “Remake the world with love and happiness.” Jimmy and I, sinful souls as we are, are doing our little part in this regard. But omniscient, loving Jesus, seeing all this suffering of the innocent, responds like the priest and Levite he spoke about in the tale of the Good Samaritan. The question is therefore justified: has he made an about turn?