A few days ago, I got tied up in a meeting and the group of folks I normally eat with tired of waiting for me. I grabbed something at the cafeteria, ate at my desk, and discovered I had half an hour between meetings. In that time, I hastily sketched out the guiding principles of my life and what I base my morality on. It was nothing earth shattering and it could be improved upon and expanded, but it was a decent starting point. We’ll call this post the foundation of Wagerism. I’d like to point out how Wagerism differs from Christianity.
Christianity: Christianity begins with Creation. Man arises in the Garden of Eden, sins, and is cast out. God is upset with his Creation and floods the world sparing only Noah. The world repopulates. God strikes a strange bargain with Abraham trading the descendant’s of Abraham foreskins for the land of Israel. The only problem was that there were people there already called Canaanites. God assures Abraham his descendants will be many and he is establishing a mighty nation. From the beginning, the Hebrews struggle, even with The One True God on their side. Abraham himself was forced to leave Israel, which belonged to him as promised by God Himself, not once but twice. Abraham’s great grandson eventually is sold to Egyptians and prospers there. A famine hits the divinely blessed Israel and the Jews are initially welcomed in Egypt until they are enslaved. Four hundred years go by and God decided to free His Chosen People. Instead of having a conversation with Pharaoh and pointing out the immorality of slavery, God instead decides to “harden his heart” and bring death and devastation upon the Egyptian people. Even though the Egyptians enslaved the Hebrews for four hundred years, their fate is nowhere near as bad as some of the other pagan tribes the Jews encounter on the way back to the Promised Land which flows of milk and honey (funny that these are not pictured on the Israeli tourism brochures). Along the way, God hands down the complete book of morals which form a pretty good foundation for hating homosexuals, slavery, and female repression. The Jews even after witnessing the power of the LORD firsthand can’t seem to stop their desire to worship idols. God commands the Jews to remember that He delivered them from slavery and this rite continues today as the Passover Seder.
Once in Israel, the trials of being the Chosen People do not end. Israel is invaded time and again and the Jews invent blame the victim mentality. For every failure of the Jewish state can be traced back to intermarriage and idolatry. So, that’s Judaism for you: circumcision, possession of Israel, xenophobia/racism, genocide against non-Jews, and blame the victim. Not much of a religion, huh?
It does, however, get better. After thousands of years of being pissed at Adam and Eve, God came up with a way that we can ALL come to know Him. The simplest way to accomplish this would be for God to forgive us once and for all, show Himself, and provide a clear and moral set of rules to live by. That’s not what happened. Instead, God had a virgin impregnated (one might say raped) and brought His only begotten son on Earth in the form of Jesus. Jesus was both fully human and fully God at the same time and managed to exist in two places at once so Christians are not polytheists (are you still with me?). Jesus taught by making a bunch of metaphors called parables, worked a few miracles, abstained from sex and masturbation, and then was cruelly tortured and killed. His death is cause for celebration because it opened the gates of Heaven to everyone, even a sinner like you!
The whole Jesus phenomenon is best described in this article:
The only thing I don’t like about this article is that I didn’t write it and therefore can’t take the credit. It sums up exactly what I think of the Christian mythology, except I might have called God an asshole instead of a dick but that’s just splitting hairs.
So Jesus died and all was forgiven if we just accept Him into our hearts. Forty years or so after his death, people finally got around to writing down all of His teachings. How much was corrupted through oral history forever remains unknown. Also along the way a one-time Jew and Christian tormenter named Paul met Jesus in a dream and began to spread the good word to everyone. That’s right – Paul never once talked to the living Jesus. Paul is considered to be one of the most influential people in the spreading of Christianity to non-Jews and NEVER ONCE MET THE MAN HE BASED HIS FAITH ON!
Paul made a lot of key decisions early on like making circumcision optional. This made it easier to convert the pagans. I can easily see The Great Kiwi’s distant ancestor contemplating Judaism until he was told he would need to be circumcised whereupon he responded with a, “You want me to do what to my what now?”
It should also be noted that at the time Christianity took root, the Jews were horrified to be living under Roman occupation. The idea that foreigners could govern them on holy land rocked the foundation of their religion. They were absolutely DESPARATE for something to believe in. If God could not keep Israel for them, was God real?
Enter Christianity which promised a desperate people a new deal. And it spread. Eventually the Roman Empire was divided into Christians and Pagans until Constantine I decided to adopt Christianity. Before forcing the religion on the entire empire, there was a little pow wow at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, approximately 300 years after the death of Christ, where extremely important theological decisions were made and establishing a Christian theocracy.
The early founders of the Church warned of the End Times believing it would happen in their lifetimes. Two thousand years later and fear of the End Times is still a fear technique used against unbelievers. Jesus and God haven’t been seen in 2,000 years I don’t think we have much to worry about.
So that’s Christianity. Pour a foundation of a corrupt religion (Judaism), sprinkle in mythology, human sacrifice, and a promise. Threaten people with hell. Tell those who do not see the Truth in the Word that they have not received the Holy Spirit. Meanwhile, it’s entirely possible that everything Jesus said was misinterpreted or made up. One of the most influential people in the early Church never even met Jesus, but we’re supposed to believe that his dreams were guided by a Holy Ghost?
Based on the observations of a sole skeptic who spent too much time reading a Christian discussion group at work. All ethics and morals of this made up way of life were admittedly not divinely inspired but based on the principles that as a species we should strive to not hurt each other at a minimum and leave the world a better place. Wagerism respects individuality, does not rely on faith, and does not claim the miraculous or the supernatural.
That’s how the origins of Wagerism differs from Christianity. I ask you which one seems more credible?