The wine in the chalice

The Mindlock, Part 6

Sunday morning. Sunlight streams through stained glass. Your knees hurt against the thin carpet of the altar as you contemplate the wine in the chalice as it edges slowly toward you along a line of kneeling worshippers. Finally, the Episcopal priest reaches you, and you savor the sweet burgundy that helps you pry that paper thin wafer off the roof of your mouth.

Ah, the blood and body of the savior. Sunday morning coming down. Praise God. Christianity is founded on the twin principles of cannibalism and child sacrifice, on Hebrew hallucinations (according to Freud) of a burning bush, and a god who pretends to be better than all the other gods in the neighborhood.

This god kills anyone who stands in his way, according to the Old Testament of the much-tampered-with Judeo-Christian Bible — which governs all but the Hindus and the Buddhists among the world’s major religions. That’s right. Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Jews are all in the same boat in one sense, in that they venerate this ugly tradition of murder and robbery for any excuse they deem to be righteous.

As individual human beings, we act out what we believe. And this is what we have been taught.

You must kill those who worship another god. Exodus 22:20

Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own. Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you. Deuteronomy 13:12-16

Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own. Deuteronomy 17:2-7

Kill anyone who refuses to listen to a priest. Deuteronomy 17:12-13

Kill any false prophets. Deuteronomy 18:20

People who wish to believe in a guiding spirit of the universe are paralyzed by the contradictions between believing what they know to be true in their hearts by virtue of the love that they feel for their families, but witnessing their intellectual belief systems being cut up into little pieces by credible empirical analyses that reveal the psychological deformities and contrived frauds of the world’s most famous holy book. Ultimately, our intellects fail us, and we seek refuge in our old familiar paradigms.

Why? Because of the obvious human existential dilemma — one day in everyone’s life, we reach a point where knowledge may not go, where understanding will not bring enlightenment, and you either know or you don’t, according to whatever you prefer, or whatever your parents taught you.

People who don’t believe in some all-encompassing external system of principles and laws are caught up in the exterior analyses of these matters and produce such irrefutable evidence of fraud, malfeasance and ulterior motive in the creation of holy scriptures that those who wish to believe can only turn away in a withered silence.

Yet most of these true believers retain their knowing through the sheer power of blind faith, and refuse to be shaken out of it by facile intellectual arguments, no matter how logical they may be.

The foundations of existing religions need to be attacked by sincere logic. This is not about questioning the existence of God; it’s about understanding the psychological marching orders of Leviticus and Deuteronomy and beginning to realize that the very way we think is causing the destruction of the planet that sustains us.

Any resemblance to the continuing extermination of innocent Iraqis and Palestinians is not purely coincidental.

It was all foretold in the Old Testament, you see, with the pronouncement in Zephaniah 1:17.

“And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.”

John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida. His latest collection of essays, Recipe for Extinction, can be found at http://www.johnkaminski.com/

John Kaminski is a writer who lives in the Gulf Coast of Florida (pelicans are back, eating merrily) whose essays are seen on hundreds of websites around the world.