If Tupac and Elvis came back from the dead, why not God the Son?

So many responses to my Is God a Figment of Primitive Imagination? (STAR Aug. 11) and to Jason Joseph’s earlier articles that inspired it. Alas, how disappointing that so few of our readers were unable to resist resurrecting the trite clichés about atheists, believers and in-betweens I had imagined long dead and buried. Some went so far as to declare God a four-letter word. And I don’t mean king. Or love!
Don’t these guys and gals read? I mean, other than the scribblings of their near-illiterate fellow bloggers? I certainly did not discern from  their jottings the smallest soupcon that they had actually read what they would want others to believe they had read. Echoes of inerudite exhalations is what we’ve been served, whether originating from inarticulate word-chewing televangelists or tambourine-twirling street-corner preachers who doubtless have had their private sittings with the Almighty, if only in their dreams. They wouldn’t be the first to have sampled the experience. Some have actually made fortunes from their Conversations with God!
But to continue with my discourse with the provocative Mr. Jason Joseph: In my earlier cited piece I asked what he had expected from being faithful to God and what precisely had brought about his rebellion. Careful writer than clearly he is, Jason chose to tell me about his “apostasy.”
Now, as I see it,  there’s a difference between rebellion and apostasy. An apostate simply abandons his religious faith in favor of another religion. Oh but the rebel not only refuses his allegiance but he also holds himself ready to oppose by force the government or other authority against which he has rebelled. Somehow, I cannot imagine Jason taking up arms for any purpose, let alone the faithful. And yet, what are his insightful and provocative writings, if not improvised explosive devices in the way of walkers in the light, their eyes and minds shut wide open, questioning nothing, believing whatever they cannot understand to be manifestations of God’s mysterious ways.
I suspect the responders to articles such as Jason’s and mine are regular folk, judging by their writings. What really has me wondering is the fact that not a single priest, lay preacher or church deacon, folks who normally have no problem boasting about their studies at this or that famous seminary, who refer to the Scriptures as the infallible word of God and to themselves as God’s soldiers, has seen fit to pick up his bible in defense of the commander-in-chief’s holy name.
Don’t these people read the newspapers? Don’t they watch TV? Even as I write a same-sex couple are on the tube bragging about what they do with each other in the name of God. Yes, and not a reaction from the temple. Shouldn’t God’s soldiers always be on guard, if only to offer support to potential apostates?
But back to you, Jason. Where precisely does the Good Book say God and religion are the only route to achieve “self-development.” But if some should truly believe that particular fantasy, wha’ wrong widdat? Where’s the harm? Say your idea of self-development was to be the best teacher in Saint Lucia. And say you truly believed your ambition relied on your faithful adherence to the Commandments and studying as no one had ever studied before. What wrong could come of that? What if (bear with me, Jason) you should find yourself a believer tempted by the idea of making a ton of money from flesh peddling (here I speak not of beef or chicken!). Don’t you think the Commandments would give you cause for pause? Whether or not God actually sits on a throne somewhere?
I see nothing wrong with religion, per se. Which is a long way from saying I buy everything religion represents or even the propagated need for it. But nothing, I mean nothing, you and I might say dismissive of religion can possibly change the fact that throughout the world countless religious people who believe in the afterlife continue to do amazingly good work on behalf of the poor and the sick and the deprived.
All they hope for is to make it to heaven as their reward for loving their neighbor as they love themselves, or something
like that. Of course, atheists have also been known to donate billions of dollars in the fight against AIDS and cancer. The difference is that one hopes good deeds will take them to heaven while the other simply dishes out the dough, well, just for the sheer hell of it, so to speak. So, go figure.
Someone’s bound to ask about the murders committed in God’s good name at the behest of religious leaders.     All I can say is such leaders are to my mind no more than politicians that can always be counted on to do what politicians are best known for, never mind the difference in their clothes.
I near fell off my perch when I read from Jason’s What if God Did Exist? what I took to be his response to these questions from me: “What exactly did your turning to God entail? Living in strict accordance with the Ten Commandments? How difficult was that? How hard was it always to honor thy mother and thy father? Or was it the Commandment that relates to fornication that brought you to your knees? Could it have been Commandment seven?”
Honestly, Jason’s answer blew me away: “What brought about my apostasy? If I had to put my finger on that one defining moment which first got me questioning religion it would be premarital sex.”
Is he saying here he experienced an epiphany in mid-fornication, or what?
He goes on: “Fornication causes guilt and cognitive dissonance or psychological discomfort which must be resolved one way or another. Some people tell themselves God is merciful and will continue to forgive. Others rush to get married while the rest of us manage to convince ourselves with a variety of reasons that premarital sex is okay.”
By “the rest of us” is he referring to the lapsed faithful? After all, the evidence suggests fornication in Saint Lucia causes just about as much national perturbation as the tourism logo and our economy. It’s a safe bet the majority of us are products of “premarital sex!”
I found it particularly interesting that Jason admitted it would  “definitely need faith to believe the incomprehensible [my italics] theories and findings of scientists but that faith is in no way synonymous with religious faith.” Why not, Jason? If you can believe without understanding what the scientists tell you, and that’s okay, then why is it not okay to believe incomprehensible Scripture?
The unprovable miracles apart, there still remains much in the Scriptures that’s provable, that has actually been scientifically validated. There are scores of ossuaries in Jerusalem and elsewhere, labeled in the Aramaic language of Jesus, that contain the bones of people closely related to him.
If we can believe what we are told about Tutankhamen and Pilate and Nero—even Helen of Troy (who never existed) and related excavations, why can’t we also believe the bones in those ancient and labeled boxes might really be those of Jesus or Mary or Peter or “the disciple Jesus loved?”
If we cannot prove Jesus rose from the dead, at least we know for a fact that his own beloved Jewish people betrayed him, then handed him to his sworn enemies the Romans, who tried and found him guilty of sedition. We know, too, he was dealt with in the same way all whom the occupying Romans found guilty of crimes against the state (among them, sedition!) were treated. He was crucified. Interestingly, the platform on which sat Pilate during the trial of the so-called King of the Jews exists to this day—at any rate, part of it!
On a personal note: I’ve read so many stories about Rick Wayne that shocked the hell out of me, either because they never happened or were grossly exaggerated. Should someone in another time expose the discrepancies and the exaggerations and the maypwis would that be reason enough to say I never existed?
No one knows who wrote the gospels, only that they were written “according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John” long after the magnificient four had passed. If some of the gospels don’t fit perfectly together like a solved puzzle, can’t we simply put the discrepancies down to careless ghost writers? Why use expected human error as proof the bible can’t be trusted.
Truth is the bible, without those mind-boggling miracles, reads like a well put together history book. If that’s not enough, there are the existing sites and exhibits earlier mentioned, not to say, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other respected writings to be perused.
Finally: I agree with much of what Jason has written about Moses and the books of the bible but I draw the line where he says: “I find nothing spectacular” about the life of Jesus. What! The fact that his story has survived thousands of years is evidence enough of his spectacular status.
Some more food for thought, Jason: Tupac has lately been performing together with other big-name rappers at several live concerts throughout the United States. Did you know that? Michael Jackson and Elvis are also scehduled for resurrection. So who’s to say for certain that back in the day there wasn’t something akin to what we know today as a hologram? Might that explain those confounding post-crucifixion appearances, the walking on water, the commonplace resurrections?             Until next time!

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