Give me Stalin and St Paul
Give me Christ or give me Hiroshima
Considering Hiroshima’s “gift” was from “one nation under God”
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
But then “they” had “their” god too ... the Emperor and blah blah blah.
So called Christianity anyway calls for much more blood that was poured at Hiroshima or on top of Hiroshima one might say.
It also calls for much more blood that Stalin shed and I understand this could be a staggering amount not counting Mao’s “Haemophilia”.
Hitler’s blood pouring and his controversy with Pius XII could almost be counted on the side of so-called Christianity too.
My insomniac musing last night brought me to ponder on the role of Paul on all this follow up madness.
Considering that Paul wrote thirteen of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, and 31.57 percent of the text. Those numbers do not include the book of Hebrews, which some people believe he wrote. The authorship of that book is debatable. So Paul’s role is easily stretched to 50% if you include Hebrews and consider that half of Acts is about him.
Therefore Paul more than Jesus himself seems to be “responsible” for what followed.
Carl Sagan on this subject said quite a few interesting things, among them he said
What I'm saying is, if God wanted to send us a message, and ancient writings were the only way he could think of doing it, he could have done a better job.
Also he added
§ Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred.
§ For a long time the human instinct to understand was thwarted by facile religious explanations.
A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
“An atheist has to know a lot more than I know."
Human Talent for self-deception is quite obvious on the thousand schisms a religious leader engenders. It seems we are absolute specialists at being “Schizo”. Splitting is our specialty. Divide and conquer or whatever it is we do it well. Look at the numerous sects and factions of the 3 main religious leaders: Jesus, Mohammad and Buddha, if I can call them the 3 main ones.
The study of all their factions and divisions from a very early stage after their deaths is mind boggling altogether and impossible to untangle or even understand for a single being.
But back to this blood story I don’t think Leonard Cohen was that far off the truth and outrageous. Stalin and St Paul have in many ways a lot of blood on their hands. My purpose here is not to go into the Pauline theology or Stalinian “atheology” but to point that in history both religion, and the lack or denial of it has been responsible for an awful lot of literal murders.
So that Cohen’s juxtaposition doesn’t sound so awkward all things considered.