Claiming religion root of problems is scapegoating
Re: “Important to get facts straight about religion”, (Dec. 29).
Mr. Rock should perhaps take his own advice about questioning everything, especially in regards to his sources that he relies on for information about religion. The claim that various pagan deities have birthdays of Dec. 25, and thus influenced the dating of Christmas, is completely baseless fake news. The ancient Egyptians originally celebrated Horus’s birth in the summer. However, their calendar was both lunar and wonky because there were no leap years, so there would be instances of Horus’s birth being celebrated in the dead of winter. Egyptian mythology never claimed Horus’s birthday as Dec. 25. For that matter, Horus wasn’t born of a virgin, either, as some Christ-mythers claim, and none of the alleged parallels between him or any other pagan deity and Jesus are correct, either. For someone who claims not to take anything on blind faith, Mr. Rock sure places a lot of it in inaccurate sources.
There’s only one problem with the claim that Hercules was born on Dec. 25. There is no specific birthday for him at all in any recorded myths.
To which Mithras is Mr. Rock’s source referring to? The one worshipped in ancient Persia, or the one worshipped in Rome? Citation needed. The source(s) should be checked carefully. If they cite material from the Cumont or pre-Cumont era of Mithraic scholarship, it is badly out of date and/or resulting from poor scholarship.
The origin of the “Christ-myth” nonsense comes from Gerald Massey, who died in 1907. He was an eccentric spiritualist who had neither formal education nor training in Egyptology. That was an era where scholars studying Ancient Egypt knew a lot less about it than scholars today, and his claims are easily proven false. Others such as Acharya S. and Alvin Boyd Kuhn have taken his work as gospel and run with it uncritically, perhaps not knowing that it’s all a made-up house of cards.
Claiming “religion” is the root of all mankind’s problems is just a form of scapegoating. Humanity does what it does with or without religion. Can the millions who perished under atheistic regimes such as Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”, or the Cambodian Khmer Rouge blame “religion” for their deaths? The whole point of the Judeo-Christian paradigm is that humanity is imperfect, and needs fixing. Abolishing religion doesn’t address or remove the underlying problem.
Funny thing about the word “faith”, in the Greek New Testament, the word is pistis, which was used to mean forensic proof by the Greeks. It does not actually mean blind belief in something without evidence.
As for the Bible being “wrong about science”, I dunno, you tell me, thousands of years before germ theory was a thing, how is it that the ancient Hebrews were told by God to always wash their hands?
April J. Gibson