Category Archives: Catholic

I was going to do some real research for the pagan holiday of Easter.  I was going to show how the Catholic Church co-opted a lot of pagan holidays in order to win the pagans who had a lot of holidays honoring their gods, their superstitions, and what they didn’t know. However, I came across a piece written by Heather McDougall (The Guardian, 4/3/2010), and just decided to share it.  Some other day I will do my own research with footnotes and references!

Here is the article from Ms. McDougall:

The pagan roots of Easter

From Ishtar to Eostre, the roots of the resurrection story go deep. We should embrace the pagan symbolism of Easter

Easter is a pagan festival. It isn’t really about Jesus, then what is it about? Today, we see a secular culture celebrating the spring equinox, whilst religious culture celebrates the resurrection. However, early Christianity made a pragmatic acceptance of ancient pagan practises, most of which we enjoy today at Easter. The general symbolic story of the death of the son (sun) on a cross (the constellation of the Southern Cross) and his rebirth, overcoming the powers of darkness, was a well worn story in the ancient world. There were plenty of parallel, rival resurrected saviours too.

The Sumerian goddess Inanna, or Ishtar, was hung naked on a stake, and was subsequently resurrected and ascended from the underworld. One of the oldest resurrection myths is Egyptian Horus. Born on 25 December, Horus and his damaged eye became symbols of life and rebirth. Mithras was born on what we now call Christmas day, and his followers celebrated the spring equinox. Even as late as the 4th century AD, the sol invictus, associated with Mithras, was the last great pagan cult the church had to overcome. Dionysus was a divine child, resurrected by his grandmother. Dionysus also brought his mum, Semele, back to life.

In an ironic twist, the Cybele cult flourished on today’s Vatican Hill. Cybele’s lover Attis, was born of a virgin, died and was reborn annually. This spring festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday, rising to a crescendo after three days, in rejoicing over the resurrection. There was violent conflict on Vatican Hill in the early days of Christianity between the Jesus worshippers and pagans who quarrelled over whose God was the true, and whose the imitation. What is interesting to note here is that in the ancient world, wherever you had popular resurrected god myths, Christianity found lots of converts. So, eventually Christianity came to an accommodation with the pagan Spring festival. Although we see no celebration of Easter in the New Testament, early church fathers celebrated it, and today many churches are offering “sunrise services” at Easter – an obvious pagan solar celebration. The date of Easter is not fixed, but instead is governed by the phases of the moon – how pagan is that?

All the fun things about Easter are pagan. Bunnies are a leftover from the pagan festival of Eostre, a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare. Exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures. Hot cross buns are very ancient too. In the Old Testament we see the Israelites baking sweet buns for an idol, and religious leaders trying to put a stop to it. The early church clergy also tried to put a stop to sacred cakes being baked at Easter. In the end, in the face of defiant cake-baking pagan women, they gave up and blessed the cake instead.

Easter is essentially a pagan festival which is celebrated with cards, gifts and novelty Easter products, because it’s fun and the ancient symbolism still works. It’s always struck me that the power of nature and the longer days are often most felt in modern towns and cities, where we set off to work without putting on our car headlights and when our alarm clock goes off in the mornings, the streetlights outside are not still on because of the darkness.

What better way to celebrate, than to bite the head off the bunny goddess, go to a “sunrise service”, get yourself a sticky-footed fluffy chick and stick it on your TV, whilst helping yourself to a hefty slice of pagan simnel cake? Happy Easter everyone!

Now, these are my own thoughts:  I like Easter even though it is a pagan holiday.  I like the chocolate bunnies; the dyed eggs; the jelly beans; the Easter baskets; the Easter dinners; and a time when many people dress up and go to their temple, synagogue, or church.  So what if the Catholic Church co-opted Easter from the pagans and other things of pagans in order to add to their numbers?  So what if the church groups who followed the Catholic Church continued some of the traditions adopted from the pagans?  This is a time of celebration, and some people call it Resurrection Sunday, and honor Jesus.  And, perhaps some will make positive changes in their lives.  Where are my jelly beans?

 

SO, JUST WHERE HAVE I BEEN INSTEAD OF BLOGGING?

I guess I am NOT really a blogger!

A REAL blogger is one who will write something interesting several times a month, or at least once a week.  I haven’t met this criteria!

So, what have I been doing instead of blogging?

I have been researching, doing some heavy reading regarding ancient African history, some Hebrew and Jewish history, the beginnings of the Christian church, and wondering where did Gentiles (non-Hebrew and/or non-Jewish) people, and doing some gathering of facts (and fiction!) of where people have come from.

Some of my reading and research could cause some to call me a hater if I actually blogged about my research and my subjective feelings.  So, I have been in an area of contemplation.  Some of my thoughts go back to 1954 when I dared asked why the pictures in The Holy Bible were always about Anglos.  The best answers I have received are:

  1.  they (Anglos) control the presses, and decide what is Christian art from their point of view;
  2. the Catholic Church leaders in the 3rd and 4th centuries became the controllers of what would become known as “Christianity” and trained Protestants and others their teaching by developing “Christian” art, pictures of what they imagined ALL of the biblical characters must have looked like, and they developed a world-wide “Christian” statute-making organization, placing their version of “Christian” art all over the world, including the huge statute of their version of Jesus in Brazil [Rio de Janeiro](Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain); and
  3. no one really wants to take on over 2,000 years of any lies and falsification of Christianity, one of the largest religions in the world, and lose a lot of “Christian” friends for being a “hater” of Christianity!

Well, I believe that truth will stand, even if it shakes up 2,000 years of some of the false teachings and images of Christianity!  The good news for Christianity with any of its falsehoods is that the Gospel of Yeshua (called “Jesus” by the Catholics and many from the West and most of the world) has been shared almost all over the world.  Many people have been persecuted and killed for taking a stand for their version of Christianity.  And, which ethnic group could best “sell” Christianity around the world but Anglo Christians?  I mean, can you imagine how slow Christianity would have grown if its leaders and their publishing machine would have shown Yeshua (Jesus) as an African, Asian, Native American/Indian, or Hispanic without a strong military force?

So, here is some of my research gleaned from accepted and non-accepted “proven” sources:

WHO ARE THE GENTILES? ANGLOS WHO TOOK OVER JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY!

Wikipedia Ref:

The term gentiles is derived from Latin, used for contextual translation, and not an original Hebrew or Greek word from the Bible…Following Christianization of the Roman Empire, the general implication of the word gentile became “non-Jew.”

Some of my own (and other’s words!):

Non-Christians began calling those who followed the teachings of Christ Christians  in Antioch.  This group was the first multi-cultural spiritual group since the Hebrews of ancient times.  In the Acts of Apostles is recorded the expansion of the Christian faith as Jewish people and others in Jerusalem for Passover witnessed the early followers of Jesus Christ receiving the Holy Spirit, speaking in languages of that time.  Other religions and the leaders of the Roman Empire killed and persecuted the early Christians because they would not honor other religions, pay a special tax to Rome, and would not honor the Roman leaders as being divine.

The Roman Emperor Constantine established tolerance for Christianity during his reign and established a precedent of imperial involvement in matters of the Christian faith.  Other leaders followed his lead and even appointed bishops and was in charge of this new religion, which eventually became the Roman Catholic Church when the Roman Empire collapsed, along with the persecution to those following Judaism.  Soon, this group and other non-Jews were called GENTILES.  These gentiles then began to write Christian history and develop art from their point of view.

In 301, the nation of Armenia became the first nation to adopt the teachings which became to be known as Christianity.  However, the nation of Ethiopia may have become a strong Christian nation following the conversion of an official of the Queen of Ethopia in the First century, following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts of the Apostles.

By the beginning of the 4th century, what became known as Christianity had become the dominant faith in many areas. Christians accounted for approximately 1/10th  of the Roman people by 300 AD.  Because the church leaders of Christianity addressed human needs better than any other religion of its day, the Christian faith exploded, bringing many rich and powerful people into its ranks.

There were later campaigns of persecution by Christians against Christians following the calling of many synods, or church councils led by gentiles.  This further pitted the Christians of Turkey against the Christians of Rome against the Christians of Syria, against the Christians in Ethopia against the Christians in Jerusalem against the Christians in Alexandria (Africa).  Such in-fighting by Christians made it easier for the Arabian Moslem leader, Muhammad, to begin to unite all of the Arabic Peninsula to take over many former Christian nations in Africa, Asia, and throughout what would become known as the Middle East.

By the late 8th century Muslims had conquered all of Persia and much of the Eastern Roman territory including some of Africa and much of what is known as the Middle East. Over the years, the rich Christian country of Yemen, and much of the Christian world would come under Muslim rule.  While Africa may have been the first country to have the most Christians after the work of the Apostles and their followers in the 1st to the 4th centuries, over 1/3 of Africa is now under Muslims who continue to take over more of Africa and have extended its reach into Europe, Latin America, and even into the UnitedStates, a country formerly called a Christian nation.  With their population and imperilistic religious rule, Muslims may be poised to take over America within the next 50 years unless Christians become more proactive and join forces with those following Judiasm, and both groups share the whole truth about their beginnings connected with Africans, multi-ethnic Hebrews, and the Jews who were not mixed with Gentiles who flooded into Judaism through wars, conversion, and the scattering of many dark-skinned Jews who married with the dominant lighter-skinned Gentiles.

But, what do we called the Muslims?  As descendants of Abraham, it is difficult to call Ishmael’s descendants Gentiles, or even to call many of Ishmael’s descendants Muslims Gentiles.  However, as persecutors of Jews and Christians, Muslims could be characterized as Gentiles, or non-believers of Yahweh, and will suffer the same eternal fate of those other Gentiles who fought against those who were determined to follow the teachings of Moses, Abraham, the prophets, and/or Yeshua (Jesus).  According to some ancient records, it appears that early leaders of the Roman Catholic Church sent a woman to Muhammad to be his wife in order to develop a new religion to be a buffer against the Jewish people.  However, when the Roman Catholic Church lost control of those leading the Muslim religion, they have sought to have some sort of reconciliation with the Jewish leaders after centuries of fighting Jews and those Christian groups that would not come under their control (http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vatican/esp_vatican33.htm)

According to some ancient records, it appears that early leaders of the Roman Catholic Church sent a woman to Muhammad to be his wife in order to develop a new religion to be a buffer against the Jewish people.  However, when the Roman Catholic Church lost control of those leading the Muslim religion, they have sought to have some sort of reconciliation with the Jewish leaders after centuries of fighting Jews and those Christian groups that would not come under control of the Roman Catholic Church.  Such actions could cause Catholics and many European people to be called Gentiles.

And, there are so many writers and researchers, some hated, and some admired, who have shared their words about the prophet Muhammad.  Many are male writers; some are female writers.  Here is onewho has shared that I really liked: “According to Tamam Kahn, author of “‘Untold: A History of the Wives of Prophet Muhammad”‘, Khadija was “the rock upon which Muhammad built his family and religion.” She was older than Muhammad. She was a wealthy businesswoman and widow, having borne children with her previous husbands.

Khadija and Muhammad had four daughters. The youngest, and favorite, was Fatima” (http://www.lastprophet.info/untold-tamam-khan-s-book-on-the-wives-of-the-prophet).  It was amazing reading and researching, discovering so many similarites between Fatima, the Virgin Mary, and others.  Such reading material is conceived and written by those called Christians, Muslims, Egyptian writers, and those called “pagans”.  Here is one source: “…goddesses such as Aphrodite, Astarte, Cybele, Demeter, Hathor, Inanna, Ishtar and Isis” from http://www.truthbeknown.com/mary.html.Oh, what a tale is being conceived by this sl

Oh, what a tale is being conceived by this so-called wanna-be blogger!

Stay tuned for more—but probably not weekly!

 

 

 

WHAT IF JESUS WAS REALLY BLACK—HOW WOULD THAT CHANGE HISTORY?

How about a little controversy today?

Back in 1954, I asked a very disturbing question with my Sunday School teacher, Sister Calhoun at the 7th Street Christ Holy Sanctified Church.  I hadn’t been in this church very long, and was somewhat of a newcomer, thus, to ask such a challenging question upset the other students.  They did not know that my grandfather was a church planter and fantastic Bible scholar with the Church of the Living God (PG&T).  He had come from a Baptist background, having a father as a Baptist preacher from Texas, and had asked many questions which challenged Christians around him.  And then, there was my mother, a church musician, who had taken me around various church denominations when they needed her services. She pondered many questions, was an avid reader, and had this close connection with the Creator.  They both tolerated my questions as I grew up, sometimes giving me direct answers, or telling me that I would discover the answers in time.

As Sister Calhoun was teaching, I kept looking at the pictures of the biblical characters and was struck with how pink-looking they were.  I had discovered earlier in life that when white people spent time in the sun, they often tanned, or turned red.  I kept looking at the pink-looking biblical characters and could not understand how they could have spent so much time in the sun, living where there was so much sunshine, and still look pink!

When Sister Calhoun took a breath, I had my hand raised and asked my question.  “Why are these people in the bible so white?”  Sister Calhoun’s jaw dropped; the students murmured their displeasure—no student was supposed to ASK questions; we were supposed to just listen and be prepared to answer questions during a review by the Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon White, or some other respected adult.  How dare I, a church new-comer, stop the flow by asking such a dumb question!  Some students mentioned something that’s was just the way it was.  Other students voiced why was I so dumb.  And, others chatted their displeasure that this new person was stopping the flow of how things progressed.

Sister Calhoun looked at me after she had regained her composure.  She said, “Well, we buy our material from a white Christian publishing company, and I guess they just thought that the bible characters were white.”  I didn’t like the answer, and asked another question, much to the chagrin of the other students, now busily complaining about this newcomer.  “Why don’t we have our own material?” I asked.  Sister Calhoun quietly responded with, “Well, it takes a lot of money, and white people have the resources, and we don’t.  Now, let’s get back to our lesson so we can do well when the class is reviewed.”  “Yeah!” the other well-dressed students shouted, more in anger than in a mere consensus.

I had a lot more questions throughout my Christian journey.  Often, my questions were met with jeers and frustration from others who had been trained to not question God, and not to question the way things were.  As I grew older, I learned to somewhat fit in with the status quo, but more questions kept popping into my head, and I began more reading, researching, and questioning God.  I remembered how I felt as a 12-year-old asking questions.  I asked my mom, who gave me good answers, or said she did not know the answer, but that I could ask God.  I remembered feeling God asking me if I would be willing to go against almost 2,000 years of accepted Christian history, and go against thousands of years of Jewish and Hebrew and early civilization history.  I pondered His question, and said “No!”  However, the questions kept popping inside my head, causing me to write the publishing company that produced the Sunday School material I questioned as a 12-year-old.

Jim English from the David C. Cook Publishing Company replied to my inquiry.  During our communicating back and forth, he received permission to have me come and bring my research and spend a week with this huge publishing company.  I met Joseph Bayly, one of the Vice Presidents, and author of “The Gospel Blimp and Other Modern Parables.  Those I met listened to my questions with an open mind.  Then, one of the researchers showed me art work the company use to use in the 1880—all of the biblical characters were blonde and blue-eyed.  He then compared that to their current art work, mentioning that they had changed hair color, eye color, and skin tones to more closely match the characters.

When I protested that the current artwork was better, but was NOT authentic, giving them some of my research, they agreed.  However, they said, “It would not be wise to all of a sudden show Jesus and other bible characters with darker skin and darker hair.  Most of our customers are white Christians, and would be shocked at the art, and would stop purchasing items from us, which would not be a wise business decision.  However, probably in the next 100 years (this was in the late 1970s), I am sure that publishers, including our company, will show Jesus and all bible characters with more authentic skin tones, etc.”  This time, I dropped my jaw!  So, this was about business. Then, someone asked me a very challenging question: “If black people had the resources and controlled art and publishing, don’t you think they would create biblical characters in their image?”  Reluctantly, I had to agree.  Then, I was introduced to the art director—he was an African American!

When I questioned the art director, he explained that he gets the assignments, oversees the work, but since all of the artists and photographers were white, his hands were tied, and he was not about to jeopardize his future quibbling over more color for the biblical characters.  Then I asked those over him why they didn’t hire more African American researchers, artists, etc., they explained that they had tried, but the Elgin, Illinois area was not conducive (at that time) for Black people to feel comfortable living in the area.  Plus, they could not match the salary that African American artists were offered by Ebony and other African American publications.  Now that several African American publications had become more successful, those publications were able to compete very well with Anglo American publications for artistic talent.

Before I left this publishing company, they showed me plans to help African American churches have their “own” material.  The company would wrap the front and back covers, with the suggested African American pictures, around Sunday School material from Cook.  In fact, I was told, they were going to hire more African Americans to become consultants, and asked if I would be interested.  Although the money wasn’t that great, I served for a short time as a consultant, meeting up with African American Christian conventions, showing displays of publications, including those that were more oriented to African American churches.

I continued my quest of asking questions and observing other Christian groups, both black and white.  I spent a little time working with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and noticed that they had their own publishing company, but didn’t use a lot of art.  I spent time working with the Assemblies of God church, and asked questions about their history, and their lack of African American leadership in their upper ranks.  I asked questions and visited with Methodists, Presbyterians, Church of Christ, Catholic, Church of God in Christ, and may other Christian, as well as non-Christian religious groups.  When I worked with the African American Baptists, I noticed that they had their own publishing houses and used more pictures and art depicting people of color.  Some African American publishers even created an African American Bible, but I knew that all of the characters in the Bible were NOT Black, or African.  Then I made a trip to Rome where I visited the Vatican.

At the Vatican, it was a very interesting experience as I began to see where racism against Black people came from.  As a tour guide was showing a group all of the art and statutes, I could not help but stop him and ask, “Did the artists and sculptures used authentic Jewish people as models?”  The guide gave me a very dirty look, and the other tourists acted like my 12-year-old Sunday School class.  When the guide said, “No,” I had another question.  “So who were the models for all of these paintings and statutes, and when were they made?”

By now, the murmurings of the other tourists grew louder, and the guide was very angry, but tried to give an answer.  He said, “We used Roman citizens, but they artists worked hard to make the art and sculptures as accurately as possible.  Now, moving on, let me show everyone…”  As he moved on, much to the delight of the crowd, I continued to look at the artistic lies that had been sold around the world.  Later, I would discover that such artistic lies were picked up by the Lutherans, the English, other European Christians, and finally made its way into the churches in America.  Now, I was somewhat more eager to stand against the artistic lies of the Christian churches, but still had that feeling that I really didn’t want to continue the assignment of discovering where so much racism against Black People came from—the Catholic Church, and most all other Christian churches, bible schools, and seminaries.

I began to examine the “Christian” and “Bible” movies from Hollywood, looking at the script writers, producers, and directors.  Many of them appeared to be backslidden Jews and Christians, or those who did not have a connection to the Creator.  They have continued to make “Christian” and “authentic” Bible-type movies.  Only a few in the last few years began to use authentic Black people in roles other than as slaves and servants.  One movie even showed Samson as a Black man.  This did not go unnoticed by Black people around the world.  Then two Christian brothers made a recent movie, “War Room,” where most of the main characters were African American, including the daughter of Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Fellowship, one of the greatest Bible teaching churches in America.

Dr. Evans is also one of the foremost African American Christian publishers in the world through the Urban Alternative. He didn’t just ask questions, and find answers—he began publishing his findings for over 30 years.  He was also the first African American to earn a doctorate in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary.  Not only did he ask questions as he grew, but he went out and studied the material used by some of the top Christian pastors and Christian leaders.  This has allowed him to have a voice of reason on radio, television, and within the sports industry as chaplain for the NFL‘s Dallas Cowboys and is currently the longest serving NBA chaplain which he has done by serving the Dallas Mavericks for over 30 years.

Since I began asking questions about the racism falsely portrayed in The Holy Bible as taught by early Catholics and other Christians, I have discovered others beyond Dr. Evans also asked, answered, and published their findings.  This includes Dr. Fred Price, Dr. I.V. Hilliard, and many from Anglo American Christians like Dr. Joel Freeman, and Jim Wallis.  And, then there are those who don’t portend or pretend to be Christians who have compiled “non-Christian” research. At the top may be a somewhat unknown organization doing a lot of research that is very disturbing to most people of the Anglo persuasion, as seen by this website: http://www.realhistoryww.com/, and there are more similar websites and youtube videos uncovering history that was NOT taught in school, college, university, church, or seminary.  Stay tuned!