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Tuesday, December 13, 2005 

The Avalanche

We pick up one year later.

I had spent that year, ever busy, musing on idea that the Christmas Story could never have happened. As the holiday season rolled around again, I found myself back in front of the computer, excited to write my story again, focusing on what Jesus had said that made him special. I had thought of a new angle to the story.

Remember seeing the movie Gandhi when it first came out? I remember the crick in my neck from straining from the second row of the movie theater with my best friend. Anyway, I thought about how Gandhi was a product of his environment. If the British hadn't been exploiting the poorest of poor Indians, would Mahatma Gandhi have had the platform to talk about nonviolent protest? At least in the Hollywood version, he practically single-handedly threw the British out of the country! So my theory was that during Jesus' time, a war or oppression was going on. Off I went in search of his historic context.

I looked and looked and looked. I couldn't find it. I couldn't even find a "just the facts, ma'am" view of history in the Middle East around 1 A.D. What was the relationship between the Jewish people and the Romans? Were there burdensome taxes, oppressed peoples, social inequities, anything? Even the PBS history site called that timeframe "The Beginnings of Christianity" or some such without the details needed to set the stage.

I finally found Earl Doherty's Jesus Puzzle. The Preamble lists the authors who over the past two hundred years have doubted that Jesus ever existed. That rekindled a memory from CCD, being told that some people believe that Jesus never existed, and I remember feeling sorry for them. (By the way, I also remember a time when I felt sorry for people who ate sushi, I couldn't understand why someone would choose to eat raw fish!)

I could go on and on and might in other posts about what I learned once I had Earl Doherty's writing to work from. In a nutshell, he proposes that if one wants to find out about Jesus, your ONLY source is the bible, the problems with using the bible as a reference source, then uses said bible to chase the ghost. He can't find a real person, son of a god or not, in it.

I can't tell you how shocked I was. Incredulous, I researched his theories and read like a maniac.

Jesus was a mythos.

The pebble that fell a year earlier started an avalanche in my mind. I had to go back and reconsider from this new perspective.

Imagine the silence after an avalanche has completed its thundering, the rubble being the framework I had used to understand the world.

Now I feel the cool breeze on my cheek, my eyes are clear and I can see for a hundred miles.

Where I sit now, it might seem a bit lonely, but it's sure peaceful.


Continued a bit more here

Great post, and thanks for the link to the Jesus Puzzle. There is some serious food for thought there. I have questioned the existance of Jesus, just as I have questioned the existance of Shakespear (my English teacher in the 8th grade told me that some doubted it).
It's funny, Alan's comment on your post, The Pebble - "...take so much of what we were taught as children 'to heart'".
I was just thinking earlier today about how I used to wish on the "first star I see tonight". I used to pray for outrageous things when I was in the third grade. Now, I'm not saying that I blame my parents, but I wonder what they would think if they knew their 9 year old was up for *hours* praying to God about getting a used pound puppy at the elementary school's point auction.
Ok, it's possible I went off on a huge tangent there, but that's what I thought while reading your blog today. :-)

In 1794 Thomas Paine, in his work The Age of Reason wrote: "When also I am told that a woman called the Virgin Mary, said, or gave out, that she was with child without any cohabitation with a man, and that her betrothed husband, Joseph, said that an angel told him so, I have a right to believe them or not; such a circumstance required a much stronger evidence than their bare word for it; but we have not even this — for neither Joseph nor Mary wrote any such matter themselves; it is only reported by others that they said so — it is hearsay upon hearsay, and I do not choose to rest my belief upon such evidence."

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  • I'm the freethoughtmom from New England. Welcome!
  • The word rational means having the ability to reason. Reasoning takes time. Giving yourself the space to think is practically a luxury in our society.

    My father is a logical engineer, my mother a caring nurturer. My handwriting with my dominate hand resembles that of my father, the other, my mother. I feel lucky to have both sides to draw from.
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