On How Modern Religious History Is Just This, Modern History …

On How Monotheism Is A C.E./A.D. Development! … And How It Is Significantly Different From Ancient Religious History

Oh, wow! Remember when I wrote this a few years back? I know, such a historical nerd. …

Title: On how modern religious indoctrination arose out of Jewish mythologized history and Christian/Islamic historized mythology.

The purpose of this post is to correct the widely common misperceptions about the history of religions, their developments, and the time frames of their developments. I am sharing this here, mostly, because it is not our fault that we are not aware of the historically verifiable history of humankind upon this planet and, thus, have believed all of our lives in a “revisionist” version of ancient history, taught to us by those brought up in the dominating religions of our society. The versions of history that teaches us to believe events and time periods that favor the assumed historicity of the religion around us, thus, justifying this religion’s existence. To give you a short and obvious example that is most common, most people believe the historically inaccurate belief that monotheism was started by Jews in the ancient Before Common Era (B.C.) period of human history, and some even believe that King Tut, an Egyptian Pharaoh, was the first monotheist in human history. Both of these beliefs are simply not factual and simply untrue! For no kingdom of ancient times denied the existence of the neighbor nation’s gods, not a single one of them. They just simply said theirs is the superior god and, thus, always the victor (aka, the true god/goddess/plural-of-these for their nation and national rites).

Since the researchable and verifiable “real” history of this post affects more than just Jewish people, this rise of monotheistic salvation religions in the beginning years of the modern Common Era (C.E./A.D.) time period and their indoctrinations of religious “faith”, here are some enlightening facts on our modern religions to put real history into perspective for Jews who are religious, for all Christians, and for all Muslims. The first of these three began with the Rabbis, during national temple times 200 years prior to the turn from B.C.E. history to C.E. history and finding its ideological formation during the first two hundred years of the C.E. in post-temple Talmud times. This was the time of nationalistic Rabbinical Judaism of Third Kingdom time (Hasmonean Dynasty), which had replaced the henotheistic nationalistic theocracy of the Priestly Judaism of Second Kingdom time, which had replaced the polytheistic nationalistic monarchies of the Kingly Judaism of First Kingdom time.

With Rabbinic Judaism, a nationalistic salvation religion, came the first fully compiled and redacted TaNaKh (the Jewish/Hebrew Bible). With Rabbinic Judaism, a nationalistic salvation religion amongst Jews that literally saved the Jewish people as an ethnicity from disappearing into the extinct populations of human past history (by keeping the Jewish civil population together through the unified laws and rituals of Talmudic Judaism), came the offshoot rise of (first) the theological non-nationalistic non-ethnic Christian religion amongst Romans and Greeks (that emphasized personal salvation, the salvation of individuals, in place of national salvation, the salvation of the people together as a whole), and the offshoot rise of (second) the theological nationalistic ethnic Islamic religion amongst the Arabs (that emphasized both personal and nationalistic salvation, the two tied very intimately together).

This is how what we know today as the modern religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam came about, from this turbulent historical time in which the Jewish people were a displaced ethnicity no longer having national borders and where most were living in Diasporas – either Greek/Roman controlled or Arab Persian controlled. For Jews, it wouldn’t be until the recent European “Enlightenment” period and, especially, the Jewish Emancipation period of modern history that the Jewish people would give up their ethnic/nationalistic view of modern Judaism in favor of a more purely “religious” only form. This occurred through the great change in the European world, where European peoples made their first attempts to allow Jewish people the legal right of citizenship within their countries. But, still yet, in “as a religion” form, Judaism today (in this secular Israel as a recognized U.N. State present time) still retains its nationalistic messianism of ancient Jewish times, and Jewishness in religious form is still focused in on this kind of salvation. Though it, too, (like Islam) now contains elements of both personal and nationalistic (the time of the world-to-come, symbolized by peaceful sovereignty within the ancestral homeland) dual-focus salvations in its modern theology.

The religious teachings and legends of modern Judaism (what is found in TaNaKh, Talmud, Mishnah, and in the Rebbe’s pulpit/classroom) are fully and only (and historically factually so) mythologized history, a mythologizing practice that began as far back as the monarchy ruled first kingdom time period three thousand years back. In contrast, with Christianity the reverse has been consistently happening, a historizing of mythology that was born out of and then evolved from Jewish messianic religious lore being written just prior to C.E. time period. And, Islam took an even more radical approach, which their extremist offsprings of today are still exercising, that of simply eradicating any prior history – viewing it as a distraction from non-questioning adherence to religious faith and obedience. This latter part – non-questioning adherence to religious faith and obedience – is what all three “world” religions share in common. For this kind of indoctrination is necessary for the survival of said religions.

Real world reality has a way about it, in how it interferes and challenges religious indoctrination, with real world facts and intellectually honest critical questions. Questions brought on by secularists, people who embrace rational thinking and critical analysis/study in place of religious theology, which has led to the modern world of capitalism, science, and a democratic way of life. Questions brought on, not just by Jewish secularists who have been present in Jewish civilization throughout Jewish history, but brought on by secularists of near all ethnic persuasions that have given rise to a modernized way of human life (both extinct civilizations and still existing ones, like ours). Much of what we have today, we as Western people owe to the two great secularist empires of the ancient B.C.E world of history – the secular focused Greeks and Romans (Western) and the period of secular dominance within the Persian world (Eastern).

So, if you are of a questioning mind, you are in good company (and good real world historical company, not just present) and you have nothing to be ashamed about. Your questions are valid and deserve real factual answers. Ancient Semitic Judaism, the precursor to modern Christianity and Islam (and Judaism), began as a nationalistic-based rites of cult with a national god and goddess who were reverenced to ensure good fortune for the nation of people. These national god and goddess were symbolized in the ancient monarchy period by an unmarked stone in the center of the temple and a tree trunk pillar in and around outside, respectively, before the fall of the first kingdom. With the replacement of the monarchs with the subsequent theocratic rule of the temple priests in the second kingdom came the singular national god of the Jewish temple (male, who now encompassed both male and female) that was viewed supreme amongst all other surrounding nation’s national gods and goddesses. A process of theistic evolution occurring within the Jewish worldview.

With the fall of the second and third kingdoms of Israel, came the rise of monotheism’s god of the entire world. It is through modern Judaism that we come to learn that the world god (the universe creator) is all powerful and all knowing and expects religion of us – and expects us to believe the mythologized history of the Jewish people at face value. The mythologized history from which the historized mythology of Christianity arose from. Never mind that academic and scientific studies of ancient civilizations by way of both archaeological artifacts and passed down written literary works show us a very different picture of history. Never mind that science has revealed that the universe works not by divine command but, rather, by discernible natural laws not of specifically anyone’s making (god or not). Never mind that our secularist explorations have uncovered a whole time period of pre-civilization and pre-human history that is not found in the written works of any nation’s bible. And it’s okay, if you are doubting your place in religion. It really is, and secular humanism is waiting to embrace you – when you are ready for a new inner path.

The Mistaken Identity Of “Who Is A Jew” In Religious Judaism

I just listened to Rabbi Chaim Mintz respond to a question raised about secular Humanistic Jews. His response was expectedly short-sighted, judgmentally quick, and indignant. Basically he said that if you don’t believe in the supernatural and don’t embrace Torah, then you’re not Jewish. If it weren’t so laughable, it would be extremely sad. But, such can be expected by the extremely vocal religious minority in our midst. For, they operate from a limited and distorted mindset.

First, they believe in the supernatural, a human created perception, as if it is demonstrably real. They also make the assumption that secular Jews reject Torah completely. This is far from the truth, rather we appreciate our ancestor’s written works for what they are – Jewish written literature to engage in and learn from. Religious Jews also make the assumption that without Torah and Torah’s inaccurate version of actual Jewish history, then there would be no Jews. This, too, is far from the truth, seeing how it was a real Jewish people in ancient history that wrote what would become in modern history the redacted Torah and TaNaKh. Meaning, the Jewish people preceded the Jewish national religion we created for ourselves. But, all this falls on deaf ears when speaking to the religious. Why?

The answer is obvious. For the highly religious Jew, Judaism is nothing but a religion. Being Jewish only fits, in their mindset, within the boundaries of their religious theology. This is, despite their inaccurately taught history, a rather modern development for the Jewish people. And, despite general modern misconception, the highly religious Jewish movements are not actually representative of ancient Jewish lifestyle and beliefs. This is just the simple historical truth on this matter.

We have always been a people before being a religion, and this is easy to historically verify by anyone willing to look. (Hint, you have to look outside the Torah.) In essence, what the highly religious do is limit the rich fullness of what it means to be a Jew down to a ritualized-determined stereotype. Then, they go and denounce anyone who doesn’t fit this as not Jewish, all to justify their limited view of reality. The only thing this serves is to strengthen their self righteousness. It sure doesn’t make the rest of us Jews and our secular Humanistic movements go away. But, it is sad to see the snickers of a Rabbi bent on denouncing fellow Jews for not being his definition of what a Jew is.

We will always be an ethno-culture with a national religion, that some will follow and some will not. As it has always been with us Jews throughout history. At first, historically, we were polytheistic with a monarchy for government. Then, with the loss of the monarchies, we became henotheistic, having formed a newly developed religion-based theocracy for a government. Then, in the modern era of history, we became monotheistic, with a rabbinical leadership and Talmud for a government. Then, the first “as a religion only” movements began from European Emancipation – like Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox and Conservative and Reform – and, so too, the non-religious movements – like Yiddishists and Zionists and Secular Humanistic. Our history as a Jewish people, an ethno-culture, is very deep and very diversified. It is a magical wonder of our ability to adapt and survive as a Jewish people!

What these religous Rabbis fail to understand is that they only have a say on who is a “religious” Jew, and not on who is a Jew. So long as one has Jewish ancestry and so long as one is accepted as a Jew in an established Jewish community, whether religious or whether secular, one is a recognized Jew and their children are born Jewish. And there is no avoiding this reality! It would be incredibly foolish for the Jewish people as a whole to see it otherwise. It would be akin to ethno-cultural suicide, threatening the very continuity of Jewish tradition and survival. The very definition of who is a Jew and who is not is clearly and self-evidently obvious! Let us all together as a Jewish people recognize our diversity, and the importance of maintaining this ethno-cultural diversity. It is important to embrace all of the different ways we express our Jewish heritage as a family nation.

“Society for Humanistic Judaism” –
 Rabbi, What Are Your Thoughts …

Now, for those actually interested in learning what Secular Humanistic Judaism is before pre-judging it, here’s the links to two of their organizations:

SHJ, Society for Humanistic Judaism
International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism