I suppose that I will be pilloried for saying this. Maybe even crucified (God! Do you people never learn! What happens when you martyr somebody!!!!) It needs to be said.
As a preamble, I just finished reading "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn. The gorilla was spot-on. My ideas may sound unfamiliar to you but I'm certainly not the only one to understand the world this way.
The fundamental problem with the Christian religion ( among other, related philosophies and social systems) was Paul. Jesus set a wonderful example for us all and I suppose he never expected that Paul would come around and fuck everything up the way he did.
Its not that he said anything wrong. I am not even uncomfortable with his male-superiority bias. Paul shared some great understandings ... of Jesus' message, of the way things are in this world, of God's purpose for all of us. The problem is, in their heart-of-hearts, most people on earth were already born with those understandings. Paul's entire error was in setting himself up as an authority. As declaring himself the boss.
As implying that everyone else is inferior and cannot and does not already commune with God directly. Really, that whole episode with the blindness and everything, he never changed his fundamental message (of persecuting those who love), the only thing he did was to change his clothes.
Last week the church mens' group met at the local all-night restaurant. We all had a great time together, catching up on news, gossip, and sundry developments, laughing and joking. Then we all took a time out while pastor delivered his obligatory pompous, dictatorial lesson and all the men fidgeted and squirmed in their seats while letting his message pass in one ear and out the other. When he finally shut up, then all of us went back to joking and playing and we all split up with the feeling of a great evening well spent.
The whole Christian fellowship adopted the model of Paul as teacher, as authority, as judge. But God never intended for any man ever, ever to judge any other, and Jesus even said so and it was written down as such. God never intended for any of us to ever have judges or managers or popes or ministers or governors or presidents or executioners. Most of all God never intended for fathers to beat their children and force them to serve the parent. He meant for quite the opposite, for the parents to serve the children, because the children represent the future.
Now, because everything that everybody practices down here is inside-out, mankind is approaching self-annihilation. At least, civilization is just about to become completely undone. As Ishmael would have put it, we are all about to spit out that bit of apple which gave us all the unfortunate fallacy that we could all be judges of others, that we know what only God can really know, which is what is evil and what is good, and therefore we can mete justice upon others. Financially and economically, all the old people with their stocks and bonds, their pensions, their social security and medicare, have raped and robbed all the young people of all of their future, and the best times in the history of mankind, of science, technology, and economic advancement, are now behind us .Soon, those who survive will be able to go back to the search for (the tree of) life, the riotous abundance, the crazy diversity, the nutty screaming grieving shouting laughing insanity that God made us to be a part of in the first place.