This blurt was sent to the New York Times and to Time magazine. Neither had the guts to air it.
There are unheeded lessons and important things not said as I look at what is unfolding in the aftermath of the Paris massacre of Wednesday, January 7, 2015. I am amazed that realistic assessments with eyes wide opened are not done.
This is not a case of anti-semitism but the notion of having one's identity (especially as a nationhood) closely tied to a religious belief is toxic if not outright lethal.
In modern, liberal, civilized and Western countries the Bible is already largely irrelevant and there people are nominally Christians but secularists in reality.
Look at the landscape. Roman Catholicism has many faults and a low turnout but it is not plagued by sects, cults, denominations and divisions and it is very tolerant. This is due in part to not following too seriously the Old Testament (outside the set pieces) but rather the New Testament that is mostly Greek Humanism. On the other hand the other Abrahamic derived religions that heavily rely on the Old Testament are splintered in many camps. Shi'a and Sunnis, Orthodox and Reformed Jewry, Baptists, Episcopalians, Anglicans, Presbyterians, etc... The USA with its multitude of cults and new religions: Mormonism, Christian Science, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology sticks out like a sore thumb. Enough to cry out for a stop to the proliferation.
What is then the end result of tying one's identity and belief to that make-believe narrative of the Old Testament? For starters the feeling of righteousness, of having a god on your side, of being the chosen ones, the manichaeism of us the good guys versus them the bad guys. Endless conflicts!
Isn't it time to spread and uphold a new religious point of view? One that would be inclusive to all the people of this world? Embrace Humanism
I'll say. After all, if indoctrination happened once, sane rationalism can happen too. Evolution is here to stay!
Why not expose and tell the truth about these religious myths?
I don't see the usefulness of enabling and continuing the charade of a god given revelation and the West committing ideological, religious and cultural suicide by adopting full-heartedly (at least in some countries) the tall tales of a late Iron Age Old Testament. They may resonate in some quarters (the Promised Land, Manifest Destiny) but they are still fabrications. Could the Easter Bunny, Fairy Godmother, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, etc.. be because of the zombic and preposterous nature of a Jesus Christ?
In my view espousing the Old Testament is an insult to and a betrayal of the wellsprings of western civilization as if the temples in Athens (Parthenon), Paestum (Temples of Neptune, of Hera and of Cere), Rome (Pantheon) were not religious statements of the highest caliber but just noise to be plastered over by the cunning tales (but the Old Testament has so many antecedents) of the Old Testament.
I have only heard of two persons saying Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo
and they are both Jewish. The New York Times' David Brooks and La Stampa's Elena Lowenstein. Of course, they would not be Charlie Hebdo
. Religious fairy tales are what they are. To say otherwise would be to negate that narrative that they so cherish as an identity card.
I may not be an academic but with 8 domain names to my credit (four web applications, four HTML pages) I am not a follower. That said, I am a computer programmer at heart; I rather code than pontificate but should this be left to millennial prevaricators?
The New York Times really deserves this cartoon by Chip Bok: