83 3 mins 14 yrs

With such brooding rain filled black skies hanging over London what else can you do but blog?! Here are two interesting positions regards Britains oldest laws – Blasphemy and Libel .

Via the Guardian and hattip PoorBastardMarvin

The documentary maker cleared by regulators of misleadingly editing a Channel 4 programme about extreme Islamic preachers is considering legal action. David Henshaw, the managing director of Hardcash Productions which made the Dispatches film Undercover Mosque, said he was still "very, very angry".

"I really don’t like the libel courts and believe in a world of free comment. I don’t mind abuse, but Hardcash’s reputation has been severely damaged and it was a good reputation," Henshaw said. "The Ofcom judgment is great and if anyone bothers to read it they’ll realise this was a bloody good programme. But damage was done that day in August, huge damage.The Guardian

And via MediaWatchWatch on the ongoing Jerry Springer the Opera trial:

The latest on today’s Springer trial comes from This is London.

The human rights group Liberty are intervening in Stephen Green’s private prosecution as an interested third party. Their aim is to kill off the blasphemy law in the UK. Anna Fairclough, their legal officer, said:

"These blasphemy laws should be shelved in dusty archives, not used as a tool to bring mischievous prosecutions against the Arts. Thirty years have passed since the last blasphemy prosecution, making the law ripe for repeal".

kkkMOS_228x296.jpgGreen is hugely disappointed: "It is a great shame that Liberty have gone down this road, and strayed away from their core activities of defending civil liberties, which we as an organisation support".

Simon Barrow of the secularist Christian think tank Ekklesia has just issued a press release in support of Liberty.

Human rights advocates, including people of faith,have quite rightly campaigned against blasphemylaws in Pakistan and other countries, and having oneon the statute in the UK is both an offence and ananachronism. Privileging one religion above other views is indefensible in a democracy, and for Christians there is the added irony that Christ was himself arraigned on a charge of blasphemy. Using the law to attack opinions about belief is to misuse it, and suggesting that God needs protection against free speech makes no theological sense at all.

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83 thoughts on “Blasphemy and Libel

  1. That should say ‘two of’ Britains oldest laws…Ive given up trying to modify the text now it takes too long!

  2. Alison

    Do you support the abolition of the Blasphemy laws. For what it’s worth I do, and I hope Stephen Green’s private prosecution fails which I am sure it will.

  3. I don’t seem to recall Liberty being quite so vocal in their support for free speech when Frank Ellis was being hounded out of his job by left-wing student groups, or when Nick Griffin and Mark Collett were on trial for upsetting the Muslims. Perhaps civil liberties are something to which only leftists are entitled?

    And while I don’t support the criminalisation of shows like Jerry Springer the Opera, I would suggest that if the makers of that ridiculous little show want to be really brave, they try making a similar show about the Muslims. It really is pathetic to witness people (usually white liberals) acting as if attacking Christians is some great heroic endeavour, fraught with risk, while scrupulously avoiding doing anything that might cause the slightest offence to any Mohammedans, or to anyone else who might respond in a rather less peaceful manner than offended Christians.

  4. I’ve always found Liberty to be rather untrustworthy in its approach to free speech and nonsensical on other issues.

    Most disturbing is this ambigious prose from Liberty in regard to the Danish cartoons:

    "The offending cartoons should not be unlawful, but that leaves questions about whether individuals should publish them and in what context."

    The above quote is from the Liberty website and is a defacto call for self censorship, completely in contradiction to their support for this case.

    I think Jerry Springer is revolting. I wouldn’t pay to see that gratuitous nonsense. But i wouldn’t want it criminalised either.

    Nevertheless i’m almost hoping they win here and the wheels come off Liberty’s campaign. If they want to go about these issues they should try being ‘brave’ elsewhere. Or at least even handed.

  5. Alison

    Just because Liberty have not been brave elsewhere – and BTW I entirely agree with FRs points above about ‘artists’ being less willing to attack Islam than Christianity- does not mean they should lose this case. Stephen Green is a hypocrite who freely exercises his right to demonstrate outside such events as Gay pride festivals and reacts furiously but correctly to any interference he gets, yet is unwilling to accept the same free speech when it is something that offends him.

  6. That may well be so, but I don’t think upholding the ridiculous Blasphemy laws is a price worth paying just to annoy Liberty.

  7. Since Peter says there is no God let me say there is. I believe in the Living God who raised Christ from the grave. This is the same God who created the heavens and the earth.
    The blasphemy laws should be kept. ‘Exo 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.’
    We have removed many of Gods laws in recent times and as we all know the country is going well!!

    From the 1960’s we got

    1960 legalising of high street betting shops (10th Commandment).
    1965 abolition of capital punishment for murder (6th Commandment).
    1967 abortion legalised (6th Commandment).
    1967 sodomy de-criminalised for consenting adults 21 and over. 1994 down to 18,
    now down to 16 (7th Commandment, also 6th).
    1968 Theatres Act, stage censorship abolished (many commandments).
    1969 Divorce Reform Act (7th Commandment).
    1969 Curbs on Sunday sports, theatres, and dancing lifted (4th Commandment).
    In the three decades since, we have see a further rash of legislation, including,
    1993 Partial deregulation of Sunday trading (4th Commandment).
    1994 Introduction of the National Lottery (10th Commandment).

    Roy Jenkins, the 1960s Labour Home Secretary, said, “The permissive society is a civilized society.”

    Yes civilized we are with guns bristling, terrorist in power, rise in STD’s,………. .

  8. Any faith that has to impose it’s moral certainties on everyone by force of law does not deserve to survive.

  9. On the topic of free speech I read on the BBc website that the Oxford Union are going to invite Nick Griffin and David Irving to speak after all. Perhaps now thay should also invite the writer of the Jerry Springer Opera and Stephen Green. That is the best way to handle these issues rather than running to the courts to suppress ‘offensiv’ expression.

  10. FR / Alison

    I fully agree with your comments about the hypocrisy of Liberty. They have a pc / dhimmi outlook, unlike genuine atheists who ridicule all religions for the organised superstitions that they are.

  11. Peter,
    Going back to the Law – the 10 commandments are God’s Law. We are commanded by God to obey them for our own good and welfare.

    There is nothing superstitious about Bible Christianity.

    If you may enlighten me to how you think that way. You lump all religions together and I say that is wrong. There is one God and that God is the Father of the Saviour Jesus Christ.
    ‘(Exo 15:11) Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?.

  12. Campbell

    Your faith is based on holy books, some of which were written in the bronze age. The God of the Old Testament is not a deity which I would want to worship, were I inclined to worship any deity, which of corse I’m not.

    You are entitled to your faith, as I am to my lack of faith. While I regard all religions as superstitions, I cand distinguish between islam, which is violent, intolerant and medieval in its outlook, and christianity which is none of those things, at least not in 2007.

  13. CKER

    I wasn’t referring to the mostly common sense laws which in many cases derive from faith based morality and which should be applied by any civilised society , i was specifically referring to laws such as Blasphemy which give special protections to certain belief systems.

    Campbell

    I respct your belief in the absolute certainties you adhere to, but such rigidity is not really open to debate is it.

  14. Colm,
    Any firmly held belief is not open for debate as they can be seen as certain – take evolutionist, climate change promotors.

    In my case you are correct, a big stick would not shift me.

  15. Any firmly held belief is not open for debate as they can be seen as certain – take evolutionist, climate change promotors.

    Rubbish. You confuse religious faith with scientific process. Science relies on hypothesis, evidence and rational argument. Religion relies on faith in the existence of a deity, for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

  16. As for no evidence of a deity just look at creation. As far as I am concerned that is a sensible fact.

  17. Campbell

    Why not read about evolution? Then reject it if you want to. But it’s pretty convincing as an explanation for life on this planet and the evidence in its favour grows every year.

    As to creation, so who created the creator?

  18. >Science relies on hypothesis, evidence and rational argument. Religion relies on faith in the existence of a deity, for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

    You may suppose so. But, as usual the common opinion is rubbish. You will find that religious faith is carefully and logically argued from the axioms, notably by Aquinas.

    Whereas, the so-called rational evidence-based scientific theories are at best very badly argued from a set of axioms ( like any of the theories of cosmology ), bacause scientists generally don’t understand logic, and have never been trained in it.

    Or, they are cut wholesale from some freak’s imagination in contradiction of observable fact, like the Man-Made Global Warming cult, which is in fact a modern version of the Gnostic religion.

    Campbell is quite right.

  19. >Why not read about evolution? Then reject it if you want to. But it’s pretty convincing as an explanation for life on this planet

    Peter, Campbell spoke of ‘Creation’. Not some narrow diffetentiation of species on one small speck in the cosmos.

    Please, if you must build your own theory, start at the beginning, with how matter came into being. Has evolution got anything for us regarding that question ?

  20. "Any faith that has to impose it’s moral certainties on everyone by force of law does not deserve to survive."

    A shame you can’t manage to extend that thought in the direction of Islamism.

  21. There are things all humans do not know. The existence of god is one of them. No human can say for certain god exists and none can say otherwise either. Now that is a fact and a product of logical thinking.

  22. Orlando posted:

    Whereas, the so-called rational evidence-based scientific theories are at best very badly argued from a set of axioms ( like any of the theories of cosmology

    Like gravity, or the heliocentric solar system? Isaac Newton, eat your heart out!

    LOL!

    Yes, we are a small speck in the cosmos. Science has proved that. Your bronze age holy books put the earth at the centre of both the solar system and the universe.

    Like I posted earlier, who created your creator?

  23. Orlando, evolution is a theory about the development on species on this planet. Why would you expect it to be relevant to how matter came into being?

  24. Campbell

    I checked out your link. It is totally anti-science as this quote will show:

    "Believing in a relatively ‘young Earth’ (i.e., only a few thousands of years old, which we accept) is a consequence of accepting the authority of the Word of God as an infallible revelation from our omniscient Creator."

    We know from science that the earth and the solar system are 4.6 billion years old (4.6 thousand million years) and that the universe is around 14 billion years old. No bronze age holy book can counter that, which has masses of scientific evidence to support it.

  25. >Like gravity, or the heliocentric solar system? Isaac Newton, eat your heart out!

    No, these theories are products of classical mechanics. It’s good you acknowledge the role of the Sir Isaac Newton. I expect you will be appalled to discover he was a famous churchman and Christian.

    You need to check out some of the more ersatz 20th-Century stuff for a real belly-laugh.

    >Your bronze age holy books put the earth at the centre of both the solar system and the universe.

    Interesting, I’d like to see these. Special magic books that pre-date the invention of writing.

  26. >>No, these theories are products of classical mechanics. <<

    LOL. Orlando, you’re shifting goalposts now. You mentioned "rational evidence-based scientific theories" did you not?

    All the discoveries mentioned were as revolutionary in their day.

    >>(Newton) was a famous churchman and Christian.<<

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that. In many ways he wasn’t a "Christian" at all.

    Although I admit he was an anti-Catholic bigot.

  27. Noel

    I think many of our regulars have become a bit unbalanced. I’m sure they will return to sensible balanced decisions in a day or 2 when once again ATW will be ringing with the sound of a thousand "quite right Colm, I agree 100%" comments !

  28. Peter

    I don’t understand why you base your argument against blasphemy laws on your beleive that God doesn’t exist. If you beleived in Him would you support blasphemy legislation?

    It isn’t a victimless "crime", the victims are those who are offended by blasphemy. I think God is made of sterner stuff ;o)

  29. Orlando

    Please show your evidence for the earth being only a few thousand years old, as opposed to 4.6 thousand million years old.

    Newton’s law of gravity explained how the planets revolved round the sun. Newton may well have been a believer, but so were his scientific predecessors Copernicus, Gallileo and Kepler. Later scientists like Darwin realised that the god / creation stories were just that, stories.

  30. BTW Aren’t those disappearing commandments of Campbell (5:12PM) really good.
    I reckon Campbell is for Unionism what Brian Boston is for Republicanism.

    >>1965 abolition of capital punishment for murder (6th Commandment).<<

    So the abolition of capital punishment is undermining God’s law: Thou Shalt Not Kill.

    >>1967 sodomy de-criminalised for consenting adults 21 and over. 1994 down to 18,
    now down to 16 (7th Commandment, also 6th).<<

    LOL!
    BTW, I learned only last week that Catholics and Protestants number the 10 Commandments differently. Only the 1st (in part) and the 10th are the same. e.g. for Catholics "THOU SHAN’T COMMIT ADULTERY" is the 6th whereas for Protestants it’s the 7th.

    Any some people are suprised by the problem in NI!!

    It’s funny that Madradin of old never brought this up.

    >>1969 Curbs on Sunday sports, theatres, and dancing lifted (4th Commandment).<<

    When I was a kid, were were told that children in the North aren’t able to play in playgrounds on Sundays. Apparently Unionists used to lock up the swings on the Lord’s Day.

  31. >Later scientists like Darwin realised that the god / creation stories were just that, stories

    Isn’t it interesting that the modern Gnostics rely so heavily on this man ? One who was virulently opposed to Anglicanism, only to become a vicar at the drop of a hat, only to suddenly become a ‘scientist’, sprung fully-developed from whence exactly ?

    Perhaps the prophet’s message is too seductive for some, they suspend reason.

  32. Orlando

    I suggest you read some Darwin, then decide for yourself if the man was a great scientist or a charlatan. There’s nothing like investigating and deciding for yourself.

    As a child I was exposed to the whole christian thing. As an adult I rejected it, after reading a lot of history and science. I still observe what I consider to be a christian way of life, only without the god thing.

  33. >You think it’s proved or you KNOW it’s proved ?

    Ah well there’s the rub. I follow the argument and I think it’s sound. Therefore I know it’s proved. I concede the possibility that someone could put a logical bomb under it, but I haven’t seen that and I don’t think it’s likely …

    To be fair I think natural selection nibbles away at Aquinas’ 5th proof, but there are 4 others, so no worries there!

  34. Peter

    Orlando is a devoted unswerving servant of the RC church. he believes in the infallibility of the pope and every word of the Holy Roman church’s centuries of catechism and theological instruction. he won;t budge an inch and if you were to burn him at the stake he would still refuse to accept the slightest error in his masters voices.

    Some may think that mightily brave, some mightily foolish..

  35. Speaking of which there is a poll out today of adults in the UK : 43% of Catholics agreed that it should be legal for a woman to have an abortion. Yikes, dats a lot!

  36. Look fellas its OK: weve tipped into the ‘next 50 comments’ bit of the thread now so it doesnt count!

  37. I think the time has come for us to demand 100 comments per page to save us the incovenience of having to click on 2 pages.

  38. hey anyone who is still up – what do you know about this Kevin Rudd, centre-left fella in Oz? Howards out and Rudd is in…..

  39. Never heard of him until today. He looks boring (what do you expect with a name like Kevin) but then again Howard looked like a middle ranking bank manager. Will this change of power make a great difference in the grand scheme of things.

  40. From BBC comments: most popular:

    "One of the last sensible voices of the Western world voted out….welcome to the "joys" of multiculurism Australia. You chumps!"

    "My commiserations to the Australian people. You will now have to endure what the British people have had to for the last 10 years. Brace yourselves for sky high taxes, uncontrolled immigration, declining public services, unprecedented surveillance and government interference in almost every aspect of your lives! Welcome to socialism.

    [stotricus], Pennsylvania, United States"

    A very sad day for Australia, who have been led by a true statesman for 12 years, a man, who compared to the socialist rubbish here, was the envy of the world. Australia can now look forward to the total incompetence and corruption which socialism brings to every country where its terror is perpetrated. The dumb australians only have themselves to blame for the catastrophe which will now overtake their magnificent country. Does no one ever learn from the evils of socialism!!

    Brian Phillips

    OUCH

  41. OUCH is the correct word for such exaggerated nonsense. ‘terror’ is a ridiculous word to use simply to describe a left of centre administration properly elected in free and fair national votes.

  42. Jesus did not exist, he was the central character in an allegotical myth created and developed by various Jewish mystics. It was their version of the pagan dying and resurrecting God man religion with Jewish elements woven in. Jesus was the Jews Dionysus, Mithras, Osiris and Attis, all born on or around December 25th (the winter equinox) and dying, on a cross or a tree, on or around Easter the (spring equinox). The parallels between the stories are numerous. There is no Jewish, Roman or Greek evidence for a historical Jesus. Jesus on the cross is symbolic of man’s lower animal self dying and his higher spiritual self being born.

    By the time Emperor Consantine was looking for yet another religion to unify the Roman empire literalist Christianity had taken hold in areas beyond those where the original Gnostic Christianity had developed. With a ready made power structure of Priests and Bishops literalst Christianity proved ideal. The Gnostics used to take it in turns, including the women, to lead their asemblies. They were very soon violently suppressed and all their books burned.

    Then there was the council of Nicea in 325ad where the first Bible was bought about. The aim was to legitimise the literalist version of Christianity. The Gospels were carefully selected and edited, some of Paul’s letters were faked and the historical order of the documents altered to create the impression that there really was a Jesus that lived and died. The Old Testament was included to give added historicity and legitmacy. The discovery of numerous Gnostic gospels at Nag Hammadi in 1945 paint a very different story than that of those in the Bible.

    The Jesus story could well be the greatest story ever told but it was only ever the outer, exoteric, element of Gnosticism. Initiation into the inner mysteries, the esoteric element, was the true aim. It was during initiation that the allegorical parts of the story were explained as part of the realisation of Gnosis.

    All of this is explained in far greater detail, complete with all references, in Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy’s book ‘The Jesus Mysteries’. Their follow up book ‘Jesus and the Goddess’ goes further into the beliefs of the early Gnostic Christians. It details the Goddess element which was expressed as Mary, Magdelene and Jesus’ mother, in some of the Gospels and as Sophia, the Goddess of wisdom in others. I can’t recommend their books highly enough.

    I don’t think Christians should see this as a threat but as a chance to explore further, beyond the limited blind faith approach of contemporary churches. The Jesus story remains a fantastic source of spiritual wisdom it’s just that there is much more to be discovered within. Who knows it may just rejuvenate Christianity, albeit in a different form.

  43. Guardian…LOL

    A few raw facts mixed with odd gnostic verse does not mean Jesus didn’t exist. I’ve read the gospels from Nag Hammadi and I’ve read a great deal about Emperor Constantine

    Politics may have suppressed a lot of gospels but a myth doesn’t last 2000 years Jesus lived and made a hell of an impression

  44. Did you say "Freke" How apt.

    Christianity has been "rejuvenated" along these lines before. But thankfully the heresies always collapse under the weight of their man-made flaws.

    As Jesus said they would.

  45. There’s on overwhelming amount of evidence that what started off as a synthesis of the Pagan Godman and the Jewish messiah ended up as the talisman of totalitarian (Roman) empire. Somehow the hero of an allegorical myth got transformed into an historical person who people were supposed to blindly believe in otherwise his dad would send them to hell. All the evidence in the books are thoroughly referenced. There is simply no evidence for a real Jesus at all.His death was supposed to have been accompanied by earthquakes and a total eclipse but still no word from any Roman, Jewish or Greek historian.

    The first person to use the term ‘heresy’ was the disreputable Bishop Iraneus. All of the existing gospels quite clearly portrayed Jesus as mythological so he was the one who put together the four gospels used in the Bible and attributed them to Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. The writers of Mathew and Luke borrowed heavily from Mark but even then all are full of contradictions and geographical errors. The Gospel of John was originally the Gospel of the Beloved Disciple (Mary Magdelene). It was ‘tweaked’ by Iraneus and hey presto, he had four ‘orthodox’ Gospels proving the existence of Jesus. No one can discover the way the New Testament was put together and still conceive it to be ‘orthodox’ and gospels, such as those at Nag Hammadi, as being only ‘heretical’. I’m barely scratching the surface here, read the books. They might surprise you.

  46. >They might surprise you.

    Er, no. Heard it all before.

    Total. Utter. Raving. Bollocks.

    I suppose you think Da Vinci Code is history too..

  47. Orlando, The Da Vinic code is ‘total, utter, raving, bollocks". The Jesus Mysteries is a well reearched, sourced and referenced book that is very convincing to anyone who takes the trouble to read it before commenting.

  48. GA

    You are an interesting (and nice) fella. I thought the Da Vinci Code was plain weird myself. But your comment is interesting. I’ve never heard of the Jesus Mysteries…worth looking up out of curiosity.

    Orlando

    You’re well read on all this – do you never. ever. question. anything. at. all….ever?

    You must do.

  49. The only thing that is "total utter raving bollocks" (turb?) is the belief in a deity. No evidence whatsoever, just blind faith.

    And it wouldn’t matter if it was just harmless superstition, such as astrology. Unfortunately, millions are still prepared to kill for it in 2007, just as millions have died in religious wars over the past two millenia, since the judaeo-christian-islamic superstition first appeared in fact.

  50. Well, I can tell you why it is T.U.R.B, right now:-

    You say –
    >Then there was the council of Nicea in 325ad where >the first Bible was bought about. The aim was to >legitimise the literalist version of Christianity. >The Gospels were carefully selected and edited

    But in reality, as a matter of documented fact, the Council of Nicaea was called to clarify the Church’s doctrines in the face of the Arian heresy. (Whether Jesus was made of the same stuff as the Father, as I understand it)

    The Council discussed that and came up with an answer, and in addition decreed some Church laws.

    Now, crucially for your argument, At no time, EVER, was the composition of the bible ever discussed at that Council.

    This is a simple historical fact.

    If your ‘Jesus Mysteries’ author can make that kind of gigantic obvious error, he must be IMO, an idiot.

    The alternatives to the ‘idiot’ thesis are also imo, interesting, and you should dwell on that aspect.

    Always think critically, and see who/what may be "working you from the back".

  51. >As a child I was exposed to the whole christian thing. As an adult I rejected it, after reading a lot of history and science.

    Peter, I believe that is common. The standard of Christian education is such that it is never presented to an adult audience properly. Like many things, this is something only you can teach yourself.

    For me I had the opposite experience. I rejected Christianity as a child, in all my ignorance. It was only after studying science at a decent level, I realized my ‘philosophy’ was inadequate. I also found that all the familiar rantings of darwinists against the Church were psychologically interesting.

    >I still observe what I consider to be a christian way of life, only without the god thing.

    Good for you. I find it impossible, even with the God thing.

  52. GA
    I thought there was third party evidence of the existence of Jesus through the work of the Jewish historian Josephus?

    As to your other comments – they have some validity:
    I was in Petra (jordan) last year and was surprised that the main Nabatean god was born of a virgin mother.

    (Although I understand the comparisons between Mithras and Christianity have been overstated.)

  53. Alison – You’re well read on all this – do you never. ever. question. anything. at. all….ever?

    Thanks for the compliment but I’m not really that well read. I’ve read a couple of, admittedly convincing, books on the subject, that’s all. The books are actually syntheses of a lot of research that’s been done recently. I definitely recommend reading them and making your own mind up. I also question things all the time. In this particular case I wrote the comments with a degree of certainty in order to possibly spark a discussion of some sorts on the subject. My philosophy, courtesy of the recently deceased Robert Anton Wilson, is to try not to think or say that something is or is not, true or false, only that they seem to be (or not be) given all the available evidence I have at my disposal at this given moment. Not always easy to do I might add.

    I thought there was third party evidence of the existence of Jesus through the work of the Jewish historian Josephus?

    According to Freke and Gandy the third century Christain Origen categorically states that there’s no mention of Jesus in the writings of Josephus. The passage referring to Jesus has been revealed as a later insert written in the same literary style as the Bishop Eusebius, who included the reference in his ‘History of the Church’. He was the spiritual adviser to the Emperor Constantine and on closer inspection a quite unsavoury character. Again, read the books for much more fascinating details.

    Now, crucially for your argument, At no time, EVER, was the composition of the bible ever discussed at that Council.

    Orlando – I have to confess that I wrote the previous comments from memory as I’ve lent the book to a friend of mine. I may have overstated the level of involvement of the Council of Nicea in the creation of the Bible, I’m not completely sure. I’ll have to check. It may well have been that the New Testament was finally codified there. Bishop Iraneus, however, did have a big role in the creation of the Bible. It was he who decided that the four Gospels were the only orthodox Gospels (after some ‘tweaking’ from him). He also rewrote the Jewish apocalyptic text ‘Revelations’, forged some letters attributed to Paul and much more. Please don’t let my poor memory deter you from reading the book and finding out more.

    I’ll leave you with a quote from Freke and Gandy’:

    ‘A little over a century ago most people believed the story of Adam and Eve to be history. To most thinking people today its is obviously a myth. We predict that within a generation a similar revolution will have taken place in our understanding of the gospels. People will look back at the beginning of the 21st century and be amazed that a culture with the technology to travel to the moon could see the fabulous story of Jesus as anything other than a myth. However, we do not want to dismiss the Jesus story as nonsense. For us it is truly the greatest story ever told, because it has been thousands of years in the making. It is a perennial tale that has fascinated the human soul since the dawn of time.

    Whilst our ideas clearly rewrite history, we do not see ourselves as undermining Christianity. On the contrary we are suggesting that Christianity is in fact richer than we previously imagined. According to the original Gnostic Christians, the Jesus story is a perennial myth with the power to impart the mystical experience of Gnosis, which can transform each one of us into a Christ, not merely a history of events that happened to someone else two thousand years ago’.

  54. >which can transform each one of us into a Christ

    He doesn’t know the truth he speaks. This is the black heart of Gnosticism, the worship of the self. Openly on display.

    A phrase springs to mind- "who do you think you are anyway" ?

  55. >By the time Emperor Consantine was looking for yet another religion to unify the Roman empire literalist Christianity had taken hold in areas beyond those where the original Gnostic Christianity had developed. With a ready made power structure of Priests and Bishops literalst Christianity proved ideal

    This one is like picking a scab you know will go away if you just leave it alone.

    However, :-), looking at your words above, I take it you doubt the Emperor’s true motives. I’m wondering if you know that up until the Edict of Milan in 313, Christians were used for sport, being fed to Lions and bears for fun, often on the holy days of these other religions you think so much of. The religious services were held literally in holes underground in burial chambers dug from the earth. This was because of the terrible conseuences of being caught at a Christian religious service, not because of an aversion to light and fresh air !

    Contrast this with the conditions of the other pagan religions above ground. Temples, money, soldiers and guards, priests , priestesses, augurs, consuls, emperors, all in attendance.

    And you say a mere 12 years after coming blinking into the light, Christianity had taken over the world, and won the heart of the emperor.

    I put it to you, if he was looking for a religion to unite his empire, why did he not choose one of the established ones with all the followers, money and power already?

    It is because his conversion was utterly genuine, and he sought the truth despite all other political and worldly factors that would lead many to make a different choice.

    You might take a look at the christian but god-free life you lead, especially the eighth commandment (false witness). It’s no use just parroting the words of others, these become your words through repetition.

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