Romulus and Remus vs. Jesus
A commenter mentioned Romulus and Remus. Modern historians “have long since dismissed the story as a charming legend” (to quote from a NY Times article) even though a few renegades make a hobby of trying to prove otherwise. Nevertheless, in ancient Rome, everyone believed that they were real people (and apparently, even today, there are people in Rome who believe they were real). Just as Christians believe that Jesus was a real person.
Romulus and Remus were the sons of a god (Mars) and born to a human mother (Rhea Silvia). Jesus was the son of the Jewish god, born to a human mother (Mary). The king of Alba Longa wanted the twins dead because he didn’t want anyone to have a claim to his throne, so he ordered them abandoned to die in the Tiber river, but they survived because of a series of miraculous interventions. The king of the Jews, Herod, wanted Jesus dead because he didn’t want anyone to have a claim to his throne, so he ordered the execution of all male children in the vicinity of Bethlehem, but Jesus survived because of miraculous intervention by an angel of the Lord. As Romulus and Remus grew older, they acquired a great number of followers. As Jesus grew older, he acquired a great number of followers. “A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went” (John 6:2). Romulus and Remus founded a new city. Jesus founded a new religion.
It’s hard to take Jesus seriously as a real person when his story is so much like a rewrite of various myths floating around the ancient world, myths that the people of the time believed to be true. I suspect that the early Christians invented Jesus because they wanted to have a founding myth that matched the majesty of other founding myths that the people of the time were familiar with. Possibly, the origins of Christianity lie with the Essene sect of the Teacher of Righteousness, but the later followers decided that they needed to Romanify the story of the Teacher in order attract more followers.
The fact is, that if Christianity had died off like all of the other mystery religions of the ancient Roman empire, historians today would believe that Jesus was a myth just like all of the other gods that the other mystery religions worshiped.
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jjbees writes in a comment:
Religious belief is genetic, Lion, so you aren’t going to convince anyone except those already convinced.
I tried being religious once for the ancillary benefits (meeting chicks) and even bought a bible, but after five minutes of reading it I said to myself “This is a fairytale for adults, and not even as good as Grimms” and I never opened it again and haven’t been to a church.
Propensity to believe in religious nonsense is genetic, although it takes many forms. I suspect that belief in climate change is fulfilling the same need among SWPLs as Christianity does for blue-collar whites.
However, I suppose the essence of what you said is correct, it’s a futile endeavor to try to educate people. I guess that means also accepting climate change.
When I tried reading the New Testament, on the second page it gets into the Massacre of the Innocents which was so ridiculous* to believe that happened I gave up. (Perhaps this is why the Catholic Church didn’t want people to read the Bible for themselves.) Maybe if the New Testament instead started with the more believable Epistles of Saint Paul, I would have stuck with it longer.
*My reaction was “whoa, this is nonsense!” And then I left the New Testament for Google where I tried to find out the truth, and of course all historians agree that there was never any such real event.