Foseph Jarrell (name deliberately changed) has recently written a book critiquing the Christian notion of Yahweh (to put it in Marcionite terms, that meany Old Testament God). For those who have no intention of purchasing the book (and admittedly, it is hard to want to spend money on a book attacking one’s faith), a series of radio interviews are currently conducted here.
Jarrell, contrary to what one might expect, is not advocating atheism by any stretch. He still says he retains belief in some form of deity. Anyway, the critique follows along the following lines (which will be in italics; my response will be in normal type).
Yahwism (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) has its founding moment in an act of revolutionary violence in opposition to an established social order and/or religion.
I actually agree. The Hebrew religion started with a decisive attack (primarily rhetorical) on the pyramidal religion (think magic, worship of dead matter; proto-Freemasonry) of ancient Egypt. Farrell thinks this act of violence-in-opposition is bad. I really can’t find the problem in it.
Contingent upon that, he argues, Yahwism became a specific religion of the book, meaning you have to agree with the priestly class and their interpretation of the book.
I was listening to this in the car and when I heard this I almost inadvertently shouted, “Bullsh!t.” I am thinking he is letting his anger at Roman Catholicism, which may be justified, along with the Fundamentalist underculture of America, form his discussion of “Yahwism.” Let’s think about this for a moment: books really weren’t widespread until five hundred years ago. And even conservative scholars doubt the ancient Israelite (or Christian) had their copy of the sacred text only to have their understanding squashed by the Priestly class.
And let’s not forget Hitler et al.
Technically, he catches himself before he commits this fallacy. He notes that Hitler and Stalin were secular parallels of this religion.
Really, what do you say to this? It appears to be the case that he is arguing for some kind of paleo-Egyptian worldview, so can I accuse him of Freemasonry? Of course not, so if the argument doesn’t work then it doesn’t work now.
And all the mean things the Israelites did.
One thing I’ve noticed in these talks is the lack of specifics. Let’s specifically talk about the Israelite invasion of the Anakim. Go google all of the things the Amorites did in their religion (be sure to put your internet browser on “safe” before you do that). Okay, back. Now consider who/what the Anakim were: demonic offspring. So the Israelite invasion was a genocide, not of people, but of demons.
And Rome had the Inquisition…
In logic this is called the genetic fallacy. However, he could have strengthened this argument by first establishing a moral law, which he asserts but never proves. Proving that, he could have done some historical analysis showing how the Inquisition was an outgrowth of certain Romanist ideas about religious liberty. That actually would have been interesting.
He has an interesting section on how all ancient religions have some form of a Trinitarian metaphor. Not really sure what that has to do with a critique of Yahwhism, but it is interesting.
I still listen to Jarell and buy some of his book. The radio shows are hard to listen to, though. I’m sorry to be crude, but it sounds like his host is orgasming every few second when he makes his point. Again, I know it’s crude, but listen to it and tell me differently. I’ll probably listen to the next installments to see if he moves away from what appears to be a partially auto-biographically inspired critique of “Yahwhism” to modern geo-politics, which Jarrell is outstanding on.