At the moment I have been thinking about Monotheism and the issues of the world. Monotheism or the belief in one God, is a rigid aspect of three major world religions and the cause of a lot of religious intolerance. There can be no God but God.
I grew up a Catholic and completed my entire education in Catholic schools, which, as I look back upon this I am glad I did. Catholics like the Jewish and Islamic faiths put a lot of effort into story telling. The Church gave me a sense of story telling.
I still remember the first stories we were taught. While I was told the story of the prodigal son I was held transfixed. Then we were taught about David and Goliath, a story I still consider one of the greatest ever told.
However one thing the Catholic Church did for me that Judaism and Islam could not, it gave me a sense of Polytheism, whether they intended to or not. I remember understanding the mystery of the trinity at a young age. It was simple. There is one God but he is split off into three parts, Holy Spirit, God the father and Jesus. He could do this and still be one God because he is powerful. However I had another God, one I held as high as any of the three in the trinity, Mary. She was the ever-present Goddess, the one who was perhaps more understanding than God, sweeter and kinder than Jesus and less mysterious than the Holy Spirit. Then you had the saints, many demi-gods and heroes.
I loved this.
Then I discovered Greek and Roman Gods. These flawed, angry, horny, powerful, stupid, genius Gods who star in some of the greatest stories ever told, as good or even better than David and Goliath.
One minute Zeus is disguised as a swan in order to seduce a beautiful woman, the next Ares has transformed himself into a bull to win a golden crown, while three goddess argue over who is the most beautiful. This ancient religion had the most incredible stories. So great in fact, there are many of these ancient stories taken and reformed into the Old Testament of the Bible.
There was absolutely no world and nothing, except for God. One day he got bored and decided to create everything.
There was nothing, it was called Chaos. One day it gave birth to everything for some reason.
In the Bible it says that men had become corrupt and God’s only choice was to pick one man to continue life, and subject everyone else to a flood so they would drown to death. He felt really bad about it though.
Zeus got sick of everyone and decided to kill them all with a gigantic flood.
God chose his one man, Noah, and told him to build an ark and take his wife, three sons and their wives to safety.
Prometheus knew about the flood and told his son Deucalion to build an ark and take his wife to safety. ” (From Cracked.com)
Of course it is not a competition even though ancient heroes such as Heracles and Perseus offer much more than the bible’s Sampson who is somewhat of a dull wit. That is the entire point. To me as a reader, polytheism is the way to go. I want to know the stories of all the worlds religions, Jewish, Islamic, Christian Buddhist and hindu, I am also greedy for the stories of the ancient religions.
The stories of the ancient world are incredible powerful lessons and entertainments. I must admit that in Religious terms I do not have much faith in these ancient gods, they are cruel and unpredictable. The old testament god is a similar angry old man but the new testament with Mary and Jesus seem to become wiser, kinder and gentler. But in reading terms, the ancient texts are much more appealing than the bible and Koran.