The Patriarchs

I don’t like them.  They don’t like me.

Actually they usually stay out of my way, as I stay out of theirs. They know better than to  storm my gates. They’ll get my shillelagh across their broad behinds.

Nevertheless,  a truly deep concern for women, little children, the future, keeps me in the game.

Their harangue, their harassment, their fear and guilt and sin and hate peddling simply cannot be ignored. The American ones-the worst in the world- stand in the pulpits and TV screens and rant and rave and froth. They parrot, in mind, deeds and action  the god they created some sixteen hundred years ago.

Sixteen hundred years ago? What’s that?

…and here we are  back to Emperor Constantine, the Church of Rome, the Pope with a direct line to the great Jewish horror, Jehovah,  the Inquisition, witch burnings, the plagues, the Dark Ages begin here.  The whole sick sick sick shebang. I think if I were today’s version, I wouldn’t take much pride in ‘my’ history.

And it certainly is ‘his’ story.

The incredible delight of the pagan gods, these powerful, very human fantasy creatures were done in by them like enemys of the state. The pagan gods loved sex, nudity, war,  and they had  balance. Gods and goddesses of nature, peace, hearth and home,  the great god Pan and his pipes, replaced with a father, an abused son, a holy ghost -come on- and one insipid virgin who took the place of  a panoply of gorgeous, glorious, powerful  women.

Most people have never even heard of them. Except  on those rare occasions when the word ‘pagan’ cames up and it is bad mouthed, regaled and banished from a state of human experience. Understand, I am not ‘selling’ paganism, but I am suggesting you at least peer into these historical times.

Venus Rising by Botticelli-she looked like Julia Roberts-Leda and the Swan by Reubens,  Yeats’ poetry, mythology and wonder  were disappeared. Hung in museums, buried in esoteric university libraries and studies. The Greek and Roman and Norse gods and goddesses shoved down the memory hole to be replaced by : let me quote Richard Dawkins, “The God of the Old Testament,  arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction, jealous and proud of it, a petty unjust unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive blood thirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynist, homophobe; racist, infanticidal, genocidal, felicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capricious malevolent bully.”

Humankind has been living with this nut case for how many years? Raise your hands if you know the answer.

I do hope you’re aware that in the past-even the recent past- voices like Richard’s did not for long remain attached to bodies.

Today there is still a stigma-an orthodoxy, as Hedges might say-against speaking out against religion. Religious criticism was verbose. It was not nice, in polite society, to expose religious beliefs, no matter how nutty, hateful, gaunt, greedy, stupid and childish it was.

To dare suggest it is a fierce, powerful, disgusting  force to contend with, expose and bring  down is naughty.

Well naughty is as naughty does. Dawkins and Hitches and Harris are fighting back.

Let the games begin.


One Response

  1. Bettejo — this is an excellent piece. You always write wonderfully (these days I mostly read them when they appear in my e-mail since I’m “following” you, but not in a “patriarchal” sort of stalker way), but this is particularly exceptional even by your sky-high standards!

    I’m sure you would not be the least bit surprised to know how much I particularly enjoyed this one!


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