When monotheism goes really wrong

Who would have guessed that Jesus’ fundamentalist Judaism would be hijacked by Paul as pro-Roman, and end up anti-Jewish? And who would have thought that a message of poverty and trust in God would lead to Pope Leo X…

If Heaven was a thing that money could buy, the rich would all be there...

At age 38 Giovanni de’ Medici – sick, syphilitic, stinking from open ulcers, and having bribed the Vatican’s physicians to say he had less than a month to live – was elected Pope to give the Cardinals time to decide on a real successor to Julius II. But he recovered, and his first declaration as Pope Leo X was “God has given me the papacy, now let me enjoy it.”

He turned the Vatican into a non-stop party of banquets and sex – his preferences were obscene plays, and sex with his chamberlains. To raise money, he created 1,353 new salable Vatican offices, licensed and taxed 6,800 prostitutes (for a city of 100,000 people), borrowed massively at 40% interest, and greatly extended the sale of indulgences (rich people buying forgiveness of sins so that they don’t have to spend time being cleansed in Purgatory before they can enter Heaven).

It was Leo who created one of the most famous and damaging quotes in Christian history. At a lavish Vatican banquet on Good Friday, 1514, in the company of Cardinals who recorded it, he raised a chalice of wine and toasted:

“How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us and our predecessors.”

All of this – the immorality, profligacy, and sale of indulgences – led directly to the Protestant revolt touched off by Martin Luther in October 1517.

But of course, the Roman Catholic church wouldn’t engage in anything so cynical nowadays, would it?

NOTE: The comments immediately below the clipping are NOT MINE, thank you!

Refs: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vatican/esp_vatican30c.htm

http://www.nexusmagazine.com/articles/Papacy3.html

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 3rd ed., Edinburgh, 1788-97, vol. ix

and other references found within the above.

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Jesus’ Message, 3: Eternal Life

Jesus said that the two greatest commandments from God were the Shema, and to treat your fellow Jews well. When a rich young man told him (Matthew 19: 20) that he had followed these – and the Ten Commandments, and in fact all of God’s commandments – and asked what he had to do to gain eternal life, Jesus did not, repeat NOT, say anything like “Accept me as your Lord.”

Jesus said “Sell everything, give it to the poor, and follow me.”

The Pope on his thrones in his palaces thinks he is poor.

In ‘The Gospel According to the Romans’ the words would carry a different nuance: “Sell everything, give it to the Zealots, and join the insurrection against the Roman occupation.”

In any case, the young man went away sadly, because he was rich. That was when Jesus made his remark about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to get into Heaven.

And no matter which interpretation of Jesus’ words is correct, it is hard to imagine either the Pope or any televangelist being allowed in at the pearly gates.