Moral compass: a personal view

The chapel in Kimbolton Castle. Used for centuries as a store for the stables, when Pellegrini murals were discovered, the chapel was restored and is now used twice daily by students. I sang in the choir.
As a humanist, I think I have a moral compass and this is independent of religion, but the fact is, I don't know for sure exactly how I came to be the person I am. I like to think that my study is pure reason, but again, I am unsure that my approach is divorced from my experience. This post is therefore about this, my situation.

My most severe attack is aimed at the textual tradition, those many books purporting to describe a Christian history from the first century, onwards. In this, I sometimes reference 'the glittering web', describing a host of Christian characters, symbols and icons, religious buildings, and development of theology (including numerous heresies). To escape this web is extremely difficult for those with my background.

I was sent to the village Sunday School before attending a normal school. There, women taught us the simplistic version of the gospel story, with a kind man - Jesus - teaching moral tales. We were too young to question anything, so we accepted his existence and miracles as real, factual, historical.

Aged eight, I went to boarding school, where the serious indoctrination began: chapel every morning and evening, divinity as part of the normal curriculum, church on Sunday, Christian Union (bible study) on Sunday afternoon, then classes leading to Confirmation. It was these classes which turned me off Christianity, so by the time I was confirmed, I gave up on this religion.

The basic problem I discovered was that the (canonical) gospels contradicted themselves, so could not be absolutely true and thus, not divine. Then there are the miracles: that's not how I saw the world working at any time and they contradicted my studies in the Science Sixth (6th form, the highest and thus last level of scholastic learning, before university, when aged 18).

I also found anti-Jewishness. My headmaster was greatly admired - he'd been an RAF fighter pilot in WW2, was an MA Oxford and Cambridge, and broadcast his Christian POV on BBC radio. Our school was mainly Church of England, though we had a few Catholics, a Hindi and a couple of Muslims. Once in the 6th form, the headmaster took our divinity classes, so I asked him: how come we had no Jewish students? I was then expelled from this class.

I'd been a part of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club since birth, which was full of the great and good, one of whom was Jewish (Robin Judah, fabulously wealthy). I asked my father why there were no other Jews and he replied: let one in and they will bring all their friends.

In 1967, Robin Judah and another family friend who was Jewish, managed to get the Zionist Agency to accept me as a volunteer in the coming Six-Day War. My father asked me why. I told him: he'd managed the Rialto cinema in Leicester Square (central London) which played the newsreels showing the steady growth of the Nazi anti-Jewish campaign in the 1930s, so he and the rest the British population knew what was happening, even before war began. We knew of the Holocaust and decided to not help Jews escape. At the end of the war, we used the Royal Navy to forcibly prevent Holocaust survivors escape Europe and find refuge in Palestine.

One of my father's best friends had been a colonel in the Arab Legion, whose British officers like him had illegally joined the Arab attacks on Jewish communities when Israel fought for independence.

I told my father that the Arab threats to "turn the sea red with Jewish blood" would happen only over my dead body. I refused to live in a world which accepted another Holocaust. I would not offer the lame excuses, or rationales used by my family and friends after WW2.
An explosion blasting a path in the Jewish-held old city of Jerusalem after Arabs planted dynamite under walls during the attack by the Arab Legion. June 1948. John Phillips
I still had not reached my present position, that Christianity is fundamentally anti-Jewish, but I was getting there.

Instead, I decided to find the recorded history of certain people; I was keen to avoid reaching the end of my life knowing no better the truth of these characters, such as King Arthur, Robin Hood and Jesus Christ. I thought it might be possible to discover them in the historical, or archaeological record. Then appeared the Dead Sea Scrolls.

An English archaeologist and scholar working with the scrolls published The Dead Sea Scrolls and The People of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Even with my limited education and intellect, the scrolls described a community which would, if it had not been obviously and certifiably Jewish in faith, have been the first Christian community. That is, the Christian sacred texts had, in some manner, been drawn upon these Jews. Even so, I had no idea, not an inkling, how this came about.
One of  many tefillin found at Qumran.

It's still a big problem, now that the Christian apologists lost their arguments, trying to distance the scrolls away from the early-first century. Even ignoring the brilliant, details arguments of Robert Eisenman, which identify the Teacher of Righteousness as the James the Righteous Teacher, and the Spouter of Lies as Saul, who became Saint Paul, there is this quandary. How come the gospels describe a sect of righteous and observant Jews, as Christians, paying Rome their taxes and not fighting the ruling oppressors?

It is an impossible, historical situation. Neither Jesus Christ, not Christanity could have existed in Judaea during the period claimed, and worse, the people described as Christian were righteous, observant Jews. And, of course, no Jesus Christ - any Christ - existed (in either the historical, or archaeology records). One must, perforce, return to the drawing board, re-examine all the evidences, and build a more reliable, coherent history.

This creates another set of problems: what are the historical records? Trying to answer that brought the study to our present position, regarding as the textual tradition as largely mythological, constructed in the Mediaeval period and Middle Ages, and the original manuscripts described traditionally as early-Christian, as pre-Christian (actually, Chrestian).

Escaping that glittering web has been enormously difficult and not getting very angry at those promoting mythology as history, equally difficult.

If Christianity was merely promoting itself, I would not mind quite so much - as mature adults, we probably get used to being told lies. But the basis of Chrestianity was to kill Jews, then to parody them, and Christianity continued this tradition into modern times. This has to be stopped and frankly, by whatever means it takes. So no, I won't be apologising to the frauds.

I am not an academic, I don't do academic publishing, I am just somebody trying to ascertain the factual truths; like a journalist, I want to know who did what to whom, when, where and how. I hope many don't like this, otherwise I'm not succeeding. But I'm not planning on treating Christians as badly as they treated others, so they should be grateful for that.

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