'this man claims to be the Son of God, thankfully in 2010 he will be treated and released from detention when sane : unlike the millions who due to another like him are trapped forever by dogma : victims of the powerful'
Lords, Kings, Emperors and their female versions have been venerated since human records began. Powerful people who held the right to shape the lives and dictate the fate of a population, a family or individual in what ever way was pleasing to them. Some have been given the colloquial prefix of 'good', which many may have been, but I am certain at least a few of even their subjects would not have seen them that way.
When an individual has power over another the underling is forced into being grateful for being allowed to inhabit their land, enjoy the security their power brings, in fac tfor having the chance to survive in our hostile environment because of their grace. Therefore it is easy to see how if that ruler has provided for you, your gratitude could interpret that provision as love. But surely it was only ever a form of control. You must work for them, pay them their dues, obey their rules, or be denied the benefits that go with such servitude. One has to wonder, if people had their own land, their own rules and were able to provide their own security and means of living whether this so called 'love' would be retained. Where the rich and powerful have been ousted it seems not. The French certainly never managed it, bar the few who out of respect for past traditions later held the remaining aristocracy as cherished despite ( or perhaps because of) their impotence.
In our modern so called democracies the ability to maintain autocracy has been for the most part done away with. Even in modern democratic kingdoms the monarch retains only a limited power that is itself ultimately controlled by the people through an elected parliament. I think it is more likely that an elected leader could be said to love their country (at least as an initial motivating factor leading to their election), than a hereditary monarch who may know no better than the superiority and power over others that their birthright brings.
It is interesting that in all religions, the God figure or figures are referred to as Lords, Kings, and conversely in some ancient cultures their rulers are considered gods. It is as though the two are interchangeable and share similarities that are more than just in title. Based on a need for security our gods and rulers share a similar role; gods providing for the issues that mere mortals cannot cater for. After all who could a King or Lord call upon when a natural disaster threatens to destroy their Kingdom, but a Lord of Lords, or King of Kings.
So did our gods love us? Or should we see through the deception and realise that their love is also just a form of control as we have seen with our mortal Lords and Kings; our own continuing love for them being just a response to fear and tradition? But surely a loving creator of all things and saviour of those who believe, has the right to control us with their rules and wrath; showing their love through grace and forgiveness? I don't think so.
If it isn't right for mortal rulers, so why should it be for a god unless it is right to rule through fear and threat alone? If looked at closely why should a creator have feudal rights, surely the ability to create should bring with it the responsibility to ensure the freedom and wellbeing of one's creations and subjects. Does the fact that you have created a being give you the right to impose terrible suffering on them and their offspring for eternity, just because they disobey you? It may be an act of grace to forgive, but that grace becomes invalid and insipid if it requires punishment in suffering as a pre-requisite, particularly if the misdemeanour was committed by someone else.
Judeo/Christian teachings found within the Genesis story, portray God as a loving father and as such He gives Adam freewill. However as we know under the allure of Eve, Adam disobeys God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge. The rule is broken, original sin is committed. God shows his displeasure in the condemnation of womankind to agonising suffering during childbirth, mankind in having to work the land in order to survive, and their ancestors (including you and I) to eternal (unspecified) suffering, unless someone or something suffers* as atonement. Then and only then will the grace of God be felt. Later of course in the New Testament the requirement is for the belief in Christ, who himself suffers for us; but as I have asked before, what is it to believe?
It makes no sense to me that if this god was so loving, why he could not just forgive the original sin and help humankind to understand why his rule was best for them. Instead it appears that he has created a situation where man and woman could only ever fail, after all He apparently made us inquisitive. This is not an act of love, it is an act of control, just as the seemingly generous loan shark lends money at inflated interest rates, knowing that the borrower will fail to meet his demands and always be in his debt. Our earthly Lords, Kings and dictators have behaved in the same way, creating rules that will be broken, poverty that induces desperation, fear that requires security; the ultimate protection racket. This god and others like Him in other religions, share behaviour that is suspiciously similar to that of the worldly rulers that ancient humans would have been familiar with. Behaviour that may have been acceptable then, but not now in the modern democratic world.
It seems to me that the gods our ancestors created provide the same system of control as did our blue blooded aristocrats, except of course it is never the gods that really benefit, but the powerful men who both invent and perpetuate their following. Perhaps they and those who remain in leadership of the faithful are now the Lords and Kings, and as such should be challenged as to what they really stand for.
On the other hand if I am wrong and there is a god, that Being needs to answer some difficult questions as to their duty of care as a father and creator/designer, their motives and their actions; some of which would be considered criminal, if judged according to the laws of the land in which I live .
* It is a tragic fact that atonement seems to require bloodshed, and death. The lamb or chicken which must suffer pain and fear, the human in the loss of the animal (although most cultures generally eat the sacrifice). Of course in the case of Christianity it seems we must now personally suffer eternal punishment if we don't believe in Jesus who suffered for us. But surely we will all die, some suffering more than Jesus did as we die, he never suffered eternal punishment, he rose up to be with his father, never paying the full price. I also wonder how it is that God could 'give' his son for this purpose, I personally could not demand this of my own sons. Maybe ownership of sons was acceptable in Jewish culture 2000 years ago, but it is not in mine even the suggestion is deplorabe; why did God not suffer for us himself if he couldn't bring himself to just forgive us? These are questions I should have thought of when I was first told to believe at school........but I was only five.