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Research is a valuable tool

Be careful, this is a test.There was once a man who was born of a virgin, chastised for his words and actions, suffered a horrible death, and was reborn to join his father up in the heavens.His name was a) Osiris b) Dionysus c) Attis or d) Adonis?The answer is actually (e), all of the above. What might come as even a bigger surprise is that each of the stories surrounding their respective life-death-rebirth were circulating Mediterranean countries hundreds of years before the Christian version called Jesus.And there are more. Many, many more.Mithra, a Persian sun god, was a hero born of a virgin in a stable on the winter solstice and was assisted by shepherds who brought him gifts. He enjoyed a last supper with his buddies and then rose up to heaven to be with his father. His buddies were granted immortal lives if they were baptized.This, according to stories passed down through many ancient generations (and still believed by some today), occurred 1,400 years before Jesus.Virishna, from the east, was born of a virgin, fulfilling an ancient prophecy. He received gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh from shepherds. While leading a moral and humble life, he gave sight to the blind and raised the dead. He was crucified on the cross between two thieves and rose from the dead to ascend up to heaven. This occurred 1,200 years before Jesus.Buddha was born of a virgin, walked on water, healed the sick, fed hundreds from a small basket and had 12 disciples. He was crucified and resurrected up to heaven, only they called it Nirvana.Oh yes, he was also a carpenter and did his thing during the 6th century B.C.Walking on water is one of the miracles performed by the god Poseidon. Magically appearing food is a miracle of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, while magically appearing wine was also attributed to Dionysus. Krishna, Horus, Serapis, Marduk, Hermes and many others were all born of virgins, crucified and then rose up to heaven to join a father, where they awaited an inevitable return to earth.The list, and the similarities, is longer than most people are willing to read, much less comprehend the consequences of, and all were hundreds and even thousands of years before the Christian version. To top it all off, every single one of the “popular” stories found in the Bible (as well as the Koran) has similar origins. Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, Moses, David vs. Goliath, the premises of Revelations, etc.; they can all be traced back to literally hundreds of earlier myths.Like virtually every other aspect of a culture, no religion developed in a vacuum. They are all influenced not only by their predecessors, but the contemporaries of their day. The research is out there. You simply have to be willing to digest it and form your own conclusions.I do not write these words to inflame, provoke and certainly not to teach. Merely to inform. But some of the religious rhetoric appearing on this page the past few months has simply gone too far off the apocalyptic deep end. I only discuss religion on this page as it relates to public policy, whether it is on a local, national or international scale. I only insult personally in a facetious manner, and I happily accept personal insults with a grin.But if an empty cave is proof positive that a dead body was once placed inside and the only viable conclusion is the body arose from the dead and walked out under its own volition, well then, that’s your choice. Very naive, in my opinion, but like I said, your choice.Just stop attempting to peddle the superstitions of modernday snake oil on the same page that the rest of us discuss the realities and complexities of life in Happy Valley and elsewhere. Like sports, A&E and the classifieds, religion has its very own section in this paper for those who wish to market their personal interests. And since, to the best of my knowledge, Colorado has yet to merge borders with Kansas, I ask that you please use it accordingly.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at poor@vail.net Vail, Colorado


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