What is ‘your’ religion?

An exchange on my Freethought Examiner article “Pope further damages Church reputation with Shroud claim” brought up a recurring issue regarding religion and culture: To wit, what is “your” religion and/or culture? Is it really “yours?” Did you create it?  Or was it put upon you from the outside?

In the latest incident to remind me of this semantic debate, an angry ranter repeatedly posted remarks that, by my disbelief in fabulous biblical and Christian fairytales such as the Shroud, I was somehow hurting “his” faith and making him hate “his” culture.  Among other less polite remarks, including disparaging Jews, he raged, “I am fed up with constant spitting on my culture.”

I asked him:

Why is it “your” culture? What were your ancestors before Christianity was forced upon them? And who forced Christianity upon them? Who created Christianity? Are you sure you know? Even the New Testament claims Christianity was created by those very same “Israelites” upon whom you are casting aspersions.

Indeed, what is “our” culture?  Is it that of an invader religion that decimated our ancestors, to the tune of some 250 million worldwide over the period of nearly 2,000 years?  My genetic heritage is mostly Swedish, Scottish and English, all of which were at one point pre-Christian but were converted largely at the end of a sword, fanatic followers of Christianity slaughtering thousands upon thousands while compelling them to worship the god and godman of a completely foreign culture.

Although I was born and raised a Christian – in a very mild form of Protestantism, but coming from a Puritan family that had arrived in America in 1630 – I relate to the pre-Christian cultures of my genetic ancestors and consider Christianity an invader cult that destroyed my religion and culture, and massacred thousands of my peeps.

If anyone should be angry, it is not those who blindly follow an intruder religion but those whose ancestors were slaughtered in droves at the hand of that same, violent faith.

Whenever you angrily bring up “your” culture while defending Christianity, please keep in mind that “your” religion is responsible for the murders of millions of people from my culture and that of many others, including your own ancestors as well.

Further Reading

Victims of the Christian Faith


  1. Never thought much about that!
    Wow, you bring up some interesting points, I had never even thought of, that the ancestors of most the people who so doggedly protect this religion were forced at sword point to give the the religion that had before that. Do people really want to continue honoring this invading cult?

    I’ve been an atheist since I was 10. Like you may family is mostly Scandinavian. My ancestors had a very rich pagan religion that connected them to the earth and the heavens, until the crazy Christians came along and forced them to believe this nonsense.

    As usual, you enlighten me with other perspectives on this never-ending battle for logic and reason.

    Thank you!

  2. My ancestors are also Scandinavian. I was raised evangelical from an early age. Were it not for the works by Acharya S, I may never have really known or cared much about my ancestors culture and religion.

    Now, I still have backlash against Christianity for all the lies, brainwashing and mass destruction of OUR ancestors and their earthly religion based in natural phenomena. I am finding astrotheology far more fascinating and interesting than the embarrassing supernatural claims throughout the Abrahamic religious texts.

    Thank you Acharya!

    1. pheonetics of ev-an-gel-ic-al
      Its quite simple really “evil angels” but just like “amen” or as I like to fudge with religious types “gay men” so please keep it “hidden” no one seems to take the time to read what it really means. Another one for you AIM or American Indian Movement you’ll have to have the poster or pic in front of you, am er(for) I can in di(GOD) an(SUN?SON) and the phoenix movement “rise” through the “holy mother” giver of light and life, under the watch of the holy father as the shadow of the son watches, same old same old. But what makes it different is the hint of abolishment of all form of Government CHURCH AND STATE.

      Also did any of you know that the mound builders of the Mississippi valley and the off shoots of the Adena as they have been dubbed as well Cherokee, Apache, Piute(pay yeah) Aztec, as well Inca all wore turbans before the Hindus or the Arabs about 1000 yrs before I believe, and many where 7-9″ tall they also built Pyramids though not all out of stone. Sorry sometimes I wander but my thought patterns are well different I guess when you learn on your own with out forced subservience to doctrine this happens.

      Who really has time for religion a quote from one of my favorite Native musicians Robert Mirabal ” life is not a riddle to be solved, there is no destination, no destination, just to live just to love, what ever happened to peace and love?”

    2. pagan ancestors
      I am shocked & happy about it too – 3 people of Scandinavian decent in the forum! I am of Scandinavian decent as well. Precisely: 1/4 Norwegian, 1/4 Irish & 1/2 German. My family became Roman Catholic because my maternal grandmother was a Catholic and marrying a non-Catholic was almost a sin. However, non-Catholic Christians can marry Catholics as long as they promise the children will be raised Catholic. So my Norwegian, Lutheran grandfather conceded but never converted. Unfortunately, as my Christian (R.C.) beliefs waned I fell into a Pentecostal Church and due to my Catholic introduction to Christianity I fell hook, line & sinker into this fundamentalist church. I spent 9 dtraumatic, repressive and fearful years there which I believe were some of the most damaging years of my life. However, I was alweays aware that my ancestors, the Vikings of Norway & the Aryan tribes of Germany were heathens.
      Thank god for the heathens. My mother was totally disalllusioned by Catholicism and reverted to Celtic pagan stories to comfort her during the aftermath of a lifelong fallicy that for long she had so vehemently believed.

      for 9 years. Years that were traumatizing, repressive

  3. What is your religion?
    People can’t handle the truth! People won’t even let you tell then the truth without some form of anger coming up. Sadly, over 100,000,000 in this country have gone to college but missed ‘critical thinking’. Reaching them is like talking to a 5 year old about trigonometry!

  4. OMG! I had the exact same thought when I read your article on stone hedge.

    The true European haritage was of nature worshipping pagans, much like the Native Americans. And both had their nature based culture wiped out by the christian sword.

    It KILLS me when I see Native Americans profess belief in Christ. My grandmother was one of them. And my European relatives are even more clueless.

    I have been following your comments and others on freethought examiner and I don’t know how you do it with out getting frustrated? You handle it all very smoothly with nerves of steele. I begin to loose it when they start up with the BS argument that human nature is just evil and child abuse and rape are just par for the course. How offensive for the victims! In a partiarchal world there really is no justice for children.

  5. humanity’s one religion is….HUMANITY OR BEING HU
    Dear Acharya,
    As usual you have hit the nail on the head – again.
    What a wonderful, amazing organ the mind is when an individual can think for him/herself and come to such a simple and truthful conclusion that humans have only one religion that is based on the shared and noble nature of humans and is in tune with nature. By the way the word ‘nature’ has all the alphabets of the word ‘true’ in it.
    Why complicate the issue by being slave to man made gods.

  6. Very recently I read an article on when and how Christian privilege of the church orthodoxies was coerced into the western tradition.


    [i]It is not a pretty picture[/i] and Christians argue from ignorance if they are not aware of the means and methods that their religion and its creeds gained a broad foothold in western culture.

  7. My reaction to What is’your’ religion?
    Penetratingly inciteful and thought-provoking, to say the least, is my reaction to Acharya’s “What is ‘your’ religion?”

    At some time in history my ancestors had to have been overtly and/or covertly threatened to (accept) and maintain Christianity.

    At some time in history my ancestors were without Christianity. Which brings up more questions: What were they when they were without it, and, when was that? What was the name of my very first Christian ancestor?, and, what was the name of the person, or army, that converted him/her?

    This is fun! I see now that there is no end to the study of religion’s effect on humanity.

    Two things are true: time flies too quickly and some men are too mean.

  8. Your Religion

    As always…you turned the tables on the nitwits, and showed them how foolish their statements are. Acharya, you never fail to amaze me with your brilliance…please keep-up the good work!

  9. not xtian
    i am a sect by myself, as far as i know.

    t. jefferson


  10. Thought for Today
    Great article that will force most to ponder what you said. That is if people can keep an open mind with what you said.

  11. what is it to keep an open mind ? is it something only done when convenient ? or is it a constant necessity ?when do we close our minds ? does reason or conditioning dictate ? i say we may not even know our opening and closings ! not make conscious efforts in this regard ! just go about with our usual prejudices of how we interpret our surroundings and happenings . if we were biblically based , they will be in that delusional world ….everything with a god or Jesus and the devil in it somehow . few of us can truly see from the real perspective , without fears and bigotry that religions integrate into our systems .with love in our hearts for natures creations …i hope to see the days when the pushers of fables will hit the racks and burn on the stakes AMEN !

  12. I prefer to seperate religion from philosophy. Religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) are self-righteous and create trouble. Philosophy (Taoism, Buddhism) are spiritual, create independent thinking, dogma-free, and peaceful

  13. But still they are just philosophies , called philosophies…. taoism is a really pretty crappy way these days of explaining anything . bokertov !

    1. priests kill, philosophers dont!
      There is a very famous statement (dont remember the author), which states that “The priests have killed many philosophers, but the philosophers have never killed any priests”.
      If shoving one’s thought down the throats of unbelivers involves or has involved (in the past) the killing of people and their culture and way of life, then that is the litmus test of the terible nature of that man made delusionist belief system.

  14. The light of the world
    I am a Christian.
    My biggest regret, and sin in life
    Was losing my faith for a short while,
    and pursuing more “logical” alternatives.
    Acharya I’m sure you receive many angry messages from Christians,
    I will not add to those replies.

    I’ve lived far too much of my life in anger,
    not truly understanding that we are here to Glorify God.
    That our existence as a whole has far more importance,
    than simple earthly endeavors and pleasures.
    The bible is one of the oldest documented testaments
    of the divine creator. Anything before this,
    was unorganized speculation of Divinity.
    There has never been a light that has graced the earthly plain like Gods son, Jesus Christ.

    All of these new age beliefs need to be recognized as the works of a fallen Angel, one against God. It is unfortunate that our Governments have been influenced by the occult, who of course were influenced by Lucifer. This is all clearly stated in the prophecies documented by Christs disciples and in words of Jesus himself.
    This new unified religion that approaches is nothing but a direct challenge towards God. As all loyal Christians know, this challenge will not end in victory for Satan, or those who he has brainwashed.
    Satan was given dominion over the earth and the air, but not over our souls, for those that truly believe in God almighty will be saved.

    To any Christian that was once like me,
    where you feel you have lost faith in God,
    and in the teachings of Jesus Christ our Lord and savior,
    Speak these words with a clear mind, and attention to God.

    “Heavenly Father, I know I have sinned against you. I see that I need to be born of the Spirit so I can enter the kingdom of God and receive everlasting life. I do now receive the Lord Jesus according to His Word, the Bible”. Amen.

    Brothers and sisters,
    I feel that dark times are ever approaching,
    and that we must glorify god, and spread his word.
    We must stay vigilant,
    we must not be swayed by these cultist fundamentals,
    For you only open doors to evil,
    and will be lead to darkness, and utter despair.
    You will be promised a utopia, only to find hell.
    This is how Satan lures you from the loving arms of God,
    and his son Jesus Christ. Pray when you are unsure.
    Ask the lord, and ask God what door you must walk through.
    Surely he will guide you to his throne.
    God Bless.

    1. That light burnt out a while ago
      why is it that when someone does not believe as you do, they must have been influenced by Satan?

      1. Satan
        i don’t believe in Satan, that one is a Christian creation. I wish Christians would take the time to learn my beliefs and not insult me.

  15. I hope none.
    I like to think that I have no religion. From what I gather the etymology of the world religion is: Re- to go again; and ligō- Latin for “to bind.” I may be reading more into the word but I have my reasons.

    “Religion can never reform mankind, because religion is slavery (of the mind.)” -Robert Ingersoll (Source: http://www.truthbeknown.com/religionquotes.htm)

    I do not like the idea that I have any ligatures. But, being that the Mind is like an iceberg, more than likely I do have unknown ligatures that exist below the surface of my consciousness. More than likely we are all slaves to some sort of Religion or Life situation. But, consciously, I have no religion. I practice no religion but the pursuit of wisdom through evidence-based examination. My five senses and reason (through logic) are my guides to finding Truth. Rational self-interest in the pursuit of happiness is my mode of operation. Intrinsic values, personal passions, and virtues for the purpose of self-esteem, thriving, and happiness are most important to me in a world full of choices. There is no higher moral duty, to me, than the achievement of my own happiness. Reciprocal altruism is how I relate to other humans. Pure altruism, to me, defines man as an object of sacrifice to the ‘greater’ group. I am a radical individualist. When I have questions of how I should behave I ask myself, “Jake, what is in your rational self-interest?”

    I know that my response is just a few months late but what is time, anyway? 😉

  16. My culture and faith
    It is refreshing to see a few pagans on this site. My father is of Irish, Scottish, and German decent and my mother was Brazilian and Portuguese decent.

    Living in Brazil for a few years, I was able to be enlightened as to paganism. Many of my aunts practiced what Brazilians call Macumba. Later I was able to take time to learn my roots on my father’s side.

    I have enjoyed my path of discovery and learning about not only my ancestor’s faith, but they’re culture. I have also feared the wrath of mainstream religions. I have lost jobs and have been told that a landlord will not renew my lease. All because they figured out that I was a Witch. Very sad in this day. I am just thrilled, they can’t burn me alive, suffer me, or torture me for a confession.

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