817 Cosmology and religion

In the context of Special Religious Education I had reason to write a letter (unpublished) to the newspaper …

Anthony Horan deems the teaching of Special Religious Education (SRE) such: “There is no more important teaching than SRE; teachers teach the “why” of existence.” (Letters Friday 28 April) “Why the world exists and its purpose … SRE teachers teach that we and the world have a reason for existence and have a creator called God.”

As is pointed out so well in Kelsey Munro’s article (Thursday 27 April, Churches should play fair when teaching scripture in public schools), such teaching has its place in religious Sunday schools, but surely not in Government funded public schools. Claiming to know “why we exist and that we have a creator called God” is a tendentious statement, thoroughly delusional. This talk belongs into the Middle Ages, not in this post-Enlightenment era.

By all means, Mr. Horan, have your irrational beliefs, but keep them to yourself and don’t abuse defenseless children with them.

This morning I was on YouTube and stumbled upon a video featuring the work of the great cosmologist Carl Sagan. Whatever I tried to express in my letter is dealt with ever so well in this wonderful video …

Sagan alludes to the creation story of the bible and the story of Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were expelled because they ate from the Tree Of Knowledge. Knowledge and understanding and wisdom were forbidden to us in this story, we were to be kept ignorant ... 

"Religions arose in part as attempts to propitiate and control if not much to understand ..."

That is religion for you ... if this doesn't shock you, it should. I made an effort to research the Adam & Eve story. Again, the story is shocking, unimaginably shocking; how could the authors make something up (see below) that is so cruel?! 

To think our children get abused at school with content like this makes me cringe ... no, furious. Check out my UNITY project.

Genesis 3

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” 20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. 21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.