: In anthropological terms, Christianity is a sky-god religion. The male God is up in the sky,
Stop right there... God is not male. He not even human, therefore, you can't describe as male or female.
:having come down once to be offered as a blood sacrifice (blood sacrifices being very common in religions based on patriarchy). Some of its chief characteristics are a RELENTLESS MONOTHEISM (remember the "I am a jealous God" line from the Ten Commandments?) and its (near) complete dismissal of llife on earth in favor of rewards in heaven. Even a weekend environmentalist should reject Judeo-Christianity.
I don't completely understand why you mention the "I am a jealous God" verse from the Ten Commandments. But don't you think he has the right to be jealous when we worship other Gods (including things like money and power)? We get jealous over petty stuff compared to that, but God created the universe.
: Hank: The image of Jesus comes up in political discussion a lot, Jesus being a metaphor for absolute love, non-violence, complete tolerance of others, etc. But we shouldn't forget that Jesus was at times VIOLENT (overturning the money-changers' table in the temple) and even RACIST, in a manner quite shocking to our 20th century live-and-let-live sensibilities. When, for example, in Matthew 15 a Gentile woman asked Jesus for help with her son, Jesus' first answer was rather gruff:
: "It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs."
: But she pleaded:
: "Truth, Lord. Yet the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
: And Jesus relented:
: "Oh, woman, great is thy faith. Be it unto thee even as thou wilt."
: And he sent her away, saying her son was healed. We are to assume, of course, that Jesus healed the son from a distance.
Jesus was not being racist in any way. He wanted to test the woman's faith because Jesus wasn't the type of person who walked around Israel performing miracles because they were fun. I don't know why, but you cut off the last line of the story, which says the woman's child was healed that hour.
: I'm not trying to knock Jesus down completely, just the residue of organized religion. However much I like the teachings of Jesus, he was just a man, and even Gospel accounts of him are inconsistent.
Of course they are! The Gospels were written by different people who each experienced Jesus in a different way and wrote his story from their personal perspective.
: Indeed, throughout history the image of Jesus took on different contours. In fact, our image of him as a perfect, all-loving being are a product of 19th liberalism.
OUR IMAGE of Jesus may change with the times and culture, but Jesus NEVER changed and never will change. He is perfect and all-loving, but God does have a temper and I certainly don't want to test it =)