Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10/28/08, guest speaker Robert Richert

Today's meeting went well. Our speaker was eloquent, incisive, and to the point about the topic. I do have some reservations, though, which need to be pointed out. I believe that 1) his approach is to religion and religious belief is too abrasive (even mocking at times), and 2) he was historically misleading.

Mr. Richert did not seem to give religion much respect. I believe religion (at least, moderate religion) deserves respect, just as any belief system does. Even though I believe that religion is not true, it STILL deserves respect. Mr. Richert might be right when it comes to religion (indeed, I agreed with most of what he said), but his harsh approach probably alienated rather than convinced.

I believe that Mr. Richert's history is a little off. For example, Mr. Richert attempted to link Jesus with the early Mithra (which is one of many allegations made by Jesus mythicists, who are a minority among biblical scholars). He said that Jesus and Mithra were both purported to have been born on December 25. What he did not mention was that the December 25 birthdate is NOT mentioned anywhere in the New Testament, and is an invention of the early Christian church. Also, Mithra was born of a ROCK, not a human virgin, and was born as a fully mature adult, not an infant. Although Mr. Richert said that he believed Jesus did exist, the pagan parallels he mentioned have long been discredited by mainstream biblical and historical scholars.

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