It's the first day of November so naturally I'm thinking about getting rich off of religion--I actually think about this every day, damn you "Elron" Hubbard! Anyway, I want to get rich but I don't want to create my own religion as that would require coming up with something as believable as Scientology-as if.
No, I need to use what's already out there and by "out there" I'm not saying anything <!wink, wink, nudge, nudge> about the authenticity of said religion. But I can't very well get rich whilst making the lives of my atheist friends any harder so I need to reform Christianity to make it more acceptable to atheists and or thinking people everywhere.
First thing I want to do--make Christianity more accepting of science. Some of the gnostic gospels have Jesus bullish...er uh talking about knowledge so I need to introduce the concept that Jesus was all about knowing. And what better way to know than through the scientific method. Jesus, in my new Christianity, wants everyone to learn about the universe. I'd first have to challenge the Catholic church's decision on which books to include in the gospels but hey, no big deal that.
Next I'd want to get rid of the concept of the trinity and make Joshua--another thing I want to change as this was his actual name--the human son of god, using sperm collected from Adam. Ha! I crack myself up. Just the image of God collecting sperm from Adam makes my day. Anyway, human, but willing to sacrifice himself for all humanity--talk about falling on a hand-grenade for everyone-- the Holy Hand-grenade of Antioch, perhaps? This explains all the stuff that Jesus did, and what he didn't know, and what have you that atheists have trouble with since he was supposed to be god, all-knowing and powerful, as well as human.
And I would want to downplay the entire old testament as being pure anecdotal or metaphor or folklore...not to be taken literally, I mean.
And then I'd want to make it so that the reason for life was to spread humanity throughout the universe. It will take awhile, of course. But then people would go to church, not to discuss old writings by bronze and iron age ignorant, misogynistic ass-wipes, but instead to discuss humanity and science as it unveils more of God's wonder and how best to work toward better and better lives for people here, now and how that would impact your death experience.
As to death experience--if the premise is that God wants everyone in heaven and he's all-powerful then, by definition, everyone will be in heaven. Jesus would then be the way and the light--but only as that applies to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Christianity wouldn't be exclusionary but instead focuses on humanistic principles as we would be the pinnacle of God's creation--guided evolution of course--and would be seen as the best of the best of the best and need only apply our best brains for the betterment of all mankind.
So how will I make money on this, you ask? I'll write the new bible with new gospels and new ideas for progressing the idea of knowledge being paramount--the franchise rights alone will make me rich beyond...sorry, Ghostbusters fans. I'd get rid of Revelations and most of the bullshit letters by Paul--patooey, what a dick. And I'd emphasize what Jesus said about obtaining the Kingdom as being of good works and loving god with an emphasis on my new interpretation of our ultimate purpose and our need to understand the universe.
So what else would you want to change/add to make my new money-making Christianity more palatable to atheists? Hey, if I like your ideas I'd be willing to kick in a small percentage. Very small. Infinitesimal even. But when your talking Elron money....
I would start with Thomas Jefferson's Bible.
I guess I could give him a footnote or something...
But really, I'm more concerned with destroying everything "modern" Christians believe, and make a profit doing so. Turning Jesus into just a man, gnostic, humanitarian with a penchant for the dramatic is right up my alley.
I think I'll be a priest. Er, uh...a reverend or some-such.