50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know
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If you're waiting for the world's "Holy Men" to tell you the truth about their religions, do you suppose they'll mention that:
- The Tao Te Ching was only created because Lao Tzu was thrown in jail by a disciple who didn't want to let him leave town without writing down his teachings?
- "Passover" celebrates God killing all firstborn Egyptian kids while Jewish homes were "passed over" by the angel of death?
- Shinto, a nature-loving, mellow religion, was transformed by the Japanese government into a nationalistic ideology promoting "holy" war?
- Carpocrates, an early Christian, argued that sex orgies were a key to heaven.
- Prostitution was a religious duty in Mesopotamian temples.
- The two major Chinese religions (Taoism and Confucianism) are completely at odds with each other and yet are often practiced together.
- Despite having persecuted Jews for 2,000 years, Christian fundamentalists are Israel's biggest supporters.
Capturing just the right balance of in-depth knowledge, respect, humor and irreverence, Bolelli takes an ecumenical approach to the task, revealing surprising, shocking, and little-known facts about the "big three" religions but also many more, including Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and, of course, the increasingly popular non-religion: atheism.
- Red Wheel Weiser, December 2011
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