What is an infidel?

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Above: German artist Albrecht Durer was fascinated with the Apocalypse and war in heaven between good and bad angels.

Lately, I’ve been trying to work the NYTimes Crossword puzzles. While my sister can knock out the crosswords in no time, it takes me half a day.  Of course I do other things while I am pretending to work the puzzle. I pick it up, try a word or two, then put it down again to make breakfast start a load of laundry, or water a houseplant. The Times must be aware of my predicament because they publish a mini crossword puzzle.  I have the puzzle on my iPad.  Thus, I can take it with me to doctor’s appointments, etc. and have no ink on my fingers.

I deduced the major reason the crossword puzzle is such a challenge for me is because I am ignorant when it comes to popular culture.


Yesterday, I finished Elaine Pagels, The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics. I’ve read the book twice…it’s that good.

Pagels is a philologist at Princeton, a historian/linguist of the written word. If you know something about old sources such as the Bible, the Nag Hammadi Scrolls and the Qumran scrolls, you might enjoy the book.  I’ve read several of her books and I love them.

People have been arguing about religion since the gitgo and thinking dualistically, as they call members of other groups Satan, demons, devils, and infidels. Will we ever learn?




14 thoughts on “What is an infidel?

    • Being an atheist is a kind of religion because it is a belief that makes a statement that is absolute. No one knows anything absolutely. No one.

      For some Agnosticism is the belief that the rational mind cannot understand God. For others Agnosticism is the belief that God is probably unknowable. I probably fall into the latter category….I don’t know.

      Unitarianism or believing in a higher power of your understanding comes closest to the “thing that stands beyond” all religion as Joseph Campbell described it.

      Religions are social constructs therefore prone to human error. However, it is disingenuous to proclaim the opposite.

      I believe in searching for the “Devine within” Jesus spoke of.


  1. That sounds like a really interesting book to read. It’s only just dawned on me that the Christian depiction of Satan might be horned because it was taken from the Pagans’ Horned God – I bet they demonised the gods they worshipped, and stigmatised them by creating the idea that anyone worshipping the Horned God (who’s a protector) is worshipping the devil.

    I wish we’d remained Pagan in the UK. We had a God and a Goddess, unlike in Christianity – and the Pagans understood and paid respect to the equal importance and harmony between male and female. Whereas, particularly in early Christian religions and cultures, women were systematically pushed out. It’s taken us ages to wade our way back in.


    • Captainjaneway, thanks for stopping by, and do read the book. Apparently ealy Christians had a female element also (Mary/Sophia/wisdom), but the early church “fathers” squelched her. Hence the allegience to the Nicene creed. Doesn’t matter anyway as the Higher Power is sexless, at least in my book. Had great fun one day asking a young Morman boy who came proselytizing, if he believed God had a penis. (The devil made me do it.)

      Liked by 1 person

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