"In the Beginning..", there was no beginning, unless God created time and forgot to mention it.
Life cannot come from nothing, excepting the eternal life of God, which renders the 'When did life begin?' answer moot.
God, as a spiritual being, needs no rest, has no 'feelings' and somehow 'lives' outside of time and space(nowhere, nowhen).
Yet, God created heirarchy (for a mysterious purpose.)
"A hierarchy is an arrangement of objects, people, elements, values, grades, orders, classes, etc., in a ranked or graduated series. The word derives from the Greek ἱεραρχία (hierarchia), from ἱεράρχης (hierarches), "president of sacred rites, high-priest" and that from ἱερός (hieros), "sacred" + ἄρχω (arkho), "to lead, to rule""
Whether God is real, in any sense, HE certainly created heirarchy.
Given HIS manifestation on this planet as religions, the first booklets are clear about who is in charge! God's priests are given authority over us.
The objective of every priesthood is to claim leadership of every hierarchy with a simple trick.
The idea is to convince any hierarchy that they are ultimately responsible to GOD(whether their GOD is real(living outside space and time) or actually DEFINED as a personification of ultimate leadership of all hierarchies. Since every hierarchy NEEDS GODLY advice and the priests are the GODLIEST then the hierarchy ought to take advice from the priests.
Simple. Straightforward. It works every time.
The controlled are kept in line by means of propaganda which has a full range of complexity.
Brainwashing children to accept absurd stories. Bribing children into the scheme with candies, formal dinners etc. never ceasing to equate Godliness with goodness and God with Order.
Conversion of the weak, poor and elderly.
Simple propaganda for the less-than-faithful, "GOD means Good Orderly Direction!", "If there were no GOD, we'd have to invent HIM!"
Infiltration of secular institutions(hierarchies).
"Abortion is Murder!"
"Atheists HATE God!"
"This is a Christian Nation!"
"Goodness IS Godliness"
"Godliness IS Goodness"
"Atheism CAUSES totalitarianism"
"Atheism IS sociopathy"
Can we escape from the clutches of those who know that God is another word for power, that God is another word for money and that God is another word for control?
Perhaps when the controlled stop believing that Godliness is exactly equal to Goodness!
If I were a pastor of a small community church I'd dream of having a larger congregation, having more money, more power, more respect and more control of secular hierarchies.
The thing that pisses me off about Christianity is their willful ignorance.
Let's say that 'all' is God. The Holy Spirit is life, intelligence, the power to have faith and such. Christ is the tradition, the traditional way to impart the 'power' of belief, the 'power' that you can have OVER those who believe. The 'thing' that we thinkers are, as an entirety.. GOD.
Talking to them is like talking to tricksters and buffoons who are trying their best to trick us non-believers into their buffoonery.
If we point out that there is NO archeological evidence for their most important stories they simply start dissembling.
There is no archeological evidence for the Exodus, NONE!
I can almost hear the faithful mentally adjusting, "But we have the tradition as truth, there IS a place called Egypt, the Sinai desert, Palestine etc. you dummy!
Someone will chime in about morality!
Someone will chime in about philosophy!
Someone will chime in that science is to be questioned!
If they believe that they are 'intellectual' they might try to 'hoist us by our own petard!', (ab)using science against us.(D'Souza anyone?)
There is no archeological evidence for a city or a town or even a village of Nazareth in that time period!
These two facts ought to demolish Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions RFN(right-fuckin'-now!).
But the power to control believers is more or less deliberately confused with some power of God(ALL, remember) to control nature, nations, the future, personal happiness, health etc.
It is this mumbo-jumbo, this praying, this open admission of submission to priests and those at the tops of hierarchies controlled by those 'in submission' that pisses me off!
To misquote the Mythbusters, they reject reality and substitute their own(doctrine, dogma)