Lifting the Spiritual Self-Esteem of the LGBT Community is written for all people-whether heterosexual or members of the LGBT community-who are disgusted with the judgmental and discriminatory way that religions project and impose their beliefs onto the lives of others in the self-righteous name of God.
Author Khepra Ka-Re Amente Anu provides source material for readers to counter and fight back against religious institutions, organizations, and individuals who condemn any lifestyle that does not conform to their own narrow ideology. He offers a critique of the man-made, mythological religions of Africa-Egypt/Ethiopia, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
With the exception of Buddhism, religions are violent; the scriptures of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are manuals that provide instructional and operational guidelines for the enslavement of humans. Hinduism promotes a brutal and discriminatory caste system, while Christianity and Judaism give instructions about enslaving children, breeding male and female slaves, and the beating and killing of slaves.
No benevolent God would approve of violence or slavery. Religions are nothing more than man-made myths that should be cast in the same light as Santa Claus, Peter Pan, or Tinker Bell.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Lifting the Spiritual Self-Esteem of the LGBT CommunityA Critique of Fabricated, Discriminatory, Judgmental, and Sexist World Religions
By Khepra Ka-Re Amente Anu
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Khepra Ka-Re Amente Anu
All right reserved.
Chapter OneBelief in a God or Gods
How manifold it is, what thou hast made! They are hidden from the face (of man). O sole god, like whom there is no other! Thou didst create the world according to thy desire, Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beast, Whatever is on earth, going upon (its) feet, And what is on high, flying with its wings.
This first excerpt is a mythical concept of a monotheistic god from the Hymn to Aten in the tomb of Ay. It is attributed to Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled Africa/Kemet/Anu from 1353 to 1336 BCE. During his rule, he elevated Aten to supreme god and forbid the worship of all other gods.
God is one and alone, and none other existeth with him—God is the One, the One who hath made all things—God is a spirit, a hidden spirit, the spirit of spirits, the great spirit of the Egyptians, the divine spirit—God is from the beginning, and he hath been from the beginning, he hath existed from old and was when nothing else had being, he existed when nothing else existed, and what existed he created after he had come into being. He is the father of beginnings—God is the eternal One, he is eternal and infinite and endureth for ever and aye—God is hidden and no man knoweth his form. No man hath been able to seek out his likeness; he is hidden to gods and men, and he is a mystery unto his creatures.... He is the king of truth, and he hath stablished the earth thereupon—God is life and through him only man liveth. He giveth life to man. He breatheth the breath of life into his nostrils—God is father and mother, the father of fathers, and the mother of mothers. He begetteth, but was never begotten; he produceth, but was never produced; he begat himself and produced himself, he createth, but was never created.... God is merciful to those who reverence him, and he heareth him that calleth upon him. God knoweth him that acknowledgeth him, he rewardeth him that serveth him, and he protecteth him that followeth him.
The above compilation of attributes and characteristics of a mythical monotheistic god was compiled from ancient African/Kemetic/Anu funerary, pyramid, and coffin texts by Heinrich Karl Brugsch (1827-1894 CE), a German Egyptologist and scholar.
The same characteristics can be found in the Book of Coming Forth by Day most commonly known as the Book of the Dead. The Book of Coming Forth by Day is a compilation of ancient African/Kemetic/Anu funerary, pyramid, and coffin texts.
Brugsch worked on the translation of the Rosetta Stone and was a friend and associate of the French scholar and archeologist Auguste Mariette (1821–1881 CE) in his archeological excavations at Memphis, Egypt. He was director of the School of Egyptology in Cairo, Egypt, and he was the African/Kemetic/Egyptian commissioner at the Philadelphia World Exposition of 1876 CE.
Religion has no moral authority or credibility to judge the LGBT community because there is enough evidence to question its origin. From my research, religions are man-made with a common origin. There are seven common characteristics of most religions: a belief in God; a creation myth; the birth, death, and resurrection of a divine savior; a code of ethics; a philosophy of trying to attain spiritual peace/harmony/salvation; a belief in immortality; and a judgment day resurrection or continuing cycle of reincarnation, regeneration, and rebirth (or an end to that cycle).
I will write about creation gods and myths later in the book, but here is an interesting myth of several gods in the form of a creation myth.
The Creation Myth of the Heliopolis Ennead
In the beginning, there was only Nu (or Nun), the dark, primordial, chaotic, churning, bubbling waters; nothing existed. The waters began to recede, and a small pyramid-shaped hill (Benben) arose, then more. On Benben stood Atum (Atem), the first of the gods. (Note: Atum was first worshipped as an earth/solar god, then in later dynasties exclusively as a solar god.) In one myth, Atum then coughed (or sneezed) up his son Shu, the god of the air, and spat (or vomited) out his daughter Tefnut, the goddess of moisture. The coughing and sneezing represent "air" Shu. The spitting and vomiting represent "moisture" Tefnut.
In other versions of this myth, Atum created Shu and Tefnut by masturbating or having sex with his own shadow, which he gave a female name (see chapter 2). Shu and Tefnut then somehow got lost playing in the chaos of Nu (or Nun). Atum's only eye is removable; it is called the "Udjat Eye" (Eye of Horus). He sends the eye out to find Shu and Tefnut. The Udjat Eye finds them, and they all returned safely. (I will pick this story up again in the next chapter.)
Shu and Tefnut then gave birth to Geb, god of the earth, and Nut, the goddess of the sky. Nut was lifted up so she would be a celestial canopy over Geb. Nut and Geb then gave birth to four children: Osiris, Isis, Seth (Set), and Nephthys. Osiris became ruler of the earth, and Isis became queen of the earth. Seth was jealous of Osiris, so he murdered Osiris and became ruler of the earth.
The Udjat Eye is usually depicted as the right eye. It is a hieroglyphic symbol meaning royal power and protection from evil gods and disease. The epithet "risen one" is associated with the Udjat Eye, symbolized in art by a cobra. The cobra who rises up to protect itself symbolizes royal power and protection.
Seth, Set, or Setan is an African/Kemetic/Anu god who murders his brother to take control of earth. He is related to storms, the desert, and darkness; he is associated with strength and war. He is called the "God of Chaos" and "Evil Incarnate"; his color is red; and he is sometimes shown with red hair and eyes (and sometimes he wears a red crown). He is often depicted as a strange mix of animals (which represent personality attributes, not worshipping animals): a giraffe, camel, anteater, pig, hippopotamus, crocodile, or snake. The animals represent that he can appear in many forms.
Before Seth turned bad, he was a good god who waged war with another god called Apep (or Apepi). This mythical African/Kemetic/Anu god was the original god of evil; he represented destruction and eternal darkness. He is depicted most times as a giant snake and sometimes as a crocodile. He commanded an army of evil cohorts who battled Ra, the good sun god, for the souls of mankind; only by putting faith in the light of the sun god Ra could one defeat Apep and his cohorts.
Apep would fight Ra for the souls of mankind above the horizon; and when the sun sank below the horizon, Apep would continue his fight to destroy Ra and take the souls of mankind. While below the horizon Ra, the good sun god would bring light and comfort to the tortured souls below the horizon. Sound familiar?
Many early religions wrote about gods and goddesses, and believed in monotheistic, dualistic, or polytheistic gods. They believed, like the later dominant religions, in a philosophical approach to the oneness of the universe, god, and man. The man-made mythical stories of Africa/Kemet/ Anu reveal several gods like Atum, Khepri, Ra, Aten, Ptah, Khnum, and Tehuti. Ptah created the world by the "word of his mouth," which is similar to the beginning of the Book of Genesis in the Bible. Khnum created the people of the world on a potter's wheel out of the dirt or mud of the Nile River, also similar to the Book of Genesis.
When Pharaoh Akhenaten ruled Kemet/Egypt, he elevated Aten to supreme creator god, and the society became monotheistic. Other gods like Ra and Amun were joined together to form the most famous supreme creator god, Amun-Ra or Amen-Ra, who was worshipped by the people as a monotheistic god, but was really dualistic: two gods combined into one (the same thing occurred when Ra was merged with Khepri, a lesser solar god). Khepri became an aspect of Ra in the form of a singular creator god.
At times, the people worshipped Osiris, Isis, and Horus as a trilogy. There are thousands of African/Kemetic/Anu gods. Many were worshipped as expressions or extensions of the supreme creator god, much like folk deities, devas, celestial beings, gods, goddesses, and angels are by the world's religions today.
Tehuti (Thoth) was a mythical lunar god; some historians have linked the words "thought" and "time" to this "God of the Moon." You could write a whole book on just this one African/Kemetic/Anu god.
Tehuti was a mythical creator god at times. He was also viewed as the heart and mind of the creator. He was also called the "Tongue of the Creator," voicing the will of the creator. His words brought every person and thing in the heavens and earth into existence. Once he uttered a command, it was final. He was responsible for the laws, order, form, and maintenance of the heavens. Islam is a lunar-based religion; the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle.
Islamic religious observances and holidays are based on the cycles of the moon. Tehuti, a lunar god, is depicted as a man with the head of an ibis bird, with a lunar or solar disk sitting inside a crescent moon atop his head, or as a man with the head of an ibis bird.
The crescent moon and star are the religious symbols or emblems of Islam. The original calendar of Africa/Kemet/Anu was a lunar calendar (which later evolved into a 365-day calendar), and the moon played a major part in many social and cultural observances, as well as religious myths of the African/Kemetic/Anu people.
Tehuti is also associated with writing the Emerald Texts, which discussed concepts of consciousness, spiritual development of the soul, and divine wisdom.
There has always been a misconception about why animals were used atop the heads of gods and goddesses in Africa/Kemet/Anu. They were not worshipping animals; the animals represented personal attributes (they were allegorical). If you see a picture of the Grim Reaper, you think of death. The animals represent the personality attributes of the particular god or goddess. If you see an ibis with its long beak, which looks like a pen, on the head of Tehuti, it is because in myth he was considered to be the writer of sacred books.
From the Papyrus of Ani
A Hymn to Amen-Ra
A Hymn to Amen-Ra ... president of all the gods. Lord of the heavens, Lord of Truth, maker of men; creator of beasts ... Ra, whose word is truth, the governor of the world, the mighty one of valor, the chief who made the world as he made himself. His forms are more numerous than those of any god ... Adoration be to thee, O maker of the gods, who hast stretched out the heavens and founded the earth ... Lord of eternity, maker of the everlastingness ... creator of light.... He heareth the prayer of the oppressed one, he is kind of heart to him that calleth upon him, he delivereth the timid man from the oppressor.... He is the Lord of knowledge, and wisdom is the utterance of his mouth. He maketh the green herb whereon the cattle live, and the staff of life whereon men live. He maketh the fish to live in the rivers, and the feathered fowl in the sky. He giveth to life to that which is in the egg.... Hail to thee, O thou maker of all these things, thou ONLY ONE. In mightiness he taketh many forms.
The above hymn gives us a third African/Kemetic/Anu reference to the belief in a monotheistic supreme creator god, who is lord and maker of the gods. This mythical concept is the same as the supreme creator Christian God, who is superior to the son of God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost and celestial beings like angels.
A well-known god of African/Kemetic/Anu mythology is Heru (Horus), "The Divine Child," and son of Isis and Osiris. Some have linked the word "hero" to him because of his battles with Seth over the kingdom of earth. He was suckled by his mother Isis in the "majesty" or "seat of wisdom" position. Isis (who was impregnated by Osiris) is depicted in art sitting on a throne with a low back, holding the baby Horus in her lap, suckling him and looking straight ahead in the original "Madonna" pose. The Virgin Mary and Jesus image is taken from this depiction. In fact, many of the early Coptic (Egyptian) Christian coins, pictures, and statues represented both Jesus and Mary as black.
Black Madonna's are found mostly at Catholic sites. Churches in Belgium, France, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, Russia, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and the United States still worship the Black Madonna. France has more Black Madonna shrines than any other country in the world.
To end this chapter, here are quotes on religion from different people in history. I found them in books, magazines, the Internet, libraries, research articles, and newspapers. They are very interesting, funny, and reflective to me, so I would like to share some of them with you.
"Oh these foolish men! They could not create so much as a worm, but they create gods by the dozens."—Michel de Montaigne.
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."—Edward Gibbon—also attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca
"Religion is the fashionable substitute for belief."—Oscar Wilde
"I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics, a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkeys."—Mark Twain
"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."—Thomas Jefferson
"Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditional or invented absurdities, or of downright lies."—Thomas Paine
"Religious men are and must be heretics now—for we must not pray, except in a form of words, made beforehand or think of God but with a prearranged idea."—Florence Nightingale
"I pray every single second of my life, not on my knees but with my work. My prayer is to lift women to equality with men. Work and worship are one with me. I know there is no God of the universe made happy by my getting down on my knees and calling him great."—Susan B. Anthony
"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies."—Thomas Jefferson
"Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe."—Voltaire
"The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed."—Thomas Paine
"Man is a religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the true religion—several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight."—Mark Twain
"Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery."—Robert Ingersol
"Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause."—George Washington
"When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion."—Voltaire
"The endeavor to change universal power by selfish supplication I do not believe in."—Thomas Edison
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so."—Mark Twain
"I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs."—Frederick Douglass
"We have men sold to build churches, women sold to support the gospel, and babies sold to purchase Bibles for the poor heathen, all for the glory of God and the good of souls. The slave auctioneer's bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave trade go hand in hand."—Frederick Douglass
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."—Voltaire
"It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three: and yet that the one is not three and the three are not one."—Thomas Jefferson
"One man says with one's lips, 'I believe that god is one, and also three,' but no one can believe it, because the words have no sense."—Leo
Excerpted from Lifting the Spiritual Self-Esteem of the LGBT Community by Khepra Ka-Re Amente Anu Copyright © 2012 by Khepra Ka-Re Amente Anu. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Belief in a God or Gods....................1
Chapter 2 Mythical Creation Gods and Creation Myths....................10
Chapter 3 Religion, Slavery, and Same-Sex Marriage....................71
Chapter 4 Birth-Myth of Divine Saviors, Sons of God, Prophets, or Enlightened Ones....................84
Chapter 5 Other Similar Myths....................135
Chapter 6 Astronomy and Religious Symbols....................172
Chapter 7 The LGBT Animal Community....................195
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
First let me say that the author Khepra Ka-Re Amente Anu is a straight, African-American man. He makes it quite clear that he is not Muslim or of any form tied to the Islamic religion. He also tells us he was raised a christian. This book is based on the knowledge he acquired from years of research and studying religion. For me this book felt as though it was written out of love for the authors two cousins who are gay and have faced much judgement in the religious community because of their lifestyle even though there is nothing wrong with it nor in loving or being loved. I also was very impress with the authors knowledge of the history of religion in different countries, culture and era. It is a well written book and gives you the knowledge you need to do battle should you have to. Now some of you would be shocked and taken back by this book and the knowledge that religion is man made. It may even upset some Christians that anyone would write this. I however prefer to believe in a God that loves all people regardless of sex, color, religion or sexuality. I could go on about scripture and such but in the end I must say this book was really good. If you have an open mind and enjoy learning this is the book for you. It is a great look into religion and it's history. I definitely give it two thumbs up.
For those that are more interested in learning about religion and the history of various types of religion, this is a good read. Besides the history aspect, you also get a good idea about how certain religions became what they are today. We all have a warped idea of what religion is and what it stands for. Our current society has done that to us, so for those who want to establish their own idea and opinion on religion, this would be a great start. Of course you cannot put everything you will need into one book but this will be a great starting point.
Right away I was excited to review Mr. Anu’s book. With the way of the world today, someone needs to take a greater stand for the LGBT community. Having friends in the community, I have seen, first hand, how straight people can be so hateful. There is nothing like being told in so many ways that God couldn’t possibly love anyone who might be gay. Being born in the 80s and being raised in NC, being gay was not something you talked about or advertised. After I grew up and grew into my own mind and out of my small town, Baptist-raised thinking, I moved to Florida. At that point I met people who were gay and very open about it. I have come across friends who were struggling with their Gods and wondering if they were ever going to be accepted within their families or their churches because they weren’t sure that being gay was okay. Khepra Ka-Re Amente Anu is a straight, African-American man. He makes it quite clear that he is not Muslim or of any form tied to the Islamic religion. It is funny how many people would automatically assume this. So many people are ignorant. In my personal experience, I have not found many Africa-American men who openly support the LGBT community. I have a crazy amount of respect for Mr. Anu for digging deep and supporting his family members within the community. This entire book is well written. There are wonderful quotes and comparisons. Enough information for anyone to be able to go to battle should they ever have to defend their right to be gay. As a matter of fact, many people would be thrown back to hear that all of this religion is man-made. When it comes down to it, many people will be disturbed by this book. It will shake the foundation the Christian folks build on. I am happy to say that my God loves all people and it doesn’t matter the color of their skin or their sexual orientation. “Many African/Kemetic/Anu hieroglyphics and the sacred religious texts are engraved on a single plume-shaped stone or clay tablets, while the double plume was associated with the gods of Kemet/Anu. Not only are the tablets that the Ten Commandments were supposedly written on suspect, but the Ten Commandments themselves. Declarations of Innocence, containing Negative Confessions found in the “Book of Coming Forth by Day” are strikingly similar to the Ten Commandments.” This is an example of some of the comparisons that you will read about in this book. Any reader would be able to tell right away that Mr. Anu has spent a lot of time researching and putting all of this information together. My favorite quote in this book is: “I hope this book will help someone not feel guilty or have low spiritual self-esteem because of religion. Religion is not the word of any God, just the judgmental beliefs of the men who wrote the religious myths.” I hope so too!
Lifting the Spiritual Self-Esteem is a historical reference book. The author goes into great detail describing the transformations of various gods, creation stories, and how they relate to the major religions of today. This is not so much a happy go-lucky devotional for members of the LGBT community (which I thought it would be). Instead, it's a rich compilation of religious culture and stories. Take it for what it's worth and you might enjoy it! I received a copy of this book to review. The opinions stated are 100% mine. You can read my full review at savingsinseconds. com
Lifting the Spiritual Self-Esteem of the LGBT Community Khepra Ka-Re Amente Anu iUniverse, Inc. (2012) ISBN 9781450299343 Reviewed by Charline Ratcliff for RebeccasReads (8/12) I’ve just finished reading “Lifting the Spiritual Self-Esteem of the LGBT Community” written by new author Khepra Ka-Re Amente Anu and to sum the book up in a single sentence? It was an intense read… It seems to me that the entire purpose behind “Lifting the Spiritual Self-Esteem of the LGBT Community” is to compare the world’s different religions, both past and present, provide a concise accounting of their many similarities and attempt to prove that bottom-line, they are all man made and not really divinely inspired as all religions would their followers believe. From that point of view it is not “religion” that forces us to be hateful and hurtful to those in the LGBT community – it is, in fact, just us as we separate and segregate those who make us feel uncomfortable. “Lifting the Spiritual Self-Esteem of the LGBT Community” is a sharp and biting book. The author has provided countless facts, excerpts, quotes and more to validate his exceptionally strong belief system. I personally appreciate the author’s candor however, I know there are many out there who will not and this book will most certainly be considered inflammatory and heretical by them. I am also thankful for the personal information the author opted to provide in the book’s preface. While it might not have been included for anything other than background about the author I do think it was a wise decision. It definitely helped me understand where he was coming from and consequently I was able to understand the strong passion that drove him to share his viewpoints. In summary, “Lifting the Spiritual Self-Esteem of the LGBT Community” was a well written book. The author’s viewpoint / belief system is provided in a concise manner and followed up with an exceptional amount of documented fact. The author is obviously thorough and he has no doubt spent many, many hours on research. A great book for anyone in the LGBT community who struggles with being ostracized due to their sexual preferences that have been genetically predetermined even before their birth… This book could also be an eye opening read for heterosexual people who don’t understand the harshness someone who prefers a same sex partner endures.