I was brought up Catholic. I am a rebel. These two states of being won't get along for long.

I started questioning my religion around the time I figured out that Santa Claus wasn't real.

Dogma such as the infallability of the pope struck a wrong chord in me in the light of a history with multiple simultaneous popes, and the steadfast adherance the Church had to an earth-centric solar system.

My current beliefs about the origins of Judeo-Christian religions are that Judaism was started as a unifying principle to extricate a people from slavery. Once it had served this purpose, it was then used to justify genocide, as the newly extricated Jews had to move somewhere, and God told them that the heathens who occupied "their land" needed to be removed.

Jesus was a real man, who, like Moses, wanted to extricate his people from slavery. This time, the slavers were Romans. The Jews of the time saw Herod as a puppet governor under the hand of Rome. Jesus wanted to return to a Kingdom of God. Analyze this. Kingdom of God does not necessarily refer to heaven, as commonly interpreted by many faiths. It may literally have referred to a return to rule by the priestly class (although Jesus and the populace at large seemed to be nonplussed by the then-current religious leaders, as they had been corrupted by money and power).

So, sensing a threat to their power (the people were not happy with the corruption of the ruling class either), the ruling class killed him. Now without a leader, the people who remained in the movement seeked to use the leader's death as a galvanizing force. They linked him with prophecies, called him the Son of God, and spread the Good Word. Paul, in particular, sought to spread the word to surrounding peoples, probably in an attempt to remove Roman domination. Note that most of the "readings from the bible" that are done in Christian services are letters from Paul to (insert other Roman-dominated peoples here). Behind Paul's common sense teachings of Be Nice To Each Other is a subversive message whose intent is to undermine Roman domination.

Faith in God equates to faith in Man. I have no faith in Man nor God.