Alternate History

Religion (Rise of Babel)

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Nimrod faced a dilemma. He had a population of over 10,000 people of various loyalties to the patriarchs - Noah, Shem, Jephthah, and his own grandfather Ham. But Shinar was home now, and he did not want to lose support among the masses. The ancient command to the patriarchs was to spread out, but without the numbers, Nimrod's rule would end. His solution, he decided, was to preach the message of self-sufficiency. God, if he even existed, had destroyed them once, so as far as Nimrod was concerned the deity could not be trusted. He had to move the masses into a program that would prove that mankind was up to the challenge of building a new world on their own.

The masses, though, still wanted to believe in the creator, so Nimrod devised a plan to appear to be worshiping God while also building a fortress that could withstand even another flood. The fortress would be promoted as a temple and self contained city dedicated to the Creator and his "children" - the sons of Noah. As these patriarchs claimed to have been the only survivors, and no one alive could disprove this, Nimrod promoted them as divine creatures superior to the rest of mankind. Shem, resisted this and Nimrod quietly replaced him with Ur (aka "Ar of Haxed," or Ar-p-haxed), who had been born soon after the flood to Shem and his wife. These men were honored as pioneers in leading the people to safety in Shinar. The propaganda turned them into "elohim" (or "mighty ones," worthy of worship).

Moon Worship

Shem, it turned out, was a thorn in the side of this plan. After the completion of the tower, which indeed proved to be a self-contained state within the nation of Shinar, Nimrod's ambition continued as he could see the moon so clearly from his living quarters above the clouds. He had climbed above the clouds and had found no evidence of a dwelling place of God - unless it was upon the white globe that crossed the night sky. His programs began to reach that "throne of God," as he called it when speaking to the people. Shem thought this to be nonsense, but held his peace when in public. According to the sacred records, Shem had been there when God spoke to Noah. He believed the moon was not the throne of God, but only a tool for knowing the seasons.

For the rest of his life, Nimrod sought to know more about the bright orb that rose and set, with varying amounts of it available for viewing each night (and often for part of the daylight hours as well). He commissioned scientists to study it extensively. To this end, lenses were designed to magnify the image, bringing it "closer" to the earth with each new telescope devised on the higher hills and mountains being rediscovered as explorers and settlers spread slowly across Eretz.

By 1969, in Nimrod's 413th year, Babylonian scientists had been able to bring the surface of the moon to seem as near as that of the surface of Eretz in the plains below the towers and mountain tops. In one of his last official statements the old man proclaimed to the world that God was nowhere to be seen, and that he and the patriarchs were "elohim" (later interpreted as "gods," but actually just "mighty ones"). This had been too much for Shem, who spoke publicly against his grand-nephew. Nimrod exiled him from the presence of the tower. They would not have access to the knowledge that had led to this moment - access to the "gods" was denied to them. Shem's son Ur, on the other hand, was loyal to Nimrod and was granted permission to build a city on the coast south of Babel. Many of Shem's family, not wanting to show disrespect to him but loyal to the other elohim, went with Ur to his city. They would begin worship of the achievement of mankind -- the "conquered" Moon! Terah, father of Abram, was among these Moon worshipers.

Yahweh Worship

In an unexpected move, soon after Abram's brother Haran died, Terah left Ur, the family settling among other descendants of Shem in a town Terah renamed Haran after his son. Abram had been having second thoughts about Moon worship, and word was the ancient Creator God had spoken to him. Sacred records from this period were said to have been preserved by the family of Shem who had moved to live with the Arameans who lived near the headwaters of the Tigris River. Abram apparently received these records from Shem some time along the way. Meanwhile, Abram claimed to have had encounter after encounter with God, leading him to take his family down the coast into a land where descendants of Ham lived. Later developments would build on this migration, leading to the province of known as Judah (after a Semite formerly in the employ of the province of Egypt). The sacred records would be augmented with the story of this family, leading to a temple being built in a town renamed Jerusalem by David Ben-Jesse, second governor of the province. They called God by the name of "Yahweh" based on an encounter Moses of Egypt had with the deity. Loosely translated, the name means simply "He Is." Yahweh worship would reach its peak in the 31st century, leading to acceptance of calendar reform which stands to this day.

Oriental Religions

About the time of the calendar change, the provinces of China and India were rethinking their belief systems as well. Originally believers in the Creator God, these outlying provinces had come to respect the ancients as much as Nimrod had centuries earlier. Systems grew up around religious leaders and the unknown history before Babel came to be shrouded in myth and legend. All in all, though, these systems respected the planet and the nature of things around them. In the far continents between the great oceans, many aspects of the unseen God led to practices oddly like some of the things the ancient Jews would do. These "eretz worship" religions would persist well into the present age.


From among these same people, after an exile of the leadership and loyalist to Meadim in the 33rd century, would come one billions now declare was Yahweh in human form. Born in the year 4004 in humble circumstances on a farm in rural Israel of Meadim, Jesus of Nazareth would rise to fame, coming to Judah on Eretz for a year-long teaching tour, and dying at the hands of the government of Meadim upon his return. Jesus' unexplained disappearance from the grave into which he had been sealed, coupled with reports by hundreds of his appearing after his execution, led to countless followers who worship him as God. The ancient Jewish religion of Yahweh worship, though, continued even after persecution at the hands of the Eretzian authorities because of their "independent" spirit. Christians, as Jesus' followers are known as, were also persecuted throughout the 41st through 43rd centuries as they refused to honor the government properly. In the province of Ashur, though, the governor there, one Constantine, was friendly to Christians, and proclaimed worship of Jesus as the official religion in 4315. The government at Babel came to accept this with time, and the center for Christianity was moved to Babel about this time. Followers of Jesus on Meadim made great strides, as did those on Nohgah. On the other planets, the newly independent governments had a more tolerant attitude towards the movement to belief in God. Some sociologists believe this is because the populations have a greater appreciation of the complexities of the worlds in which they live.


In the 49th century, many of the aspects of the Jewish and Christian religions were co-opted into another religion claiming to worship the one true God. A leader in the ancient province of Shinar rose up to proclaim worship of Allah, a dialectic variant for the original "Eloh," meaning "Strong One." Claiming a visit by heavenly beings, with Allah's own word on papyrus for his eyes only, Mohammad lead a successful movement that proved especially popular on Yerach, Eretz's moon. In this period, Yerach had become the home of the government offices of Eretz. From there, further exploration of the solar system took place. This connection proved advantageous to the new religion as it followed humanity to the far reaches of its existence. The world domination rhetoric of Mohammed's followers, though, did not work well in Shinar or the province of Egypt where it began. The provincial governments all over Eretz at the time - the 49th to 54th centuries - had developed strict "separation" policies that forbid religious interference in political affairs.

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