Although I too was raised a devout Catholic, and attended private Catholic school until college, I have for some unaccountable reason been drawn to reading, understanding and feeling compassion for belief systems which have been ruthlessly stamped out by Romans and Christians. Thus, I feel a great deal of resentment toward those who have steam-rolled over the Druids, exterminated the Albigensians of Langeudoc, persecuted the Protestants and tried to convert the nature-loving natives of the new world. For me the bible is little short of a highly edited compilation of books, legends and letters designed to promote, control and enforce the exclusivity of one belief system over all others. After significant study, however, I have come to believe that the original intent and foundation of what is in the bible was influenced 2000 years ago by a 500 year old philosophy, which is now commonly known as Buddhism. I also believe that the concept of Reincarnation may have been an integral part of early Christian beliefs, and that the earliest so-called "saints" felt it necessary to reinterpret some of the teachings and form dogmas that would be more universally acceptable to the kings and potentates of the Roman world. Over the centuries so much has happened to the Bible that I no longer feel it is a valid authority in matters of morality or philosophy, and that there is far more to be gained by reading Plato and some of the other ancient Greek philosophers. There is presently a large amount of rhetoric coming from the Vatican as well as from Protestant leaders about the danger of secular beliefs and influences on Christianity, which is based on the rather perverse idea that morality doesn't exist without the bible and without the fear of God. What this implies is that non-Christians are immoral. Yet, anyone who has met certain Buddhists, Hindus, Janists, Atheists and even Islamists would know that this isn't true. So, my question is, what authority or credibility does the bible have regarding Reincarnation?