Class Warfare Blog

December 26, 2016

Holiday BS

At one time there were but three professions: medicine, the law, and the clergy, that is, to be called a professional one had to be a medical doctor, a lawyer/jurist, or a priest/minister/etc. Apparently the expansion of the ranks of professionals has diluted the ranks of these worthy occupations, especially the clergy.

In a N.Y. Times column (Humanizing Jesus, 12-23-2016) by Peter Wehner, the author makes the somewhat offhand remark, quoting a clergyman:
The Incarnation also underscores the importance of relationships, and particularly friendships. The Rev. James Forsyth, the winsome and gifted pastor of McLean Presbyterian Church in Virginia, which my family attends, says friendship is not a luxury; it is at the very essence of who we are. The three persons of the Christian Godhead — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — speak to the centrality of community. When we are in a friendship, according to Mr. Forsyth, we are ‘participating in something divine.’

Now, conflating the Incarnation and the Trinity aside, friendship is not something I would ever denigrate, but “The three persons of the Christian Godhead — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — speak to the centrality of community”? WTF? This is another instance of Christians seeing a parade going by, rushing to the fore, and then claiming they are leading the parade.

The Trinity are not a community. This is not three separate individuals that form a committee/group/barbershop quartet (–1)/etc. This is a little like claiming Batman and Bruce Wayne or Superman and Clark Kent are having a meeting. Is this … clergyperson …. claiming that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are friends? OMG!

This does not speak well of the scriptural erudition of the “winsome and gifted pastor of McLean Presbyterian Church in Virginia.” It also doesn’t speak well for Christianity, peddling such obvious BS. Christianity’s messages are not at all warm and fuzzy. They are not reassuring. They are threatening. We are told to abandon our parents and siblings and to follow Jesus instead. We are told that many priests don’t belong in Heaven (“I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”) We are told that murderers and rapists do belong in Heaven, etc.

And, instead of delivering this core message, clergymen focus on questionable warm and fuzzy occurrences, like the miracle at the wedding in Cana (also mentioned offhand in this piece), at which Jesus is supposed to have transformed water into wine. If you can recall the circumstances, Jesus and his mother were at a wedding and disaster struck, the hosts ran out of wine! The wedding traditions of the time called for a wedding feast for all of the guests, including unlimited food and wine. To run out was very embarrassing. (Why embarrassment was a valid reason to perform a miracle and many other more important events were not, is puzzling.) In any case, Jesus goes around pouring water into the guests drinking vessels and when they taste it they are at the minimum wondering what the heck was going on. Jesus simply looks them in the eye and asks “It is good wine, no?” (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean). All of the guests would quickly figure out what he was doing and go along to prevent embarrassment to the hosts. Any charismatic person could pull this off. Heck, I could pull this off. Yet, a miracle has occurred! (I imagine this started off as a very good story, told sotto voce to one’s intimate friends, but that story had legs and, of course, got embellished. A good story should never be hindered by details.) In any case, this “miracle” was used as an example in this article of “There was joy and purpose to be found in the commonplace.” And, I suppose, great fun in casting demons into a herd of wild pigs, and … oh, well.

I remember at the funeral of an uncle of mine, an avid golfer, that the presiding clergyman claimed that my Uncle Bob was up in Heaven playing golf at that very moment. And, I thought “Wouldn’t the sand traps fall through the clouds?” and other uncharitable thoughts. I understand being a BS artist (I am a bit of one myself) but to do so as a official representative of a very large organization is appalling to say the least. (Are you listening Donald Trump?)

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10 Comments »

  1. The Trinity is stolen from far older religions.

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    Comment by john zande — December 26, 2016 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

    • Actually dual nature gods were, I believe, the norm at that point, probably because of “my god can beat your god” conversations over the cook fire (as exemplified in the movie “Conan the Barbarian”). If your god keeps getting his ass kicked in such conversations, he needs more superpowers and the easiest way to get them is to merge pre-existing gods (e.g. Amun-Ra). But the appalling ignorance to use the Trinity as a way of supporting community … ack!

      On Mon, Dec 26, 2016 at 12:16 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 26, 2016 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

      • These are my notes on the Trinity in older religions. I especially like the Hindu script

        In Zoroastrian:

        Ahura Mazda (the Father), Spenta Mainyu or Vohu Mana (the Holy Spirit), and Asha Vahista (the Logos, or Son):

        “Praise to thee, Ahura Mazda, threefold before other creations.”

        In the Egyptian ” Hymn to Amun” it’s written:

        ‘No god came into being before him (Amun)’ and that ‘All gods are three: Amun, Re and Ptah, and there is no second to them. Hidden is his name as Amon, he is Re in face, and his body is Ptah.’

        In Buddhism the Trikāya doctrine says that Buddha has three kāyas or bodies (from wiki):

        1. The Dharmakāya or Truth body which embodies the very principle of enlightenment and knows no limits or boundaries;
        2. The Sambhogakāya or body of mutual enjoyment which is a body of bliss or clear light manifestation;
        3. The Nirmāṇakāya or created body which manifests in time and space.

        Toaists treach of The Three Pure Ones who are regarded as the pure and singular manifestation of the Tao and the origin of all sentient beings. They are also called the Three Pure Pellucid Ones, the Three Pristine Ones, the Three Divine Teachers, the Three Clarities, or the Three Purities.

        In Hinduism, the trinity (Trimūrti, or The Three Forms) is of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. These three-in-one are called “the Hindu triad” or the “Great Trinity”

        In the Hindu Puranas there is this passage:

        ‘O ye three Lords! know that I recognise only one God. Inform me, therefore, which of you is the true divinity, that I may address to him alone my adorations.’

        In response, the three-gods-in-one (Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva [or Shiva]), replied,

        ‘Learn, O devotee, that there is no real distinction between us. What to you appears such is only the semblance. The single being appears under three forms by the acts of creation, preservation, and destruction, but he is one.’

        And the concept is found with the Greeks. Aristotle wrote:

        ‘All things are three, and thrice is all: and let us use this number in the worship of the gods; for, as the Pythagoreans say, everything and all things are bounded by threes, for the end, the middle and the beginning have this number in everything, and these compose the number of the Trinity'”.

        Thomas Dennis Rock wrote in his book, The Mystical Woman and the Cities of the Nations, 1867 (Pg. 22-23)

        “The ancient Babylonians recognised the doctrine of a trinity, or three persons in one god— as appears from a composite god with three heads forming part of their mythology, and the use of the equilateral triangle, also, as an emblem of such trinity in unity”

        Sumeria
        “The universe was divided into three regions each of which became the domain of a god. Anu’s share was the sky. The earth was given to Enlil. Ea became the ruler of the waters.Together they constituted the triad of the Great Gods” ( The Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, 1994, pp. 54-55)

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        Comment by john zande — December 26, 2016 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

        • Whassamatta witchoo? You trying to destroy the pureness of the Christian Trinity? For shame!

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Nan — December 26, 2016 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

          • Purity … as in *pure* confusion? The Trinity only triumphed because the trinitarians were those who embraced the Roman takeover of the “Church” such as it was in the fourth century. If the Romans hadn’t enforce peace (by killing or banning all of the heretics) we would still be fighting about it.

            On Mon, Dec 26, 2016 at 1:09 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

            >

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            Comment by Steve Ruis — December 26, 2016 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

            • Purity as in “ours is the original.” Seriously. How many Christians to you think have a clue that their trinity is not the first one?

              Like

              Comment by Nan — December 26, 2016 @ 1:19 pm | Reply

          • Wild, huh? Even I was surprised when I found all this 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by john zande — December 26, 2016 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

        • This is a manifestation of 3 being a mystical number (boy am I thankful for three because the next one is seven!). A bifold axis has too much tension in it. But the two-fold gods I was think of at that time and place were the Roman ones.

          This is bit like the Chinese substituting “10,000” for “a big, fucking number” in all of their aphorisms.

          On Mon, Dec 26, 2016 at 1:07 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — December 26, 2016 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

  2. Love this line … A good story should never be hindered by details. Sums up the bible perfectly.

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    Comment by Nan — December 26, 2016 @ 12:58 pm | Reply


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