Uncommon Sense

September 25, 2022

Oh, Boy . . .

I was reading a Medium.com post with the intriguing title “Why You Cannot Respect All Religious Beliefs and Why Christians Must Not Do So.” (Of course, the title was in all caps which everyone by now knows is the way we shout in type!)

The author went on to make his point that you cannot believe those other religion’s nonsense because it conflicts with our nonsense, but along the way he states:

Islam views Him as merely a prophet and claims He never died on the cross as the event on the cross (which was reported by eye witnesses in the Bible as well as historians from all ages) was one big illusion (Surah 4:157).

“Him,” of course, is Jesus. And, according to the blogger Jesus dying on the cross was “reported by eyewitnesses and historians from all ages.” Again, the question to be asked is “how would he know?” The historians aspect is obvious because if the event had not been recorded, we wouldn’t know of it now, but historians can only report what they read and hear, no? I will focus in the “eyewitness” aspect from here on.

The earliest account of this crucifixion event was in the Gospel of Mark, gMark, written sometime shortly after 70 CE, so 40 years later than the story says that the crucifixion occurred. Now, whoever wrote this gospel (the label “Mark” was added by Church officials some time later) does not claim to have been an eyewitness to the event, nor does he claim to have received eyewitness accounts of the event. Only when we get to the even later Gospel of Luke, gLuke (the label “Luke” being added by Church officials some time later) do we get a claim that the gospel is using eyewitness accounts, although not a single eyewitness is named, even though naming them was a common practice of historians of the time.

If one assumes the crucifixion event to have taken place, there would have been eyewitnesses in that someone needs to have carried out the act and there is enough physical labor involved that a crew was probably needed. Plus the Romans used crucifixions as a form of propaganda, they wanted them to be seen because they were a stark statement saying “Don’t let this happen to you!” so spectators were to be expected. So, if it happened, the probability that there were eyewitnesses is almost certain.

Needless to say, Jesus’s mission was interrupted. His message incomplete. And while many say that the remaining Jesus followers were expecting the Kingdom to come soon, would not Jesus’s words be worthy of being recorded, if for no other reason than to tell Jesus when he returned that “See, we listened and heard!” And modern scholars keep referring to a document not in existence, called “Q” which stands for “Quelle” the German word for source. The Q document is the source, they say, of the sayings of Jesus that appear in the gospels after gMark that didn’t show up in gMark, so somebody thought to write something down (if the Q document is not an imaginary thing, there being no physical evidence of its existence).

There were a few wealthy Christians in Jerusalem. Would not one of these people, hoping for an accurate capture of the all-important message, have hired a scribe to interview all of the eye-witnesses of Jesus work (not the spectators, the participants). And would not that scribe distinguish the words of the Apostle Peter, from the Apostle James? He wouldn’t just dump all of Jesus’s sayings in one big pile, would he?

If this had happened, then we would have had eyewitness accounts, but apparently it did not. Since it did not, or at least we do not have a copy of that record, apologists always claim there was a robust “oral record” in the Christian culture. But what is the source of this so-called, unprovable oral record? Is it eyewitnesses or gossip? Gossip is more likely and even gossip about eyewitnesses aren’t eyewitness accounts.

And the behavior of Christians going down the ages thereafter, selling pieces of the True Cross, selling pieces of Jesus’s cloak, selling nails that were used to crucify Jesus, etc. that they are perfectly willing to make up stuff, believe stuff that wasn’t or couldn’t be true.

But you can see what has happen, don’t you. The blog author here believes the accounts to be true. And, how could they be true if they were not eyewitness accounts? So, they must be eyewitness accounts, no? Again, Christian apologists argue back from their conclusions toward their data, and if the data aren’t there, they make it up: oral traditions, eyewitness accounts, etc.

September 14, 2022

Oh, For God’s Sake

I have finally gotten around to reading Bart Ehrman’s The Triumph of Christianity and I didn’t even get out of the introduction before his mindboggling lack of thought kicked in. Here is the quote:

The ancient triumph of Christianity proved to be the single greatest cultural transformation our world has seen. Without it, the entire history of Later antiquity would not have happened as it did. We would never have had the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the Renaissance, or modernity as we know it. There could never have been a Matthew Arnold. Of any of the Victorian poets. Or any of the other authors of our canon: no Milton, no Shakespeare, no Chaucer. We would have had none of our revered artists: Michelangelo, Leonardo, da Vinci, or Rembrandt. And none of our brilliant composers: Mozart, Handel, or Bach.

He goes on to say there would be other artists but we don’t know how good they might have been.

What a bunch of bull stuff, Christian apologetics bull stuff, to boot. I respect Ehrman’s scholarship (somewhat) but he still has this soft spot for Christianity and it shows over and over.

What he could have said was that those artists would not have created their religious works, well not their Christian ones, maybe other religious ones, but not Christian ones.

Take one of the proffered geniuses: say, Leonardo. What artworks of his are the most famous today, do you think? The Last Supper? The Mona Lisa? Let’s take these two and put them through Ehrman’s angst and see what we get. The Last Supper certainly would not have been commissioned by rich Christians which wouldn’t have existed. But The Mona Lisa? Sure. It is not a religious painting. So, some of the masterworks of these fine fellows are religious in nature . . . and others are not. What drove the selection of topics for these works? Hmmm. I would guess it was their patrons, you know rich people who could afford to hire famous artists. And if the patrons weren’t rich because of the church, they were nonetheless trying to suck up to the church because the church was politically powerful. So the topics requested were often religious in nature. Were these works driven by the artist’s piety? If you believe this, read the history of the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo’s gay lover is represented there, along with a few popes in compromising positions. It is full of anti-church propaganda.

If you read a decent biography or two of those named above (I have for almost all of them) you will find that their artistic lives were driven by the search for patronage. And the best patrons were rich people. That the church had acquired so much wealth, putting clerics at the top of the potential patron lists, is a condemnation of the Church, not a kudo for being a “patron of the arts.”

I can’t imagine the artistic passion of a Michelangelo or Leonardo not resulting in magnificent artworks. If Christianity hadn’t existed, the topics of their works would be different, but no less amazing, I am sure.

If you look at the history of Christianity’s early years in an unbiased way, you can see what happened quite easily. Christianity was an obscure Jewish sect through much of the first century, CE. The Jewish War with Rome, ca. 68-70, destroyed the dominant branch of the religion, leaving behind a rump group which consisted mostly of Gentiles. Since Rome had developed a substantial distaste for Judaism (They kept rebelling, and rebelling, etc.), Christianity inherited some of that animosity, so Christians more and more distanced themselves from the Jewish religion.

At the turn of the second century CE, an astute Roman official who had been all over the empire wrote a letter to the Emperor asking for guidance as to how to deal with the “Chrestians,” because he had no experience of them. In other words, Christianity was still a tiny, tiny sect at that point in time. The publication of the gospels (late first century, early second century) gave the nascent religion a boost. That Christianity targeted the powerless: women, slaves, workmen, etc. gave it some appeal to upper class Roman women. That the Christian bishops exerted great discipline on their “flocks” made it appeal to the male Roman sense of order. By the early forth century, Christianity was made one of the state religions of Rome and Christian authorities immediately began new struggles for power. Instead of pleading with Roman authorities for tolerance of Christians, which is what they had been doing, they began seeking eliminations of heretics, meaning those who disagreed with their ideas about Christianity.

Christianity was installed as “the” state religion of Rome in the late fourth century, CE, just in time to jockey for position as the Empire slowly crumbled over the next two centuries. Thus, in Europe, the catholic church inherited Rome’s abandoned position and became a political power from then on, aka the Catholic Church. This, of course, is about as far from what Jesus was teaching as one could get.

They used their inherited political power to quash free thinking. They acquired massive amounts of wealth that they used to support anything except the poor, widows, and orphans, which Jesus taught them to do. They played politics as if they were potentates. Their church leaders took on the trappings of royalty.

And they patronized the arts, as a form of propaganda, supporting their distorted ideas about what was religious and what was not, and always, always bolstering their political power.

If the Christian church had not existed, would all of that wealth and power not existed? I do not think so. It think it would have been distributed amongst other groups of men (unfortunately, just men). And they would want art to decorate their meeting rooms, art that inspired people to look on the patron as someone very, very special. So, all of those religious artworks Professor Ehrman loves so much wouldn’t exist, but an equal amount of production by the same artists would take its place. You see the rich Christian patrons Ehrman is bemoaning the loss of weren’t acting like Christians; they were acting like the oligarchs they were. And we never seem to run out of oligarchs.

September 6, 2022

Oops, How Embarrassing

Filed under: Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 12:02 pm
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As you may know, Protestant Christians claim their faith is based Sola Scriptura, that is based upon scripture solely. Basically if something can’t be supported by the Bible, Protestants shouldn’t believe it. Catholic Christians, on the other hand, believe no such thing, they have what they call an Apostolic Tradition, that is traditions handed down from those who worked directly with Jesus, and they claim the first Pope was Saint Peter himself. They also went to great lengths to harmonize the teachings of Paul with those of Peter and the others (which are actually in great opposition). They made Paul a saint, for example. They adopted books into their canon that were laden with Paul’s christology.

Part of their history, and part of their harmonizing effort, was the book The Acts of the Apostles (the title of which was made up after the fact, of course), which starts by looking at the state of the effort just post Jesus’s execution but then quickly becomes a story, solely, of Paul’s acts and everyone else disappears. Part of that story involved the so-called Council of Jerusalem, at which it is claimed that Paul met with the leaders of the Jesus Movement and secured their blessing on a mission to the Gentiles. Shortly thereafter, Paul wrote the epistle (aka letter) to the Galatians. If Paul actually did secure the blessing of the leaders in Jerusalem, he certainly didn’t share the thoughts Paul shared with the Galatians. Had he, they would have stoned or lynched Paul right on the spot.

But to the scriptural key points. Here are two verses:

I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11-12)

As for those who were held in high esteem (i.e. James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars)—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. (Galatians 2:6—Parenthetical statement added and Cephas is Peter’s name in Aramaic.)

In these two statements, written by Paul, so we know he had time to consider and reconsider their veracity and that he didn’t just blurt them out in a passion-filled meeting, Paul says he got his “gospel” (aka good news) directly from the spirit of Jesus the Christ and that none of it, none, was gotten from the Apostles, including Peter.

He stated, flat out, that nothing Peter had to say affected him whatsoever and therefore had no value whatsoever.

So much for the vaunted Apostolic Tradition. Their Saint Paul, the architect of their Christianity for the most part, states clearly that Peter and the rest had nothing to add to his message. And this was coming from someone who is claiming that he is in direct communication with Jesus the Christ.

Addendum The word “gospel” is quite a bit of propaganda. Basically these gospels were proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of God which meant that Judgment Day had arrived. On that day, the sheep and goats would be separated, and 99+% of humanity would be consigned to Hell. How this horrific event could be plastered with bills proclaiming “Good News! Good News!” is beyond me. Even if you were one of the saved, what are the odds that you didn’t know one of the condemned? Maybe that was the appeal, seeing all of those “others” suffering.

Gods . . . Then and Now

Filed under: Culture,History,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 11:07 am
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As you know I like me a good theological argument, and while reading a particularly good piece by Benjamin Cain (if you are a philosophy buff, look him up on Medium.com), I had the realization that things have changed, really changed vis-à-vis gods.

We inherited a great deal culturally from the Greeks, as you know, so how did the Greeks and Romans, their cultural descendants, view gods? To answer this we must separate the rich from the poor.

If you were to walk up to an ordinary Greek or Roman, that is a poor person, and tell them that the gods have taken a significant interest in his life, what do you expect the reaction would be? I would expect terror. Gods getting involved in your life is usually a disaster because those gods tended to be petty assholes. The poor person owns little, but what he does own is going to become an offering to the gods, but which ones? “Which ones?” he asks of you. If you can’t say, the terror just increases because if he makes an offering to a god to show him mercy and it is the wrong god, he just as well could have not bothered. And he doesn’t have the resources to cover all of his bets. Is it any wonder that children got offered up as sacrifices to such gods? Children were the only wealth that poor people had and they, at least, were replaceable.

On the flip side, if you were to tell a rich Roman that the gods have taken a significant interest in his life, he quite likely could look on that as an opportunity. “Which ones?” he asks. If you can’t say, no problem, he can just hire a soothsayer to find out and then he can make generous offerings at the temples of that god or those gods, and can afford to cover his bets by making additional offerings to the major gods, just in case.

Most of these people believed in fate and that if a god were to get involved in your life there was little you could do. The rich looked at the gods as somewhat of an insurance policy. If they are undertaking a risky business venture, or a sea voyage, offerings to the appropriate gods would give one more confidence the venture or voyage would be successful. If they ended in disaster, then that was just the way the cookie crumbles, you can’t oppose fate.

Zip forward to the here and now and gods are viewed quite differently. Rather than the god or gods taking action in your daily life, people seem to be focused upon the afterlife. People seem not to be terrified of their gods, no matter how much they thunder that they “are a jealous god,” and tell their acolytes to fear their god. Some people have taken the Jewish god, the Thunderer and Jealous God, and have given him a makeover into the God of Love, in fact this god is love. (That would be a hard sell to the millions upon millions he had slaughtered.)

Modern gods, in the Western Tradition, are viewed more intellectually and less viscerally than they were in ancient days. This says exactly nothing about “gods” and a great deal about people. People shape their gods into forms they find pleasing. This is why there are 30,000+ denominations of Christianity. Each group sees their Jesus differently from the others.

Note—People are stubborn. They still conjure up demigods, when none are supposed to exist, like saints, and ask them to intervene on their behalf. Old habits die hard.

So, we no longer have gods who kick ass and take names. We have replaced those gods with gods which hide, from us. (Out of fear, possibly?)

I hope we will come to our senses and take out our erasers and erase the tiny bit left of these imaginary constructs. If nothing else, worshipping gods has an opportunity cost. Just what could we do if we placed all the time, thought, money, and energy into real issues rather than imaginary religious ones? My state of Illinois has 14,398 churches, and I suggest we are pikers compared to the Bible Belt states. (Missouri, apparently has 109,816 churches, at least of those that are registered.) If we were to turn all of those buildings into community centers, healthcare centers, etc., just think . . .

September 4, 2022

Do Science and Religion Conflict?

I was responding to a review of a book that concluded that science needed Christianity (to provide intellectual tension, honestly!). Actually the piece started from a book review and expanded into the larger question: do science and religion conflict? And in the comments section, I went off on a bit of a rant, so I just had to share it with you! (Sorry.)

* * *

This whole discussion is poisoned by fuzzy thinking. Take for example your Barbour quote “Religious beliefs offer a wider framework of meaning in which particular events can be contextualized.” Meanings are made up things; they are not real. You can’t go out and find them in nature, they are creations of our minds. So, to claim religions have a special framework of meanings, well that can also be claimed for baseball, or knitting. (Don’t get me started on the Designated Hitter rule.)

And another Barbour quote “If science and religion were totally independent, the possibility of conflict would be avoided, but the possibility of constructive dialogue and mutual enrichment would also be ruled out.” Mutual enrichment? Constructive dialogue? Has there ever been a case in which a scientist had to invoke their religious beliefs to fill a gap in their reasoning? (Oh, for sure to mollify the censors, but otherwise?) Do we need a hotline to the Pope to get his help untangling a particular knotty aspect of Nature? Where do the prelates get their knowledge of science to apply to scientific problems? It sure isn’t from supernatural sources. And, have you ever heard of the religious asking scientists to study a problem in their “magisterium”? Ever?

And the idea of Stephen J. Gould’s, that science and religion inhabit non-overlapping magisteria, is equally nonsense. How can anything in Nature not overlap with all of the rest? (Think of these things like six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.) This is a deepity. It sounds profound and isn’t. It is saying that religion and baseball have their own little worlds that do not overlap. This isn’t even close to true as you can see baseball players crossing themselves after hitting a home run. (I think calling upon all-powerful deities to bolster ball player’s meager abilities violates the rules of fair play! Don’t you?)

Science and religion conflict. Scientists do not say this, mostly because it doesn’t come up in their research. A few scientists do say this but they are moonlighting as philosophers. The conflict was created by religion. Scientists, when they first showed up, worked alone or with just a few colleagues and didn’t go around preaching about what they had learned. The Church, however, decided that it should have a say in what books get published, what ideas get circulated, etc. So, it is in the Church’s lap this “dispute” is firmly placed. Science could go about its business, with nary a thought of religion, but could religion do the same? Apparently it cannot (it certainly has not).

Think about all of the most recent “conflicts” of this type. Let’s see. There is the ongoing kerfuffle about teaching the Theory of Evolution or even the fact of evolution. There was the stem-cell research kerfuffle. The cloning of animals kerfuffle (They are playing God!). The abortion kerfuffle. These were all instigated by religious people. Actually can you name any area of conflict between religion and science that wasn’t first broached by religious people? I can’t.

Yes, there are many scientists who are religious, but did they acquire their religious knowledge through research or were they taught to be that way since childhood? Have they investigated other religions to make sure they are in the right one (they could be consigning their children to the Void instead of Heaven when they die!). And we never ask those scientists why they go to church. If we did we would hear more than a few responses like “I promised my parents.” and “My wife finds it reassuring.” or “We do it for the kids.” How many of these folks have had profound religious experiences? I suggest it would be far fewer than the number who are attending religious services because of tradition (aka because we always have) or social reasons. (Just like all other Christians.)

Sorry for the rant, but this discussion has been poisoned by religious apologists and a few overeager scientists, as your discovery that the authors of this book suggest that science needs Christianity attests . . . amazing! Science needs Christianity about as much as a fish needs a bicycle.

August 25, 2022

A Strategy I Perceive

I noticed that the Arizona House Speaker, Rusty Bowers, who has been in office for twenty years, lost his recent primary election after he testified before the House January 6 Committee about the 2020 election.

I remember his testimony. He said not one word critical of Donald Trump in his testimony, but apparently just being there is enough to brand him as being disloyal to Mafia Don. (Mafia Don doesn’t think subpoenas have any merit.)

This dismissal of a very competent Republican state official suggests an effective strategy. Just call as witnesses all of the remaining competent Republican elected officials to testify before that committee. There are probably just a few left, so it would be okay to include thorns in our sides like Mitch McConnell. The result will be that those people will be voted out and replaced with people whose most sterling qualification is that they are loyal, like a dog, to Donald J. Trump.

This will complete the Republican purge of their ranks of people of competence and ensure the demise of the GOP. You know, they need more people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Ron DeSantis, and Greg Abbott. Apparently people who vote for “the R” will vote in anybody, so this should work.

Sound like a plan?

August 24, 2022

The Life Begins at Conception Folks are Ignoramuses

Note—The word ignoramus has Latin roots being the first plural present indicative of ignorare “to be ignorant of”) which it is how it is being used here.

As a law professor, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett signed a statement that life began at fertilization, an embryo being a fertilized egg. This opinion alone should disqualify someone from any important office in government. It is a claim, based upon personal political desires, which are based upon personal religious beliefs (often not supported by scripture), that has nothing to do with reality.

Fertility clinics discard thousands upon thousands of abandoned embryos every year. That’s because a single round of in vitro fertilization treatment typically involves collecting 10 or more eggs with only one or two being implanted in the mother. Many countries actually require that these surplus embryos be destroyed after a certain period.

Shouldn’t states declaring embryos to be people require the clinics to preserve all unused embryos or close down? The cost of storing frozen embryos can exceed $1,000 a year.

In the opinion overturning Roe, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that abortion destroys “potential life” and the life of an “unborn human being.” Foes of contraception make the same argument, that sperm and eggs are potential life, even before they meet.

According to these people, a man masturbating is a serial killer (scattering all of those potential lives into oblivion), as are all women trying to become pregnant, because around half of all embryos don’t implant on the uterine wall and are naturally and normally aborted.

In fact, when born human females contain approximately 1 million eggs; and by the time of puberty, only about 300,000 remain. Of these, only 300 to 400 will be ovulated during a woman’s reproductive lifetime. So, God himself designed the system in which 99.96% of all human eggs are destined to be flushed.

Potential life my ass. These are people who claim life is sacred when nature abounds with myriad examples of life being disposable. Many animals birth hundreds of young which then get eaten by predators, often the males of the same species. Herd animals travel in groups so that when, (not if, when) members of the herd get brought down (and eaten alive!) the bulk of the herd survives. Trees often scatter their seeds far and wide, most of them getting eaten by birds and rodents and much of the rest either rots or gets dehydrated. As a simple conclusion, life is profligate because there is no protection, none whatsoever. If you don’t die sooner, you will die later. Where’s the fucking sacred in that?

And “unborn human being” is a bit like getting “unsweetened ice tea” in a Southern diner. Tea cannot be “unsweetened” as that would imply it was sweetened and then the process was reversed. Similarly a qualification for a human being is to be born. If you ask how old a human being is, that length of time is determined starting from the day of their birth. A one year old child is not one year and nine months old because it became human at conception.

Having Supreme Court Justices this ignorant and this unable to think clearly puts us all in peril.

August 23, 2022

The Repeal of Roe v Wade . . . Brought to You by a Billionaire

Filed under: Culture,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 12:28 pm
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If you do not think the money in politics is out of control and destructive, read this.

How a Secretive Billionaire Handed His Fortune to the Architect of the Right-Wing Takeover of the Courts

Apparently one of them is worth 70% of us, politically.

August 22, 2022

WTF Why Do We Even Pay Attention to the Nut Jobs?

I recently ran across a post by Clarence Page, a highly respected political commentator ‘Defund the FBI’? Is Marjorie Taylor Greene serious? Mr. Page stated “Yes, I had to polish my eyeglasses and put them back on for a second look before I could believe what the always provocative and occasionally rational Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene had just tweeted. In a takeoff on the Black Lives Matter slogan, she tweeted “Defund the FBI.”

This seems to contradict a previous stance in which she claimed “The heroic action of American law enforcement is the only force standing between us and total anarchy.” (Marjorie Taylor Green)

Here are a selection of other things stated by the Georgia Congresswomen, leading with the most bizarre because I didn’t want to leave it to the end, where you might miss it. All of these call into question why we would pay attention to this person, ever. S

With regard to the 2018 California “Camp Fire,” Marjorie Taylor Greene speculated “because there are too many coincidences to ignore” regarding the fire, including that then-California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) wanted to build the high-speed rail project and “oddly there are all these people who have said they saw what looked like lasers or blue beams of light causing the fires.” She also speculated that a vice chairman at “Rothschild Inc, international investment banking firm” was somehow involved, and suggested the fire was caused by a beam from “space solar generators.”

Yes, she is the Jewish Space Lasers Lady!

If any place in America needs to close, it is Congress. (Marjorie Taylor Green)

President Trump can only do so much while pro-China socialists like AOC are in charge. (Marjorie Taylor Green)

Wait, AOC is “in charge”?

Democrats literally hate all police officers. (Marjorie Taylor Green)

President Trump taught us how to defend our values. (Marjorie Taylor Green)

And what values were those? Pussy grabbing, lying, tax evading, . . . .

The Gun Owner Privacy Act protects the right to keep and bear arms by preventing the Feds from collecting data to monitor and log gun ownership in America. This legislation will give Americans legal recourse and the ability to sue the Feds and collect damages for records illegally stored. (Marjorie Taylor Green)

I’ll be introducing a resolution to expel Rep. Maxine Waters from Congress for her continual incitement of violence. (Marjorie Taylor Green)

COVID is apparently the political tool to stop all of America, but yet if you’re an illegal alien coming into America, you’re welcome in with open arms and given every opportunity. (Marjorie Taylor Green)

I absolutely support President Trump 100 percent, and he inspired me to run. I got frustrated throughout his presidency watching Big Tech censor conservatives, so I’ll be fighting back on that, because everyone has the freedom of speech. (Marjorie Taylor Green)

MTG obviously doesn’t understand our concept of freedom of speech.

On our Southern border, Joe Biden has allowed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegal aliens into our country. (Marjorie Taylor Green)

In under two years! With closed borders! Amazing! Biden is a more capable administrator than any Republican.

Joe Biden and the radical, anti-gun Democrats want to unleash the ATF on law-abiding gun owners across America, attacking our God-given Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. (Marjorie Taylor Green)

“God-given” not Constitutional Second Amendment right? Please, someone, ask her for the Biblical basis she claims exists here.

And don’t get me started on Louie Gohmert of Texas. He may just be MTG’s intellectual inferior.

Why does anyone listen to the nonsense spewed by this folks (other than for entertainment—look up Jewish Space Laser Jokes, e.g. “This Jewish space laser thing makes no sense to me. Because, as every Jewish mother knows, you could put an eye out with that.”).

 Michael Ramirez for 8/22/2022

August 21, 2022

Saint Paul’s Abomination of a Eucharist Celebration

Filed under: History,Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 10:34 am
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NoteIt is that time again, so sit back and enjoy another reconsideration of religious rituals you thought unassailable. S

In his letter now labeled 1 Corinthians Saul/Paul stated: “For  I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’”

About 20 years later, this language was picked up by the author of the Gospel of Mark (gMark), followed by the authors of the Gospel of Matthew (gMatthew), and the Gospel of Luke (gLuke). No mention is made of this in the Gospel of John, nor in a document of similar age, the Didache, an instructional book for Christian prelates.

This ritual has been formalized in most Christian denominations today as the Celebration of the Eucharist. The Catholics go so far as to claim that the bread and wine are literally changed into blood and flesh, making all Catholics cannibals.

You know I advocate taking a step back from these things. Let’s look at this scene again, shall we?

The setting is a dinner Jesus has arranged for his boys. This is definitely not a Passover meal. It would be unthinkable of a Jewish Head of Household, which Jesus was, to be celebrating a Passover meal with his posse instead of with his family. Possibly Jesus knew or suspected he wasn’t going to be available to head the Passover meal for his family.

There are many signs that this is not a Passover meal. For instance, there was bread, rather than unleavened bread, etc. And it was a common act of formal Jewish meals for the host to bless the bread and the wine.

Now according to Saul/Paul, Jesus claims that the wine is actually his blood. Upon hearing this any real Jews in the audience would be running to the vomitorium and upchucking. Jews were forbidden to eat blood from any animal. (This is part of the Kosher laws, people.) And drinking human blood would be incredibly disgusting, along with being a massive sin against their god. Same goes with eating human flesh.

So where did Saul/Paul get this bizarre idea? It certainly does not show up in Hebrew scripture anywhere. It was a minor feature of some pagan cults. And Saul/Paul grew up in Tarsus, a major center of the worship of Mithras, whose life and Jesus’s show many, many parallels. So, Saul/Paul was familiar with many pagan religious practices. Tarsus was claimed to be a center of Christian persecution, if you believe the Bible.

The Eucharist Celebration, as created by Saul/Paul would have revolted any devout Jews (and did apparently) and Jesus was quite a devout Jew, no? I can’t imagine the Jesus character inventing this ritual on the fly in any universe. This is along the lines of “Hey, gang, let’s put on a show. Who wants to blaspheme first?”

If you needed any evidence to establish an understanding that Saul/Paul created Christianity out of whole cloth, this ritual should be the final nail in that argument. No devout Jew would utter such nonsense.

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