Saturday, January 21, 2012

Was Jesus Extraordinary?

beliefnet
As you know I use the Jefferson Bible as my main source for the details of the ministry of Jesus, mixed with my own analysis of the synoptics prior to discovering the Jefferson Bible. My childhood Unitarian statement of belief read in part "Unitarians believe in the fatherhood of God, the leadership of Jesus, and the progress of mankind (sic) ..." I did not believe it then either but obviously it made an impression.

I read the entire KJV Bible in middle school, gagging then as now on everything past Acts. I did better on the OT as useful myth than anything past John as Christian lies from beginning to end. It wasn’t until my abortive attempt at a philosophy major in the university that I was able to even study the end of the NT with any intelligence. It never said anything of use in the study of Jesus.

Two of my earliest lessons from Jesus that indicated to me that he was extraordinary for his time and place were the cleansing of the Temple, and the forgiveness of the whore. The first was a very public and radical break with the top down Jewish prevailing faith of the time. In effect equivalent to Ginsberg’s Howl for my generation. “You [the Pharisees and the Jewish establishment] have turned my Father’s house…” Note: Not the house of God, but the house of the personal God of Jesus. The very idea of God belonging to an individual and not the Jewish establishment that was the social structure of Jesus and his peers was just wild and crazy. The fact he wasn’t killed on the spot was testimony to the power of his personality and vision. The possibility exists that the "Occupy the Temple" movement was at his back.

The intervention in the stoning of the whore was not only a radical break with the law, but one of the earliest recognition of the humanness of even the lowest of women in ancient literature. In effect his statement “Let he [the human person] who is without sin, cast the first stone [at this female human person.]” Perhaps there were other instances of the treatment of ordinary women as human beings in ancient writings, but they were few and far between, and none that I am aware of that take on a group of angry men doing their lawful job.

The Sermon on the Mount, impractical as it was for actual living at the time, was again the gift of God to the ordinary people of the culture who would have been ignored by the priests and the religious establishment except as butts in the seats offering their hard earned pittances to the priests, er, God.

The summation of the Two Great Commandments particularly in light of his recent inhospitable treatment at the hands of a Samaritan and his subsequent use of a Samaritan as his example of the neighbor he was talking about still gags Christians, let alone the Jews of his culture. I find it significant that “Progressive Christians” have retreated to the Two Great Commandments as the essence of their faith in God and humanity.

All of this attributed as best we can discern to one insignificant itinerant preacher living off the “coins in the hat” as did most of the itinerant preachers who are lost in the sands of time seems to me extraordinary.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"The Book of Goddesses: Robert Paterson has arrived!!!

Even more spectacular than I anticipated. The idiom of the Goddess believers in the unique idiom of Rob Paterson, is incredibly beautiful and respectful.

Buy it at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby or wherever but buy it you will be glad you did.

Thanks once again Rob.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Atheists for Jesus

Atheists for Jesus

Of course Jesus was a theist, but that is the least interesting thing about him. He was a theist because, in his time, everybody was. Atheism was not an option, even for so radical a thinker as Jesus. What was interesting and remarkable about Jesus was not the obvious fact that he believed in the God of his Jewish religion, but that he rebelled against many aspects of Yahweh's vengeful nastiness. At least in the teachings that are attributed to him, he publicly advocated niceness and was one of the first to do so.
Richard Dawkins

He also rebelled against the Priestly tradition of God and gave God directly to the individual. "Love the Lord thy God..." Paul soon fixed that and gave God back to the church leaders, mainly himself, and Christianity was formed using Jesus as the intermediary between "thy" and God.

I can get along fine with "Progressive Christians" who have returned to the Gospels and the humanistic message of Jesus, leaving the hate filled Lord Jesus Christ of Paul to the dust of Abrahamic myth.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The House Dog's Grave : Robinson Jeffers.

The House Dog's Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.


Robinson Jeffers, 1941

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Practical Atheism and Feminism.

beliefnet
Both Skep-Chick and Blag Hag are also feminist sites in addition to atheist sites. Perhaps as both claim, of necessity, but there is nothing that brings out the little shits with shriveled pricks like a woman who claims that women are not toys that are the property of any man who happens to notice they are not dressed in burqa.

I have been involved in practical feminism almost since utero as my mother was a practical feminist in politics who had no problems chilling any man who suggested that her place was at home with her kids or at church as she was also an atheist. But in my many decades of active involvement in practical feminism and atheism dealing with the misogynists is by far the more difficult. While it is relatively easy to lose the God associated with the Abrahamic religions it is nearly impossible to lose the misogyny which was taught before God.

This is not an apology, it is reality.