Broken Record

I know I’ve been harping quite a lot on various little (and most likely insignificant) inanities of religion lately –and today is no exception… but I will also add a little diversity to the post.

First we have this little “follow-up” from the church in Kansas with the “Muslim President” sign:

 

Also, there is an excommunicating (or is it excommunicable) tidbit of news from the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. They want to kick out of the faith anyone member of Congress who votes for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).

 

Lastly, you really should watch this video of “Flutebox” Lee! Check out his performance with Beardyman which starts at about minute 13.

5 Responses

  1. To the Catholics: Interesting how riled up they can get about unborn children but convicted serial killers (also “Children of God” last I heard) get less press. My own dear father believes that I shouldn’t be allowed to choose between life or death of my own unborn child but that convicted felons given a death sentence should be “taken into the next room and shot and if he is innocent, well then he can work that out with God when he gets there.”

    To the retards in Kansas: My own prejudiced opinion that all people with a single tooth are bible-headed, narrow minded bigots just got shot outta the water. Also, Mr. Pastor should read more closely about who it was that his dear, intolerant supposedly, Jesus Christ palled around with: Gentiles, Jews, tax collectors, lepers, prostitutes (although, I believe Mary Magdelene was not one but I’m sure Mr. Pastor believes vehemently that she was since it says so in the bible).

  2. Apologies for the long post; I am procrastinating again and it’s way more fun to think about Mary Magdalene (I’m a fan!) than to do the stuff I’m supposed to be doing . . .

    Megan, you’re right, Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute. Also, it never says in the Bible that she was. We can thank later misogynist church fathers for building up that particular slander. MM was in the midst of a power struggle about the teachings of Jesus and about the place of esoteric revelation, and her side lost, although lately she’s been getting more credit. In 1969, the Roman church revised its categorization of her as a sinner, and she is no longer to be considered one. (Hey, it only took 1800 years or so . . . )

    MM, according to Luke, was healed by Jesus from “demons” which when you read about other descriptions of demonic possession in the NT, sounds a lot like a healing of mental illness.

    St. Augustine called her an apostle, and the Eastern Orthodox Church included her among the very few saints it canonized as ‘Equal-to-the-Apostles.’ The Biblical and Gnostic text scholar Elaine Pagels argues that MM was the ‘beloved disciple’ referred to in John, and one of the gnostic gospels is attributed to her. Multiple 2nd century gnostic texts also show quite the political power struggle going on, with the apostle Peter saying that Jesus would not have given secret teachings to a woman, and that Jesus would not have preferred her to the male disciples. Her teachings were rejected and the slander of her character soon began as the orthodox and gnostic factions fought it out. (Elaine Pagels discusses that struggle in depth in “Beyond Belief,” her book about the Gospel of Thomas.)

    Mixing misogyny in with church politics, later church fathers conflated her story with Mary of Bethany and the unnamed weeping ‘sinner’ who anoints Jesus and wipes his feet with her hair. If you can turn an Apostle or an Equal-to-the-Apostle into a prostitute, probably people will dismiss her words.

  3. Anna,

    re: Pagels argues that MM was the ‘beloved disciple’ referred to in John

    One needs to look no further than the Bible to know that this idea is easily disproved. For proof see:

    http://the-beloved-disciple.com/mary_magdalene_fourth_gospel_author/

    The aforementioned is a brief Bible study that cites nothing but the scriptures and shows why the MM idea does not stand up to Biblical scrutiny any more than the John idea does.

  4. wow! nobody said anything about Flutebox” Lee !

  5. Darn, my previous post disappeared . . . Jim, re the study you referred to, I don’t think it’s enough to look at the Bible alone especially considering the highly politicized and contentious process into which writings were moved into or excluded from the canon over a process of hundreds of years. (And even now, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Biblical canons differ from one another.) I think social context and scholarship matter, which makes the matter murkier.

    If anyone is interested (and that’s a big if, I realize), here is an overview from Pagels on Mary Magdalene’s position in the early church:

    http://www.secretsofmarymagdalene.com/SOMM_from_elainepagels.htm

    OTOH, Ben Witherington makes a case for Lazarus being the Beloved Disciple:

    http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2007/01/was-lazarus-beloved-disciple.html

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