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Ys
ysabel
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Some of why I think Christianity is likely far preferable to Pauline religion:

The religious right cites one part of the New Testament that clearly does condemn male homosexuality - not in Jesus' words, but in Paul's. The right has a tougher time explaining why lesbians shouldn't marry because the Bible has no unequivocal condemnation of lesbian sex.

A passage in Romans 1 objects to women engaging in "unnatural" sex, and this probably does mean lesbian sex, according to Bernadette Brooten, the author of a fascinating study of early Christian attitudes toward lesbians. But it's also possible that Paul was referring to sex during menstruation or to women who are aggressive during sex.

In any case, do we really want to make Paul our lawgiver? Will we enforce Paul's instruction that women veil themselves and keep their hair long? (Note to President Bush: If you want to obey Paul, why don't you start by veiling Laura and keeping her hair long, and only then move on to barring gay marriages.)

Given these ambiguities, is there any solution? One would be to emphasize the sentiment in Genesis that "it is not good for the human to be alone," and allow gay lovers to marry.

Or there's another solution. Paul disapproves of marriage except for the sex-obsessed, saying that it is best "to remain unmarried as I am." So if we're going to cherry-pick biblical phrases and ignore the central message of love, then perhaps we should just ban marriage altogether?


(And yes, I think a lot of folks who call themselves Christian are really Paulines. Paulists? Whatever.)

Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Comments

hrm, would Catholics be Peterites? :)

You are absolutely right.

If they were Christians, remarriage after divorce would be illegal--or at least less common--in this country. (Mark 10:10-12)

I just wanna mention...we're not all like that >.>

Seconded!

Yeah, but there's that whole Leviticus thing too. Which is pretty unequivocal.

The point has been made elsewhere with attempted cleverness that most people don't follow Levitical law to the letter anymore, though, so that isn't too much of a problem. Afraid you're never going to win over the Hasidic Jews, though. :)

Supposedly Jesus struck down the old laws, though, so if you follow him, they're history rather than law.

Only the seven laws of the Noahcide (sp?) apply to non-Jews.

According to Leviticus, everyone I know is either severely spiritually unclean, or should have been stoned to death a long time ago. Too bad about the Hasidics, though. There's just something about black that makes me all fuzzy inside.

Wow, you're the first person other than myself who I've heard make the 'Pauline' distinction (though for slightly different reasons). I have often wondered what Christianity would look like today if the focus were on Christ's actual teachings and not the 80+ year later interpretations of Paul and others. I suspect it might be something actually appealing to me.

Have you read the Mythmaker?

I'm guessing so, from your post, but it is a book centered around the theory that everything we call "Christianity" was really created by Paul. The idea is that Christ was going around DOING and LIVING his beliefs and that Paul then tried to explain them to other people and created a lot of the rules that people follow. Of course, the earliest estimate of when the bible stories were recorded was 200 years after Christ's death. So the level of accuracy is already in question with that much time lapse. My goodness, some of my friends can't remember when I've asked them call me -- only hours before -- imagine what 200 years would do!

I always preferred the Ringoyos to the Paulites, and the Georgians above all. But seriously, I know way too many self-described "Christians" who have no sense of where the beliefs they cling so tenaciously to come from. Like it's all the word of God, and that the selections in this compilation called the Bible are the entirety of the word of God. Critical thinking and faith are as separate as the mind and body, each but a useless mass without the other.

The Christianity that I see today is heavily weighted with lines from Leviticus and Revelation, and I've been told over and over that the crucifixion is the crux of the faith "Christ died for your sins" and all that. Funny, Lev. is mostly rendered moot for Christians, Rev. was written by a man who had a prophetic vision (much like Mohammed and hundreds before and after), and thousands died on crosses, but only the Christ is believed to have been resurrected. Death is a singularity, usually, but enduring life, rebirth, is the ongoing miracle.

Christianity, like Islam and almost every other religion, is used to illustrate and support the biases, beliefs, and agendas of those initiated into it. "See, says right here that I'm right. And because I hate you, and I find support for this in my God-in-a-book, God hates you; therefor, anything I do to you is by the will of God." or "Jesus taught Love, and I love you, though I don't understand everything about you." I like the latter type a lot better.

Paul and Augustine totally fucked up Christianity.