Monday, July 04, 2005

The Origins of Modern Monogamy

This post is written in response to an attack levied against a post written here over the weekend by an anonymous "Christian." It is not going to deal with the usual thematic content of this Blog. If you are here looking for our usual discussions of how our polyamorous family deals with life, or some more lurid descriptions of BDSM practice, or our usual discourse, you may want to not read this but go on to some of our earlier posts or to browse our archives. There is a lot there.

This is a continuation of the discussion of the definition of polyamory and the attempts by the predominate activist Christian movement in the United States to recreate the United States into a theocratic imperialist state.

"Anonymous said...

It's not just Christians or some modern silliness. Through out time and through out all cultures marriage has always been seen as a union between man and woman. So drop the foul act against Christians. It was the same 2000 years ago in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia-- practically everywhere, the same 1000 years ago, 500.. and so on. Everywhere you look, all over the world, in most every culture, through out time that is how it has been. "

Response:
Factually, Christianity grew out of Judaism. Jewish society, both pre-and post Christ, was polygamous. The great prophets of the Old Testament had dozens and in some cases hundreds of wives not to mention many concubines and slaves whom they "knew." Christ was born into a polygamous society. He died in a polygamous society. The first five centuries C. E. the early Christians, true to their heritage and teaching, practiced polygamy if they chose to. Generally, polygamy was socially preferred and was certainly economically efficacious.

In 325 A. D. the Roman Emperor Constantine, faced with an empire coming apart at the seams because of infighting between Christian and more traditional believers in the Roman Pagan State religion, convened the Council of Nicea. The Council was tasked to create a new hybrid Roman State religion that would bring the warring factions into one common worship and preserve the Empire. They revised and created the first State sanctioned scripture, creating numerous theological constructs out of political necessity, which lack any basis in history or documented religious teaching. These included the teachings that Jesus was the son of god, that he was born to a virgin, and that he was killed and rose from the dead, and that he considered himself a savior. The Council created the first State operated "Christian" Church. They created the first paid clergy.

At the end of their process they codified their new religion in a statement of belief, "The Nicene Creed." All Christians were required to accept this creed. It is passed down to us today verbatim and is chanted each Sunday in nearly every Christian Church with those, who bother to think what its words mean, having no idea that there is no basis for its theological precepts, other than the need to resolve a political crisis in the fourth century Roman Empire. Those who adopted the Nicene Creed became Christians. Those who refused, wanting to adhere to the teachings of Christ and the disciples, were called "those who chose....choice makers." The Latin for Choice maker is hereticus (plural heretici). They were heretici the first "heretics." Heretics were proclaimed enemies of God and the state. The Romans and the newly reborn Christians then banded together to persecute their formerly Christian brethren with a ferocity that made the persecution of the early Christians by Rome seem benign. Nicene Creed Christians have been true to that "faith" ever since.

The important aspects of history to the Council of Nicea discussion is that a Central Holy Roman Church was created that paralleled the Roman Imperial Government. The new Church had aspirations to gather wealth and power over all the world rivaling the government. It was challenged though. It could not levy taxes. It could not make war. It could not usurp property. It negotiated a dispensation. It was legislated that the assets of anyone who died without heirs would inure to The Church. This could be most helpful but there was a problem. Society was still polygamous. If you had many wives and dozens or even hundreds of offspring there always was an heir standing in line in front of The Church to inherit assets unless very exceptional circumstances occurred. While The Church could not levy taxes it could define religion.

It was decreed by the Holy Roman Church in the fifth Century that marriage could only be between one man and one woman. The Church had no previous theology upon which to base this. It was a step that would create huge intestacy and ergo wealth for the Church. Over the two subsequent centuries it enriched the Church beyond the Roman Empire or any previous political, social, or religious institution.

Monogamy is a much cherished concept within Christianity. It's basis is economic. It has no theologically historical basis in our culture. Additionally review by objective Bible scholars can find no Biblical texts that speak to the number of men and women able to enter into marriage. Neither of course, does the Talmud. Interestingly the Koran does address this but it permits both monogamy and polygamy and counsels the relative merits of each type of marriage.

The statement that, "Throughout time and throughout all cultures marriage has always been seen as a union between one man and one woman," is a lie. It is not the Judeo Christian tradition prior to the 600's and thereafter only to create intestacy to fatten the coffers of the Holy Roman Church. It is not even spoken to in the inherently corrupt post-Nicene Council Christian scripture. It is not the practice of the Moslem world and has not been for thousands of years as well. Very basic sociological research will easily reveal that adherence to monogamy is a social aberration throughout world culture, not a norm. Anyone looking back upon our society in centuries hence will certainly look upon our "monogamous society and legal system" with over half of all marriages ending in divorce to be followed with one or two or three or four subsequent marriages and statistical trends towards non-married cohabiting households appearing to tend towards likely eclipsing married co-habiting households in the decades ahead, as an exercise in denial and hypocrisy.

So anonymous Christian if you are still about, I've given you a small portion of the basis of debunking the lies you've expressed here, and are too cowardly to even sign. What basis do you have? I agree there are "foul attacks" made on Christianity. I've made none. I've explained historical facts........truths. The most foul attacks on Christianity occur weekly from pulpits, and in legislatures and Congress, and in posts like yours.

Tom

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.
Link

35 Comments:

At 12:55 AM, Blogger Malcolm said...

There's a lot here I didn't know, Tom, and will have to look up somewhere carefully, rather than take your word for it. I'm very interested in the origins of Christianity, and if you are, specifically, I recommend Freke and Gandy's book "The Jesus Mysteries". Retired Bishop John Spong has some interesting things to say about it, too.

It is a shame that some cannot feel confident about their comments enough to put their name to them. Happens from time to time, a good example on Sarah Broden's blog a short while back http://submissivereflections.blogspot.com, a blog worth reading for Sarah's wholehearted submissive attitude.

All the best for Friday, Tom, I'll be thinking of you.

 
At 1:18 AM, Blogger Malcolm said...

And by the way, Tom, "anonymous" was calling same-sex marriage a "foul act" not a "foul attack". (Why he/she should be thinking it's against Christianity is not clear.) My impression is that he/she was definitely referring to same-sex marriage, as mentioned in previous comments on the same post, not polygamy or polyamory; he/she wasn't casting aspersions on your life style if that's the case. Your post was good and interesting, but it was aimed at a mark that wasn't there!

 
At 1:39 AM, Blogger Thin_Overeater said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:40 AM, Blogger Thin_Overeater said...

In today's society there is a tremendous conflict of interest if you can call it that. In the days of Polygamy there was no such a thing as "womans rights". The Jewish religion respects the woman and protects her but she doesn't have "rights". It is very hard to have it both ways. The man who had many wives then ruled his home you cannot really have a household of 5-10-20-or 100 equal partners.

This is just a tought not an argument.

 
At 5:54 AM, Blogger Algor Langeaux said...

I have 5 graduate degrees in Theology.

Christian Theology...

For the record, that includes three degrees at the doctoral level.

I am Polyamorous - and I see no conflict. Those that *do* see conflict have not gone back to the original language and done the research for themselves.

When I argue the point, I tend to make it *much* more simple. There is *one* man in the bible that is credited as being "a man after God's own Heart". His name was David. (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22)

David had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

Revisionists did go back and turn his wives into a perception of his downfall, but the reality is that it wasn't polygamy/polyamory that was the problem... but not disciplining his wives properly, and giving in to their weaknesses to placate them, instead of requiring an appropriate amount of respect from them.

The only wife he really repented over taking was Bathsheeba - and not because she was wife 701 or some such... but because he had arranged to have her husband killed so she could marry him. He repented of *that* but contrary to the party line, he never repented for being a polygamist.

Those that do are simply historical revisionists reading back through the lens we apply from *today's* perscpective, instead of letting the text interpret itself by its own light.

 
At 5:58 AM, Blogger Algor Langeaux said...

*edit*

"... but not disciplining his wives properly, and giving in to their weaknesses to placate them, instead of requiring an appropriate amount of respect from them."

Should be:

"... but not disciplining his wives properly, and giving in to their weaknesses to placate them, instead of accepting the role of a strong and appropriate leader, and requiring an appropriate amount of respect from them."

Someone needs to be in charge... or the lunatics end up running the assylym.

 
At 8:14 AM, Blogger Raheretic said...

Malcolm the best single objective historical work I've found that may facilitate research of the historical origins of Christianity is *Honest to Jesus*, by Robert W. Funk,ISBN 0-06-062758-1. Funk was the founder of a think tank of Bible Historians called the Jesus Seminar. Their Internet site is http://virtualreligion.net/forum.

Funk's stuff is not at all light reading, but is intellectual candy if you enjoy nashing your teeth into sincere historical research about this topic.

All the best:)

Tom

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger Raheretic said...

Algor, you are my hero:) I still believe you invented the Internet, no matter what the Republicans say, and your own somewhat understated modesty:)

Thank you for you additions to this discussion.

All the best:)

Tom

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger RAheretic's swan said...

Patricia -- Thank you for your comment and for your continued interest. I am glad you are here with us.

Actually, it IS possible to create a POLYAMOROUS household or family of however many members where equality is the norm and the expectation. That is very often the reality in poly relationships. Because honesty and openess and integrity are the values that underpin poly relationships, it is much more likely that these relationships will be egalitarian in nature -- IF that is the desire and goal of the participants. Jealousy, deceit, possessiveness and all the other sorts of foolishness that characterize our socially imposed "monogamy" do not plague healthy polyamorous relationsips.

Now, it is true that there are relationships, like ours, that are polyamorous AND deliberately unequal in terms of the power exchange within the relationship. We do not live as "equals" as you might understand it. We take the balance of personal power between the members of our family and shift it, intentionally, in order to create dynamics that work to satisfy us on a number of other levels. It is *my* belief that there are unspoken power exchange dynamics in almost every relationship. What we do about shifting and playing with power in our family is deliberate, honest, intentional, out in the open, controlled, and sexy... For us, it is not covert, underhanded, manipulative, destructive, or abusive. We know what and who we are and what it is that we are doing...

swan

 
At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rhetoric of this post and the comments are wonderful. It's nice to see intelligent content on this topic for people to read.

However, I feel sad that you were put in such a position that you felt that you had to defend yourselves. Screw them.

Anyone reading your blog who makes such attacks is not interested in anything other than their own point of view. They are not interested in a discussion. They want to attack and punish you for having views different than them.

They are sad little creatures with so little love for themselves that they feel it necessary to try to make you feel bad about your life.

Just ignore them and share your love.

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Thin_Overeater said...

Swan,

My point exactly. You chose this kind of equality. In my home my husband decided because that's how we like it but today's society doesn't alway aprove of this. (not that I really care)

 
At 3:00 PM, Blogger RAheretic's swan said...

Patricia -- Our society not only "doesn't always approve of this," U.S society, at least the part of it that is represented by the rabidly fundamentalist Christian right is openly, aggressively hostile. I don't need their approval. I do need them to keep their hands and their laws off my life, my private choices, and my family. Those are the same "rights" that any other citizen would ask for and expect.

swan

 
At 6:52 PM, Blogger Malcolm said...

Tom, I took up your link to Jesus Seminar. THe site was not very useful, I clicked on "Historical Quest" and there was nothing there, and no links.

I may try to get Funk's book; but I have a suspicion that he starts from the premise that Jesus was a historical figure, is that right? The evidence that I have read so far inclines me to the belief that the whole story was made up by Jewish Gnostics for spiritual teaching purposes, and through accident and design both, became accepted as lteral truth. There are too many similarities between the Jesus story and many other Mystery cults of that and previous times. Add to that the lack of hard historical evidence, Paul's apparent ignorance of Jesus' life and works, and it all becomes vaporous.

 
At 8:34 PM, Blogger Raheretic said...

Malcolm, The Jesus Seminar as I recall tried to start with no assumptions at all, but to look at evidence, often in ther form of original scriptural texts, both those included in the Bible and many that were not. They read and studied them carefully in their native tongues and looked at other forms of corroborating evidence. I think the 75 of them ( all Bible historians with the highest of academic credentials, who left academic orthodoxy because they found they were forced to develop historical findings that were manipuatled to validate theological teachings and not valid histrory.)

They very much did arrive at the conclusion that Christ was a historical figure. They also found that likely only about 20% of the teachings attributed to Christ were ever actually spoken or written by him. The rest appear mostly to have eminated from numerous revisionists (the most major having been the Council of Nicea) with various political and economic agendas.

I'm much more familiar with his writing than his website. I've visited it enough to know it exists.

There are numerous books on the history of Christianity that have come out of the Jesus Seminar. I like their high level of academic sophistication and the decades of experience and research the semiar's members bring to passionate and yet objective analysis of Christianity's history.

It paints a picture way different than anything I ever heard or read in church. It is not anti-Christian, but does purport Christians should know the origins of their theology, and regognize that the vast majority of it is myth, mostly created out of political expedience and with no basis in religious teaching prior to someone's making it up.

All the best:)

Tom

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Jo aka SeaRabbit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger Temptation said...

As a 'fallen' Catholic who generally disagrees with many Christian teachings/beliefs, I learned a lot of new things from your post, really well written.

Although I do try to be tolerant of all peoples life choices, I will be the first to admit that I have a hard time with poly-relationships (or basically anything involving married people engaging in sexual activities with anyone other than their spouse). I get especially nervous if there are any small children in the mix.

Those feelings are not based on religion however, just my own personal opinions. That said, I do try my best to gain an understanding of people on the opposite side of the fence :) Please do see this as an attack on you or your lifestyle. If anything I applaud your ability to be more open-minded than myself.

Even though it is not my cup of tea I am not ignorant enough to claim that monogamy is the 'right' way and you are wrong. Your path is not everyones path, just as monogomy is not everyones path, and I think that as consenting adults you deserve to be respected within your choices.

Too bad we can't just leave religion out of it, lol.

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger RAheretic's swan said...

Sea -- I don't think you are a "sick, mass-produced" person at all. The discussion of religious history here is really to give some background to debunk the idea that "monogamy" is the way it has always been everywhere and always. That is just not true. There are lots of cultures and peoples around the globe and throughout history who have practiced other forms of "family-creation" besides monogamous marriage. Even then, I am sure that there were some, within those societies that chose to live in "one woman / one man" pairings. We don't suggest that our kind of poly is the way that everyone ought to do it. It works for us, and we've grown into it and worked out a lot of the issues we've encountered along the way just as any "couple" would have to do. It is hard for us to have to buck the social stigma and persecution that comes along with it, however. That seems terribly unfair.

swan

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger RAheretic's swan said...

temptation -- I can understand the "discomfort" that the idea of poly causes for some people. Not everyone is easy with the idea. We, most of us, have grown up in a culture that proposes the "one woman / one man" model of family-creation, and so we all have all kinds of built in assumptions about love and marriage and romance. I know that when we first contemplated this arrangement, we had a lot of thinking and contemplating and even flat out negotiating before we arrived at the decision point. Even then, our way wasn't always smooth. As to raising children in a poly household, we don't have any resident children, so I can't speak to that, although I do know folks who do it, and swear it works wonderfully. Having chased my own pair of youngsters through adolescence, I can tell you there were plenty of days when I'd have given my right arm for an extra grown up or two or three...

swan

 
At 6:28 PM, Blogger Jo aka SeaRabbit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger Missy M said...

...........awwww man....see whatcha'll have gone and done??? Don't you have any sense of love for Swan and Me??? Aren't we "good people"? Don't we deserve a break before we have to schlep, TO THE HOSPITAL, His ENTIRE knife collection, 2 gazillion pairs of shoes,15 cases of Diet Rite Tangerine and a change of clothes for every hour?????? And that is for the first day!!! Oh geeezzzzeeee... have you noticed that I AM whining here???? And you have gotten him started on Religion AND Polyamory BEFORE SURGERY???? "I see dead people". I am thinking I need to don my "Mistress Trixie" outfit and whup the whole bunch of ya!

-insert deep and heartfelt sigh here-
T

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Missy M said...

...........oops....Yes, Sir....coming, Sir....---under her breath with deep sighs and dramatic eye rolls--- 3 bags full, Sir!!!

T, who is ever so grateful that he is feeling healthier, yet not moving quite so quickly!

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Raheretic said...

searabbit, your posts and comments have come to mean so much to us. I am sorry you are struggling personally at the moment. Please do not misunderstand that this post in anyway is intending to denigrate monogamy or those for whom that lifestyle works well. It is written to confront those who insist that monogamy is the only true and ethical way to live, that it is mandated by God, and that anyone who chooses to live differently is sinful. It is also intended to debunk the myth that monogamy is just the way it has always been.

I've never seen poyamorists purport that polyamory was in general superior to monogamy, or that mongamy was sinful. I find it interesting the need of so many main line monogamous (and typically Christian) folks to assert that their lifestyle is right and any other is wrong and evil.

I hope you are feeling better soon.

All the best:)

Tom

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Temptation said...

People in 'minority' groups (homosexuals, polyamorists, BDSMers) are rarely as judgemental of the 'vanillas' as the vanillas are of them. Unsurprisingly almost all people practicing non-traditional forms of sexuality are far more open-minded than the majority, even when it comes to practices we don't necissarily enjoy or understand. When we embrace the differences in our own needs and desires we also learn a lot about tolerance of others. Including how it feels to be on the recieving end of biting criticism regarding our personal tastes and feelings that are natural to us.

People who cannot open their minds are quick to judge.

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Mark Coveny said...

Awesome post. I've wrestled with being agnostic for years. Everyone who knows wants to simple force their religious beliefs on me, and "convert" me. I use to be more of a scholar in this than I am now. I just don't think the "fact" make much difference to avg person, so I quit digging. However I do have some questions I'd like answered if you wouldn't mind doing some research for me while your laid up? . . .please. :)

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger Mark Coveny said...

Questions:
1) Is the christmas tree a pagon belief, and does the bible say NOT to adorn a tree with gold and silver.
2) Easter egg hunting. Is that another pagan belief.
3) Is Christmas on the right day? I've been told it's alittle off to when jesus was suppose to be reborn.
4) Is "Saint Nick" from a petifile in italy who use to give gifts to the children he was molesting?

This is stuff I would like to look up and confirm and have a site as a resource the answer from.

Thanks,
Mark

 
At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, there has been a long tradition of the Christian faith, especially when (for want of a better word ) it has been its Missionary phase going to pastures new and having to adapt itself to local conditions to garner acceptance. For instance IIRC, Christmas is an adaption of the midwinter feasts of "Pagan" times, but with the story of the birth of Christ built into it. Wasn't it originally called Saturnalia?

I'm sure some of the theologians / historians here can add more to this

Dave

 
At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Adam and Eve? Or the concept of duality? What you write is interesting, but I do think there is a basis for duality in marriage. I don't necessarily see polygamy as a bad thing. Gay rights activists seem to hate it as much as they think their opponents hate them. The analysis I would like to see. What would the US look like if the determinant religions was purely secularism, spirtitual christianity, buddhism. I believe polygamy arises from desires for variety. Is it wrong in the above contexts? I think same sex arises from incarnational puzzles that have vague boundaries when measured against their intensity. Genes and enviroment are mutable to the mind, and the mind is mutable to the other two. Now that last statement you can see it's form plastered all over the major minds processes of the past.

 
At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As with all new ideas brought before old foundations. Let the new idea grow a bit to get established, then tax it at a higher rate then the old foundation. The taxpayers become the norm. Then there will be a bigoted backlash at those narrow minded souls who unwisely choose monogamy.

 
At 7:55 PM, Anonymous yb said...

Spot-on, Tom. I was raised high church Episcopalian and about spit on my dad when he thought I should be confirmed in his church. I turned and looked at dad and said, "How do you know I don't want to be a Buddhist?"

I subscribe to Christianity because of the New Testament, but am a practicing druid. No, I don't run amok naked hugging trees with my face painted blue, sorry.

What bugs me is how "Christianity" ripped off druidic holidays so they could quell the masses into submission.

I celebrate the olde way and totally eschew Christmas. My Ostera falls on a different day than what's prescribed by the Roman calendar.

Thanks for a thought-provoking blog, Tom -- your bookmarked by a High Priestess.

 
At 11:22 AM, Blogger Raheretic said...

There's so much here I want to respond to when my rehabilitation schedule and my screaming knee permits me to.

Thanks for all the interest in this piece.

All the best:)

Tom

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger Stef said...

Tom,

This is a really great discussion that has cropped up! I had just a couple of things to add...I apologize if they have already been mentioned, but there was a lot to read through!

The Nicene Creed, and let us not forget the very similar Apostle's Creed, are, to my knowledge, used in Anglican, Episcopal, and Catholic churches only, especially in current protestant America. Is that not the case? I'd be interested in knowing.

I've enjoyed what I've read by Funk, Crossan, and others, but find it hard to make the conversation about Jesus strictly historical. For me, it does seem to necessarily come back to faith-centric place. I've had a challenge of their findings recommened to me, a book called "The Real Jesus", by Luke Timothy Johnson. If nothing else, it's always fun to enjoy the intellectual workout that one gets from reading a dissenting view.

I, as with many others on the blog, am saddened by the lack of understanding by most Christians, who now seem so prominent and tied up with the political right. My take on things? It's not our place to judge. Why not try being as tolerant as we can in this life, and if there is a higher being who cares about these things, let them be the one to handle it all? After all, if God is all-powerful as God is purported to be, I think that God can take care of the judgement end of things....assuming it's even necessary.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger RAheretic's swan said...

So much has "piled up" here while we've been occupied with the serious work of acquring and rehabilitating the new "bionic" knee. It is hard to know what to respond to -- or how. I am sure that "Himself" will come here soon and begin making point by point responses as He feels better and stronger. I have a bit of time this morning though ( for the first time in days), so let me make a few comments:

Malcolm -- The Jesus Seminar does, in fact, base its work on an assumption that there was a historical person, Jesus, and that there is some portion of Biblical scripture that can reliably be traced to him. Much of their initial work revolved around sorting that out. They look at "accepted" canon as well as contemporaneous codices and try to confirm what is and is not verifiable. It is fascinating historical/archeological scriptural scholarship.

Mark -- Agnosticism, as I understand it, is simply holding to the conviction that there is no way to be "sure" of the existence of God or of the divinity of Jesus. Therefore, to be agnostic is to remain unconvinced or skeptical or at least in a state of questioning. As to your specific questions, I believe that many of the celebratory holidays and rituals of Christianity were lifted in whole or in part from the pagan rites that pre-dated it. Hence, the Christmas tree and the Easter egg and even the dates for many of the holiday observances reflect the traditions that were in place before the rise of Christianity. Easier by far to subsume the existing belief system and subvert it than to wipe it out by force, although that was done too. As for your question about St. Nick, I do not know much about the various saints of Catholicism (although I am a "pushed away" Catholic). I do know that many of them were exceptionally human with a wide range of interesting and often "shocking" human foibles and failings.

As for the comments made by the "anonymous" person about Adam and Eve and the duality of marriage, I am uncertain what the point is. Nothing about polyamory does away with the reality of two genders in human sexuality. There remains male and female. If the argument is that marriage is for procreation, and that has been made before this, the simple fact is that there are plenty of "traditional" marriages that do not result in the production of progeny and that do not intend to do so. It is a spurious argument. Monogamous marriage does not necessarily provide for a "perfect" environment for raising happy, healthy, well-educated children. The contention that it does is simply false.

Whatever religious contexts there may be for the institution of marriage, within whatever faith tradition, we are not out to destroy those beliefs. If you are a Christian or a Jew or a Buddhist or a Muslim or a Hindu, please feel free to worship and live and marry in whatever way you believe is apppropriate. What I find frightening and offensive and oppressive in the current US political climate is the move to enact laws that would enforce a religious, theocratic regime that would impose that belief structure on me and mine -- that would force us to live in a way contrary to our beliefs and our values. That is the injustice.

swan

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger Raheretic said...

Mark, Paul, and Yb and any others who have mentioned the adoption by Christianity of Pagan holidays, I am always interested that we miss the most obvious of these co-optations: The Sabbath. It is true that Easter and Christmas are "assumptions" of Pagan Solstice feasts, but the most obvious is the day of weekly worship. Until the Council of Nicea the Christian Sabbath was from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, as in the Jewish tradition. Constantine's revisionists, intent on reconciling the Roman State Pagan relgion based upon worship of the sun god with the new fledgling Christianity, decided it would be easier to get the far more populace Pagan faithful to mantain their Sabbatth and to have the minority Christian faithful abandon their traditional Sabbath in favor of the Roman's ancient seventh day of worship of the Sun........Sunday. It appears that for the "heretics" who refused to accept the "new and improved" revised Christianity one of the biggest sticking points was the abandonment of the Jewish Sabbath, along of course with the fabrification of the concepts of The Trinity and the concommitant claim that Christ was (and claimed to be) the Son of God, The Virgin Birth, and The Resurrection (among others) to incorporate key Roman Pagan Theology into "Christianity" with no previous Judeo-Christian scriptural basis.

Everyone should have the freedom to believe and worship as they choose. Everyone too should have the freedom to learn the basis upon which those belief systems rest not just theologicaly but historically. Everyone too should be free of having the religious precepts of others forced upon them by governments.

All the best:)

Tom

Go confirdently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger Raheretic said...

yb I'm honored to be bookmarked by a High Priestess. I wish I knew how to get back to you to be able to reciprocate.

Thanks:)

Tom

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

 
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