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Virtue is its own drawback
October 20, 2003 12:58 AM   Subscribe

Rush Limbaugh, Laura Schlessinger, William J. Bennet. The "virtuous majority". The people that know what you should and should not do. And how to do it. Yeah! Well, if you 've always been a bit suspicious with the virtuous, the God chosen etc., check this out...
posted by acrobat (92 comments total)

 
Not to be too self-righteous on a post about being self-righteous, but this is a single link to an op-ed piece about topics we have already discussed into the ground.
posted by 4easypayments at 2:41 AM on October 20, 2003


When assessing the relative virtue of the "virtuous majority", it might be helpful to review our terms using the same standards that these people would presumably use - the bible : Also, Virtues: the whole enchilada.

I have a feeling that once the debits and credits in the big book of virtues and sins have been totted up, most self-appointed spokespersons for the moral majority will not fare very well.
posted by taz at 2:43 AM on October 20, 2003


Also: Notproud.com
posted by Spacelegoman at 3:29 AM on October 20, 2003


The Bible says there is no one that is good except God. No one.
posted by konolia at 3:47 AM on October 20, 2003


Last December, Dr Laura's own mom was found dead in her Beverly Hills apartment. Identification was not easy. The old lady's corpse was badly decomposed. She may have starved to death weeks before. Mom's kid was too busy advocating virtue on the airwaves to keep up with her parent.

This isn't fair, and bad reporting. Dr Laura had said for a long time that she and her mother were estranged, and that she had tried to reach out to her time and again. If the scenario were different, believe me the media would have harped and harped on it.
posted by konolia at 3:50 AM on October 20, 2003


Would you rather hear about a different skeleton, konolia?
posted by magullo at 4:05 AM on October 20, 2003


I knew about that one already.
posted by konolia at 4:11 AM on October 20, 2003


Dr Laura had said for a long time that she and her mother were estranged, and that she had tried to reach out to her time and again.

And of course anyone as virtuos as "Dr." Laura would have never lied about this. It's that darn liberal media slandering her good name again I suppose. So it's mommys fault that she and Laura are estranged. Seems she needs some of her own good advice to buck up and accept responsibility I say.

Let's face it, she's a lying hypocritical ass without the credentials to counsel and is guilty of browbeating callers who need serious help. But it gives her ratings with the Cro-Magnon crowd and she gets richer every day.
posted by nofundy at 4:56 AM on October 20, 2003


While we're talking about the cardial sins and virtues, lets not forget the seven deadly motivational posters.
posted by TedW at 5:33 AM on October 20, 2003


Self-righteousness is not confined to conservatives (see The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy" ).

The real problem is that individuals at both ends of the political spectrum put too much faith in the ruling class. Generally speaking the ruling class are less qualified to lead virtue than the average individual who accepts the burden of thinking for himself/herself.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:44 AM on October 20, 2003


Not to be too self-righteous on a post about being self-righteous, but this is a single link to an op-ed piece about topics we have already discussed into the ground.

yes, and its posting to mefi has clearly ruined your life. i think you should do a metatalk callout.
posted by quonsar at 5:48 AM on October 20, 2003


konolia, while charity is the greatest virtue, still, maybe you shouldn't be so guick to forgive.

(sorry - I couldn't resist teasing you with that one)
posted by taz at 5:59 AM on October 20, 2003


Is Laura Schlessinger an atheist, Jew, or Christian now? She changes so quickly to keep up with her audience's needs that I tend to forget.

In my experience, most people don't want even-tempered, well-behaved, moral people as their role models. They want commentators that rant loudly at every perceived vice while concealing or bemoaning their own weaknesses.
posted by mikeh at 6:52 AM on October 20, 2003


most overrated virtue: temperance.

most underrated sin: gluttony, closely followed by sloth. Lust is an overrated sin, since the pursuit of it's objects requires so much effort that it becomes work.
posted by jonmc at 6:53 AM on October 20, 2003


The Bible says there is no one that is good except God. No one.

The Bible also says that the Dinosau--er, nevermind, there aren't any Dinosaurs in the Bible!
posted by angry modem at 6:57 AM on October 20, 2003


The seven deadly sins, rated.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:15 AM on October 20, 2003


What a great post! Who would have thought such insightful opining could have come from the Guardian!

Thanks ever so much!
posted by hama7 at 7:24 AM on October 20, 2003


Gloatingfilter.

See also Republicanbaitingfilter.
posted by swerdloff at 7:25 AM on October 20, 2003


most underrated sin: gluttony, closely followed by sloth.

Agreed.

I'm just waiting for the "conservative Christian" religions to start kicking out the lazy, fat-assed loud-mouthed leaders and members who so vehemently abuse homosexuals.
posted by nofundy at 7:33 AM on October 20, 2003


god made us number one, 'cuz he loves us the best
well he should go bless someone else for a while
and give us a rest
posted by bhayes82 at 7:39 AM on October 20, 2003


hama7 getting lost in the noise, as usual. The Guardian did not make up the facts ("send them druggies up he river" , "don't forgive so easily"), did they now?
posted by magullo at 7:40 AM on October 20, 2003


Republicanbaitingfilter indeed.

I can understand making a link from listeners of Rush and Laura to republican voters, but the connection the writer draws from the administration back to the radio is tenuous at best.

The quotes and facts are pretty much right, it's the opening rhetoric and links between the administration and commentators that seem like generalizations. Just because there are shared views doesn't mean that Bush advocates drug addicts and mother-avoiders.

Now, if someone were to dig up yet more dirt on Ashcroft... that'd be entertainment.
posted by mikeh at 7:54 AM on October 20, 2003


actually, nofundy, I rather enjoy being gluttonous and lazy is what I was saying (plus I have a natural gift for both), but hey, run with it dude.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 AM on October 20, 2003


My imaginary friend in the sky is bigger than your imaginary friend in the sky!
posted by bshort at 8:05 AM on October 20, 2003


Bush: "Rush is a great American"
posted by magullo at 8:09 AM on October 20, 2003


bobbinsfilter
posted by johnnyboy at 8:12 AM on October 20, 2003


The scariest thing in that article was this:

"George Bush", Jerry Boykin, the new under-secretary for defence, asserts, "was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States. He was appointed by God."
posted by jokeefe at 8:21 AM on October 20, 2003


"Hose down the Oval Office",

If I am not mistaken this is a misquote. Bush never said it. It was said by Ernest Cragg a small time republican from Delaware.
posted by flatlander at 8:24 AM on October 20, 2003


The Bible says there is no one that is good except God. No one.

Nonsense. There can be no forgiveness without homage to Odin. As long as Bennett fights well and dies well, his axe in hand and the blood of his enemies upon his lips, then his passage to Valhalla on a flaming longboat, his women and dogs dead before him, shall be honored.

Man, I sound ridiculous.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:51 AM on October 20, 2003


The Bible says there is no one that is good except God. No one.

I'm having trouble tracking that one down. Can you give a reference?
posted by majcher at 8:57 AM on October 20, 2003


Completely off the topic, I just finished reading Dawkin's "Blind Watchmaker." The fellow can't write worth a damn, and so arrogant I gag, but his explanation of the fundamental "rightness" of evolutionary theory is so clear and sensible that it really did turn out to be a decent enough read.

His closing comments were amusing enough, about how attributing life to the existence of an almighty creator postulates a level of complexity that, in itself, demands a creator for the creator, ad infinitum.

Which, if you think about it, is pretty funny. So many people feel that life and earth and the universe and all that great stuff are just so darn complex and unlikely that, why, it must all be due to a creator -- and then go on to ignore that the creator of it all must be complex and unlikely enough to demand its own creator.

There's nothing quite like actual logical thought to do a fellow good.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 AM on October 20, 2003


passage to Valhalla on a flaming longboat, his women and dogs dead before him, shall be honored.

Man, I sound ridiculous.


no, not really. compare nailed to a cross, barricaded in a cave, escaping, flying up to heaven and hanging with your dad to watch 2000 years of slaughter in your name, and you sound bedrock sane to me.
posted by quonsar at 9:28 AM on October 20, 2003



posted by specialk420 at 9:48 AM on October 20, 2003


The Bible says there is no one that is good except God. No one.

I'm having trouble tracking that one down. Can you give a reference?

But we are all like an unclean thing, and all of our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isa. 64:6)

Basically the whole point of the bible is that humans are lucky to get any mercy at all from god, being the miserable sinful shits that we all are.
posted by glenwood at 10:08 AM on October 20, 2003


100 pills of oxy (aka redneck heroin) a day? How did he survive? Did he take them orally or crush and snort them?
posted by nyxxxx at 10:22 AM on October 20, 2003


The Bible says there is no one that is good except God. No one.

This one is the first among my many reasons for abandoning standard Christian theology, especially as practiced by certain sects in the American south.
posted by Irontom at 10:48 AM on October 20, 2003


...attributing life to the existence of an almighty creator postulates a level of complexity that, in itself, demands a creator for the creator, ad infinitum...

True enough. Now what preceded the Big Bang, again? And what preceded that? And what preceded that? Ad infinitum.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:57 AM on October 20, 2003


Now what preceded the Big Bang, again?

we don't know.

And what preceded that?

we don't know that either.

but at least we admit it.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:01 AM on October 20, 2003


but at least we admit it.

Not sure that's universally true in the scientific community. The point is neither science nor religion have come up with entirely satisfactory explanations to date.

So what the hell are we paying these people for?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:04 AM on October 20, 2003


Interesting things we have learned from Republicans lately
posted by homunculus at 11:07 AM on October 20, 2003


konolia, while charity is the greatest virtue, still, maybe you shouldn't be so guick to forgive.

Hon, the link came up dead for me. What was it?


The Bible says there is no one that is good except God. No one

Parable of the rich young ruler.

By the way, you all would like Luke 11:39-48, in which Jesus has something to say about hypocrites. Honestly, most of you would really enjoy the Gospels ( Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and would find very little to disagree with in them (except for the rabid atheists, and you know who you are. But you might enjoy them anyway for all I know.) I honestly try not to judge a person a hypocrite, especially if I only know about them thru the media. That is not to say that some of these people aren't hypocrites-but some aren't and I don't want to be accusatory.
posted by konolia at 11:11 AM on October 20, 2003


Honestly, most of you would really enjoy the Gospels ( Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and would find very little to disagree with in them (except for the rabid atheists, and you know who you are. But you might enjoy them anyway for all I know.)

Atheism doesn't mean you don't enjoy reading something you find disagreeable. Most creation mythology, from the King James Bible to Aboriginal folklore, is quite compelling. Like quonsar said, crucifixition and ressurection are interesting fantasy concepts; I find the ceremonies of Viking funerals more interesting, and as far as grandiose celebrations of sky-dieties goes no one's close to the ancient Egyptians.

As far as the reading goes, I for one find The Bible and moreover its blatant discrepancies in logic and narrative (Ark, anyone?) much more disturbing than the actual superstition of possible veracity. The Bible both condones and condemns marriage, abortion, slavery, homosexuality, gambling, murder, war, and polygamy. One book contradicts the other, which confuses me into how people claim the Bible provides some cohesive structure into the morality of Christianity. The narrative of the thing reads like a bad episode of Senifeld.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:34 AM on October 20, 2003


Dr. Laura sends her son to my college. She thinks its a great school because we don't drink, smoke, party, or do drugs. She's dead wrong, and she's so naive that its unbelievable. If she saw half the shit that goes on here on a Monday night she'd have a stroke.

Her son is a pretty funny kid too. The other night I saw him wearing a Boogie Nights t-shirt and smoking a hookah. I beat him at foosball too. All around not a bad kid but damn, Dr. Laura is dumb.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:35 AM on October 20, 2003


Basically the whole point of the bible is that humans are lucky to get any mercy at all from god, being the miserable sinful shits that we all are.

I thought Jesus came to do away with that whole system and preach a philosophy based on love and good works.

(Which doesn't even touch what I think the whole point of the bible is, which is 1/2 the tribal mythology of the Jewish people, a small part about a hippie carpenter whose most famous sayings are easy to attribute elsewhere, and one man's letters explaining why we should continue to be superstitious and scared. And a nice little piece of hallucinogenic poetry at the end.)
posted by nath at 11:39 AM on October 20, 2003


Luckily for you, friends, there is available online the old and New Testaments in their entirety for you to study and peruse as you wish.
posted by hama7 at 11:43 AM on October 20, 2003


Matthew, Mark, Luke,and John.

An invaluable resource.
posted by hama7 at 11:47 AM on October 20, 2003


...The point is neither science nor religion have come up with entirely satisfactory explanations to date.

So what the hell are we paying these people for?


Well, what were paying the scientific community for is uh, well, vaccinations and germ theory in general
electricity and motors
large-scale agriculture
computers and the internet (y'know like the one this text is sitting on)
etc....

There's a lot of provable results there.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:49 AM on October 20, 2003


o/t, I like your hat, insomnyuk(It's on his user page.)

As for Dr Laura's kid-all you can do is teach a kid your values. At some point they will choose what to do with them. And by college age for sure, you can't shield them from the world-nor would I really want to.
posted by konolia at 11:58 AM on October 20, 2003


while we're doing biblequotefilter, my all time fav is from the book of Matthew :

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- man's enemies will be the members of his own household." (Matthew 10:35-36)

Yeah boy, Jebus gonna come bust some caps on yo ass if you don't respect that properly. Word. of God.
posted by badzen at 12:06 PM on October 20, 2003


word! He's gonna show you infidels what's what.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:19 PM on October 20, 2003


Right-Wing Christians Are Hypocrites Shock!

Newsflash: Jesus was not right-wing.

That is all.
posted by Blue Stone at 12:27 PM on October 20, 2003


The Bible also says that the Dinosau--er, nevermind, there aren't any Dinosaurs in the Bible!
In Hebrew there is.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:19 PM on October 20, 2003


Hey, does anyone know of any good (secular) books on the origin of the Bible?

Since this is kind of a shite thread anyway...
posted by orange swan at 2:27 PM on October 20, 2003


Gratuitous sex, senseless violence, extreme vanity and lots more fun with the Good Book is ably described in Ken's Guide to the Bible. (It's by Ken Smith.) Take it to Sunday School, folks!
posted by micropublishery at 2:28 PM on October 20, 2003


Yeah boy, Jebus gonna come bust some caps on yo ass if you don't respect that properly. Word. of God.

Actually what He meant was that people were going to disagree rather strongly re who He was. Hey, you want to polarize a group, mention Jesus. Even in a group where everyone is talking God this, God that... you mention Jesus and all of a sudden people start squirming.

That name has a power to divide unlike any other.
posted by konolia at 2:29 PM on October 20, 2003


Hey, does anyone know of any good (secular) books on the origin of the Bible?

Isn't that kinda an oxymoron? (I couldn't resist.)
posted by konolia at 2:30 PM on October 20, 2003


people were going to disagree rather strongly re who He was.

He was an anti-establishment hippie troublemaker. I think we can all agree on that.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:33 PM on October 20, 2003


He was an anti-establishment hippie troublemaker. I think we can all agree on that.
Short hair - check out the tribe he descended from.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:40 PM on October 20, 2003


Hey, does anyone know of any good (secular) books on the origin of the Bible? 19th or 20th century none comes to mind. Starting with modern archeology, suggest a German Author.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:45 PM on October 20, 2003


The Bible says there is no one that is good except God. No one
Is that some New Testament thing? We're all good, unless we do bad, afaik.

orange swan, people have said good things about The Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill, but i haven't read it yet.
posted by amberglow at 2:57 PM on October 20, 2003


Hey, does anyone know of any good (secular) books on the origin of the Bible?

Forgive the vagueness here, but: during the late eighties (I think) there was a wonderful four or five episode British television series by (I remember the name as) John Roper, an archeologist, entitled Testament, on the history of the Bible. I think. I've just been looking on amazon, came up with nothing. I apologize for the general uselessness of this post, but the series really was excellent, and John Roper (?) with his round pink face, and working class accent, was lovely. Perhaps someone else has accurate information?
posted by jokeefe at 3:02 PM on October 20, 2003


Oh, and props to konolia for keeping a straight face in the midst of all of this.
posted by jokeefe at 3:04 PM on October 20, 2003


Hey, does anyone know of any good (secular) books on the origin of the Bible?

Well, I don't know about secular, but you could try finding some information on Pagan and Druid festival rituals. It's an amazing coincidence, I'm sure, but all the major Christian holidays seem to come around the same time as rituals performed thousands of years earlier. Hmm.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:10 PM on October 20, 2003


Orange: For the OT, Isaac Asimov did a fine job of interpreting it to historical events. It's a very good read, and makes the whole bizarre document make a bit more sense.

It's a shame that fraud Saul/Paul managed to wrest control from the true apostles. That fellow was the L. Ron Hubbard of his day.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:39 PM on October 20, 2003


Got it. Memory is odd--I was doing something else entirely when it popped into my head: John Romer. Testament: A History of the Bible (amazon link). The book which went along with the TV series.
posted by jokeefe at 3:45 PM on October 20, 2003


It must be said that this sort of thing undermines the old claim that religion is the universal wonder cure for all moral ills from teen sexuality (born-again virginity anyone?) to homosexuality to addiction.

But, getting away from this, it just highlights the astounding hypocracy of partisans. After all, the same people who gave Clinton a free pass on what appears to be a habitual pattern of sexual harassment flocked with glee over Arnold's orgies and groping. It is all about punitive personal responsibility until one of their own comes up with a white-collar drug habit or gambling problem. Then it's treatment-treatment-treatment.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:46 PM on October 20, 2003


It's a shame that fraud Saul/Paul managed to wrest control from the true apostles.

I beg your pardon. He was persecuting Christians and having them arrested, even killed - till the Lord Himself literally knocked him off his high horse. ( Story is in Acts, if anyone is interested.)

And what with the stonings, beatings, shipwrecks, imprisonments, and other various and sundry experiences that he had, you can't say he was a Christian for the fun of it.
posted by konolia at 5:07 PM on October 20, 2003


From draft-dodging Presidents to warmongering chickenhawks, to amazing flip-flops on the "relevance" of the United Nations, to "fair and balanced" to support for Governor-Sexual-Predator-elect Gropenator to the tip-of- the-iceberg immoral moralists above, etc etc ad infinitum -- the hypocrisy of the right never, ever fails to amuse.

"Do as we say, but not as we do' is the new US message"

"Professional patriots who would have been screaming with horror had the Clinton White House ever leaked the name of an undercover CIA agent now struggle to justify or minimize such a thing."

"What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too."

"If (Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders) wants to legalize drugs, send the people who want to do drugs to London and Zurich, and let's be rid of them."

-- Rush Limbaugh

"The fun in watching Mr. Schwarzenegger is that, unlike Mr. Bush and most of his other political peers, he doesn't pretend to be above Hollywood stunts; he flaunts his showmanship and policy ignorance as flagrantly as those gaudy rings he wears. Rather than wait a few weeks to trade quips with a late-night TV comic, as Mr. Bush and Al Gore did in the 2000 campaign, he just cut to the chase and announced his candidacy to Jay Leno. The political press then pooh-poohed his decision to give his first interview to Pat O'Brien of "Access Hollywood" instead of, say, Tim Russert....Rush Limbaugh at first questioned Mr. Schwarzenegger's conservative bona fides, but of late has been hedging, praising Arnold for "the charisma, the star power, the stage presence . . . the likability, the personality". [No word yet from wingers here on MetaFilter and at large why Schwarzenegger somehow mysteriously didn't deserve the scorn they heaped on Babs Streisand, Susan Sarandon, et al for daring to express politicial opinions].

"Brooks, writing in the Weekly Standard in June, was trashing Democrats for their intense dislike of President Bush. But every one of the comments I cited above was an attack by a Republican on Bill Clinton when he was president. The first quotation about the administration being a "national embarrassment" came from Dick Cheney -- he was referring to Clinton's policy toward Haiti. You presume our vice president will now defend the right of all Democrats to dissent from the current administration's foreign policy. It was James A. Baker III, the first President Bush's secretary of state, who said Clinton had squandered American credibility. The guy who trashed professors was former professor Henry Kissinger. The comments about the king of spin came from the inimitable Tom DeLay, now the House Republican majority leader. It was Sen. Orrin Hatch who called Clinton a "jerk," and Republican Bob Dornan, then a congressman, who described Clinton as both "small" and "illegitimate." Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) actually called Clinton a "scumbag" -- surely, in Brooks's terms, a "lurid and emotional" way to refer to the commander in chief. It is thus hilarious that Republicans have been so self-righteous against Democrats who have had the nerve to behave as an opposition and challenge President Bush's credibility. Republicans are telling Democrats: "Don't you dare do what we did." It's equally amusing, but also depressing, that hypocrisy isn't being called by its real name.

GOP's double standard on presidential lies

"They're saying they unequivocally support the military, but then they make quite clear that the check is not in the mail," said Rep. David R. Obey (Wis.), the top Democrat on House Appropriations, referring to the administration. "They're taking actions that fly in the face of the support they profess for the military."

Hypocrisy from Bennett to Cheney

Republicans as 'Christians'....What Would Jesus Do?

"Though Bush can claim that "Jesus changed my heart," he would never invoke Jesus' name prior to saying, "Bring 'em on!...' Then I began to think about the political revolution that Jesus could lead if people truly and honestly adhered to his teachings, to his very words, which we are told by ministers, priests and pastors have been accurately reported by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. At the very least, some of the following would be implemented in America: Redistribution of wealth, abolishment of hate radio, free public healings of disease (read: universal health care), compassionate foreign policy, earnest attempts at global brotherhood (read: healing the rift with the United Nations), a love of all living things (environmental protection and stewardship), gun control, and so on." [thanks to crisispaper.org]


What a great post! Who would have thought such insightful opining could have come from the Guardian!
See also Republicanbaitingfilter.


Translation: this MetaFilter front page post includes a world view not found on SheepRepublic.com. We haven't got clue one on how to refute it, so we'll just have our usual tantrums.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:29 PM on October 20, 2003


the same people who gave Clinton a free pass on what appears to be a habitual pattern of sexual harassment flocked with glee over Arnold's orgies and groping.

That's kinda interchangeable isn't it? Could we say, trade Clinton's and Arnie's sexual indescretions?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:41 PM on October 20, 2003


fold_and_mutilate: have you thought of getting a blog?
posted by insomnyuk at 6:41 PM on October 20, 2003


Konolia, do your research.

After Christ's death his brother (half-brother, cousin; believe whichever you want) is known to have become the leader of Christ's reformationist movement. Take a look at Acts 15:19-20 and Galatians 2:11-13. James made decisions that others followed.

James was firmly Jewish, and did not abolish the Mosaic law. Read your Acts for details ("zealous for the law" and other bits.)

Paul, on the other hand, was on the road when he had his fit. Knocked off his horse by God? Maybe. Or maybe he had a seizure, or sunstroke, or the horse stumbled and he landed on his head.

Whatever happened, he had a vision of Christ. But did he go find James and relate his story? Hell, no! Instead, he took off for several years! (Galatians 1:16-19)

When he finally does come back to Jerusalem, he doesn't spend much time there actually bothering to learn what Christ's message was.

No, he wholly rejects Christ's life-teachings! "The good news I preach is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learnt only through a revelation of Jesus Christ."

It didn't take long until the original reformists (Christ's apostles) and Paul had a falling-out. This took place in Antioch, and it was a biggie: indeed, I daresay the formation of the Pauline church can be said to be the direct consequence, for Paul's arguments were thoroughly rejected not only by James and the apostles, but by all the Jews in attendance. (Galatians 2:13) Paul was on his own.

Well, we all know the outcome of that. Paul ran about promoting his "it came from a revelation" religious movement, while the apostles ran about promoting a gospel based on Christ's teachings. James kicked the bucket, Paul was isolated, the Nazerene movement fell apart, Paul makes some good money working as a missionary, and Paul makes some really good connections.

Next thing you know the original reformationist movement is evaporating, and Paul's self-invented version of Christianity has taken root.

It's all there in the Bible and in other historical documents. You just have to actually make the effort to learn what really went down.

But, then, if you do that, you'll have to change your faith. Ce la vie. Sometimes it's easier to live with the lies.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:52 PM on October 20, 2003


ach, insomnyuk, don't bother foldy with religious fundementalism, he prefers political fundamentalism.
posted by jonmc at 8:12 PM on October 20, 2003


Thomas, Philip, Truth, Egyptians.

More gospels for ya...
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:13 PM on October 20, 2003


Here's a discussion between and Bill Moyers and Elaine Pagels about the Gospel of Thomas. There's more about the Gnostic Gospels here.
posted by homunculus at 8:46 PM on October 20, 2003


>Translation: this MetaFilter front page post includes a world view not found on SheepRepublic.com. We haven't got clue one on how to refute it, so we'll just have our usual tantrums.

I *heart* F+M.
posted by skallas at 12:01 AM on October 21, 2003


You're right! SO ANYTHING GOES!!!
WHOOT HOOT!!!




WHOOT HOOT!!!!




WHOOT HOOT!!!!






WHOOT HOOT!!!




Can't say nuthin cus you ain't perfect either!




WHOOOT HOOT!!!!!



WOOTHOOT!!!!!!!






ANYTHING GOES!!!!















All is okay!!!!







Woot!!!
posted by HTuttle at 2:02 AM on October 21, 2003


That name has a power to divide unlike any other.

I entirely 100% disagree.

I believe the idea of Jesus has the ability to bring together as none other. I also am an atheist. I have Christian friends. Oh that's right! This was a war we just sent a buch of people off to fight based solely on the allegation that dubya talks to god. My mistake. No reason why people would come together being Christians and atheists and whatnots and all.

(That was rad HTuttle!)
posted by crasspastor at 2:20 AM on October 21, 2003


Fivefreshfish, your interpretation of the book of Acts is quite a bit different from basic Christian teachings.

To make a long story short, the apostles (and other Christians)were pretty leery of his conversion at the beginning, until Barnabas brought him to them...remember, this is the guy that was trying his darndest to stamp out the fledgling faith.

BTW, there were other apostles besides Jesus' original disciples. Some of these turned out to be false apostles, just like in present times when some religious leaders turn out to be wolves in sheep's clothing. Paul spoke of them in later writings, hence what may be some confusion on your part.
posted by konolia at 4:00 AM on October 21, 2003


remember, this is the guy that was trying his darndest to stamp out the fledgling faith.

What makes you think he ever stopped?
posted by NortonDC at 4:35 AM on October 21, 2003


konolia - sorry, I didn't check in here recently; the link was to a Laura Schlessinger article on her site called "Don't be so quick to forgive". The link comes up fine for me, but I tried to find a cache of the page - all I could come up with is this archive index.
posted by taz at 5:01 AM on October 21, 2003


Obviously my interpretation is going to be different from the lies you've been fed for years. If I agreed with those lies, I wouldn't be telling you that Paul was a fraud.

You can continue to naively accept the story you have been told. The biggest benefit would be that you would not have to think critically. Just have faith that your pastor is on the right track, and take it easy.

On the other hand, if you care to do the actual research, you can gain access to a lot historical documents. When you read these and start to understand the NT in the context of its time, you will begin to see that Paul was a heretic who managed to strike it bigtime, to the harm of the true Christ-based movement.

Frankly, I don't much give a damn what you believe. I think it's a crying shame that, offered the opportunity to learn, you'd reject that opportunity. But I've made the same decisions in my life regarding some things: I've flat-out refused to even listen to explanations for astrology, multi-level marketing, and such. We choose what we choose, and live better or worse for those choices.

I do, however, find it deeply ironic that a radical atheist like myself has apparently studied the bible more than a dedicated Christian.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:03 AM on October 21, 2003


I get my info from the Bible, as I see it as the Word of God.

Of course the Jews would consider Paul a heretic, but we are talking about the first believers in Christ here and Paul was one of them. I have never even heard of the theory you are expounding. (by the way, I attended bible college as did my husband, and we have all kinds of Greek/Hebrew concordances, etc. to aid in our study.)

A lot of folks would probably love to ditch Paul and his writings because they are not happy with what he said. As I believe that those writings -along with the totallity of Scripture-were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that is the source of my info on Paul.

But more important than any of it, my faith is based on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. My sins are forgiven, and I have been given a new life in Christ (in other words born again). I will be spending eternity with the Lord-and I will be able to have a conversation with Paul himself after my life here on earth is finished.

But you and I at least agree on astrology and multilevel marketing. ;-)
posted by konolia at 8:48 AM on October 21, 2003


-along with the totallity of Scripture-were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that is the source of my info on Paul.

The Bible's Canonicity.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:40 AM on October 21, 2003


Can't argue with faith...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 9:46 AM on October 21, 2003


I have faith that I can live as I want, do whatever pleases me, never repent or go to church, and still go to heaven regardless of what the bible says. unlike some people, I can believe in something greater than myself and as such have no need for worldy things such as "the bible."
posted by mcsweetie at 10:12 AM on October 21, 2003


such as "the bible."

I think you meant "the Bible".
posted by hama7 at 12:35 PM on October 21, 2003


konolia, if you're really interested in learning something more about who Paul really was, I recommend starting here, particularly at these two pages.

(You know... if you want to.)
posted by nath at 12:35 PM on October 21, 2003


I had no idea Paul was so dang controversial...I'm sticking to the official story, but thanks for the posts. Now I've seen everything.
posted by konolia at 12:50 PM on October 21, 2003


I have faith that I can live as I want, do whatever pleases me, never repent or go to church, and still go to heaven regardless of what the bible says.

I think you have a lot of company there. Unfortunately.
posted by konolia at 1:02 PM on October 21, 2003


I think you meant "the Bible".

nope!
posted by mcsweetie at 2:19 PM on October 21, 2003


dammit, my browser crashed.

Konolia, I'm afraid I'm not going to retype the message I just lost. I doubt you'd go very far with it anyway: you seem fairly determined to remain set in your limited knowledge.

If you do decide to start exploring the history and foundation of your faith, though (I think it's shameful that your bible college didn't offer you a quality history), you need to:

* learn that there were dozens of competing Christian groups during the first two centuries after Christ's death.

* learn that there were innumerable gospels, acts, theses, discourses, and oral traditions during those centuries.

* learn that key people were instrumental in causing their particular sect to grow in popularity, not so much because of their message but because of their political and social connections.

* learn that the modern bible was compiled nearly four hundred years after Christ's death, and contains only those books chosen by fallible human beings who had a particular political-religious agenda to promote.

* consider reading the various gospels, acts, and other documents that were eliminated from the bible by the founders of the Catholic church.

* through these documents, learn the real history of the early (before 100AD) church, including all the ugly machinations of the competing sect leaders (which, incidently, includes Paul).

* and, eventually, understand as an informed, thinking person, how the Roman Catholic church came to be the foundation for all currently-existing Christian religions.


Should you choose to undertake such a rigorous of your faith, I think you will be in a far better position to argue whether or not Paul was a heretic who co-opted Christ's mission for his own purposes.

I've given you enough information here to make Googling out some starter documents fairly painless. I do hope you decide on taking up this adventure in learning. Knowledge is a wonderful thing!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:03 PM on October 21, 2003


c/rigorous of your faith/rigorous study of your faith/

Doh.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:04 PM on October 21, 2003


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