Hey, Folks, for many years people thought the world was flat. Then of course the view that all the stars rotated around the Earth was gospel to the Roman Catholic Church, causing Galileo to spend much of his life under Vatican house arrest for claiming we revolved around the Sun.
These days we have a 9/18/12 CNN story which reports that in a newly revealed Coptic fragment Jesus says he has a wife. Sounds reasonable to me, since Mary Magdalene has been often cited in that role.
Then of course about the Virgin Birth, there are doubters galore.
Just as scientific findings have caught up the claims of monotheistic religions, we continue to have religious artifacts such as the Shroud of Turin, which my wife and I viewed on a trip that are constantly cast under a cloud of doubt.
So there certainly can be doubt about the “evidence” which is a “1 1/2- by 3-inch honey-colored fragment” revealed in Rome at the International Association for Coptic Studies.
Ok, even the Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King who announced this finding is hardly making wild claims.
King has been quick to add this discovered text “does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married,” she wrote in a draft of her analysis of the fragment set to appear in the January edition of Harvard Theological Review. The divinity school has posted a draft of King’s article to which AnneMarie Luijendijk, an associate professor of religion at Princeton University, contributed.
“This fragment, this new piece of papyrus evidence, does not prove that (Jesus) was married, nor does it prove that he was not married. The earliest reliable historical tradition is completely silent on that. So we’re in the same position we were before it was found. We don’t know if he was married or not,” King said in a conference call with reporters.
What I’m really quick to say is to cut off people who would say this is proof that Jesus was married because historically speaking, it’s much too late to constitute historical evidence,” she continued. “I’m not saying he was, I’m not saying he wasn’t. I’m saying this doesn’t help us with that question,” she continued.
Of course one could ask, so he had a wife, doesn’t that undermine the credibility of all those dandy miracles? Or walking the water, or coming back from the dead and going up to sit on the right hand of God? Gee, hope not, cause that would certainly make waves in church circles.
Now having even this wobbly finger pointed at the sacrilegious implication of Jesus being married of course brought forth all kinds of denials from Christians, but, hey, the good news!
So far there have been no reports of Christians blowing up buildings, even killing infidels or threatening death to any who might say nasty things about Jesus or his Christian sects. No, things were not dandy for infidels during the Spanish Inquisition or in John Calvin’s City of God, or during the Crusades when they attacked infidels, but, hey, after all, that was some time ago.
Ok, the Puritans in New England were pretty hard on anyone who didn’t genuflect on Sunday. And the fire and brimstone preached at the New Haven Green church by Timothy Dwight, but alas, even he, President of Yale, saw infidels under every pew in his July 7, 1795 sermon when he said, “To communicate a religious education to their children is the greatest blessing, which parents can usually confer upon them; the highest service, which they can render to society; and the most important duty, which they can perform to God. Yet there is, perhaps, no duty more neglected.” He didn’t kill anybody, but if you were on the outs with Christianity I bet your retail business was lousy.
A good question arises? Why do Muslims so react to publications panning Mohammad? Is this a slightly delayed reaction to the Christian Crusades? After all, a 1000 years in geological terms can hardly be measured. Pretty plausible when you think of the West’s recent incursions into Arab territory. Even in the 19th Century, missionaries were busy bringing heathens to the light of Jesus.
Well, regardless of the above provocations, it is entirely clear to many of today’s Muslims that theirs is the only God and the rest of the monotheists must bow to Mohammad or face an uncertain future.
Why am I telling you this? Just to point out the ridiculous, unprovable claims in of all religions.
Perhaps a more cogent question? Will enough of the world’s 7.4 billion (soon to be 10 billion) people come away from these collective Fantasy Lands in time to stop the killings, maiming of innocents, unbridled production of excess humans, and un-sustainable ravaging of non-renewable resources or will the world become a place so well described by Cormac McCarthy in his book “The Road”? Do we choose Heaven on Earth or Hell on Earth? The jury is out.
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
Animated map shows how religion spread around the world
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