Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Merry Jesus's Birthday Festive Season...

Davo, it saddens me to reiterate that you are completely wrong. A sect is branch of a religion. The religion of which Christianity is a branch, is Judaism. Christianity is that branch of Judaism which believes that Jesus was their Messiah (the christ). This is why The New Testament piggy-backs on top of The Old Testament (The Written Torah).

GreenSmile, come here and tell him. He won't believe me but he'll believe you!

I disagree with the idea that Jesus was The Messiah, because I reject the God of Judaism and I believe Jesus was a healer, a spiritual teacher of a more Eastern religious flavour, a pacifist, and I believe that his views regarding wealth and commerce make him the first Lefty in recorded history. And that was a combination guaranteed to get you killed if you started to attract a huge following back in that time and place. Even in today's world you'd probably be locked up for sedition...

I wish you all a Merry Jesus's Birthday Festive Season...

Addendum: If we truly have a separation between Church and State, how come the Christian holy days are the only religious holy days which are also official National holidays? Go figure...


Blogger chumpsrock said...

Are you showing signs that your Ambush Bug is still hungry? I thought you said a healthy dose is 2x per year... it hasn't even been half of a month.
Merry X-Mas, Gerry.

December 15, 2005 3:14 PM  
Blogger Davo said...

Gerry, someone (it may be me ;-) seems to have been sidetracked a little, or we have our wires crossed. The post on my blog where you posted this comment began as being about whether the festivals on and around December 25th should be named "Christmas" (I maintained that "Christmas" is OK) and then dribbled off into "the religion". Will write up a detailed analysis Next Year. In the meantime have a happy "MithrasFest", heh heh heh

December 15, 2005 5:44 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Rocker, an ambush is a deliberate attempt to set a trap for your quarry. It is predatory by nature. And preadory intellectualism is frowned up in this age of survival of the (intellectual) weakest. ;-)

Merry Jesusmas, Rocker...

Davo, me old mate, sorry if I sidetracked your thread. And you're dead right. I was trying to correct what I believe to be the hijacking of the teachings of a very lovely guy called Jesus.

I believe I owe it to him to do this.

Yes you are right, "Christmas" is ok if you're a Jew who believes that Jesus was "the christ" and you also accept the machinations of the Romans Empire way back then. I don't.

Happy Jesusmas, Davo.

December 15, 2005 7:09 PM  
Blogger Davo said...

umm, don't want to be 'picky', as haven't got the exact details to back me up just yet, but the "mas" bit pertains to "mass" or "masse" which is (i think)a funerary requiem. From the research that have done so far, the name (Hebrew, Aramaic?) was Yeshua or Joshua .. there is some confusion with the 'j' and 'y' in Hebrew. As written in Greek it became 'Ioesus' then translated to the Latin 'Jesus'. Am quite happy to celebrate a 'jesus festival' if it is to be so.

One wonders how the Jerry falwell styled so-called "Christian Fundamentalists" would react if they knew the 'history' of it all.

My best wishes for the season, and may Peace, Love, fellowship and Good Cheer flourish for you and your loved ones, Gerry.

December 15, 2005 8:24 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Davo, I was being quite tongue in cheek until now, but since this is a very serious inquiry now, I will amend my postion. I'm now happy to call this time of year Jesus's Birthday Festive Season.

I was most influenced by this:

Where did the term "Christmas" come from? What does it mean? You may quickly respond that it simply designates the day on which Christ was born. Is this true? Even a casual observer will immediately spot the "Christ" in Christmas. What does "mas" mean ? Does it signify a birthday? Just what do we connect with Christ in this expression? The Catholic scholar, James Cardinal Gibbons, admits that the "mas" in Christmas is derived from the Catholic sacrifice of the mass (Faith Of Our Fathers, Page 355); as it's also true in Candelmas - a special Catholic mass celebrated early in February each year, and at which all candles to be used in religious services during the year are blessed. Christmas then literally means "Christ's mass" or the "mass of Christ" and properly denotes a Catholic mass, said and performed in honor of Christ. Do you believe in Christmas, Christ's mass or the mass of Christ? Christmas is purely a Catholic expression and spiritually conveys nothing at all to a simple New Testament Christian." It came from here >>>

So, Dave, I'm now wishing you a Merry Jesus's Birthday Festive Season.

December 15, 2005 9:27 PM  
Blogger Davo said...

Thank you. But if, as you say, this is 'serious' debate.
The Controversy

Despite all of this literature continuously being cranked out and the significance of the issue, in the public at large there is a serious lack of formal and broad education regarding religion and mythology, and most individuals are highly uninformed in this area. Concerning the issue of Christianity, for example, the majority of people are taught in most schools and churches that Jesus Christ was an actual historical figure and that the only controversy regarding him is that some people accept him as the Son of God and the Messiah, while others do not. However, whereas this is the raging debate most evident in this field today, it is not the most important. Shocking as it may seem to the general populace, the most enduring and profound controversy in this subject is whether or not a person named Jesus Christ ever really existed.
which came from here

December 15, 2005 10:54 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Serious debate? You doubt this is serious, Davo? Wars and Crusades have been waged over this shit! What could be more serious? The colour of the Queen's knickers?

Did Jesus exist at all? Well, me old mate, if that's your new hidey hole, I have to say why did you wax so lyrical about Jesus the Christ? Make up your mind, boyo...

About your link: Doesn't look reputable. Got a more credible link? If you think you're going to spook me into wasting hours on the internet chasing ghosts you're wrong.

So until you point me at a believable thesis for the theory that Jesus did not even exist, I'll assume he did.

December 15, 2005 11:28 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Gerry, you just gotta stir the pot doncha? Nobody should take me for an authority on anything religious for all my pontificating and factoid filled commenting. I think I have confessed to being a lapsed [extremely lapsed] Christian Scientist and a nominal Jew, reform flavored. I was pleasantly surprised to find I was getting links from Buddhists who, in the semi dark of the information superhighway, took me for a bizarre and uneducated protobuddhist of some sort.

These circumstances are noted so as to qualify a slight quibble with your assertion that Jesus was the first Lefty in recorded history. The only part of this that saves you from being quite in error is the word "recorded". [where recorded may only mean "the record we happen to possess"]. I have been taking in a lecture series on the archeology of Israel/Palestine. Fascinating stuff and of course a very contentious topic. Last night's lecture covered the rise of cities and kings from villiages and clans at the end of the first iron age [roughly 1000 BCE].
This was a time BEFORE a written Torah existed but several hundred years after any of the well dated events that might have corresponded to the stories in Exodus.
In short, some things we generally believe based on the bible are not well supported by digging up the tels in Israel. The way western Christian scholars have latched on to the evidence that confirms their expectations is not to their credit as scientists. Israeli scholars divide on the matter when the pot shards don't endorse the bible as history. The view I like best is the one that says "go as far as reasonable inference and well dated contextually consistent artifacts will take you and only then, read between the lines of the bible as it is the nearest thing to words from the contemporaries as you will get, filtering for self promotion.

The bit that is relevant to your statement is this: An egalitarian and agrarian or seminomadic society not part of the ebb and flow of egyptian and other empires probably gave rise to the first Jewish state. All of the old pre-national, or pre-Davidic villages of the hill country show a way of life quite distinct from the coastal garrison cities built by Pharohs, and other older empires that took turns controlling the trade routes. There are strong themes and paterns in all these villages:

[1]no fancy entombment and nearly lacking any evidence of burial.
[2]No temple or shrine architecture.
[3]Every house the same four-chambered rectangle with one door usually facing east.
[4]Few signs of trade with other nations such as pottery of foreign manufacture: all pretty much homespun goods.
[5]No signs of wealth disparity: houses all of similar size, similar occupations and evidence of social status in each.
[6]Houses huddled together in a way that doubled as a collective defensive structure. Size of village no larger than a dozen or two extended families.

The contemporary philistine dwellings found in the coastal garrison cities had different layouts, varied in size. Those cities had a variety of temples and shrines. fancy traded goods were every where, not due to well shared wealth, but to military devastation that ended those empires. Peans to kings and conquerors, oblisks engraved with names and dates of rulers and victories are commonly found in the garrison cities but never in the hill country villages. The timing of the villages indicates they were settled after the city-building along the trade routes, perhaps as a way for some class of people displaced by the invaders to find refuge.

A few hundred years later, some of these villages are just ruins but others are growing into cities large enough to need central governments, a garrison of their own, a market square and stout walls and gates. House sizes vary slightly and some have more serving dishes but every last one has the same lay-out. This and several other motifs observed in the goods and architecture of every dwelling lead some current archeologists to conclude that some form of communal and egalitarian values/life style not only held sway in the old villages but was enough engrained in the culture and identitiy of the earliest Israelites that at least the appearance of equality was worth preserving in their architecture long after emergent statehood began to force heirarchy on the population. And not a hint in the digs of a lauded let alone presumedly devine human leader.

So maybe some lefty sentiments were around long before the Romans showed the residents of Judea how to make saint-on-a-stick.

The whole damn business, IMO, is too sketchy as to facts for anyone to go off about blasphemy, get in a murderous huff or even be annoyed. Seriously: there is too much we don't know.

And whatever you do, don't tell your true believer types about The Chalice and the Blade...egalitarian societies were the first societies if Eisler has got it right (but the feminists knew that already ;)

December 16, 2005 3:44 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Come to think of it, if you count the bible as recorded history, wouldn't this pass for a lefty up on his soap box calling on the masses to throw off their masters:

"The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders of His people, and the princes thereof: 'It is ye that have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses;
What mean ye that ye crush My people, and grind the face of the poor?' saith the Lord, the GOD of hosts. "

[Isaiah is a raving loony, his full context here was a fire 'n brimstone sermon warning israel it deserved destruction...probably written after the destruction but well before Jesus]

December 16, 2005 4:05 AM  
Blogger the urban fox said...

And lo, Jesus looked on the neoconservatives who perform mass slaughter and mob-style capitalism in His name, and He was totally freaked out. "Have you lot been reading some other New Testament or what?" He spake.

December 16, 2005 5:46 AM  
Blogger Davo said...

Umm, Gerry, it's sometimes difficult to figure out whether you are being "serious" or "somewhat tongue-in-cheek".

I thought that had mentioned "from the available texts" but it must have been in an email. My next tack was to head into the 'archaeology', but Greensmile said it far more eloquently than me. Have over the past couple of years watched several doco's on TV about it, but can't remember the names.

However, can't figure out where you get me "waxing lyrical" about "Jesus the Christ". Was merely pointing out where the "words" came from. Most of what we know about it all IMHO comes from the "Roman Church".
Perhaps this link may clarify.
"Here let it be noted that most people think that the word, "Christmas" means "the birth of Christ." By definition, it means "death of Christ", and I will prove it by using the World Book Encyclopedia, the Catholic Encyclopedia, and a book entitled, The Mass In Slow Motion.

If you are an honest, sincere and discerning Christian, please read on; if not, you might as well stop right here. The World Book Encyclopedia defines "Christmas" as follows: "The word Christmas comes from "Cristes Maesse", an early English phrase that means "Mass of Christ." (1) It is interesting to note that the word "Mass", as used by the Roman Catholics, has traditionally been rejected by the so-called Protestants, such as Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and so on. The word "Mass" is strictly a Catholic word and thus, so is "Christ-Mass."

(um, and am not the 'David' who wrote this quote)

December 16, 2005 8:15 AM  
Blogger Davo said...

and as to where I "stand" on the issue, have to say that I honestly don't know. My grandparents were staunch 'Anglicans' and was brought up in a whiffly sort of 'Methodist' household.
Guess that you could call me a 'heretic'. :-)

December 16, 2005 8:28 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

The way I use the word sect, the connotation is a mix of meanings 1 and 2 given here. Jews themselves would intially have considered jesus an apostate for many reasons but a particulary clear one might be the prohibtion against idolotry and any attempt at a phyical depiction or realization of god...just not done since Moses' day. Two millenia and a few million murders later, the answer should not surprise you: its a cold "no thanks, yours are are certainly derived from our beliefs but we consider the relationship a technicality". The various flavors of christianity are sects. The attitude that jews and christians practice distinct religions is mutual, thorough and too pervasive for most who actually adhere to their beliefs to feel the sort of kinship that "sect" implies. If you comment from outside the Abrahamic religions [I mean, hey, we can't leave islam out of this stew] then fine, technically they are related and can be traced to a common root and you can regard them as sects, siblings, whatever...just don't try to sell that anywhere but the local clergy's ecumenical luncheon in a nice upper middle class suburb in Massachusetts.

December 16, 2005 11:05 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Oh, Gerry, while I got the comment box open, let me pose you an example of a lefty sounding remark from a prophet that predated jesus. read Isaiah 3:14 and :15

December 16, 2005 11:14 AM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

Ambush blogging or derailing thread. I could get verbally decapited. Damn, it's no good I have to ask. When do the elves have their birthday?

December 16, 2005 12:25 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

GreenSmile, thanks for those edifying and thought provoking comments. I sure will read Eisler's book. But.. Not satisfied yet.

I still argue that Christianity is a full-on 100% Jewish sect (and there's no shortage of sites on the web who make the same claim (that doesn't mean anything, but you might like to look to see what's there). How can it be anything else? Here you've got this guy Jesus preaching his stuff and he's picking up Jewish followers in droves who reckon he's the long awaited Messiah whose coming was a Jewish prophesy. Most Jews went with what their Rabbis (who envisage their power slipping away if they get upstaged by a Messiah) were telling them i.e. Jesus was not the Messiah. So the majority are convinced by Rabbis. But that still leaves Jesus's followers, most of whom were Jews convinced that he was the messiah. That makes this group a Jewish sect.

Davo, you reckoned that Messiah and Christ were not synonymous words. Well, go here>>> and scroll down to 4- THE "MESSIAH" ("CHRIST" in Greek):

Fox, my point exactly! Jesus was a lefty pinko shit! He was a seditious anti-capitalist! God love him...

December 16, 2005 12:27 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

JaheTeh, would they be Jewish elves who reckon Jesus was the Messiah? (humours JahTeh whilst sharpening guillotine in preparation in the event she fails to get on-topic, like, fastish...) :-)

December 16, 2005 12:51 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

rabbinical judaism was still getting its act together. There were houses of study, biet midrash, but not pulpit-mounted rabbis with congregants, not synagogues as we now have them. Just men studying and acting as judges for their communities. I don't discount your notion that even in this less-than-civic-leader capacity, the rabbis would have seen a threat in the superior marketing moves of a messiah claimant. What I don't know is whether the messiah claims were contemporary with jesus or grew up around him later, as many legends do.

Timing aside, I suppose you are right that jews would have been by far the population most disposed to accepting a messiah [ and they continued to be] both because of the desperation of their oppression and because their prophets could be read as predicting a messiah.

I gotta tell you Gerry, you are in over my head on this religion thing. I like facts and I am running out of them fast.

December 16, 2005 2:27 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

GreenSmile, I too am in over my head. I'm just fitting the pieces together as I see best.

Perhaps if you go over to Davo's and read the origins of this debate, you'll understand what it is I'm trying to trepane in to Davo's skull.

Here's a comment I made on his blog: ...refers to the Jewish prophecy that a Christ/Messiah would come.

To some Jews Jesus was that person, the Christ. But you had to be Jewish to believe this. I still argue Jesus was a spiritual teacher, a healer, and the world's first anti-capitalist (socialist/communist) revolutionary. I still argue that the "son of God" or "Christ" stuff was added retrospectively well after he and the deciples were dead. And I argue it was done by a bunch of Jews to whom he was The Christ.

But whichever way you cut it, Christianity is a Jewish sect - against this there can be no rational argument.

December 16, 2005 2:43 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

And we don't have to get too hung up about whether he might have been the first anti-capitalist or not, just that he was one.

December 16, 2005 2:51 PM  
Blogger Davo said...

OK, am going to back off a bit. As I have said, was not yet ready to get into 'serious' cynical discussion about the 'origins of faith'. However, as I read James Frazer's The Golden Bough, which is a detailed and comprehensive analysis of comparative religions am struck by the similarities between "Christianity" and Mithraism.

There are many other similarities as well in Frazer's work. Virgin birth, death and resurrection of the 'god like saviour'.

Other stuff that have read indicate that "Jesus the Christ" is more of an 'idea', rather than a physical fact.

I still maintain, though, that the 25th December in the calender that we now know.. is NOT the 'birthdate' of 'Jesus'.

(If 'shepherds are watching their flocks by night' in the middle of a Galilean winter, they wouldn't have too many 'lambs' left in the morning.)

December 16, 2005 10:13 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Davo, I don't think I'm being cynical about Christianity. Sceptical, yes, cynical, I hope not. I'm just saying that it is, in essence, a Jewish sect.

Since I am not a Christian Jew, to me Jesus was just a man. A teacher, a pacifist, a healer, and a person who preached about the idea of sharing one's wealth. I'm not getting into all of the obfuscations you've brought up in your "debate" on this topic.

December 17, 2005 3:00 AM  
Blogger Davo said...

Drat. Was hoping that I could get you to change the title again ..(grins)

December 17, 2005 6:46 AM  

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