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Feb 21 2014

Christianity has always endorsed gay marriage? WTF?

This long-winded Christian apologist (well, that was redundant) Damon Linker has been making bizarre arguments for some time: he’s one of those deeply dishonest twits who argues that god is the transcendent source, the ground, or the end of the natural world while simultaneously ignoring the specifics of Christianity — and his primary argument against atheism always seems to be that old canard, that good atheists are supposed to be miserable, like Nietzsche — it’s always Nietzsche. His specialty seems to be making overwrought counterfactuals based on how he thinks the world should be…that is, Christian and pious.

His latest? Christianity invented gay marriage. Somehow, he manages to mention the near-universal Christian unity in opposing gay marriage, waves it all away, and then declares,

The ultimate source of the democratic revolution — the motor behind its inexorable unfolding — is the figure of Jesus Christ, who taught the equal dignity of all persons, and declared in the Sermon on the Mount that the last shall be first and the first shall be last, and that the meek shall inherit the earth.

Nothing in the history of the Christian church suggests that they ever followed this rather idealistic interpretation of doctrine. Would the Jews of his time been tolerant of gays? Don’t you suspect that when he said, “the meek shall inherit the earth”, he was actually preaching to a conquered people and promising that the conquerors will get their comeuppance?

But stretching the truth is not an activity Linker confines only to his Bible readings. He’s got a strange view of American history.

They already did touch in the United States, the world’s first nation settled by egalitarian Christians (the Puritans) and explicitly dedicated in its founding documents to the principle of universal human equality.

Puritans were egalitarians? Only if you were a man.

The US was founded on universal human equality? Only if you were white.

Marriage equality is inevitable. It’s also inevitable, I guess, that some Christians are now maneuvering to take credit for it.


Wait, who’s right, Damon Linker or Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, United States Army, (Ret.)? Boykin has made some interesting comments about Jesus.

The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 is says when he comes back, he’s coming back as what? A warrior. A might warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe … I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies ’cause he’s coming back as a warrior carrying a sword.

And I believe now – I’ve checked this out – I believe that sword he’ll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15.

I guess I’m going to have to bet on Boykin’s Jesus. Good, bad, he’s the one with the gun.

For further historical revisionism, guess who wrote the second amendment to the US constitution?

Now I want you to think about this: where did the Second Amendment come from? … From the Founding Fathers, it’s in the Constitution. Well, yeah, I know that. But where did the whole concept come from? It came from Jesus…

I’m not handing out prizes for guessing correctly, you all saw that one coming.

62 comments

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  1. 1
    Brandon

    You had to know it was coming, much in the same way that the religious now claim that they were never against interracial marriage.

  2. 2
    doublereed

    Equality was never a Christian concept. Christianity uses the concept of Divine Right. Like Kings and Nobles and stuff?

    Come on, Linker, this isn’t obscure history or anything.

  3. 3
    doublereed

    And I think it’s pretty hilarious that he credits Jesus Christ with democracy.

    How long after Jesus Christ did we come up with democracy? I seem to forget all those democracies in the Byzantine Era…

  4. 4
    OverlappingMagisteria

    Another stretch of truth from the article:

    Where France required a violent revolution to overturn recalcitrant elements within its social order and advance the cause of equality, the United States merely needed to declare and secure its independence from a foreign power…

    Oh, yea.. the U.S just had to “secure its independence.” No violence such as, say… an eight year war, required. We just declared our freedom and did a little bit of “securing.”

  5. 5
    timgueguen

    I suppose this fellow is one of those kind of people who, if you bring up the numerous ultraconservative Christian sects that infest the US, either pulls a No True Scotsman, or claims their numbers are tiny, and not representative of US Christianity.

  6. 6
    Reginald Selkirk

    Yes, it was inevitable, and I predicted it.
    But it is still odious.

  7. 7
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    The ultimate source of the democratic revolution — the motor behind its inexorable unfolding — is the figure of Jesus Christ

    Jesus was Greek? I mean, I know some of the gospels were written in Greek, but Jesus was Greek? And predated himself by centuries?

    +++OUT OF CHEESE ERROR+++ +++RESET FROM BIG BANG+++

  8. 8
    chigau (違う)

    It’s a miracle!

  9. 9
    mickwright

    Y’know, I can’t believe I never thought of this before, and it’s tangential as hell, but when PZ’s on his soapbox (which is just about always justified) it’s possible to make it a thousand times better by reading it to yourself in the voice of Jean-Luc Picard in full-on The Reason You Suck Speech mode.

  10. 10
    DonDueed

    Christianity has always endorsed gay marriage…

    … and we have always been at war with Eastasia.

  11. 11
    Pierce R. Butler

    Kristians are Kompletely Kool™, and always have been.

  12. 12
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I’ve been saying for years that, once support for marriage equality reaches about 60 to 70%, the Christians will jump on board, claim that this is what they wanted all along, and then start taking credit for making sure it happens — see slavery and desegregation for egregious examples (the GOP is also good at doing this (big surprise)). Just like slavery, though, it’ll take a couple-two-three hundred years for the most radical sects to join in. A few never will, but get used to hearing dreck like this for the next 25 or more years. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And then take full credit for yet another expansion of human rights. Which the various churches have been fighting for decades. But now it was suddenly their idea.

  13. 13
    gussnarp

    Whenever I hear “the meek shall inherit the Earth” I can’t help but think of Sting: “What good is a used up world and how could it be worth having?”

    Now me, I don’t envision myself ever having another home and this one’s good enough for me. If there’s another for future generations it will require unforeseen spacefaring technology.

    But for Christians? Don’t they believe they’re going to abandon the Earth and ascend into Heaven? Isn’t that supposed to be what they aspire to? So in the vein of the song, it seems like maybe that line is more of a threat than statement of mercy and kindness….

  14. 14
    left0ver1under

    Why do we say that the religious are “shifting the goalposts”? They’re actually shifting the gallows, trying to distance themselves from their past actions and piles of dead bodies left in their wake. And in shifting the gallows, they still want to use it, but they know they can’t use it against certain groups anymore.

  15. 15
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I know this bullshit sooooo much. Every single human right, every single freedom, once it was fought against the often violent opposition of the churches is turned into a “christian value” once it’s no longer fashionable to oppose it.

  16. 16
    Athywren

    So, I think I can see why they think this way. You know how people of colour were doing nothing about racial discrimination until us whiteys and the Christians got involved and then *BAMPH* overnight victory!? They see that rapid motion right at the end as being evidence that it was all them… and that *hand wavy false history* shows that it’s something they’d always wanted to do, but had to fight off those villainous atheists who dominate everything to get it done.

    It’s like a landslide. Go ask any landslide, and I’m pretty sure you’ll find the top layer will claim that it’s entirely responsible for getting them down there (Yes, soil can talk. Of course it can. Why are you looking at me like that? o.O). But it ignores the slow, steady loosening and freeing of the ground below it that led to it slipping, out of control, down the mountain. All it sees is that it moved, and what can be responsible for that if not itself?

  17. 17
    ibyea

    Even among whites, when America was founded, it was only for the rich, landed whites. If you didn’t have a property or were indentured servant, you were screwed.

  18. 18
    Erp

    I might give some credit to Unitarian and Quakers who do seem to have had a more substantial proportion on board early with abolition and equality for women and LGBT rights (though they had and have had opposition within their denominations). Notably a lot of Christians don’t consider either group Christian (one doesn’t believe Jesus was God and the other doesn’t do baptism or communion). They also had some major miscues.

  19. 19
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    ibyea:

    Even among whites, when America was founded, it was only for the rich, landed whites. If you didn’t have a property or were indentured servant, you were screwed.

    A few word changes and that still fits.

  20. 20
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    Yes, it’s laughable. But it means that we’re winning, and they know it. It’s kind of like someone going to the Superbowl wearing a Denver T-shirt, then changing to a Seattle shirt in the 4th quarter.

  21. 21
    Larry

    I believe that sword he’ll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15.

    Now, on sale, at xtian bookstores everywhere! The jesus-warrior action figure with the kung fu grip and a AR-15 strapped across his back. He’s bad. He’s got ‘tude and he’s all “none of this blessed are the meek when I’ve got this puppy on full auto”. Feel like prayin’ yet? You should!

    $29.95. Additional clips extra. Quantities are limited. Order now!

  22. 22
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Larry:

    You mean like this ?

  23. 23
    Larry

    Og,

    Did you know I had the original idea for light beer? It was only later I discovered Miller had had it on sale for years. This is why I still have to work for a living.

  24. 24
    gussnarp

    Wait, an AR-15? When I picture Jesus coming back riding a horse with bloody robes and an AR-15, somehow I think the average American Christian, in particular the author of that little piece, will not be at all friendly toward him. In fact, I expect the whole Armageddon thing will be cut short with a well aimed drone strike. Our war on terror policy will finally be worth it when it kills a Jesus intent on the utter destruction of the world. I mean, he did basically just describe this guy, didn’t he?

  25. 25
    Athywren

    Now I want you to think about this: where did the Second Amendment come from? … From the Founding Fathers, it’s in the Constitution. Well, yeah, I know that. But where did the whole concept come from? It came from Jesus…

    The second ammendment is the “woo, guns!” one, that most certainly says nothing about organised militias and sticks to nothing more than “woo, guns!” right?
    I can see an argument for that. I mean, Jesus did say “blessed are the peacemakers,” right?

  26. 26
    Akira MacKenzie

    What has always what amused me about liberal Christians is their Orwellian desire to shoehorn modern progressive concepts into their faith and claim that it is what their god really wanted all along. For thousand of years, Christianity has endorsed monarchy, racism, male chauvinism, homophobia, capitalism, slavery, genocide, etc.. So what happened? Did Yahweh send a memo? Did someone have a new revelation? Usually, the excuse I keep hearing is that man wrote in their own evil desires into their deity’s word. Of course, this files in the face of their god’s alleged omniscience and omnipotence, but I suppose the excuse for that is “free will…”, “testing our faith…”, and “BECAUSE, THAT’S WHY!”

  27. 27
    mikeyb

    In my reading of the Bible, Paul was clearly not a big fan of homosexuality, which probably reflected the barbaric views of the time. Jesus, whether he existed or not, at least the words put in his mouth, reflect an apocalyptic viewpoint, in which the lack of any words about homosexuality may not be a big concern if you think the world is coming to an end soon.

    But the problem with the Bible is, even if you dismiss these guys as typical ignorant bible thumpers, when you read sophisticated theologian TM takes on Jesus and Paul, as I did years ago, there is no consensus about what Jesus and Paul actually thought or meant on just about anything – hence theology. Why? In many cases Paul and Jesus, or the writers who invoked these guys, didn’t express themselves clear enough probably because the writings more closely resemble unconscious rantings than ideas intended to be understood. Hence theology degrees in which you parse ancient Greek to what obscure phrases, and tenses might actually be referring to. You’d have better luck interpreting humpback whale calls, than many parts of the Bible.

  28. 28
    David Marjanović

    The ultimate source of the democratic revolution — the motor behind its inexorable unfolding — is the figure of Jesus Christ, who taught the equal dignity of all persons, and declared in the Sermon on the Mount that the last shall be first and the first shall be last, and that the meek shall inherit the earth.

    That seems to have been the medieval Swiss cherry-pick: once they (farmers, burghers, craftsmen) had bloodily crushed several armies that consisted of knights and higher ranks, they came to think that they were some kind of chosen people because God had granted them an inversion of the natural order.

    Wait, an AR-15?

    Literal interpretation of the Bible.

  29. 29
    David Marjanović

    So what happened? Did Yahweh send a memo? Did someone have a new revelation?

    Young man, you’re skirting dangerously close to the heresy of modernism. Turn around and repent.

  30. 30
    gussnarp

    @Akira MacKenzie #26:

    Usually, the excuse I keep hearing is that man wrote in their own evil desires into their deity’s word.

    But of course, they’re certainly not reading their own desires into their diety’s word now in any way whatsoever, they’ve got the one true perfect (interpretation of the) Word of God.

  31. 31
    octopod

    Re: gussnarp @24. Someone MUST have written that story, and I want to read it.

  32. 32
    twas brillig (stevem)

    re Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. @12:

    I’ve been saying for years that, once support for marriage equality reaches about 60 to 70%, the Christians will jump on board, claim that this is what they wanted all along, and then start taking credit for making sure it happens — see slavery and desegregation for egregious examples …

    Oh surely, I see it now <spoiler alert!> When the Feds allow marriage for any pair that wants to (MM, MF, FF, ZZ) the Christofascists will announce that the “challenges” was their plan all along. To prevent all those ‘deceivers’; *pretending* to be Gay just to get a the tax break of being married. “We were PROTECTING you from all the <Redacted> trying to steal your tax benefits.”

    Xians, conservapedians seem to be masters of retcon.

  33. 33
    gussnarp

    @octopod: I can try: And He rode out of the East upon a horse white as snow. His robes flowing around him, an AK-47 in one hand and an RPG in the other. He had no need to hold the reins, as His horse seemed to be of one mind with Him. He was mostly ignored as He crossed the desert, tribal warlords and others saw one man, even armed as He was as no threat. Surely He was just another raider, no concern of theirs. But His skin shone like burnished copper in the sun, He seemed even to glow and as He rode a few knew at once who He really was and fell in with Him. But as His following became large, others began to take note. Reports made their way to Washington, Islamabad, Jerusalem, and Kabul. Analysts began to ponder the available data. Was he Al Qaeda? A lone wolf? As he made his way across Iraq it became clear that He was making a beeline for Jerusalem. Drones were dispatched to track his movements and observe. A small group of militants was met by a mysterious man and given some American dollars and new weapons. They were more than happy to attack this mysterious man, never knowing they were being used to probe him and see just how he would respond. They were dead in minutes. The blood of his enemies now staining His robe, he continued on. He had to be stopped before he reached Jordan. It all ended on a Friday at 13:47 UTC. He exploded in a pillar of fire. His followers never knew what happened, though many died alongside Him. They never saw the drone that fired the missile. Strangely, disparate forces across the Middle East began to smooth over their differences after his death. The world did not end. And peace swept over the world for centuries after.

  34. 34
    A Masked Avenger

    Nothing in the history of the Christian church suggests that they ever followed this rather idealistic interpretation of doctrine.

    Right–they didn’t. Much like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, one can find in it the loftiest of ideals, despite the reality that the men who wrote it and enforced it failed to apply their lofty ideals to women, Africans, gays, Jews, Catholics, atheists, etc., etc. A Christian who credits Christianity for its lofty ideals, and waves away its distinctly un-lofty practices, literally wears his ass as a hat.

    The plus side of these lofty ideals of theirs is that it might be leveraged to motivate a bit of lofty action. “Progressive” Christians, like the guy at Exploding Our Cakemix, seem to be on a less-harmful trajectory. They recognize the large mythical component of their scriptures, they acknowledge the harmful acts of Christians through history, and they interpret their Golden Rule and such to support inclusiveness, feminism, progressive values, etc. They may still don their asses as caps, especially on Sundays, but they manage not to be execrable human beings.

  35. 35
    garnetstar

    I am dying to know who Boykin “checked that out” with.

    Ya think it was the voices in his head, or what?

  36. 36
    Rey Fox

    Every single human right, every single freedom, once it was fought against the often violent opposition of the churches is turned into a “christian value” once it’s no longer fashionable to oppose it.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Wait, who’s right, Damon Linker or Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, United States Army, (Ret.)?

    I’m not naïve enough to believe that getting rid of religion will solve all of our problems. But at least it would mean that everybody’s dumbass opinions will have to stand or fall on their own, and they wouldn’t be able to just wave an old holy book around.

  37. 37
    tbtabby

    I’ve seen this coming for years. When bigotry is institutionalized, you can count on the Church to support it, citing texts as proof that God is in support of it. But when the culture shifts and said bigotry starts to fall out of favor, the Church will not only backpedal, they will retcon their views to claim that they were ALWAYS against that form of bigotry, and that it was only those nasty not-true-Christians who were in favor of it. They did it with slavery, they did it with women’s suffrage, they did it with segregation, and now they’re doing it with gay marriage.

  38. 38
    otranreg

    Well, yeah, I know that. But where did the whole concept come from? It came from Jesus…

    People give their anuses the strangest names!

  39. 39
    anteprepro

    From the people who brought you “Republicans aren’t racist because Lincoln was a Republican”, “Hitler was an atheist,” “Christians and Jews have always been good buddies forever!”, and the yuletide favorite “Oh, that’s just a metaphor”, comes the latest hit:

    “Jesus loves gay people and everybody knows it”

    Coming soon to a Bible belt history class near you!

  40. 40
    doublereed

    For thousand of years, Christianity has endorsed monarchy, racism, male chauvinism, homophobia, capitalism, slavery, genocide, etc..

    ♪♫ One of these things is not like the other ♪♫

  41. 41
    Crimson Clupeidae

    The christofascists just want to move past this whole gay thing so they can really get back to focusing on women’s rights (and quashing them in every way they can imagine).

  42. 42
    Akira MacKenzie

    The ultimate source of the democratic revolution — the motor behind its inexorable unfolding — is the figure of Jesus Christ…

    Quick question: Who voted for Jesus (or indeed, his sire… which is supposed to be himself…. nevermind…) into his divine office?

    It seems odd that liberal Christians wave the banner for earthly democracy all the while claiming that it’s endorsed by a authoritarian being who can never be questioned or replaced.

  43. 43
    left0ver1under

    doublereed

    For thousand of years, Christianity has endorsed monarchy, racism, male chauvinism, homophobia, capitalism, slavery, genocide, etc..

    ♪♫ One of these things is not like the other ♪♫

    Yeah, monarchy. A king poses a direct threat to a religion holding absolute power and wealth.

  44. 44
    cedrus

    @Wylann: I strongly suspect that the “whole gay thing” really is about women’s rights. If you’re committed to a complementarian worldview in which everyone has their God-given place (white men in charge while their women run their household and make babies), then a relationship where people decide their roles for themselves is unthinkable. If two men marry, who’s in charge? If two women marry, who will lead?

    Their marriages are built on the assumption that gender roles are set by God. If other people around them are having healthy, fulfilling marriages that by definition cannot have these roles (because they involve only one gender)…then their own marriage is a lie. And their wife-servants might start getting ideas. Can’t have that.

    The mainstream denominations will take credit for gay rights, just as they took credit for civil rights. Gods hate the same people their followers do, and the younger generation is mostly used to gays, so it’s inevitable. But the evangelicals? They’ll die on this hill. The idea that people (including female people!) can decide for themselves how to live…it’s against everything they stand for.

  45. 45
    brianpansky

    @40

    yup. it’s different because it hasn’t fallen out of favor to the degree the others have.

  46. 46
    anuran

    And a stopped calendar is right every few years.

    The Catholic Church had marriage-or-the-equivalent ceremonies for people of the same sex back at the beginning. The Vatican alternatively lampshades this, changes the subject or says “It wasn’t really the same thing.” But it happened. It was part of Church liturgy.

    Seeing the world only through your late 20th century White liberal atheist middle class lenses can get in the way of learning some interesting history.

  47. 47
    robro

    Puritans were egalitarians? Only if you were a man.

    And only if you were White. And only if you were Puritan, not some other religion, even some other sect of Christinanity.

    Linker is likely unaware that the Sermon on the Mount and much of the bibles (Old, New, and all the others) can be characterized as typical god-king stories of the ancient Middle East. A new king was chosen by god, would overturn the world, bring down the rich, raise up the poor and meek, restore the temple, establish a new convenient with god, initiate an age of peace, blah, blah, blah and so forth. Meanwhile, he kills his enemies (with the help of god natch) and the average person still lives in hell. Thomas Thompson calls this the Song of the Poor Man in The Messiah Myth. Propaganda is the word I would use. Pretty effective, too, given that people such as Linker seem to still be fooled by the spiel. The Jesus myths appear to be of the same variety, even rehashing material from older versions of the stories.

    Gen. Boykin strikes me as dangerous. There are crackpots out there who are already talking civil war to overthrow the Muslim president and restore America from the age of wickedness introduced by science (particularly evolution), public education, liberalism, feminism, homosexuality…et al. Most of those people have no chance of doing anything serious, but with support from the military or police…it would not be a good thing.

  48. 48
    Akira MacKenzie

    So all that bullshit I’ve heard about “the divine right of kings” was just my imagination?

  49. 49
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Cedrus @44, that’s brilliant.

    Their marriages are built on the assumption that gender roles are set by God. If other people around them are having healthy, fulfilling marriages that by definition cannot have these roles (because they involve only one gender)…then their own marriage is a lie.

    At least, built on a false foundation.

    I never realized that.

  50. 50
    johnmarley

    Don’t you suspect that when he said, “the meek shall inherit the earth”, he was actually preaching to a conquered people and promising that the conquerors will get their comeuppance?

    Hey! You aren’t allowed to apply historical context and reason to The Book. Only what is written in The Book is – … Only certain bits of what is written in The Book count. And you don’t get to say which bits those are.

  51. 51
    ck

    Erp wrote:

    I might give some credit to Unitarian and Quakers who do seem to have had a more substantial proportion on board early with abolition and equality for women and LGBT rights…

    Funny how those two groups are often the ones who pick the right side of history early, and how moderate and conservative Christians both take credit for their ideas when whitewashing their own history, while also simultaneously deeming them improper Christians. Okay, so maybe “funny” isn’t the right word.

  52. 52
    Greta Christina

    Yeah, they did this with slavery, too. Supported it until it became clear that this was a morally indefensible and repugnant position, then did the revisionist history switcheroo and insisted that they were absolutely at the forefront of abolition.

    We are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  53. 53
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    #46 anuran.

    Seeing the world only through your late 20th century White liberal atheist middle class lenses can get in the way of learning some interesting history.

    How about this:

    In another example of history at the service of the historian, Boswell changed the translation of one Greek term inside a blessing text from “chaste love” to “discretion,” obviously to deviate from any implication that chastity was an integral factor in monastic and temporal friendships. Boswell, Same-Sex Unions, p. 319.

    The quote is from comments in a discussion of the book I believe anuran bases his comment on. The book came out in 1994, written by Boswell who had been chairman of Yale’s history department. Boswell appears to have been white and at least middle class, yet he managed to look back. His conclusions are argued against, often citing the difference in translation used by the commenter I quoted, where the ritual Boswell said was same sex marriage, was actually a different ritual formalizing a relationship between two men, loosely called a brotherhood or a friendship. The ritual was observed over many centuries and could form the basis of a kinship claim.
    My point is that it appears the book was roundly rejected by modern catholics, and probably by most other christians (I haven’t bothered to hunt proof, just going on memory). So this failure to see the “true” history is hardly an atheist failing. Nor, it seems, even a white failing of whatever political stripe. It sure seems to be a christian failing, though.

  54. 54
    zenlike

    No no Lyn, you misunderstood: the Christians having a sort of ceremony two thousand years ago which vaguely resembles a gay marriage if you squint at it in low-light conditions means it is totally unfair to call out religion on it’s constant backwardness and hindrance of progress when it comes to social issues.

  55. 55
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    zenlike #54

    Oh, gosh darn! That again?

  56. 56
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    stevem @32:

    When the Feds allow marriage for any pair that wants to (MM, MF, FF, ZZ) the Christofascists will announce that the “challenges” was their plan all along.

    No. Just as they have with every single advance in human rights, most Christian sects will, once it is a done deal, claim it was what they were fighting for all along and that their memories of what really happen trumps the documented evidence. They will not even try to explain away their opposition. They will just claim they supported it the whole time.

    Sorry. Thought I was clear. My bad.

    Others in this thread have made the same point. From different perspectives.

    Oh, well.

  57. 57
    David Marjanović

    the Christians having a sort of ceremony two thousand years ago which vaguely resembles a gay marriage if you squint at it in low-light conditions

    Not two thousand, more like one thousand. I seem to remember something about the 12th century.

  58. 58
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    The dates referred to in the sources I read said in Byzantium from 700 AD through to 1400-ish. The rite was performed in several venues including Greece, and over a broad range of dates, some as late as towards the end of the 1700s. The rite was in and out of different books of liturgy, as well.

  59. 59
    lpetrich

    What will the likes of Damon Linker try to take vicarious credit for next? Scientific methodologies? Metaphysical naturalism? The great age of the Universe? Evolution? That I’d like to see.

    For starters, where in the Bible does anyone ever denounce fallacious reasoning? Its authors and characters denounce just about anything that they dislike, so why not also fallacies? It would seem that Aristotle was far ahead with his book on fallacies, Sophistical Refutations.

  60. 60
    beardymcviking

    I’m pretty sure there are a couple of instances of the very early church being OK with gay marriage… St Serge and St Bacchus come up as the first example google tells me about, but I think I saw references to a ceremony from the 13thC or thereabouts as well?

    Some info here: http://rense.com/general50/cath.htm

  61. 61
    beardymcviking

    Umm, to be clear, this only makes the target of PZ’s post *more* of a hypocrite, not less. I just like history.

  62. 62
    Anri

    Why should someone assume, upon the Return of the Jesus, that he would be wielding an AR-15 and not an AK-47?

    Never mind, I know the reason.

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