Magi Mike's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity

Why are Christians so Ignorant of when Human Life Begins?

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First Breath

Christians are sorely mistaken about when human life begins, yet the bible tells believers in several places when a fœtus becomes a living being. It is not at the moment of conception as the pro-lifers have insisted for the last thirty years…, though not before!

The bible does not support the idea that God makes a human being at conception. Conception is when a living sperm from a male penetrates a living ovum in a woman forming a living fœtus, but it is wrong to think that, from then on, the fœtus is a living human being. The bible says a fœtus must draw a breath to become a living person with a soul.

It is clear. God formed the first man in Genesis 2:7, but Adam was not a living being until he had taken a breath. God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became the living being” whom God named Adam.

There is nothing in the bible to indicate that a fœtus is considered to be anything other than living tissue and, according to scripture, it does not become a living being until after it has taken a breath. Thus Job 33:4, says:

The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Plainly, life is conferred not by the union of a sperm and an egg, but God’s breath. No one can be alive until they have gasped God’s breath—taken a breath. How does God revive the dead bones in Ezekiel? It cannot have anything to do with conception. Not at all, Ezekiel 37:5-6 states:

Thus says the Lord God to these bones, Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.

It is absolutely clear that God instils life into dead matter by His breath. Exodus 21:22 adds that if a man causes a woman to have a miscarriage, he shall be fined, but, if the woman dies then he will be put to death. The death of a fœtus is not equal to the death of an adult woman because the punishment for the abortion is merely a fine, whereas the death of the living woman was its equal—death! The bible does not class the death of the unborn infant as a capital offense.

The bible does not equate destroying a living fœtus with killing a living human being, even though we know the fœtus has the potential of becoming a human being. One can not kill something that has not been born and not yet taken a breath because it simply was not considered alive. Equally, a stillborn child could not be considered to be a living human being either. Of course, a mother will feel the loss because a fertilized egg has the potential of being born and therefore of becoming a living being. But sadly, not all of them do! Indeed, every living sperm has the potential of becoming a human being, although not one in a million will make it. The rest die, but it is absurd for a mother to grieve over all the potential children she could not have.

The Christian has to accept that God has provided for around a third of all pregnancies to be terminated by a spontaneous abortion during the first three months of pregnancy, and that some more will be terminated even after the first three months. Like it or not, God does not regard the loss of a fœtus any differently from the loss of a placenta or a foreskin, both of which were living tissues which grew from conception.

On the other hand, God made it plain that murder of a living being, one which had breathed a breath of air, was wrong. It was wrong to sacrifice one’s infant son, like Isaac. The Commandments say it is wrong to murder, and a judicial murder is justified only in particular circumstances that are far from common, and indeed Christ’s plain instruction is that such judgements should be left to God.

US Christians particularly get terribly exercised about abortion but have a psychotic inclination to condemn adults all too freely to often cruel deaths. They take a line diametrically opposed to the teachings of the bible, particularly the teachings of Christ, whose unmistakable message was one of love of others. Needless to say, murdering people is not loving them, though US Christians cannot see anything wrong in it.

In contrast, tissue that has no soul, until God breathes life into it, according to the bible, is defended as if it were Christ himself facing crucifixion anew. They really ought to discard their wicked pastors who teach them what suits them rather than Christian morals, and start to read the bible, especially, as Christians the New Testament, for themselves. Aborting a fœtus is not pleasant or optional, but it is not an equal sin to killing a living, breathing human being.

Written by mikemagee

3 November, 2012 at 1:20 am

Which Bits of Scripture are Literal and which Allegorical?

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Richard Dawkins and Jonathan SacksProminent atheist Richard Dawkins and Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks met in an hour-long debate on science and religion, as part of the Re:Think Festival in Salford.

“How do you decide which bits [of scripture] are symbolic and which bits are not?” asked Prof Dawkins at one point during the discussion.

“Very simple,” replied the Chief Rabbi.

“The rabbis in the 10th century laid down the following principle: if a biblical narrative is incompatible with established scientific fact, it is not to be read literally.”

Christians take note. The Old Testament is the scripture of Jews. Maybe the Rabbis can be expected to know it better than TV evangelicals.

Written by mikemagee

16 September, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Declining Christianity

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The Demise of the Kirk

The Demise of Christianity in Scotland

By the end of the 1830s, Scotland had ceased to be an integrated Christian community in any meaningful sense… Gone were the days when all classes had assembled in tolerably harmonious unity within the walls of the parish kirk. The decay of Christian fellowship was manifest in the increasing alienation of the “lower orders” from every kind of religious faith and practice.

A C Cheyne, The Transforming of the Kirk, 1983

Christianity has been in terminal decline in Europe for 200 years. Though the USA likes to claim it is a 90 odd percent Christian nation, it is a claim that has been utterly demolished by recent research showing that a large majority of US Christians know practically nothing about their own religion. They know nothing about the story of Christ, and mainly don’t care anyway because they already know The Truth. They know even less about the awful history of Christianity, nor Christ’s admirable moral teaching, and again they couldn’t care less because… they know what matters to them, even if it is wrong! Finally they have risibly wrong notions about the US being some sort of theocracy.

What remains is around 20% of the US population who can be considered genuine Christians, much closer to the proportion in most western countries. It ought to give the rest pause to consider that US Christianity is a right wing political plot, but it does not, of course. Few of them have the guts to come clean and admit they haven’t a clue what Christianity’s about for fear of not being respected by the rest, three quarters of whom are in the same pretence.

Written by mikemagee

7 July, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Morality Exam for Republicans

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The Brotherhood of ManMoral Examination

True or false?

 

Christians believe that, as humans, we are all of us sons and daughters of God, created by the Almighty as His children in His own image, and therefore we are, every one of us, brothers and sisters under God in the brotherhood of man.

What are the political and social personal consequences of your answer, and are there any consequences regarding your own personal attitude towards other people?

Teach our Children Compassion, Kindness and Generosity, not Selfishness, Exploitation and Greed

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Plant Kindness. From Cross Stitch Happy

A M Girard at French Tribune says children “need to be taught about evolution of man and humanity, and they also need religion to grow”. Why do they need religion to grow? Is it possible to live in this world of continuous news without realizing that religious differences are perpetually causing trouble everywhere?

Our children do not need religion to grow, it has grown monstrous enough. Nor do we want our children, in imitation, to grow just as monstrous themselves. They need morality to grow. Religion and morality are not the same thing. Some of the most immoral people have been and are still religious, many of them calling themselves Christians. The morality of Christ is admirable, and can be taught as the expression of our social instincts. The religion built around him ignores his teaching almost completely.

Christianity became an imperial cult when the Roman state adopted it as the patriotic religion of Romans, and it has remained an imperial religion ever since. Let us teach our children what Christ believed, compassion, kindness and generosity, not selfishness, exploitation and greed.

Written by mikemagee

14 February, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Not Christian, Rich Christian, Poor Christian, Christian

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“Blessed are the Poor” is not…
”Blessed are the Rich!”

Having read the gospel message of the active life of Christ, just how can American billionaire Republicans and their kin here in the UK succeed in fooling everyone that they can be Christians at all? Yet they pass off the message that the capitalist dog-eat-dog system of treating people as objects for exploitation is compatible with Christ’s teaching of treating people as objects of kindness and love. Nothing seems so easy as the ease by which the rich perpetually fool the poor into believing what is utterly against their best interests, including the nature of Christianity.

Written by mikemagee

25 December, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Greek Terracotta Figurines on Delos Testify to Pre-Christian Religious Tolerance

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In the second century BC, residents on the Greek island of Delos saw nothing wrong with using others’ gods in their prayers. Caitlin Barrett, Cornell assistant professor of classics and author of Egyptianizing Figurines From Delos: A Study in Hellenistic Religion, examined terracotta figurines found on Delos to determine what influence Egypt’s religion had on the Hellenized inhabitants and their daily lives.

Terracotta figurines are potential evidence for the religious ideas of a wide swath of the population, not just the rich. Such inexpensive figurines were accessible to many because they could be made rapidly and in bulk. Figurines of Egyptian gods appear as offerings at Greek gods’ temples on Delos and vice versa. Barrett explains:

The fact that somebody’s dedicating a figurine of a Greek goddess like Aphrodite to an Egyptian goddess like Isis suggests that the two were associated, or at least that their worship wasn’t considered incompatible. Greeks saw these other gods not as alternatives to the Greek pantheon but as something compatible with their own traditions.

The religious wars raging around the globe today and ingrained religious intolerance attest to the current rigidity of religions, the consequence of the intolerant tradition of Judaism with its jealous god entering the west via Christianity—Judaism for goyim—and displacing the tolerance of Hellenism. At this earlier period the tendency in Egypt and Greece was the other way—towards toleration. Barrett notes:

What’s interesting is the degree to which these foreigners—Italians, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Syrians and Jews—interacted with each other’s deities and the cross pollination among worshipers.

Hellenistic Harpocrates with Egyptian Hairstyle and Upturned Torch

Although most of the figurines were produced by local craftspeople, many of them have iconography reminiscent of Egyptian deities. The Græco-Macedonian Ptolemies ruling Egypt at this time worshiped the Greek gods, while ceremonially serving the traditional Egyptian pantheon. Barrett says:

This led to the creation of syncretic imagery that combined aspects of both Greek and Egyptian traditions, and that could speak to members of this heterogeneous population. Some of that imagery wound up becoming hugely popular in the rest of the Mediterranean as well.

Delian craftsmen used techniques of figurine manufacture and conventions of artistic style that derive from Greek traditions, while conveying concepts that are fundamentally Egyptian. Barrett explains that Egyptians depicted children like adults with a finger to their mouth—because babies put their fingers in their mouths—rather than smaller and with the features of a child. However, in truth, Later Greek writers misinterpreted figurines of Harpocrates as a child to mean, from the characteristic gesture of his forefinger to his lips, that he was silencing people, and he became thought of as the god of silence and secrecy. To the Egyptians he was the symbol of the reborn sun and early vegetation, whence the upturned torch in the illustration (not a figurine from Delos), and his being a child (in the illustration having childish features and an Egyptian side lock of hair).

To pretend that Christianity avoided any trace of syncretism, as fundamentalists argue, is quite absurd. Many, perhaps most, Christian traditions and calendar dates copied ones already in use by older religions. Christmas is merely the most obvious example. It is a massive shame Christianity did not adopt and practice Hellenistic toleration too.