America is Not a Theocracy and Attorney General Sessions and The White House Press Secretary Don’t Know Anything About the Bible

As BettyC mentioned earlier, both Attorney General Sessions and Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, decided to take their religion out and wave it around in everyone’s faces today. This was done to justify the change in policy that the President, via Attorney General Sessions, made in 2017 that children will be separated from their parents if they either present themselves for asylum or enter the US without documentation. The White House Press Secretary defaulted to the more generic argument that throughout the Bible it is asserted that laws should be followed.  The Attorney General decided to (mis)apply Romans 13 to justify the unjustifiable.

Pat Robertson’s pet Trump spirituality translator for evangelical Christians, David Brody, was dispatched to provide support.

Given that Jeff Sessions is a small minded, racist, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic, unreconstructed Confederate, and anyone who is trying t0 profit off of conning evangelical Christians into believing that the President is both a man of devout faith and a tool of the Lord, probably isn’t much better, it should be no surprise that they went with the favorite biblical exhortation of those who were pro-slavery prior to the Civil War.

Fortunately the Bible provides believers with very, very specific instructions about how to treat strangers.

Mentioned no fewer than 36 times throughout Scripture, the Torah’s exhortations on the treatment of the stranger often appear with a companion explanation: Heed the stranger’s treatment because “you know the feelings of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9).

And the over thirty-six commandments (yep, there are more than 10…) about how to treat strangers bears directly on the immigration debates in the US in 2018. Especially for those like the Attorney General, David Brody, and the White House Press Secretary who cite scripture to cover their wickedness. (emphasis mine below)

In his just published book, Justice for All: How the Jewish Bible Revolutionized Ethics, biblical scholar Jeremiah Unterman writes that “…it is startling that the legal portions of the Torah contain more than fifty references to the resident stranger….”

Unterman examines the multitude of general admonitions not to harm the stranger, along with the positive exhortations to provide the stranger with basic food and clothing, with prompt payment of wages, and with legal justice. He points out that quite a few of these verses about the treatment of the stranger are juxtaposed with statements about God. The Torah understands the care of the stranger as imitatio dei, the imitation of God through the observance of the commandments. Unterman sees this as part of the ethical revolution of the Bible and notes that “nowhere in the ancient world is such a divine concern for the alien evinced.” He concludes with a most timely reminder that these laws should serve “to eliminate any shred of xenophobia.”

A striking phrase courses through the laws of the stranger that provides another powerful motivation for fulfilling these commandments ⏤ that appeals to believers and unbelievers alike:

“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”(Ex.22:20).

“You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Ex.23:9).

“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Lev.19:34).

“You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut.10:19)

“You shall not hate an Egyptian, for you were stranger in his land” (Deut.23:8).

“Always remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore do I enjoin you to observe this commandment” (Deut. 24:22)

So what does this all really mean. What exactly is a stranger? There are two types and they’re both protected by over fifty biblical commandments (emphasis mine below):

Ancient Israel was acquainted with two classes of strangers, resident aliens and foreigners who considered their sojourn in the land more or less temporary. The latter were referred to as zarim (זָרִים) or nokhrim (נָכְרִים), terms generally applied to anyone outside the circle the writer had in view (e.g., Ex. 21:8; 29:33). They retained their ties to their original home and sought to maintain their former political or social status. On occasion they came as invaders (II Sam. 22:45–46; Obad. 11). More often they entered the land in the pursuit of trade and other commercial ventures. The usual laws were not applicable to them, and they were protected by folk traditions concerning the proper treatment of strangers (cf. Job 31:32) and by special conventions resulting from contractual arrangements between the Israelites and their neighbors (cf. I Kings 20:34). In the legislation of Deuteronomy, an Israelite may charge a foreigner usury though he may not do so to a fellow Israelite (Deut. 23:21), and the septennial remission of debts does not apply to the debts of foreigners (Deut. 15:3). On the other hand, barred from the cult (Ex. 12:43), the foreigner was also not bound by the ritual laws, and it was permissible to sell him animals that had died a natural death (Deut. 14:21). The fact that Deuteronomy includes a special prohibition against foreigners’ ascending the throne (Deut. 17:15) and that Solomon specifically requested that God listen to their prayers (I Kings 8:41) may indicate the important position some foreigners occupied during the age of the monarchy.

In contrast with the foreigner, the ger (גֵּר), the resident alien, lived more or less permanently in his adopted community. Like the Arabic jār, he was “the protected stranger,” who was totally dependent on his patrons for his well-being. As W.R. Smith noted, his status was an extension of that of the guest, whose person was inviolable, though he could not enjoy all the privileges of the native. He, in turn, was expected to be loyal to his protectors (Gen. 21:23) and to be bound by their laws (Num. 15:15–16).

Since all of the landed property belonged to Israelites (cf. Lev. 25:23–24), the gerim were largely day laborers and artisans (Deut. 24: 14–15; cf. 29:10). Both the Book of the Covenant which classed them among those who were dependent (Ex. 23:12) and the Decaloguewhich referred to them as “your stranger” (gerkha; Ex. 20:10; cf. Deut. 5:14) attest their inferior position in Israelite society. While a few acquired wealth (cf. Lev. 25:47), most of them were poor and were treated as the impoverished natives. Thus, they were permitted to share in the fallen fruit in the vineyard (Lev. 19:10), the edges of the field, and the gleanings of the harvest (Lev. 23:22; see also Poor, Provisions *for). Like the other poor folk they were also granted a share in the tithe of the third year (Deut. 14:29) and the produce of the Sabbatical Year (Lev. 25:6).

Since the foreigners’ defenselessness made them vulnerable, the Israelites were frequently reminded of God’s special concern for the weak (Ex. 22:21–22; cf. Deut. 10:17–19) and were enjoined not to molest them (Ex. 22:20; cf. Jer. 7:6). They were not to be abused (Deut. 24:14) and were to receive equal treatment before the law (Deut. 1:16; cf. 24:17; 27:19). In case of accidental homicide, the cities of refuge were open to them as well (Num. 35:15), for there was to be “one standard for stranger and citizen alike” (Lev. 24:22). Moreover, the Israelites were enjoined to be especially solicitous of the welfare of the ger and to befriend him as one of their own, since they could recall the sufferings of their own people in the land of Egypt (Lev. 19:34; cf. Deut. 10:19).

It is a sad statement on the character of the Attorney General, David Brody, and the White House Press Secretary that the Bronze Age, tribal religion that forms the foundation for their own spiritual belief were far more evolved and far more humane than these three degenerate examples of the American conservative movement, conservative Christianity, and the Republican Party in 2018.

Stay angry!

Open thread!

278 replies
  1. 1
    Jeffro says:

    Touchy!

    (j/k Adam, right there with you…this latest scummy tactic by Sessions & Co is the opposite of the faith I was raised in)

    Not a huge fan of the TV news networks, but for those who are watching tonight, if they don’t put on some progressive judeo-christian voices a) pound on the networks, however you can, and b) point them to some folks who’ll speak well to everything Adam has noted.

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Jeff Sessions is a small minded, racist, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic, unreconstructed Confederate,

    You forgot asshole.

  3. 3
    JMG says:

    I used to think these folks should be hung on the Capitol steps. Now, I’ve moved to burned at the stake on the Mall. Probably get a bigger and happier crowd than the Capitals Stanley Cup parade.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    Are there any good Christians left in this country? If so, what are you waiting for?

  5. 5
    JGabriel says:

    Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except that which God has established.

    Funny how all those right-wing, so-called Christians never seemed to remember that when Barack Obama was President.

  6. 6
    Gravenstone says:

    And the over thirty-sex commandments (yep, there are more than 10…)

    We’re used to your occasional typos, but you might want to quash this particular one.

  7. 7
    Calouste says:

    Follow the law, pay taxes…. right on the day that Donnie Dementia is sued for not following the law and not paying taxes.

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    Are there any good Christians left in this country?

    No.

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gravenstone:

    And the over thirty-sex commandments (yep, there are more than 10…)

    I dunno, seems legit.

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    This is what they wanted.

    Never let them forget that.

  11. 11
    patrick II says:

    This is the most scripture I have read in years. Thanks Donald.

  12. 12
    TenguPhule says:

    @JGabriel:

    Funny how all those right-wing, so-called Christians never seemed to remember that when Barack Obama was President.

    God’s rule never applied to a black man. //

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    @Baud: …..but they are appointing judges that they like.

  14. 14
    lamh36 says:

    @NBCNightlyNews
    Follow Follow @NBCNightlyNews
    More
    JUST IN: Exclusive: Trump admin. has selected a US border facility near El Paso to build a tent city with 450 beds for migrant children. http://nbcnews.to/2LMJwYr – @NBCInvestigates

    Let’s hope they are met by protestors

  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    @JMG:

    I used to think these folks should be hung on the Capitol steps. Now, I’ve moved to burned at the stake on the Mall. Probably get a bigger and happier crowd than the Capitals Stanley Cup parade.

    Drawn and Quartered. If they want to behave like royalists, treat them like one.

  16. 16
    lamh36 says:

    Defense Contractors Cashing In on Immigrant Kids’ Detention https://thebea.st/2sXTxLt?source=twitter&via=desktop via @thedailybeast

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gravenstone: I was specifically avoiding mentioning it because it should never be fixed.

    @TenguPhule: Some comment on this blog (I am not referring to myself btw).

  18. 18
    TenguPhule says:

    I want this fucking god thrown out of government, out of our pledge and out of our coinage.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s just insulting to assholes.

  20. 20
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: They will have to come under a different designation, the godbotherers have ruined the “christian” one.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I will concede the point.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Both the Southern Baptist Convention and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops came out with strong statements against these policy changes in the past several days. They join strong calls from most of the mainline Protestant denominations, as well as a number of Jewish organizations.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gravenstone: Also: Faith, Hop, and Charity!

    And he who is with sin, shall cast the first stone…//

  24. 24
    GregB says:

    To think people were upset about De Niro saying “Fuck Trump”.

    Fuck him and all of these cretins.

    Fuck Wal-Mart too.

  25. 25

    @Gravenstone: I thought there were thirty amendments dealing with sex (i.e laws regarding marriage etc) for realz.

  26. 26
    lamh36 says:

    @lamh36: BTW, the temperature in El Paso has been between 99-104 the past 2 WEEKS!!!!

  27. 27
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    “if you owe taxes, then pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.”

    Trump is headed straight to hell.

  28. 28
    opiejeanne says:

    @TenguPhule: Excuse me. I think there are several right here on this forum, and we aren’t waiting for anything. We are volunteering for candidates we believe in.

  29. 29
    bluehill says:

    Nice people made the best Nazis.

    Saw a link to this article. Whatever the percentage on the right that are the true believers, they aren’t going to change until something really bad happens and maybe not even then. Similarly there is some percentage on the left that will never support Trump et al, but there’s this group in between that will probably determine whether we continue on the current path or reverse course. Not sure what will cause them to get woke and whatever it is, will it happen soon enough.

  30. 30

    Those who request asylum are our guests and my tradition says that one should treat guests like God.
    अतिथि देवो भव.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @bluehill: The Goldhagen thesis.

  32. 32
    Josie says:

    Someone should ask these evil Bible thumpers if they prefer the teachings of Paul, who never actually met Jesus, over the teachings of the actual Christ, who told the parable of the the good Samaritan. Additionally he taught that anyone who wronged little children would be sinning. I love how they pick and choose the parts of the Bible to suit their needs.

  33. 33
    opiejeanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Thanks.

  34. 34
    TS (the original) says:

    Well that description of Sessions has almost reached BettyC level – page marked for future plagiarism if discussing the AG.

  35. 35
    opiejeanne says:

    @TenguPhule: No, they can have a new name. Christian is the correct name for the actual followers of Christ. They are Christianists, which is a fine description.

  36. 36
    opiejeanne says:

    @Josie: Yeah, it always bugs me when they quote Paul. Paul annoys the heck out of me.

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’ll take two apsaras please!//

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @opiejeanne: Anytime.

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @opiejeanne: Ringo is my favorite Apostle.

  40. 40
    zhena gogolia says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Amen.

  41. 41
    Josie says:

    @opiejeanne: That makes two of us.

  42. 42
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    I heard on NPR that Franklin Graham issued a statement that wasn’t supportive of separating children from their parents. Too little, too late if you asked me.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    They’ve gotten to Joe Walsh…

  44. 44
    chris says:

    Wow is restrained.

    Wow. The Voting Section of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division (whose mission is *protecting* voting rights) is suing states under the National Voter Registration Act (a law designed to *increase* eligible voters) to force states to *kick people off* voting rolls!! https://t.co/dr4Cf2PLye— Deepak Gupta (@deepakguptalaw) 15 June 2018

  45. 45
    dmsilev says:

    It’s funny how these alleged Christians seem to “forget” Christ’s actual message and philosophy.

  46. 46
    zhena gogolia says:

    @opiejeanne:

    He has some good moments in Hebrews. Obama knew how to quote Paul without being annoying.

  47. 47
    lamh36 says:

    @MichaelAvenatti
    2m2 minutes ago
    More
    We just learned that Mr. Cohen and his atty, Brent Blakely, are going to file a motion seeking to have the court issue a gag order preventing me & others from providing info & docs to the media and the public. They want it all hidden. Is this ok? Will the media permit it? #Basta

  48. 48
    scav says:

    The louder they call themselves Christians, the faster I’ll check on the kids.

  49. 49
    Platonailedit says:

    After wearing out patriotism as a cover, the racist xenophobic fascists are now trying out flawed theocracy as their next cover.

  50. 50
    Mike J says:

    Psalm 109

    8 May his days be few;
    may another take his place of leadership.
    9 May his children be fatherless
    and his wife a widow.
    10 May his children be wandering beggars;
    may they be driven[a] from their ruined homes.
    11 May a creditor seize all he has;
    may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
    12 May no one extend kindness to him
    or take pity on his fatherless children.
    13 May his descendants be cut off,
    their names blotted out from the next generation.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Is that like a Jeff Flake tweet?

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Pod people? Reverse vampires? Mole People? C.H.U.D.’s?

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: He tweeted it.

  54. 54
    lamh36 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: even a broken clock…

  55. 55
    Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.) says:

    Jeez, come on, people, we all know that the only bits from the Old Testament that mean anything are the bits about super-duper satanic gaysex. All that other shit about being nice to those who are weaker are only suggestions.

  56. 56
    bluehill says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Man, I hope that we’re not at that point yet, although the children of fervent Trump supporters are probably being conditioned to accept ever worsening actions.

  57. 57
    japa21 says:

    It occurred to me today that there is something behind all this besides being a deterrent. There thinking there is similar to trump’s wanting to torture terrorists family. But beyond that, as cruel as the separation of families is it is even crueler that when the parent(s) get deported they cannot take their children with them. And I was wondering why that is.

    The children being kept are, I believe, undergoing brain washing and are being groomed as the beginnings of a Trump youth corps.

  58. 58
    japa21 says:

    @zhena gogolia: The author of Hebrews is unknown.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Paul was Jesus’ David Miscavige.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    Come on, Rev. Barber, skewer these muthaphuckas 😠 😠

  62. 62
    MomSense says:

    I’m a non theist and a PK and I’m so tired of being lectured about the Bible and religion by people who really don’t know what the fuck they are talking about. It’s all just proof texting, pulling scripture out of context to justify their bigotry and prejudice.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: This wasn’t acceptable when Republicans directed it at Obama. It isn’t acceptable now.

  64. 64
    japa21 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: As rotten an individual as Walsh is, he has been anti Trump from the beginning.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Sort of, but less Latter Day Saintlike.

  66. 66
    sukabi says:

    @lamh36: there needs to be some digging into who is going to profit…who owns the site, who will ‘build’ it, what type of child care and who will provide it, who and what will provide for medical care. What is the ratio of care givers to kids?

    This entire thing makes me sick.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Fuck all religions.

  69. 69
    B.B.A. says:

    @JMG: Much as I enjoy these violent fantasies, death’s too good for these shitheads.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: We need to check and see if the aliens did a brain swap like they did with Dick Gephardt. If his eyebrows are now missing, then it was the aliens. When they put Gephardt’s cranium back on, they forgot to reattach the eyebrows.//

  71. 71
    Josie says:

    @MomSense: This.

    ETA: I find myself wanting to type this every time I read one of your comments.

  72. 72
    Amir Khalid says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    I just came back from Eid prayers. Did I miss anything?

  73. 73
    TenguPhule says:

    @chris: Fascism is here. Wearing the robes of government and demanding her emails.

  74. 74
    TenguPhule says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I just came back from Eid prayers. Did I miss anything?

    God apparently demanded Jeff Sessions build concentration camps for children in America.

  75. 75
    zhena gogolia says:

    @japa21:

    Hey, that’s news to me. That explains it!

  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.): They don’t even get that right. Lesbianism is banned, but there’s no punishment if one engages in it (which if you think about it, should at least be “if two engage in it”, because I don’t think you can engage in it alone, that’s another sexually deviant act…). For male homosexuality there is only a penalty for the man that bears (the bottom), as the commandment, translated into English, is that “the female bears and the male mounts”. The punishment here is not for homosexuality per se, but rather for a man assuming a female role. This is the same reason that crossdressing is forbidden and it is explicitly explained that this is the case – a man doing something a woman is supposed to be doing.

  77. 77
    sukabi says:

    @lamh36: and it’s still technically spring…

  78. 78
    japa21 says:

    Yes, folks like Session and others deliberately choose specific packages and then totally misinterpret them. They also choose to ignore other biblical directives. The Old Testament if full of exhortations by the prophets chastising the leaders for not taking care of the poor. It was the government’s responsibility to look after those who could not look after themselves. Yet, many evangelicals say it is the responsibility of individuals and groups to do so, not the government. They will point out Jesus never said anything about the government. Usually, if I am in a face to face discussion, I will point out Jesus also never said anything about homosexuality or abortion, and that the latter is never mentioned anywhere in the Bible and that, in fact, the Bible basically said the fetus has no real value.

  79. 79
    TenguPhule says:

    @B.B.A.: Death is most certainly not too good for our enemies.

  80. 80
    Platonailedit says:

    Sarah Sanders is repeating over and over again that it's the law to separate immigrant children and from their parents.

    Fact check: It's not the law. The Trump administration is making the decision to do this and does not have to do it.

    — Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) June 14, 2018

  81. 81
    TenguPhule says:

    @sukabi: Its June. Its summer.

  82. 82
    japa21 says:

    @zhena gogolia: It was originally credited to Paul but modern scholarship thinks it was someone trying to copy Paul’s style and not doing a good job of it. As you said, that explains a lot.

  83. 83
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Sanders claims that separating and incarcerating children is upholding the rule of law.

    Is there actually a law that requires children to be taken from their parents at the border?

    If there isn’t, why doesn’t anybody in the White House Press Corp have the cojones to say so?

  84. 84
  85. 85
    MomSense says:

    @Josie:

    Thank you. I think of you all the time and feel like I’m walking a similar path – just a little behind you. {{{{{{Josie}}}}}}

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @japa21:

    The children being kept are, I believe, undergoing brain washing and are being groomed as the beginnings of a Trump youth corps.

    Sorry, insufficient pigmentation to qualify.

    Mark my words. We are going to find mass graves. Or charnel houses.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @bluehill: I don’t think so. It is very, very clear that the majority of Americans are not supportive of any of this. And this isn’t the 1930s. It is much, much harder to stop the signal. And Germany wasn’t awash in firearms.

  88. 88
    Platonailedit says:

    Speaking of theocracy

    St Vermont: “I had no idea hundreds of thousands of Americans, particularly African-Americans, were being held in jail, for months or years, even though they’ve never been convicted of a crime, simply because they can’t afford bail.”

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    Is there actually a law that requires children to be taken from their parents at the border?

    There is not. Its a fucking POLICY DECISION by these Nazis.

  90. 90
    japa21 says:

    @Platonailedit: I would like a reporter to ask her, or Sessions, to provide the exact statute that requires the separation.

  91. 91
    japa21 says:

    @Platonailedit: It has only been widely know for several years now.

  92. 92
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: We’re not allowed to curse our enemies?

  93. 93
    MagdaInBlack says:

    I cannot thank you enough, Adam, for this post. “Selective Christianity” has been my rant for a very long time. I have spent too much time immersed in religion and theology to tolerate the twisted, selective use of bible passages….as a result I take great joy in quoting back at them.
    Thank you !

  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It is much, much harder to stop the signal.

    They aren’t trying to stop the signal, they’re trying to minimize it under ten thousand goddamn flaming poo signals.

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Not quite what I meant, but thanks anyway.

  96. 96
    Ruckus says:

    Just got home and haven’t read the comments but I’ll add my $.02 worth.
    Fuck these assholes and their religion. I doubt that much could give me more pleasure than smacking each and every one of these religious motherfuckers with a very large bible right upside the fucking head. First they have no fucking clue about the religion that they claim to want to upfuckinghold and second, where in the fuck in our nations laws is there anything that says we follow the bible not the fucking laws that we write? Anyone can be any religion or no religion at all and the laws still apply to them equally. Or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to fucking work.
    MOTHERFUCKINGASSFUCKINGHOLES.
    You may have noticed that my last nerve is showing.

  97. 97
    Platonailedit says:

    @japa21: I miss that pesky gadfly, Sam Donaldson.

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: No one has seen Mrs. Paul since about 2 AD…//

  99. 99
    TenguPhule says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    If there isn’t, why doesn’t anybody in the White House Press Corp have the cojones to say so?

    Because if they had cojones, they wouldn’t be in the White House Press Pool.

  100. 100
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:
    https://www.amazon.com/Mythmaker-Paul-Invention-Christianity/dp/0760707871/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529025000&sr=8-1&keywords=the+mythmaker+paul+and+the+invention+of+christianity

    A rabbi (what we now call pharisees) takes on Paul:

    Maccoby’s account of Paul is nothing short of a thorough shredding. If Paul was a trained Pharisee, why don’t his arguments have the sound logical structure he should have learned in Pharisee School? Isn’t there something a little funny about the way Paul whipped out Roman citizenship papers whenever he got into trouble? And just what _was_ the nature of the famous disagreement between Peter and Paul? Maccoby’s Paul was, in short, a cunning rogue who pieced together a new religion from bits of this and that, and then dressed the whole thing up with a sprinkling of out-of-context Torah quotations. Does he denigrate Paul too far? Perhaps. Does he fail to account adequately for the rise of Christianity? Perhaps. But can we ever read the letters of Paul the same way again after Maccoby has scrutinized them? Undoubtedly not. Agree or disagree, Maccoby’s volume makes a strong counterargument to those who, having reclaimed Jesus as a Jew, wish to extend the same courtesy to Paul. If this book becomes available again, grab a copy at once. And check out Maccoby’s other books as well.

  101. 101
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: it can easily be added right after Confederate.

  102. 102
    Marcopolo says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, I guess if your aliens are named greed & corruption and develop as a result of your proximity to political power. When it comes to Democratic politicians I’ve actually met in the flesh, Gephardt is about at the top of the list when it comes to selling out ones principles. It was no surprise when he decided to live in DC after retiring from political life.

  103. 103
    khead says:

    Why stop at Romans 13: 1-6? Let’s go with Romans 13: 7-10 too.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus:

    MOTHERFUCKINGASSFUCKINGHOLES.

    The rest is commentary.

  105. 105
    Ruckus says:

    @GregB:
    I understand the Fuck Walmart, just on general principle but did I miss something else?

  106. 106
    Mike J says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I won’t say that somebody ought to do it, but I’m not going to cry if it happens.

  107. 107

    @Adam L Silverman:
    How the fuck sadistic do you have to be to lose the evangelicals?! Apparently, we’ve finally found it.

    @japa21:

    The children being kept are, I believe, undergoing brain washing and are being groomed as the beginnings of a Trump youth corps.

    No way. Wrong race, it would take much longer than he’ll be in office, and he doesn’t think ahead like that. He’s just a mean-as-shit racist.

  108. 108
    TenguPhule says:

    I am shocked, shocked to find that Trump can’t tell his ass from a hole in the ground.

    Donald Trump’s decision to suspend major U.S. military exercises in South Korea could weaken allied defenses, depending on the length and scope of the hiatus. But the potential for diplomatic damage seems even greater.

    The United States, South Korea and Japan were making a public display of solidarity today over the outcome of Trump’s summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. But analysts and former officials with experience in U.S.-Asia policy were shaken by Trump’s failure to inform the Asian allies — or even the Pentagon — before mothballing the military maneuvers.

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Explain the fish sticks then.

  110. 110
    NotMax says:

    Too incensed by this right now to even begin to compose a response other than this one.

  111. 111
    sukabi says:

    @TenguPhule: 21st is the solstice, by the end of August it’s going to be unbearable.

  112. 112
    El Caganer says:

    @japa21: The Sultan of America’s janissaries.

  113. 113
    TenguPhule says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    How the fuck sadistic do you have to be to lose the evangelicals?! Apparently, we’ve finally found it.

    Worse, he’s only lost some of them. Which means the rest approve.

  114. 114
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @japa21:

    but modern scholarship thinks it was someone trying to copy Paul’s style and not doing a good job of it.

    Paul’s style was misinterpreting pharisaism, better known as rabbinical interpretations of the Torah, while claiming to be a pharisee/rabbi. So I’m not really sure how anyone could do any worse.

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Explain the fish sticks then.

    Stuck in the custard.

  116. 116
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    So I’m not really sure how anyone could do any worse.

    Trump: Hold my bar mitzvah.

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: There isn’t. There are actually US treaty commitments regarding asylum seekers, that have the force of law because they were ratified by the Senate, that prohibit this.

  118. 118
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ruckus:

    I understand the Fuck Walmart, just on general principle but did I miss something else?

    Guess who owned the buildings bought for the temporary concentration camps?

  119. 119

    @Amir Khalid: Eid Mubarak! What do you make for the feast. Indian Muslims make phirni and biryani.

  120. 120
    opiejeanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I always liked George.

  121. 121
    Ruckus says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Fuck All Religions.

    No thanks, I have too much respect for myself.

  122. 122
    Incitatus for Senate says:

    Maybe we can finally stop pretending to respect Christianity in this country. Lets face it, 90% of the time “Christian” translate to hypocritical cruel bigot. My whole life I have had to be polite about these fucking morons grasping onto traditions from the fucking bronze age. Fuck these fucking people.

  123. 123
    Amir Khalid says:

    @TenguPhule:
    That must be a great privation for you, but decency encourages us not to thirst for the blood of our enemies even if we think they have it coming.

  124. 124
    TenguPhule says:

    @sukabi: I live in Hawaii. Its 88 with 80% humidity and we currently have no trade winds. My A/C is broken until the weekend. Its unbearable right now.

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I could give it a go. I’ve had two drinks and know none of the languages involved.

  126. 126
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense:

    and a PK

    Not sure what this means.

    Something like this?

  127. 127
    Platonailedit says:

    Making enemies across north.
    Making enemies across south.
    Making enemies across the oceans.
    Making amurkkka grate again.

  128. 128
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Amazing, isn’t it, that we have about half of our policy debates – between the actual participants themselves, not just the peanut gallery – via Twitter? Corker, Flake, McCain, Clinton, Holder, Harris, Collins,…on and on.

  129. 129
    raven says:

    @TenguPhule: Go out on the lanai.

  130. 130
    JPL says:

    It’s time for the democrats to sit on the congressional steps and refuse to enter unless Paul Ryan puts forward a bill to stop this shit. It doesn’t take much and a sentence would do. Separating children from parents should not be part of a broader bill.
    They need to go on strike.

  131. 131
    TenguPhule says:

    @Amir Khalid: Did you even read the curse in question? For here it was mild as white toast with butter.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Eid Mubarak!

  133. 133
  134. 134
    HumboldtBlue says:

    This post is yet another example of why I read this blog.

  135. 135
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Preacher’s Kid.

  136. 136
    khead says:

    Romans 13:7 – Today’s version:

    “Pay your fucking taxes and like it”

  137. 137
    TenguPhule says:

    @raven:

    Go out on the lanai.

    its sunny. There is no wind and no clouds in my area. I currently hate almost everything right now.

  138. 138
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Magdalene laundries…

  139. 139
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Explain the fish sticks then.

    I did need that little chuckle. Thanks.

  140. 140
    jl says:

    Note that even Paul says the law might not be worth ‘honoring’ even though he says whatever it is, you should submit to it.
    And that Paul passage doesn’t give any advice to the people making or enforcing the laws at all. So the whole exercise is obviously stupid and irrelevant.

    I am not a big Paul fan, from my Christian upbringing days, but amazing how the reactionary Xtianists, and their fellow travelers, and manipulators, just pluck out the words or phrases they want and ignore whatever contradicts their line, even if Paul contradicts it a few words away.

    Similar with the famous passage in Paul that condemns (maybe, we are not sure) what we would call ‘gay’ in the modern world. A sentence later Paul says that spiritual pride is worse than all the others he mentioned, and that a Christian shall not judge (that is for God alone) but be generous and merciful to all, no matter what their sins. (Edit: and some of those sins where murder and mayhem, so in Paul’s book, spiritual pride was very bad and very dangerous, more dangerous than the rest)

  141. 141
    Jeffro says:

    @chris: hey, they got the SCOTUS decision they’ve always dreamed of (after Citizens United, that is). We now have 5 Supremes positing that the Voting Rights Act actually demands that we do the opposite of what it says it demands, that voting rights are not really rights, that states have a proactive obligation to kick people off of the rolls.

    In hindsight, we should have shut the whole fucking thing down when McConnell refused to even hold hearings on Garland, much less hold an up or down vote. That will have to be made law if we manage to dig our way out of this mess.

  142. 142
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: If you can do it in the original Hebrew. And use the right curse. Then sure, knock yourself out.

    You have to supply your own live chicken…

  143. 143
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TenguPhule: Over Memorial Day weekend, it was in the mid-90s here. My beloved Saab’s A/C crapped out and I had to do two multi-hour trips. Gah! Luckily, it only needed a recharge.

  144. 144
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MagdaInBlack: You are quite welcome.

  145. 145
    JPL says:

    @TenguPhule: That’s me every night when I go to bed. I just hate everything, and I want my democratic reps to go on strike.

  146. 146
    MagdaInBlack says:

    I’d like to mention that my blood ran cold when I heard Government using bible passages to justify their actions.

  147. 147
  148. 148
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Marcopolo: It was a reference to a Robin Williams joke, if I’m recalling correctly. During one of his primary campaigns for president, Gephardt went through a personality inversion. Williams joked that the aliens had switched his brain around and that you could tell because they forgot to put his eyebrows back on.

  149. 149
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    In Malaysia it varies with the state, but everyone has ketupat (rice cakes wrapped in woven palm leaves) and lemang (fragrant rice cooked in lengths of bamboo, and rendang, and traditional family dishes that are so rich they only get prepared a few times a year. My mother’s family is mostly Singapore-born Javanese, so the food in our family has a decided Javanese slant. I have to avoid bingeing on those; after a month of fasting, rich food tends to upset my stomach.

  150. 150
    Apocalipstick says:

    @TenguPhule: The best possible development for Christianity would be for your wish to come true.

  151. 151

    @Adam L Silverman: Usually we offer our guests and gods, food. You asked for Apsaras, so I did the best I could across the intertoobz. Apsaras btw were proficient in the arts, singing, dancing, poetry etc.

    ETA: The male equivalent of apsara would be gandharva.

  152. 152
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @opiejeanne: I think he’s the patron saint of televangelists.

  153. 153
    Amir Khalid says:

    @TenguPhule:
    It is Eid al-Fitri today, not a day for wishing misfortune on others.

  154. 154

    @Adam L Silverman: Wait, what? The only bit I’m aware of is where it says thou shall not lay with a man as with a woman. I don’t see how you separate top/bottom out of that although I don’t doubt some have done it. But where’s the proscription for women?

  155. 155
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    So how do these morons square the idea that Jews in Germany should have done an armed rebellion against the Nazi government and following the laws?

    Here’s the thing. Laws can be wrong and unjust. Those laws should be not be followed

  156. 156
    jl says:

    Interesting too, that even old dead white guys like John Calvin and Martin Luther had problems with Paul’s advice. They weren’t intellectually equipped to deal with, since no history of modern democracy back then. They eventually handled it differently. Luther, when push came to shove, eagerly advocated hacking the rebellious peasants into hunks and chunks. Calvin, IIRC, retreated to is study to fret over it endlessly, and be wishy washy about heretics that the city might want to burn on flimsy pretexts.

    But, bottom line is we keep pushing back the good old days that the reactionaries want to return us to.
    So, 1950s, 1920s, 1870s, 1840s, early 1500s. But some Trumpster fuss a few weeks ago brought up Judges, so I guess that gets us back to something something 500 or 1000 BC. They really need to make up their mind what good old days they want to take us back to.

    Whichever one looks like it will give them total power to do whatever they want right now is the is the real authentic good old days, I guess.

  157. 157
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’ve been without A/C for almost two weeks. It is hot AF here and doesn’t cool off until around midnight.

  158. 158
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: The Southern Baptist Convention is, apparently, undergoing some interesting internal reflection (soul searching) as an institution. Some of this is the result of revelations coming to light about how some of the most prominent pastors badly, and in some cases tragically, mishandled cases of domestic abuse and violence. It is unclear at this point whether this is going to lead to any real changes or shifts in the denomination.

  159. 159
    joel hanes says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I know a group of actual Christians who have organized to take turns calling their Republican officeholders, so that every day this group produces one “I oppose this one policy” call in each Republican home office. The group takes its name from the maxim that even hard stone can be worn away by one drip at a time.

    Your bigotry is noted, and is not more attractive than the Republican variety.

  160. 160
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: That’s Senator Paul’s mom. She’s accounted for.//

  161. 161
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TenguPhule: No wonder you are cranky all the time.

  162. 162
    Josie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks for this, Adam. I found a good used copy on Amazon and look forward to reading it.

  163. 163
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Oh, that’s alright then. Bit of a disappointment for her though.

  164. 164
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: Unfortunately.

  165. 165
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    You have to supply your own live chicken…

    Does it have to be an actual fowl?

  166. 166
    Jeffro says:

    As usual, Ms. Petri delivers: Look, Kim Jong Un is just doing his best

    Talk about the banality of evil

    So this young man impressed Trump a lot. He was “smart” and a “great negotiator.” And in his 30s, he had already done so much! Why, when he was 34 years old, Trump had managed to execute zero family members with anti-aircraft guns, putting him well behind the Dear Leader. At 72, Trump has not even executed anyone who is NOT a family member with an anti-aircraft gun. He may well wonder what he’s done with his life.

    Part of me would actually like to let Trumpov handle an anti-aircraft gun in the vicinity of the rest of his family and staff…

    Anyway…

    Trump thought that Jared Kushner was an impressive young man, and he does not even preside over a regime described by Human Rights Watch as “one of the most repressive authoritarian states in the world.” In the world! Trump knows repressive authoritarian states; it’s a competitive field. America doesn’t even make it onto that list yet, although maybe if Trump really focuses and gets to work, that can change.

    As the State Department wrote in a report last year, the North Korean regime of Leader Kim bears responsibility for “egregious human rights violations by the government in nearly all reporting categories including: extrajudicial killings; disappearances; arbitrary arrests and detentions; torture; political prison camps in which conditions were often harsh, life threatening, and included forced and compulsory labor; unfair trials; rigid controls over many aspects of citizen’s lives, including arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, and correspondence, and denial of the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, religion, and movement; denial of the ability to choose their government; coerced abortion; trafficking in persons; severe restrictions on worker rights, including denial of the right to organize independent unions and domestic forced labor through mass mobilizations and as a part of the re-education system.” That’s a lot of responsibility for one so young. Most people would never have gone so far.

    Just trying to picture Hillz or Barry Bamz embracing a tenth of that, and what the reaction on the right would be.
    or, say, them saluting a North Korean general.

  167. 167
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I can’t even get drunk because the alcohol makes me feel even hotter.

  168. 168
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Have you considered toasting marshmallows over a lava vent?//

  169. 169
    Platonailedit says:

    Funneling more money into an already corrupt system.

    A scandal-plagued company that used to work for the CIA is poised to profit off the influx of immigrant children being forcibly separated from their parents.

    Separating refugee and immigrant children from their parents isn’t just an emotionally wrenching policy. It’s an enterprise that is benefitting intelligence and defense contractors.

    Those contractors—including one with a history of scandals—have advertised a flurry of jobs in recent weeks to support the infrastructure surrounding undocumented children whom the Trump administration has taken from their families.

    Matthew Kolken, an immigration attorney who frequently represents undocumented children, told The Daily Beast he’s deeply concerned about these contractors’ childcare work.

    “I’m guessing that in their mission statement, one of the central components isn’t the care of refugee children,” he said. “It is mind-blowing that those types of industries would be even considered with respect to the care of children. They’re not equipped to be able to do it. Would you want your child to be dropped off in their hands? I know I wouldn’t.”

  170. 170
    Mary G says:

    Wow. My ex-Jesuit father must be spinning in his grave. I’m sitting here looking at his 5″ thick Greek/Latin dictionary with all the scribbles in the margins and imagining the scathing rebuttal he would deliver. This administration is an abomination.

    PS: he also thought St. Paul was an asshole.

  171. 171
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I was just teasing.

  172. 172
    jl says:

    :’Let he who is with sin cast the first stone’ sounds good to me. It’s just one little word, and it fits somehow into the famous proverb ‘takes one to know one”. That proverb is from the Book of Erasmus.

  173. 173
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Dude, its so hot right now that the marshmallows melt in the damn bag.

  174. 174
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jeffro: al-Awlaki.

  175. 175

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s a dry heat, so it’s got that going for it.

  176. 176
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @John Revolta: Talmudic and other rabbinic explanations of what the commandments mean. In the case of lesbianism there is no explicit prohibition and therefore no delineated penalty.

  177. 177
    opiejeanne says:

    @sukabi: The Solstice is a week from today.

    The Fremont Solstice Parade is this Saturday. That’s the one with nekkid people with clothes painted on ’em. Most of them ride bicycles, which makes for interesting thoughts.

    Solstice 1

  178. 178
  179. 179
    Cain says:

    @opiejeanne: more like mammonites. That would be a more apt description, than christianists although Google came up with christianus. I approve.

  180. 180
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: As I’ve written here on the front page twice, and once elsewhere, these knuckleheads can’t even get the history and reality of German gun laws in the 1930s and 1940s correct. So expecting any consistency is silly.

  181. 181
    opiejeanne says:

    @TenguPhule: I don’t think anyone here is named Amy Pond.

  182. 182
    jl says:

    one reason I follow Josh Marshall’s twitter:

    @joshtpm
    It’s a Junta of Grandpas yelling at their TVs and jamming the remotes.
    https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1007437131432841218

  183. 183
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hey, whatever get’s you through to the next power grab. That is all that matters.

  184. 184
    sukabi says:

    So far the only look into one of these internment camps is showing boys that are probably 12 and older…they’ve got different “facilities” for the girls and younger children supposedly…but no mention or indication of where they are…

  185. 185
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Josie: His other book, Revolution in Judea is also very interesting. It situates Jesus and the Jesus movement in it’s Judean/Jewish context.
    https://www.amazon.com/Revolution-Judaea-Hyam-Maccoby/dp/080086784X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529027398&sr=8-1&keywords=revolution+in+judea

    I also highly recommend:
    https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Before-Christianity-Albert-Nolan/dp/1570754047/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1529027419&sr=1-1&keywords=jesus+before+christianity

    I used to use Nolan when I taught New Testament.

  186. 186
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule:

  187. 187
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Ravenous wolves.

  188. 188
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    @TenguPhule:

    Speaking at alcohol, we have a reservation at the Disneyland Hotel’s fancy steakhouse tomorrow night, and the featured cocktail is a French 75.

    I’m already daydreaming about it.

  189. 189
    NotMax says:

    @TenguPhule

    Its unbearable right now.

    That’s Oahu for you.

    :)

    78 on this slice of Maui, light breezes, scattered clouds. Quite pleasant.

  190. 190
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: Though shalt covet thy neighbor’s wife…//

    Though shalt commit adultery…//

  191. 191
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’ve always thought the lack of consistency is a matter of convenience. Much like the citing of Romans 13 by pro-slavery forces in the 19th century, they just want to be on top and be obeyed by everyone; and they want to control everyone’s lives. Pure authoritarianism.

    The only saving grace of every dictator/authoritarian in history is that they eventually die and can be overthrown. I hope I never live to see the day when immortality is achieved.

  192. 192
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Well that should speed things up.

  193. 193

    @Incitatus for Senate:

    grasping onto traditions from the fucking bronze age.

    Actually, they’re grasping onto traditions from 1980, which they think are from 1950, which they justify with badly misrepresented copper age texts.

  194. 194
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Not just Goldhagen. Milton Mayer’s _They Thought They Were Free_ (1955!), Eric Johnson’s _What We Knew_, Gellately’s _Backing Hitler_ , and Victor Klemperer’s diaries all make it pretty stunningly clear that the German populace was quite aware of what was happening to the Jews. And the millions of prisoners-of-war who were worked to death in German factories, too.

    They were just too busy posting kitten pics to worry their little heads over it.

  195. 195
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I have boiled ears of corn in a volcanic hot spring–close enuf?

  196. 196
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The tweet that Cheryl highlighted in one of the comments sections earlier today from a rabbi, a priest, and a nun had some serious shade thrown by the rabbi. He did the quotes about our collective responsibility to strangers from Leviticus, which is of course the Christianists’ favorite source of clobber texts. Burn! 😂🔥🔥🔥

  197. 197
    Ruckus says:

    @Mary G:
    If he’s spinning, I’d bet he’s up to about 100,000 RPM about now.

  198. 198
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    1980. That’s a year where everything just seemed to start going wrong, though the seeds for our decline were planted before that.

  199. 199
    MomSense says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    That and the Negroni are household favorites. My kid in NY texted me over the weekend to tell me he was drinking a French 75.

  200. 200
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chet Murthy: Some people posting kitten pics were doing it for cover.

  201. 201

    @Amir Khalid: Sounds intriguing. Diwali snacks are like that, you make them once a year, they are rich and complicated to make.

  202. 202
    LesGS says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I see my library has a copy of this. Gonna run over tomorrow and check it out. Thanks!

  203. 203
  204. 204
    cynthia ackerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That lines up with the sell-by date on a package of her fish sticks …

  205. 205
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    Until I read the companion book to the BBC’s The Nazis: A Warning From History, I had not realized how many German Jews were essentially enslaved long before the Final Solution was hatched. Suddenly every German housewife could have her very own Jewish housemaid who didn’t dare complain about how you treated her, because you could have the authorities haul her away to a concentration camp and bring you a new one, free of charge.

    Ordinary Germans constantly benefited from having Jewish Germans be stripped of their citizenship and assets. It was one of the ways the Nazis made themselves popular once they took power.

  206. 206
  207. 207
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MomSense:

    It turns out I like gin as long as it’s mixed with other stuff. Who knew?

    We will probably also have a rum drink or two at Trader Sam’s tiki bar since we’ll probably get there around noon but can’t check in until 3 pm.

  208. 208
    MomSense says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun.

  209. 209
    Splitting Image says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It was a reference to a Robin Williams joke, if I’m recalling correctly. During one of his primary campaigns for president, Gephardt went through a personality inversion. Williams joked that the aliens had switched his brain around and that you could tell because they forgot to put his eyebrows back on.

    Bloom County, actually. :)

  210. 210
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    ” Though shalt covet thy neighbor’s wife…//

    Though shalt commit adultery…// ”

    Sounds good to me. I want credit for this important new dispensation in God’s Plan Progressive revelation rules!
    Though, quite a few fundy preacher men beat me in putting this great new teaching into practice.
    Faith without works is dead, you know. Some bigshot said that in the New Testament.

  211. 211

    @Mnemosyne: Watch out for Pink Elephants on Parade!!

  212. 212
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chet Murthy: Teh kitties are important!//

  213. 213
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: We’ll allow it. Though the Bulgarian judge only gives it a 3.6 out of 6.//

  214. 214
    jl says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    ” after a month of fasting, rich food tends to upset my stomach. ”
    But aren’t we supposed to make a special sacrifice for each one of our religious holidays?

  215. 215
    J R in WV says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Happy Eid for you and yours, Amir !

    I’m glad you have an entire planet between your family and our dear leader’s insanity. It may be enough…..

  216. 216
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    No one has seen Mrs. Paul since about 2 AD…//

    Her fish on the other hand: http://www.mrspauls.com/Home.aspx

  217. 217
    jl says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S): Hey, Paul has been doing some great work, and everyone is noticing!

  218. 218
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: I did not see that, but I’m not surprised by it. This is a very touchy subject with Jews, for obvious historic and religious/theological reasons. And it is why people like Stephen Miller are so far outside the mainstream of the Jewish community on this topic. It is also why Jared and Ivanka will have trouble in their congregations. Standing silently while this is going on if one is Jewish is, for Jews, almost as bad as pushing for it to happen a la Miller.

  219. 219
    jl says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S): Paul was a widower. Otherwise I would suggest Mrs. Paul ran off to Vegas with Mrs. Peter on Apostle expense account money.

  220. 220
    Platonailedit says:

    I suck at My job.

    https://t.co/DxY0IcZmGa— God (@TheTweetOfGod) June 14, 2018

    True.

  221. 221
    Lizzy L says:

    Trump is Herod. Sessions is Herod’s executioner.

    About Paul: I recommend the book PAUL AMONG THE PEOPLE, by the translator Sara Ruden.

    Jesus of Nazareth was pretty explicit: whatsoever you do to the least among you, you do that to Me.

  222. 222
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl: Sad!

  223. 223
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LesGS: You’re welcome. It’s a quick read.

  224. 224
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: But only Indian kittens, right?//

  225. 225
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Splitting Image: Right time period, wrong source! Now it’s all coming back to me.

  226. 226
    Sophie Montane says:

    @japa21:

    @zhena gogolia: It was originally credited to Paul but modern scholarship thinks it was someone trying to copy Paul’s style and not doing a good job of it. As you said, that explains a lot.

    That’s not quite right. The Epistle to the Hebrews is anonymous, and the early Christians were unsure who wrote it. As Origen said in the third century, “only God himself knows” who wrote Hebrews.

    The text of Hebrews is not similar to Paul in style or theme. In fact it’s generally considered more sophisticated—certainly the Greek is better. And Hebrews’ elaborate theory of the Jewish priesthood, etc. etc., is completely absent in Paul.

    It was only in the third and fourth centuries, when the New Testament canon was being assembled, that Hebrews was assigned to Paul (though the Church Fathers even then acknowledged that they were unsure about the authorship). Certain beloved texts had been treasured by the church for centuries at that point, and all of them ended up being tidily assigned to first century famous figures.

    The only element in Hebrews that even sounds like Paul is the closing, where there is mention of a journey and “Timothy.” But was that written by the same person who wrote the main text? Or was it added by another hand during the period that the text was circulating, to make it seem like a Pauline epistle? Maybe.

    Bottom line is, it’s unfair to call Hebrews a bad copy of Paul. That’s not what it is at all. It’s an original piece of thought and writing that only later got assigned to Paul to make things all nice and tidy.

  227. 227
    jl says:

    @Lizzy L: The fundies have an answer for everything. After the Pentacost, that saying by Jesus changed its meaning to a saying appropriate for the Risen Christ. Now, ‘the least among you’ refer to the poor oppressed Xtianist fundies, and no one else, including the fundy preachermen. And recently I see one of them was raising money for fourth or fifth private jet (hint hint).

    I am making this jokey, but the Xtianists have reinterpreted pretty much everything Jesus taught to fit in with their endtimes prophecy craziness. Often reinterpret to mean the opposite of what the earthly Jesus intended. And when they can’t do that, they say we today shouldn’t pay any attention to that anyway, since Jesus was talking to stiff necked Jews of his day who would not listen to him. So, forget that stuff. It’s mainly of academic theological interest, where they cant’ twist it to their current purposes.

  228. 228
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: Actually that’s from a MASH episode where Father Mulcahey got a batch of Bibles from the Chaplaincy with a bunch of typos.

  229. 229
  230. 230
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Platonailedit: The follow ups are good to:

  231. 231
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I should point out that if it really comes to it, people who comment here will be rounded up. Those who are appalled by it will do the rebelling.

  232. 232
    Nelle says:

    @japa21: private prison profit. Got to expand the market.

  233. 233
    Raoul says:

    “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are Gods servants”

    Boy, THAT bit of scripture sure gets skipped over by conservatives!

  234. 234
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks, I’ll try to get hold of a copy of that book. But simply reading the letters of Paul, shows that what he was saying was very different from what the Xtianist preachermen pretend he was saying. Very striking and consistent gnostic strands in his belief, for one example. Entirely too lax and easy going in how Christians should tolerate living in a godless society dominated by unbelievers for another, for another. (paraphrase, well, heck, if the sacrificial meat to Jupiter or whoever is just already dead and cooked and you didn’t have anything to do with it, and it looks good, go ahead and eat some, don’t be rude to your pagan neighbors).

    @Adam L Silverman: Close enough. I’m the urtext on it though, right here on BJ blog.

  235. 235
    J R in WV says:

    What a good thread. Thanks Adam. Really puts these evangelist monsters in perspective.

    And I imagine Javanka will have some trouble at temple, eventually.

    Sad, that. not really….

  236. 236
    Duane says:

    Satan knows biblical scripture very well. He must be proud of his republican minions.

  237. 237
    sukabi says:

    @Platonailedit: that’s a funny thread.😂

  238. 238
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Lizzy L:

    I finally figured out why the Christianists latched onto being anti-abortion. They think that this:

    Jesus of Nazareth was pretty explicit: whatsoever you do to the least among you, you do that to Me.

    means that they now have a cheat code that gets them into Heaven. All they have to do is only worry about what happens to the “least” (which they’ve decided means “fetuses”) and then they can be as cruel as they want to everyone else, because they’ve declared themselves champions of the “least.”

    I’m very serious about this. I really think that’s their logic, if you want to call it that.

  239. 239
    BruceJ says:

    @Mnemosyne: Nope. They latched onto that as a way to get around the act that no one, not even their own flocks, supported outright white supremacy in1976, which was their true beef with the federal government.

  240. 240
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MomSense:
    @John Revolta:

    I’m not specifically planning a boozy weekend (in large part because I can’t handle more than 1 drink every 4 hours), but it does seem like everything I keep thinking we should do ends up involving alcohol. Which also means that we’ll mostly be at California Adventure, because Disneyland itself is still dry and will remain so forever (Walt wanted it that way and there’s really no need to change it since every other place at the Resort sells alcohol.)

  241. 241
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’ve never seen an antiabortion fanatic give a Biblical citation for their beliefs. And the Old Testament recommends trying to induce abortion as a reliable paternity test. So, mixed messages in an old religious text, which is common.

    @BruceJ: Abortion was not a big theological deal with the protestant fundies, until their leaders decided to get into politics, I think during the 1970s. Not sure if they thought up the abortion angle, or politicians suggested it. But, there is the clear and unambiguous history as evidence that they changed their views almost 180 degrees.

  242. 242
  243. 243
    Aleta says:

    Not a christian, but I’m OK with sentencing the christian law abiders who’ve harmed these 11,000 children according to this “biblical law” I found:

    whoso shall offend one of these little ones, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

  244. 244
  245. 245
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @TenguPhule: Or to President Bill Clinton.

  246. 246
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BruceJ:

    That was the actual reason, but that’s not how they sold it to the rubes, and now there’s two generations of churchgoers out there who only know the cover story and not the actual reason.

    The anti-abortion movement is deeply racist and misogynist, but I’m talking about the cover story that they’re been telling themselves for so long that half of them believe it.

  247. 247
    frosty says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Its 88 with 80% humidity

    In other words, a nice summer day in Baltimore or DC.

  248. 248
    chris says:

    Some pictures from the #familiesbelongtogether demonstration in LA.

  249. 249
    Mary G says:

    Thread with copies of FTFNYT articles from 1934 about a Quaker professor who said Jews should not boycott German products or say nasty things about Hitler.

    Okay. I've found it. The absolute culmination of the "we have to build bridges with the far right" argument. pic.twitter.com/PpMHELNIe1— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) June 14, 2018

    On the same page in the newspaper:

    (Same day, same page: American Baptist pastor says the appeal of Nazi antisemitism is grounded not in bigotry, but—I kid you not—economic anxiety.) pic.twitter.com/KEZ3at9stn— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) June 14, 2018

    History, who needs it?//

  250. 250

    @Mnemosyne:

    Disneyland itself is still dry

    True for mere mortals, but there’s Club 33.

  251. 251
    cain says:

    @ScampDog – sorry I didn’t see your note on the balloon-juice denver meet up – if you are active, I’m free all this month on any weekday. Let me know! Thank you for organizing! :)

  252. 252
    Shell says:

    “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are Gods servants”

    Trump seems to base everything he does on cost. Or at least thats how he presents it and justifies it to his base. I.e. tariffs are ripping off the american consumer, NATO and military bases around the world, this and that is bleeding the american taxpayer . So why not attack them on that front? Separate facilities for mothers and children are doubling the cost. The mass incarceration needs more holding places built. More staff. More food. All coming out of my taxes.

  253. 253
    Platonailedit says:

    @Mary G: And fynyt was/is a part of that ‘history’. Whocuddaknowed.

  254. 254
    Platonailedit says:

    Let's try an experiment and separate Jeff Sessions' grandchildren from their parents for a week or two. As he said today, "short-term separation of families is not unusual or unjustified.”— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) June 15, 2018

  255. 255
    sukabi says:

    @Platonailedit: short term? Some of those kids have been away from their parents for months.

  256. 256
    jl says:

    @Shell: You have to understand opportunity cost. Bombers in military exercises in Korea can be used over Iran. Those breastfeeding mothers and their taker infants would corrupt our society if left free to roam.

  257. 257
    Kay says:

    Isn’t it time for Sarah to head off on the grift circuit? I read they had a job fair at the White House.

    Join Our Team. They should try those ads you see on the back of trucks.

  258. 258
    Platonailedit says:

    @Kay: She is a know nothing now and will be a no nothing after she is fired.

  259. 259
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Adam L Silverman: See posts and comments about the mess in the SBC at the blog thewartburgwatch.com. Also interesting are the cynical posts by Bob Felton (at his blog bobfelton.com) on the SBC in general and its 2018 convention in particular.

  260. 260
    cain says:

    @Kay:
    Who the fuck would want to join the most vilest set of mannonites to ever live in a white house.

    4th July should be one fucking protest day. Everyone just simply not celebrate until these assholes are gone. I have nothing to celebrate the 4th about. There is nothing to celebrate watching the country I love fall into a deep crevice and rotting.

  261. 261
    Aleta says:

    @Kay: I wonder if they have her all set up with something — god knows what– move her over to the convention slush fund payroll or run her for ?? God only knows.

  262. 262
    Kay says:

    Oh, oh. More ethical lapses on Team Trump:

    Two Democrats are demanding a review of the Education Department’s ethics program following an ABC News report that revealed a senior Education official, hired straight out of the for-profit college sector, helped dismantle regulations designed to protect students defrauded by predatory colleges.
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat from Illinois, make the demand in a letter sent to the department’s inspector general Thursday.
    Robert Eitel, who was hired by the Trump administration last year after four years as a for-profit college executive, played a role in suspending an Obama-era policy known as “borrower defense to repayment,” according to documents obtained exclusively by ABC through the watchdog group Democracy Forward.

    They should hold an ethics training. Have everyone come in on a Saturday morning and do workshops on how not to lie and steal so much.

  263. 263
    Kay says:

    @Aleta:

    Mike Huckabee said he built a 4 story, 3 million dollar mansion in Florida because Florida had “affordable” restaurants.

    They’re absolutely shameless. Ol Smokey Eye learned from the best.

  264. 264
    Duane says:

    Sessions and Sanders wouldn’t know anything about the bible if it hit them in the head. And it appears to be doing just that.

  265. 265
    SectionH says:

    @Adam L Silverman: One of my cousins went to the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, a long time ago. They taught him a lot of Biblical background, enough language background to understand some serious deviations from actual surviving texts that happened during translations, into English. When he got ordained, he spent his ministry (I think that’s the term) as a Hospital Chaplain. He left the SBC when they went srsly RW loonie. I think he and his raised-Catholic wife joined the Methodist church… but he used to write a column in the Amarillo TX newspaper. And get hysterical feedback from loonies, many of whom quoted some passage of the Bible about their lunacy. My cousin would feature one of those now and then, and patiently and earnestly explain how the original passage in Greek or Aramaic (?) did not actually mean whatever their late-20th c. rewritten Bible version states. Preaching to Texas cattle might have had more impact, afaik.

    I’ve always been kind of creeped out by most religious stuff. Probably the old Militant Agnostic category fits me best: I don’t know and you don’t either. eta: But I still know more about the Bible than most of the RW base, because you can’t deal with English lit at least until the 19th c. without that background.

  266. 266

    Nice. Race war, trade war, now a holy war. Gaia save us all, when the hell is the fucking rapture scheduled, I am so done with these useless morons.

  267. 267
    cwmoss says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: What’s Gwyneth Paltrow got to do with this?

  268. 268
    sukabi says:

    @Kay: It would have to be an INTENSIVE AVERSION THERAPY, I hear tasers could be effective.

  269. 269
    Brachiator says:

    How many miles will it take
    To see the sun
    And how many years until it’s done
    Kiss my confusion away in the night
    Lay by side when the morning comes

    And the baby looks around him
    And shares his bed of hay
    With the burrow in the palace of the king
    He’s a stranger in a strange land
    Tell me why

    He’s a stranger in a strange land
    Just a stranger in a strange land

    — Leon Russell and Don Preston

  270. 270
    Citizen Alan says:

    @joel hanes:

    Everyone knows “a few” Christians who are trying to fight back against the Evil of Our Time. And I agree it’s unfair to say all Christians are bad. But among Evangelical Christians, the percentage of “good” Christians cannot be larger than 19% of all Evangelicals. We know that as a matter of empirical fact because 81% of Evangelicals took the Mark of the Beast in 2016.

  271. 271
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    One wonders how many people 80 years ago were still extolling the value of decency towards one’s existential enemies even as they were being loaded onto cattle cars.

  272. 272
    Citizen Alan says:

    @jl:

    How does the saying go? Catholicism is the victory of Peter over Paul. Protestantism is the victory of Paul over Peter. Evangelicalism is the victory of Paul over Christ.

  273. 273
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’ve actually had a theory about the anti-choice movement for a while. It’s not about protecting babies (obviously). It’s not really about punishing women (though they do get off on that). It’s not even really about religion. It’s about people who know deep down in their hearts (but do not want to admit it) that they are awful, hateful, cruel monsters who have never done a single thing to make life better for anyone else outside their vicious little tribes. And consequently, the idea of easy access to abortion fills them with existential terror, because it forces them to confront the fact that the world would almost certainly be a better place if their mothers had stabbed them all in the heart while they were still in the womb.

  274. 274
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    That “Divine Right of Kings” argument, “God sez to obey the laws enacted by the temporal authorities (which happen to be me)”, it worked so well for Charles I.

  275. 275
    EZSmirkzz says:

    Well Adam, far be it from me, a Texan no less, to advise an atheist on matters such as these, but, when an evangelical uses the Greek Scripture, incorrectly IMHO, then one should reply with the Greek Scripture, such as the Sermon on the Mount, or the parable of separating the sheep from the goats, in this case. Of course if the conservative Christians will not listen to the Christ one shouldn’t expect them to listen to you either.

    For the Christians appalled by this policy I would suggest the Hebrew Scripture injunction, “Your strength is in returning and resting, and trusting in Jehovah your God.”, and the Greek Scripture, “Become wrathful, but do not sin.”, The measuring line we measure out for others is the measuring line that will be measured out for ourselves.

    I could say much more, but add very little, so to quote the poet, anything more than the truth would seem too weak. This is a day that Jehovah has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. One and all should avoid surrendering their bonheur de vivre to the outrage of the day.

  276. 276
    EthylEster says:

    FPer wrote:

    Stay angry!

    Hey, that’s a version I really like.

  277. 277

    […] — like Sarah Huckabee Sanders — have the audacity to cite Scripture as a justification for destroying lives. They’ve dispensed with the “render unto Caesar this which is Caesar’s and render […]

  278. 278
    cleosmom says:

    @Josie:

    Someone should ask these evil Bible thumpers if they prefer the teachings of Paul, who never actually met Jesus, over the teachings of the actual Christ, who told the parable of the the good Samaritan.

    I was raised in a churchgoing family and concluded a long time ago that most organized Christianity worships Paul, not Jesus. Maybe that submission of women schtick was the main attraction.

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