Religion

You Could Look It Up, But I'd Rather You Didn't

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In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that criticizes "compassionate conservatism," Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says:

Common sense and the Scriptures show that true giving and compassion require sacrifice by the giver. This is why Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell his possessions, not his neighbor's possessions. Spending other people's money is not compassionate.

Defending compassionate conservatism against Coburn's attack, Washington Post columnist (and former George W. Bush speechwriter) Michael Gerson says Jesus was no libertarian. He may be right about that, but he blatantly misrepresents two biblical passages in an attempt to demonstrate that God is on his side:

The Jewish tradition in which Jesus lived and taught demanded that just rulers make a minimal provision for the poor, including no-interest loans and the distribution of agricultural commodities. (Look it up: Exodus 22:25-27 and Deuteronomy 24:19-21.)

Here is the first passage to which Gerson refers:

If you lend money to any of My people, even to the poor with you, you shall not be to him as a creditor; neither shall you lay upon him interest.

Here is the second:

When you reap your harvest in your field, and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to fetch it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it after you; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.  

These passages support Coburn's argument, not Gerson's. They are divine commands incumbent upon individual lenders and farmers. They are not, pace Gerson, instructions for "just rulers" to create government-run welfare programs.

[Thanks to Adamness for the tip.]

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  1. The Bush Administration has been lying about the Constitution for so long — as well as aboout the facts and evidence regarding our shared social world — why not lie about the Bible, too?

  2. Those two particular Biblical passages are *so* compatible with libertarianism. In a small, tight-knit community, I’d say it’s a simple matter for “you”, the farmer to give a small loan to a person you know needs it and not expect any interest whatsoever. Or to give part of your harvest to the poor.
    However, I don’t live in a tight-knit extended community like that, so I pretty much have to use a charity of my choice or a church to act as mediator.
    I completely agree that forcing random strangers to subsidize poor people who are completely unknown to those random strangers is a pretty strong distortion from “compassion” in the old-school, Biblical sense.
    As a “little-l” libertarian, it’s easy for me to think that most decent people (who earn a good living), regardless of whether their belief structures are centered around secular or religious premises, would have no trouble giving generously to the truly needy (I see Oprah and Bill Gates do it all the time). But things obviously become problematic when A)a peson is forced to subsidize welfare and B) the person is out of touch with the people he or she is supposed to be helping.

  3. I completely agree that forcing random strangers to subsidize poor people who are completely unknown to those random strangers is a pretty strong distortion from “compassion” in the old-school, Biblical sense.

    Deuteronomy is all about forcing random strangers (ie your fellow tribesmen) to do this and that:

    If you marry a woman thinking she’s a virgin and it turns out she’s lying, the whole town must stone her to death;
    check it out.

    And then Art POG comes in here recoiling about the horror of compelling “random strangers” to leave some fucking grain for the poor. Lawd sakes, Yahweh was a card-carrying Libertarian and would never think about doing something like that!

  4. That woman clearly misrepresented herself in the contract. Deuteronomy is just Contract Law 101.

  5. “This is why Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell his possessions, not his neighbor’s possessions. Spending other people’s money is not compassionate.”

    When someone demanded Jesus tell _a_third_party_ (his brother) what to do with his money, Jesus didn’t demand the brother be ‘fair’ or give away his possessions. Jesus explicitly refused to be a club with which to beat that other person into submission. His response below is perfectly in line with “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” or concerning oneself with the board in one’s own eye instead of the spec in someone else’s.


    Luke 12:12-14

    13) Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
    14) Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”

  6. “They are divine commands incumbent upon individual lenders and farmers. They are not, pace Gerson, instructions for “just rulers” to create government-run welfare programs. ”

    Uhh, I think the problem with this argument is that Dueteronomy is like, a book of LAWS. And so this would be like a law saying that individual farmers have to leave this remant for the poor. That’s hardly libertarian.

    From Wiki’s entry on Duderonomy (as Lebowski would say):Deuteronomy (Greek deuteronomion,???????-?????? “second law”) is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible and of the Old Testament. In form it is a set of three sermons delivered by Moses reviewing the previous forty years of wandering in the wilderness; its central element is a detailed law-code by which the Children of Israel are to live in the Promised Land.

  7. Of course, IF I were a libertarian, I would point out that included in this progressive set of laws are the following:

    The worship of God must remain pure, uninfluenced by neighbouring cultures and their ‘idolatrous’ religious practices. The death penalty is prescribed for conversion from Yahwism and for proselytisation.
    The death penalty is also prescribed for males who are guilty of all of the following: disobeying their parents, profligacy and drunkenness.
    Certain Dietary principles are enjoined.
    The law of rape prescribes various conditions and penalties, depending on whether the girl is engaged to be married or not, and whether the rape occurs in town or in the country. (Deuteronomy 22)
    A Tithe for the Levites and charity for the poor.
    A regular Jubilee Year during which all debts are cancelled.
    Slavery can last no more than 6 years if the individual purchased is “thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman.”
    Yahwistic religious festivals-including Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot-are to be part of Israel’s worship
    The offices of Judge, King, Kohen (temple priest), and Prophet are instituted
    A ban against Asherah next to altars dedicated to God, and the erection of sacred stones
    A ban against children either from being immolated or from passing through fire (the text is ambiguous as to which is meant), divination, sorcery, witchcraft, spellcasting, and necromancy
    A ban preventing blemished animals from becoming sacrifices at the Temple
    Naming of three cities of refuge where those accused of manslaughter may flee from the avenger of blood.
    Exemptions from military service for the newly betrothed, newly married, owners of new houses, planters of new vineyards, and anyone afraid of fighting.
    The peace terms to be offered to non-Israelites before battle – the terms being that they are to become slaves
    The Amalekites to be utterly destroyed
    An order for parents to take a stubborn and rebellious son before the town elders to be stoned.
    A ban on the destruction of fruit trees, the mothers of newly-born birds, and beasts of burden which have fallen over, or are lost
    Rules which regulate marriage, and Levirate Marriage, and allow divorce.
    Purity laws which prohibit the mixing of fabrics, of crops, of beasts of burden under the same yoke, and transvestitism.
    The use of Tzitzit
    Prohibition against people from Ammon, Moab, or who are of illegitimate birth, and their descendants for ten generations, from entering the assembly; the same restriction upon those who are castrated (but not their descendants)
    Regulations for ritual cleanliness, general hygiene, and the treatment of Tzaraath
    A ban on religious prostitution
    Regulations for slavery, servitude, vows, debt, usury, and permissible objects for securing loans
    Prohibition against wives making a groin attack on their husband’s adversary.

  8. The Jewish tradition in which Jesus lived and taught demanded that just rulers make a minimal provision for the poor, including no-interest loans and the distribution of agricultural commodities.

    So what you’re saying, Jacob, is that the Jewish tradition DIDN’T direct Jewish rulers to make a minimal provision for the poor, and that they DIDN’T make no-interest loans and distribute agricultural commodities, and that they DIDN’T point to those two passages to show that such Compassionate Monarchism is ordained by God.

    I don’t think you’re right. I think you are interpreting those Biblical passages in a manner quite different from “the Jewish tradition” that Gerson references.

  9. Uhh, just for the record:

    Why are we using Biblical scripture to dictate policy again? Anyone?

  10. The idea that the wealth of the royal treasury was not the king’s, in the same way that my Civic is mine – basically, the fundamental premise of libertarian philosophy on which this argument is built – didn’t exist at the time of Jesus or before.

  11. Some (many? most?) versions of Exodus 22:25 are translated as “neither shall you lay upon him excessive interest.”

    And note also the reference to “My” people could be interpreted as a sanction to discriminate and charge non-Hebrews whatever they’re willing to pay — just don’t “profiteer” off your own people. (But cf., Exodus 22:21 — “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.”)

    In any case, the notion that being charitable with other people’s money, extracted from them by force, is somehow “virtuous” is — what’s the word I’m looking for? — oh yes: an abomination.

  12. oh god, who cares?

  13. In biblical times there where degrees of “death penalty”. The punishment for some capital crimes was “death penalty by heavenly courts”. That means the state did not execute people for the going against that law, but they expected the transgression to result in death by natural causes. So, saying a transgression meritted the “death penalty by heavenly courts” was equivalent to a surgeon general’s warning. Biblical law makers also believed that not having children was equivalent to dying, because both cases terminated a lineage. So, “death penalty by heavenly courts” could also mean a reduced lifetime reproductive rate. Still, I don’t see how biblical legal codes relate to current American law. The constitution unites all Americans and should be the basis of American laws.

  14. I did all the stuff the Bible told me to, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff.

  15. Who the fuck cares how a bunch of tribesmen ran their country 4000 years ago?

    Oh yeah.. shit.

  16. Ayn_Randian,

    oh god, who cares?

    Well, I do. If they really want to make the case that “taxes are religiously mandated charity,” then I have a fine lawsuit against the IRS under the Establishment Clause.

    No taxes for atheists! Woo!

  17. And then Art POG comes in here recoiling about the horror of compelling “random strangers” to leave some fucking grain for the poor. Lawd sakes, Yahweh was a card-carrying Libertarian and would never think about doing something like that!

    Yeah, but Jesus made a “New Covenant”*

    *If you’re a Christian.

  18. Plus, I’m not “recoiling in horror”. I’ve actually read the Old Testament. There’s obviously a lot of horrifying stuff in there, none of which is mentioned in this thread.

    I haven’t read any parts of the Old Testament since, except for Genesis, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel and maybe Exodus*

    *plus Song of Solomon. Hot.

  19. Hey, I love these religion threads. Whenever they appear, so does that hot chick in a cop uniform who wants to ‘fix’ my belief in G_d.

  20. Pay attention, libertarians. Now that you’ve nominated the Christian Coalition’s poster boy for President you’re going to have to brush up on all this hayseed crap about Bible verses and WWJD.

  21. I believe that the whole Star Wars thingie is a big giant ripoff of Exodus.

  22. For a true libertarian passage, check out the Parable of the Talents, and avoid the deeper meanings, instead just read it as a method for treatment of your stock brokers.

    For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

  23. For those of you who don’t know, WWJD stands for “What Would Jesus Drive”. The correct answer, of course is a big giant Dodge (Deimler Chrysler) 3500 duelly. The choice of discriminating Geneneral Construction Contractor Rabbis around the world.

  24. LOL Cat Bible
    Exodus 22: 25-27

    If u lend money 2 wan ov mah peeps among u hoo iz needy, do not be liek moneylendr; charge him no interest.26 if u taek ur neighbors cloak as pledge, return it 2 him by sunset,27 cuz his cloak iz teh only coverin he has 4 his body. wut else will he sleep in? when he criez out 2 me, im gonna hear, 4 im compashunate.2

  25. Well, I do. If they really want to make the case that “taxes are religiously mandated charity,” then I have a fine lawsuit against the IRS under the Establishment Clause.

    Go for it, Wesley. I support you, just don’t tell the IRS that.

    Gerson should be beaten with a sledgehammer, but the bible can be used in place of a phone book to prevent bruising. Police beatings 101.

  26. Wesley,

    As the 16th amendment came after the 1st, I dont think you have a case. But I like it anyway.

  27. Warren,

    The existence of the LOL Cat bible is scary, but some of it is kinda funny. That part, however, looks like someone used a english -> text speak translator.

    The beginning of Genesis with the ceiling cat references is much better.

  28. My thought is that if the folks flying under the christian flag actually did their part in accordance with their faith, the government could get out of the robin hood business.

    but that’s just my interpretation of tings

  29. 1 Samuel 8: One of the most anarchist chapters in any ancient text. It advocates non-agression, is anti-democracy (pro individual), and extremely anti-tax. God is king of the individual. Any mass rulers are idols first, and tyrants second.

    1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

    4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead [a] us, such as all the other nations have.”

    6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”

    10 Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle [b] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

  30. To those of you who read Deuterononmy as the laws of a modern nation state, you are reading it anachronistically. The “Children of Israel” were anything but a nation state. They were a group of covenant bound people who followed a deity’s instructions. People were free to willingly join them or leave them, as many did. If you left them, you no longer abided by their laws, and if you joined them, the laws were contingent on you. Short of an insurrection, no one was required to stay part of Israel (pre- human monarchy).

  31. I wish we could have the King Samuel predicted. Only taking a tenth?

  32. Look, the idea that someone can be vituous by being forced to do something is ridiculous. The bible is interested in people obeying God’s law, not Man’s law.

  33. Uhh, just for the record:

    Why are we using Biblical scripture to dictate policy again? Anyone?

    Bexause when the subjects are morality justice and ethics, there is really no wiser or more informed opinion than those of superstitious, bigoted, misogynistic tribal goat herders from the bronze and iron ages.

    Back to Bible study for you Taktix?.

  34. Adults who quote scripture are retards and should be laughed at, if not sterilized.
    I have spoken.

  35. J sub D,

    Since the wisdom was imparted by God and the
    informed opinion also originated in heaven,I have to agree with your statement.

    btw, I had no idea you were a christer.

    as for your vitriol toward southern baptist preachers, I thought we got on just fine.

    go figure

  36. The existence of the LOL Cat bible is scary, but some of it is kinda funny

    Teechurcat biltded houze and b00ze plantz, n all he base are belong to him.

    Ecclesiastes 2:4

  37. J sub D,

    While superstitious, bigoted and misogynistic might lead to some bad stuff, Im not sure why goat herder is a problem. They have plenty of time to sit around thinking about morals and ethics.

    Just read the book of Ruth this morning (not for the first time, just happened to be what I was reading this morning). Misogynistic? Sure, some “womens studies” prof might find the concept of kinsman-redeemer misogynistic, but that book doesnt paint a picture of a misogynistic culture (at least to me).

  38. Ecclesiastes has to be one of the oldest surviving works of proto-existentialism. And without Revelations, we’d have no Bosch (maybe).

  39. And the Lord did Hear the Cry of Victor
    And verily, came He down and Slew the Maidens,
    And caused their Cotton-Wool Bugs to blow away,
    And their Kleenex to be laid waste utterly.
    And Victor, in his Anguish, cried out that the Lord was a Rotten Bastard.

  40. brotherben, Let me amend my previous statements about my relationship with protestant clergy.
    “With the exception of brotherben, an non-judgemental cleric who does his best to follow the word of God as he interprets it, I do not get along with Babtist preachers. Not one fucking bit”.

    BTW, I didn’t know you were a Babtist. Of course to us apostate papists, all you protestant heretics are alike. 😉

    You must have some interesting discussions at the Baptist conventions.

  41. Jesus quoted the Old Testament, but I don’t think he claimed to have actually written it. And most of us can tell the difference between Jesus and Paul, let alone Wilberforce, even if Gerson can’t.

  42. I wish we could have the King Samuel predicted. Only taking a tenth?

    And remember evil King Ahab? He wanted Naboth’s vineyard, but apparently the eminent domain laws of the time were more respectful of property rights than ours, so the only way Ahab could get it was by going outside the law and having Naboth whacked.

  43. JsD,

    BTW, I didn’t know you were a Babtist. Of course to us apostate papists, all you protestant heretics are alike. 😉

    We Baptists are NOT protestants. At least that is the story we stick to 🙂

  44. joe,

    So what you’re saying, Jacob, is that the Jewish tradition DIDN’T direct Jewish rulers to make a minimal provision for the poor, and that they DIDN’T make no-interest loans and distribute agricultural commodities, and that they DIDN’T point to those two passages to show that such Compassionate Monarchism is ordained by God.

    The passages Gerson gives certainly don’t say this. The “usury” passage doesn’t say you have to give no-interest loans, it says that if you give a loan you can’t charge interest. So simply refusing to loan money to the poor at all was an option. (The result of such a policy, of course, was zero availability of credit and a stagnant economy, but I digress.)

    The second passage is transparently not about “distribution” as the person who was going to grab the left-behind sheaves had to go through the field and find them on their own. And in any case, this was something the individual landowner did, not something that the ruler did. In short, Gerson’s citations do not support his argument.

    I’m not going to pretend that Old Testament Israel and Judah were anything remotely approaching libertarian society, but I’m not going to stand idly by while people misrepresent the Scriptures.

  45. robc,

    Ruth is a damned good story with some fine points about moral obligations and societal prejudice.

    That conceded, I can find morally laudable sections in just about any tome of biblical length. However I refuse to live my life in accordance with the Bible, Lord of the Rings or Shogun.

    If there were credible evidence that the bible was anything other than self contradictory fiction, I’d take it more seriously.

  46. This Gerson column is part four of a debate between him and Sen. Coburn.

    Background: Gerson sees PEPFAR, the program to fight AIDS in Africa, as a perfect example of his heroic conservatism. Coburn has sponsored a bill which would extend the program and preserve its current emphasis on providing anti-retroviral drugs to those infected with HIV. Other bills before Congress do not allocate a single dollar for drugs, and Coburn, a medical doctor, thinks this is a bad idea.
    Part I: Gerson attacks Coburn for his bill, claiming that Coburn is a fiscal conservative without a heart.
    Part II: Coburn responds by claiming that he has forgotten more about AIDS than Gerson ever knew, and that wanting to spend the AIDS money on medicine rather than on pork seems to be on the right side of the children of light/children of darkness divide Gerson wants to draw.
    Part III: The second part of Coburn’s response, criticizing Gerson’s version of compassionate conservatism for ruining the Republican brand.
    Part IV: Gerson’s criticism of Coburn as a heartless libertarian who doesn’t want to give drugs to people in Africa.

    Background: Chapter one of Gerson’s Heroic Conservatism: http://tinyurl.com/6bzu5u
    Gerson I: http://tinyurl.com/69geed
    Coburn I: http://tinyurl.com/5o9l45
    C II: http://tinyurl.com/5pmjxh
    G II: http://tinyurl.com/5sap8o

  47. robc,

    Just the ratio of male to female characters in the “Old Testament” ought to illustrate the role of women in society during the time periods in which the texts were written. Then there is the story of Lilith v. Eve to consider.

  48. Then there is the story of Lilith v. Eve to consider.

    I used to watch Cheers and a bit of Frazier too, but I don’t remember that episode.

  49. J sub D,

    thank you for the kinds words. As for the conventions, sunday school, business meetings, etc. I am treated more like a burr under their saddle blanket

  50. J sub D,

    My point was not that you take it more seriously, but that it wasnt misogynistic.

    Colin

    Just the ratio of male to female characters in the “Old Testament” ought to illustrate the role of women in society during the time periods in which the texts were written.

    Um, no. Just like the ratio of males to females in “The Replacements” illustrates the role of women in modern American society?

  51. robc,

    So the fact that women are so thin on the ground in the “Old Testament” says nothing about the role of women in the societies which produced those texts? Are there also not individual passages which look upon women as a form of property?

  52. What ArtPOG said about the “New Covenant.”
    As far as the Old Testament goes, Jesus basically said “Throw it out. I’m the do-over.”
    At least that’s my take. And I’m a duly ordained minister in the Universal Life Church, as well as a licensed city astrologer.
    So there.

  53. I don’t think anyone thinks biblical Israel and Judah were model societies, or that we should strive to emulate the Old Testament political system. There are passages there which turn my Christian stomach, such as those championing the complete extermination of the former inhabitants of Canaan (ie, genocide) and condemning King David for not finishing the job, as well as a joyful hope that someday Babylonian infants will have their heads dashed against rocks.

  54. Citizen Nothing,

    Well, he also stated that he came to “fulfill the law.”

    Of course, when he was a alive the “Old Testament” was still in a state of flux so what texts he meant to include in that besides say definately “The Torah” I can’t say. I would say though that some scholars argue that there is internal evidence in the sayings attributed to Christ that he sometimes referred to texts which are no longer in the “Old Testament” canon.

  55. Chris Potter,

    I don’t think anyone thinks biblical Israel and Judah were model societies, or that we should strive to emulate the Old Testament political system.

    Don’t a small minority of Christians actually believe just that?

  56. My point was not that you take it more seriously, but that it wasnt misogynistic.

    Are we discussing Ruth or the Bible as a whole? If it’s the latter, I assert that misogyny pervades the text.

  57. J sub D,

    There’s also a lot of anti-Semitism in the Bible.

    Especially in the Old Testament. 😉

  58. Colin — But “fulfill” certainly seems to imply something other than “enforce” or even “interpret.”
    Imagine my confusion if a cop busts down my door and shouts that he’s there to “fulfill the law.”

  59. J sub D,

    I was only talking Ruth, since it is fresh in my mind.

    However, going to the dictionary (or dictionary.com) I get as a definition for misogyny:

    hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.

    I dont see that in the bible. They are treating quite differently from men, but I wouldnt go with hatred. Song of Solomon (as mentioned above) isnt about hatred of women.

    Inequitable treatment of women, sure. Misogyny, I dont see it.

  60. Bexause when the subjects are morality justice and ethics, there is really no wiser or more informed opinion than those of superstitious, bigoted, misogynistic tribal goat herders from the bronze and iron ages.

    Those tribal goat herders developed an advanced legal system.

  61. I agree with robc. This link is an interesting sermon about the roles of men and women. If any of you care to read some of the authors writings and give your opinion, I am certainly curious.

    http://www.straitegate.com/olde/?a=view&y=1994&m=1

  62. Citizen Nothing,

    Well, if I am not mistaken in the sayings attributed to Jesus some of his views on the the “Old Tesatment” can be seen as contradictory.

  63. So simply refusing to loan money to the poor at all was an option. (The result of such a policy, of course, was zero availability of credit and a stagnant economy, but I digress.)

    So the Jews simply borrowed money from foreigners, and likewise loaned money to foreigners at interest.

  64. Citizen Nothing,

    Of course, one should never read either any of the books of the Bible as if they were narratives written to be consistent with one another. Different authors, different editors, different theological outlooks, etc. are what is consistent if anything about the texts.

  65. Amen, brother Colin.

  66. Misogyny doesn’t seem to fit, however bigoted and discriminatory does.

  67. Colin,

    I dont think jewish christians are exempt from the OT laws, but gentiles were never under that law. Both Peter and Paul made it clear that they dont apply. One of the early church debates, covered well in Acts, was over whether gentiles had to first become jews in order to be a christian. Okay, the issue was over circumcision, but effectively the same thing. Peter gives a speech in Acts in which he lays out why circumcision of the Gentiles isnt necessary.

  68. Not that Jewish society at the time of these various writings was any more discriminatory than the societies that were around them.

  69. CC,

    associated with wind and was thought to be a bearer of disease, illness, and death

    Well, sounds like the one from Cheers and Frazier, but I don’t remember an Eve character. Did you mean Dianne, or perhaps that other waitress?

  70. Guy Montag,

    Lilith was Adam’s first wife. He wanted a more submissive wife however, so he ended up with Eve in the end. Or so goes the tale.

  71. Ah, okie dokey.

  72. Colin,

    You might consider looking into some sort of humor detecting device.

  73. robc,

    I understood that he was trying to make a joke. I just wasn’t interested in playing along with it.

  74. Irrational Crazy Supporters
    Crazy Pastors
    Hillary Blogs
    Obamas resume
    Want to know the difference between Clinton and Obama supporters

    This and more on?

    http://sensico.wordpress.com/

  75. One of my favorite teachings of Jesus’ is his statement : “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s , and render to God what is God’s”.

    Can’t get much more libertarian than that.

    It then is certainly possible for politicians to take money from some to give to others (usualy enriching their ‘buddies’, not the poor), but that doesn’t make them virtuous or moral in the least.

  76. Lilith was Adam’s first wife. He wanted a more submissive wife however, so he ended up with Eve in the end. Or so goes the tale.

    The story of Lilith comes from non-Biblical sources, I believe from one of the Talmuds during the Babylonian exile. It’s not present in the book of Genesis, that’s for sure. But the story I heard was that Adam liked doggie-style but Lilith only did cowgirl, and yes I am serious. I can only imagine how it sounded in the original Hebrew…

  77. One of my favorite teachings of Jesus’ is his statement : “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s , and render to God what is God’s”.

    Can’t get much more libertarian than that.

    I read it more as a fatalistic attitude about government’s control over one’s physical life, while being dismissive about government’s control over one’s eternal life. You gotta admit that the rest of Jesus’ story follows that outline.

    Being fatalistic about government is the opposite of libertarianism, which is all about not being submissive to the government.

  78. Chris Potter,

    It comes from non-canonical sources. Which raises the question of whether one should accept the canon as it exists today.

    Also, the two human creation stories in Genesis can be seen as a nod to the Lilith tale.

  79. So what you’re saying, Jacob, is that the Jewish tradition DIDN’T direct Jewish rulers to make a minimal provision for the poor, and that they DIDN’T make no-interest loans and distribute agricultural commodities, and that they DIDN’T point to those two passages to show that such Compassionate Monarchism is ordained by God.

    And of course joe does not see one bit of evidence of how these “commandments” speak to individual charity rather then collective charity.

  80. It comes from non-canonical sources. Which raises the question of whether one should accept the canon as it exists today.

    There are many reasons to raise that question but the fact the Lillith story comes form non-camonical isnt one of them.

  81. robc,

    I wasn’t suggesting that it was a reason to do so. However, the fact that the non-canonical sources exist (at least one of which includes the tale of Lilith) does do so.

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