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On the Road

Profile Information

Name: Jack Neefus
Gender: Male
Hometown: Newark, NJ
Home country: US
Current location: Baltimore, MD
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 20,783

About Me

Email: jneefus@gmail.com

Journal Archives

I Believe Jesus Existed

but pretty much dismiss all of the nativity stories, including the jerry-rigged trip to Judea to bring in the star prophecy.

I pay more attention to the earliest known beliefs of the Ebionites, since that movement descended directly from Jesus' family. Apparently, they did not believe in Jesus' virgin birth, resurrection, or divinity. In the 3rd-4th century, Eusebius joked that they they were referred to as 'the poor' because they had such a 'poor' opinion of Jesus.

All the Christmas stuff we're familiar with, including the manger, wise men, shepards, angels and the rest, was probably written by people much later who were not there. Some people even believe that Paul thought of Jesus more as an eternal heavenly figure rather than a man, and that many gospel stories were written allegorically and never meant to be seen as historical events.

Jesus apparently was from the part of Galilee near Capernaum. However, his brother became a prominent priest in the temple in Jerusalem on the other end of the country. How that happened is not known, but it could be very important for understanding how and where the two of them were born and grew up.

Cohabitation is not Illegal

but faking a marriage certificate is.

Unless you are willing to have no definition of marriage at all, you have to rule that some marriages do not conform to your definition. In those cases, you have to either assign penalties for those that do not or simply allow anything to qualify as a marriage.

Marriage is intended to define a family, but is prone to abuse because of the financial and legal advantages offered, such as benefits, lower taxes, and easier citizenship. Polygamy supercharges the abuses.

Would you allow a man to marry two hundred women and give them all citizenship? Would you allow a brother to marry a sister, a mother, or a daughter so she can get benefits? Would you allow fifty men and fifty women to get married in a group arrangement, so that all hundred are married to each other? How would marital rights be prioritized if there are competing claims?

I knew an African man who argued passionately for polygamy, and was upset that he had to choose one of his four wives as his 'real' wife for legal purposes in the US. I sympathize with him in some ways, but would not want to take his recommendation.

I am not a purist or anything on marriage or sexual mores, but passing legislation that basically says 'anything goes' is asking for trouble.

You Do Realize the Difference Between Leviticus 18:22 and Most of the Other References?

Most of these refer to the Jewish ritual law. For Christians, the New Testament makes clear in a number of passages that dietary and other ritual laws not longer apply to Christians.

Whom to have sex with has always been considered a matter of moral law -- long before anyone might have thought that the Bible might be silent on same-sex relations.

Jesus may have enjoined the Levitical law on his Jewish listeners, while Paul did not. However, in modern terms, both men would be considered extremely conservative in their sexual teachings. Personal sexual identity was not a recognized concept, but condoning any kind of sex outside of marriage was unthinkable, much less between two people of the same sex.

The attempts to reinterpret the Bible in the last few decades make some interesting points. But silly arguments like this only speak to the unaware and roll right off anyone who knows the Bible. It is much easier to convince Christians that the moral restrictions on homosexuality should be a religious matter and not affect legal and social inequalities in benefits, taxes, vistation rights, etc.
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