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Regicide vox Populi

Today is the day Christians observe the death of Christ, Good Friday. According to Scripture and Christian theology, on this day Jesus the Christ, the only begotten Son of God, culminated His mission on Earth as the Messiah and King of Kings, by dying on the cross on false charges of insurrection against Rome, after several sham trials, beatings, and a whipping that tore open His back. The day was shameful for Humanity in virtually every respect, and it is no surprise that memory of the event makes people angry. Jews resent the parts in Scripture where the people and the Levites in Jerusalem rejected Christ and demanded His death though they knew Him innocent and righteous, non-believers resent the account of His courage and resurrection, and even some Christians shrink from the fact that every one of Christ's disciples and followers fell short of their duty when He was taken - Judas betrayed Christ, all the disciples fled, and the chief among them, Peter, denied even knowing Jesus. And the women, though they held little power, followed close enough to watch the crucifixion and were there when the angels announced His resurrection, also fled at His capture and did nothing to hinder either the Romans or the Levites or the men who plotted against Christ. I say this not in condemnation of any of these groups, but to observe the frank fact that all Humanity was guilty of Christ's murder, and if you or I were there at the time we would have done no different than these we judge villains in the matter. Grace from God is not for some but for all, and part of the reason for that is that God loves us all, and we all are in desperate need of His Grace.

But Good Friday is not about Grace - it's about Consequences. Maundy Thursday represents the choice men make to sin, and Sunday the Grace of God which results in forgiveness and rebirth. But Friday is the Day of Judgment, which applies here as allegory in addition to true history. We live in an age where it is popular to imagine that we may do as we please, to enjoy ourselves and imagine that nothing is damaged as a result of our choice. We fail at goodness and so dispute even the existence of holiness, turning our eyes from examples in front of us every day so we can pretend that doing as we will is the highest moral plane, even as teach children to be better and demand it from government, authority, and our neighbors.

This is nothing new, though. The old empires were built on greed and lust for power just as modern men do the same, and Plato once wrote of a kind of man who lived in a cave, being lied to through shadows and darkness, yet when he escaped the cave and faced the true light, he deemed it false because it was alien to what he knew, and he embraced the shadows, even knowing they were false, because it was too much to embrace the truth when it was a truth too strong and bold for him to accept.



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Comments (34)

all Humanity wa... (Below threshold)
all Humanity was guilty of Christ's murder
If we were not all sinners, every last one of us, He would not have had to be sent to die for our sins.

Anyone who would blame some other person or group for Christ's suffering and death, if he claims to be a Christian he is lying.

It is not correct, however,... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

It is not correct, however, to say the disciples and the women "fell short of their duty when He was taken" - at least, according to Scripture. Recall that Jesus ordered Peter to sheath his sword in the garden at the time of His betrayal and arrest, and he had foretold both the betrayal and Peter's denials, both of which fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. Then, when questioned by Pilate in John 18, Jesus replies:

36 Jesus replied, 'Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. As it is, my kingdom does not belong here.'

Certainly this doesn't mean any of His followers were free of sin, but their guilt should not include doing what was preordained and necessary - had they fought to free Jesus, it would have been an act of rebellion against Roman authority, and He would no longer have been considered an innocent man under Roman law.

The whole notion that an om... (Below threshold)
Harold G.:

The whole notion that an omnipotent deity would create imperfect beings, and then require someone's "suffering and death" in order to "redeem" those creatures, is just a bunch of primitive, superstitious nonsense.

Why do so many people still insist that believing this medieval crap is a prerequisite to being a conservative?

It's called free will, Haro... (Below threshold)

It's called free will, Harold. He made us so we could surprise Him, though He knew not all of the surprises would be good ones.

...kind of like we know our... (Below threshold)

...kind of like we know our own children will do things we wish they wouldn't.

"Nonbelievers resent the ac... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

"Nonbelievers resent the account of his courage and resurrection."

Wrong. I don't resent that account any more than I resent the account of Prometheus bringing fire to mankind, then having his guts pecked out forever by birds. (For example.) Both are unprovable myths. What's to resent?

Cheney wrote: "kind of lik... (Below threshold)
Harold G.:

Cheney wrote: "kind of like we know our own children will do things we wish they wouldn't"

Ummm, OK . . . and then you whip and crucify your kids, right?

My point was that the christ story is nothing more than another primitive fable of a blood sacrifice to appease an angry god.

And my MAIN point was: Wha... (Below threshold)
Harold G.:

And my MAIN point was: What the heck does any of this religious BS have to do with one's political views?

There's no way to get aroun... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

There's no way to get around the inherent contradiction: "For God so loved the world he gave his only-begotten Son..."

And a couple of thousand years before that He so loved the world He drowned everybody in it. And a couple of thousand years later He promises to give us the events described in Revelation. That's some tough love, there.

What the heck d... (Below threshold)
What the heck does any of this religious BS have to do with one's political views?
Again, free will. The political doctrine of individual liberty flows from it. It's much harder to defend individual liberty if you don't hold to the philosophical doctrine of free will.

For Christians, this is where the philosophical doctrine comes from.

Also, it helps non-Christia... (Below threshold)

Also, it helps non-Christians understand Christians if they remember that for Christians what matters is the soul, not the body.

What is done to our bodies only hurts our souls if we choose to turn to hate in response.

Except that, for non-believ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Except that, for non-believers, free will is pretty much a given, not something to be debated.

for non-believe... (Below threshold)
for non-believers, free will is pretty much a given
Believing something as a "given" is itself an act of faith. If anything, your belief in free will is a bigger leap of faith than mine.
No, see, Mr Halliburton, if... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

No, see, Mr Halliburton, if there is no deity pre-ordaining one's actions, then one has free will. That's what I meant by a "given."

But you knew that. Your comment was a pathetic attempt at a "gotcha." Fail.

"...the frank fact that all... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

"...the frank fact that all humanity was guilty of Christ's murder."

Not me. I have an alibi. Wasn't born yet.

By your logic, we all owe reparations for slavery, because if we had been there, we probably would have done no different than those who were.

if there is no ... (Below threshold)
if there is no deity pre-ordaining one's actions, then one has free will. That's what I meant by a "given."
Why would it have to be a deity? You're taking on faith that what your senses tell you is true. You're taking on faith that anyone with whom you interact is real rather than imaginary.

Each of us can only demonstrate, empirically, our own free will. It takes a leap of faith to believe others also have it.

By your logic
Nothing you said there follows from what I have said. Try again.
If I remember my Comparativ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

If I remember my Comparative Religions classes back in the 70s, "free will" is a doctrine in opposition to "predestination," Mr Halliburton.

I took it on faith that that's what you were talking about. Snicker. Because it was.

I take it on faith that what my senses tell me is true, and that those with whom I interact are real and not imaginary, because I'm not, ummm, INSANE.

The "by your logic" remark was addressed to Mr Drummond, as evidenced by the fact that it was preceded by a quote from his piece. Deliberately(?) playing dense does nothing for your argument, sir.

Presuming that Mr. Henry is... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Presuming that Mr. Henry is interested in dialogue, rather than just sniping at things he does not understand, I should like to offer some answers to his jibes.

You have presented a number of false contentions sir regarding Christ and His Church, and while this is understandable for someone who has not studied Scripture nor listened attentively to the Word, correction is necessary and - I hope- useful.

To your 4/3 comparison to Prometheus, I wonder that you pass over the Greek and Roman myths so lightly (and to that degree also, the Zoroastrian, Egyptian, and other pre-Christian myths and pantheons). It is certainly fashionable for arrogant moderns to tell themselves that new is always better than old, and so such men mock the ancients, forgetting that we today know nothing that was not taken from and built upon the teaching from our elders, and so too our understanding of the universe and Reality itself depends on the very tales this man sneers at. It is also quite the trend to mock the ancients as "superstitious", even though their 'superstitions' included teachings which laid the framework for Agriculture, Commerce, Law, Government, and Ethics. It is too often forgotten that the clear and impeccable logic of the Greek Masters, like Socrates and Plato, came from men who regularly worshipped and sacrificed to mythical deities. Scoffers like Mr. henry mock men whose intellect is proven to be, literally, world-class, on no better evidence than that he fails to follow what is said and therefore has given up on the attempt.

Things brings us to the record on Christianity. Most derision comes from men who, like Mr. Henry, ignore salient factss and distort the record where it is a problem for them. It is a matter of historical fact, for example, that the generation after Christ's life and death, there rose in Judea and spread throughout the Empire a faction of people who believed so strongly in the religion of Christ that they were willing to endure false arrest, banishment, torture and even death rather than deny their faith. The documents which form the Canon of Christianity are remarkable for their consistency and endurance in their original form, especially when compared to other documents of the period.

As to superstition, it takes more 'superstition', from where I sit, to imagine that our lives, intellect, ethics, and identities are mere cosmic accidents, rather than consider that we live for a purpose and reason, and that reason is based on a planned identity of love, growth, and sharing.

As to the "contradiction", you are well off the mark there, as well. You seem to imagine that whatever a man does, he bears no moral weight. I differ. Everything we do, say, and even think comes to some consequence, and if you disagree than by your logic we should never complain if we are robbed, raped, or murdered. Free will means that we carry the results of our choices with us, and there's the problem. We all fail sooner or later, and when we do we must face the cost of what we have done. Sin is merely recognition that we owe far more than we can pay. Grace is discovery that God has paid that for us. As to the Flood and destruction foretold in the book of Revelation, these are the consequence of Man's sin, and you are false to pretend that God wants us to suffer.

Free will is not the opposite of predestination, Mr. henry. I submit you skipped classes when Free Will was discussed. God knows what we will do, being omniscient, which is why it costs Him to allow us our freedom anyway. It is a hard thing for a man to accept the fact that if he goes to Heaven, it is because God gave it to him, but if he goes to Hell, it is because that man refused to accept Grace.

Mr. Drummond, you may belie... (Below threshold)
Harold G.:

Mr. Drummond, you may believe whatever you wish. If being a Christian floats your boat, more power to you, sir.

My point is simply this: I find disturbing, misguided, and offensive that a number of political websites seem to harbor the notion that adherence to the Christian faith is a prerequisite -- even a litmus test -- for conservatism.

As a lifelong conservative Republican (and atheist), I am living proof that this notion is false -- and I am not alone.

Harold, I seem to keep miss... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Harold, I seem to keep missing the part where I ever said that it was necessary to be Christian in order to be a Conservative, much less conservative (I presume you understand the distinction between Big C/little c).

I think you are making an assumption, that since the article is posted here on Wizbang that it is necessarily focused on a political theme. Such an assumption would be in error.

I do think an article on the influence of politics and belief on each other would be worthwhile, but this is not that article.

"I seem to keep missing the... (Below threshold)
Harold G.:

"I seem to keep missing the part where I ever said that it was necessary to be Christian in order to be a Conservative ... "

And I keep missing the part where I ever said that YOU were the one I was talking about.

Harold writes,I... (Below threshold)
Scalia:

Harold writes,

I find disturbing, misguided, and offensive that a number of political websites seem to harbor the notion that adherence to the Christian faith is a prerequisite -- even a litmus test -- for conservatism.
If believing the contributors to those websites are misguided floats your boat, Harold, more power to you, sir.

The participants and moderators of the websites to which you refer have their beliefs and you have yours. You consider the belief that Christianity is the prerequisite for conservatism offensive, but you don't hesitate to call Christian beliefs "nonsense," "crap," "another primitive fable," and "BS." Perhaps you think being offensive is a good thing; but if that is the case, then you should't be disturbed when others offend you. And if you think being offensive is a bad thing, you should try leading by example.

"You seem to imagine" such ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

"You seem to imagine" such and such. I hold Christianity in "derision," according to you. I have " presented an number of false contentions." No I don't, no I don't, and no, I didn't.

Where do you get this technique? I'm just messing with Halliburton here, who seems to have skipped an equal number of classes as I. Try arguing with what I actually said, rather than what you WISH I said so you could shoot it down.

For instance, I never used the word "superstition," and for you to imply that I did, even putting it in quotation marks, borders on dishonesty.

I do not hold Christians or Christianity in derision, but I don't like anyone claiming that I "resent the account of his courage and resurrection." As I said, why should I? The only resentment I feel for Christians is reserved for when some of them try to impose their puritan morality on public policy, or for when they try to play victim.

This may sound patronizing, but, ahem, some of my best friends are Christians. I see examples of Christians doing good in the world (as well as examples of utter hypocrisy) every day.

"Free will is not the opposite of predestination." Well, in the context of what was being promulgated by Mr Halliburton, it is. And besides, that statement would probably come as a surprise to the millions who died in the Thirty Years War.

I won't characterise your longwinded response (27 hours after everyone had left this thread) as "mumbo-jumbo", but you certainly used a lot of words to say the same old unconvincing platitudes regarding the Flood, human suffering, etc. Same old hooey I've heard all my life. Just doesn't ring true. But hey, I don't claim to hold the keys to all wisdom, and I definitely would never make the claim that those who don't agree with me will burn in Hell. That's for certain others. Feel free to believe as you wish. I do.

Bruce, if you object to my ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Bruce, if you object to my answer "27 hours after everyone had left the thread", what exactly does that make you, coming back for a few snide and juvenile shots, what, 49 hours after my last comment before now and several days after you claim everyone left? What's more, the comments by Harold and Scalia after my last comment make you a liar as well as an hypocrite.
.
Best wishes for your eventual maturity.

I knew you would be notifie... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I knew you would be notified of a response, Mr Drummond, unlike myself.

I came back to see if Mr Halliburton had posted anything. I didn't know you had posted a diatribe in which you put words in my mouth, and attributed to me beliefs and attitudes you ASSUME I hold. I felt it deserved a reply.

I find it amusing that what I write is "snide and juvenile," in contrast, I suppose, to your learned and sophisticated tome. If it's snide and juvenile to point out that I never wrote the words you attribute to me, I plead guilty.

And I am neither a liar nor a hypocrite, sir. It had, indeed, been 27 hours since anyone had posted on this thread. What I'm implying here is that you may have posted your witty and sagacious response to my oh-so-juvenile snark in the expectation that I wouldn't see it and call you out on it. If I'm wrong, so be it. I wouldn't be the only one here attributing actions and words to another that the other didn't intend. I would welcome a private email exchange rather than public namecalling, if you like. Although, at this point in the thread, it's unlikely anyone else is still following anyway.

.. and now we must add '... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

.. and now we must add 'unobservant' to the list.

Hypocrite -visiting the article DAYS later to complain about a comment made - in your opinion - long after the discussion was over. By definition, then, you had no reason to make a further comment, but you did, thus proving your hypocrisy.

Liar - you said everyone had left the discussion, yet in between my comment you were mocking and your vituperent yet incogent rant there were two additional comments by different members, proving you a liar even as you typed in your claim. Not smart, sir.

The words 'put in your mouth' are your own. Yet even now you managed to fail the basic logic to grasp your error. Instead of apologizing for your false claims and silly assumptions, or at least reacognizing when you are making a fool of yourself, you went JoeBiden and doubled your wager on a race already lost.

As for a private email exchange, you are delusional, sir. You made an ass of yourself in public, I am merely noting the event in the same venue. Further, while I actually welcome diverse points of view, and a rational opponent in debate is a rare treat, you sir, I must say with all candor and frankly more respect than you have earned, are neither. You have been a boor and spoke stupidly, and I do not waste my private conversations on people likely to miss 95% of the conversation.

Thus my last comment, that I look forward to your eventual maturity ... although your last comment bodes ill for its appearance anytime soon.

Again, Mr Drummond, neither... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Again, Mr Drummond, neither lying nor hypocritical. I revisited this thread, days later, to see if Mr Halliburton had posted anything after I left. It was my first visit to Wizbang (on ANY thread -- living my life, y'know?) since my comment # 17. If I had found something by Mr Halliburton, days later, I wouldn't have responded, since it would have been unlikely that he would see it after all this time. Instead I found your comment, and since I knew that YOU would be notified, I spoke my piece.

If it makes you feel any better, I will admit that two people visited the thread after you wrote your response, so "incorrect" would probably be more accurate than "liar."

You say the words put in my mouth are my own. So please quote where I claimed, like the "arrogant modern" I am, that "new is always better than old." Please give an example of my mockery of the "ancients." Or my "distorting the record." Perhaps it will be easier to find my quote where I denied that many Christian martyrs suffered and died for their faith, or the one in which I claimed that "whatever a man does, he bears no moral weight." (Whatever THAT sentence means!)Are those the words you claim are my own?

Who's being hypocritical now, Mr Drummond? Who is lying?

And the only reason I suggested a private email exchange is to spare you from making a spectacle of yourself, flinging accusations and resorting to namecalling -- something you'll notice I have not done.

You are free not to respect me, my opinions, or my comments, of course, Mr Drummond. I continue to respect your articles here. I had a minor nit to pick about the resentment remark, and I admit to a little snark in the "all humanity" point. I must admit I'm surprised at how personally you appear to take this. Reminds me of Mallow.

"Who's being hypocritica... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

"Who's being hypocritical now, Mr Drummond? Who is lying?"

That would still be you, Bruce. You're just frothing a bit more, by now.

;)

I really am disappointed, M... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I really am disappointed, Mr Drummond. I expected some contrition, once it was pointed out repeatedly that it was you, and not I, making "false assertions and silly assumptions."

Didn't expect an apology, but I did think you would admit some fault. Are you sure you're NOT Mallow?

Seriously, I still think you're the best writer on Wizbang. Hope there's no hard feelings.

P.S. You're casting positiv... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

P.S. You're casting positive votes for yourself, and negative votes for me, aren't you, Mr Drummond?

How sad.

Rather an extended tantrum ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Rather an extended tantrum you are throwing, Bruce.

Even my daughter gave those up once she turned 4.

You really are acting quite the piddler, you know. You lost the debate, and your composure soon followed.

You are showing a strange attitude. As you observed before you devolved into your present pettiness, a person has a right to his opinion and to that extent there's no sense in expecting the other party to reverse a belief. However, it is fact that you made a false statement (about 'everyone' having left before my comment when there were 2 more comments from different readers after the one you addressed, and ironically - proving your hypocrisy - before your comment, proving that you were ignoring the proof right before you because it got in the way of what you wanted to say) and did so knowing it was false. I have no reason to show 'contrition', because my observation was accurate while yours completely wrong. Rather telling that you continue to try pressing a lost cause, even more so that you remain unable to admit you were wrong in your claims. Not your opinion regarding religion, but your tone and your attempt to suggest your comment closed the forum.

Obviously, by this point the audience has moved on, this being the practice for blogs and coffee shops and modern media. I am presenting my comments here only out of a practice that I answer where I feel it is appropriate and I have the time (also, I am making a lawyer wait for me while I type this, and it's generally a good thing to punish lawyers when you can do so), and to correct a few false claims. I am not generally notified of comments, I visit old threads to see what's on, and in that way I also follow other threads and see what's developing. Sometimes by the second day they have become stale and predictable, but sometimes you can find worthwhile comments. I was hoping for that here, but no joy.

Wishing you a fine day and a better recognition to know when you have lost a battle, so you may choose a wiser contest next time.

And again, not I who is thr... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

And again, not I who is throwing the tantrum. Got any mirrors nearby?

The point about 27 hours is a side issue, and I only inserted it in an attempt to insinuate that you might have posted in the expectation that I wouldn't see your reply. I've explained it; it's a perfectly valid explanation. But it's tangential, and your fixation on it is something I'd expect from regular commenter Marc, who always argues about a foot and a half beside the point, or Mr Mallow, who gets upset every time I comment on his articles.

And again, my original quibble was that you claimed that nonbelievers "resent" the Easter story. As a nonbeliever, I can tell you that that is both a "false claim"-- simply not true, at least in my case -- and a "silly assertion." How could you possibly know that?

Then your reply # 18 became an issue, in which you attributed beliefs and attitudes to me and people like me that I do not hold. When challenged, you chose to address the 27 hours remark, not the challenged passages. You still have not addressed them, choosing instead to resort to insults, namecalling, and more false claims and silly assertions: "Rather an extended tantrum you are throwing, Bruce." And you seem to have hauled out a 20 pound Thesaurus so you could accuse me of a "vituperent and incogent rant," (you both misused and misspelled "vituperant" BTW), and suggest that my comment "bodes ill" for my eventual maturity. Where do you live, Walden Pond in the 19th Century?

Anyway, I apologise for my mistaken assumption that you were notified of responses. Again, that was my Mallow experience talking. Since he ALWAYS replies I thought you guys were indeed notified; my bad.

"Obviously, by this point t... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

"Obviously, by this point the audience has moved on.."

See, you DID engage in (the equivalent of) a private email exchange!

BTW, since the audience has moved on, who is still casting votes?

See you around, Mr Drummond.

Good heavens, he's still at... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Good heavens, he's still at it.

1. This is one of my articles, Bruce, so it makes sense that I might choose to look at it again. You, however, have no such excuse.

2. Answering you here is not e-mail. You truly are grasping at straws.

3. I did not consult a Thesaurus, Bruce. I was an English major when I earned my BA, so I know what words mean, something you might try to do more often.

4. You continue to press the irrational as if it will suddenly make you seem perceptive. That is another delusion.




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