Monday, November 9, 2009

Reincarnation, pets, and a transsexual Jesus

Greetings.

Jewish date:  22 Marḥeshwan 5770 (Parashath Ḥayye-Sarah).

Today’s holidays:  Dedication of St. John Lateran (Roman Catholicism), Saint Day of Saint Nectarios (Greek Orthodox Christianity).

Worthy causes of the day:  “Support Innovative Humanitarian Assistance in Ethiopia - The Petition Site” and “End Overfishing -- A Chance to Save 10 Species - The Petition Site”.

Note:  For a change, today I will not discuss His Dark Materials.  There is a lot more religiously going on than militant atheists writing material which shows they do not know what they are talking about.

Topic 1:  “Head Check”.  This Dry Bones cartoon does a pretty good job discussing what happened in last week’s Fort Hood incident.

Topic 2:  “Buddhist robber's 'mum reincarnated as a cat' denied visiting rights in jail!”:  I cannot make this case up.  A Buddhist robbed a bank and was put in jail.  He has been denied visits from his cat, which he believes is the reincarnation of his mother, because he has not been able to convince the court that the cat really is the reincarnation of his mother.  I am not an expert on Buddhism, but I believe the correct Buddhist response is that because he did something wrong (robbing a bank), karma is smacking him in the face.  The non-Buddhist response is to wonder how to prove a cat is a reincarnation of a human without the cat engaging in overtly human-like behavior, such as writing.

Topic 3:  “Gone to the dogs: LA church starts pet service”:  Nothing particularly fallacious here.  Just an unusual attempt at evangelism.

Topic 4:  “Transsexual Jesus sparks protests”:  The transsexual Jesus is part of the play “Jesus, Queen of Heaven”.  On one hand, Christians have a long history of adapting the image of Jesus to local cultures.  Think about it:  what are the chances that Jesus looked European and not Jewish?  The standard image of Jesus in the West is not historically accurate.  Said image is actually a statement that Jesus is relevant to Europeans.  A transsexual Jesus may just be a statement that Jesus is relevant to homosexuals, bisexuals, and transsexuals.  On the other hand, this play does not reflect the message of Jesus as laid down in the Gospels and cannot be historically accurate.  Furthermore, the title “Queen of Heaven” actually applies to Jesus’s mother Mary and (worse) various pagan goddesses.  These inaccuracies, naturally and expectedly, have made some rather unhappy.

Peace.

Aaron
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