Re: [mythsoc] other rituals
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On Wed, 20 Sep 2000 Stolzi@... wrote:
> > Jews also have long since ceased performing blood sacrifices, and do not
> > claim a specific divine revelation for this change.
> Ah, but isn't that because the Temple in Jerusalem - sole authorized site -
> is not currently in existence? I believe many Orthodox in Israel say the
> sacrifices would be resumed if there were a Temple.
And many other Jews would wish to have nothing to do with this (and not
just because trying to rebuild the Temple would be a political error of
the first magnitude).
And in the meantime, since the destruction of the last Temple, Judaism has
developed all kinds of new traditions - starting with "rabbis" -
unmentioned in Scripture and unauthorized by specific divine revelation.
> The slap for rudeness is probably deserved; I apologize. But is "squeamish"
> an insult, or just a description? I'm squeamish myself abt a lot of things.
It's one thing to call yourself squeamish. It's another thing to call
somebody else that, and even more of another thing to identify it as the
guiding principle behind their religious rituals.
- In a message dated 09/20/2000 10:34:58 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
<< I know you're teasing a bit here, Mary (thus the smiley), but I wonder how
this is diff't than the Christian ritual of the Lord's Supper where we
substitute wine (or even grape juice) for the blood of Christ.>>
Sorry to bring up an old post; I've been away for awhile, and we know how
they do pile up...
The difference is, of course, that the bodily blood of Christ was never drunk
at the Lord's Supper. Even when Jesus instituted it, He used wine. Whether He
did anything to it is a major area of dispute which I, following Lewis, have
no intention of getting into.
The interesting point to me is the universal (except for Santeria and
variations) Neo-Pagan avoidance of animal sacrifice, which was such a central
feature of ancient Paganism. Not that I want them to revive it, by any means;
I just think it sheds an interesting light on the phrase "the Old(e)
Religion." Often they invoke the alleged continuity when it seems impressive,
and drop it when it's inconvenient.
I guess the point is it's easy to misunderstand the silliness of a ritual
you're not intimate with the /why/ of the ritual. After all, to some, we
Christians are cannibalistic in that we eat the body of our god -- almost.
>>As I recall, the ancient Pagans had a problem with that doctrine as well. In
fact, many of Jesus' own followers left Him because of it.
- In a message dated 09/20/2000 5:15:56 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
Protestant denominations may have been founded on claims of a new divine
revelation, but I believe most were based on their founders' conscience
and an awareness of the needs of the community, and the neo-pagans can say
the same.) >>
I believe most Protestant denominations were founded on interpretations of
Scripture concerning certain issues. Neo-Pagans, on the other hand, pride
themselves on neither possessing nor needing any revelation beyond that of
their own wishes. That's why so many belong to "traditions" they made up
- On Sat, 7 Oct 2000 LSolarion@... wrote:
> In a message dated 09/20/2000 5:15:56 PM Pacific Daylight Time,This is what I meant in an earlier post when I referred to judging
> dbratman@... writes:
> << some
> Protestant denominations may have been founded on claims of a new divine
> revelation, but I believe most were based on their founders' conscience
> and an awareness of the needs of the community, and the neo-pagans can say
> the same.) >>
> I believe most Protestant denominations were founded on interpretations of
> Scripture concerning certain issues. Neo-Pagans, on the other hand, pride
> themselves on neither possessing nor needing any revelation beyond that of
> their own wishes. That's why so many belong to "traditions" they made up
neo-pagans by inappropriate Christian standards. Other religions (not
just paganism) do not depend on divine revelation: which I said before, so
I'm not sure why you're reiterating it. I read your reptition of this
point and the way you use it to contrast Christianity with neo-paganism as
highly critical of the latter, but I could be wrong.
"Found[ing a denomination] on interpretation of Scripture" is what I meant
by "based on their founders' conscience." In Christianity one filters
one's conscience through Scripture (or possibly vice versa), and that's a
wholly appropriate and admirable thing to do - in the Christian tradition.
When Luther said "Here I stand: I can do no other," he was describing his
own conscience's position on Scriptural interpretation and, more to the
point, about its expression in then-current Christian practice. But other
religions don't work that way: they have conscience, but not Scriptural
In paganism, there are two factors: first, that accurate information on
how the pagans of old conducted their rituals is hard to come by (much of
what information we have comes from non- and even anti-pagans, and can't
always be trusted), and second, that neo-pagans are simply under no
theological obligation to re-create everything their ancestors did, even
if no modern civil barriers stand in the way.
I myself belong to a branch of Judaism called Liberal Judaism, which
includes the majority of American Jews. In contrast to the Orthodox, who
follow all the 613 commandments and Talmudic interpretations thereof,
Liberal Jews decide for themselves and/or as groups which commandments
make sense under modern circumstances, and ignore the ones that they
consider don't. (The branches of Liberalism, Conservative and Reform,
are distinguished not by theory, but by whether they tend to follow more
or fewer of the commandments.)
So any criticism of neo-pagans for following their own wishes instead of
revelation, if it doesn't give them any credit for having consciences on
the subject, would also apply to my religion. So I am cautiously curious
about what you meant here.
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> In a message dated 10/7 LSolarion@...After all, to some, we
> Christians are cannibalistic in that we eat the body of our god -- almost.Some of us believe that is precisely what we do. Different strokes for
different folks, but Catholics (including yours truly) should admit that
however civilized we have become -- or think we are -- ours is an ancient
religion and most of our doctrine and practice is based on beliefs that have
been held since shortly after the time of Christ. The power of the
eucharist is as primitive as it is timeless.