Saturday, July 10, 2021

God and The Universe

The more I've thought about the issues I first discussed in Semi-Arianism and the Second Ecumenical Council the more I've come to think that the Homoousion controversy became a distraction from the actual point of the Arian Heresy.  But that's not me saying Homoousionism is wrong, per se.

So first we need to ask the question of why did the Arians object to the Homoousion formula so strongly?  It was not relevant to Arius's original explanation of his Theology at all.  And Arians did believe Jesus was the Son of God.  Aren't most children made from the Substance of their parents?

It's because of how by this time the Pythagorean and Platonic understanding of The Divine had influenced all schools of thought in the Greco-Roman world.  To them no Created Being could be described as being of the same Substance as the True Original God.  The Demiurge of Timaeus could be considered in some sense Homousian with the matter it was merely rearranging, but even the Demiurge was not Homousian with the True God (at least during this later period of Platonism and Pythagoreanism).  And Arians were essentially Platonists who identified The Logos with the Demiurge not the ultimate Supreme Being.  However what the Arians and Athanasians and Trinitarians who were iffy on Homoousianism like Eusebius of Caesarea all agreed on was that Creation itself is not Homousian with The Father.

I am making this post to suggest that this assumption everyone at Nicaea agreed on is actually something that The Bible maybe doesn't agree with.

I know that many Christians are used to thinking God must be completely Outside The Universe in order to be it's Creator.  But if you know what your doing you can construct a circular wall in such a way that you are within it when you are done making it.  And maybe the Substance of God is Infinite enough that He could create the Universe from His own Substance without lessening Himself at all?

When The Bible says that The Heavens are His Throne and The Earth His Footstool, that imagery tells me He's within The Universe not Outside of it.  Remember both the Ancient Hebrew and Greek words for "Heaven" at their core just meant The Sky and what we would call Outer Space.  I already made a post arguing that the Light that lightened the Universe before the Sun, Moon and Stars were created was the same Light that Jesus is identified with.  And then there is the fact that Adam became a Living Soul when God Breathed Life into him.  Breath in that verse is also the word for Spirit.  To me that is pretty strong support for at least our Spirits and/or Souls being homousian with The Holy Spirit.

InspiringPhilosophy in his video on Panentheism said there is supposed to be a strong distinction between Creator and Creation, but the only verse he cited was what Paul said in Romans 1.  First of all that verse was only about what we're supposed to Worship and nothing else.  And also Romans 1:18-32 is Paul quoting the beliefs of the Platonic Hellenized Jews of Rome he spent the rest of the Epistle refuting.  In Romans 11 Paul tells us what God is going in grafting Gentiles into Israel is "Para phusis" that utterly destroying the world view of Romans 1 where being "Para Phusis" is presented as inherently evil.

Materialism is often assumed to be inherently Atheistic.  However the Theology of the Ancient Stoics was a Materialist Monotheism.

Stoicism is often described as being Pantheistic, like on Wikipedia.  But Stoic theology is not at all like what anyone in a modern post New Age movement world is likely to think of when they think of Pantheism, (nor is it like the "Blood and Soil" Pantheism of the Nazis).  There is no Sapient Mother Earth or anything like that.  Rather their view had a strong distinction between Passive Matter and Active Matter.  The Passive Matter was the material world while the Active Matter was God.

I know some readers might be calling me a Hypocrite now, so often using associations with Pythagoras and Plato as inherently Derogatory but now defending a different school of Secular Greek Philosophy.

The Bible says you'll know them by their Fruits.  I have come to despise Pythagorean and Platonic influences on Christianity because I've looked at 2000 years of Church History and seen them as the root of almsot everything The Church has gone wrong on.  Stoicism died with Marcus Aurelius (who did NOT Persecute Christians, the persecutions that happened during his reign were the result of Alexander The False Prophet), when the Church was still only starting to flirt with Greek Philosophy. 

Based on Revelation 21:24 I think all of the Secular cultures of the world have something to contribute to The Tabernacle of New Jerusalem.  Much of what I've been doing as a Christian Otaku is trying to find what we can learn from a certain Japanese Sub Culture.  And I think even Plato has some value if we stick to the early dialogues before the Pythagorean influence started, like Symposium.  But we need to do so applying Scriptural Discernment.

I'm by no means suggesting we Canonize Stoic Philosophers as Prophets the way David Bentley Hart seems to wish he could replace The Old Testament with Plato.  Like all Philosophers they were people throwing's ideas around.  And I do want to distinguish the early Hellenistic Stoics who shared the Pre-Plato Athenian attitude to Same Sex Love from the later Roman Stoics like Musonius Rufus who were influenced by Roman Pythagoreanism and thus adopted the Para Phusis Sexual Morality of The Laws.

Zeno of Citium who founded the Stoic School was born on Cyprus and was referred to as being ethnically Phoenician.  Phoenician is a Greek term we tend to think of as equivalent to the Biblical Canaanites or Sidonians.  But I think there is good evidence that the Ancient Greeks sometimes included Ancient Israelites with the Phoenicians.  The Tribes of Asher, Naphtali and Dan had particularly associations with modern Lebanon.  I also think many Judahites may have fled to Cyrpus during the Babylonian conquest, or wound up there with the Egyptians who came there under Amasis since we know from Jeremiah some Judahites fled to Egypt a little before then.

But even if Zeno was a purely Gentile Phoenician, it was their Idolatry and Polytheism and certain Customs The Bible repeatedly condemns.  They may well have had a similar view as The Israelites on the basics of how the Divine and Material world relate.  In fact that's the whole premise of Michael Heiser's career, arguing that the we can understand The Hebrew Bible's cosmology better by understanding what the Pagan Canaanites believed.

Stoic Theology viewed God as Invisible but Immanent.  They also pictured God as in a sense a Fire, which is very Biblical, YHWH is a Consuming Fire and His Breath like Brimstone, which is why I've argued the Lake of Fire is the Baptism of The Holy Spirit.  They also had a similar teaching to The Bible about God ordering and maintaining The Cosmos.  And they even said that only God is Good.

They had some ideas about "Fate" you could take out of context.  However they had a nuanced view of Free Will versus Divine Predestination similar to how Josephus described the Pharisees placing them between the extremes of the Essenes and Sadducees on that issue.  They were neither Calvinist or Arminian, but that's an issue I may discus in a future post.

Baruch Spinoza was a Dutch Jewish Philosopher of the 17th Century who was similarly accused of being a Pantheist even though he insisted he wasn't, simply for rejecting the Pythagorean dualism of Mainstream Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.  Spinoza was a major influence on Moses Hess in the 19th Century who was in turn the true spiritual father of both Labour Zionism and Marxist Materialism.

None of this is a hill I'm willing to die on.  I don't think it's possible for us to fully comprehend the nature of God prior to The Resurrection.  But if many Christians are going to keep insisting The New Testament being written in Greek means we should also Stan some Greek Philosophers.  Maybe at least pick the school that at least kind of shares it's Semitic Roots.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Divine Impassability and Divine Immutability

Are two doctrines that I had mistakenly conflated with each other in some my of past posts mentioning of Divine Impassability on this blog. But they are related.

Divine Impassibility is the position that God did not suffer when Jesus was on Th Cross, it doesn't deny the Divinity of Christ, but holds that it was only in His Humanity that He Suffered.  Divine Immutability is the position that God doesn't change.

The three  way dispute between Chalcedonian, Nestorian and Miaphysite Christologies from the 5th through 6th Centuries is arguably pure semantics.  All three are Nicene Trinitarians who view Christ as both Fully Divine and Fully Human.  The Nestorians held that Christ has two Natures, Divine and Human, that are not in any way mixed.  The Miaphysite position is that Christ has One Nature that is both Divine and Human.  The Chalcedonian position is that Christ had Two Natures, Divine and Human, that are mixed in the Incarnation.  The Bible doesn't directly address any of that arguable, but my understanding of the Biblical Metanarrative leads me to favoring the Chalcedonian position, even if there are some unrelated details of the Chalcedonian Confession I don't like.

Thing is what makes these disputes a little less semantical are the other issues tied into them.  My greatest affinity with Nestorianism is that I don't like calling Mary Theotokos.  However since the technical accuracy of the term is not my issue with it, it's really irrelevant to the actual dispute Nestorius, Cyril and others were having 15 centuries ago.

While Divine Impassability is affirmed by theologians in all three camps, it was the Nestorians for whom it was the core of their position, and they alone who accused both other camps of rejecting Divine Impassability whether they would have self identified as doing so or not.  That is why in-spite of my respect for the Ancient Church of the East and how much I prefer the Antiochene School's approach to Scripture over the Alexandrian, I have to reject Nestorianism.

Thing is the Nestorians were not wrong to suggest that it's rather illogical to claim Divine Impassability if you believe the Divine and Human Natures were fully United in the Incarnation.  Cyril of Alexandria's attempts to justify himself on this involved a lot of Philosophical nonsense.  And that is why I unapologetically reject Divine Impassability.

And I still oppose misrepresenting Nestorius or the Ancient Church of The East, both did and do believe Christ was one Person/Personality.

The Fifth Ecumenical Council affirmed the Theopaschite formula in it's 10th Canon.  And yet Impassability has still been affirmed by people belonging to Churches that nominally uphold that Council, thanks to Augustine's influence in the West and Cyril's in the East, so this gets ignored.  When the Fifth Council is brought up today it's only to debate what/who it did or did not condemn, never what it affirmed.  Getting the Theopaschite Formula affirmed was the only point of the Council at the time, Justinian thought that would be the key to mending the Chalcedonian schism.

Another issue related to the Divine Impassability v Theopaschite debate is Patripassianism, did The Father also suffer?  I would argue He Suffered in the way any Father watching His Son Suffer would Suffer, but that is distinct from feeling the Physical pain.

While strictly speaking the word Impassibility refers to Suffering, to some this doctrine refers to God feeling Pleasure as well.  To me this rejecting of God being an Emotional being at all is pure Platonic/Pythagorean heresy and utterly in conflict with The Hebrew Bible and The New Testament which teaches that God Is Love.

On the subject of Divine Immutability, it depends what you mean by it.  Malachi 3:6 is what most gets absurd here as people keep quoting it while ignoring it's context.  That God keeps His Promises doesn't change, that He Is Love won't change, and therefore He will NOT allow His People to be Consumed.  The Core of who God Is does not change.

But The Bile also refers to God Repenting (See Exodus 32:14 and Numbers 14:12-20; Jonah 3:10; Amos 7:3-9; Jeremiah 26:3), Repent means to change one's mind.  And I feel the whole point of the Chalcedonian position on the Incarnation is that Humanity and Divinity are both permanently changed by being United in Christ.  The Hyper Immutability that is favored by Nestorius, Cyril and Augustine is again a heresy based on the Greek and Roman Churches' infatuation with Platonic and Pythagorean theology, not Scripture.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Hellenistic Origins of Conservative Sexual Morality.

I wrote an Amazon Review for the book Plato or Paul?: The Origins of Western Homophobia by Theodore W. Jennings Jr.

I have also more recently obtained The Classical Origins of Modern Homophobia by Robert H. Allen.  I may also write an Amazon Review for it.

I first learned about the Homophobia of Plato's The Laws however when I discovered this Website.

In it's article Plato: The Serpent in the Garden of Sexuality.  

My own past blog posts on this issue are a bit outdated now due to their references to things I've since changed my mind on, or at least now have a more informed opinion on.  Like how I had fallen into the trap of mistakenly thinking there was anything Communist or Socialist about either of Plato's proposed Utopias.

Each of those three discussions of this issue have areas I disagree with.  None are as "Conservative" as I am about the origins of The Bible.  Only Jennings agrees with me that Paul is on our side, and Allen's agenda is not to exonerate The Bible of Homophobia at all, he alone of them agrees with the Homophobic reading of even the Leviticus verses.  Actually he cites a Saul Olyan that it's specifically referring to Male on Male Anal Penetration, which is close to my original position, but I now believe the "Wife's Bed" and "Abomination to Her" readings are key to proving this is not a unilateral condemnation of any specific Sex act.

I think Jennings's theory on what Arsenokoites (and also Malakos) refers to is probably most correct.  But I do disagree with his argument agaisnt it being in any way an allusion to the Leviticus verses, I simply think what he correctly argues Arsenkoites refers to, is what some people in Ancient Corinth and Ephesus incorrectly thought those Leviticus verses were about.

I think Jennings's break down of Romans 1 is useful. but I still mainly side with Colby Martin's take on that in his Unclobber series.  Which is that Romans 1:18-32 is a rhetorical rant, paraphrasing passages from Wisdom of Solomon but tying in Philo's usage of the "Para Phusis" concept introduced in The Laws, in order to spend the rest of the Epistle refuting that world view, in Romans 11 what God does is Para Phusis.

And Allen's cynical readings of The Bible lead to similar issues with extra-Bible Church writers as well.  Clement was the first Christian to bring this "Para Phusis" Sexual Morality into the Church.  The crime of "corrupting youth" in works like the Didache is not Homosexuality or anything Sexual there just as it wasn't when Athens executed Socrates for that crime.  I likewise feel Allen is being unfair to both Justin Martyr and Tertullian.

The reason why I didn't put Plato in the title of this post is because Allen argues Pythagorean Philosophy and it's Dualism is the ultimate origin of this problem.  He argues Authentic Plato may have been at least partially influenced by Pythagoreans, but also argues that The Laws as we have it is not an authentic work of Plato but a forgery produced and transmitted primarily by Pythagoreans.  And I think he might be correct on that.  Here is a YouTube video expressing similar ideas about the origins of Laws and how to interpret The Republic.

But still Authentic Plato or not the development of Platonic Philosophy was influenced by The Laws on these issues and others, which in turn influenced Roman Stoicism, Neopythagoreanism, Hellenistic Judaism, Gnosticism, The Alexandrian School of Christianity, and Neo-Platonism, which also all influenced each other in late Antiquity culminating in John Chrysostom and Augustine of Hippo.  Allen also documents how across the board Pagan Roman Society was Homophobic.

However another theory on the perceived inconsistencies between The Laws and more positive Sexual attitudes expressed in Symposium is that Plato changed over the course of his life, perhaps partly from Pythagorean influence.  The Laws is considered the very last book he wrote.

But going back to more indisputably authentic Plato, the title character of Timaeus (who's still around during Critias) is inferred to be a Pythagorean in the text of that dialogue.  So what Timaeus says can reasonably be presumed to be at least what Plato thought the Pythagoreans believed.  And it's from Timaeus we get what's considered the Platonic Creation Myth and the The Demiurge.

The Website I linked to up top also has interesting stuff on the "Born Eunuch" issue and other subjects.  But it's article The Historic Origins of Church Condemnation of Homosexuality I don't recommend.  I have found no other sources claiming Eusebius of Nicomedia was ever referred to as a Eunuch.  meanwhile the pro Nicene Emperor Constans was a known Homosexual, before Theodosius I it was the Arian Emperors who were far more oppressive to those who disagreed with them.

Again it's not just Homophobia, condemning all Sex Outside marriage has the same roots in The Laws attributed to Plato.  As well as the idea that Sex is only for Reproduction which 1 Corinthians explicitly contradicts.  What's almsot Prophetic about it is how it talks about using Religion to condition society to react to Same Sex love the same way they do to Incest.  These people were never fully able to get the Greeks to believe such things about their Native gods, but once many Greeks started worshiping the God of Abraham without a proper understanding of Bronze Age Semitic culture, that was when this plan to lie about God's attitude towards Sex was able to take off.

And it's not just the Sexual Morality of The Laws either.  Some people accuse Plato of being Proto-Fascist just based on The Republic, but The Laws is even more indistinguishable from the actual definition of Fascism.  Allen argued that the Pythagorean movement was tied to Totalitarianism already even before Plato's time.

Connecting this Sexual Morality to Platonism is useful because of how many other Unbiblical Ideas to enter Christianity are also tied to Plato's both direct and indirect influence on Greco-Roman Church Writers, including ideas opposed by many Conservative Evangelicals today.  So maybe a good way to open some minds is to show how these Sexual attitudes are tied to other doctrines they don't like.

Not all Platonic Ideas to enter the Church became part of Mainstream Christian thought.  Gnosticism and Marcionism were condemned as Heretical, as well as the Pre-Existence of Souls doctrine often associated with Origen, and Arianism was probably also influenced by the Theology of Timaeus.  Still those ideas are related to things that did become mainstream.  Most casual Christians do have a fairly Platonic Understanding of the Immortality of the Soul simply minus the Reincarnation and Pre-Existence (Pope Benedict XII's Benedictus Deus in 1336 basically canonized the After Life depicted in Gorgias for the Western Church.), which in turn helps lead to Full Preterism and Amillenialism and any other Eschatology that denies a Literal Bodily Resurrection. 

Divine Impassability and Divine Immutability which I plan on making a separate post on are also tied to Platonic understandings of The Divine.  And a section in Gorgias definitely influenced the Traditional Judeo-Christian understanding of Hell and The Lake of Fire.

Evangelicals who don't like how more mainline dominations have been rejecting taking The Old Testament literally should know that not only is that a Platonic influence but the Allegorists are open about that.  In Brad Jersak's seminar on the subject he brags about how the Early Church Fathers decided to take the same approach to the Hebrew Bible that Plato and other Philosophers took to Homer and Hesiod.  He leaves out how the Antiochene School rejected that idea and were hyper-literalists.

Even Plato wasn't wrong on everything, he correctly concluded that the Earth was Round.  And that is why the most openly anti-Plato Christians on YouTube right now are the Flat Earthers.  So someone should explain to them how their Puritan Sexual morality has the same Platonic roots.  Still these Flat Earthers are unwittingly Pythagorean themselves with their Dome Cosmology resulting in a hard separation between the Divine and Material realms, and Rob Skiba even entertaining the view that we didn't have physical bodies before The Fall.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

I'm neither Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox.

In spite of the things that are Protestant like about me.  I have come to reject the Protestant understanding of "Justified by Faith not works".  Which is the one thing all branches of Protestantism have in common, Lutheran, Calvanist, Arminian, Wesleyan, and the Free Grace Eternal Security that was my original Soteriology when I started this blog.

Justification in Romans is NOT the same thing as Salvation, the true Soteriology of Paulian Theology is laid out in Romans 5 and 11 where Justification is no longer the focus at all.  And when Paul speaks of us being Saved By Grace through Faith in other Epistles, the Faith in question is of Jesus not us.

So does that make my view of justification the same as the Catholic and Orthodox view?  Maybe, but must still be understood in the context of my firm belief in Universal Salvation.  

However what prevents me from simply going back and rejoining any Ancient Church is that I firmly reject Episcopal Polity and the Authority of all Church Councils besides the one attended by the Apostles themselves in Acts 15.  My position on Church Polity is Congregational first and foremost but with elements of Presbyterianism.

So many Catholic and Orthodox clerical arguments agaisnt Protestantism are founded on a belief there needs to be some tangible continuity between a valid modern Church and the Churches of antiquity  And I can't help but be reminded of the things Jesus said specifically to rebuke that way of thinking.

"From whom did John get his Authority to Baptize?"-Matthew 21:23-27

"Who isn't agaisnt us is with us"-Mark 9:40

The Church was never meant to be an Organized Religion but a decentralized association.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Valentinian's Imperial OT3

Valentinian is the Christian Roman Emperor said to have engaged in Polygamy.

Socrates Scholasticus gives an interesting account in his Historia Ecclesiastica of Valentinian's marriages, that has inspired some to call this emperor polygamous. According to the text: the empress Justina[53]

became known to Marina Severa, wife of the emperor Valentinian, and had frequent dialogue with the empress, until their intimacy at length grew to such an extent that they were accustomed to bathe together. When Severa saw Justina in the bath she was greatly struck with the beauty of the virgin, and spoke of her to the emperor; saying that the daughter of Justus was so lovely a creature, and possessed of such symmetry of form, that she herself, though a woman, was altogether charmed with her. The emperor, treasuring this description by his wife in his own mind, considered with himself how he could espouse Justina, without repudiating Severa, as she had borne him Gratian, whom he had created Augustus a little while before. He accordingly framed a law, and caused it to be published throughout all the cities, by which any man was permitted to have two lawful wives. The law was promulgated and he married Justina, by whom he had Valentinian the younger.

— Socrates Scholasticus, Historia Ecclesiastica, IV.31

Now Wikipedia goes on about how scholars doubt the veracity of this claim, citing sources from a Century later who instead say Severa was exiled before he married Justina, and referring to the lack of evidence of this Law legalizing Polygamy.

Independent verification of this Law probably vanished because later Emperors expunged it.  What we now know of Roman Law largely comes through the reforms of Theodosius and Justinian.  

It's also theorized that this comes from someone wanting to smear Justina for her later support of Arianism.  But this is an odd way to go about calling her a Slut.

What fascinated me here is that this really isn't just an example of Christian Polygyny.  It starts with Severa seeing Justina naked and getting turned on in-spite of being a Woman.  This wasn't a strictly Het plural marriage, this was a True Threesome.

Valentinian is also an interesting Emperor for his Domestic Economic Policies as well.  A lot of the negative things said about him are from Senatorial Class historians, who indeed still dominated the writing of Roman Imperial history even during Christianization.  Valentinian worked to help the Poor including providing them with Healthcare.  Even though during this era The Church was already starting to lose it's Anarcho-Communist roots, Valentinian was still, if we tried to force modern political terms on the era, at least a Social Democrat.

Scholars also like to doubt the alleged Arianism of Valens because of Valens' closeness to Valentinian who was his brother.  But Valens definitely had a different economic philosophy then his brother being much more fiscally Conservative.  Brothers can disagree on Religion just as easily if not more so then they do Economics.  That forcing an Arian Bishop on the Arabs was the reason for Mavia's revolt I do not doubt.

This repeats the situation of the children of Constantine.   Now the fact that in both cases the Nicene got the West while the Arian got the East might make one suspect all Four Emperors were just pandering to the popular winds of their populations.  But often popular opinion is influenced by the rulers.  

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Glorious Revolution was neither Glorious or a Revolution

It was a Coup D'etat of Rich Nobles replacing a King they didn't like with a King they did.

And here is the thing being ignored by modern Centrist History YouTubers who want to see it as part of the lineage of Progressive Revolutions that created the Modern Western Liberal Democracy we now take for granted.  The thing James II was trying to do that so deeply offended Parliament, was codify into English Law the right to Freedom of Religion.

Yes James II and the prior Stuart Monarchs did believe in the Divine Right of Kings to wield Absolute Power.  But frankly to me justifying this Coup D'etat as a Revolution agaisnt that is the same as arguing the South seceded over State's Rights.  The "right" Parliament was fighting to keep was the right to persecute Catholics.

Now I'm not saying James II didn't do things that modern 21st Century Progressives and Leftists wouldn't see as a good reason to revolt agaisnt him.  His Religious Freedom did only conditionally include Presbyterians and I've seen no evidence it included non Christians.  Meanwhile the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and rise of Plantation Slavery in the Southern North American colonies was going strong.  But none of those things are what offended Parliament or were in any way reversed by the new administration.

The Parliamentarians spoke as if this was Self Defense, as if his reforms were a threat to their Protestant Religious Liberty.  Which makes them exactly like modern Republican voting Evangelicals.  And it's disturbing how many modern Protestants still buy this rhetoric.  I've seen people refer to these Parliamentarians as "seeing through James deception, that Religious Tolerance for everyone meant tolerance for Catholics".

But James II and his reforms weren't just supported by Catholics, they were also supported for example by Baptists and the Quakers who founded Pennsylvania.

This isn't the only time the conflict between the Jacobite Monarchs and Parliament was driven by their desire to ease restrictions on Catholics (but James II was innovative in extending it to dissenting Protestants).  A lot of people think James I was the one Stuart free of this association with Crypto-Catholicism, many Evangelicals need to since his name is attached to their favorite Bible.  But in fact these same conflicts were already there, many Translation choices of the KJV were driven by his High Church agenda, like saying Bishop and Deacon instead of properly translating those words, and arguably using the word Church itself, Tyndale always translated Ecclesia as Congregation.

This is why the Puritans/Congregationalists were the most anti-Stuart before James II but then became supporters of James II.  However the New England Congregationalists were hypocrites who had no intention of applying these Religious Freedom values to the Colonies they dominated, they only supported it where they were the minority.

It is easy to fall into the trap of looking back on the conflicts between King and Parliament in English history and thinking Parliament must represent "the people" because it's technically elected representatives.  But the people who had the right to Vote on representation in Parliament were only wealthy land owners, and that remained the case well into the Victorian era.  In fact property requirements were not gone entirely till the same time Women got the vote in 1918.

The house of Commons had a name that was misleading.  It represented people who were technically "commoners" in that they were not heirs to a centuries old Feudal title of Nobility.  They were part of what in France at the time would be called the Third Estate.  But they were still the wealthy minority among those "commons", the Bourgeoisie in Marxist terminology.

So when the King and Parliament were in conflict it may very well be neither had the best interests of most of the people in mind.  But in these kinds of conflicts it's very reasonable to suspect that an Individual may be more likely to care about the lower classes then a group.  Because the people in Parliament were frequently subject to group think, it was easier for the King to allow his personal sense of moral reasonability to override any class allegiance.

Now you still do have some people who are way more extreme in taking this logic then I am.  Like Webster Tarpley an FDR Progressive who's view of English history tends to be that even when the King didn't actually care about the poor, they were still by default helped by him making things difficult for the Nobles.  That logic however presumes the Peasants were only really hurt by the Nobles when they went out of their way to mess with them.  It ignores how the system itself screwed them over even when no one actively did anything.

I am overall agaisnt Monarchy.  But I am willing to consider it preferable to Representative Democracy, especially one that's still operating under Capitalism.

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Sin of Sodom was Capitalism actually

In the past I've put all my eggs in the Hospitality/Immigration argument, and that is still an important symptom of their disease.  But it's verse 49 of Ezekiel's 16th Chapter that gives us the full diagnosis.

"Moreover this was the sin of thy sister Sodom, pride: she and her daughters lived in pleasure, in fullness of bread in abundance: this belonged to her and her daughters, and they helped not the hand of the poor and needy."

There is no getting around that this is a condemnation of Wealth Hording, that the kind of people who talk that way today are Communists and Socialists.

References to Sodom in Isaiah and Jeremiah also stress it being tied to their greed and wealth.  I argued on my Prophecy Blog that the Whoredom of Babylon is Capitalism, and Eschatological prophecies of Babylon do evoke Sodom.

And it's not addressing individual Rich People who don't voluntarily give to the Poor.  It's about Sodom as a society.

And the issue of Sodom being in-hospitable to immigrants is not unrelated, travelers and refuges are also needy and poor.  And Capitalists love to use nativist sentiments to get the poor citizens to blame the immigrants for the problems that are actually Capitalism's fault.

Ironically some Marxists might say I'm being Anachronistic here since we all know Capitalism didn't exist till after the Reformation, at the very soonest.  But the thing is part of why I'm not a Marxist is that I disagree with the Marxist view of history.  I know some Breadtubers love to stress how young Capitalism is in response to Conservatives arguing that it's "Natural", but we can't deny Patriarchy has been a thing for all of Human history.  How about when addressing Conservative Christians we remind them that The Church is supposed to be "contrary to nature" (Para Phusis) according to Romans 11.

Even if I were to concede that Feudalism is distinct from Capitalism, when I look at Ancient Rome ("Republican" Rome at least) it's hard for me not to see it as Capitalist with it's wealthy land owners and the way it's "Democracy" was so thoroughly jerrymandered against the urban poor.  And I see similar Capitalism in Carthage and at least some of the City-States of Greece.

Capitalism has different forms, from Mercantilism to industrial Capitalism, from Classical Liberalism to Neo-Liberalism, from Jeffersonianism to Hamiltonianism.  Some reactionaries claim to hate Capitalism as much as they do Communism while still being called Capitalists by Communists.  

During the Middle Ages I believe Capitalism was continued by Venice and perhaps some other Italian coastal City-States.  Then after the Reformation opened the door for upheavals in some parts of Europe the city of Amsterdam and other northern ports started being influenced by the Venetians they traded with.  And then England started borrowing from both Amsterdam and Venice as it started striving to be a Sea Power under Henry VIII, Elizabeth and the Stuarts.

Some writers have argued Protastantism helped cause Capitalism.  But it's really one major school of Protestantism, the "Reformed Tradition" of Zwingly that later split into Calvinist and Arminian camps.  Luther actually loved Feudalism and wanted to make it stronger rather then weaker.  And the Anabaptists like the Taborite and John Ball before the Reformation were Communists.  But to the point I'm making here, it can be argued that Venetian theologians had an overlooked influence on the early Reformation even though they nominally stayed Catholic through men like Gasparo Continari.

Roman Capitalism came from the Greeks and also Carthage who's Trade networks Rome absorbed as they conquered it.  Carthage and Greece were both influenced by the Phoenicians, a people The Bible refers to as Sidonians who's major cities were first Sidon and later Tyre.  Ezekiel 27 is perhaps just as much a description of Capitalism as Ezekiel 16 is.  The Sidonians were the Canaanites of Lebanon and Sodom is also mentioned when talking about the Canaanites in Genesis 10.  In Ezekiel 16 God's criticism of Jerusalem (which is Sodom's Sin but now worse) also involved Him spiritually calling them Jebusites and Amorites.

Capitalism is the Socio-Economic Vice of the Canaanites, while Feudalism came from Egypt.