This Non-Religious Life Episode 78: The Boy Messiah

This Non-Religious Life Episode 78: The Boy Messiah

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No, not that Messiah! A boy in Tennessee was recently named Messiah and a Judge decided, during a legal battle over the boys last name, decided to change his name entirely. Her reason, because Messiah is a title who only Jesus of Nazareth has earned. Of course, this is a huge breach of church-state separation, on top of being incorrect.

We also talk about some shocking statements by Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury; a creationist author who claims that because dragons are in the bible that they must be real; and an evangelical author who made poor choices for the cover of his e-book.

As always we want to know your thoughts! You can always contact us at nonreligious@zombie-popcorn.com, like us on Facebook / Google+ or call the ZPN hotline at (757) 337-2195. And don’t forget to subscribe to This Non-Religious Life on  iTunes or listen to us on Stitcher Radio.

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Jason Bayless

Jason Bayless is a life-long activist and is currently working at The Pachamama Alliance. When he is not working he spends, working with Center for Farmworker Families and spending his time recording shows, writing blogs, collecting 3D movies, and playing VR games.

Comments
  • Aaron Kren1

    September 12, 2013

    Whoops – I was given an “error timeout” message after the initial comment – so I retyped it. You can delete one of them. I would if I could.

    Reply
  • Aaron Kren2

    September 12, 2013

    I felt really presecuted by this episode.

    In regard to unicorns and dragons: the Greek and Latin words from which these words are derived pre-exist the mythological ideas of these creatures that were popularized in the middle ages. Whatever creatures the original Hebrew text was referring to would not have been the mythical beasts that weren’t invented yet. The root of “unicorn” simply means “having one horn.” The root of “dragon” simply means “serpent, giant sea fish.”

    It was an interesting assertion that Christianity spread because it offered a perspective on sexuality that was more in tune with the Roman view of sexuality. I’m curious what resource you are relying on that says Christians invented over-the-top ideas of sexuality in Roman religion to distinguish themselves as a purer alternative. I find it hard to believe that the Romans didn’t have any idea about the sexual practices (or lack thereof) in Roman religion and had to be informed by a group of outsiders. Do you think the practice of pederasty, sex with slaves, or temple prostitution were myths invented by Christians?

    Reply
  • Aaron Kren3

    September 12, 2013

    I felt very persecuted by this episode…

    You implied that we should take the Bible in one of two extremes: either it is all literal, or none of it is inspired. While scholarship does not always agree with what is or isn’t literal – scholarship does recognize that you can’t look at a book as diverse in subject and authorship as the Bible, and read it through one interpretative framework. You might say “if some of it is figurative and some is literal, how do we know which is which?” That is a legitimate question – but it is not a showstopping roadblock. It may be a difficult question, but that doesn’t mean it is an unknowable question.

    In regard to unicorns and dragons – the Greek and Latin words from which those words are derived, pre-existed the mythical creatures popularized in the middle ages. The root of “unicorn” simply means “having one horn.” The root of “dragon” simply refers to “serpent or giant sea fish.” Whatever animal the Biblical writers were referring to certainly wasn’t the mytholocial creature that was invented much later.

    Lastly, it was an interesting assertion that Christianity prospered because they offered sexual norms that were more in line with the Roman’s ideals about sex. I am curious what resource you are using that says Christians fabricated images of over-the-top sexuality in Roman religion to distiniguish themselves as a more purer religious alternative. It doesn’t make much sense to me that the Romans themselves wouldn’t have any idea of the sexual practices (or lack thereof) in Roman religon – and had to be informed by an outsider group what was really going on. Do you think the Roman practice of pederasty, sex with slaves, or temple prostitution was fabricated?

    Reply

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