Wednesday, January 16, 2008

9 Shevaṭ 5768: National Nothing Day/Appreciate a Dragon Day

Greetings.

Worthy cause of the day: “Ask the candidates about the climate crisis”. Please sign and get the presidential candidates to talk about this important issue.

Divine misconception of the day: “Huckabee: Amend Constitution to be in 'God's standards'”. Let us put aside the fact that this proposal is unlikely to go anywhere, as it goes flat out against the long-standing practice in this country of secular democracy (secular in the sense that no religion is supposed to be given an advantage over any other). The major question that must be asked about Huckabee’s proposal is what God’s standards are. Huckabee is not a prophet; as such, direct communication with any deity of standards can be ruled out. That means Huckabee has to rely on a tradition and interpretation, and this is where things get hairy. Huckabee is a Baptist, which if I remember correctly are a group which has attempted to restore original New Testament Christianity; this implies a break with Protestant tradition. Protestantism is itself a break with Catholic tradition. Catholic tradition is a continuation of early Christian tradition, which unambiguously broke with Jewish tradition at the First Council of Nicaea and had developed into various shades of questionable belief and heresy before then. (Note that the Gospels are not complimentary of Jews, especially the Pharisees, back to whom Orthodox Jews trace a documented, uninterrupted chain of tradition. Whatever the original form of the Gospels, the versions that have come down to us are not continuations of Jewish tradition; they are rather a rejection of it.) Huckabee therefore has multiple breaks with any continuous line of tradition between himself and primordial Christianity and Second Temple Judaism. He is therefore relying on interpretation rather than an actual tradition (in the original sense of something handed down). Some quick searches on the Internet did not find any evidence of Huckabee knowing Hebrew or Greek, so he is most likely interpreting the Hebrew Bible and New Testament through a layer of translation—a bad idea for anyone trying to know the precise meaning of a text since one has to rely on someone else’s interpretation. Huckabee is handicapped as an interpreter of Biblical texts; he is not the best person to be rewriting the Constitution in line with the standards of the God of Israel or Jesus of Nazareth.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “Lanthanum Quits Periodic Table Of Elements”. Enjoy and share the weirdness with the dragon you appreciate.

Aaron
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