Hello everybody! Well I'm back from the hospital. Thanks again for the card I got. As it turns out it was delivered to me by mistake but I know you all were thinking about me... even if you didn't stop by or send flowers or call. Still, I can say that I have felt such love and affection in this faith community that I can really tell what spirit is in charge here!
Anyway I've been reading the blog and it seems to me that people are a little on edge. So, I wanted to help out and try and calm things down by elevating the conversation a tad. Let's talk for a minute about the bible.
Living in Tennessee you all... uh I mean y'all (LOL ROTFLOL)... know that a lot of people put a great deal of credence behind that book. Well fortunately a higher education at many of our fine Universities in the various Catholic traditions would soon set that idea straight. One of the first things I would do in class would be to explain how the bible was put together. For example, a great deal of it was lifted, pretty much intact, from various Babylonian traditions. Much of the new testament is substantially modified Zorastrianism with a large injection of the Greek Mystery religion.
What does that mean? Well it means we have to view the bible as a kind of "coming together" book in its most beautiful passages. Of course some of the more "rigid" and "judgemental" passages are almost certainly due to spending too much time out in the hot sun without a hat (ha ha ha, LOL, ROTFLOL!) But for the most part, the bible is an early attempt at inclusivity. It's like it is saying "let's work this whole 'life' thing out together."
If you should perchance read the bible - and I urge you that if you do read the Bible you do it keeping a good armslength between you and it and examine it as academically as possible - you would see that basically it is made of four things: myth, law, history, and encouragement. Now all of these areas are flawed. Some hopelessly. We may essentially discount all parts of the bible dealing with law and myth. The mosaic law was flawed and cruel and not at all applicable to modern life. The useful elements of the history have been gleaned and where it has been verified can be found in the text books of specialists. It is not of general interest. The myths, though once performing the useful role of stabilizing the primitive psyche are no longer of particular value.
Only the advice still has some enduring value and this only sporadically and where it has not beem corrupted by rigid traditional attitudes. Ecclesiastes for example is very depressing. Little of tt does in fact "speak" to the modern ear.
I have some ideas at how to fix this problem with the bible, but I think I've said enough for now. I'll eagerly await your comments before moving on.
With warm affection,