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View Diary: Why do so many folks here use the term "Old Testament" as code for barbarism? (265 comments)

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  •  Which you are pulling from your, um, where? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diamond Mind, leftymama, Lujane

    You come from a certain culture, which has roots in a medieval Christian West European civilization.  You don't have to be a church-goer or even a theist to come from what are basically Christian or European conceptions, notions, or even prejudices.  To what extent can you honestly say that your notions of "morality" or "justice" are more than slightly divorced from those of traditional, European (hell, add "patriarchal" if you like) tradition.

    Anybody who talks about the Old Testament is using a Christian frame, since the Old Testament is a Christian frame for the Hebrew scriptures -- a frame that specifically sees the Jewish tradition as outmoded, defective and superseded.  This is a point of view that goes back to within a century of the Crucifixion -- google "Justine Martyr" to see what I mean.

     

    [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

    by mbayrob on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 04:29:20 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Well, he actually comes from a native american (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      millwood

      culture. But I'd agree that along these lines, his education has almost certainly been as you describe.

      •  His arguments aren't really native american here (0+ / 0-)

        I can't claim to know that much about the traditional beliefs of pre-Columbian peoples of what is now the US; I know a bit about Mesoamerican beliefs, which have some shared themes between the cultures of old Mexico and Central America.

        But to the extent that most of us here were raised in the US and student in American schools, the default assumptions of the culture are those of Western European civilization, in which "the shul you don't go to" is a Christian church.  Even for people who reject traditional Christian religion, the terms of reference when discussing religion and morality were mostly forged in relation to a society that was originally Christian (and Roman Catholic at that).

        This is not the way Jews in Europe thought about these things, and it's certainly not the way most cultures in Asia think about them.  But when you discuss religion in American English, you almost don't have the words you need to talk about them any other way.

        [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

        by mbayrob on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:31:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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