Friday, November 10, 2017

Rewriting The Gospels

When 70-year-old Roy Moore was accused of pursuing sexual relationships with teenage girls when he was in his early '30s- the least of all his offenses against the common good- Charlie Pierce speculated

I may be entirely too cynical but I think, if Moore has the sand for it, he will follow this up with an explanation of how he had sinned, as all fallen humans do, but that Jesus has forgiven him and washed him in the blood of the Lamb, and now it’s time for him to bring his redeemed hindquarters to godless Washington to show the heathen the path to glory that he’s been blessed to follow. That might work.

A good thought, but one that has been superseded by the safer route of blaming Washington, the Democratic Party, and the mythically liberal media: "These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign."

Although the story of forgiveness and redemption almost expected by Pierce might have worked, any resort to religious faith carries risk. And so it was that Alabama State Auditor Jim

Zeigler then compared Moore's alleged actions to those of biblical figures.

"Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” Zeigler told The Examiner. "Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus."

"There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here," Zeigler said. "Maybe just a little bit unusual."

There has been no accusation of illegality and were there to be so, the alleged incidents occurred a few decades  ago. However, Alabama voters might consider the notion that the behavior was not "immoral" but merely "a little bit unusual" too cute by half. However, more significant- especially in the Bible Belt- would be Ziegler's suggestion that Joseph and Mary were both parents- birth parents, as he told it- of baby Jesus.

The birth of Jesus Christ is omitted in the Gospel of Mark and of John. However, as told in the English Standard Version, according to Mattthew

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

In the same translation, though in the first chapter, Luke maintains

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.

Joseph was not Jesus' father. He was the young fellow's stepfather- a unique one, at that- but not his father, unlike Ziegler's clear implication.

That is of not insignificant. If Jesus Christ were born in the conventional way, to a mortal mother and a mortal father, there was no virgin birth and Jesus would not have possessed a divine nature. Had that been the case, he would not have been born without sin and could not have been the perfect, and only, sin-bearer. Hence, like all mere mortals, members of the clergy or otherwise, he would have been in no position to forgive a person's sins.

Christmas is coming and the least an Alabaman, especially an Alabaman Republican, can get right is the virgin birth.  Jesus carried no DNA from Joseph and Joseph was not his father. Go with Moore's own explanation, demagogically blaming some of the forces which snowflake conservatives feel victimized by.

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