Oh Please… If Women Are More Religious Than Men, Then Why Aren’t There Any Women Priests?

Two sociologists have set out to explain the mystery of why women almost everywhere seem to be more religious than men.  Given that “all the major world religions have…been intensely patriarchal”, argue Marta Trzebiatowska and Steve Bruce – lecturer and professor in sociology at the University of Aberdeen, respectively – women’s well-evidenced greater religiosity might seem paradoxical.  Although it “may not be as counter-intuitive as turkeys voting for Christmas”, they write, “it certainly seems similar to manual workers voting for conservative … parties”.  Their new book, Why Are Women More Religious Than Men?, attempts to find the reasons for this predisposition.

No need for any research on this one.  Here’s the reason: God is a Father and every girl loves her dad!  There ya go.  Now you don’t need to buy that book and you can spend your money on mine.

More Texas Sized Insanity/Depravity/Perversity

Authorities in a Texas county where a drug enforcement program was allegedly used to shake down black and Latino highway travelers are returning more than $100,000 taken during the traffic stops.

The stops in Tenaha, which often resulted in people being forced to hand over cash without any charges being filed, have led to multiple lawsuits and two federal criminal investigations.

District Attorney Kenneth Florence said Shelby County has dismissed all of its pending forfeiture cases, even those without a connection to Tenaha, in what he described as an effort to turn the page after an agreement was reached in August to settle a class action lawsuit stemming from the stops.

“I just don’t think you could get anything done with any of those cases,” said Florence, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in August and is running for the post in next week’s election. “They are all tainted, so to speak.”

Moreover

An Associated Press report last year detailed how some of the stops also resulted in suspected drug traffickers receiving light sentences or escaping criminal prosecution altogether for giving up their cash. Those cases netted the county more than $800,000 in less than a year.

They were prosecuted by the county’s former district attorney, Lynda Kaye Russell, who retired at the end of last year. Russell has not responded to repeated requests for comment, and she asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination for every question in a deposition for the class action lawsuit.

There’s more, and worse.  Reprehensible cops.  They should be in prison along with everyone else in the ‘judicial system’ that took part in this scam.

The moral?  Avoid Texas.  Treat it the same way the Jews of Jesus’ day treated Samaria: bypass it and have nothing to do with the inhabitants of that pagan place.

Covenant or Contract

I’m very interested in reading this. Has anyone a copy they might share?

Covenant or Contract?: A Study of the Theological Background of Worship in Seventeenth-Century Scotland

Update: Thanks to the many who responded.

Perverse and Incredibly Wicked Hate Speech Aimed at Palestinians: And the Odd Silence of Christian Zionists

At Chen’s Hair Salon in “downtown” Sderot [Israel], three women shot the breeze until I showed up and told them I’m a reporter who had come from Jerusalem to hear how they felt about the “situation.” “Ahhh, have a seat,” said Riki, a tall woman with cropped bleach-blonde hair, as she pointed to a chair next to Linda, the owner. Both Riki and Avigayel, who sat in the styling chair, were unemployed and spent a lot of time hanging out at Linda’s salon.

The ladies bemoaned the economic and security situations. But when I asked them about a solution to the rockets a debate broke out in the small smoky hair salon.  “We need a tsunami on all of Gaza. Every pregnant Arab woman has a terrorist inside her,” said Linda.  Avigayel and Riki lept in: “Noo, Linda, noo. Not all of them. Oyoyoy, Linda.”  “Yes, all of them,” Linda said, adding: “I speak from pain.”

If a Palestinian had said that the Christian Zionists would have declared holy war.  But since an Israeli has said it, about Palestinians, it’s perfectly acceptable.  Isn’t it Mr. Hagee.

Isn’t it remarkable that the very people who should express the love of God for all the world play favorites and pretend that only Jews matter in the Middle East…

On Those Who Pretend Conversion for Gain

In his Commentary on True and False Religion, Zwingli remarks (in an aside)

Since … the world consists of the good and just, and of the wicked and worthless, it comes to pass that the less of a hypocrite a man is the more readily he yields to the gospel, whether he be one of the good or one of the bad. … And, indeed, those who are very bad and see that some of their own kind have gone over to Christ pretend that they, too, have gone over, with the view of getting themselves supported in idleness. For the pious vigorously assist needy brethren; indeed, unless they do so they are not pious.

The impious pretending piety for the sake of manipulating the godly into underwriting their indolence and laziness.  Truly there is nothing new under the sun.  Every Church I know of has been ‘hit up’ by pious pretenders seeking handouts and preying on the kindness of people who actually do the work of God and contribute to ministries.  Legion is their name.  Extortion via pseudo-piety is their game.

A Fantastic Essay by Mauro Pesce on the Fate of The ‘Historical Jesus’ Since Vatican II

Here, at Academia.edu.  In sum-

“Il fatto che la ricerca di oggi su Gesù sia rappresentata da studiosi di chiese diverse sta a significare che l’esigenza di una profonda riflessione religiosa è radicato nei diversi cristianesimi ed è sintomo di un mutamento culturale. Ciò che è comune a tutti i tentativi è il bisogno di rimanere all’interno del cristianesimo cercando in Gesù i valori cristiani fondamentali che si fatica a trovare nelle rispettive chiese. La percezione dell’incapacità delle chiese di rispondere ai bisogni religiosi della situazione contemporanea, la percezione che la rappresentazione ecclesiastica di Gesù non corrisponde a quello che egli effettivamente e fece e disse, a quello che volle essere. La percezione anzi, della dissomiglianza tra il comportamento delle chiese e quello di Gesù.

In sostanza, il periodo successivo al Concilio vaticano II ha conosciuto due tendenze. Una hanno proposto di portare avanti la riforma iniziata cercando di portare fino in fondo il progetto di ritorno alle fonti, considerato finalmente in modo veramente integrale: un ritorno non più alla chiesa antica ma a Gesù stesso. Questa esigenza è stata minoritaria. E’ prevalsa invece la linea che rivaluta le continuità el Concilio Vaticano II con il concilio di Trento, una linea che ne stempera la novità e ricaccia il cattolicesimo nella situazione di essere senza risposta di fronte ai grandi problemi posti dall’età moderna: come fondare la trascendenza della parola di Dio e di Gesù rispetto alla chiesa, come ripensare il cristianesimo all’interno della cultura umanistica e scientifica moderna.

It’s a fantastic essay.  It’s long and articulate and marvelous.

The Problem With Doug Campbell’s Thesis…

Is that his interpretation sets aside the central concept of Old Testament theology- the covenant. Covenants are by their very nature contractual.

Given this, and given the theology of Deuteronomy and its pulsation throughout the Hebrew Bible through each of the Prophets, who ceaselessly call on Israel to act in covenant fidelity, the setting aside of contractual theology in Paul seems not only inappropriate, but misleading.

I am eager to see if Doug can clear this dilemma up next week when we gather at Duke for the conference on the subject.

Two Letters From Two Friends

Zürich: Grossmünster

Zwingli was written by his friend Glarean  on 1 Nov 1520 and by his friend Capito on 1 Nov 1528.  Though these interesting letters (and Glarean’s is simply effusive in its appreciation for Zwingli’s work) are separated by 8 years they share two common themes:  Zwingli must continue his work because it matters tremendously, and he must stay in touch!  Glarean opens his letter writing

Mirum vero tam diuturnum silentium, suavissime Ulderice. Quid hoc rei, immo quid causae potius? Num nuntii?

And Capito focuses, right off the bat, on the need to stay the course in spite of the dangers-

Nuper Oecolampadio respondi ad ea, quę habes adversum nos.  Non sumus negligentes, sed cautiores admoniti crebris periculis.

Over the course of his ministry Zwingli exerted profound influence on those who knew him- either in person or through his voluminous writing and correspondence.  His friends loved, really loved him; and his enemies hated, really hated him.  Even a cursory reading of his letters makes that plain.