The Pokey Finger of God

meditations on religion and culture

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Entries from April 2018

Christianity, version 2

April 20th, 2018 · Comments Off on Christianity, version 2 · christianity, history

Most Roman Emperors were fakers, usurpers, and grifters. If you want a summary answer for why the Roman Empire fell, that’s really the best you’ll get. Really smart, motivated, and effective emperors were rare like hens’ teeth. The third century was a particularly harsh time when reigns were short and most ended at the tip […]

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Christianity, version 1

April 19th, 2018 · Comments Off on Christianity, version 1 · christianity, history

Before Constantine became the sole emperor of Rome, Christianity was not the official state religion, but after Constantine, Christianity was the official state religion. I think this is a reasonably uncontroversial statement. We have very little written information about the history of Christianity prior to Constantine, mostly because he had all of it burned. In […]

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Heretics

April 17th, 2018 · Comments Off on Heretics · christianity, history

I grew up in the Church, attending regular Sunday services, and assisting with ritual in my teens. I was a believer of all that I had been told, but yet there was a nagging suspicion that things weren’t exactly as I imagined them. My first clue, at sixteen, that the whole thing was a house […]

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Apocalypse 2018

April 13th, 2018 · Comments Off on Apocalypse 2018 · christianity, culture, history

Internet rumors are swirling that April 23, 2018 will bring about the end of the world. Quick! Look busy! Jesus is coming! Predictions of the planet’s imminent demise have been the mainstay of crank prophecy circles for centuries. Most often, these predictions presage a “second coming” of Christ as predicted in the book of Revelations. […]

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The New Touchstone

April 10th, 2018 · Comments Off on The New Touchstone · culture, Illuminations

Let’s start with some definitions. “Religion” is a set of tools and practices that bring about specific reactions in people — primarily useful in enhancing memory, reducing anxiety, and providing a context for existence. “Christian” can reference a cultural fundament, or a type of religion or organization, or a niche of media expression, or an […]

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Scraping off the dust

April 10th, 2018 · Comments Off on Scraping off the dust · announcements

I began writing blog posts in the mid 90’s, starting with my first post on Live Journal about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Before that, I would occasionally type up a “rant” on my PC, to be hidden away forever in media I simply cannot read anymore. But starting with my “LJ” years, I […]

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