Well no, not really

The message of Christmas was, and is, revolutionary. It was about freedom from debt and good news for the poor.

Actually, it was about the Son of God and eternal life.

Dunno, perhaps Quakers do that New Testament thing differently?

Instead go and read the real thing (and reading the Bible won’t make you a convert, and I am certainly not seeking anything of the sort) and what you see is that the real story that a chap whose name was Jesus (who I think probably did exist and who probably did teach at pretty much the time scholars suggest likely) was actually delivering was about emancipation from the yoke of economic oppression.

Odd. He did say Caesar’s is Caesar’s, didn’t he? And I’m sure there’s lots about don’t worry about the details of this world it’s getting to the next that matters.

The depressing part is that this oppression continues.

The good news is that, despite all attempts to clamp down on those who question it, some are still willing to do so.

They don’t always succeed.

But the practical expression of hope at Christmas is that we have to keep trying.

Sermon over.

Is, he? Really? Yes, yes he is. He’s comparing himself to – now, where’s that tree, the nails?

43 thoughts on “Well no, not really”

  1. @”Instead go and read the real thing (and reading the Bible won’t make you a convert, and I am certainly not seeking anything of the sort)”
    Why would a Christian not want someone to become a Christian?

  2. Is he actually a Christian tho:

    Jesus (who I think probably did exist and who probably did teach at pretty much the time scholars suggest likely)

    There shall in that time be rumours of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia-work base, that has an attachment.

    Anyway, this alleged Jesus bloke supposedly quite possibly took up the hypothetical Cross and died for your debts, maybe:

    was about emancipation from the yoke of economic oppression.

    Strangely, I can’t find any mention of this or the Green New Deal in the Bible.

    Jesus says the exact opposite:

    “The poor will be with you always”

    The Holy Bible doesn’t even condemn slavery, though it does lump slave traders in with liars, perjurers, and homosexuals.

    I reckon Ritchie is one of them fake Christian retards like the ones who claim the Nativity is ACKSHUALLY about how you should flood your country with iPhone-toting rapefugees, bigots!

  3. “The message of Christmas was revolutionary: it was about stealing people’s pensions to give to vested interests in government, the unions and the Green industry.”

  4. @ Steve

    Hadn’t come across rapefugee before – will make sure to use it as often as possible (which up in the North won’t be difficult).

  5. It was about freedom from debt.

    You could get credit in 1 B.C.?

    ‘Instead go and read the real thing and what you see is that the real story that a chap whose name was Jesus was actually delivering was about emancipation from the yoke of economic oppression.’

    That’s not how the internet works, Ricky. I ain’t reading the whole thing to look for your little argument. YOU READ IT, cut and paste the pertinent passages. Give us Book, chapter, verse so we can verify.

  6. Mr Yan – sadly

    Gamecock – You could get indeed get credit in Biblical times. The Bible is firmly anti-usury, which indicates extending credit was already common (Jews were prohibited by the Mosaic law from collecting interest from other Jews, but the goyim were fair game, hence Shylock and other Hebraophobic tropes). The Jewish tradition of Jubilee was partly about debt forgiveness.

    Mortgages (or something like them) have been around for thousands of years in Jewish, Greek, Roman, Indian and other civilisations.

    The first “Don’t ask for credit, because a punch in the mouth often offends” sign probably dates back to Flintstone times.

  7. “I will not, unlike some, stop blogging over the holiday period. To ask me to stop writing is akin to asking me to stop breathing.” Spud

    “stop shitting” rather than breathing is more apt considering his writing output.

  8. “I will not, unlike some, stop blogging over the holiday period. To ask me to stop writing is akin to asking me to stop breathing.”

    Ah, so he admits it is for his own benefit, rather than that of anyone else? I thought as much, but I am surprised that he realises it.

  9. Dennis, Legend of the Parish

    So what did we learn today? That Richard Murphy knows as much about religion as he does about accounting, economics, politics and science.

  10. Dennis, Legend of the Parish

    To ask me to stop writing is akin to asking me to stop breathing.

    Or asking you to get a real job that requires you to actually spend your day doing something productive.

  11. @Dennis

    Not productive?!

    By his own admission, Spud has invented accounting, tax and economics. And gravity, probably.

  12. Rich men entering the kingdom of heaven as well. I guess he likes the version of Jesus that committed violence against private enterprise at the temple.

    It should be deeply embarassing to any Protestant that us (in my case very and officially lapsed) catlicks know the Bible a ton better than he.

    David: “Why would a Christian not want someone to become a Christian?”
    Easy: John 15:16. If you look hard enough there’s an answer for (rather: to) everything.

  13. Christmas, like most Christian festivals, hijacked the Mid Winter Pagan festival which celebrated the turn of the season and the birth (geddit?) of the new year with the promise of the bounty it would bring.

    This is why the leafless trees were decorated with coloured cloth and dried fruit and meat to symbolise the return of days when they would carry real fruit and crops would grow again and animals graze in the fields. And thus the Christmas Tree.

    It had nothing to do with being poor – except poverty was the default for all back then – or debt.

    There is nothing to suggest that Joseph and Mary were poor. Joseph was a tradesman and they travelled on an Ass, like owning a car. In those times, like later times in Europe, farm animals in Winter shared the same accommodation as the Humans – animals one end, Humans the other – to share the same heat source and in fact the Humans benefitted from the animals’ body heat. Downside, a bit smelly.

    The idea of being born in a stable with the animals as a symbol of poverty, is a latter day fiction to imply poverty is virtue, wealth is vice, to keep impoverished masses in their place and not ask too many questions about the lifestyle of the Pope and the Prince Bishops of Holy Mother the Church.

    Mother and new born would be warmer among the animals, the straw would soak up the messy birth process and being away from the menfolk would give mother privacy during birth.

  14. Cadet – Can you put more awe into the line?

    Steve – I like Bill Tidy’s variant: Please don’t ask for credit as a refusal often hospitalises.

  15. He picked up the scroll of Isaiah “I am sent to bring good news to the poor”
    BUT his message was “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is nigh” not “default on your debts”
    Freedom from debt at year of the Jubilee is Moses not Jesus.
    And the second is like unto it “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”

  16. John – Christmas, like most Christian festivals, hijacked the Mid Winter Pagan festival which celebrated the turn of the season and the birth (geddit?) of the new year with the promise of the bounty it would bring.

    Not really, no. This has been a tired old fedora-atheist trope since before the internet, but it’s a combination of bollocks and so-what.

    No, Christmas isn’t a bootleg variant of the pagan Solstice festivals, it’s qualitatively very different, as the relative lack of human sacrifices and ritual cannibalism during the Queen’s Speech should indicate.

    Obviously, yooman beans aren’t blank slates and some of the trimmings of ancient pre-Christian culture survive to this day, but that’s less meaningful than one might suppose.

    Christianity really was a moral, cultural and intellectual revolution that fundamentally changed the world we know – when you read about demented Roman emperors declaring themselves to be gods, or the Cathaginians gleefully incinerating children as an offering to Moloch, the gulf between the new order and the old should become crystal. The massacres, pogroms, inquisitions and whatnot of the Christian middle ages would’ve been just another Tuesday in the casual brutality of pagan life.

    The idea of being born in a stable with the animals as a symbol of poverty, is a latter day fiction to imply poverty is virtue, wealth is vice, to keep impoverished masses in their place and not ask too many questions about the lifestyle of the Pope and the Prince Bishops of Holy Mother the Church.

    No, it’s a lot more nuanced than that, because olden days people weren’t stupid.

    BiG references Christ’s teaching about rich men, camels, and the eye of the needle. This doesn’t mean wealth is bad, it means something subtler than that: material possessions can also possess us.

    Christ’s origins weren’t shockingly poor by the standards of the day – they were surprisingly humble for the Messiah, the King of the Jews as Pilate mockingly put it.

    Poverty isn’t meant to be a universal Christian virtue, or they wouldn’t have built almshouses, hospitals and other charitable institutions, and Jesus wouldn’t have gone round healing the sick and the lame.

    It’s definitely true to say that Christ preached eternal life in his heavenly father, and therefore his ministry wasn’t one of earthly social justice.

    But it wasn’t one of blind obeisance to earthly injustice either – the early Christians couldn’t imagine a world without poverty and slavery, but they proclaimed the radical and insanely challenging message that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of an ever-loving God, and we should therefore love our neighbours as we do ourselves.

    This was pretty shocking stuff in the days when a Paterfamilias could legally strangle his wife, children and slaves if he damn well felt like it.

  17. I suggest he has not been reading the Bible or any other theological text. I put it to you all that he has been watching the “Muppets Xmas Carol”

  18. Bloke in Costa Rica

    If God is all-knowing, all-powerful and all good, then why does He permit the existence of Richard Murphy?

  19. “To ask me to stop writing is akin to asking me to stop breathing.”

    Has anyone ever asked him to stop breathing? Just a suggestion…

  20. “If it hadn’t been for tax, Mary wouldn’t have had to travel anywhere at all.”

    Rome didn’t have an income tax, it ran on property tax. So you were censused at your property not bloody miles away where a purported umpty-um-times-grand-father had once lived.

    Yer census tale is just bollocks, in the sense of being a claim about a non-supernatural phenomenon that is clearly simply wrong. Made up. Invented. Entirely bogus. Fake.

    Tales about supernatural phenomena fall into a different class: mass hallucinations do happen.

  21. Perhaps one should look beyond the Gospels at the book of revelations where modern renditions expand the traditional quartet so the Horsemen and their mounts are shown to be

    White Horse – Conquest
    Red Horse – War
    Black Horse – Famine
    Pale Horse – Death
    Heavy Horse – Murphy (Professor)

  22. @Ducky

    “And there was me thinking it was all about the winter solstice and getting wankered.”

    Don’t forget that the Winter Solstice is on the 22nd December 2019 @ 04:19 hrs this year, not on the 21st as it usually is.

  23. @ dearieme
    Under the rules in the Torah, one could not own property – just lease it for a period to the next Jubilee – except the property inherited from your ancestor in the time of Joshua. so your reasoning is invalid.

  24. John; what with 2,000 years of orbital mechanics, I am not that fussed.

    However, I am fully onboard with the “getting completely shitfaced” aspect, whilst amongst the company of those unlikely to stick something sharp and pointy between my ribs.

    As a result, I try to avoid family until the New Year.

  25. @ john77: I don’t know whether the rules of the Torah were honoured among the Jews of that day, and in particular among Galileans who had many of them been only lately converted to Judaism, but I dare say it’s possible that the Romans would tax you on the property you leased. Could you perhaps point me to the bit in the OT that states those rules?

    Perhaps you could explain how a building worker in Galilee would know that he was descended from David and how he’d know what property he thereby owned in Bethlehem (odd that he didn’t stay there rather than in a stable). Perhaps you could explain how such a claim to ownership was sustained through the conquest of Judah by the Babylonians, and the Exile, and the return. Indeed, you might explain what ownership “in the time of Joshua” could mean in that Joshua never existed. Come to that there’s a fair chance that King David hadn’t existed either.

    More directly, do please settle the matter by citing examples of other Roman censuses in Palestine that involved everyone trecking all over the place to be counted.

  26. You Chistians believe whatever you want. I’ll stay out of it til the Ides of January. After then, your beliefs are fair game.

  27. @BiCR
    If God is all-knowing, all-powerful and all good, then why does He permit the existence of Richard Murphy?

    See the Book of Job.
    We are all Job now…

  28. @ dearieme
    you have fallen into the same trap as Richard Dawkins, claiming omniscience in order to further your argument against the existence of an omniscient God.

  29. @Gunker

    That’s going to do some poor bloke’s back in something rotten. Transporting Capt. Potato is a job for a clydesdale or a percheron.

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