Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thinking Aloud

"The French under Louis IX held a debate on the issue of whether God has a sense of humor or not.

The debate was inconclusive, but Louis IX never joked on Fridays after that!
This debate was between St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventura, who taught at the Theological Faculty of the Sorbonne."

What subject could be more serious than the history of God?

The pagans held the concept of Mother Nature, which has popped up repeatedly since. Jehovah was a distant, "jealous" God, jealous of other Gods, but the protector of Israel. Judaism spread surprisingly because he provided a moral, divine basis for the civil law organized society needs. The success of Christianity and the cult of the Virgin and the saints were due to the addition of the Pauline idea of charity, i.e. love, but not humor. In its essence, Christianity is a joyful religion, but in fact Jehovah was always in the background. For example, laughing in church was considered sinful. This is behind much anti-clericalism.

The Buddha is represented in many forms. He is often fat--a pagan enjoying good food, and sometimes he is laughing. He is much more attractive than Jehovah or the equally unkind gods of antiquity. Hence the spread of Buddhism, which reached the Mediterranean in the pre-Christian era.

For a while it was the world´s dominant religion, until in India, where it originated, the old gods reasserted themselves. My belief is that Christianity is the culmination of a syncretism of Judaism and Buddhism. This does not belittle the significance of Christ.

The question of God's sense of humor opens a can of worms. Back to our bestiary of insults.

Worms deserve more respect!