Favourite strange/ridiculous religious beliefs



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DentArthurDent
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16 Feb 2009, 2:35 am

I have just realised that my lack of religious education has denied me some fantastically funny religious ideas, I have only just found out about the Holy Foreskin. so I will put this as may favourite (so far)

The Holy Foreskin
The Bible tells us that Jesus was circumcised eight days after his birth. But this became the source of a protracted debate among medieval scholars who couldn't figure out what became of the foreskin. Did it remain here on Earth? Was it reunited with Christ and ascended with him into Heaven? Or did it ascend into heaven separately, on its own?

The belief that the "holy prepuce" remained on Earth was probably the most popular position. In fact, no less than 21 medieval churches and abbeys claimed to be in possession of the holy foreskin.

St. Catherine of Siena reportedly wore the foreskin of Jesus as a ring on her finger.

However, the Austrian nun Agnes Blannbekin (1244-1315) took a different view. She became obsessed by the holy foreskin, dwelling on the loss of blood and pain Christ must have suffered during his circumcision. Such thoughts led her to a revelation. While celebrating the Feast of the Circumcision (traditionally held on January 1), Agnes suddenly "felt the Lord's foreskin on her tongue, thin as the membrane of an egg, and swallowed it with great sweetness 'about a hundred times'. Christ then revealed to her that his foreskin had been resurrected with him on Easter." Because of this revelation, Blannbekin's writings were banned by the church.

However, my favorite theory about the fate of the holy foreskin is the one put forward by the 17th century theologian Leo Allatius. In an essay, De Praeputio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Diatriba, he speculated "that the holy foreskin may have ascended into heaven at the same time as Jesus himself, and might have become the rings of Saturn."

Source of info: Mattelaer, JJ, et al. (2007). "The Circumcision of Jesus Christ". The Journal of Urology. 178: 31-34.


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ThatRedHairedGrrl
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16 Feb 2009, 9:17 am

Strange religious stuff...I find all this kind of thing fascinating.

The Jews have always had this interesting tendency to fill in the gaps in places where their scriptures don't quite make sense, by way of an explanation. This custom is known as midrash, and the Talmud is full of these kind of stories, but one of my favorites is the story of Lilith.

In Genesis, it is said that 'God created man in his image; male and female created he them'. The implication being that the sexes were created at the same time. However, of course, a little further on it says that God put Adam to sleep and made Eve out of his rib.

How do you reconcile the two stories? Modern scholars realize that there were actually two separate oral sources for Genesis, known in theological circles as E (the one using the name Elohim for God) and J (the one using Jah) - hence the two separate creations of humans. However, the rabbis put it differently.

God originally made humans from dust - male and female at the same time. The man was Adam, but the woman was his first wife, Lilith. When the time came for them to have sex, Adam wanted to go on top. Lilith refused, on the grounds that 'You were also made of dust; why should you be superior to me?' Adam was having none of this, and asked God to intervene. Lilith turned on them both and, by invoking the Holy Name, grew herself wings and flew off into the desert. God sent three angels after her - Senoi, Sensenoi and Samangaloph (sounds like a firm of divorce lawyers!) - but they couldn't persuade her to return.

So then God tried to make another woman for Adam, from scratch, bit by bit: bones, sinews, guts, muscle, then skin and hair...Trouble was, when he brought her to Adam as a living woman, Adam recoiled in disgust. Having seen her put together, seen her innards and everything, he found her a distinct turn-off. The stories don't relate what happened to her.

So, finally, God decided it was best for Adam not to watch the process, put him to sleep, took his rib and made Eve...

Lilith stayed in the desert and took demons as lovers, spawning more demons to torment the human race. Because she was jealous of Adam and Eve, she specialized in coming between married couples by sending men lascivious dreams, and in killing boy babies in their sleep. It was an old Kabbalistic custom to fasten upon the bedroom door of newlyweds a talisman bearing the words 'Adam and Eve may enter herein, but not Lilith the Queen'...just to avoid any trouble.


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history_of_psychiatry
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16 Feb 2009, 4:13 pm

I never could get into Judaism. I guess it's because I can't take a religion seriously which believes it's bad to eat pork but good to mutilate an infant's penis!


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gina-ghettoprincess
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16 Feb 2009, 4:23 pm

history_of_psychiatry wrote:
I never could get into Judaism. I guess it's because I can't take a religion seriously which believes it's bad to eat pork but good to mutilate an infant's penis!


I think of Judaism as the "because I say so" religion. When we studied it in RE, the teacher was saying all that stuff about how they won't mix meat with milk, etc, and I put my hand up and asked why, and the teacher said just cos it's their religion. So I was like, "But why? What reasoning is behind those rules?" but I was told that it's just because it's their culture. Personally, I would never follow a religion that has rules for the sake of rules. If other people want to believe that they can, but my opinion is that it's a bit silly.


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z0rp
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16 Feb 2009, 6:12 pm

mm, the belief that God is both the father and son of a certain woman sounds quite ridiculous to me.


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DentArthurDent
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17 Feb 2009, 12:05 am

history_of_psychiatry wrote:
I never could get into Judaism. I guess it's because I can't take a religion seriously which believes it's bad to eat pork but good to mutilate an infant's penis!


Put this into its historical context and it makes sense, way back when these rules were introduced they had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with health, in fact most of the kosher rules have this basis. With Jewish culture it seems to me the more superfluous a particular rule becomes , there is a corresponding increase in its religious importance


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ToadOfSteel
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17 Feb 2009, 1:04 am

DentArthurDent wrote:
Put this into its historical context and it makes sense, way back when these rules were introduced they had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with health, in fact most of the kosher rules have this basis. With Jewish culture it seems to me the more superfluous a particular rule becomes , there is a corresponding increase in its religious importance


That would explain why working on the Sabbath is often overlooked...



slowmutant
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17 Feb 2009, 1:21 pm

DentArthurDent wrote:
I have just realised that my lack of religious education has denied me some fantastically funny religious ideas, I have only just found out about the Holy Foreskin. so I will put this as may favourite (so far)

The Holy Foreskin
The Bible tells us that Jesus was circumcised eight days after his birth. But this became the source of a protracted debate among medieval scholars who couldn't figure out what became of the foreskin. Did it remain here on Earth? Was it reunited with Christ and ascended with him into Heaven? Or did it ascend into heaven separately, on its own?

The belief that the "holy prepuce" remained on Earth was probably the most popular position. In fact, no less than 21 medieval churches and abbeys claimed to be in possession of the holy foreskin.

St. Catherine of Siena reportedly wore the foreskin of Jesus as a ring on her finger.

However, the Austrian nun Agnes Blannbekin (1244-1315) took a different view. She became obsessed by the holy foreskin, dwelling on the loss of blood and pain Christ must have suffered during his circumcision. Such thoughts led her to a revelation. While celebrating the Feast of the Circumcision (traditionally held on January 1), Agnes suddenly "felt the Lord's foreskin on her tongue, thin as the membrane of an egg, and swallowed it with great sweetness 'about a hundred times'. Christ then revealed to her that his foreskin had been resurrected with him on Easter." Because of this revelation, Blannbekin's writings were banned by the church.

However, my favorite theory about the fate of the holy foreskin is the one put forward by the 17th century theologian Leo Allatius. In an essay, De Praeputio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Diatriba, he speculated "that the holy foreskin may have ascended into heaven at the same time as Jesus himself, and might have become the rings of Saturn."

Source of info: Mattelaer, JJ, et al. (2007). "The Circumcision of Jesus Christ". The Journal of Urology. 178: 31-34.


Why are Australians like this? :roll:



slowmutant
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17 Feb 2009, 1:24 pm

history_of_psychiatry wrote:
I never could get into Judaism. I guess it's because I can't take a religion seriously which believes it's bad to eat pork but good to mutilate an infant's penis!


Good point! I never thoght of it that way.

You know what else I can't take seriously? The Hassidic men with those goofy dangling sideburns and the that whole let's-all-dress-exactly-alike thing?

Dude, seriously. :lol:



slowmutant
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17 Feb 2009, 1:25 pm

Quote:
I have just realised that my lack of religious education has denied me some fantastically funny religious ideas


Imagine what kind of fantastically funny ideas you'll get with a religious education. They'll be falling out of you like s**t out of a cow's ass! :lol:



slowmutant
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17 Feb 2009, 1:27 pm

z0rp wrote:
mm, the belief that God is both the father and son of a certain woman sounds quite ridiculous to me.


Give it time. It grows on you. :wink:



DeLoreanDude
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17 Feb 2009, 1:32 pm

Not sure if it counts as religious really but $cientology.

OMG EVIL LORD XENU BOMBED ALIENS IN VOLCANOES ON EARTH THEN THEIR SOULS WENT INTO HUMANS TO CAUSE MISERY!

That's what they actually believe!! ! 8O



slowmutant
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17 Feb 2009, 1:39 pm

It's not so much the belief as it is what you do with it, how it shapes you as a person. More important than words or beliefs are ACTIONS.



DeLoreanDude
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17 Feb 2009, 1:41 pm

slowmutant wrote:
It's not so much the belief as it is what you do with it, how it shapes you as a person. More important than words or beliefs are ACTIONS.


Do a bit of research into $cientology and tell me you approve of the actions...



slowmutant
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17 Feb 2009, 1:43 pm

DeLoreanDude wrote:
slowmutant wrote:
It's not so much the belief as it is what you do with it, how it shapes you as a person. More important than words or beliefs are ACTIONS.


Do a bit of research into $cientology and tell me you approve of the actions...


I don't approve of the actions. But I don't know much about how those people live their lives. All I really know about them is what the media has told me about them.



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