Wealth According to Seneca

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cassowary
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Re: Bogus democracies?

Post by cassowary » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:38 am

neverfail wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:39 am
cassowary wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:40 am

Now that China is rising, I fear that the world will slide towards a less representative, less democratic government.
Your fear might be well grounded - but will it matter? (Please read on.)

cassowary wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:40 am
You yourself said that the Latin Americans may have democratized to curry favor with the Americans.
An idle speculation on my part. I cannot prove it.

cassowary wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:40 am
I agree. So did my country.
The worst possible reason to adopt a particular constitution is to please (or deceive) a foreign power. The country that lies, misrepresents itself, even in its constitution is bound to come to a bad end.


I don't know about Latin America. But our constitution is basically the same as yours, except for the GRC where you elect a slate of 3 to 5 MPs for a township of about 50,000 to 100,000 people.

That minor twist aside, the constitution is the same as yours and the UK's. The Internal Security Law that allowed detention without trial is in fact a colonial era law to deal with dangerous communists. Its the same law that the British used against the IRA in the 60s and 70s.

Indeed, the subversives infiltrated political parties, taking advantage of democracy but secretly plotted its overthrow. (I suspect the same thing is happening to the Democratic Party in the US). But the PAP abused this law to arrest people like Francis Seow on flimsy reasons. That's when it got into trouble with the US. That was the last time, it used the ISD against an opposition candidate.

I don't understand how adopting a democratic constitution is a lie that will result in a bad end.
The Imp :D

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Re: Bogus democracies?

Post by neverfail » Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:01 pm

cassowary wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:38 am

That minor twist aside, the constitution is the same as yours and the UK's.
It cannot possibly be the same as ours and the UK's: for the simple reason that Australia's and the UK's are not, by any stretch of the imagination, the same as one another. Indeed, I consider our national (federal) constitution to be a unique document hand crafted specifically in response to Australian conditions as these were late in the 19th century.

Structurally, (and despite the fact that we were then incorporate as a part of the British Empire) the founders of our constitutional setup seem to have drawn as much inspiration from the US structure of government as from the UK template - with some marked improvements on both. Are you aware (for instance) that Australia had an elected Upper House (Senate) 45 years before the US finally pulled out it's own finger and likewise replaced its previously appointed federal Senate with one where the public got to vote in their senators? Meantime, in the UK they still do not have an elected Upper House of parliament.

In any case; the overseass country that our structure of government most closely seems to resemble is that of CANADA: another sparsely populated dominion whose own constitution seems to have been a mix-and-match compromise drawn respectively from the UK (Parliamentry) and US (Federal) models of government.


cassowary wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:38 am
I don't understand how adopting a democratic constitution is a lie that will result in a bad end.
I never suggested that that it was Cass. It is when they do so under the undue influence of a foreign power for the sole purpose to curry favour with that power that the experiment becomes illegitemate and bogus.

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cassowary
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Re: Bogus democracies?

Post by cassowary » Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:23 am

neverfail wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:01 pm
cassowary wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:38 am

That minor twist aside, the constitution is the same as yours and the UK's.
It cannot possibly be the same as ours and the UK's: for the simple reason that Australia's and the UK's are not, by any stretch of the imagination, the same as one another. Indeed, I consider our national (federal) constitution to be a unique document hand crafted specifically in response to Australian conditions as these were late in the 19th century.

Structurally, (and despite the fact that we were then incorporate as a part of the British Empire) the founders of our constitutional setup seem to have drawn as much inspiration from the US structure of government as from the UK template - with some marked improvements on both. Are you aware (for instance) that Australia had an elected Upper House (Senate) 45 years before the US finally pulled out it's own finger and likewise replaced its previously appointed federal Senate with one where the public got to vote in their senators? Meantime, in the UK they still do not have an elected Upper House of parliament.

In any case; the overseass country that our structure of government most closely seems to resemble is that of CANADA: another sparsely populated dominion whose own constitution seems to have been a mix-and-match compromise drawn respectively from the UK (Parliamentry) and US (Federal) models of government.


cassowary wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:38 am
I don't understand how adopting a democratic constitution is a lie that will result in a bad end.
I never suggested that that it was Cass. It is when they do so under the undue influence of a foreign power for the sole purpose to curry favour with that power that the experiment becomes illegitemate and bogus.
Oh, I didn't realise that Australia has an upper house like the US. I thought it was like the British Parliamentary system. I guess I was misled by the oft quoted phrase, "The mother of Parliaments", in reference to the British Parliament.

I don't agree that having a foreign hand makes a constitution illegitimate or bogus. The Japanese Constitution was designed by Douglas McArthur and thus the Japanese Diet is also a creation of McArthur. The Constitution and its Parliament are perfectly legitimate. It is functioning fine.

Our constitution was a creation of the British. It has since gone through several amendments of course. But it is not bogus or illegitimate.
The Imp :D

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Re: Bogus democracies?

Post by neverfail » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:37 am

cassowary wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:23 am


Oh, I didn't realise that Australia has an upper house like the US. I thought it was like the British Parliamentary system. I guess I was misled by the oft quoted phrase, "The mother of Parliaments", in reference to the British Parliament.
Which shows just how much you know Cass.

Canada also has an Upper House of Parliament which, just like our own, is called a Senate. There is however this difference between the two (which astonished me when I Googled up the info.):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate_of ... 0Canada%20(French,advice%20of%20the%20prime%20minister.

The Senate of Canada (French: Sénat du Canada) is the upper house of the Parliament of Canada. The Senate is modelled after the British House of Lords and consists of 105 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister.[1]
:? :o :oops: :?: :?: :?:

Huh?

Imaine my surprise. While the USA converted from a Senate whose members were appointed by state governors in 1946 in favour of popularly elected Senators and Australia never had anything other than an elected Senate; In Canada they still have an appointed instead of an elected upper house ( :lol: ). I would have previously thought that our overseas cousins who dwell in the colder climate half of the North American continent might by now have moved on more than that.

At this point Cassowary you may be wondering "well, why bother having a Senate at all?" The reason is that, like the USA, both Canada and Australia are Federations: i.e. clusters of formerly independent states banded together into a single soverignty but with specific powers to govern divided between the Federal (or national) and regional levels of government.

As a Singaporean you are accustomed to dwelling in a unitary state where all powers to govern worth having are vested in a single central government. Other examples of unitary states include New Zealand and France. The United Kingdom was one before the Blair Labour government passwed bills that devolved limited powers to regional government in Scotland and Wales and as a consequence Britain seems to have edged closer to the federal model.

To cut a long story short: in all three cases the Senate was concocted as a "state's house" to represent the best interest of the component states ("provinces" as they call these in Canada) in the federal arena. You might even say that "it goes with the patch of turf".People accustomed to the workings of a unitary state (I know this from my past frustrations in attempting to explain how Australia works to inquisitive but ill-informed New Zealanders) often find it hard to grasp the complexities that having a federal system of government can entail.
cassowary wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:23 am
I don't agree that having a foreign hand makes a constitution illegitimate or bogus. The Japanese Constitution was designed by Douglas McArthur and thus the Japanese Diet is also a creation of McArthur. The Constitution and its Parliament are perfectly legitimate. It is functioning fine.

Our constitution was a creation of the British. It has since gone through several amendments of course. But it is not bogus or illegitimate.
I will make you happy by conceding this point to you Cass :D

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Sertorio
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Rabbi J

Post by Sertorio » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:23 am

cassowary wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:11 pm
Actually collective punishment is effective though unjust on the innocent. In a mutiny or riot or poisoning it is not possible to tell who the guilty are. So you punish all to be sure that the guilty does not escape justice.

This deters crime. The Roman attitude was “better to let 100 innocent die than to let one guilty person escape.”

But Christianity raised the value of human life. So nowadays, it’s “better to let 100 guilty escape justice than to let one innocent man die.”

The security and safety of the state was more important than any individual. That’s the Roman attitude.

Without Christianity, modern Europeans would be watching bloody gladiatorial combats on TV. So low was the regard to human lives, the Romans had.
This is dedicated to you, Cass, and to Neverfail:

Totally by accident I came across a book by Dr. Johannes Lehmann, "Rabbi J"

Image

www.amazon.com/Rabbi-J-Johannes-Lehmann/dp/0812861728

which I have found extremely interesting, from an historical point of view. Lehmann's idea is that the historical Jesus was a devout Jew, probably associated to the Essene Jewish sect in Qumran, who dedicated his life to two objectives:

1. Restoring the true Jewish faith
2. Freeing the Jews from Roman domination

What we know as Christianity was Paul's work, not the work of Jesus.

The whole book is very well documented, very well written, and very convincing. I'm sure that both of you would enjoy reading it.

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Re: Rabbi J

Post by neverfail » Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:17 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:23 am
cassowary wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:11 pm
Actually collective punishment is effective though unjust on the innocent. In a mutiny or riot or poisoning it is not possible to tell who the guilty are. So you punish all to be sure that the guilty does not escape justice.

This deters crime. The Roman attitude was “better to let 100 innocent die than to let one guilty person escape.”

But Christianity raised the value of human life. So nowadays, it’s “better to let 100 guilty escape justice than to let one innocent man die.”

The security and safety of the state was more important than any individual. That’s the Roman attitude.

Without Christianity, modern Europeans would be watching bloody gladiatorial combats on TV. So low was the regard to human lives, the Romans had.
This is dedicated to you, Cass, and to Neverfail:

Totally by accident I came across a book by Dr. Johannes Lehmann, "Rabbi J"

Image

www.amazon.com/Rabbi-J-Johannes-Lehmann/dp/0812861728

which I have found extremely interesting, from an historical point of view. Lehmann's idea is that the historical Jesus was a devout Jew, probably associated to the Essene Jewish sect in Qumran, who dedicated his life to two objectives:

1. Restoring the true Jewish faith
2. Freeing the Jews from Roman domination

What we know as Christianity was Paul's work, not the work of Jesus.

The whole book is very well documented, very well written, and very convincing. I'm sure that both of you would enjoy reading it.
I have (of course) not had the opportunity to read this book yet the books title seems to say it all:

1. I have previously pointed out on this website that Jesus was a devout Jew whose precepts were coloured by the Jewish culture he was born into. Yet ironically He often found that gentiles he encountered along the way were more receptive to his message than many of his fellow-Jewry.

2. Jesus was indeed strongly influenced by the Essenes. if you know anything about this sect and there ways then this stands out. However, Jesus differed from the Essenes in a significent way. Whereas members of this monastic order believed in withdrawing from the world, its cares and preoccupations to remote locations in the wilderness in order to acheive spiritual purity in isolation: Chirst saw his mission as one of carrying God's influence and message into society at large in order to confront evil head-on. Given the establishment Jewish practice of the time of shunning, ostracising perceived sinners Jesus was very much going against conventional Jewish precept and practice prevailing at the time.

3. The 4 evangelists who wrote the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, were NOT Paul. Paul (Saint Paul to Catholics and Orthodox Christians - only the protestant reformmation demoted him by denying him his sainthood :D ) only wrote the epistles - normally considered by Biblical scholars to be
a lesser source of insight.

4. Christ's mission was indeed to restore to restore the Jewish faith: by liberateing it from a moribund body of religious legalism bound by countless, man made, rules and regulations (teased over the centuries from out of the original 10 Commandments) to turn it into a free body of believers moved by The Holy Spirit. Of course it eventually bought Him into conflict with the Jewish religious authorities who liked the legalistic Jewism they were used to as it gave them their POWER. But freeing the Jews from Roman domination? NO!

Sertorio - freeing the Jews from the talons of the Roman peace was an aspiration widespread in Jewish society at the time: so much so that it led to widespread massiahism and periodic uprisings against Roman rule; all of which ended disasterously. Christ apparently realised that Roman rule was here to stay for generations to come and did not encourage opposition to it among his disciples:

"Render that which its Caesar's unto Caesar and to God that which is God's."

The trouble with conventional Jews of the day is that they saw the ridding of Roman rule necessary because the Romans, like all other Gentiles, were perceived to have been unclean pagans. So it followed that belonging to their empire threatened all righteous Jews with contamination from and by their sins. (Righteous, establishment Jews of the day must have been really "up themselves" with pride like that -and Christ must have correctly seen that this would be their downfall.) Christ's mission as far as his fellow Jewry was concerned was to bring these back into God's grace - which he saw conventional Jewish belief and practice of his time as having failed to do.

Why? Because were Jewish society and civilisation to survive the centuries to come within a Roman world it would only do so via God's grace and blessing.

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Sertorio
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Re: Rabbi J

Post by Sertorio » Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:35 am

neverfail wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:17 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:23 am
cassowary wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:11 pm
Actually collective punishment is effective though unjust on the innocent. In a mutiny or riot or poisoning it is not possible to tell who the guilty are. So you punish all to be sure that the guilty does not escape justice.

This deters crime. The Roman attitude was “better to let 100 innocent die than to let one guilty person escape.”

But Christianity raised the value of human life. So nowadays, it’s “better to let 100 guilty escape justice than to let one innocent man die.”

The security and safety of the state was more important than any individual. That’s the Roman attitude.

Without Christianity, modern Europeans would be watching bloody gladiatorial combats on TV. So low was the regard to human lives, the Romans had.
This is dedicated to you, Cass, and to Neverfail:

Totally by accident I came across a book by Dr. Johannes Lehmann, "Rabbi J"

Image

www.amazon.com/Rabbi-J-Johannes-Lehmann/dp/0812861728

which I have found extremely interesting, from an historical point of view. Lehmann's idea is that the historical Jesus was a devout Jew, probably associated to the Essene Jewish sect in Qumran, who dedicated his life to two objectives:

1. Restoring the true Jewish faith
2. Freeing the Jews from Roman domination

What we know as Christianity was Paul's work, not the work of Jesus.

The whole book is very well documented, very well written, and very convincing. I'm sure that both of you would enjoy reading it.
I have (of course) not had the opportunity to read this book yet the books title seems to say it all:

1. I have previously pointed out on this website that Jesus was a devout Jew whose precepts were coloured by the Jewish culture he was born into. Yet ironically He often found that gentiles he encountered along the way were more receptive to his message than many of his fellow-Jewry.

2. Jesus was indeed strongly influenced by the Essenes. if you know anything about this sect and there ways then this stands out. However, Jesus differed from the Essenes in a significent way. Whereas members of this monastic order believed in withdrawing from the world, its cares and preoccupations to remote locations in the wilderness in order to acheive spiritual purity in isolation: Chirst saw his mission as one of carrying God's influence and message into society at large in order to confront evil head-on. Given the establishment Jewish practice of the time of shunning, ostracising perceived sinners Jesus was very much going against conventional Jewish precept and practice prevailing at the time.

3. The 4 evangelists who wrote the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, were NOT Paul. Paul (Saint Paul to Catholics and Orthodox Christians - only the protestant reformmation demoted him by denying him his sainthood :D ) only wrote the epistles - normally considered by Biblical scholars to be
a lesser source of insight.

4. Christ's mission was indeed to restore to restore the Jewish faith: by liberateing it from a moribund body of religious legalism bound by countless, man made, rules and regulations (teased over the centuries from out of the original 10 Commandments) to turn it into a free body of believers moved by The Holy Spirit. Of course it eventually bought Him into conflict with the Jewish religious authorities who liked the legalistic Jewism they were used to as it gave them their POWER. But freeing the Jews from Roman domination? NO!

Sertorio - freeing the Jews from the talons of the Roman peace was an aspiration widespread in Jewish society at the time: so much so that it led to widespread massiahism and periodic uprisings against Roman rule; all of which ended disasterously. Christ apparently realised that Roman rule was here to stay for generations to come and did not encourage opposition to it among his disciples:

"Render that which its Caesar's unto Caesar and to God that which is God's."

The trouble with conventional Jews of the day is that they saw the ridding of Roman rule necessary because the Romans, like all other Gentiles, were perceived to have been unclean pagans. So it followed that belonging to their empire threatened all righteous Jews with contamination from and by their sins. (Righteous, establishment Jews of the day must have been really "up themselves" with pride like that -and Christ must have correctly seen that this would be their downfall.) Christ's mission as far as his fellow Jewry was concerned was to bring these back into God's grace - which he saw conventional Jewish belief and practice of his time as having failed to do.

Why? Because were Jewish society and civilisation to survive the centuries to come within a Roman world it would only do so via God's grace and blessing.
Your very interesting and well thought post convinces me that you would definitely enjoy this book, even if you are not convinced by the author's arguments. I'm going to resist the urge to offer you some quotes from this book, because I think it is worth reading in full.

In relation to the Gospels the author argues that they came to us in Greek, having thus lost some Jewishness in favour of a more Hellenistic understanding. For instance, the expression "Son of God" has a completely different meaning to a Jew then it has for us, non-Jews, an error which was helped by the Greek translation. On what concerns Paul, the author argues that while for Jesus' disciples the important thing was His life, actions and words, for Paul - who never met Jesus - the only relevant thing was the death and resurrection of Jesus. And while Jesus words were directed at Jews, Christianity was transformed by Paul from a Jewish revival movement into a Jewish heresy, which only appealed to gentiles.

The book has a lot more worth reading, but I will leave it to you to decide whether you feel it worth your while getting and reading it.

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cassowary
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Re: Rabbi J

Post by cassowary » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:26 am

Sertorio wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:23 am
cassowary wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:11 pm
Actually collective punishment is effective though unjust on the innocent. In a mutiny or riot or poisoning it is not possible to tell who the guilty are. So you punish all to be sure that the guilty does not escape justice.

This deters crime. The Roman attitude was “better to let 100 innocent die than to let one guilty person escape.”

But Christianity raised the value of human life. So nowadays, it’s “better to let 100 guilty escape justice than to let one innocent man die.”

The security and safety of the state was more important than any individual. That’s the Roman attitude.

Without Christianity, modern Europeans would be watching bloody gladiatorial combats on TV. So low was the regard to human lives, the Romans had.
This is dedicated to you, Cass, and to Neverfail:

Totally by accident I came across a book by Dr. Johannes Lehmann, "Rabbi J"

Image

www.amazon.com/Rabbi-J-Johannes-Lehmann/dp/0812861728

which I have found extremely interesting, from an historical point of view. Lehmann's idea is that the historical Jesus was a devout Jew, probably associated to the Essene Jewish sect in Qumran, who dedicated his life to two objectives:

1. Restoring the true Jewish faith
2. Freeing the Jews from Roman domination

What we know as Christianity was Paul's work, not the work of Jesus.

The whole book is very well documented, very well written, and very convincing. I'm sure that both of you would enjoy reading it.
This is an old theory, Sertorio. Jesus was a Jew. Christianity was Paul's creation, not Jesus. I don't think its true. Paul was only one of Jesus' disciple. For Catholics especially, the most important disciple was Peter, not Jesus. He established the Roman church which later split between Roman Catholics and Protestants.

Then there was the Eastern Orthodox church, originally centered in Byzantium. The split with Rome was even earlier than the spilt with the Protestants. Then there was the Coptic church in Egypt, started by Mark. All these different churches follow the same basic beliefs.

There is another theory that the real Founder was Constantine, Emperor of the Roman empire. He convened the Council of Nicaea which gave rise to the Nicene creed, accepted by Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox churches. For us, the real founder was Jesus. All these contesting theories may amuse us but do not move us.
The Imp :D

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Sertorio
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Re: Rabbi J

Post by Sertorio » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:45 am

cassowary wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:26 am
All these contesting theories may amuse us but do not move us.
Amuse? Once you read the book you may agree or disagree with it, partially or totally. But being amused shows a total lack of respect for other peoples (well founded) theories. But that's typical of you, I'm afraid...

neverfail
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Re: Rabbi J

Post by neverfail » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:58 am

cassowary wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:26 am

This is an old theory, Sertorio. Jesus was a Jew. Christianity was Paul's creation, not Jesus. I don't think its true. Paul was only one of Jesus' disciple. For Catholics especially, the most important disciple was Peter, not Jesus. He established the Roman church which later split between Roman Catholics and Protestants.


So right Cassowary. The saga of his long sea voyage from Alexandria to Rome (with a stopeover in Malta after he was shipwrecked) features in one of the epistles. In Rome he became leader of the local (convert) Christian community. According to Catholic legend that made him the first bishop of Rome and therefore the first Pope.

Having stated that I have reason to believe that after the barbarian invasions turned Rome into an irrelevance (by about 600AD it had degenerated into a hick town with around 35,000 inhabitants) while Constantinople survived intact with a city population of around half a million and its own empire in tow: of the two Constantinople would have been the more influental in shaping the destiny of christianity for the next several hundred years. Yet precisely because it did not have the advantage of the Byzantine church of being the protected state religion of a rich and extensive imperium I get the impression that this insecurity prompted the church fathers in Rome to become more energetic in missionary work during the approx. 500 years we refer to as The Dark Ages. It took centuries but the missionary work finally reaped the western church a big dividend when in 800AD they were able to crown Charlemagne as the first Holy Roman emperor. At last Rome had an empire backing it that in extent could for a time match the Byzantine one and with that an improved prestige as an eclestical capital.
cassowary wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:26 am
Then there was the Eastern Orthodox church, originally centered in Byzantium. The split with Rome was even earlier than the spilt with the Protestants. Then there was the Coptic church in Egypt, started by Mark. All these different churches follow the same basic beliefs.
I believe that the seeds of the split were sown even before Christ was born. Greek was well established as the language of law, education and public administration throughout The levant even before the Roman Empire expanded into the region (enduring legacy from the conquests of Alexander the Great).. Because Greek was a well known language to members of the Roman patrician class their administrators found it convenient to use Greek as their language of public administration and law in their eastern Mediterranean provinces. By contrast in the western regions of the Roman Empire they used Latin for the same purpose. Centuries later as Christianity won over the Roman Empire from within the western church (imitating Roman practice) adopted Latin as its liturgical language (they were still using it even when I was a boy) while in the east they adopted Greek as liturgical language of choice.

Re. Saint Paul the evangalist: I notice that he did his work among the convert Christian communities living in cities peppered around the eastern end of the Mediterranean - In the lands that adopted (Greek) Orthodox Christianity and to my knowledge he never visited Rome. I do not know whether that is coincidental or otherwise.
cassowary wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:26 am
There is another theory that the real Founder was Constantine, Emperor of the Roman empire. He convened the Council of Nicaea which gave rise to the Nicene creed, accepted by Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox churches. For us, the real founder was Jesus. All these contesting theories may amuse us but do not move us.
Before Constintine Christianity had been a religion on the run subject to periodic persecution by the (pagan) Roman authorities. Constintine turned it into the compulsory state religion of his empire. I am not even sure that he did Christianity any favour by so doing. It could be said that while Jesus founded the faith Constintine founded the institutional Church.

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