Thursday, March 16, 2017

Proto-orthodox and the facts

In the social rough and tumble of religious rivalries of the first two or three centuries, these “proto-orthodox” or “catholic” Christians seem to have won out, and well before Constantine and the subsequent influence of the state in matters of religion. That is, the proto-orthodox or catholic Christians were simply more successful at winning adherents in that earliest period, and their success did not depend then upon state support. We have to recognize that precisely in the crucial first three centuries the Christian tradition did begin to cohere around certain practices and beliefs, and that “proto-orthodox” Christianity emerged as the mainstream version that shaped subsequent Christian tradition.— Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World, page 12

<idle musing>
And he comes out of the corner swinging! He's right, of course, but that doesn't stop people from positing Constantine as the "real" founder of Christianity. Never mind the facts, presupposed reconstructions take precedence! Besides, conspiracy theories sell books, and that's what's important, right? Never mind the truth, we want income! And the truth withers and dies—and then people wonder why alternative facts are preferred. Duh! You train people to believe in conspiracies and then expect mere facts to change their minds?

You still reap what you sow. We've been sowing a wind for a long time now and we're starting to reap the whirlwind. Take a look at this about the less than desirable effect of the loss of a Christian influence when it comes to prejudice. Mind you, it's from The Atlantic, not exactly a bastion of pro-Christian thinking!
</idle musing>

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