Reblog: Church and State: Are there Limits to Loyalty?

Superb essay!

(And it has nothing to do with the fact he praised my book.) 🙂

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

The definition of loyalty as unwavering devotion to a person or idea is something of a misnomer.  Whether voluntary or not, people are loyal only as long as the conditions upon which it is based remain in effect.  Marital loyalty is lost when one or both spouses break the vows they had made to each other or the mutual trust they had shared.  Dictators lose the loyalty of their subjects when it can no longer be sustained through coercive or manipulative means.  Ideas lose the loyalty of supporters when exposed as being fundamentally flawed or fraudulent.

Loyalty is a trait highly regarded in human cultures precisely because it is so transient.  Disloyalty is as conversely reviled because it is perceived as being ubiquitous.  Loyalty requires continual conscious effort.  Disloyalty requires only impulsive behavior.  To maintain the loyalty of others, people commonly employ guilt and even fear

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Big G, Little J, and The Other Guy

There’s an active conversation going on over at Ark’s blog that includes a Christian pastor ( a comparatively rare type of visitor for this blog).

Many of the “regulars” have asked him some probing questions and so far, he’s handled them fairly well (considering he’s a Believer).

In one comment, he made reference to the “Trinitarian Theology” — and I asked him if he knew the genesis of this belief. He responded that he had read all the documents leading up to the formation of this doctrine and we would “talk about it later.”

Since the comment section is getting quite long on Ark’s blog, I’m posting the question here — both for “Mel’s” response as well as any others who would like to jump in.

So … how did the doctrine of the “Holy Trinity” get started?

God and the Blogosphere

There are innumerable discussions across the blogosphere that cover the Christian god’s temperament, powers, ability to create, will, morality … and on and on.

But why?

I have yet to discover why people continue to discuss the attributes of an entity that has no body, no voice, apparently exists somewhere in nether-nether land and, most importantly, is only mentioned within the pages of a centuries old book.

Yet pages and pages and pages (ad nauseam) of blog posts are devoted to prayers, scripture, discussion, debate, personal testimonies … along with incessant prodding (and often threats) on why “everyone” should believe in this being (and more importantly, his created “son”).

It is puzzling indeed … especially when one considers the ONLY evidence that such an entity exists is in the minds of those who choose to believe it does.

But let us say for a moment this being truly exists … truly “created” this world and its inhabitants … truly loves its creations … truly has prepared a glorious afterlife for them.  The question then becomes why-oh-why does it remain hidden? Why does it allow so much dissension and disagreement about its existence to continue?

Does it enjoy the entertainment as it watches us quibble and fuss and argue from its ethereal “home”? Perhaps it considers our squabbling as fun and games … a way to pass the endlessness of eternity?

Or perhaps … just perhaps … there is no such entity at all.