Funny how you plan what you want to write and then you find another thread but it fits with where you’re going so come along for the ride.
From a 2008 blog entry in Under the Oak, a blog I justdiscovered. The author is a Druid/Unitarian Universalist and can be found here with the rest of the Patheos writers. I'm stumbling across more and more writers like this one. Quaker/Pagans, Quaker/Druids, Druid/Unitarians. Makes for some interesting reading.
The original entry dates from July 2008. With a little web surfing I was able to find a news story that gives backgroundon the case. And frankly, is a prime example of what I’ve been saying.
“Found a story on the
Dallas Morning News Religion Blog, about a
Presbyterian theology professor who’s been suspended because his liberal
interpretation of the Bible may violate a mandatory oath not to teach anything
not in agreement with the 1646
Confession of Faith. My response on the DMN blog is shown below: Westminster
Does anyone expect doctors to practice according to the standards of 1646? Is our view of law the same as it was in 1646 (think: slavery, witch trials)? How about engineering – do you want buildings and bridges designed to 1646 standards?
Then why in the world would anyone expect a theologian to unquestioningly support the religious standards of 1646?
New facts and knowledge must be incorporated into our religious beliefs and practices or our religions will become irrelevant.”
We aren't turn of the first millennium Jews living under a military occupation. We aren't turn of the millennium Romans living in an empire that claims the emperor is a God and where it’s getting harder and harder to compete with a slave economy. We aren't citizens of the old Greek city states that lost their independence under the conquering sandals of Phillip of Macedon and his murderous son, Alexander. We aren't citizens of the various provinces faced with the choice of collaboration, exile or worse.
History claims that the Romans were tolerant of the religions of their conquered peoples. Well, they were as long as the Gods and Goddesses looked sufficiently Roman or could be Romanized (tamed). The Druids of Gaul were suppressed, their groves burned, their priests, lawgivers driven out or killed. Do not get me started on my opinion of the great Julius Caesar. He needed money to build a power base back home. Gaul was had land, wealth and potential slaves for the market. The surviving bards existed on the fringes, but we're left with only tantalizing hints of their beliefs. Rely on oral tradition to pass on your faith, beliefs and rites; lose the men and women carrying the knowledge you lose almost everything.
Given where I am right now, this blogger’s early entry from mid 2008 really struck home.