Episode 289 – Christianity’s cultural background

This week we talk about the cultural background in which Christianity developed, How God chose Trump, a House committee’s oath, Catholic sex abuse, YouTube taking conspiracies seriously, and an Iranian dog walking ban.


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Dustin’ off the Degree – Christianity’s cultural background

Essenes – Jewish sect 2nd century BCE – 1st century CE

  • Poverty
  • Immersion baptism daily
  • Asceticism
  • Priestly celibacy

Pharisees vs Sadducees

  • Pharisees opposed hellenization, Sadducees were in favor of it
  • Pharisees emphasised Mosaic laws, Sadducees emphasised Temple rites
  • Pharisees Torah, prophets, writings, and resurrection of the dead, Sadducees only accepted the Torah


  • Sun god
  • Worshiped on Sunday
  • Died on the winter solstice, resurrected/reborn on December 25
  • Popular among Roman soldiers


  • Platonic philosophy
  • Neopythagorean influence
  • Stoicism
  • Hellenized Jews
  • Supra rational god accessible only through ecstasy

Roman emperor worship

Funeral Societies


Sarah Sanders claims that God wanted Trump to be president

Trump never went to church according to his former pastor

Trump went to Twitter to support Bible literacy legislation because it’s a sign that states are going back to a when public schools lead Bible studies, except this past is a fantasy. Yes there were Bible readings in some schools until the Supreme Court put a stop to that, but that is a far cry from Bible studies. Anyway, David Lewicki was Trump’s pastor for 5 years at the Marble Collegiate Church, a church that Trump likes to talk about, but the pastor finds Trump’s love of Bible study odd considering he never attended a Bible study at the church or even a church service.

The House committee that proposed removing God from their oath have backtracked

Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee proposed removing “so help you god” from the committee’s oath. They have now backtracked because they’re afraid that this would be “hurtful and harmful”.

The proposal had Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming and daughter of Dick Cheney saying “They really have become the party of Karl Marx. It is incredible, but not surprising, that the Democrats would try to remove God from committee proceedings in one of their first acts in the majority.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which has been identified as a hate group, said “Although the House committee has reversed course, I believe it’s important that Speaker Pelosi be put on notice that as Americans, we want and need the presence of God in our government.”

Indian nuns getting split up over support of victim who accused bishop of rape

We have two separate cases of priestly sexual misconduct that does not involve either children or drug fueled gay orgies. First we have a group of Indian nuns who are getting split up and transferred to other parts of India in retaliation for supporting a fellow nun who accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of raping her 13 times. The nuns have asked the government for help and the bishop is currently on bail awaiting trial.

High ranking priest in charge of disciplining priests resigns over sex abuse

Next we have Hermann Geissler the now former chief of staff for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the very body that is responsible for punishing priests. He’s been accused by a former nun making her kneel in front of him for hours while we would try to get sex out of her, then he would hold her and kiss her until she ran away. When she reported this to a superior, the response was “You know, I knew Father has a certain weakness for women, so we kind of have to put up with this.”

In response to the allegation gaining the credibility of his accuser going public, he has resigned.

YouTube claims it will stop recommending conspiracy theories and other misinformation

As we’ve talked about before, the YouTube algorithm, which is designed to maximize viewing time, has been proven to radicalize people and to have basically created the modern flat earth movement. YouTube is taking this seriously and will be working with experts to train the algorithm to not recommend videos of miracle cures, flat earth, or conspiracy theories that are demonstrably false.

Iran’s capital has banned dog walking

The chief of police of Iran’s capital, Tehran, has announced that dog walking or otherwise having dogs in public places, even your car, is illegal and will result in prosecution.


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