A Conversation for The Council of Nicaea
Blood of the founder
Researcher 170889 Started conversation Jul 20, 2001
The issue of the bloodline of the founder has been a cause of schism in at least two other religions. In Islam, the basic split between Shi'a and Sunni is that the former recognises the bloodline of Mohammed as being more important than the latter does. Although descendants of the Prophet are respected by both groups (the current Hashemnite Dynasty in Jordan are descendants), the insistance on the importance of the role of the Prophet's family in the early Caliphate is a great issue that divides the two major sects. Mormonism has also two sects; the lesser known (US state of) Missouri-based group insist on the church leadership descending via Joseph Smith's bloodline. In all cases, a powerful opportunist rises early in the history of the church - Paul in Christianity, Brigham Young in Mormonism and the Caliph after Ali in Islam, who has his bread buttered on the side of the bread that excludes or diminishes the founder's bloodline. In the case of the Christian Church it extended to stamping out all hints of Jesus having any blood kin - though the Bible clearly states that James - who was Paul's greatest rival for primacy - was Jesus' brother. Moreover, if Jesus was virgin-born, then he would have no paternal cousins. Though Jesus' relatives were probably not exterminated in fact, they sure were in the memories of the Church. It was to Constantine's advantage to encourage the Pauline verision of Christianity, since it advocated accomodation with government ("Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's'); whereas James viewed Christianity as a Jewish-only reform and did NOT believe in anyone other than Jews controlling Jerusalem, in common with all the radical sects of his day. Paul's hostility to marriage and to women may have played a part in his teachings, but his friendship with high-level Romans was even more important. Accomodationist Christianity, like the thread of Judaism (Rabbinic) that was allowed to survive by the Romans, finally triumphed over those versions of both that required disobedience to authority based on conscience. Although such disobedience rises from time to time in places where the church is suppressed (and much to the hierarchy's displeasure, even elsewhere: note the Pope's fairly recent directive that priests get out of politics - which resulted in a Massachusetts congressman having to resign - which was basically aimed at suppressing the activist clergy in Latin America where the church's collusion with the governments in oppressing the majority was very advantageous to the church. Somewhat dimming the lustre of this lofty sentiment - that the clergy's authority was spiritual was the Pope's own efforts to dislodge the Polish Communist government which was cotemporaneous with this directive).
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