Saturday, 16 June 2012

In The Name of the Holy Goat

The last week has seen the Church in both England and Scotland split over issues of discrimination. Following the lead of some of their American and African counterparts, the Anglican and Presbyterian denominations have been struggling over sharply differing views of the role of the Bible in contemporary Christian thinking and its status as the Word of God, and what that in turn means in practice.

There is sharply different thinking between those who believe the Bible to be the literal Word of God and those who seek a degree of interpretation - and so the debate has raged, with passages from the Bible quoted by both sides.

So, what does the Bible have to say on the issue of men with beards? A number of these individuals have infiltrated the highest echelons of the Anglican Church in particular, causing consternation for some followers who fear they will next suggest Jesus wasn't even a white guy!

Consider this: Leviticus 21.5 says: They shall not make bald patches on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts on their body.

Jeremiah 48.37 , admittedly not the happiest bunny in the Bible, sees the idea of shaving as not the most positive event: For every head is shaved and every beard cut off. On all the hands are gashes, and around the waist is sackcloth (Sounds like a pretty grim experience Jerry had at the bathroom mirror, though in context he was writing before safety razors were invented - aha, but "context" is precisely the sort of revisionism we need to be careful about!)

Later on from the Bible writings came the Church Fathers, and, praise the Lord, they are pretty clear - shaving is for girls! 

"How womanly it is for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, and to arrange his hair at the mirror, shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them! ... For God wished women to be smooth and to rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane. But He has adorned man, like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him as an attribute of manhood, with a hairy chest, a sign of strength and rule." - Clement of Alexandria (vol. 2, p. 275)

Yep, beards are good; razors the implements of Satan.

So, as we contemplate all these namby-pamby, bare-faced Bible deniers like Pastor Fred Phelps, preacher Mike "Shagger" Reid, Governor Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich, you have to ask where's the beards? These perverts stand chin-naked before the Lord, picking and choosing which bits of the Bible they want to believe - like stoning homosexuals and demonising rape victims - and which bits they want to forget about (beards!) like the demon-worshipping dilettantes they clearly are. What a shocking example to young people! What an abomination, undermining western values and abandoning all the good facial hair to the Muslims and Jews...

At least in England, one man stands out, no girly priest in the contest for the Yorkie Bar of Faith: praise the Lord for Archbishop Rowan Williams and his Mighty Fuzzface! This is Muscular Christianity at its Bible Best! A Real Man and His Real Beard - let no one tear asunder!
The only razor is his mind - his Mighty Fuzziness

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