Random Asides

God needs legal help

A Christian group in Kenya is asking for a repeal of Jesus’s crucifixion, claiming that he was wrongly convicted of blasphemy and therefore his execution was illegal.

The FOJ’s lawyer Humphrey Odanga said Jesus’ Crucifixion was a wrongful punishment for a trial based on charges of “blaspheming the Holy Spirit” and should be corrected by modern law.

What else can I say about this? (Well, it does make me wonder if these geniuses even understand that the core Christian doctrine is atonement. Without Jesus’s crucifixion, there’d be no salvation. What goes on in people’s heads? Don’t bother answering that.)

Hat tip to Ed Brayton.


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. Because, Rodney. What if he comes back and he's not peace and love Jesus but angry, kicking-the-moneychangers-out-of-the-temple Jesus? We couldn't have that, could we?

  2. This would make an interesting moot…

    In my uninformed legal opinion, a repeal is unnecessary. The Roman Emperor Constantine I made Christianity an official religion of the Empire. This gave the convicted Mr. Christ a de facto acquittal under Roman Law.

    Of course, there is still the matter of compensation…

  3. Quite right Joshua,

    I stand corrected.

    Whille it's not possible to kill someone twice, I'd truly never kill a Jesus like that!!!

    Too cool.


  4. In a claim for compensation who would be the injured party? Any living relatives? Wouldn't they need to prove that they were related?

    Sounds like a script idea for a bad Hollywood movie with Morgan Freeman playing God again. Humphrey Almighty?

  5. I think everyone is overlooking the most obvious problem:

    there's no evidence this trial ever even took place. It would be like asking the supreme court to review the Michael Scofield or Lincoln Burrows trials. It would make perfect sense within the world the story is set in, but that world is not the real world, so this demand is obviously a case of taking fiction too seriously …

  6. Perhaps they belong to the subset of Christians who believe that the "for" people usually take to be "to atone for" could actually have been a "for" as "because of" or "because I have" ie Jesus died because the people "convicting" him sinned, rather than doing it all prior

    Anyhoo, That's a Liberal Christian perspective, and most African Christians tend more towards the fundy end.

  7. Er, yeah, my above post (hit submit too soon), and: "blaspheming the Holy Spirit?" the good ol' HS was a POST-JC Phenomenon. How could that possibly have been his charge? I don't think people had heard of it until after his death, except as somthing along the lines of "A Spirit will come, and with His power you shall do greater works that I".

    I just read the article too… I love how they can't be "counted in figures"! any group of people can be measured in a number of figures. Number of Heads, Total Wealth, Average Wealth… and the list goes on.

    Finally, They're appealing to the High Court of Kenya? a country Jesus never would have set foot in, indeed, a country Jesus' entire lineage probably never set foot in! Surely they should be appealing to Rome to overturn the decision. Then there's the other problem… the one where now their Saviour is no longer a criminal, the act which is their means of salvation now is.

    This mob basically seem like a bunch of welathy businessmen who, rather than actually give anything to the rather significant quantity of impoverished people over there, would prefer to give it to their rich lawyer friends so that they can exert their will over the rest of the place, and in this case, it looks like they're trying to change the world. A useless change, but change it nonetheless. So not only is there the question "Does Kenya have jurisdiction over Jesus?" but also "Will anybody else listen to their decision?" as well as "Well, what does that actually mean for Christianity?"

  8. The problem is it is Ex Post Facto and Moot. You can't use later laws to rejudge people, nor can you convict them of laws that weren't passed at the time.

    That said you can't try fictional characters. Why not convict Robin Hood of Jaywalking or King Arthur of stealing the sword from the stone? Odysseus should be convicted of a few things. I daresay Harry Potter should be tried for witchcraft.

    Though, if they can find a record of the conviction, or any scrap of paper that suggests there was a Jesus… then I might just look with disdain rather than utter disdain.

  9. I thought that there was reasonable consensus that Jesus did in fact exist, the debate lies around whether he was in fact divine, or whether he was simply someone who did some stuff that pissed people off… I could be wrong, and have been before, I'll point out.

  10. I've been hearing more and more that there is no real evidence there was actually a Jesus and that he is actually an amalgamation of a few people. It's a prospect I find highly amusing.

    But as Tatarize said, you can't use today's laws to judge yesterday's crimes. Silly fundies.

    "Christ died for your sins!"

    "No, Christ died for his crimes against Rome."

  11. Tatarize, just in case I wasn't clear enough, your second point is the one I was making above, i.e. that there's no evidence Jesus was anything other than a fictional character, so appealing his case is rather silly.

    Furthermore, a good point was made about laws. I think the bible itself says to "obey the laws of the land", which apparently, Jesus himself neglected to do, which is why the Romans arrested and convicted him. And he didn't blaspheme the Holy Spirit BTW (THAT would be the ultimate unforgivable sin, and surely, the ultimate perfectly sinless person would not make that mistake?), he was convicted for blaspheming according to the Roman laws, and deservedly so, no doubt.

  12. There are some good pod cast out there on was there a historical jesus. I would go to i tunes and look there. One is the http://www.infidelguy.com/ Bob Price has some good debates on this topic. It is an interesting subject and it really pisses off Christians to no end.

  13. What's their point? So they declare the crucifixion "illegal". What does that do? Are they going to cease diplomatic relations with the Empire of Rome?

    But wait… they think it was a "blasphemy" charge. That means they're going to blame the *Jews* for Jesus' death.

    Can you say, "antisemitism"?

    Watch for public persecution of Jewish people, coming soon to Kenya.

  14. I'm not surprised that they claim it was a blasphemy charge, That is, after all, what the bible basically accounts it to be. It should probably be noted that Jesus (if he existed) was executed under the reign of Emperor Tiberius, and claiming to be the Son of God would basically have meant (Courtesy of Impirial Divinity) that he was claiming to a) be the son of Tiberius, and given Tiberius' age at the time, this was a totally feasible prospect (Tiberius was born in 42BC) or he was claiming to be another God, and thus claiming God Status would threaten Tiberius. Either way, claims to divinity among humans were basically limited to the Emperors around 33AD, when Christ is believed to have died. The Jews were just doing what they thought that they should to survive and not be singled out. Not to mention that to decry Christ as anything other than merely mortal would have meant that they had blasphemed against the emperor too. and while they would probably not have suffered the same fate as Jesus, life would not have been pleasant.

    so: Christ -did- disobey the laws of the land, but I do believe that there was a disclaimer to that portion of the scripture (I went looking, and there is nowhere in the Old Testament (The Bible at the Time of Jesus) which says to obey the laws of the land, (I did a search for "Law" (brings up partial word matches too) at http://www.biblegateway.com and found nothing before Matthew which even comes -close- to "Obey the laws of the land" (I'm sure it's in the book somewhere though))) in fact though, in his day, there was no scripture saying this. Um, long story short, Christ (if he existed) would have been most likely blaspheming against the current Son of God, Tiberius, and that's why he was really killed. I would have thought, too, that Constantine's adoption of Christianity as the State Religion would probably have inlcuded a post-humous pardon for Christ anyway.

    My Original point of course, was that a charge of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is ludicrous, since the Spirit basically wasn't known about until after Christ's death.

  15. I would like to amend the above, as I have realised that the trial of Jesus is claimed to have been conducted before the Sanhedrin, a Jewish Court. I still hold that Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is ludicrous.

  16. Ohmy. I can't believe you're all taking this seriously. It was supposed to be a bit of light hearted fun-poking! :)

  17. writterdd, you seem to be suffering from false dichotomy…

    It's serious, AND light hearted fun-poking!

  18. It is in fact, hilarious in its absurdity.

    Keeping Christianity in union with my skepticism is hard work at times, (it's my sacred cow, but I'd like to think that I can at least think semi-skeptically about it) and so I see these things and take it as a challenge, to kinda prove to myself that my Skepticism and my Christianity can coexist.

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