We interrupt our look back at the Christ-myth debate for a check of two really goofy arguments against mocking opponents who are obviously beyond help and mainly out to eat sheep. I won't dignify the people who made these arguments by naming them -- partly because they're liable to get my keyboard wet with their tears if they find out anyone is making fun of them.
So what if mockery was used in the Bible? Leeches were used for medical purposes all through history.
This one wins the Ironic Ignorance Award, since leeches are making a comeback for specific medical purposes (link below). But no doubt the goofball who made this objection could simply find some other example.
Either way, the point remains the same: What was the purpose of mocking opponents? And is today’s insistence by some on “civil” dialogue under all circumstances a step in the right direction, or a wrong-headed concession to those who ravenously devour the flock? Since we have so many Biblical figures (including Jesus himself) who model this behavior for us, the argument that it is used in the Bible needs a lot more than a lame analogy to something like leeches to be defeated.
You can’t use Elijah mocking the prophets of Baal as an example, because he killed them all afterwards, and we sure wouldn’t want to imitate that!
As if this makes any other act of Elijah automatically non-imitatible? Not at all. In executing those priests, Elijah was enacting his role as broker of the state-enforced (theocratic) code. In contrast, the mockery was not specific to the theocracy, but to the functioning of public shame – just as it is used today.
OK – back to the Christ myth stuff tomorrow.