Did you know that St. Constantine made the cross the Christianity’s trademark? Well neither did I until I began researching my novel. In his battle to win the emperor’s chair, Constantine traded the Roman Eagle for the Cross. He claimed in a dream to have seen a cross in the sky proclaiming his victory. (That is very much a Cranky Old Lady’s abbreviated version.) Anyway, what most people don’t know, and those who sainted him probabaly don’t want known, is that the cross appealed more to his pagan followers than any Christians of the time. The pagans fighting under him worshipped the God Thor and his symbol was a hammer. Eventually, the Christians came to power because Constantine had used it to lead his men to victory, the cross became the Christian trademark. Some say Constantine did not convert until on his deathbed. Some say he never converted. Some say he converted when he won the battle. Some say lots of stuff.
Topic 21. As I observe the Shabbat, Saturday posts to meet the Cranky Old Lady’s 365/66 challenge tend to find me feeling rushed and Cranky. Soooooo will probably do quickies, which have their own place in the world. Today, I was sorting through the 500 post drafts hoping for a quickie and I found this one. It is a quick history of guess what? That’s right as the title says: Christianity. Doesn’t mention Constantine. Or does it? I read it but that was a few minutes ago and you know about memory and the old ones. I found it interesting as a brief overview.
Now I have one major crank about religions and it isn’t really about religion, but about the use of religion to goad people to war. Constantine was a master at that. As far as this Cranky Old One is concerned, the God, Gods, or Goddesses interested in seeing people slaughtered in their name are those created by men.
What most struck me in reading this brief history was dissent based on someone’s thinking they knew more about God then someone else. Belief wars and the killing and arguing goes on.
STAYING STRONG TIP: Not just for you, but for the world: let whoever is up there judging us decide the belief wars. As my Rabbi said, “You have been taught the law, not it is up to you and G-d how you obey it.” God should judge all and I suspect s/he/it does so on behavior, not belief.
Feeling a bit cranky. Time just to post and then get some ice cream and go to bed. The Grands are here on an over night and the little one still gets up in sometime in the middle of the night or at least before dawn. Their parents are on a well deserved mini-ski vacation. We will need one come Monday.
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