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Bede's Library: the Alliance of Faith and Reason
A Christian Thinktank
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Stephen Jones' CreationEvolutionDesign
Touchstone: a journal of mere Christianity: mere comments
The Secularist Critique: Deconstructing secularism
Ex-atheist.com: I Wasn't Born Again Yesterday
imago veritatis by Alan Myatt
Solid Rock Ministries
The Internet Monk: a webjournal by Michael Spencer
The Sydney Line: the website of Keith Windschuttle
Miranda Devine's writings in the Sydney Morning Herald
David Horowitz frontpage magazine
Thoughts of a 21st century Christian Philosopher
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Peter S. Williams Christian philosophy and apologetics
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Clayton Cramer's Blog
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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton
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Sunday, October 10, 2004
Julia Baird writing in the Sydney Morning Herald hits the double jackpot of embarrassing goof-ups with this statement:
When the bishops at the Council of Macon were asked in the fourth century BC to decide whether women had immortal souls, they decided - by one vote - that they did.
Memo to Ms Baird: Bishops in the 4th century BC?
[Update: The BC goof has now been corrected to AD in the online edition.]
PS Ms Baird: Of course, you meant 4th century AD. The only problem is that there was no "Council of Macon" in the 4th century AD either. There was a small Council at Macon in the late 6th century AD but that it voted on the presence or otherwise of "immortal souls" in women is pure myth.
If the first casualty of war is the unwelcome truth, the first weapon of the discontented is the welcome lie.
Baird's statement is only the latest in a long line of similar careless slanders that does the rounds dressed up as historical fact. It is actually nothing more than an urban legend. Its roots lie with a hoax perpetuated at the time of the Reformation which was seized upon by anti-Catholic polemicists then and which has been seized upon ever since by self-declared libertines, rationalists, freethinkers, secularists, atheists, and anti-Christians - all the usual suspects in fact.
A quick check of the Internet finds the usual suspects merrily perpetuating this falsehood and dragging out the same tired old rhetoric, often repeated verbatim from one site to the next.
Thus Dave Silva of The Humanist Association of Orange County writes:
In the year 584, in Lyons, France, 43 Catholic bishops and 20 men representing other bishops held a debate at the Council of Macon to decide whether or not women soul and could be declared human. After many lengthy arguments a vote was taken. Women were declared human by a vote of 32 yes 31 no.
William Edelen, "Syndicated Columnist" at "the Flagstaff Tea Party: A community forum for the discussion of progressive ideas" pontificates:
Spiritual violence against women A longstanding Christian tradition
This from the "Freethinkers of Colorado Springs" who attempt to give us a brief history lesson despite not knowing the difference between history and their own prejudicial wish projections:
A brief history lesson:
From the home of those crazy non-historians at the jesus never existed site:
From the bright sparks at Positive Atheism quoting one of their favourite "historians", the lamentable Helen Ellerbe:
Bishops at the sixth century Council of Macon voted as to whether women had souls
At a British "religious education" site we read:
84 AD. Church Council of Macon, France debated 'Are women human?' The notion was carried by 32 to 31 votes. Many Christians at the time thought that women had no souls and were less holy than men.
From the atheists who miss the truth train at the Atheist Station:
Religion abuses Women
This, along with screeds of anti-Christian polemic from the atheists off the rails at the station, is accompanied by the following breath-taking piece of self-serving hypocritical mumbo jumbo:
Paraphrasing Lincoln's words, we want to assure you that ATHEIST STATION wishes "malice toward none and charity for all." Please understand that this community, this nation, this planet, this universe is our church.
What does a real scholar have to say about the oft repeated "FACT" of the vote at the Council of Macon on whether women had souls?
Michael Nolan, Professor Emeritus in the Maurice Kennedy Research Center at University College, Dublin demolishes the Myth of the Soulless Women:
Josh Billings remarked profoundly that "the trouble with people is not that they don't know but that they know so much as ain't so." There are those who know John Chrysostom said that "the image of God is not found in Woman." (Actually, he said that "the image of God is not found in Man or Woman.") There are those who know that Thomas Aquinas said that a woman is a defective male. (Actually, he explicitly denies this no fewer than five times.) There are those who know that Aristotle said that a woman is a deficient male-a description based on an appalling mistranslation.
Especially in the war against the One who said I am the truth...