Is it true that the liberal postmodern procrustatophagists are really American imperialists?

From: Craig Craigslist
Submitted on:  18 December 2011
To: Robert Gagbag

 

I am sick and tired of those naysayers who caricature those of us who do not think that shoving a papilla on the coxa of the fifth pereiopod into another man’s mouth or sticking our fingers inside a certain somite (telson) is God’s will are just a bunch of old reactionaries. What they singularly fail to appreciate is that we anticrustatophagists are not a monolithic group. As the soft anticrustatophagist N.T. Wrymouth put it, the right/left polarisation is only as old as the French Revolution and inconsistency is only judged as such by those who accept that tick-all-the-boxes package deal.

This leads me to my question: is [it] true that the liberal postmodern procrustatophagists are really American imperialists? Let me tell you a little story which might illuminate my concern. At the recent San Francisco SBL, I was lucky enough to see and touch Wrymouth’s droopy liripipe in the registration queue for the prestigious 5.30am breakfast in the Nob Hill district hosted by the Calvinist Ombudsmen for Consubstantiation Kongress. Here men held hands and linked arms, which, before you ask, isn’t a homosexual practice because it was replicating what they do in the Middle East today and therefore just like what they did in the time of Jesus and Paul. Anyway, I digress. Wrymouth, as you are no doubt aware, is, like your good self, dedicated to wiping out the plague of crustatophagism from the Church. But did you know that he is also a leading critic of injustices in the Middle East? I understand that makes some our American brethren angry. But let me tell you this: Wrymouth taught me many things on that magical night (we arrived an hour early for the breakfast to make sure we got first helpings of salted hardhead). One thing in particular he taught me I will never forget: the appointment of a practising crustatophagist as homarus americanus was exactly like George Bush invading Iraq because all the people in Africa don’t like crustatophagism and to disagree with everyone in that continent is racist, imperialistic and ethnocentric, that the Bible was well counter cultural in its original historical context, and that the world has gone to the dogs thanks to Stoicism (or something like that). I don’t pretend to understand all the intricate details of the former Bishop of Drum’s complex arguments but would you agree that it is probably racist to eat shellfish or appoint a practising crustatophagist to a leading bishopric?

Craig Craigslist (Bursar, Calvinist Ombudsmen for Consubstantiation Kongress)

From: Rob Gagbag
Sent: 2011/12/19
To: Craig Craigslist

Dear Craig,

Don’t give me your “soft” anticrustatophagy! If the Word of God condemns shellfish-eating, who are we to “soften” God’s eternal decrees? Nay, anyone calling themselves “men of God” must ensure they stay hard in the face of temptation. If you feel yourself getting soft, I implore you to think about the broken body of Jesus our Savior, and regain fully your hardness in the Lord. For it is a slippery slope from “soft” anticrustatophagy to open acceptance of those abusers of the flesh who think nothing of stuffing their mouths full of cockles, oysters, or sea urchins, or feeling the strange and unnatural brush of tentacles against their chins as they gorge themselves on squid and octopi.

In taking this soft/hard opposition only as far back as the French Revolution, what the soft anticrustatophagist N.T. Wrymouth fails to consider is the long history of pagan Epicureanism which preceded it. These Epicureans believed only in hedonistic Pleasure, and – after the rediscovery of Lucretia the Epicurean in Modernity – the dinner tables of Moderns were opened up to the abomination of unrestrained crustatophagia – platefuls of cockles, crabs, crayfish, and other forms of seafood – as had never been seen during the centuries-long intervening reign of blessed Christendom. Although N.T. Wrymouth makes some correct observations concerning the interpretation of the food laws, here he is most fearfully astray in both orthodoxy and orthopraxy. As much as I regret doing so, here I must raise my hard fist against N.T. Wrymouth’s heretically soft tendencies (metaphorically speaking, of course).

N.T. Wrymouth is more or less correct, however, when he identifies the racism implicit in pro-crustatophagist stance. Isn’t this the great irony of these so-called “liberal”, “tolerant”, “politically correct” types? When the black man opposes their Epicurean pro-crustatophagia, they must resort to intolerance towards him! Therefore, it is the hard anti-crustatophagist who is shown to be truly and completely open-minded in this matter, free to consider this issue without the hysterical prejudice so commonly displayed by crustatophagy advocates. Ironically, we who are hard in our intolerance toward what is intolerable testify to our tolerance of that which is truly to be tolerated. Moreover, we are displaying our toleration of those who practice the true form of toleration. And it is this toleration, properly so called, which will one day be realised in its fullest potential when tolerance is made perfect in the Kingdom of God, and all shellfish-eaters, and, well, probably more than 99% of the population, are cast out into the eternal fires – not out of intolerance, of course, but paradoxically through the grace of God which tolerates these sinners’ rejection of the true toleration.

Therefore, we may rightly add racism to pro-crustatophagia on the list of sins committed by this group who abuse the Scriptures and their own consciences. I would add, if I may, that some of my best friends are Nigerians.

Blessings,

Dr. Robert Gagbag

Phagging at one of the World Famous British Public Schools

From: The Rt Hon Mr N. Clegg (cantab)
Submitted on: December 15, 2011
To: Robert Gagbag

My Dear Robert,

When a young man, I attended on[e] of the World Famous British Public Schools of the sort that the Great British Prime Minister once attended. I’m not afraid to admit it but I was, as were all boys of a certain age, a “phag” (from crustatophagist). We used to make sure older boys and the Head Prefect (a “jasus”) were regularly supplied with sea cucumber, homarus gammarus, and anything with stridulating organs, as well as being shagged up the wrong ‘un.

I’m now happily married (to a woman!) And aggressive to all forms of crustaceans and even get accused of being crustatophobic by the Politically Correct Brigade. Yet I find myself wondering if I will really be saved due to my past life in crustatophagism. Please can you tell me my fate in the life to come and whether I should send my offspring to Westminster or Eton.

Thank you in advance,

N Clegg

 

From: Rob Gagbag
Sent: 2011/12/17
To: The Rt Hon Mr N. Clegg (cantab)

Dear Mr Clegg,

While here in the United States we are not greatly familiar with your English public school traditions, this “phagging” of yours does remind me of something in my own past of which I am not proud, but which I offer here for the purposes of moral instruction.

As a young sophomore at South-South-East Cotton Mather Baptist University Seminary, I was initiated to the Alpha Rho Sigma Epsilon chapter in a ceremony which involved the handling of some of the older guys’ eels. While none of their eels ever entered my mouth (I only held them in my hands), I note that today I would not even flirt with such possible temptation. Indeed, for over twenty years, my wife and I have happily eaten only fish with scales and fins, and it has only been on the rarest of occasions that, with my mouth full of the taste of my wife’s fish, my mind has wandered to my eel-handling days at Alpha Rho Sigma Epsilon. As an aside, my experience as a eel-handing sophomore later proved invaluable, when the United States Army Psych-Ops division asked for my professional advice concerning The Arab’s view on shellfish-eating, and the effects of forced crustatophagia on The Arab within the context of their shame culture. While I am not permitted to go into details, I trust that in some small way I have helped bring democracy to these people and peace in the middle east.

Returning to your immediate question, I can’t be more clear on the fact that it would be a grave mistake to view the aberrations of youth as evidence of some “natural propensity” towards shellfish-eating – as some liberal crustatophagists argue. Logic tells us that this does not follow. Even if you had eagerly sucked back the last drop of juice from the meat of every senior boy’s homarus gammarus, this does not at all mean you have any natural inclination toward so doing. If you have sinned in the past in the manner of crustatophagia, you may ask for forgiveness, and ask God to provide you with the strength not to be tempted again by such abominations. Nobody is born with a liking for shellfish, and in their lack of fins and scales we may recognize God’s sign that these creatures are clearly not intended for human consumption.

If you continue to face temptation, remember that there are a number of Ex-Crustatophagist Ministries support groups out there to help you maintain your change in dietary orientation.

Blessings,

Dr. Gagbag

Spitting on the Sin at the Annual Dinner and Dance of the Associated Nestorians Anabaptists and Lutherans

From:Tom Whelk
Submitted on: 2011/12/12
To:
Robert Gagbag
 

Dear Dr Robert,

I was recently at the annual dinner and dance of the much under appreciated and curiously little known group, the Associated Nestorians Anabaptists and Lutherans. one of the fellows asked me if I wanted a bit of cockle to spice up the evening so my reaction was – obviously thought I – to spit in his face (but aimed more at the sin than the sinner). I now think I might have got the wrong end of the bivalve, however. Please help!

NT Whelk

 

From: Robert Gagbag
Sent: 2011/12/13
To: Tom Whelk

Dear Tom,

I shall refer to you by your forename, to avoid stirring up any sinful hunger for the creature which goes by your surname – in particular the knobbed variety thereof – among weaker readers of this website.

The name of the group you associated with should have given you pause to consider their orthodoxy in matters both of doctrine and the eating of sea creatures. For while there are many among the Anabaptists and Lutherans who partake only of those sea creatures that the hand of God has clearly marked as fit for human consumption (with fins and scales), the Nestorians are another kettle of fish. These people are heretics, who cravenly distinguish between the human nature of the Son, which they claim is subject to the eternal law against crustatophagia, and the divine nature of the Son, which they claim frequented seafood restaurants along the Galilean coast during its earthly incarnation. I am therefore gravely suspicious about any Anabaptists and Lutherans who would be so unequally yoked with those who dwell in such doctrinal darkness.

I find that just mentioning such despicable piscine heresies gives me such a queer feeling that their state of rebellion against God is made obvious.

For these reasons – and many more might be added – your instinctual reaction to spit on the sin but not the sinner was undoubtedly correct. This was the prompting of the Holy Spirit, who dwells within, and who, through our obedience to his commands, may dwell ever further up and higher in. For in such a company of heretics, it is most unlikely that you had misunderstood your interlocutor’s intentions. But at the very worst, if you had mistakenly but honestly spit on an innocent person, then the Scriptures tell us that they may be cleared from all taint by a simple washing of clothes and body (Lev. 15:8).

Blessings,

Dr. Gagbag

Are crustatophagist advocates in the church as “committed to Scripture”?

From:C
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 11:34 PM
To: Robert Gagbag
Subject: Re: PC USA

 

Hi Dr. Gagbag, 

I just returned from the Fellowship of Presbyterians and I heard something, which I wanted to ask you about:

Some of the leaders were saying that progressives and conservatives are both committed to Scripture, but arrive at different conclusions about crustatophagia (shellfish eating) and other issues because of different interpretive methods. 

I listened to one of your talks and my understanding is that you use the progressive historical critical method/hermeneunetic and demonstrate that even using such a method one cannot conclude that the Scriptures teach the normalization of shellfish eating. I’m probably confusing literary analysis and interpretation, but if you could illuminate (or point me to something that illuminates) the various threads that constitute progressive thought I would appreciate it…is my understanding accurate or am I missing something? Are the conservative PCUSA leaders well aware of your work? 

Thanks! 

In Jesus,

C

 

From: Robert Gagbag
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 10:51 AM
To: C
Subject: RE: PC USA
 

Dear C

If some of the leaders stated that [and I have since had it confirmed by a number of independent sources], they would be in error in my opinion. That is the line given by crustatophagist interpreters of Scripture but it ought not to be taken up by faithful readers of Scripture.  

The scriptural case against shellfish eating is so overwhelming that it takes a concerted effort to ignore the mountain of evidence and/or to twist it into unreasonable meanings. There are ambiguous issues in Scripture. This doesn’t happen to be one of them. 

The assertion that those who advocate for (the extreme, anti-scriptural offense of) crustatophagical practice are just as committed to Scripture as those who support the foundational “fins and scales” model of diet but only hold different interpretive methods makes about as much sense as saying that persons who believe that cannibalism and caprophagia (immoralities, incidentally, that Scripture regards as less severe than shellfish eating) are just as committed to Scripture as those who regard such behavior as immoral; they differ only in interpretive methods.  That, of course, would be absurd. To accept such an argument would lead to no end of absurdities and would effectively eliminate categories of heresy and immorality. Paul did not state in 1 Cor 8, nor would he ever have stated, that those who approve of (or, worse, engage in) meat-eating are as committed to Scripture but differ only in interpretation. Likewise, the Church Fathers in the second to sixth centuries did not adopt the view that the vegetarian Manichaeans were as committed to Scripture as they were but only used different interpretive methods. 

Now we can concede that those who espouse “consensual” shellfish eating as a moral good may perceive themselves as committed to Scripture in adopting such a view. We may also grant that holding one extreme anti-scriptural view does not necessarily entail that all one’s views are extreme and antiscriptural. But we should never state that those who espouse crustatophagical practice (even of an “consensual” sort) are, on that issue, as committed to Scripture as those who espouse a “fins and scales” requirement. On the contrary, the crustatophagist stance is so extreme that it makes it impossible to refer thereafter to its holders as “orthodox” or “faithful” in a general sense even if on other issues they are.

I imagine that those speakers are simply saying what is politically (but not theologically) correct to say, in order to avoid angering the leadership at Louisville or presbytery officials, either because they want to leave the church with as much of their church property as they can or because they want to stay and continue to have influence in the denomination. They don’t want to have their ordination revoked for “schismatic” actions. Whatever the motive for making such statements, the statements themselves are false, even if those making them don’t recognize them to be so.

As regards labels I never use the term “progressive” to describe the crustatophagist or other hard-left agendas. It implies that those who differ from them are not for “progress” and, moreover, tacitly gives a positive spin on what are really old heresies and immoralities. I know that you did not intend this sense, of course.

 

Blessings, 

Dr. Gagbag

Who is causing the weak to stumble?

 

From: Dallas CPA

Sent: Friday, August 19, 2011 11:53 AM

To: Robert Gagbag

Subject: Jennifer Left’s CNN article 

 

Mr. Gagbag,

 

I recently read your response to Jennifer Left’s CNN article on shellfish eating. I hope you realize how people perceive biblicaly based arguments against crustatophagia, especially people who are wishy-washy Christian (which is a great many people). Your article reminded me of the “strong Christians” Paul disputes in 1 Corinthians, who may (or may not) have been right in principle but were causing far worse damage putting the “weak Christians” in a situation where they might slip back into paganism. Whatever your arguments on shellfish eating, many good arguments can be used to argue the opposite. The larger point is that articles like yours scare people away from Christianity, and it is hard to see this as something Jesus or Paul would have approved of.

 

 

 

From: Robert Gagbag

Sent: Friday, August 19, 2011 4:20 PM

To: ‘Dallas CPA’

Subject: RE: Jennifer Wright’s CNN article 

 

Dear “Dallas CPA” (why didn’t you supply me with a name?), 

 

The analogy you made to the strong at Corinth makes the exact opposite point from the one that you were making. The “strong” believed that they had knowledge that allowed them to engage in behaviors (go to idols’ temples, eat idol meat, approve of all sorts of non-kosher condiments) that put the “weak” at high risk of being excluded from the kingdom of God when they engaged in similar behaviors. In some cases it was a matter of doing things that were not wrong per se but only wrong in the minds of the weak and so wrong for the weak when the weak participated out of pressure (eating idol meat sold in the meat market or served at a private residence). In other cases, the strong themselves were at risk (and the weak, by implication) when they engaged in behavior that was indeed idolatrous or immoral. Paul lambasted the strong for tolerating a case of women speaking in their midst, specifically in church (1 Cor 14.33b-36), and Paul alludes to other forms of unnatural behaviour in 1 Cor 11, namely, men with long hair, women with short hair, women with uncovered hair, men with covered hair, women tempting angels to come down from heaven for illicit sexual intercourse. 

 

By definition, the weak would slip back into paganism if they participated in serial unrepentant acts of wearing long hair (for men), wearing short hair (for women), wearing head coverings  (for men), not wearing head coverings (for women), or sex with angels (for women, mainly). You say the opposite: They slip back into paganism if warned that shellfish eating violates the will of God and puts a professed believer at high risk of not inheriting the kingdom of God. How, then, you could cite Paul as support for your own position is something that I cannot make sense of. 

As for Jesus, you seem to forget that Jesus said some very hard things about eating (e.g. “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs”: Matt. 15:26) which, according to your reasoning, he ought not to have said because such statements are racist and scare politically correct people away. Jesus’ call to discipleship may sound too scary for you: take up you cross, deny yourself, and lose your life. What you don’t grasp, it seems to me, is that Jesus simultaneously ratcheted up God’s ethical demand, including in the area of food ethics, while reaching out aggressively in love to the biggest violators of those demands in order to save them from destruction. I don’t see how you can say that Jesus would not have approved of maintaining a “fins and scales” prerequisite for dietary holiness, since Jesus argued about that “until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law” (Matt. 5:13).

 

If persons are “scared away” from Christianity because Christians rightfully maintain the importance of not eating shellfish as part of the transformed Christian life, then they weren’t really interested in acknowledging Jesus as Lord in the first place. To argue that maintaining standards against long hair (on men), short hair (on women), head coverings (on men), no head coverings (on women), sex with angels (mostly for women) is improper because it scares people away from the Christian faith misses the point of grace entirely, which is not merely to forgive sins but also to empower to a life of holiness. 

Dr. Robert Gagbag