Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Interlude: Fit to Be Piqued

The other day I was pointed by Zippy Catholic in the direction of a blog that humbly promised to give me the skinny concerning “What’s Wrong With the World.” It seemed that it would be imprudent not to check that out. Well, this is the post on the top of the heap when I took the plunge. If you will follow me there, you will discover a graphic of a crusading knight rampant, and another of a two-headed eagle. Beneath the eagle we find words to the effect that what is wrong with the world is a combination of Jihad and, even worse, Liberalism! It’s that hirsute troglodyte UBL, and that porcine libertine sot, Teddy Kennedy, in league to do us all to death, by water, if not by fire.

The author of the blog, who can possibly boast of a clique of loyalists calling themselves the Cella Dwellas, says things like:

“I believe that Christ opposes wickedness; I believe that the Jihad is wicked. Therefore I feel that it should be opposed.”

So far, so good. I, too, believe that Christ opposes wickedness. I certainly wouldn’t argue with the conjecture that jihad, in the current mode of blowing up pizza parlors and knocking down skyscrapers, with the sole purpose of killing innocent people who are merely going about the business of their daily lives, is wicked. That, too, should be opposed. No doubt about it.

But, then, as I read further into the post, I began to experience just a soupçon of discomfort as I encountered rhetoric such as:

“But my motivation in this call is still grounded in patriotism, informed by a firm judgment of the justice of the cause. And my patriotism is ineffaceably what it is because of Christ. God the Father made the world and called it good; and then God the Son entered it bodily. Patriotism is forever changed by the Incarnation. Behold, I make all things new.”

Silly me. I had thought patriotism was forever changed--along with everything else—by 9/11. Turns out, it's been an a priori done deal since the first century. Ah well, when in Rome…

But wait, there’s more:

“This land that I love, I love because I can trust the promises of God about the goodness of His creation. I trust, also, that Scripture gives me leave to pray that my land will pursue justice (which our Constitution also calls us to do), and to work for it as a citizen.”

Boy-o, boy. That comes really close to conflating Holy Scripture with the U.S. Constitution. Too close, despite the following disclaimer:

“America is an imperfect part of an imperfect whole. It is right to love her; though it would be quite wrong to conflate this love with Christian discipleship. I do not think I have done that.”

Din’cha? Apparently one’s man’s Jihad is another man’s Crusade. I am more than willing to suggest that the so-called War on Terror doesn’t even come close to fulfilling the conditions of Just War theory, never mind being ordained by the Prince of Peace.

But, hey—you’ve got the links. Check it out and see what you think.

68 comments:

An Interested Party said...

The fact that this blog equates jihad with liberalism tells you all you need to know about the loon who writes on it...the rich irony is that his/her ranting (directed at different targets, obviously) sounds a lot like the diatribes of that really tall beared guy running around in the caves of Pakistan...

Rodak said...

I find it scary. The same blog has a new post by a different blogger advocating that cattle ranchers be allowed to hunt (which also means poison and trap) without restriction the wolves which have been reintroduced to prevent their extinction. Nice people! They really have their priorities well worked out.

Madscribe said...

I don't think it is an accident that more goosesteppers in this mode tend to be Catholic than, say, Protestant, considering the cognitive dissonance that is at the heart of that "faith" (i.e. denying the James principle that one's faith and works are connected and intertwined like a DNA helix, therefore, one can do all sorts of evil and then have the moral record "expunged" by confession and a priestly tithe as if nothing happened).

Where are all the Catholic equivalents of this Protestant Theologian?

http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance121.html

After all, Hitler was Catholic (aaah, Hitlerum ad absurdum!). How better to have your crusade against the Moorish infidels waged unto a new millenium than to have your church's murderous shenanigans intertwined with a unschooled and obese populous nation of idiots that cares not a wit what is done in its name? I served with a lot of goosesteppers overseas (I used to refer to them as the Irish Catholic Mafia under by breath) who had no qualms with using the Name of Christ to Quash.

Madscribe said...

This quote was very instructive:
"And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages" (Luke 3:14)

You could write volumes on the last sentiment alone ...

Rodak said...

Well, hello, Madscribe. Long time, no see!
As a non-Catholic, I'm hesitant to get into any Catholic bashing. I will go so far as to say that I'm often amazed at how selective Catholics can be in what they see as acting according to God's will.

brandon field said...

I don't think it is an accident that more goosesteppers in this mode tend to be Catholic than, say, Protestant

Paul Cella is, as far as I can tell, actually Protestant, as are at least half of the regular posters at WWwtW.

After all, Hitler was Catholic

Wow, Goodwin's Law fulfilled in three posts. Rodak must have a hot comment box.

And, Rodak, I must comment that when you write:
It’s that hirsute troglodyte UBL, and that porcine libertine sot, Teddy Kennedy, in league to do us all to death, by water, if not by fire.
I am impressed that you haven't converted to the spelling "OBL", as popularized by the American Media. Maybe this means that you remember that he was trained by us to lead in the patriotic fight against the communists by destabilizing their southern border? Not too many patriotic news sources still include this information in their biographical clips of the guy (although CNN did, until about Sept 14 of 2001).

Rodak said...

Hi, Brandon--
Thanks for dropping by.
Just for the record, I consider Hitler to have been a *very* bad Catholic. ;-)

brandon field said...

Hi, Brandon--
Thanks for dropping by.


I've been dropping by, I just didn't have anything to say before now. (I've never read Simone Weil, and you didn't have any discussions going that involved Classic Rock or entropy).

Rodak said...

Brandon--
Not true. The *real* classic rock is discussed here:

http://rrrrodak.blogspot.com/2007/08/1963-interlude-in-late-1950s.html

brandon field said...

True, but 'blogs are like newspapers, and you can't even wrap the archived entries around fish. So I might have missed that, because I didn't exhaustively go through "your back pages" (to make a not-so-obscure classic rock allusion) and I wouldn't comment on those posts anyway. For example, I recognized my own influence in your "Heretic?" post from that era, because I have on more than one occasion, called you a dualist.

Rodak said...

Watch it. I am also a duellist.

brandon field said...

Watch it. I am also a duellist.

And punny. (Note the dual meaning!)

zippy said...

The fact that this blog equates jihad with liberalism ...

Uhhhh... it doesn't do that. Saying "the Japanese and the Nazis were our enemies in WWII" isn't the same as saying "the Japanese are Nazis". It is all well and good to disagree with the blog authors (often enough we disagree with each other). But it is important to understand what you think you are disagreeing with.

As for the religious makeup of the contributors, there are two Catholics, two Eastern Orthodox, two Protestants (including the editor), and an atheist. Just FYI.

Madscribe said...

Considering the Catholic Church's history of mass murder, there really WAS no need to resort to Hitlerum Ad Absurdum.

Suffice it to say, I think Catholics comprise a large portion of Neo-cons because they see a mirror image of themselves in Al Qaeda.

Thankfully, Protestantism came along to kick Catholicism's ass in the middle ages ...

Madscribe said...

P.S Rodak, just doing my part to increase your notoriety. I'm sure the Bills O'Reilly and Donahue are preparing an auto de fe against Rodak Riffs as we speak ...

Civis said...

Madscribe,

Don't confuse Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly with Catholicism. If the Church has a position on Iraq, it is against it.

As for me (a Catholic) and every liberal and conservative Catholic I know and have spoke to but one, who--I love him--is naive and ill-informed, we are all against the war.

RE your mudslinging, I'll argue the the Catholic record vs. the Protestant record with you any day you think you're ready. IMHO every church has its scandals and it's not productive to point the finger, but I have no problem eating your lunch for sheer entertainment.

Now that I've said that I feel much better. Would you like to look at the facts?

Rodak, if these dang word verifications keep getting harder, I'm going to have get someone to help me. ha

Rodak said...

Zippy--
I think that what AIP meant was not that Paul's post equated Jihad with Liberalism by analogy, but that by planting one foot on the back of Jihad and the other on the back of Liberalism, he suggests some kind of moral (or immoral) equivalence between the two.
If that is not what he meant, then his contruction is pretty sloppy.

Madscribe said...

Big deal, the Catholic Church is against the war. It's also for perpetuating poverty and ignorance, particularly in Latin America and Africa, through anti-birth control initiatives, etc.

When it comes to brainwashing and mainpulating the minds of uneducated gullible fools in the name of God (Arabic or Aramaic), the difference between Bin Laden and Ratzinger is about as thick as the width of a strand of uncooked spaghetti.

Anyway, enough of speaking about the biggest cult on Earth. Any other authors similar to Laurence Vance that you would recommend Rodak?

Rodak said...

MS--
My hot authorial recommendation of the day is Rebecca Goldstein. But I haven't gotten to her non-fiction yet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Goldstein

Madscribe said...

Thanks, Rodak. I would think you would find the Pinker connection disturbing, though (I just find wry amusment in an author that you recommend being involved with a man who thinks rape is nothing more than a "evolutionary tool" of natural selection).

Rodak said...

MS--
She's really smart. And she writes novels and stories around philosophical ideas. She is kind of an American Iris Murdoch. Her fiction is different from the general run.

zippy said...

But I haven't gotten to her non-fiction yet.

Her book on Godel is very good, if that sort of thing interests you.

Rodak said...

Zippy--
Yes, thanks for the tip. I'm looking forward to reading that one, as well as her latest, on Spinoza. I have one last novel to finish, and then its on to non-fiction.

Civis said...

Madscribe,

So I take it you are scared to discuss the record. It figures.

Hey, since you are talking about ignorance, let me give you a little latin-slash-logic lesson.

"Hitlerum ad absurdum" is a malaprop. It means "Hitler to absurd" which doesn't mean a damn thing. I think what you meant to say is "Argumentum ad Hitlerum" which means appeal to Hitler.

Before you talk about the ignorance of Catholics, consider who we have to thank for the university and then take a look at yourself.

An Interested Party said...

Thank you, Rob...that is exactly what I meant...after reading that drivel, I know exactly what I am disagreeing with...

Madscribe said...

Hate to break it to you, but scholarship and universities were around before the cult of boy-butt-f*ckers appeared on our planet 2,000 years ago. I believe that Muslims alone, let alone Asians and others, were very scholarly while your type was selling indulgences to illiterate shit farmers in France.

Rodak said...

This Wikipedia article **http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University** seems to indicate that the oldest institutions meeting the criteria of "university" were in Morocco and Egypt.

An Interested Party said...

Don't sugarcoat or mince any words Madscribe...

Civis said...

Although the name university is sometimes given to the celebrated schools of Athens and Alexandria, it is generally held that the universities first arose in the Middle Ages.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15188a.htm

Rodak said...

Civis--
But the New Advent article doesn't even mention the two oldest universities, in continuous operation since their founding, cited by the Wikipedia article I linked to. Those are in Egypt and Morocco.

brandon field said...

the cult of boy-butt-f*ckers... your type was selling indulgences to illiterate shit farmers in France.

Rodak, you were inquiring a few weeks back in Mark's comment boxes why Catholics tend to be touchy sometimes. Allow me to present exhibit A, above.

brandon field said...

When it comes to brainwashing and mainpulating the minds of uneducated gullible fools in the name of God (Arabic or Aramaic), the difference between Bin Laden and Ratzinger is about as thick as the width of a strand of uncooked spaghetti.

Exhibit B. I don't think I would've been able to make this stuff up, Madscribe.

Rodak said...

Brandon--
Well, yeah. But Madscribe (who tends to become hyperbolic in his invective, at times) is just as scathing on the topic of theists of any stripe. He happened to have been adddressing a Catholic there, so he let Catholicism have it with both barrels. Had he been addressing a professed Lutheran, we would have heard about Brother Martin's...uh...shortcomings.

brandon field said...

Rodak,

Maybe, but if you used the adjective "butt-f*cker" applying towards a group of Log Cabin Republicans, it would probably be considered hate speech. Especially since the Catholics on the 'blog team at WWwtW are the minority, and most of the rest of the team are also Christians.

Rodak said...

"Especially since the Catholics on the 'blog team at WWwtW are the minority, and most of the rest of the team are also Christians."

Brandon--
Yes. That's my point. Catholics are not really being singled out there; it's Christians, in general that are targeted.
But I was never arguing on "Disputations" that anti-Catholic bias does not exist. My point was that letting it get under the Catholic skin, and reacting to it in anger, puts the Church in a bad light and is a failure of charity.

brandon field said...

Catholics are not really being singled out there; it's Christians, in general that are targeted.

Maybe by you, but when one of your commentators writes: "I don't think it is an accident that more goosesteppers in this mode tend to be Catholic than, say, Protestant", or "Where are all the Catholic equivalents of this Protestant Theologian?", in addition to the exhibits I mentioned before, it sure seems like he's singling out Catholics.

As for the question regarding Catholic theologians; Madscribe, have you been under a log? Modern Protestant "theologians" are just now getting to the point of being able to reproduce the work that the Early and Medieval Catholics came up with. The five sola crutches crippled them for so long that all they could do was respond to misunderstood Catholic positions. Now that they're able to shed those, and remove themselves from the blind opposition to the Church Fathers, they are able to see clearly and arrive at some of the same results that Thomas and Augustine and company came up with hundreds of years ago.

brandon field said...

My point was that letting it get under the Catholic skin, and reacting to it in anger, puts the Church in a bad light and is a failure of charity.

Sure, that's true. When you say the same thing to the Rainbow Coalition about some of their positions on racial equality, or if you think that the LGBT community shouldn't be offended Madscribe's term "butt-f***er", then I'll reconsider whether or not the Catholics on Mark Shea's 'blog a few weeks ago were responding disproportionately compared to the rest of society. (As you recall, I even sided with you that no one should be surprised because Joni Mitchell has other written other anti-Catholic songs).

I'm not really into playing the "downtrodden" card. But I don't think that it's too much to ask for some respect for one of the world's largest religions. You might not agree, but how about some basic common courtesy?

Rodak said...

Brandon--
Common courtesy? There seems to be a certain brand of Catholic, or maybe it is a strain in all Catholics, that simply thrives on the idea of being persecuted. The public exemplar of those Catholics is the shrill and sputtering Michael Novak, who is deploy to make the talk show circuit any time the Church is perceived to have been dissed.
I guess that the Church, which once was a temporal power, and showed "common courtesy" to its critics by murdering them, is a still a little bit wary of just retribution by the descendants of those Protestants and others who went to the stake? Understandable.
I guess it is common courtesy when Catholics like my buddy Zippy refer to the Protestant communion as "play acting?" The gate swings both ways.
The Catholic Church in America currently has a lot, it seems to me, to be ashamed about. So it's understandable if invidual Catholics are overly touchy. I am only suggesting that it do more to rehabilitate the public image of the Church, if Catholics could rise above the mudslinging, take the moral high ground, and show that their Christianity has some effect on their behavior on the street.

Rodak said...

Brandon--
It is also the case that this post was a critical response to a post on another blog, the author of which, so I'm told, is a fellow Protestant. I don't really care.
You don't have the moral high ground unless you take it.
And you don't take it simply by putting a badge on your chest.
My blog deals with extra-denominational ideas, and I will have no dog in the Papists vs. Protestants hunt in what I post here.

brandon field said...

There seems to be a certain brand of Catholic, or maybe it is a strain in all Catholics, that simply thrives on the idea of being persecuted.

Well, I think that is a trait of Americans in general, that's why I brought in the Rainbow Coalition. You don't hold every black person responsible for Jesse Jackson, I assume. Why hold me (a Catholic) accountable for Michael Novak)?

You even start in on the persecuted Christian bit when you talk about "just retribution by the descendants of those Protestants and others who went to the stake". Please; followers of John Calvin, helpless martyrs? What about the havoc he reeked on Geneva, by his bass-ackwards theological perspective? On the Catholic side of the fence we talk about Thomas More and company. It's the same coin, flipped to the other side.

I guess it is common courtesy when Catholics like my buddy Zippy refer to the Protestant communion as "play acting?"

Well, I wouldn't say it that way, but since you bring it up, I will ask you, is Protestant Communion the Body and Blood of Christ, as mentioned in John chapter 6, or is it a "symbol"?

It is also the case that this post was a critical response to a post on another blog, the author of which, so I'm told, is a fellow Protestant.

I wasn't responding to your original post, except to point out that the author has elsewhere written that he is a Protestant. I think Reformed, but I may not be recalling that correctly. After about comment 15, the conversation turns away from your original post and to Madscribe's bigoted understanding of Catholicism. Then in my comments from yesterday, I explicitly changed the subject of conversation back to one that was going on a few weeks ago in a different comment box. If you aren't comfortable with comment box conversations taking a life of their own that has nothing to do with the original post you might ask Tom about it, because I'm sure that in 5 years of 'blogging, he's figured out how to deal with it.

Rodak said...

Brandon--
I don't mind the conversation taking on a life of its own, at all. I would prefer that over-the-top comments not be allowed to set the trend, though. I'm just trying to tamp that down a bit.
To answer your direct question, I think that the communion is symbolic of Christ's presence (which is very real):

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matt. 18:19–20).

And it is also that which Christ told us to do *in remembrance* of Him, i.e. of His sacrifice for us.
I disagree with the Catholic interpretation of the verses in John, for the very reason that that interpretation is possible only in John and seems to contradict references in the other Gosples. What it does is purportedly give the Catholic priesthood magical powers not enjoyed by other Christians.

brandon field said...

I would prefer that over-the-top comments not be allowed to set the trend, though. I'm just trying to tamp that down a bit.

My Exhibits A and B were over-the-top comments that seemed to have been allowed to set the tone of subsequent postings.

And it is also that which Christ told us to do *in remembrance* of Him, i.e. of His sacrifice for us.

This is not an area of my expertise, but my understanding of the Aramic word translated as "remembrance" is more than sentimental or symbolic. The way it was explained to me, that sort of connotation doesn't exist in the post-Enlightenment culture the way it did in Biblical times. But, I am by no means qualified to explain it any better than I just did. Suffice it to say that, yes, we disagree about the proper interpretation of John 6:32-60. And, yes, the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist does mean that the Catholic priesthood has abilities that are not given to other Christians. (Not magical powers, although I seem to remember reading that the phrase "hocus pocus" is an anti-Catholic jab taken from the Latin hoc est corpus meus, "this is my body", that the priest says at the consecration).

Rodak said...

"My Exhibits A and B were over-the-top comments that seemed to have been allowed to set the tone of subsequent postings."

"A and B" seem to have established a new topic, but they have not (thankfully) established the "tone" thereof.

The powers that the priests supposedly have would be referred to as "conjuring" in any other context. Therefore, as viewed by anyone who is not Catholic, the word "magic" is appropriately used.

Rodak said...

Brandon--
The crucial thing, it seems to me, is not so much the interpretation of "in memory of me"--which Jesus clearly meant to be ceremonial, rather than just a mnemonic aid of some kind--but the promise that when two or three of His followers come together in His name, he is in their midst. If that is so, then He is there, *really there*, in the Protestant communion. If not, then you must say that this saying of the Lord is "only symbolic" and he's not *really* present. If He is really present, however, the concept of transubstantiation and all the Aristotelian jargon about "accidental properties" etc., becomes superfluous to the act of accepting Christ into the heart of the communicant; the heart, not the belly.

Rodak said...

And, finally, it must be pointed out that Jewish law forbids ingesting even animal blood, never mind human blood. It seems inconceivable that Jesus would have instituted such a practice. He could, after all, have used His actual flesh and blood, rather than bread and wine, to institute the communion, and ended all speculation forever. He did not.

brandon field said...

Therefore, as viewed by anyone who is not Catholic, the word "magic" is appropriately used.

In the same way that the concept of Protestant communion, which does not contain the Real Presence, as viewed by anyone who is Catholic would be appropriately considered "play acting".

brandon field said...

With regards to the Catholic understanding of the Real Presence, as I said, I am not the one to enter into this debate. Mark Shea has some writings at his place, and Steven Riddle is evidence that a Biblical-based Baptist can arrive at the same interpretation of John 6 that the Catholics have. As for me, my understanding of the apologetics involved are insufficient to answer any of your points.

Rodak said...

Right. Except that the verses from Matthew argue for the Real Presence without the conjuration.

brandon field said...

Except that the verses from Matthew argue for the Real Presence without the conjuration.

The verses from Matthew argue for the real presence without conjuration. (Catholics believe that God is a Case Sensitive God. Sort of like C programmers, except that then God would have created light on the 0th day and He would have rested on the 6th day).

Rodak said...

And so, having exhausted reason, we descend into snark. So be it.

brandon field said...

I hardly think that maintaining that there is a distinction between "Real Presence" and "real presence" constitutes snark.

brandon field said...

Unless you are a Fortran guy, and took offense at the comparison of God to a C programmer...

Rodak said...

Ah. That was just carelessness, carrying no doctrinal freight, whatsoever.

Rodak said...

Incidentally, the only differences between "Real Presence" and "real presence" are either 1) conventional; or 2) contextual. From the context of what I wrote, one would readily understand that I meant the Lord to be really present. Conventions convey meaning only to those who subscribe any particular one. They don't change the meaning, as context can.

brandon field said...

From the context of what I wrote, one would readily understand that I meant the Lord to be really present.

From the context of what you wrote, and from the quotation from Matthew's Gospel, there is no need to distribute the bread and wine to share in the real presence you describe. Distribution of bread and wine could then be called "play acting".

Rodak said...

"Distribution of bread and wine could then be called "play acting"."

Not at all. That's why I also mentioned the "do this in remembrance of me" commandment. The point is that when the bread and wine are taken in remembrance of Him, He is *really* present; not in the bread and wine, but in the hearts of the communicants.

brandon field said...

The point is that when the bread and wine are taken in remembrance of Him, He is *really* present; not in the bread and wine, but in the hearts of the communicants.

And, when they were all gathered together in His name, before the bread and wine were distributed, was He less *really* present in their hearts? And if not, where's the need for the bread and wine? (And if so, my response is that the Catholic position is that He is Really Present in the consecrated bread and wine that is called the Eucharist).

Rodak said...

Brandon--
I am only making reference to His words.

brandon field said...

Rodak,

I have been too ("Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you do not have life within you"). We just disagree on what He meant.

Rodak said...

Brandon--
Yes, and we're not likely to agree on it, ever, so we may as well--having had our say (again)--drop it.
If, however, anybody else has been following along and has anything to say on the topic, please fire away.

brandon field said...

we're not likely to agree on it, ever

Well, I think Zippy would agree with me that you'd make a good Catholic, so we might agree in that event. And certainly after we die the answer to this particular question will be apparent to us both. But, as a practical matter, yes, let's see if any of your other readers have something to say.

Rodak said...

"...let's see if any of your other readers have something to say."

Ha! More like "either of my other readers"--if that!

Step2 said...

Rodak,
You wrote: "And, finally, it must be pointed out that Jewish law forbids ingesting even animal blood, never mind human blood." Sacred meals were a standard form of ritual initiation and communion with the divine in pagan mystery cults, which is most likely where this came from.

Rodak said...

"Sacred meals were a standard form of ritual initiation and communion with the divine in pagan mystery cults, which is most likely where this came from."

step2--
Yes, I agree with that. But it is hard to believe that Jesus would have initiated such a practice with his allegedly devoutly Jewish disciples. And we are nowhere led to believe that Jesus ever had any contact with pagan mystery cults.

Step2 said...

"But it is hard to believe that Jesus would have initiated such a practice with his allegedly devoutly Jewish disciples."

The key is not what his disciples allegedly believed, since they were confused about most everything that Jesus did. The key is what Jesus believed and there are stories within the Gospels that give strong hints that Jesus was adept with esoteric knowledge closely related to the magical rites of the mystery cults.

"And we are nowhere led to believe that Jesus ever had any contact with pagan mystery cults."
Matthew 2:13 describes his flight to Egypt where exposure to those religions would have been difficult to avoid.

Rodak said...

Step2--
But we know from the incident when he stayed behind in the temple, clearly still as a child, that he most probably did not stay in Egypt long enough to become an adept in an Egyptian mystery cult.

Step2 said...

First, I will just state right off that of all the Synoptic Gospels, Luke is the one to be the most skeptical of. It begins with the story of John the Baptist's miraculous birth being superceded by the miracle birth of Jesus, which is an elaborate and unnecessary prelude for their later encounter. If we accept the Luke Gospel's account, it is clearly at odds with the account in Matthew, since Luke claims they never left Nazareth and went to Jerusalem every year for Passover. Furthermore, demonstrating his talent as a child prodigy when he had no formal training is hardly a requirement against him knowing different religious practices. Although it would have been much easier for Jesus to pick up that knowledge in Egypt, it would not be impossible to do so from Galilee.

Rodak said...

Step2--
All of that is true. It seems most likely to, however, that if Jesus had contact with mystery cults prior to beginning his ministry, that they were either Greek, or Persian, rather than Egyptian.
The whole occasion for the flight to Egypt is historically just as iffy as any other of the stories of his early life (such as his birth in Bethlehem of Judea) in the Gospels. There was plenty of Greek influence in the Galilee, on the one hand. And the story of Magi may hint about eastern influence, on the other. Bottom line: we don't know.