* Let’s talk more about Augustine of Hippo, aka St Augustine.
* He’s one of the most important figures in all of Christianity.
* Through his sheer intellectual power, and enormous output of work , he has come to be seen as the cornerstone of the western Christian tradition.
* it has been said that anyone who claims to have read all of Augustine’s works must be lying
* And a lot of the stuff he came up with helped lead the world into the dark ages.
* He was born in 354 in North Africa, a place known then as the Roman province of Numidia, today it’s mostly Algeria.
* His mother Monica was a Christian, a Berber, an indigenous ethnic group from Numidia.
* His father was a Pagan who converted to Christianity on his deathbed, and a Roman citizen, probably a freed slave himself or descended from a freed slave.
* All of this means that Augustine, one of the most influential Christians, was quite possibly a black African.
* Why does this matter?
* Because the Christians ended up enslaving millions of Africans because they believed they were subhuman.
* And Augustine himself justified slavery by saying slavery was God’s punishment for sin.
* Anyway, Augustine got a reasonably good education for the time and turned out to be a really bright kid.
* When he was 17, he had a sugar daddy who paid to send him to Carthage where he continued his studies in rhetoric.
* He studies the masters – Plato, Socrates, Cicero, Demosthenes.
* And he’s a quick learner.
* It was there that he first read Cicero’s “On Philosophy”, which taught that genuine human happiness is to be found by using and embracing philosophy, and it changed his life and gave him an interest in philosophy.
* It also gave him an interest in fucking.
* He hung out with other guys who liked to brag about their sexual exploits and it seems Augustine did the same.
* It was during this period that he supposedly uttered his famous prayer, “grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.”
* Because he was incontinent.
* Always shitting himself in public.
* And – he liked it.
* “Lord, please stop me from shitting myself in public – but not today, Lord, I’m going out to a club later, you know Lord, one of those clubs where the kinky shit is okay, and I need to shit myself. The name of the club is two girls one cup, Lord. So please just hold off on that a little bit.”
* LORDY CAT
* It’s also about this time that he meets a young woman who he falls in lust with.
* And this is where it gets REALLY fucked up.
* He’s with this woman for 15 years – we don’t know her name – and they have a kid together.
* The kid’s name is Adeodatus (‘Given by God’), may have been a reflection of the fact that the baby’s arrival was evidently unplanned.
* Or – it was a virgin birth.
* Can’t be completely sure.
* These things happen.
* But they couldn’t get married because his mother wanted him to marry someone of his own class.
* Someone who would provide a dowry so he could make his mark on the world.
* His CHRISTIAN mother didn’t want him to marry the woman he obviously loved.
* And wants his child to be a bastard.
* But during this 15 years, he teaches grammar and rhetoric in his hometown and then in Carthage.
* Also during this time he left the Christian church to follow the Manichean religion.
* We talked about them briefly before.
* Followers of the prophet Mani.
* It was a gnostic religion.
* Mani declared himself to be an “apostle of Jesus Christ”, and his teaching was intended to succeed and surpass the teachings of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism.
* Remember we talked about how they were heavily persecuted by Diocletian for being a foreign religion.
* As was Christianity – but one of them became the official state religion and one didn’t.
* And for nearly ten years Augustine chose the one that didn’t.
* In fact it was still fringe and being persecuted when he joined it.
* Theodosius I issued a decree of death for all Manichean monks in 382 CE
* So to choose this religion suggests something about the man.
* Either he’s a seeker of truth, or he’s a seeker of punishment.
* The Manicheans drew heavily on Christianity and accepted Jesus as an important spiritual leader, but their main teachings centered on the nature of evil.
* Evil, symbolized by darkness, and it was found in all matter, like the dark side of the force.
* Evil was involved in an endless struggle against Good, the forces of light.
* They thought that uncontaminated light remained in the sun and the moon, and these acted as kind of rallying points for the forces of light themselves, with God as the ultimate force of life.
* The human body, was made of matter, so it must be evil
* They figured it had been deliberately designed by the forces of evil to trap the soul, which was a potential source of light.
* So the soul had to be set free, and this was the role of Jesus
* But they believed that he could never have entered a human body, because then he would have lost his power.
* Like a genie being trapped inside a bottle.
* I DREAM OF JEANIE
* The Manicheans actually saw themselves as teachers of a pure “scientific” Christianity which was closer to the truth than that of the Catholics.
* They made fun of the Christian scriptures for containing so many contradictions.
* The really committed Manicheans were ascetics who attempted to remove themselves as far as they could from matter,
* They even went so far as to employ “hearers” who served them by handling their food and other needs.
* In other words – a servant.
* Augustine was a “hearer,” in other words outside the elite, and as such he was allowed to have sexual relationships, although having kids was frowned upon, because they saw that as just producing more evil matter.
* So this is ten years of his life and when he finally converts to Christianity, he brings a lot of these ideas with him.
* Then after 15 years Augustine leaves this woman he’s obviously in love with, so he can be betrothed to a ten year old girl that his CHRISTIAN mother has arranged for him to marry.
* His woman went back to Africa, swearing to remain faithful to him, leaving their teenage son with Aug.
* Or maybe he was tired of the old hag and, like his namesake Augustus, he wanted to get back to deflowering maidens.
* But he has to wait two years before he can marry her, because it was an enlightened time and the legal age of deflowering was 12.
* During this time he goes to Rome to set up his own school.
* But the tradition at the time is that students only paid for their schooling at the end of the year.
* And they paid the professor directly.
* But all his students stiffed him at the end of the year.
* Manichean friends introduced him to the prefect of the City of Rome, Symmachus, who while traveling through Carthage had been asked by the imperial court at Milan to provide a rhetoric professor.
* Remember Symmachus?
* He was the guy who kept begging the Christian emperors to let the pagans have religious freedom and to keep the Altar of Victory in the Forum.
* Augustine won the job and headed north to take his position in Milan in late 384.
* Thirty years old, he had won the most visible academic position in the Latin world at a time when such posts gave ready access to political careers.
* But before he goes to Milan he meets with the top Manichean in Carthage, the bishop Faustus.
* He was a highly reputed teacher but he couldn’t answer Augustine’s questions, and Augustine starts to turn away from Manicheanism.
* He thinks their ideas about matter being evil is too simplistic.
* When he gets to Milan he quickly ends up being taken under the wing of Ambrose who converts him to Christianity.
* In his Confessions, Augustine writes, “That man of God received me as a father would, and welcomed my coming as a good bishop should.”
* Which I think means a little bit of dick tickling.
* That’s actually my porn name: Dick Tickling.
* Ring Ring! Pizza delivery! Dick Tickling at your service, ma’am!
* Augustine also wrote: “And I began to love him, of course, not at the first as a teacher of the truth, for I had entirely despaired of finding that in thy Church—but as a friendly man.”
* Now we know that Ambrose was a governor who became a bishop with zero religious training and even less religious conviction.
* And that was only ten years before Augustine gets to Milan!
* So we’re supposed to believe that in that ten years, Ambrose went from knowing Jack Shit – which, by the way, is my other porn name, but I reserve it for anal porn – went from knowing Jack Shit about Christianity to being Martin Luther King on a slip n slide?
* I don’t buy it.
* I think something else is going on here, just like the story about how Ambrose became bishop of Milan, I smell something funky.
* And it’s not Jack Shit.
* I think Ambrose was like “look, kid – you got brains, you got the gift of the gab – this Christianity thing is a buncha bullshit, sure, but it’s got the royal stamp, Theodosius is a little bitch and I’m about to put him over my knee and slap him into giving me the keys to the imperial Porsche, you can still get in on the ground floor. I can make you a bishop!”
* Meanwhile, Augustine’s mother arrives in Milan to take care of the deflowering of the maiden.
* Apparently Augustine wasn’t happy about dumping the old hag after all.
* He wrote, “My mistress being torn from my side as an impediment to my marriage, my heart, which clave to her, was racked, and wounded, and bleeding.”
* Butttt…. He also said he didn’t miss her so much that he didn’t find himself someone else to bang while he waited for his maiden to be old enough to deflower.
* He called himself “a slave of lust”.
* Dick Tickling, Slave Of Lust.
* That’s the name of my first porn collection.
* Featuring Jack Shit in his first cameo!
* Get it: CAM-eo.
* But unfortunately the new chick he was banging couldn’t help him forget his original lover.
* And his hometown friend Alypius, who had come with him to Milan, talked him out of getting married to the maiden too.
* Apparently he said that they could not live a life together in the love of wisdom if he married.
* Now… Is it just me, or does that sound like this guy was in love with Augustine and was trying to keep him to himself?
* You can’t have a love of wisdom if you’re married?
* Why the fuck not?
* Cicero was married.
* Plato was married.
* Socrates was married.
* THIS IS BULLSHIT clip (under B)
* So in 386 at the age of 31, Augustine converted to Christianity.