You feel intelligent, don't you. The red teddy bear is an appropriate icon, seems to scream rebellion.<quoted text>
Correct, and a very good point.
I used to despise Paul relative to Jesus. Jesus had the gentler temperament. It was Paul who demeaned women, for example, not Jesus. Neither seemed to have much use for sex, but it was Paul that wanted the women to shut up and submit.
But later, I came to respect Paul as a rational ethicist. He simply contradicted Jesus and dismissed the Old Testament law, and replaced it with a much improved ethical system, however deficient by modern standards. He didn't have permission to do that. He simply did it.
I don't want to give him too much credit,since I'm not sure that Paul was guided by compassion as much as expediency. His motive may have been to appeal to gentiles rather than make life better for people, but he did use reason to make ethical judgments rather than conform to scripture.
What do you think?