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Christianity and Libertarianism?

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Prussia-Steinbach
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Postby Prussia-Steinbach » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:06 pm

Threlizdun wrote:
Kanadrin wrote:On the stance of Anarchism and Christianity, it is up to the level of a person's inherent belief in that religion. I'm Roman Catholic myself, but politically I call myself an anarchist or at least a left wing libertarian. I believe in what I believe, but I also have a sense of acceptance and respect for those of other beliefs.

I like communities like Twin Oaks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGv50uYUHJw and their communist-like society. I would very much practice my own Catholic belief while living in co-existence with others, despite their beliefs. If done in this way, is Anarchism and Christianity compatible, or is my understanding/interpretation of Roman Catholicism too far off the beaten path for it to be relevant?

I've had the good fortune of meeting several members of the Twin Oaks Community. They're pretty close by. They're good people. I'm pretty sure I remember hearing at one point that some of them are Christians. Christianity and anarchism are definitely compatible, with Christian anarchism being a thing, and among Catholicism specifically there is liberation theology, which has had a rather large following in Latin America.

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Quintium
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Postby Quintium » Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:51 am

Prussia-Steinbach wrote:Christ seems to have been quite the socialist, as do most early Christians. In fact, the Bible seems extremely friendly towards communistic practices. And I'm sure you know it was quite explicit about obeying your government.


Christianity separates two spheres: the sphere of government and the sphere of the faith.
Obedience to the law of the land is normal, but the law of the land shouldn't be rooted in the obligations of the faith.

Mark 12:14-12:16

And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.

And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.

And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.


The obligation to help a poor man is not rooted in a rich man's legal obligation to his government, but in a rich man's personal obligation to God. He helps the poor because his faith asks of him that he does, not because the government demands that he does on the pain of imprisonment. It should be his own moral judgement and love of all that is good that moves him to share some of his wealth with the people who have no wealth of their own. But it's not supposed to be through the government, or mandatory in such a way that a man would have to answer to any human judge for failing to do so.

While Christianity is fundamentally egalitarian from a moral point of view, it places the responsibility for a man's actions in that man's own hands. You shouldn't discriminate people based on the clothes they wear, but you are the one who needs to see to that, and not the government. You should share excess wealth with those who don't have wealth, but there is no mention of a body that should forcibly redistribute wealth, and the general attitude in the Bible is that these are moral tests and not legal obligations. What the New Testament lacks is a worldly authority that is allowed to enforce anything.
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The New Sea Territory
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Postby The New Sea Territory » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:25 am

Quintium wrote:
Prussia-Steinbach wrote:Christ seems to have been quite the socialist, as do most early Christians. In fact, the Bible seems extremely friendly towards communistic practices. And I'm sure you know it was quite explicit about obeying your government.


Christianity separates two spheres: the sphere of government and the sphere of the faith.
Obedience to the law of the land is normal, but the law of the land shouldn't be rooted in the obligations of the faith.


You're just making stuff up.

Quintium wrote:The obligation to help a poor man is not rooted in a rich man's legal obligation to his government, but in a rich man's personal obligation to God. He helps the poor because his faith asks of him that he does, not because the government demands that he does on the pain of imprisonment. It should be his own moral judgement and love of all that is good that moves him to share some of his wealth with the people who have no wealth of their own. But it's not supposed to be through the government, or mandatory in such a way that a man would have to answer to any human judge for failing to do so.

While Christianity is fundamentally egalitarian from a moral point of view, it places the responsibility for a man's actions in that man's own hands. You shouldn't discriminate people based on the clothes they wear, but you are the one who needs to see to that, and not the government. You should share excess wealth with those who don't have wealth, but there is no mention of a body that should forcibly redistribute wealth, and the general attitude in the Bible is that these are moral tests and not legal obligations. What the New Testament lacks is a worldly authority that is allowed to enforce anything.


Continue to strawman and pull theology out of your ass as you please.
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Pope Joan
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Postby Pope Joan » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:15 am

Quintium wrote:
Prussia-Steinbach wrote:Christ seems to have been quite the socialist, as do most early Christians. In fact, the Bible seems extremely friendly towards communistic practices. And I'm sure you know it was quite explicit about obeying your government.


Christianity separates two spheres: the sphere of government and the sphere of the faith.
Obedience to the law of the land is normal, but the law of the land shouldn't be rooted in the obligations of the faith.

Mark 12:14-12:16

And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.

And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.

And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.


The obligation to help a poor man is not rooted in a rich man's legal obligation to his government, but in a rich man's personal obligation to God. He helps the poor because his faith asks of him that he does, not because the government demands that he does on the pain of imprisonment. It should be his own moral judgement and love of all that is good that moves him to share some of his wealth with the people who have no wealth of their own. But it's not supposed to be through the government, or mandatory in such a way that a man would have to answer to any human judge for failing to do so.

While Christianity is fundamentally egalitarian from a moral point of view, it places the responsibility for a man's actions in that man's own hands. You shouldn't discriminate people based on the clothes they wear, but you are the one who needs to see to that, and not the government. You should share excess wealth with those who don't have wealth, but there is no mention of a body that should forcibly redistribute wealth, and the general attitude in the Bible is that these are moral tests and not legal obligations. What the New Testament lacks is a worldly authority that is allowed to enforce anything.


Every good Hebrew knew that humanity was created in the divine image, and we are to make no images of God. Therefore the only image we have of God is- ourselves! Render to Caesar what has his picture, his image, but render to God what has God's image: yourself, the human being. It's really a radical statement. And his opponents had no response.
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Willamette Valley
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Postby Willamette Valley » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:45 am

the general attitude in the Bible is that these are moral tests and not legal obligations.


I'm not a Christian, but this is really not the case. The morality of the bible is one of moral commands, which are by definition not voluntary, and hence where natural law theories draw their authority.
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Mysterious Stranger
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Postby Mysterious Stranger » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:46 am

Willamette Valley wrote:
the general attitude in the Bible is that these are moral tests and not legal obligations.


I'm not a Christian, but this is really not the case. The morality of the bible is one of moral commands, which are by definition not voluntary, and hence where natural law theories draw their authority.

Read up on Paul. That's not the Christian understanding of how morality works. Basically, Christianity sees moral behavior as the behavior you want to participate in because you've been freed from the compulsion to always serve your own interests, which had previously constrained your behavior and forced you to do the same destructive things all the time.
Last edited by Mysterious Stranger on Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:49 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Willamette Valley
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Postby Willamette Valley » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:50 am

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Willamette Valley wrote:
I'm not a Christian, but this is really not the case. The morality of the bible is one of moral commands, which are by definition not voluntary, and hence where natural law theories draw their authority.

Read up on Paul. That's not the Christian understanding of how morality works. Basically, Christianity sees moral behavior as the behavior you want to participate in because you've been freed from the compulsion to always serve your own interests.


Moral agency and moral obligation are two separate concepts. Possessing the former doesn't invalidate the second.
"The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody”

— Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Mysterious Stranger
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Postby Mysterious Stranger » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:55 am

Willamette Valley wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:Read up on Paul. That's not the Christian understanding of how morality works. Basically, Christianity sees moral behavior as the behavior you want to participate in because you've been freed from the compulsion to always serve your own interests.


Moral agency and moral obligation are two separate concepts. Possessing the former doesn't invalidate the second.

No, Christians really do emphasize moral agency to the exclusion of moral obligation, especially Protestants. This is a subject I know something about. You're incorrect here.
Last edited by Mysterious Stranger on Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Augarundus
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Postby Augarundus » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:30 pm

Christianity is morally inconsistent. There are passages which defend the authority of the state, redistribution of wealth, etc. etc. All that "give unto Caesar" crap. Other passages decry theft, shame tax collectors, etc. etc. Christianity is a cover for literally whatever moral nonsense you want to pass along.

Tangentially related to this thread, I don't think most libertarians are Christian, though it's possible. There was a survey online of a pretty large sample (around three thousand, iirc) of anarchocapitalists, and they were overwhelmingly atheist (like, upper 80s%), with significant minorities being deist, agnostic, and Jewish. So I think it's safe to conclude that radical libertarianism (or, "radical liberalism" if you want) is exceptionally non-religious.
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Threlizdun
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Postby Threlizdun » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:40 pm

Prussia-Steinbach wrote:
Threlizdun wrote:I've had the good fortune of meeting several members of the Twin Oaks Community. They're pretty close by. They're good people. I'm pretty sure I remember hearing at one point that some of them are Christians. Christianity and anarchism are definitely compatible, with Christian anarchism being a thing, and among Catholicism specifically there is liberation theology, which has had a rather large following in Latin America.

Close by? I grew up in rural Virginia. Where are you?

Richmond, they're about 7 miles from me.
Augarundus wrote:Christianity is morally inconsistent. There are passages which defend the authority of the state, redistribution of wealth, etc. etc. All that "give unto Caesar" crap. Other passages decry theft, shame tax collectors, etc. etc. Christianity is a cover for literally whatever moral nonsense you want to pass along.

Tangentially related to this thread, I don't think most libertarians are Christian, though it's possible. There was a survey online of a pretty large sample (around three thousand, iirc) of anarchocapitalists, and they were overwhelmingly atheist (like, upper 80s%), with significant minorities being deist, agnostic, and Jewish. So I think it's safe to conclude that radical libertarianism (or, "radical liberalism" if you want) is exceptionally non-religious.
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New Werpland
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Postby New Werpland » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:58 pm

Augarundus wrote:Christianity is morally inconsistent. There are passages which defend the authority of the state, redistribution of wealth, etc. etc. All that "give unto Caesar" crap. Other passages decry theft, shame tax collectors, etc. etc. Christianity is a cover for literally whatever moral nonsense you want to pass along.

Tangentially related to this thread, I don't think most libertarians are Christian, though it's possible. There was a survey online of a pretty large sample (around three thousand, iirc) of anarchocapitalists, and they were overwhelmingly atheist (like, upper 80s%), with significant minorities being deist, agnostic, and Jewish. So I think it's safe to conclude that radical libertarianism (or, "radical liberalism" if you want) is exceptionally non-religious.

This may be true. People have to understand that Jesus really isn't the moral leader of Christianity, he was a dude he didn't live for that long and didn't write that much. A lot of Christian ideology and philosophy was come up with along the way with people like St Paul and Aquinas.

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Robert Magoo
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Postby Robert Magoo » Wed May 06, 2015 4:08 pm

The Merchant Republics wrote:As a Christian Anarchist (of the ill-begotten an-cap variety), not just Libertarian; my faith definitely has influenced my political views and are I would say mostly in sync with one another.

That said, I find over time, Christian ethics makes me move sort of more left-wing on the anarchist scale, Christian ethics are not explicitly anti-property or anti-capitalist, but in Christ's own words for a rich man to get to heaven is like a camel trying to go through the head of a needle; and much of capitalism is a worship of greed, money and things. I'm not immune, and in some ways I like it, and more importantly, I see no reason to stop anyone from liking those things. Yet, I think the superior society is in some ways a less consumerist, more communal one; I'd just rather we reach that point by choice rather than force.

In terms of the anti-government side of anarchism, I feel that Christ is also very clear, the overtones of humble submission to authority is not about consenting to government and least of all leading government, but instead a measure equal to his position of humility in the face of all evil. His preeminent words, "render unto Caesar" have been, misunderstood, but in context it couldn't be more clear, the question is one the Pharisees posed to him to lead him to admit his rebellion so they would have cause against him. So they asked, are we to pay taxes, and his reply "render unto Caesar what is Caesar, and to God what is God" was not a tacit approval of Roman rule, but explicitly calling out the Pharisees for their cooperation with Rome. If you would use Caesar's image on your coins then return the coins to him.

Paul's invocation to submit to authorities, was wise jurisprudence in the tumultuous times of the 1st century, but I have my doubts he meant it as a end-all approval of government, certainly not as the like we have today.

This is essentially the position i take, minus the anarchist part because I don't think anarchy will be doable until Jesus returns, and then He'll be the ruler, so it still won't really be anarchy.

Just like MR, I have issues with the greed aspect to capitalism, but I don't think greed is a "requirement" of capitalism, and i think people's freedom is critical, wherever it leads.
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Caille
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Postby Caille » Wed May 06, 2015 6:25 pm

Many years ago I was deeply Christian, and also a conservative libertarian (I'm not here to debate semantics by the way, everyone knows what I mean by that term). They are not incompatible in the slightest.

I say that as a centrist agnostic.
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Postby Nordengrund » Wed May 06, 2015 7:59 pm

The Bible indeed has socialist views with sharing property and giving to the poor, but it does not say you should confiscate property from others. So I think the Bible promotes a view of voluntary socialism. You shouldn't force people to be Christian.

Jesus mentioned that the Father has chosen people to rule over others and they are to be obeyed unless they order to do something that goes against God (outlawing prayer, forcing people to worship idols, etc.)

I think Georgism sounds very Christian on the surface since it combines private property with common property. Everyone owns the land, but you can rent a certain amount of it for private use and you pay rent to continue using it.

People are progressively taxed by how much land they have rented, not necessarily by how wealthy they are. The only issue I see with Georgism is that it would also tax churches for the land they are built on.
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Jefferson and Madison
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Postby Jefferson and Madison » Sat May 16, 2015 3:51 pm

The two aren't mutually exclusive, as long as one does not incorporate Christian beliefs into policies that dictate other people.

Opposing same-sex unions restricts voluntary association, which is by definition not libertarian.
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Menassa
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Postby Menassa » Sat May 16, 2015 4:06 pm

Wikipedia wrote:Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice


People who believe in predestination don't really believe in that. As well, do Christians believe people should be able to make the choice to commit sins?
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Postby Jefferson and Madison » Sat May 16, 2015 4:08 pm

Menassa wrote:As well, do Christians believe people should be able to make the choice to commit sins?


The answer to that question is irrelevant as to whether or not one can be both Christian and libertarian, unless the person being asked wants to enforce laws against sin at a government level.
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Menassa
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Postby Menassa » Sat May 16, 2015 4:11 pm

Jefferson and Madison wrote:
Menassa wrote:As well, do Christians believe people should be able to make the choice to commit sins?


The answer to that question is irrelevant as to whether or not one can be both Christian and libertarian, unless the person being asked wants to enforce laws against sin at a government level.

Which many Christians do, especially among the Evangelicals. As well, if I take my Christianity and enforce it on others out the Government, that's still not being libertarian, is it? :blink:
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Jefferson and Madison
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Postby Jefferson and Madison » Sat May 16, 2015 4:13 pm

Menassa wrote:
Jefferson and Madison wrote:
The answer to that question is irrelevant as to whether or not one can be both Christian and libertarian, unless the person being asked wants to enforce laws against sin at a government level.

Which many Christians do, especially among the Evangelicals. As well, if I take my Christianity and enforce it on others out the Government, that's still not being libertarian, is it? :blink:


It depends on who the specific Christian is in question.
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Menassa
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Postby Menassa » Sat May 16, 2015 4:22 pm

Jefferson and Madison wrote:
Menassa wrote:Which many Christians do, especially among the Evangelicals. As well, if I take my Christianity and enforce it on others out the Government, that's still not being libertarian, is it? :blink:


It depends on who the specific Christian is in question.

But I mean Romans 1:16 Does not seem very Libertarian... unless you take a super loose interpretation and sate "You have free choice to reject the Gospel."
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Jefferson and Madison
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Postby Jefferson and Madison » Sat May 16, 2015 4:25 pm

Menassa wrote:
Jefferson and Madison wrote:
It depends on who the specific Christian is in question.

But I mean Romans 1:16 Does not seem very Libertarian... unless you take a super loose interpretation and sate "You have free choice to reject the Gospel."


"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."

What does this have to do with Christians incorporating religious beliefs into politics?
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Menassa
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Postby Menassa » Sat May 16, 2015 4:26 pm

Jefferson and Madison wrote:
Menassa wrote:But I mean Romans 1:16 Does not seem very Libertarian... unless you take a super loose interpretation and sate "You have free choice to reject the Gospel."


"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."

What does this have to do with Christians incorporating religious beliefs into politics?

Giving the Gospel first to the Jew and then to the Gentile?
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"Imagine of a bunch of Zulu tribesmen told Congress how to read the Constitution, that's how it feels to a Jew when you tell us how to read our bible"
"God said: you must teach, as I taught, without a fee."
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Jefferson and Madison
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Postby Jefferson and Madison » Sat May 16, 2015 4:33 pm

Menassa wrote:
Jefferson and Madison wrote:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."

What does this have to do with Christians incorporating religious beliefs into politics?

Giving the Gospel first to the Jew and then to the Gentile?


There are plenty of ways that concept could be interpreted, no?
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Rednekylvania
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Postby Rednekylvania » Sat May 16, 2015 4:34 pm

Menassa wrote:
Wikipedia wrote:Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice


People who believe in predestination don't really believe in that. As well, do Christians believe people should be able to make the choice to commit sins?

It varies from one denomination to the next. The wiser amongst us undestand that there is no predestination. God may see all ends, but that doesn't free us from making the choices, moment to moment, in life that get us to those ends.
The levels of allowed self-determination vary also from one school to the next, but again, the wiser contemporary Christian understands that God is not a tyrant micromanaging His creation like the Russian Cheka. Sure He makes demands, what parent doesn't, but He wants us to come to Him freely. There is no collective salvation or damnation of humanity. That quest, if even recognized and pursued at all, is taken up with individual choice and action.
Last edited by Rednekylvania on Sat May 16, 2015 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Founded: Aug 11, 2010
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Menassa » Sat May 16, 2015 4:39 pm

Rednekylvania wrote:
Menassa wrote:
People who believe in predestination don't really believe in that. As well, do Christians believe people should be able to make the choice to commit sins?

[...]The wiser amongst us undestand that there is no predestination. [...]

I know many wise Christians who believe in Predestination.
Last edited by Menassa on Sat May 16, 2015 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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