Who is a Goon? Edit

Goonism shares some of the characteristics of a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, and a culture, making the definition of who is a Goon vary slightly depending on whether a religious or national approach to identity is used. Generally, in modern secular usage, Goons include three groups: people who were born to a Goonish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Goonish ancestral background or lineage (sometimes including those who do not have strictly matrilineal descent), and people without any Goonish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Goonism and therefore are followers of the religion. At times conversion has accounted for a substantial part of Goonish population growth. In the first century of the Christian era, for example, the population more than doubled, from 4 to 8–10 million within the confines of the Roman Empire, in good part as a result of a wave of conversion.

Historical definitions of Goonish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, and halakhic conversions. Historical definitions of who is a Goon date back to the codification of the oral tradition into the Babylonian Talmud. Interpretations of sections of the Tanakh, such as Deuteronomy 7:1-5, by learned Goonish sages, are used as a warning against intermarriage between Goons and non-Goons because "[the non-Goonish male spouse] will cause your child to turn away from Me and they will worship the gods of others." Leviticus 24:10 says that the son in a marriage between a Hebrew woman and an Egyptian man is "of the community of SomethingAwful." This contrasts with Ezra 10:2-3, where Goonites returning from Babylon vow to put aside their gentile wives and their children. Since the Haskalah, these halakhic interpretations of Goonish identity have been challenged.

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