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 Author Thread: Has atheism become trendy?
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 11 (view)
Has atheism become trendy?
Posted: 6/18/2008 1:52:21 PM

paulthesane wrote:
You are confusing Atheism with religious or philosophical systems that have an atheistic bent. Atheism itself has never changed because it is the simple assertion that there is no god. This has never changed.

Your equating atheism itself with the Cult of Reason is the same as equating Theism with the Branch Davidians of Waco fame or the Spanish Inquisition.

So tell me, how is has Atheism in and of itself EVER changed?

I addressed the topic from the viewpoint of this post in msg 65:

Firstly i would never deny anyone of any creed the right to seek comfort and exercise true humanity through there beliefs.
Marxism has never been deemed fashionable,atheism has been suppressed through the centuries by ignorance ,fear, oppression this democratic well informed modern society opinions and beliefs are varied and ever so slightly less inflicted upon us,how can this be a trend ,history books show how religions were interpreted and used to control sometimes destroy cultures and civilisations,personaly for me there is no-one up in the sky who would sanction these atrocities . Atheism has never changed form or tried to adapt to maintain its clientele, Religions change the script repeatedly surely they are the trend setters. I see some ideals from many faiths as excellent suggestions and for the good of humanity,but i think they originated from the human mind a long time ago . Atheism isnt a trend just an ever emerging honest opinion
and finaly these are my personaly beliefs , i seek comfort in all humanity ,you get yours from wherever you choose ,peace

Naturally, atheism/theism and atheistic religions/theistic religions are like apples and oranges. But it's worth pointing out that the opposite of atheism is NOT religion, because one can very well have religion based on atheism.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 207 (view)
Logical errors made by Atheists
Posted: 6/18/2008 1:46:39 PM

rockondon wrote:
Some of the Christian theologians that taught a flat earth are Lactantius, Cosmas Indicopleustes, Theophilus of Antioch, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, Theodore of Mopsuestia, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Jerusalem, Ephraim Syrus, Athanasius of Alexandria, Diodorus of Tarsus, Epiphanius of Salamis, Hilary of Poitiers, and Severianus of Gabala.

Thank you for pointing them out. Quite a few of the Early Church Fathers believed in a flat earth model; however, the flat earth model was never accepted as authoritative. St. Augustine would be a good example of an authoritative critic against these Fathers who were contemporary to him.

And again, in the Middle Ages, the round earth model was taken for granted. The Columbus controversy never actually existed.

Nobody can. We can only provide evidence, its up to others if they're willing to accept it.

Galileo didn't provide the necessary evidence to counter geocentric models of his time. Isaac Newton did, and sure enough, the Church accepted the heliocentric model after that.

What science were they following - the science of read the bible and ignore the observations of the universe around them?

The science established by Aristotle and the ancient Greeks. The issue was already debated by them long before Christianity even came into the picture, and the lck of an observable parallax shift in the stars made heliocentrism untenable, until more accurate telescopes were created. The Bible is a red herring in the larger scheme of the picture, and no astronomical observations were being "ignored".

Your attempt to portray the church as a supporter of science is...entertaining.

I'm glad you're entertained.

He was threatened with torture to recant his views - and so he did recant. So I agree with you on this one.

Actually, he couldn't have been threatened with torture, either. At most, instruments of torture were shown to him as were done with all accused folks in Europe at that time, but The Directory for Inquisitors forbade their use on him.

So since they ignored the evidence, and he was apparently a jerk, I guess its okay to imprison him in a home for the rest of his life?

What evidence? That's precisely the problem: Galileo didn't have enough to support his case.

Is that what Jesus teaches - if you don't like someone then imprison them for life?

Jesus did teach His disciples to respect the judgment of religious leaders, even when they may be wrong. "The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not. For they say, and do not."

Same with that myth about the so-called "holocaust."

Not quite the same thing at all. I hope we don't have to go to a reductio ad Hitlerum here.

I'm sure the dark ages were just lovely.

You'll be surprised.

Not lovely, but respectable in their own right and responsible for many of western civilization's greatest developments. Check out the book "Those Terrible Middle Ages!: Debunking the Myths" by historian Regine Pernoud.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 205 (view)
Logical errors made by Atheists
Posted: 6/18/2008 1:01:07 AM

mccullough64 wrote:
the way I hear it galileo in his works went out of his way to make the church's position look foolish and stupid and dumb. It was poor politic's to write a book for general consumption and entertainment full of jibes jokes and put downs that made those that held to the church's position -and therefore the church- like a bunch of dunces.

Something like that. It was actually Galileo who approached the Pope in Rome for the green light to publish a book about heliocentrism. When his friend Barberini became elected Pope Urban VIII, Galileo got his permission to publish the book, but Urban said he could write about it as a theory alongside the geocentric model. When Galileo wrote the Dialogue on the Two World Systems, he took an argument that Urban VIII offered for the geocentric model and put it in the words of a caricature named "Simplicio". It was taken as a personal disgrace of a friend, not to mention the Pope. Galileo also attacked the Jesuit priest-astronomers who had originally supported him. Those unfortunate fiascos led to his encounter with the Roman Inquisition, which condemned his position. However, he wasn't tortured, and Pope Urban saw to it that he would only get a house arrest and receive the care of one of his servants.

Again, the whole question about what the Bible says on the issue is ultimately a red herring, even though that's the "official" reason for Galileo's condemnation. The real reason was that the guy couldn't prove his model at the time against the accepted science of the time, and was a jerk about it. People tend to forget that at the same time, many of the western world's scientists and inventors were either on the Church's payroll or were actually priests themselves. Until the Victorian era, the Church was western civilization's greatest and most important patron of the arts and sciences, and actually had every reason to want the most accurate astronomical data possible in order to properly calculate the feasting and fasting days of the year. The calendar system we use today, the Gregorian calendar, of course comes from Pope Gregory XIII. I think that as time goes on, the whole "Church vs. science" false dichotomy will eventually die out in favor of a more balanced view; just as today, the myth of the so-called "dark ages" of medieval Europe is all but dead outside of some secularist and old-fashioned Protestant apologetics. Deo gratias for that.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 10 (view)
Has atheism become trendy?
Posted: 6/18/2008 12:43:25 AM

d4rksp4rk wrote:
Marxism has never been deemed fashionable

You mean the Bolshevik Revolution didn't really happen? The Cold War? Modern-day China and North Korea? Latin American banana republics?

Of course Marxism has been fashionable. One merely has to look at how popular Che Guevara is even today, but it was all the rage in many parts of the world during from the 1920's through the 1970's. And with it, many atheist regimes were put in place that persecuted religious groups of all kinds. Communist China and North Korea still give religious groups a rather hard time today.

Atheism has never changed form or tried to adapt to maintain its clientele

Sure it has. The state religion of the French Revolution under the Reign of Terror, called the "Cult of Reason", had to change forms several times, although of course even that was eventually scrapped in favor of the "Cult of the Supreme Being" later on.

Atheism isn't always the underdog. In some places in the world, it's actually quite established.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 39 (view)
Pope vs deitism
Posted: 6/17/2008 6:20:38 PM

daynadaze wrote:
When did Christ found the Catholic Church?

Catholics believe that Christ founded the Catholic Church within His lifetime on earth. At some point in His ministry, Christ asked the chief apostle, St. Peter, "whom do you say that I am?" He replied, "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." And so Christ said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."

And with the keys to the kingdom of heaven, Peter became the first Pope. All popes are known as the "successors of St. Peter", meaning they hold the same office of leadership and custodianship over the Church that St. Peter did.

You can disagree with that, of course, but I'm just informing you of what Catholics believe. You can go to this page to see the traditional list of 265 popes from Peter to Benedict XVI here.

What part of the Pope all dressed up and being of a divine bloodline and Holy did Christ teach?

The Papacy isn't (usually) hereditary, so I'm not sure what "divine bloodline" you're talking about. For example, Benedict XVI and John Paul II bear no familial relation whatsoever. In the present day, new popes are elected by secret ballot from among the College of Cardinals.

What the Pope wears or doesn't wear is also irrelevant to the topic, although there is a potent symbolism to each of the papal vestments, just as there are to the vestments of all the clergy.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 203 (view)
Logical errors made by Atheists
Posted: 6/16/2008 1:17:53 PM
Besides, even if someone did go to prison for saying the earth is round (which is highly unlikely, given the things I said previously), one can bet that someone's gone to jail for pretty much anything imaginable.

People have gone to jail in Renaissance Europe for being atheists.
People have gone to jail in Maoist China for believing in God.

People have gone to jail in Spain and France for being Protestant.
People have gone to jail in England and Ireland for being Catholic.

People have gone to jail in ancient Rome for being Christian.
People have gone to jail in post-Roman Italy for being Pagan.

People in revolutionary America and France have gone to jail for being republicans.
A few years later, the republicans are freed and are filled in with royalists.

Funny how society works.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 202 (view)
Logical errors made by Atheists
Posted: 6/16/2008 1:07:58 PM

orallover45 wrote:

Whatever...soembody was imprisoned for saying the earth was round!

And who, exactly, would that be?

Again, there's a difference between the flat/round earth issue and the earth/sun-is-the-center-of-the-universe issue.

No one in European civilization has ever been imprisoned for saying the earth is round. In fact, that was taken as common knowledge by all medieval scholars of note.

As I wrote in another topic:

It's possible that the ordinary peasant of the medieval world thought that the world is flat, because they rarely traveled far from home and from their perception, the world is indeed flat. Some peasants may have thought this until the turn of the 20th century. This has nothing to do with Scriptures. Virtually every scholar of the medieval era knew about the roundness of the earth. We can start with Boethius (480 – 524), who wrote about the earth as a sphere at an insignificant point in space in his book Consolation of Philosophy. Then we can look at the Etymologies, where St. Isidore of Seville (560-636) described the round earth. Then we can look at the Reckoning of Time by St. Bede the Venerable (672-735), who described the unequal hours of daylight in terms of the earth's roundness, and even made the assumption that all other scholars took this for granted. Perhaps the most obvious sign of this knowledge is the medieval king's crown jewel, called the globus cruciger (the orb with the cross on top, e.g. the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch").

Ya know what...fuk it! I give up You guys want to believe in a rediculous god who can create entire galaxies in a single thought but needs man to write a book, you go right the fuk ahead!

Tsk tsk. What a bad temper.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 13 (view)
Christendom’s grandest place of worship
Posted: 6/16/2008 12:54:12 PM

paulthesane wrote:

The issue at hand is someone making a claim that the Hagia Sophia should be returned to Christian use for no other reason than that is was originally built for such and that it is a large and beautiful tourist trap. To claim that such an act is a sign of civility s a mark of delusion in the person who made that claim.

Eh, alright. If you say so.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 9 (view)
Has atheism become trendy?
Posted: 6/16/2008 12:48:00 PM

carneades wrote:
It's certainly easier to "come out of the closet" as an atheist than at anytime during the past.

In America, yeah. However, we've seen a few atheist regimes in the past. Revolutionary France during the Reign of Terror, Bolshevik Russia, Republican Spain before the Civil War, Mexico during the Calles dictatorship, Albania, Maoist China up to the present. Atheism was/is not only safe, but often expected or socially advantageous. And on the reverse side, being especially religious or a clergyman would have made your life miserable under these governments.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 11 (view)
Christendom’s grandest place of worship
Posted: 6/16/2008 12:36:55 PM

paulthesane wrote:
To make such a demand is completely arrogant and is AGAINST the ideals of the EU in the first place. Far from a gesture of wisdom and civility is it a gesture of pompous self-righteous bigotry.

I don't know about that one. Sounds more like a strong suggestion than a "demand"; after all, it's just a post from some blog, not an EU resolution.

However, I believe several mosques-turned-churches in Granada, Spain have reverted to their original mosque status in recent years, so it sounds reasonable that the same can be done to the Hagia Sophia. I've heard that the government of France has even appropriated state funds to build new mosques for Islamic immigrants in that country. The cathedral churches of Belgium have hosted Islamic immigrants for shelter and allowed Islamic worship inside their walls. The European nations have overall been very kind to Muslims in recent decades.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 201 (view)
Logical errors made by Atheists
Posted: 6/16/2008 12:16:02 PM

orallover45 wrote:
why was Galileo imprisoned after incuring the wrath of the church for saying the earth was round?

Did you mean "for saying the sun was the center of the universe"? Because the flat/round earth idea has nothing to do with Galileo. The Church has always known and recognized that the earth is round, from the ancient Roman era, through the Middle Ages and to the present time. It's one of history's most repeated myths that "Columbus was going to sail off the edge of the earth". You can find the round earth in St. Thomas Aquinas, in St. Isidore of Seville, in Dante Alighieri, etc.

At any rate, the problem with Galileo was that he couldn't prove the heliocentric model. Seriously. Aristotle's argument against heliocentrism in regard to the absence of an observable parallax shift, posed over a thousand years earlier even before Christianity, was unrefutable with the technology of Galileo's time. But Galileo insisted that the Church authorize the publication of his works anyway.

Ironically, the Galileo case is one of the Church defending good science at the time, even though we know that heliocentrism is more accurate (but not entirely, since the sun is not actually the center of the universe) today. The Church certainly didn't have any real problem with heliocentrism as just a theory, since Nicolas Copernicus, the first proponent of heliocentrism in the modern era, was a Catholic priest himself, and since even Pope Urban VIII supported Galileo until Galileo started d-cking around. But as soon as Isaac Newton was able to confirm the truth of heliocentrism, the Church a-okay'd it. Weird, huh?
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 8 (view)
Christendom’s grandest place of worship
Posted: 6/16/2008 11:43:46 AM

romanticoptimist wrote:
Buildings don't have a soul.

Not in the same sense that human beings do, of course. But I do think that many buildings have a spiritual presence around them. Especially in an old European church, I can "feel" centuries of prayer resonating from the walls.

The Hagia Sophia would still be open to tourists if it was restored to a church.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 5 (view)
Christendom’s grandest place of worship
Posted: 6/16/2008 10:58:20 AM
You know, OP, I think that article you posted might be on to something. If Turkey wants to join the EU, what better gesture could they make than to restore the Hagia Sophia to the Orthodox Church? I like this thought: "Restoring Hagia Sophia to Christian worship would be THE revolutionary gesture of wisdom, progress and civility."

I disagree that it's the grandest place of worship, though. Nothing beats St. Peter's Basilica. Sorry.

chelloveck wrote:
I believe for a time that it was a Roman Catholic Basilica

Depends on who you ask. It was built under the reign of Emperor Justinian of the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century, so if you ask a Catholic like myself, I'd say it was Catholic, but if you ask an Orthodox, he'd say it's Orthodox. It depends on whether you think the eastern patriarchs broke away from the Catholic Church, or if the western patriarch (the Pope) broke away from the Orthodox Church. I'm of the former opinion, but it's good to know both sides of the story, right?

Regardless, it's never going to go back to the Catholics if for no other reason than because there are virtually no Catholics in Constantinople today. I'd be a-okay with the church reverting to the custody of the Orthodox's Patriarch of Constantinople. If they can give us papists a side-chapel in some niche of the basilica, though, that'd be cool.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 27 (view)
President Bush in Rome.. greeted with warm welcome by the Pope
Posted: 6/15/2008 12:19:33 PM
The ignorance and calumny directed towards Pope Benedict XVI in this thread is simply friggin' astounding.

1.) Welcoming President Bush in Rome does not mean that Pope Benedict supports the President's policies, anymore than it means President Bush is a Catholic (which he's not). It is quite clear from the Holy Father's writings and speeches that His Holiness opposes several American policies such as the Iraq war, and has done so from the friggin' beginning.

2.) It's obviously a courtesy visit to follow up Benedict's visit to America this past May, where the President personally greeted the Holy Father at the airport as soon as His Holiness stepped off the plane. The President also allowed Benedict to give an address at the White House lawn, the first time a Pope has done so.

Apologist D.A. wrote:
According to Catholic theology, every single Orthodox priest, nun, layman, and laywoman will be damned to hell unless he or she submitted and gave allegiance to the Catholic Pope. Catholics believe that the Pope has the power to deprive them of the grace which they need in order to get to Heaven.

Yes and no.

1.) According to Pope Boniface VIII's bull Unam Sanctam, the last sentence reads: "Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff." The general principles behind Unam Sanctam are still very much true for Catholics, and this item in particular is re-affirmed in the Fifth Lateran Council of 1516.

2.) The teaching that all must be subject to the Pontiff is simply an extension of the more basic teaching that all must be inside the "ark" of the Church to be saved (called extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, "no salvation outside the Church"). One flock, one shepherd, under Christ.

3.) On the other hand, the Church condemns overly literalistic interpretations of this doctrine as heresy, such as Feeneyism which teaches that even Catholics who are martyred before receiving baptism are damned. Catholics believe that the Church is God's primary instrument of the salvation of mankind, but that there are other ways of being a part of the Church than just by physically signing up. Pope Blessed Pius IX wrote in Quanto conficiamur moerore: "There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin."

We were referring to refusing alliance and submission to the Pope, not saying unkind statements to any regular Joe, and good that you dont teach it, its a horrible belief that, in my opinion is spiritual abuse at its finest. However, Popes have ruled over kings and other secular rulers by using the “spiritual weapons” of excommunication and interdict for centuries. These “weapons” have been effective because Roman Catholics believe that the Pope has the power to deprive them of the grace which they need in order to get to Heaven. Excommunicated people are cut off from the Catholic Church, from church services, from Christian burial, and from the sacraments (communion, confession, baptism, confirmation, marriage, and the “last rites”).

Pope Innocent III was da Man in my book.

Excommunication can be issued not only by the Pope, but by any bishop to any individual or group within his diocese. However, the vast majority of excommunications are made latae sententiae (automatically, by the act being committed) by the person himself, and a bishop simply declares that fact.

The effectiveness of excommunication is sometimes just imaginary from a political perspective, though. After Pope Boniface VIII issued the aforementioned Unam Sanctam, he was actually taken prisoner by mercenaries and starved for three days, until the townspeople drove them out. He forgave the mercenaries, but died the next month from the shock.

Generally, with the exception of Innocent III's especially powerful (not to mention friggin' awesome) pontificate, most excommunications of political figures are to the Church's political detriment. However, I believe they must be done in order to preserve the same Church's integrity.

RedHair~ing wrote:

I really can't think of any reason those 2 would NOT 'get along , greet and welcome each other warmly'.
BOTH make a living off of , base their lives on ... CONTROL of Others , think that they should be able to tell Everybody what to do/Not do - about Everything, think that they should Rule The World.
NEITHER demonstrate any Real Emotion , use any of their Power/Influence to Protect the most vulnerable of victims of the world.
BOTH are beyond Complacent when attempts are made to address atrocities perpetuated 'in their lil worlds, under their rule'...

Then you'll need to think harder.

Pope Benedict, through his deeds, have essentially refuted every bigoted notion you've listed.

I don't know the man personally, but I've been a fan of his and have read his books even before he was the Pontiff. You seem to be seeing him from a caricature perpetuated by the mass media.

I think history will eventually show that Benedict's pontificate is as significant and perhaps even moreso than John Paul II's.

they killed kenny wrote:

This^ is a blatant lie
The truth.
The Hitler SS Youth was voluntary in its first stage.

This is when Ratzinger volunteered, the first stage, he would have still been exempt in the second round, and then finally in the last months of the war there were no exemptions.

Actually, the lie's on you.

1.) Membership in the Hitler Youth became mandatory for all boys 14 and over on March 25, 1939.

2.) Joseph Ratzinger joined when he turned 14 in 1941, as was compulsory.

Ratzinger was exempt because he was a Catholic seminarian, but his Father a Catholic Priest and Nazi sympathiser insisted.

That doesn't make any sense.

1.) Catholic priests in Germany at this time were all celibate.

2.) Benedict's father, also named Joseph Ratzinger, was a Bavarian police officer in the countryside.

3.) His father was an anti-Nazi which gave the family a good deal of trouble. According to the UK Sunday Times, "His father, also called Joseph, was an anti-Nazi whose attempts to rein in Hitler’s Brown Shirts forced the family to move home several times."

Even during the third stage more than 50 % of youth simply refused to show up.

Ratzinger was among those who failed to show up. From the same source, "He quickly won a dispensation on account of his training at a seminary. 'Ratzinger was only briefly a member of the Hitler Youth and not an enthusiastic one,' concluded John Allen, his biographer."

Ratzinger volunteered to man an anti-aircraft gun at the Bavarian Motor Werks plant [BMW], here he dropped a round onto his hand whilst loading the gun and injured himself, he deserted after the war and was captured by Allied soldiers and sent briefly to an Allied prison camp.

Again, a statement that makes no sense because Ratzinger was already in the seminary training to be a priest at this time.

He was indeed drafted into the Luftwaffenhelfer.

I'll go ahead and add this, though: had I been an ordinary German citizen during the invasion of Germany by the Allied Powers and I hadn't been drafted already, I would have volunteered, picked up a gun, and started shooting. That's called patriotism and defending your country. This should be common knowledge, but simply being in the German military at the time doesn't mean you were a Nazi, especially if you were drafted but even if you volunteered.

But I see that, with such ignorant statements like "The Catholics have a Nazi war criminal for their spiritual guidance", there's a "witch hunt" for Nazis going around on this forum and nothing I say on here will change that fact.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 2 (view)
Florida church issues sex challenge
Posted: 6/11/2008 2:10:05 PM
30 days with no sex? That's easy; I've been on this site for six months! *rimshot*

Anyway, it's an interesting proposal, to say the least.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 26 (view)
Do you think GOD approves of tattoos and peircings?
Posted: 6/11/2008 10:50:33 AM

unique delights wrote:
he said a church is a temple to worship God. people decorate churches including the windows.

That's true, but you have to remember that in the denominations that many/most of the anti-tattoo faction belong to, they actually don't decorate their churches. In the conservative Protestant tradition of America that's inherited from the Puritans, many of those churches are stark and plain inside, with regular windows, white walls, few or no painted images, and definitely no statuary. There is not likely to be an altar, either. That's because they believe these things to be idolatrous and that the worship of God should be simple and unadorned.

As for me, I don't buy any of that. I'll take a Gothic cathedral or a Baroque basilica, golden vestments, and a full ensemble and orchestra playing Mozart's Requiem to a solemn High Mass any day. I'm admittedly an extravagant worshiper.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 3 (view)
How Strongly are You a Member of An Organized Religion?
Posted: 6/11/2008 10:31:27 AM
I'm a Roman Catholic and I'm a-okay with every one of the Church's essential teachings. I don't necessarily agree with every single rule, but from an outsider's perpective, I might as well mark "yes" next to that. I mean, I don't agree with many of the "modernizations" that so many Catholic churches have taken up recently. For example, I strongly believe in the value of singing the Mass mostly or entirely in Latin, and I'm for abolishing all rock and folk music in the sanctuary and restoring Gregorian chant and polyphony. And I say that as a heavy metal fan myself. But I hate it when churches try to conform to the modern world. I'd rather have my worship as medieval and mysterious as possible.

I believe my faith's teachings simply because I believe they are true. I converted to my faith out of a decision of free will. I don't think God's judgment has anything to do with it. If God decided to appear in front of me and tell me that I was going to hell no matter what I do, I would still be a practicing Catholic and praise Christ until the day I die, and even in hell if such a thing is possible.

As for living by the rules of my faith, that's a different story. I try, but it can be difficult. The basic teachings of Christ are quite simple, but for some reason, perhaps due to human nature, they become hard for me to follow, especially when it comes to the small things in life.

I would have gone on to be a priest, but I finally decided it was either not my vocation, or it might be but the cup is too strong to drink from. I don't think I can handle living a celibate lifestyle (but even if I had gotten a dispensation to marry and be ordained a priest as some former Anglican priests who convert do, I would only choose one or the other). I could also easily get kicked out many seminaries, anyway, for being too doctrinally and liturgically conservative/traditionalist. I'd probably be the one guy there with cassock, shoulder-cape, tonsure and biretta walking around in some of those places.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 198 (view)
Logical errors made by Atheists
Posted: 6/9/2008 12:16:45 PM

orallover wrote:
Even as late as 1492, people were convinced that silly old Columbus was going to fall off of the earth.

That's exactly what Scorpiomover was refuting: no one in Columbus' time was actually worried about him falling off the edge of the earth, because people at that time knew the earth was round. You can find the round earth taught by the ancient Greeks and Romans. You can find it taught by St. Isidore of Seville. You can find it taken for granted by St. Thomas Aquinas. Hell, you can find it in Dante's Divine Comedy.

Or, as I said in another topic:

It's possible that the ordinary peasant of the medieval world thought that the world is flat, because they rarely traveled far from home and from their perception, the world is indeed flat. Some peasants may have thought this until the turn of the 20th century. This has nothing to do with Scriptures. Virtually every scholar of the medieval era knew about the roundness of the earth. We can start with Boethius (480 – 524), who wrote about the earth as a sphere at an insignificant point in space in his book Consolation of Philosophy. Then we can look at the Etymologies, where St. Isidore of Seville (560-636) described the round earth. Then we can look at the Reckoning of Time by St. Bede the Venerable (672-735), who described the unequal hours of daylight in terms of the earth's roundness, and even made the assumption that all other scholars took this for granted. Perhaps the most obvious sign of this knowledge is the medieval king's crown jewel, called the globus cruciger (the orb with the cross on top, e.g. the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch").

That's why the "medieval people thought the world was flat" line no longer flies. It's probably the most popular historical lie in existence.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 28 (view)
Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny . . . ?
Posted: 6/7/2008 8:10:07 PM

intently wrote:
If I remember correctly from 9th grade religion, a sacrament is "an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace".
So Christ, not the Catholic religion, owns the sacraments.

Niiiice. Did you learn from the Baltimore Catechism when growing up?

I agree with you there. However, the Catholic clergy is entrusted as stewards and ministers of the same sacraments. The priest is the first guardian of the Blessed Sacrament int he tabernacle. Therefore, there are both legitimate and illegitimate reasons for withholding Communion from individuals.

I agree that this case is illegitimate, but considering that one will find a wide variety of opinions on this topic even within the Catholic clergy, and considering that most clergy would not take this approach (as I said, many priests endorse Senator Obama themselves without standing against the Church), I don't think it's newsworthy for this particular forum; maybe for one of the Catholic forums I post in, though.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 4 (view)
Ladies, I need some assistance here
Posted: 6/7/2008 4:56:33 PM
Anyway, the profile as it is has been up for only about a week. Before, it was a lot more "normal", I guess is the word. I'll leave this one up as it is for another week or so, and if nothing happens, I'll switch it back to the old version.

However, to be honest, this profile's counterpart on Ok (the other free dating site) is doing fairly well.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 3 (view)
Ladies, I need some assistance here
Posted: 6/7/2008 4:47:50 PM

wannakaklina wrote:
Only one profile review thread per poster.

That's true. However, this thread was posted in January. It makes more sense to create a new thread, since my profile looks nothing like it did in January.

markus33 wrote:
The 'bait' you're using, the photos you're displaying, indeed the mannerism implied and manifested in your profile, are all great bait for attracting gay men. Be that as it may, you may want to explore what I see as latent homosexual tendencies in your persona and expression; there is nothing wrong with being yourself and following your desires in what attracts you, and it need not be the opposite sex just because an invisible man with a big book deems it sequitur, and then demands those in opposition be eradicated.

Think so? Well, unfortunately, men don't turn me on. It's been that way before and after adopting my present religious convictions, or what have you.

crazytimes1 wrote:
If they are not real army uniforms then best you be getting ridding of those photos. If they are, then you may want to explain what a 20 year old 'student' was doing in said army.

Thanks for dropping by. They're real, though. I went into the reserve to go to college.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 27 (view)
Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny . . . ?
Posted: 6/6/2008 10:39:23 PM

Guy named Ray:
Ok, now it's getting weird.
What can you say to someone who believes they are
literally eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ?

Well, you could say, "oh, thanks for clarifying. Have a good day, Jacobus."
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 1 (view)
FDR's D-Day radio address
Posted: 6/6/2008 8:24:12 PM
Today is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in World War II by the Allied powers. I was reading the radio address that President F.D. Roosevelt gave to the nation, and I was struck at how strong it was, in terms of religiosity and other things. It really doesn't seem like a modern-day president could say the same things he did. What do you think of the address below? One does not normally think of FDR as a religious fanatic, but would this speech convince you otherwise?

My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 25 (view)
Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny . . . ?
Posted: 6/6/2008 6:21:46 PM

Guy named Ray wrote:

Don't you just love a religion that eats its savior?
Even if it is symbolical?
Oh yeah, they drink his blood too.
Symbolically of course.

I do love it, actually. But I'd go a step further and say it's literal. There's a Catholic t-shirt I've been meaning to get that says "You are what you eat" with a Eucharistic image in the background. Catholics believe that by eating and drinking Christ, they become closer in union to Him, hence the word "communion".
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 18 (view)
Where in the Bible is this at?
Posted: 6/6/2008 6:18:15 PM

Guy Named Ray wrote:

So far I've learned that the Bible is like the Reader's Digest of Scripture.
The full version was meant only for the clergy, priests, rabbis, popes, ministers, religious scholars, etc., to interpret.
That to really, really, really understand scripture you have to have the original manuscripts.
But since we don't have the originals, you'll just have to trust us.
What a wonderful way to control the masses.
Sorry folks only we know the hidden meanings and messages the holy scriptures contain.
Trust us. We're interpreting the bible for your own good.
And BTW don't believe what others say the bible says. They don't know the truth the way we do.
And don't believe any holy scriptures besides the ones we have because we have the only true authentic ones.
Now just run along and let us experts interpret god's holy word.
We know best how to do that.

If that's what you want to take from what I said....

However, it's actually no different from the expectations of any other serious profession. It's why you need to pass a bar exam to be an attorney and interpret the law, and why (generally) you need to have a professional background in law to become a judge. You need to be licensed to be a doctor and operate on people. You usually need to have a Ph.D. or at least a Master's and some good credentials elsewhere to teach an academic subject at a university.

It seems like common sense that, like any other one would need to be licensed in religious studies to teach religion. In fact, it's a no-brainer.

Do you think that professional doctors, lawyers and professors are (unjustly) controlling the masses simply because they're the only ones allowed to practice and/or teach medicine/law/science/whatever?

Makes you wonder why god even had the bible written in the first place.

Certainly not for any old Joe to pick up and start a new denomination with (as often happens with those who take Bibles into their own hands).

"The Bible" is really just a collection of smaller books compiled over thousands of years, which are believed to be divinely inspired in some way. And one must ask, which one are you referring to? The Hebrew Bible? The Catholic Bible? The Protestant Bible? The Orthodox Bible? Each have different numbers of books.

Each individual book in the Bible was written for a specific audience at a specific time in history. The long geneologies and detailed ritual laws in Leviticus are a lot more relevant to Jews in ancient times than they are to, say, modern-day Christians. Some of the advice in the letter to the Hebrews might be more relevant than that to, say, the Ephesians; even though they might all be relevant in a broader context.

But hey, you might actually need a degree in divinity or religious studies to know that.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 39 (view)
what does christian - other mean to YOU?
Posted: 6/6/2008 5:03:35 PM

chelloveck wrote:

Well It is pleasing to note that those damnably infernal atheists were good for something...if only by causing the diaspora of the Christian Orthodox Church to the West.....who'd have thought it.

LOL, indeed.

I'm personally fascinated by the recent development of "Western Orthodoxy". That is to say, churches which are in communion with the Orthodox Church, but use western (i.e. Roman Catholic-style) customs and rituals, like the Tridentine Latin Mass as opposed to the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Western-style church buildings, vestments, and even some terminology. My favorite thing about this so-called "Western Orthodoxy" thing, though, is that there's a western Orthodox monastery up in Austin that uses the old Sarum Mass. This was the form of Mass used in England right before Henry VIII and the English Reformation. This form has, unfortunately, been suppressed even in the (Roman) Catholic Church since the reforms of Trent, but I hope it'll be re-authorized again someday.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 23 (view)
Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny . . . ?
Posted: 6/6/2008 9:52:00 AM

clarence clutteruck wrote:
Why doesn't some enterprising snackfood company take advantage of this gap in the market for Communion amongst Catholics attracting Priestly disapproval and sell a product directly to the religious rank and file? Punters could then bypass the Priests and their indiosyncrasies of conscience and purchase the body of Christ from their local drugstore or corner shop. What I have in mind is a corn based snack in a bag, much like Hula Hoops or Monster Munch but perhaps cheesy flavoured in a Cross shape and called... I dunno.. Jeezo's or something. Would this solve the problem?

Interestingly enough, I have a semi-serious answer for ya.

I forgot what the brand name was, but sometime in the 1950's era of Catholicism, there was a Communion wafer company that wrapped up and sold the wafers in snack stores in rolled form, minus the stamped images. It was in response to how Communion wafers taste pretty good in and of themselves. First Communion classes would use these as "practice Hosts" before receiving the real deal later on.

But I don't think it'd solve the problem. An unconsecrated Host is just a piece of bread, but a Host consecrated at the Mass is (by Catholic belief) the true Body of Christ.

E. Kyro wrote:
"The Goebbels wedding was fixed for December 19, 1931. As a divorcee and convert to protestantism, Magda could not marry under the rites of the catholic church. Goebbels’ plea to the bishop of Berlin for a waiver was denied. Marrying as a protestant, he would be excommunicated. ‘He thereupon saw no further reason to pay their church tax,’ said Hitler years later, mocking the church’s hypocrisy. ‘But the church informed him that excommunication … did not affect the obligation to pay up as before.’"

Thanks for the source. A couple things: 1.) the Church still provides for mixed marriages, so something in the source is either false or mistaken. 2.) Or, Goebbels may have asked for an accompanying Mass, which is not allowed for in the old canon law. 3.) In the old canon law, I do think you could excommunicated for being married inside a Protestant church, but I'd have to check.

Are you not aware that it was from the Catholic Center Party that Hitler received enough support to pass a bill changing the constitution and thereby able to declare himself a dictator on March 23 1933?

The Centre Party has a long and colorful history all around. They did vote for the Enabling Act; however, it does not follow that "German Catholics were Nazis". The Centre Party had campaigned very hard against the Nazi Party, and after the Enabling Act was passed, the Centre Party was quickly destroyed.

Are you also not aware of the Concordat the Vatican signed with Hitlers party that in effect:

The Concordat doesn't actually say any of those things, and in fact doesn't say anything about the Nazis. That appears to be what the Nazis wanted it to say, but the actual text is here:

The Concordat is still in force with the modern German state today.

The treaty between the two was a match made in heaven from the viewpoint of the Nazi's anti-semitism and the Vatican's anti-judaism although as you indicated there were individual priests and catholic layman that did their best to minimize the damage done by their superiors.

And Pope Pius XII himself, who was responsible for saving as many as 800,000 Jews from the Nazis. In June 1944, Pius XII sent an advanced warning telegram to Admiral Horthy, the ruler of Hungary, which stopped 800,000 Jews from being deported.

In a letter of thanks by Rabbi Safran of Bucharest: "It is not easy for us to find the right words to express the warmth and consolation we experienced because of the concern of the supreme pontiff, who offered a large sum to relieve the sufferings of deported Jews. . . . The Jews of Romania will never forget these facts of historic importance."

During the German occupation of Rome, according to Rabbi Daniel Lapide, "in Rome we saw a list of 155 convents and monasteries—Italian, French, Spanish, English, American, and also German—mostly extraterritorial property of the Vatican . . . which sheltered throughout the German occupation some 5,000 Jews in Rome. No less than 3,000 Jews found refuge at one time at the Pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo; sixty lived for nine months at the Jesuit Gregorian University, and half a dozen slept in the cellar of the Pontifical Bible Institute."

It's time to put down the myth of "Hitler's Pope" once and for all. A good book in this department is The Myth of Hitler's Pope by Rabbi David Dalin:

Thanks for the link, I'll peruse it some more when I have time. However, based on my cursory look over it right now, it simply states that the Church viewed abortion as murder during the early centuries, the position became unclear at the beginning of the Middle Ages until around the Reformation, and subsequently became clearer until the Victorian era when it reached its current status.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 15 (view)
Where in the Bible is this at?
Posted: 6/5/2008 5:49:59 PM

gonzofanmel wrote:
I am always wary of anyone who uses the Bible as a reason to condone hatred and violence, or perpetuate ignorance.:

After all, anyone can use the Bible and pull out whatever passages they want.

Asolutely. I hope you were able to check out my posts in Msg 19 and 20, as well as TheMadFiddler's above and below them. I really, really don't think Bibles should just be thrown into the hands of the masses and told they should all interpret them for themselves. It's good to have the information publicly accessible, but the notion that the Bible is an easy-to-understand "instruction manual for life" is, in my opinion, mistaken. I believe the Bible was compiled originally for the use of priests, bishops, rabbis, and other such folks with solid educational backgrounds.

1. the Bible says that all homosexuals are evil and going to hell
2. the Bible says that interracial dating is a sin
3. the Bible says that wives should obey their husbands

I'd agree with you on points 1 and 2. I don't see Scripture as saying either of those at all, or that civil restrictions against them in ancient Israel are applicable today.

On #3, I do think that's supportable, and isn't an absurd notion. I believe that St. Paul's instruction to the Ephesian church (Ephesians 5:22) on marriage is applicable to all Christians. The basic idea in that passage is that women should obey their husbands because just as Christ is the head of the Church (the mystical "bride of Christ"), the husband is the head of the family. And then St. Paul says that husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave up His life for her on the cross.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 19 (view)
Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny . . . ?
Posted: 6/5/2008 5:32:38 PM

gonzofanmel wrote:
That's just what I don't get. He might just feel he's the better candidate when it comes to other issues, such as economic reform. But he's denied a sacrament because he endorses a candidate who is pro-choice? I find that ridiculous. No where in the article does it state that Kmiec supports Obama's views on abortion. He's made it abundantly clear in the past how he feels about that issue. Is he required to get up on a podium in front of Catholics and say "I support Obama, even though I disagree with this views on abortion?"

Actually, I wouldn't mind if Mr. Kmiec did that because it would help clarify things.... but no, he isn't required to. I suspect that the priest in question will be reprimanded by the bishop if he hasn't been already, unless the bishop also doesn't have his head on straight.

Personally, I'd chalk it up to a over-zealous misunderstanding on the behalf of one individual priest.

E. Kyro wrote:
With political candidates it is normally a process of trying to choose the lesser of several evils.

It does feel like having to choose between the Antichrist and Satan this year, doesn't it?

If they applied it consistently I would agree but as an example the threatened ex-communication for joining Nazi Party was only effective from 1930-1933 and then was lifted. The only party member to actually be excommunicated was Joseph Goebbel and that was for marrying a protestant, not for crimes against humanity. Sends out a very strong mixed message. Wipe out the jews but don't be marrying the protestants.

1.) Dr. Goebbels couldn't be excommunicated for marrying a Protestant, because the Catholic Church allows mixed marriages. The 1917 edition of the Code of Canon Law was in effect at that time, and there are provisions in it for what to do when marrying Protestants, although the provisions were stricter than those of today.

2.) The uneven policies regarding excommunication of the Nazis is a fair criticism. However, to conclude that "Wipe out the jews but don't be marrying the protestants" was the message is just false and slanderous. The Reich was condemned in a papal encyclical by Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge, in 1937(unique among encyclicals for being written originally in German and not Latin, for special emphasis on the gravity of the situation).

Part of the encyclial said:

Mit Brennender Sorge:
8. Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community—however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things—whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds...

10. This God, this Sovereign Master, has issued commandments whose value is independent of time and space, country and race. As God's sun shines on every human face so His law knows neither privilege nor exception. Rulers and subjects, crowned and uncrowned, rich and poor are equally subject to His word. From the fullness of the Creators' right there naturally arises the fullness of His right to be obeyed by individuals and communities, whoever they are. This obedience permeates all branches of activity in which moral values claim harmony with the law of God, and pervades all integration of the ever-changing laws of man into the immutable laws of God.

11. None but superficial minds could stumble into concepts of a national God, of a national religion; or attempt to lock within the frontiers of a single people, within the narrow limits of a single race, God, the Creator of the universe, King and Legislator of all nations before whose immensity they are "as a drop of a bucket" (Isaiah xl, 15).

As for the notion that the Church ever supported the extermination of Jews, you could try telling that to one of the fiercest anti-Nazis, Cardinal von Galen, or the priests and bishops who actually were camp prisoners themselves. You could also tell that to Rabbi Israel Zolli, the Chief Rabbi of Rome who converted to Catholicism after the war ended and said, "What the Vatican did will be indelibly and eternally engraved in our hearts. . . . Priests and even high prelates did things that will forever be an honor to Catholicism." Or Albert Einstein, who said, "Only the Catholic Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I feel a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty."

By the way, just today, I stumbled across two maps, one which shows the concentration of Catholics among the various provinces of pre-war Germany, and a map of votes for the Nazi Party in 1932 by regions. Interestingly, the provinces with the most Catholics (in the south and west) all gave the Nazis by far the least number of votes.

E. Kyro:
Exactly, it creates guilt and remorse for the woman when until 1869 the Church was ok with abortions in the first trimester.

Care to provide a source?
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 13 (view)
Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny . . . ?
Posted: 6/5/2008 12:32:38 PM

chelloveck wrote:
Ex communication, permanent or temporary, lost some of its sting when Henry VIII was excommunicated (some family law entanglement...unentangled with a sharp metal object) when he excommunicated a slice of the of the Papal prerogative and kicked off the Church of England (aka Episcopalian Church).

Very true. I don't think excommunication of a major political figure has been very effective, on a political scale, ever since. It certainly didn't stop Bonaparte or Garibaldi/King Victor Emmanuel from sacking Rome and dissolving the Papal States. Bonaparte even managed to arrest Pope Pius VI (who died in captivity on the way to France) and keep Pope Pius VII in prison for six years in France; what the heck is up with that?

Today, excommunication is practical only for its original purpose: to keep unrepentant people from profaning the Eucharist by receiving it in a state of sin. The same rule applies to all Catholics who have unconfessed sins on their consciences, but an excommuniation is a public statement of that to a "public sinner", if you will.

Who would be that churlish that they would deny the Roman Catholic Church one of it's more fascinating little quaint traditions????

The same Philistines from within the Church that attempted to purge the Latin Mass, Gregorian chant and polyphony, incense, and the like and replace them with wrecked altars, Kum-ba-ya and nuns singing crappy folk songs while strumming a guitar. Thankfully, though, those dark ages will soon come to an end under the glorious reign of Benedict XVI. Hopefully. LOL.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 12 (view)
Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny . . . ?
Posted: 6/5/2008 11:14:10 AM


I support Obama as well--does that mean I should be denied Communion?

If it's for reasons that are not Senator Obama's abortion positions, then you're fine. After all, there are many priests who are also Obama supporters.

An individual should have the right to support whomever they want without criticism or interference from the Church.

Well, maybe. Maybe not. I mean, what about cases where the Catholic clergy take blatantly obvious stands against certain political parties and groups? For example, the German bishops' excommunicating the Nazi Party, or Pope John Paul II's efforts to tear down the Iron Curtain and smash Communism, and several other things that come to mind. Those are the most extreme examples.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 2 (view)
Do you belive the world is going to end??
Posted: 6/5/2008 2:59:21 AM
Well, I believe the world's gotta end some day. Christ seems to be saying that the end times began after His death and resurrection, and are continuing to this day (it may seem like a long time, but it isn't very long at all in the bigger picture). In the New Testament, it states that no man knows when the Son will return, only the Father.

If you're living right, I wouldn't worry about it. I think one person saw St. Francis of Assisi plowing a field and asked him, "what would you do if Jesus came back tomorrow?" St. Francis replied to the effect of, "I'd continue plowing." The lesson of that story is basically that if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, you'll be alright.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 426 (view)
Would love to help you out with your profile
Posted: 6/5/2008 12:03:14 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I just recently deleted almost the entire old set of pictures and replaced them with new ones. I'll think about the shortened profile description, but I'm hesitant to change it right now.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 10 (view)
Where in the Bible is this at?
Posted: 6/4/2008 9:55:19 PM

Guy Named Ray:

Christians will tell you that if that is not in the bible then it is not the word of god.
The word speaks for itself.

Well, as I said in the post immediately before this one, that doesn't apply to Catholic or Orthodox Christians. For us, the word of God indeed exists outside of Scripture (2 Thessalonians 2:15, "stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word [spoken] or by our epistle [written]". There is much teaching that's handed down by the spoken word, which is found littered throughout the writings of the Early Church Fathers and defined and refined by the Magisterium, through the ecumenical councils, the Pope and the bishops under him (or the patriarchs, according to the Orthodox belief).

Also, I disagree with the notion that "The word speaks for itself." Like the Fiddler said, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". I believe very much in the importance of reliable scholars; such as deacons, priests and bishops; to interpret Scripture. As 2 Peter 1:20 says, "no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation."

If that's the case what good is the bible?

When the early Church compiled the canon of the New Testament, they didn't intend to print out a copy for every single Christian on the face of the earth like they were the Gideons or something. While they did believe in teaching all Christians the material inside it, the Bible (as a single book) was intended mainly for bishops and priests. After all, they were practically the only ones besides scholars and educated nobles who were literate, anyway.

Furthermore, it's my belief that the Bible, for Christians, was put together largely for liturgical purposes. That is to say, the idea behind the Biblical canon was to be a list of books that were approved for public recitation or singing during the Mass. It's the same reason that the Anglicans' "King James Bible" uses such beautiful, lofty language. It wasn't written for the common man to read at home, even in King James's time; it was written to sound good or even "epic" when read aloud in the churches.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 9 (view)
Where in the Bible is this at?
Posted: 6/4/2008 9:44:05 PM

TheMadFiddler wrote:
This is why I very much wonder often at Christianity.

This religion teaches Jewish tradition, very often literally, without the benefit of the Oral Law which it claims not to believe in but without which much of the Bible simply could not function and with which examples are littered throughout scripture.

Those are some interesting points. I do think a lot of the ideas in the Talmud and oral Jewish traditions have been lost to the Christian community simply because of the various historical and cultural circumstances, but not all of it. In Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, there is this concept that religious teaching comes not by sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), but by both the written word (Scripture) and the spoken word (oral Tradition). In fact, the Scriptures are seen as simply the written portion of a larger body of unwritten Christian teaching.

If I may use this crude comparison, it's a bit like the difference between American law and British law. Some Christians (such as classical Protestants) see all Christian teaching as coming from one source, the Bible, in the same way as how all American law stems from one document, the U.S. Constitution. Other Christians, though (such as Catholics and Orthodox) see the Bible as like a reflection of a bigger set of laws; in the same way that Magna Carta is a reflection of the unwritten British constitution, based in Common Law.

Anyway, I think there's a certain amount of connection, though probably not an absolute one, between the Catholic/Orthodox approach to Scripture and Tradition, and the Jewish one to Torah and Talmud.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 6 (view)
Good Religion Quiz
Posted: 6/4/2008 7:50:21 PM

My top 10 results

1. Eastern Orthodox (100%)
2. Roman Catholic (100%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (92%)
4. Orthodox Quaker (78%)
5. Seventh Day Adventist (78%)
6. Islam (75%)
7. Orthodox Judaism (75%)
8. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (65%)
9. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (63%)
10. Reform Judaism (54%)
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 21 (view)
Are the nephilim and Jesus related ?
Posted: 6/4/2008 7:34:37 PM

I'm not sure if you have seen this link before Jacobus, but it is an interesting read for me, and maybe you have some thoughts on your own that you could add..

I'm quite familiar with It's run by a very rare breed of "fundamentalist Catholic" that considers the current Pope and his predecessors up to the 1960's to all be heretics and not actually popes at all, but antipopes. This sect is called sedevacantism. You can read about it here: also promotes the teachings of various men who have been condemned by the Church as heretics: such as Feeneyism (the belief that even those enrolled for baptism in Catholic religious education classes are damned if they die before the water hits the head; condemned by the Council of Trent) and Jansenism (essentially a Catholic form of Puritanism, condemned in the 1600's). You'll even find articles on that site which argue that unbaptized infants suffer hellfire and that the limbo theory is a heresy.

Anyway, the point is that this site is so absurd to "normal" Catholics, even traditionalist Catholics like myself, that it should not be representative of the mainstream Catholic Church at all. After all, this guy thinks that Benedict XVI is a usurper and is going to hell. And as a matter of fact, a lot of the articles on the site will appear to contradict one another, because that dude seems to change his mind on a whole host of issues every year.

Oh, and regarding the actual article you posted...... I don't think anyone can say that the Catholic Church teaches universal salvation as a point of doctrine, because Catholics believe that hell exists and that it's very possible to go there. However, to be fair, many Catholics throughout history, including St. Therese de Lisieux, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Pope John Paul II, have expressed the hope that all will be saved in the end. This is because we believe that with God, all things are possible, and of course that Christ wills all to be saved. So in other words, a Catholic can hope for all to be saved, but he cannot deny the existence of hell and the possibility of going there. That's all. I hope that makes sense. If not, feel free to ask me to clarify. I'm not especially well-versed in this area of beliefs, so I can't say too much.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 20 (view)
Are the nephilim and Jesus related ?
Posted: 6/4/2008 4:59:19 PM

Romanticoptimist wrote:
Oops. That makes me a "Heretic" (baptised Catholic who rejects the Immaculate Conception, Transubstantiation, the Authority of the RCC and/or the Pope, and just about anything that proclaims Catholicism is superior in any way. Are you sure you're allowed to talk to me?

Quite sure. I'm not sure what would make you think differently since, other than in the years immediately following the Reformation, this was not a Catholic practice. After all, even in the 1600's, the Catholic philosopher Rene Descartes was a tutor to then-Protestant Queen Christina of Sweden. In the 1600's, Catholic King Louis XIV welcomed the Protestant Stuart dynasty that fled to France during the English Civil War. In the late 1700's, the Protestant British welcomed in thousands of French Catholic clergy during the French Revolution, and the future kings Louis XVIII and Charles X lived in palaces granted by the British monarchy.

There's a reason it's called the Thirty Years' War, not the 300 Years' War, LOL.

It may help to read Pope John Paul II's encyclical on ecumenism, Ut Unum Sint ("That They May Be One"), published in 1995. It says, in part:

Ut Unum Sint
Every renewal of the Church is essentially grounded in an increase of fidelity to her own calling. Undoubtedly this is the basis of the movement toward unity ... There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without a change of heart. For it is from renewal of the inner life of our minds, from self-denial and an unstinted love that desires of unity take their rise and develop in a mature way. We should therefore pray to the Holy Spirit for the grace to be genuinely self-denying, humble. gentle in the service of others, and to have an attitude of brotherly generosity towards them. ... The words of St. John hold good about sins against unity: "If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us". So we humbly beg pardon of God and of our separated brethren, just as we forgive them that trespass against us.

At any rate, I don't see that the Catholic Church claims to be "superior" in any more sense that we do believe it was the original church established by Christ, and that (obviously) our beliefs are true. It's not any different from how Christians in general (both you and I) believe that Christ is "the way, the truth, and the life", and that other faiths are not.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 208 (view)
Is there a god?
Posted: 6/4/2008 4:32:04 PM

...kind wierd that both Martin Luther and Hitler were Germans with strong anti Catholic opinnions that frequently interfaced with pro German xenophobia.

Well, technically, Hitler was an Austrian. I don't think the Nazis considered him the ubermensch (since he was Austrian and dark-haired), but rather, the Herald of the ubermensch, if that makes any sense. That being said, I love Austria and their culture. The last Emperor of Austria, Blessed Karl V, was in my opinion the greatest ruler of the 20th century.

Anti-Roman and anti-Catholic sentiments have been in place in Germany for a long time. I'd add Bismarck, the founder of modern Germany, to that list. His kulturkampf program was, among other things, an attempt to marginalize Catholicism in modern Germany.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 24 (view)
What if there was no God
Posted: 6/4/2008 4:26:51 PM

taurus516 wrote:

John Lennon wrote a song about this very subject."Imagine" is a very creative look at the possibilities of a completely secular existence.

I suppose it's possible.

However, attempts to remove religion by force have, historically speaking, resulted in such nightmares as the Reign of Terror, the Soviet Union, Mao's "Cultural Revolution" in China, and of course, Albania, the self-proclaimed "first atheist state".
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 8 (view)
Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny . . . ?
Posted: 6/4/2008 4:15:07 PM

However, if they do so in a matter that involves political matters, they violate church state separation, and are not entitled to their tax exempt status.

I think they have to make a choice here. Either they are a tax exempt organization, and may act in this manner, or they are not.

I think that's a good point to bring up. when it comes ti denying Communion to certain politicians, I think the deacon/priest/bishop in question must always make it clear that the issue is strictly or a moral or religious one. With the case of abortion, it intertwines with politics to a certain degree. However, the Church can easily avoid this by withholding Communion from politicians who are otherwise quite favorable to the Church. Actually, the Church in America has, I think, done a fairly good job of critiquing both Democratic and Republican sides rather even-handedly.

It wouldn't be fair to make churches avoid discussing political issues at all, since I don't think the Constitutional framers ever imagined anything going that far. Or, to put it this way: if I were a priest and I were making references to the abortion issue in a sermon or whatever, I'd explain why Catholics must oppose it and why pro-aborts should not receive Communion. But, I wouldn't drop any names or tell anyone to vote one way or the other.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 4 (view)
Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny . . . ?
Posted: 6/4/2008 2:53:06 PM
Anyway, I've seen more absurd reasons for being denied Communion. Just as there are clergy who err on the conservative side, there are even more who do so on the liberal side. There's a well-circulated video on YouTube of Bishop Brown of Orange County, denying Communion to a lady because she was kneeling! (This is in reference to the debate about liberal Catholics arguing for standing in equality with God, and conservatives kneeling in submission to the Sacrament. I know others who have been denied Communion for insisting on receiving on the tongue, rather than in the hand. I myself refuse to receive Communion in the hand, because that's not the traditional method of receiving.)
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 3 (view)
Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny . . . ?
Posted: 6/4/2008 2:43:50 PM
Good question.

The decision to withhold Communion is up to individual deacons, priests and bishops, because they are the custodians or guardians of the Body and Blood of Christ, in Catholic belief.

This particular situation is going too far, I think, because the USCCB (American Catholic bishops) have explained that one may endorse a pro-abort candidate if his intention is NOT for that candidate's abortion stance. It seems Mr. Kmiec has a history of anti-abort stances, so this is probably unjust of the priest in the story.

However, I do believe all Catholic politicians who are pro-abort should be denied Communion, because direct support of abortion earns automatic excommunication (latae sententiae) in canon law, anyway. I was disappointed that Senator Kennedy received Communion at the recent Papal Mass in New York City; in fact, he even had the Host brought to him personally by a priest, LOL. And Mr. Giuliani received Communion at the papal Mass too, despite his living in adultery by not obtaining the proper annulment. I believe Cardinal Egan has since put the smackdown on him.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 41 (view)
I will help you guys
Posted: 6/4/2008 3:22:15 AM
Yay review! Review mine, please. Thanks.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 417 (view)
Would love to help you out with your profile
Posted: 6/3/2008 12:08:43 AM
Sweet - n- Sassy:

I'd like to get a review as well, thanks.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 13 (view)
Mom fights church ban on her autistic son
Posted: 6/2/2008 5:31:12 PM

yna6 said:

The mother will lose in court.
Churches have the final say in who can or cannot attend.
If the mother refused to take advantage of the accomodations the church was willing to do, then it is her problem.
A lot of people attempt to say "autistic children are fine...they are normal..." No. They are not. Not by any means. Especially this one, who could well be a poster child for autism and how it changes a xhilds behaviour patterns. Pissing ina church. Spitting at people. Almost running down old folks. Playing rough with the other kids. They don't know this is wrong...they don't know their own strength and how they can hurt someone. Therfore, far better to keep them segregated rather than allowing them to run rampant through society. Parents hate the idea...but I don't see them taking extra insurance out to pay for the damages or injuries their "little darling" can, and may well have, caused.

What you say is true. However, I'd keep stressing the point that autistic kids, even the really freaky ones, are beloved by God and a priest should do everything he can to make that family feel welcome, while still considering the pastoral needs of everyone else. Hence, my suggestion for a private Mass.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 9 (view)
Mom fights church ban on her autistic son
Posted: 6/2/2008 3:40:21 PM

Skypoetone said:

Judging by his behaviour, autistic or not, he doesn't want to be there. Easy for me to surmise I know... in general, rightly or wrongly, parents make the decision about their children’s religious association. Slightly pathetic, but that's jmho.

A very astute observation, quite possibly true (but not necessarily). If that were the case, I'd say that no one should be forced to attend Mass or any other liturgy if they don't want to go. It's comparable to what Christ said about "casting pearls before swine", although I don't mean to imply that our dear Adam in this case is a swine, LOL. What I mean here is that you desecrate the Mass by forcing someone to be there who would let it all just go in one ear and out the other. Back when I was at Ave Maria University (an uber-Catholic college), some friends and I had a discussion about this in the cafeteria because someone objected to us letting a televised Mass play on one of the TV's in the background. His argument was that you shouldn't let the Mass be aired in a casual environment where no one is really paying attention. In retrospect, I agree.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 16 (view)
Are the nephilim and Jesus related ?
Posted: 6/2/2008 3:03:56 PM

Romanticoptimist asked:

Just so I'm absolutely clear on this, Jacobus, are you saying that they are Christians (and thus need no re-baptism), but also Heretics (because they rejected the Roman Catholic Church)? That is, the official proclamation of the Roman Catholic Church is that all Christians who are members of Protestant denominations are "Heretics"? I just want to be really, really clear on what exactly it is you are saying. Thanks.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law's definition of heresy reads: "Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith." In other words, it's a post-baptismal denial of some part of Catholic belief. There is further distinction between material heresy and formal heresy. Material heretics are unaware that their beliefs reject Catholic faith, and thus are not committing any sin by doing so. I suppose this category would include faithful Christians who were raised in Protestant sects and don't know the difference. Formal heretics, on the other hand, knowingly reject Catholic faith, and are accountable for those sins. This would probably include ex-Catholics, anti-Catholic apologists, and of course the original Protestant "Reformers".

I'm told that since the word "heretic" has evolved from a technical term to a perjorative one, the Church since Vatican II has taken to calling Protestants in good faith "separated brethren". I still use it in a technical sense, though, the same way I don't mind being called a "papist" or a "Romanist" because I am one, technically.

I'll get to E. Kyro's post sometime later when I have more time.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 460 (view)
Religion is the True EVIL in the world
Posted: 6/2/2008 2:46:59 PM

No, it really is not. I am just stating my opinion as I see it. It is true belief that causes people to do some horrific things. It was true belief that lit the fires of the inquisition and witch hunts throughout mideval Europe. It was also true belief that prompted 9 very-well educated middle-eastern men to fly airplanes into the world-trade center. Need I give anymore examples? Does that sound like dogma?

And it is true belief that also causes men to do great things for humanity, like the vast networks of faith-based charities, the life of St. Vincent de Paul, of St. Anthony of Padua, and a gazillion others in my mind. True belief, like anything else, can be a tool for both good and evil.
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 8 (view)
Mom fights church ban on her autistic son
Posted: 6/2/2008 2:45:11 PM
A couple of my thoughts:

1.) First of all, every individual church is going to handle the situation a little differently.

2.) If I were the priest in this scenario, I'd offer the following compromise: the family would be dispensed from their obligation to attend Mass at the church. Instead, I'll make visits to their house, set up a makeshift altar there and say Mass at their home instead, later in the day.

Ooooor, I would schedule a special Mass in the day for families with autistic children, and even tailor my liturgical approach for that crowd. In fact, that sounds like an excellent idea. And if it's just that one family who attends, I'd bring them over to one of the side-chapels at my church and offer a private low Mass just for them with them at the front row (family members can even vest and serve at the altar), with the Mass intentions offered specifically for their son.

To directly answer the question:

Should he be allowed in Church?

Yes, when the church is empty, but no, while regular divine liturgies are taking place. Worshipers do have a right to worship in peace, without distractions. A lot of people come to my particular parish church because it's known for being a place of silence, sublime music (Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony), and a reverence that's unusual and "medieval" compared to other churches. I personally cannot focus when (for example) a baby is crying uncontrollably right in the middle of the Roman Canon. That's why my parish has two cry rooms, a free daycare service, and the fact that canon law dispenses children under 7 from the weekly Mass obligation, although of course still encouraged to go. Which reminds me, to point out something by Romanticoptimist:

Romanticoptimist said:

I remember how it was presented as a way to make the atmosphere more "worshipful" (implying that God preferred or even required it to be this way), but that didn't seem to ease the sense of separation many felt or the offensiveness of being excluded from the general congregation because of having children and bringing them to Mass as required by their church.

Going with what I said before, parents with children under 7 are dispensed from the Mass obligation. Arrangements can be made with priests for them to bring Communion home or even offer Mass at home.

Stinker Belle said:

It does actually sound to me that the Church HAS tried to accommodate the family actually, they would still be attending Mass if they were viewing it from the Church basement....

Correct. That's still attending Mass.

But what do you think of the proposals I made above? I might consider emailing them to the pastor in the story.
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