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Cardinal O’Brien Exposes US Hypocrisy

with 21 comments


It is not often that I find myself agreeing with a Catholic cardinal. They are usually much more intent on defending Vatican politics than acting according to the ethics of the Christian god, Jesus Christ. Regrettably most Christian laypeople are no better. They haven’t a clue what Christ taught because they never read what the gospels have to say about him, and take all their directions regarding morality from their priests and pastors, or more often from their relatives and friends.

Interviewed by BBC Scotland, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, has emphasized to that vast Christian country, the USA, that they ought to act with Christian morality if they are to claim to be a Christian country. He has agreed with the Scottish government that it was right to free Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan found guilty of bombing a civil aeroplane flying over Locherbie in Scotland, on grounds of compassion. He is suffering from terminal cancer.

270 innocent people on board Pan Am flight 103 were murdered when it was blown up over town of Lockerbie on 21 December 1988. The cardinal agrees it was “an act of unbelievable horror and gratuitous barbarity”, and that bereaved people have a right in civilized countries to expect justice for such a heinous crime.

Two Libyans were brought to trial over the attack, Kalifa Fhima and Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi who was found guilty and made to serve a lifetime sentence in Scotland, the country where the crime occurred. Justice seemed to be done. But after about ten years of incarceration Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. To the chagrin of, it seems, most of the USA, the Scottish government agreed to the release of al-Magrahi on compassionate grounds. He was thought to have only three months to live.

The US since then has at all levels from the public through the media up to the political—congress—have been baying for some scapegoat, even demanding that the sovereign authorities of Scotland must appear before the Senate as if they were criminals, or, failing that, appearing before a Senate committee meeting in Scotland. The cardinal answers:

The Scottish government has made the decision and the Scottish government is answerable to the Scottish people—not the US government or US citizens. Everyone acted according to Scots law in releasing Megrahi on compassionate grounds, having taken medical advice. I still think they did the right thing, although the man is still alive. We shouldn’t be crawling out to America, or having them come here and questioning us on our own territory.

The Criminal, Justice and Parole Division of the Scottish Government earlier had said:

The perpetration of an atrocity should not be a reason for losing sight of the values people in Scotland seek to uphold and the faith and beliefs by which we seek to live the values of humanity and compassion.

Cardinal O’Brien thought it was a clash of cultures. Americans were focused only on retribution, but Scotland had a culture of care. Through their justice system, Scots have cultivated a culture of compassion, but many Americans had an attitude towards the concept of justice which amounted to a culture of vengeance:

In many states—more than half—they kill the perpetrators of horrible crimes, by lethal injection or even firing squad—I say that is a culture of vengeance. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth—that is not our culture in Scotland and I would like to think that the US government, and these states that do still have capital punishment, would learn something from us.

The Americans are not in good company in their eagerness to punish its citizens and others by the most severe sentences imaginable, including terminating human life—something they are excellent at, whether at home or abroad. Since 1976, 1,221 people have been executed in the US. Its execution rate is only outdone by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and China. In Iraq, international experts estimate a million innocent people have been murdered consequent upon the Bush invasion. A few decades back the figure in Vietnam was two million innocents, and in both places many continue to suffer today because of the utterly barbaric and inhuman methods used to secure victory.

Americans are good at revenge. What they are not good at is justice.

Cardinal O’Brien thinks it is in the midst of such inhuman barbarism, that we must affirm our humanity. In moments of grief and despair we must show the world that the standards of the murderer and his disdain for human life are not our standards. Though they plunge to the depths of human conduct, we will not follow them. Americans should “direct their gaze inwards” rather than fussing about the Scottish justice system.

Suspects are not guilty until proven to be, yet anyone “suspected” of terrorism, under the oppressive laws brought in by Bush and Blair in their respective countries, are assumed to be terrorists. Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter lost her life in the atrocity, and other British people who were bereaved in the bombing, were never satisfied that the trial of the Libyan suspects was fair. He wanted the trial to be held in Scotland precisely because in the USA…

…both men would be judicially executed by a system which operates perilously close to the doctrine that might is right, and that truth can be bought. Moreover, for those deemed to be the enemy of “God’s Own Country” the quality of the evidence against them might be less important than the opportunity for vengeance to be seen to be done—that death should be delivered summarily. Unfortunately the notion that God is on your country’s side has led men to commit so much malevolent slaughter down the ages that the whole name of religion can be criticized.

Swire knew Scottish justice was among the best judicial systems in the world.

Those who seem to lust for this man’s death should look not at the details of why he was released, but the question of whether he really was guilty… Meanwhile let us join with the Cardinal in giving thanks to our God if we admit One, that this man, who may well be innocent has not been judicially executed in our names.

The point Swire is making and that the Americans, baying for a victim rather than justice, ignore is that the evidence which condemned al-Magrahi was apparently bought by the US government. The chief witness linking al-Magrahi with the flight received $2 million for his exertions. Now, to people in the UK who, like Dr Swire, notice these things, something smells horribly foul. Al-Magrahi was released quite properly for compassionate reasons, but it looks very likely that he ought never to have been locked up in the first place. The outcry from the US then makes more sense—US perfidy and deceit might be, for once, exposed.

The GAP (Great American Public) never notice bad smells that the US government give rise to, even when it blows off in their faces. Americans are too angelic to be evil. And, in any case, the GCN (Great Christian Nation) simply has no idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and therefore no moral basis to judge—no Christian one, at any rate. The cardinal might have quoted the gospels:

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22

Here is the GCN that will not forgive once, even for a dying man whose guilt is far from certain. Of course, the Christian will say forgiving seven times let alone seventy is pure stupidity. OK, but then you are not a Christian are you? Or they will complain it is too hard for a mere mortal, even if God can manage it. But Christ also said:

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Luke 6:36

Their own God, God the Son, directs them to be merciful just as their own God, God the Father, is in heaven. They just have no excuse at all. The clear implication is that they must be merciful if they expect God to show the mercy to them they expect post mortem. Even so, they will argue that their faith is sufficient, because their pastors tell them so, but these words of Christ are not just optional extras. They are imperatives—commands. Faith is not sufficient. Christians have to do things to be saved. Too bad they only listen to the TV evangelists who are in it for the bucks they get out of the ignorant. These are not Christians but the opposite.

It is novel, though, for a senior cleric to be pointing out the hypocrisy of the Great Christian Nation!

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21 Responses

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  1. Your blog is ridiculous on its face. Mercy is as much about punishment as it is about gentleness. It was merciful not to kill the man who killed Flight 103. Being merciful means ‘not demanding an eye for an eye’.

    Of course, right from the start, you’re off track, saying “Christians don’t know Jesus because they haven’t read what the New Testament says about him, taking their cues…” etc. It’s obvious to me that you don’t know many real Catholics. Those would be people who study the Bible to its depths, and relying on those who were closest to Jesus and left their writings to show us who Jesus was and what he was about. Certainly we have priests and bishops to put the scriptures in modern terms for those too lazy to study for themselves, but you also forget (or don’t understand) several things.
    1. We know the Catholic Church is right because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to ensure that the Catholic Church would never stray in matters of faith and morals. The Holy Spirit protected those closest to Christ, his apostles and disciples.
    2. Those closest to Christ were human. Sinful men, who committed nearly every sin in the book, down to Peter denying Christ while he was at trial. This doesn’t change the holiness of the Church because Jesus is the reason the Church is holy, despite the men who run things on earth.
    3. Matt 16:18-22 Jesus commissioned Peter to be the head of his future Church on earth when he changed his name from Simon. He promised that the Church (singular) that His Church would last until he returned.
    4. America is a Godly nation, but not entirely Christian. We also don’t all believe the same thing. Of course, this breaking away of Christians from the truth of Christianity was started in Europe when men thought they knew better than God.

    David

    9 August, 2010 at 9:25 pm

  2. It would be nicer if you said something relevant.

    mikemagee

    13 August, 2010 at 4:47 pm

  3. All right, play games, then, if it suits you. But my recollection of Christ’s teaching on the question of “an eye for an eye” was that the Christian should turn the other cheek. Just how is punishing a dying man doing what Christ taught you? I cited what Christ said about being merciful. His brother James added that Judgement without mercy would be shown to him who is not merciful. Your God, that is, will show you no mercy if you are not willing to show it to other people. Where does Christ say mercy is punishment?

    You prove what I say. 99% of Christians haven’t a clue about their own religion. You don’t get it because you rely on ghosts, bishops, priests, anyone or anything except yourself. You don’t get the moral teaching of your own God. But your morality is what you do, not anyone else. You back up what I said precisely.

    mikemagee

    18 August, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    • You may be right that many Christians don’t know their faith, but you don’t know it either. In Matt 5:26, the Old Testament commandment referenced (Leviticus 24:20)was meant to moderate vengeance; the punishment should not exceed the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation. Of the five examples that follow, only the first deals directly with retaliation for evil; the others speak of liberality. You can be merciful and still want justice. Do you think, if someone steals something from another person, that it’s enough to say “I’m sorry” without restitution? No, full restitution is part of the whole process of forgiveness. Part of loving your child is punishing them for doing wrong. It is being merciful because you’re saving them from possibly doing something worse, you’re teaching a principal. Paul, who was a direct convert of Christ, said, that the wages of sin are death. The point is that actions have consequences. You can say your sorry for doing something, but will still suffer for what you’ve done wrong.
      Now on to your diatribe…Jesus had no blood brothers. James was a cousin, at best. While some Christians may rely on all those things, though where you get ‘ghosts’, I don’t know, but I know that when I stand before God, it’s my actions that will be accounted for. Bishops, saints, and priests may (or may not) help me get there, but it’s up to me.

      Regarding judgement without mercy, it’s like this. We do not deserve to be in God’s presence. And yet we are. Everything we have is a gift, even our breath. We can do nothing right without God’s help .

      Regarding the subject, the Lockerbie bomber, Jesus was speaking of personal interaction, not that of government. It is government which has the right to judge someone for his action against society. Government was merciful by not putting the guy to death, and they were merciful to let him out. As it turns out, though, he didn’t have ‘months to live’, and even the doctor who said so regrets having said it.

      David

      19 August, 2010 at 4:22 pm

  4. I think you meant Matthew 5:38, but you are doing what all of you do. You cannot accept what your professed God in the form of Christ tells you from his own lips. You have to refer back to the Jewish scriptures, making Christ into no more than a prophet, just as the Moslems believe. Christians regard Christ as God Himself, and God appeared in person, you tell us, because all else had failed. References back are therefore relevant to clarify the new message. Christ was refuting “an eye for an eye”, but it is too hard for you Christians, so you stick to a lesser message that suits you better.

    As for justice, the message was again clear, but it does not suit you, so you say governments can act differently. You all wriggle, squirm and do everything you can to escape the plain truth. Christ said when someone takes your coat, give your cloak as well, so where is that about full restitution being part of forgiveness?

    If you prefer the Jewish scriptures, you should convert to Judaism. Christ is meant to have been a reformer, a man who simplified the complicated and primitive Jewish law into one action, “Love your neighbor”. When people love one another, there is no need of law! But you lot just don’t get it, and stick to whatever you like, cherry picking old and new testaments to suit yourselves, while pretending to be disciples of Christ. I am not a professing Christian, but that saves me from constantly lying. I prefer it that way.

    Your whole reply is a series of excuses. Christ had no blood brothers, you say, but what you say is an excuse. You do not know it, but it suits you to say it. In my view Christ was a member, perhaps leader, of a monastic order, and had lots of brothers.

    Suddenly you have forgotten what you said before when you mentioned the Holy Spirit, ie Holy Ghost, a great excuse for almost everything. If you stand before God, as you say you will, it will be to be judged on what is in your Book of Life, what good and ill you have done. That is what Christians believe, but you do not follow what your God tells you to do, so you have no chance of mercy. I repeat, “Judge not lest you be judged”, your God said in a long personal sermon, according to Matthew.

    You say you can do nothing right without God’s help, another excuse. Does it not occur to you that God, in your own teaching appeared as a man, gave you all the help he thought you should need, by direct word and deed, concluding his deeds with an agonizing death, tortured by humanity? Then you want more help! You’ve had your help, chum. All of you are just trying to get away with constantly failing you own God, and blaming him for not helping you enough.

    Finally, you typically insult God by treating a supposedly omniscient and omnipotent God as a moron. God didn’t know that governments were made up of human beings. They are even made up of Christians. But because they are governments, everything Christ said is absolved. A committee calling itself a government need not bother about sin at all. Truly, most US governments of recent times have been like that, so they all think God is a dunce. They know God is for dummies so they treat God as one!

    The US government is not being merciful at all. It was the Scottish government. A Catholic cardinal said the US government was being vengeful. That is where I started, remember. As for the doctor, he was sorry he said what he said because the foxhounds of lord Murdoch have been relentless pursuing him since. He is fed up with it, but has explained that prognosis is not prophecy. It is a statistical art not a crystal ball. No one doubts that al Magrahi is seriously ill, and it was merciful to let him die with his family. Especially as the case against him seems to have been bought in dollars by the Christian US government.

    mikemagee

    19 August, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    • Actually, I’m taking the whole passage, which starts at Matt 5:1, but yes I mistyped. Jesus did not apply his law to governments, but to individuals. The end. If individuals would live as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, there would be no need for such distinctions. Christianity starts with the individual.
      But how am I being judgemental? I have no power. I can hate the action and love the person, very easily, and that’s exactly what Jesus taught. And what Jesus taught, the Catholic Church teaches to this day. Christ also said “Give unto Caesar what is Caesars, and unto God what is God’s.” Thus, it’s not proper for a man to start a fight with another man, but it can be proper for two governments to go to war.

      By the way, if the message is so clear, how come there’s so many groups calling themselves Christians, all claiming to be right? There is only one true Christianity.
      I said nothing about who or what government is being merciful. I guess you don’t think the guy should have even been imprisoned. If Jesus thought we shouldn’t judge everyone, if that’s what he really meant, why didn’t he free all the captives in prison? No, actually, Jesus was saying that true judgement is reserved for His Father.

      By the way, mercy, in this case, would be to provide treatment and comfort, to allow visitors. Not many c humans can be merciful to a murderer, like the Pope was to his assassin. They provide examples of how we ought to live. But even popes are sinners, and have to confess their weaknesses.

      So where are we? You disagree what mercy means. You should take a look at the context, as in what it was meant to be when it was written…

      David

      19 August, 2010 at 9:16 pm

  5. “If individuals would live as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, there would be no need for such distinctions.” Good! Show mercy to everyone. You are making progress. “Christianity starts with the individual.” That is right, and it means you, not the Pope! “But how am I being judgemental?” You said, ‘Mercy is as much about punishment as it is about gentleness’. You think there is no judgement involved in this? “What Jesus taught, the Catholic Church teaches to this day.” If that is so, it also teaches, “Don’t do what I do, do what I say.” The Catholic Church has an abysmal history in which it carried out the most disgusting abominations. No Christian could be a Catholic for that reason.

    “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s” has always deliberately been misunderstood by the Christian churches. Any reading of the scriptures that is not accompanied by a commentary by some priest or pastor is quite clear that Christ was rejecting Rome’s right to rule God’s country. Judaea was “what is God’s”, and the rest of the world was Caesar’s. Christ was emphasizing that Caesar and the Romans had no authority over Judaea, not that Caesar ruled the whole world including Judaea, and God ruled heaven or spiritual things or whatever other misunderstanding you false Christians believe. Christ was born a Jew. Whoever, or whatever his father was, his mother was a Jew. In any case, I do not see how it permits people to go to war. You are replete with pathetic apologies for understanding, just as I have said repeatedly.

    “If the message is so clear, how come there’s so many groups calling themselves Christians, all claiming to be right? There is only one true Christianity.” I seem to remember I said 99% of Christians did not understand their own religion. I am probably being generous to allow for 1% who do. As around a half of them all call themselves Catholics, most Catholics must be included in the 99%. So that cannot be the true Christianity either, can it? It plainly is not. It is an amalgam of Roman solar religions under the auspices of the Christian bishops to give Rome a united imperial religion. Constantine succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. His imperialistic religion is still the biggest ‘Christianity’ remaining, and it is still Roman and imperialistic. Christ sat on no bejewelled thrones until he became a Roman emperor in the sky.

    “I guess you don’t think the guy should have even been imprisoned.” No one should be imprisoned especially with the threat of losing his life when the trial is scarred by the convicting witness receiving a large bribe from the US. A key point I am making is that Americans have a peculiar sense of justice, especially for anyone who is not an American, though I suspect that internal justice is pretty rotten too. If we have to judge people for practical purposes in our societies, then it must be fair, not bent. “Why didn’t he free all the captives in prison?” Wasn’t Jesus just a humble man, a carpenter. How was he to free any prisoners? He was not Pontius Pilate, though I would not be surprised if plenty of Christians do not know the difference.

    “Jesus was saying that true judgement is reserved for His Father.” Do you mean there are at least two Gods in Catholicism, maybe three if we were to include the Holy Ghost? This does not sound like monotheism. I understood that the substance of the three persons was one, so that they constitute one God. Whether you say it was God the Father, God the Holy Ghost or God the Son who passes judgement, it is all God. In fact, I understood that Catholics believe that God in the person of Christ actually passes judgement.

    “They provide examples of how we ought to live. But even popes are sinners, and have to confess their weaknesses.” Excuses, excuses. To be Christians people should follow Christ’s teachings and do the sort of things he did. One has to believe, if one wants to be a Christian, that God appeared and had a portion of His earthly life recorded for a purpose, and that could only have been to show people how a godly man was expected to live. That also proves that faith alone is nonsense. James, the brother of the Lord, was adamant that faith without works: “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only”, “what does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works?” etc. Whether this man was a blood brother or not, he is the one of all the New Testament writers who actually knew Christ in the flesh, and his epistle, almost certainly directed against Paul and his false Christians, is closer to the teaching of Christ than anything else in the NT.

    “You disagree what mercy means.” You say we must look at the context, and so let us look at what Christ must have understood by mercy from the Jewish scriptures, something you are fond of. The word in Hebrew is mostly ‘chesed’ which means ‘lovingkindness’, and that is what is meant when the word ‘love’ is repeated by Christ in the gospels. ‘Love’ is not some sloppy sentimentality or fondness, but practical care, kindness, compassion. That is what Christian love and mercy are, and they ought not to be that hard to extend to our fellow humans. It needs the will, though, and few Christians have it. Indeed, most of them are liars and fakes, or gullible dupes. What then could ‘Christians’ really be?

    “So where are we.” Where indeed? You seem to have mellowed a little, but I doubt that you are any wiser.

    Mike Magee

    20 August, 2010 at 12:14 am

  6. What abominations? (I can’t wait to hear it!) But actually, the Church teaches to do as Jesus did, not as humans do. Regarding Rome and God, actually Jesus was saying it’s all God’s. None of it is really Rome’s. But Jesus was talking of government’s place on earth. He was also saying not to be so concerned with things here, but to prepare for what comes after.
    Regarding Christians not understanding the message, I didn’t say Catholic people are the true faith, I said Catholicism is the true faith. It’s the one Jesus founded. Whether people understand the message or not, it’s the tenents of the faith that are true or not true. But if the message is so clear, how come different Protestant sects can’t even agree on what kind of baptism to have or whether we’ll have a pre-millenial, amillenial or post-millenial rapture?

    One God, three persons.
    John knew Jesus personally, too. So did Paul-Jesus IS a person. So did Peter, so did Jude, all writers of the NT.
    Regarding mercy, or lovingkindness. Do you have children? Do you love them? Do you punish them when they’re wrong? Are you merciful? Are you exhibiting loving kindness when you punish them? Love is charity, love is sacrifice. Love is a decision.

    David

    20 August, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    • You are too intoxicated with your besotting religion for me to teach you any Catholic history. Suffice it to say it proves that Catholicism is not guarded by any Holy Ghost or any other aspect of a God supposed to be perfectly good. Many have written about it, so if the pious ostrich were to pull its head out of the holy sand it might get to understand. Of course, the Holy Inquisition still forbids you to do it, so naturally you will not. Yes indeed, the Church tells you to do as it says!

      Just how do you come to your conclusion about Jesus saying “render unto Caesar’s what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s”? If all of it is God’s, Jesus would have been obliged to contradict the emperor’s head being on the coin. Most commentator’s think he was being very clever not to contradict Caesar’s worldly power, to avoid being prematurely crucified. But you all of you believe just what you want to believe. In Jewish tradition, Judaea is God’s land, and its people are His Chosen People. Caesar specifically had no right to them whatever claims he made elsewhere. Do you get it? Noooo! No chance. It doesn’t suit you.

      Since when did Jesus found Catholicism. You obviously know nothing about Christian history. He did not even found Christianity. Christian bishops and their churches were mostly independent until Constantine forced those of them under Roman jurisdiction under one roof in 325. The Church founded by Jesus and his brother James, the Jerusalem Church, then became a heresy! Paul was the real heretic, and he founded gentile Christianity.

      If you are all so sure the tenets of Catholicism are true and guarded by God and His Holy Ghost, then God is not omnipotent. It has a lot of followers, but most of them do not comprehend it. God has failed. In fact, there are few people except Catholics — who are forbidden to read anything critical — who do not realize that Roman Christianity as set up by the emperors is a hybrid of several Roman religions, admittedly dominated by the Christian bishops but with many non-Christian rituals, sacraments and dates, often Mithratic, tacked on. In any case, every Christian from members of the Universal Church down to the looniest Protestant sect all say theirs is the only true faith. It is a statement that is meaningless without evidence, and no Christian will risk evidence, it might show something they do not want to believe.

      Rapture? What is that? Where does Christ talk about Rapture? The notion was invented by Paul, a man who never met Christ, except in his dreams, and knew and cared nothing about his life except for a few odd facts and the important one that he was crucified, and allegedly rose again making him into a real dying and rising god. He knew nothing for example about any virgin birth of impregnation by God, and says so as plain as is possible. Christians do not wish to know.

      I thought John was the baptist. Christ had no particular interest in baptism once John was dead. It suits the Church to have an initiation ritual. One God of one substance, but the three persons do not know what the others are doing or thinking, except maybe the original God, the Father, who seems to retain some omniscience. As the other two are not omniscient, how then is Christ God, yet that is what you all believe? In the gospels, Christ himself openly denied he was God. Is God a liar too? You people make him into a liar, but then he is just a convenient way of making your own thoughts and lack of morality into Christian beliefs. Each one of you thinks you know what God thinks. And you do, because he is what you think!

      No one believes any of the authors of the epistles you cite are the men you say knew Christ. Only James’s letter is considered original, and even then, many deny it, especially Protestants, Luther calling it “a strawy epistle”. That probably means it is genuine. Protestants now differ from Catholics in no significant way. They too have to have the bible read to them and interpreted for them, just as Catholics always have had their doctors to tell them what to believe.

      Everyone can be expected to love and show mercy to their own kin. Christ was telling you to show mercy and loving kindness to everyone, even your enemy. You are so bigoted you refuse to understand simple English. It just does not suit you. Christians want an easy religion, and have given themselves an easy religion to practice. Just go to mass and have faith. Nothing to it. Protestants just have faith, its easier still. You don’t have to do anything useful or moral. Why then did Christ repeatedly tell you it was hard being a Christian. It proves totally that none of you are Christians. You have no need to try. Pity about the Judgement!

      Mike Magee

      20 August, 2010 at 9:46 pm

      • What a joke you are. Catholic Church is holy because Jesus founded her. To answer your later question, he founded the Church in Matt 16:18-20 and it was formalized it in Acts 2:1-6. So the holiness of the Church does not depend on any man to be perfect. Because there’s only been two perfect humans, one was also perfectly divine, the other perfect by God’s grace.
        Regarding Caesar, http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/766/Render_Unto_Caesar.html will show you how our Church has always interpreted this passage.

        Again, Jesus founded the Church in Matt 16:18-20 and instituted it in Acts 2:1-6. And the structure of the Church is the same now as it was 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead. All the apostles had titular territories, and were somewhat independent, but bound by the Holy Spirit to prevent errors from creeping into Church doctrine. James was the Bishop of Jerusalem. Peter was the Bishop of Antioch, Paul was an itinerant teacher, naming the bishops of Corinth, Galatia, Thessalonica, and so on. Two of those he named were Timothy and Titus. Constantine did nothing more than legalize and try to subjugate Catholicism. Regarding the use of items by Catholicism and anyone else, what they do is their business, what we do is our business. It’s like if I go to Italy and ask for a latte, what will I get??? At any rate, while many say that they’re the one faith, Catholics are the only Church to have evidence to back it up. The evidence is that Jesus said, in Matt 16:18-20 that he would build his church. Singular.

        And where do you get the idea that Catholic are forbidden to read anything critical? Quite the opposite. Most won’t, but not because they cannot, just that they will not. All 7 of our sacraments are in the Bible, friend, not something made up later. Regarding the rapture, Catholic church doesn’t even believe in it, other than it’s a word in a translation of 1st Thessalonians, and even there, the meaning isn’t clear. The point I was making, which sailed over your head, is that there’s so many interpretations of scripture all claiming to be true, but none but the Catholic interpretation was written about by those who studied at Jesus’ feet. And we have their writings to know what was meant.
        The Gospel of John wasn’t written by John the Baptist, in fact he was already dead when the gospels were written. No, John, the disciple Jesus loved, is the author of the gospel of John, and also of Revelation. And maybe a letter or two.
        Actually, most of us don’t presume to know what God thinks. We rely on what Jesus taught and try to apply it to today.
        “Protestants” are just disobedient Catholics who say “I don’t like what they teach, it doesn’t suit my idea of Jesus.” True, there’s a lot of Catholics like that, too, and no human being can totally be Catholic, humans are just too egotistical. But Catholics do differ in significant ways, maybe not significant to you, but significant to them. We believe our doctors of the Church because they were protected from teaching error by the Holy Spirit. It follows that when we have questions we rely on them, just as if you have questions about your health, you go to your physician (doctor) to figure it out.
        You’re right, Christ was telling us to show mercy, to love each other as He loves us. Equally. And I would do everything in my power to comfort the Lockerbie bomber. In prison. But aren’t you being a little hypocritical? You’re judging me, aren’t you? Aren’t you? You’re judging me and all Christians.
        All of this because you don’t know what Jesus meant by “mercy”. But it’s clear cut, isn’t it?

        David

        23 August, 2010 at 10:13 pm

  7. It can be no fun being a joker when the audience are too indoctrinated to understand the jokes. The passage in Matthew in which Jesus says Peter will be the rock upon which the Church will be built is an interpolation by the Church at a much later date. Few scholars who are not Catholics deny it. You then say the Church was instituted only after Christ had departed, yet this same Christ mentions a church twice in Matthew 18:17. There already was a church when Christ was alive, and he told his followers it would settle their disputes. You rely partly on some sort of Catholic fundamentalism and partly on the interpretations handed to you, if you are attentive enough, by your doctors, but you ignore what does not suit you.

    Plainly there was a church, and Jesus was a member of it, and probably its leader for a while, and James followed him as its leader. It was the Jerusalem Church, and it was Essenic. If you feel you can defy your doctors and read something critical, then try it. The Essenes were Jewish Christians before Paul exported it, contrary to the Jerusalem Church, to the wider empire. The epistle of James contradicted the heretic, Paul.

    I do not doubt that the church knows what it means by the story about Jesus and the Roman coin. I told you that Christian churches has always deliberately misinterpreted the story, though the real meaning is plain enough to anyone who has followed the Jewish scriptures, and the Jewish attitude to God, who they understood had chosen them as His people, that the Promised Land was the land that He had appointed to them, and that the Romans had usurped God’s position as the proper ruler of the Jews. I am getting tired of repeating these things, when you are not interested in anything other than the myths and fairy tales the Church tells you to believe. Scholars think otherwise.

    Isn’t it obvious, even to you, that if the Holy Ghost was charged with the duty of preventing errors creeping into Church doctrine then, it has failed and should be fired for incompetence. Where are these apostolic territories now? The apostles except for Peter and Paul, the latter being self appointed, disappeared from history. As for bishops, the Essenes had them before the Christians. Try leaving Catholic myths and misinformation to one side, and reading some real scholarship. Many Catholic scholars have left or been expelled from the Church because they were constrained by Christian lies.

    Was there only a single unified Church before Constantine and the Nicene Council? What then was the purpose of the Council? And if Jesus used the word church in the singular, how do you know that the church that became the Roman Catholic Church was the one he meant? Evidence? You really talk dribble.

    All seven sacraments are in the bible means nothing. Earlier we discussed “an eye for an eye”. That is in the bible, but are we supposed to use it as a principle of legal redress today? Are we to stone adulteresses as they do in fundamental Moslem countries? The bible says we should. I think we agreed that Christ changed these barbaric Jewish laws by teaching loving kindness to everyone. Christ instituted one sacrament, the Eucharist, and that looks very much as though it was an insertion by Paul! The first reference to it chronologically in the bible is by Paul, then later it appears in the gospels in just the form that Paul prescribed. The Essenes already had a eucharistic meal, and the feeding of the four and five thousands was it being offered to a large group of followers. Essenes regarded it as a Messianic Feast, so it fits the Christ legend perfectly. You were the one who introduced the word “rapture” into the conversation as if it mattered to you. Why should a Catholic bother what absurdities a Protestant believes in. Where does Christ talk about it? Since when did Paul study at Jesus’s feet? He never met him. Baptism is a sacrament, but Jesus did not institute it, or seem to take much interest in it, as I said, after John died. John the Baptist had his own followers, curiously enough, also called Nazarenes, and the early church was careful to distinguish itself from them, so it denigrated the baptism of John as inferior to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Mind you, that seemed to be a baptism by fire, so the Church sensibly returned to the old fashioned aqueous baptism when it felt John was no threat to it.

    Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, were not associates of Christ. Everyone knows that these names were attached to the gospels centuries later. The style of Revelation, shows it is based on a much earlier Jewish, probably Essene, text with Christian interpolations. It is a quite different style from John’s gospel, and probably different from the epistles too, but they are too short for reliable stylistic analysis.

    If you rely on what Christ taught and try to apply it today, why are we having this discussion. That is just what you do not do, most of you. I am not repeating myself any more, it is getting too tedious, but you have proven repeatedly that you make up your own teachings for Christ, which differs even from what the Church teaches, all too often. I think you have virtually agreed that most Christians are not Christians at all, but all of you are convinced you are, and will naturally be saved. Yet the most trivial examination shows you are completely out of sync with what Christ taught, and have been since Paul became more important to you that the man you consider to be God. Paul is really your God. Christ is merely the idol that Paul taught you all to worship.

    Only two humans were perfect, you said, but now you consider all of the doctors of the Church to be doctrinally perfect. I do not need any doctor of anything to tell me what is plain to everybody who is not brain damaged — no human beings are perfect — even doctors of divinity — probably, especially DDs. Christ taught his followers to be humble, but here are men whose knowledge of divinity is perfect. I repeat to you that Christ denied he was God. Like many other points I have made, you just ignored it. You do not want to know.

    Christ taught you to love your fellow human beings, even the least of them, as if they were God himself. That is where you fail. If you suddenly knew God Himself was the person you refused to show mercy towards, then you quickly change your mind. But that is exactly what he said. You do not even read your own infallible book. Look to Matthew 25:31ff where Christ describes Judgement. As to judging you, indeed I am — I told you I am not a Christian — and, as I have no way of punishing you, it is entirely for your own edification, before — if your beliefs are right — you get punished by a higher authority than I am. If I am able to dent your stiff neck, you might feel some benefit, but again, it looks unlikely.

    I thought I had explained what Christ understood by mercy. It is quite easy to understand, but you will not. You refuse to read anything except you fairy tales and their interpretations by your holy theologians. In particular, you will not read what priests, vicars, and theologians are themselves taught, but not required to tell their congregations, the modern scholarship that lies behind the bible and early Christianity. So I know your beliefs are mainly hogwash, and among them is that critics of the Church are demons, and you will not listen to a demon. We cannot get any farther, I fear.

    Mike Magee

    24 August, 2010 at 1:17 am

    • I wonder what you call ‘a much later date’. Is 20 years after Christ died a ‘much later date?’ Ignatius of Antioch wrote of Peter as the head of the Church in his Epistle to the Romans, Iranaeus wrote about it in Adversus Haereses, as did Tatian the Syrian and Clement of Alexandria. All within 100 years of Christ’s death and resurrection. “Church” in Matt 18:17 stands for the local church, and since Jesus was a Jew he was speaking of the local synagogue. Jesus taught differently than the Pharisees and the Sadducees and was the founder of Christianity. Essenes had a long history before Jesus and were a solitary monastic sect.
      Regarding the coin and Render unto Caesar, Catholic SCHOLARS disagree with you.
      IT’s not for you to say that the Holy Spirit has failed. In fact, you wouldn’t know if he succeeded or not. The fact is that every apostle’s charism has been passed on to every bishop. The bishops are the successors of the apostles, and the Pope the successor of Peter. And I’ve asked but you haven’t answered–IN WHAT WAY HAS THE TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BECOME FALSE??? Oh, and you’ll have to prove that Essenes had bishops. They were cloistered Jewish monks. What Catholic scholars have left or were constrained by the Church? Name some?
      Was there one church? Definitely. What was the purpose of of the Council of Nicaea? To examine questions that had been popping up and to set the answers to those questions in stone. To examine the questions and ask “What did the apostles have to say about that?”. Same as any other council. How do we know? Because Jesus said so. And it’s written in Acts, where the other apostles laid hands on Paul, and later where Paul appointed Timothy to be his representative. 2Tim1:6 Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you (the Holy Spirit) through the laying on of hands (which is how Paul became an apostle-the laying on of hands by the other apostles).
      Regarding the sacraments, Jesus instituted all of them in the New Law, the New Testament. Which is the law of Christians. The major sacrament, the Eucharist, was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper, and alluded to in John Chapter 6, and Paul reinforced it in his first letter to the Corinthians. Jews certainly had Eucharistic sacrifices, it means thanksgiving, but Jesus put the real meaning into it.
      I gave examples and used ‘rapture’. Because the gospels are so straight forward that all 30,000 protestant religions have different understandings of what belongs and what doesn’t belong. Catholics have always believed the same things. Certainly they’ve questioned things, and they’ve been clarified. By the authority-the Church. No protestant church has an authority that the Catholic Church has. Paul studied at Jesus feet in the desert outside of Damascus. You think it was a dream, when his companions also heard, though they didn’t understand? And if Jesus didn’t care about baptism, why did he tell his disciples to go out to all nations, baptising in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?
      Matthew was an apostle, Mark was a disciple of Peter who also traveled with Paul, Luke traveled with Paul, and John was an apostle. “Everybody knows” is not proof. The testimony of Eusebius shows otherwise: “Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching and founding the church in Rome. After their departure Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also transmitted to us in writing those things which Peter had preached; and Luke, the attendant of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel which Paul had declared. Afterwards John, the disciple of the Lord, who also reclined on his bosom, published his Gospel, while staying at Ephesus in Asia.” Church History, Book 5, Chapter 8. The Book of Revelation would not have been included in the Bible canon were it not written at least by a disciple of John.
      Two people were perfect, very true, and the doctors of the Church are perfect in what they taught regarding faith and morals. That doesn’t mean they weren’t sinners. Read and understand, man, the doctors of the Church could not teach error because they were protected by the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

      Finally, and I mean that, we all fail. Every one of us. Christ gave us and showed us perfection, knowing that we are far from perfect. This doesn’t mean we don’t continue to try. I can certainly love the man who’s in prison, but it’s not for me to decide whether he should be in prison. That doesn’t stop me from having an opinion. By the way, the fact that I know you’re a hypocrite too doesn’t make me judgemental. It makes me realistic. TTFN!

      David

      24 August, 2010 at 4:38 pm

  8. As I said before, David, you are too indoctrinated to understand almost anything. The greater part of what you assert with divine confidence is simply wrong, and any degree of fundamentalist confidence cannot make it true. Scholarship is to go wherever the evidence leads. The expression “a Catholic scholar” is therefore strictly an oxymoron. Catholic doctors, and some laypeople, can be scholarly, but never scholars as long as, like you, they believe they know the truth before they even begin to seek it!

    Tatian’s Diatessaron seems not to have had the reference to Peter having the keys of the kingdom, and it is known primarily through a commentary on it in the fourth century, evidence that it was added much later. All the others you cite are from second century works, some late in the century and more than 100 years after the crucifixion. How late do you want? It wasn’t said by Jesus, unless he’d popped up to others in a dream like Paul’s. Tradition has it that Mark reported everything that Peter said, but he does not include this passage. Did Peter forget it?

    So it is convenient for you to think that “church” here means “synagogue”, but, when Christ addresses Peter, it means the Catholic Church. These are the only places where Matthew has Jesus speaking the word “church”. Everywhere else, whenever he wants to say “synagogue”, he says “synagogue”!

    Jesus taught differently from the scribes and the Pharisees, true — in some respects — but he says (Mt 23:3) that his disciples should practice whatever they tell you. Simply don’t do as they do! It is as I said to you above concerning your “perfect” shepherds. But you are poor little sheep of little will and intelligence. Either that, or you and your church are frauds. Moreover, it proves that Jesus was not intent on building any replacement for Judaism.

    Did I say Jesus founded the Essene sect? I said he was a leader of it. From the bible, John the Baptist was the previous leader, and James the Just, the Brother of the Lord, succeeded him. Look in any decent modern commentary on the bible (doubtless not a Catholic one) for Matthew 18:15ff and it will tell you that the Essene Manual of Discipline has precisely the same rule. Matthew is citing an Essene code of conduct, and yes indeed, for “cloistered Jewish monks”, but they were not all cloistered (village Essenes), and those who were, were to leave their cloisters under certain conditions — when they expected the Day of God’s Vengeance, ie Judgement Day. Then they were to do just what Christ did. They were to go out to try to save the people, the backsliders, sinners and publicans. And, yes, they had bishops. Go seek! I have plenty of pages on it, on my website, or you could try a little independent research, considering you disbelieve me.

    Catholic scholarship I have already pointed out is an oxymoron. You say you’ve already asked me “IN WHAT WAY HAS THE TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BECOME FALSE???” It must have been an oversight, thought I, so I searched for “teaching”, “Catholic Church”, and “false” but failed to find the question. However, though you have plainly not noticed, all my replies since you replied to my original post have been showing you answers to the question. Look again.

    Alfred Loisy, Martin Luther, Arius come to mind. Galileo, almost. You will find a list on Wikipedia. Read a little. The “questions that had been popping up”, as you quaintly put it, were deep differences between the churches. I don’t know what the rest of your blathering means. What could Jesus several centuries dead have had to say about it, and how could Paul be relevant with or without hands? As for ghosts, you can’t scare me! I don’t believe in them, especially holy ones.

    We agree that Christ seemed to institute only the Eucharist, but it was already instituted. Paul added the novel and impossibly unJewish interpretation of it. “Rapture”? You seem to like the idea, but I asked where does Christ speak of it? The same applies to the rest of your fantasies. You cannot recognize when the later church has plainly interpolated the earlier text. Either Christ called for a new religion or not. You and the Catholic church say he did, and he is God. But when God in the person of Christ says something contrary to your Catholic beliefs, you ignore it. If he told Jews to do what the Pharisees told them, then he was not recommending any new religion. He was reforming the Jewish one. If he wanted to appeal to gentiles, he only made it apparent in odd statements plainly added later to justify the church. Scholars can recognize these, but not your Catholic “scholars”. Going out to baptize all nations is obviously post Pauline. Christ simply could not have said any such thing. The trinitarian formula betrays it as late. Christ was monotheistic. Elsewhere baptism is simply in the name of the Lord Jesus. None of the gospels describe Jesus as carrying out baptism, just the disciples. These instructions also came after Jesus was dead, so they must have been a dream. Anything can happen in a dream!

    Eusebius was writing 300 years later, and no one had known of who the authors were until long after the books emerged. Eusebius started many of the myths the Church calls tradition. Myths are lies. Tradition is also not proof. It amounts to “everybody knows”. But when I wrote “everyone knows” I meant those who could be expected to have some idea because they have studied it. I meant respectable scholars. The gospel of Matthew is, again by majority consent of scholars, written after Mark, at least 50 years after the conventional date of the crucifixion. If the author were Matthew, he was an old man. The same argument applies to John, but more strongly. The gospel of John is considered to have been written by another John, not the beloved disciple, but John the Presbyter. Luke had whatever he knew at second hand and he admits it. Paul was a fake. I repeat, Revelation is a throwback to an earlier time, it copies the devices of apocalyptic literature like Enoch, and must precede Christianity, except for additions like the seven churches of Asia, evidently a distinct work, tacked on.

    Regarding perfection and the Third Person of the Trinity, I fully understand what you are saying, but it is a sheep talking. No one sensible could accept all that gobbledegook.

    Well, all bar the snide dig about hypocrisy, You seem to have come round to my way of thinking in your last paragraph. We are not perfect, not even the doctors of the Church, but the whole point of Christ’s moral teaching was precisely that we should try to be. You are now repeating what I have been saying all along. Christian morality is to be as Christ. Act as he taught and did. Love others, even the least among us, and even our enemies. Excuses will not do. Being a Christian is sincerely trying to be one. If God is merciful, and omniscient, then He knows you are trying your best, and He knows humans are not perfect, so trying your best is the best you can do. It necessitates being merciful, and even if, as you say, we have to restrain madmen and dangerous criminals for the sake of society, we should only do it fairly.

    I too have an opinion about whether al Magrahi should be in jail or not. He should not have been in jail at all when the damning evidence against him has been bought at a cost of a lot of someone’s tax dollars to save America’s face. That is neither fair nor merciful. It is opportunistic vengeance. That is what Cardinal O’Brian was saying. Cardinals are, I believe, Catholics.

    Mike Magee

    24 August, 2010 at 9:57 pm

  9. Other than your last two or three paragraphs, everything you’ve said about your ‘knowledge’ of the Catholic Church is wrong. You think someone writing 1500 years after Christ died has a better idea than the one passed down from Christ to the apostles, to their successors, the bishops, who were all protected by God from straying from the truth? To know what Christ taught, you need to know what those who Christ taught learned. Whatever, you’re smarter than God, you know?

    I’ve been saying all along that nobody’s perfect, and that we’re supposed to live like Christ showed us. Somehow you don’t understand English. What’s perfect is the teaching of the Catholic Church. You’re limited knowledge of history is demonstrated in just your little jab about Galileo, who died a devout Catholic. Who had no proof of what he was espousing, could not have proved it with the instruments of his time. If he’d have stated it as theory, he’d have been fine. But no, he wanted to call a fact something that couldn’t be proven. Loisy, Arius and Luther were obviously erroneous in their teaching. At least schismatic if not heretical. They were arguing theology against what the Church had taught since Christ was on this earth.
    Speaking of Catholic scholars, which you say is oxymoronic, yet most of the greatest scientists were Catholic. Also, the university system as we know it today arose from the Catholic Church, as did the way we teach our children, the hospital system, and most of all scientific breakthroughs. Catholics dominated the study of electricity, seismography, physics, chemistry, microbiology and many, many more of the most exacting intellectual disciplines known to man.
    The man who developed the Big Bang Theory was also a Catholic, in fact a priest. But just keep revising history.

    David

    24 August, 2010 at 10:31 pm

  10. All you do is make assertions without evidence other than what you’ve been told by your “Catholic authorities” and as they are “perfect”, they end all argument — for you. Unfortunately, that is how the world was for a thousand years of misery when your perfect doctors ruled with world “protected by God from straying from the truth”. Since then intelligent people have come to realize that Catholicism is not true at all, and people have discovered amazing things.

    When you attempt to argue, you just end up contradicting what you have previously said because your perfect Catholic ideas, guarded by the holy ghost, are utterly incoherent. When you cannot make a case against anything I have said, you invent something I haven’t said to argue with instead — you invent straw men. From “an eye for an eye” onwards you have wriggled and squirmed to make your false and Antichristian ideas into their opposite, the moral teachings of Christ, that we can now all read for ourselves without the baneful influence of some priest or doctor of the Church telling us what to think. You are the one deficient in understanding because you think the mystical drivel you have been fed by the Church is “Truth”.

    Galileo was threatened with being burnt alive tied to a strong pole, like Giordano Bruno, only a few years before. The Church invented fascism long before Mussolini did. that is why they became so close to each other. Galileo defied the Church, and they kept him under arrest for years, but he, rather naturally, did not want to be cooked — for centuries the Church’s ritual treatment of anyone who disagreed with its false teaching and odious practices. “Do not as I do, but as I say”. The sheep had to be good, but the shepherds, being “perfect” no doubt, could do just as they liked because it suited them to stop anyone criticizing them, including torturing men, women and children to death in a worse fashion than Christ himself had suffered. Now we live in a free society not a fascist one, but no thanks to cringing apologists like yourself.

    You end with a typical straw man. When I said “the expression “a Catholic scholar” is therefore strictly an oxymoron”, you know quite well that I am referring to the doctors of the Church, not Catholic scholars in any other field unrelated to theology. Religion is a belief in something already given. It therefore precludes any investigation of what is give. It excludes scholarship in that field of belief. Christians studying other fields are mainly unaffected by the religious beliefs because they carefully keep them apart, though even then they sometimes cannot. And by having different criteria for testing truth in one field of knowledge with what is alleged to be truth in another is just dishonest. Religion obliges believers to be lairs for God.

    I therefore consider it a duty to continue to revise the history taught by Christians because it conflates myth and history, and forbids any attempt to resolve them into their constituent parts. In short, Christians are habitual liars and justify it by reference to God. Nothing could be more despicable.

    Mike Magee

    25 August, 2010 at 12:13 am

    • Pot meet kettle. You’ve made assertions, too, that have no basis in fact. That Jesus was an Essene, that Paul was a heretic, that Constantine incorporated the pagan world into the Catholic Church, and so on, ad nauseum. Without proof, just your personal interpretation of the events.

      fail to realize that the judges who presided over Galileo’s case were not the only people who held to a geocentric view of the universe. It was the received view among scientists at the time.

      Centuries earlier, Aristotle had refuted heliocentricity, and by Galileo’s time, nearly every major thinker subscribed to a geocentric view. Copernicus refrained from publishing his heliocentric theory for some time, not out of fear of censure from the Church, but out of fear of ridicule from his colleagues.

      Many people wrongly believe Galileo proved heliocentricity. He could not answer the strongest argument against it, which had been made nearly two thousand years earlier by Aristotle: If heliocentrism were true, then there would be observable parallax shifts in the stars’ positions as the earth moved in its orbit around the sun. However, given the technology of Galileo’s time, no such shifts in their positions could be observed. It would require more sensitive measuring equipment than was available in Galileo’s day to document the existence of these shifts, given the stars’ great distance. Until then, the available evidence suggested that the stars were fixed in their positions relative to the earth, and, thus, that the earth and the stars were not moving in space—only the sun, moon, and planets were.

      Thus Galileo did not prove the theory by the Aristotelian standards of science in his day. In his Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina and other documents, Galileo claimed that the Copernican theory had the “sensible demonstrations” needed according to Aristotelian science, but most knew that such demonstrations were not yet forthcoming. Most astronomers in that day were not convinced of the great distance of the stars that the Copernican theory required to account for the absence of observable parallax shifts. This is one of the main reasons why the respected astronomer Tycho Brahe refused to adopt Copernicus fully.
      The Church did forbid Galileo from teaching his theory, but not from conjecturing it. In his Inquisition trial, while instruments of torture may have been present during Galileo’s recantation (this was the custom of the legal system in Europe at that time), they definitely were not used.

      The records demonstrate that Galileo could not be tortured because of regulations laid down in The Directory for Inquisitors. This was the official guide of the Holy Office, the Church office charged with dealing with such matters, and was followed to the letter.

      Regarding fascism, this is, again, your interpretation without so much as a fact behind it. The essence of totalitarianism is the claim that the state’s authority is total, that there is no sphere of human activity which the state is not entitled to control-no private sphere in which the human conscience is supreme, no religious sphere in which man has his own relation with God, no law of God by which the state can be judged-the state is omnicompetent, everything is hers. There is one sphere which is the Church’s, there is another which is not.
      The actual use of torture, while existant, is miniscule compared to the accusations of it. In fact, many accused of civil crimes would run to the church as heretics because the punishment at the hands of the church was much lighter than the punishment by the state.
      By the same token, the doctors of the Church were geniuses, especially when you compare you to them, but by the standards of the day, as well. And the fact is, “science” has changed the definitions to suit itself. Darwin couldn’t come up with any scientific evidence, so he changed the rules of evidence so he would have something to present. And so it goes-you don’t like the definition of the word, change it, and accuse those who defined the word of resistance to change. But one thing never changes, and never has changed, in essence. God never changes, and the Catholic Church has never changed either. When you already have the truth, why should you change? And just so you make the distinction, I’m talking about church doctrine, not individual people’s transgressions.

      David

      25 August, 2010 at 5:53 pm

  11. I make assertions backed by evidence, fully laid out on my own extensive website with references to scholarly research. You offer statements of your false belief with no more authority than that the Church approves it. My point about Galileo, in response to your question, was that he was threatened by the Church, and others similarly threatened had been burnt alive, but you cannot concentrate long enough to remember.

    The Catholic Church continued its Inquisitional habits until the eighteenth century, and occasionally even later in remote places. The Inquisition has never been disbanded, merely given alternative names. From your great faith in the efficiency of the Holy Ghost, you must be among those who think it was right for people to be burnt at the stake over a slow fire because they thought the Church was wrong. Fascism is an intolerant ideology in which unquestioning allegiance is made to a single person or authoritarian institution. It’s characteristics inevitably lead to repression, torture and no respect for persons, precisely like the Catholic Church.

    It is your blather that is largely without foundation. Fundamentalists have a simple way of dealing with anything that refutes their absurd beliefs. They simply contradict it. Like infants they cry, “No it isn’t. NO it isn’t! Papa, tell him… Waaah.” I have said repeatedly that you should go read something real. Only infants read fairy tales. God knows what you are trying to say about Darwin, but it sounds to be contrary to present Catholic orthodoxy. Your Looney Tunes are getting tedious. Go find a Protestant to torment to death by boredom.

    mikemagee

    25 August, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    • You are showing your ignorance of history. Galileo was threatened, not for his theory of heliocentricity, but for his invasion into the realm of theology, where he had no right to be. He was told how he could present his theory, but he chose to disobey, and thus was threatened. Of couse, held under house arrest in the Duke’s mansion with servants and amenities hardly sounds like harsh treatment. In fact, the Pope, Urban VIII, actually treated Galileo better than he might have.
      Regarding the Inquisition, what is an inquisition? We call them “Inquiry”s now. It’s a panel that judges the truth or falsity of something. It is exactly what our current courts of law are now. The Bible itself records instances where God commanded that formal, legal inquiries—that is, inquisitions—be carried out to expose secret believers in false religions. In Deuteronomy 17:2–5 God said: “If there is found among you, within any of your towns which the Lord your God gives you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it; then you shall inquire diligently [note that phrase: “inquire diligently”], and if it is true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done in Israel, then you shall bring forth to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones.”

      It is clear that there were some Israelites who posed as believers in and keepers of the covenant with Yahweh, while inwardly they did not believe and secretly practiced false religions, and even tried to spread them (cf. Deut. 13:6–11). To protect the kingdom from such hidden heresy, these secret practitioners of false religions had to be rooted out and expelled from the community. This directive from the Lord applied even to whole cities that turned away from the true religion (Deut. 13:12–18). Like Israel, medieval Europe was a society of Christian kingdoms that were formally consecrated to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is therefore quite understandable that these Catholics would read their Bibles and conclude that for the good of their Christian society they, like the Israelites before them, “must purge the evil from the midst of you” (Deut. 13:5, 17:7, 12). Paul repeats this principle in 1 Corinthians 5:13.

      These same texts were interpreted similarly by the first Protestants, who also tried to root out and punish those they regarded as heretics. Luther and Calvin both endorsed the right of the state to protect society by purging false religion. In fact, Calvin not only banished from Geneva those who did not share his views, he permitted and in some cases ordered others to be executed for “heresy” (e.g. Jacques Gouet, tortured and beheaded in 1547; and Michael Servetus, burned at the stake in 1553). In England and Ireland, Reformers engaged in their own ruthless inquisitions and executions. Conservative estimates indicate that thousands of English and Irish Catholics were put to death—many by being hanged, drawn, and quartered—for practicing the Catholic faith and refusing to become Protestant. An even greater number were forced to flee to the Continent for their safety. We point this out to show that the situation was a two-way street; and both sides easily understood the Bible to require the use of penal sanctions to root out false religion from Christian society.
      But who cares? You think the facts are on your side. I know they are on God’s.

      David

      25 August, 2010 at 9:18 pm

  12. You argue by word association. Are you a psychiatrist, or a patient. Most of what you write is irrelevant, you ignore most of what I say to attack you own straw dolls, and prattle a load of bunkum. I can do the same, but you wouldn’t know the difference.

    To get to the core of Christian belief, let us think of a difficult repentant feeling. Christ and a shekel of blood money next to the school of empty paraphrasty are elusive. Our greatest obligation is merely the quibbling interrogation, the son of David in Jesus. Lord, assist us in our lack of understanding. A prayer shows that some angelic favour possibly negotiates an agreement with Jesus Christ, yet how can it be that a challenging bishop like Satan thinks precisely?

    If we take part in any sort of mystification, we should make sure that none of our movement in Judaism or the dozen apostles inclines to debauchery. Jesus Barabbas is often paternal. When Jesus Barabbas infectedly ponders, the elusive cosmic battle falls unduly, and when Jesus ceases, another wicked god they called Yehouah brightly cleanses the temple. Almighty God and the beloved one shall be the latter surrealism because they are numinous. Mary Magdalene evokes the entire harlot of Babylon. Unless the difficulty next to Jesus unusually procrastinates, a pious eternal life atones.

    You are a whitened master of the sacred appearance. With a few exceptions, Jews have always been sinuous. Isaiah otherworldly mediates, yet the clue to dates and times living with Ezekiel shares the gift with a thanksgiving hymn related to another man or another implication! Your country is disreputable, and shall be overthrown, without question. All we are taught by the Church inclines to debauchery. Your country is tattered, your land uncertain and shall be overthrown by a twisted prophet of sin.

    mikemagee

    25 August, 2010 at 10:04 pm

  13. Oh! Now I get it! Thanks! Bye!

    David

    25 August, 2010 at 10:19 pm


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