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The Catholic civil war

U.S. Catholic bishops listen as Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory speaks during a Mass on June 14, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

It was a strength of American civil society in the last decades of the 20th century that the Catholic Church was not aligned with our secular politics. On  social issues — abortion and GLBT rights above all — Church leaders stood with the Republicans. On economic and foreign policy, they sided with the Democrats.

In recent years, however, this constructive bipartisanship has been under assault, largely from the Catholic right.

Economic thinkers led by the late Michael Novak have persistently claimed that the Church’s social teaching is far more friendly to unfettered capitalism than it is. Neoconservatives have backed a degree of anti-Muslim bellicosity not shared by the Vatican.

Despite the Church’s longstanding support for universal health care, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops managed to come out against the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that it didn’t go far enough in exempting religious institutions from having to provide female employees with contraceptive coverage.

There have also been efforts to pretend that the Church is not all that opposed to the death penalty and all that supportive of gun control, and notable inattention to Pope Francis’ stern warning on the dangers of climate change.

In other words, the campaign has been to turn the Church into a spiritual doppelgänger of the Republican Party. And it was well on its way to succeeding.

But Francis has thwarted these well-laid plans — by his powerful restatements of traditional Catholic social teaching and by his appointment of bishops and cardinals who share his views.

The result is what amounts to an ecclesial civil war that has sucked all issues confronting the Church into it, most prominently whether to permit communion for the divorced and remarried. On one side is the Party of Francis and on the other, the Party of, well, Reaction.

Rome is as much of a battlefield as the United States.

There, Francis has moved against prominent hierarchs who have shown themselves resistant to his agenda. Three years ago, he removed Cardinal Raymond Burke as head of the Vatican’s highest court. Four months ago, he declined to reappoint Cardinal Gerhard Müller as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

And two weeks ago, he issued a remarkable reproach to Cardinal Robert Sarah, who heads the Vatican’s liturgy office. Sarah had boldly claimed that the pope’s recent order to return responsibility for vernacular translations to national bishops conferences did not actually do that. Oh yes it did, said Francis.

Unabashed, Sarah gave a speech at a church conference in Warsaw a week ago supporting the immigration restrictions imposed by Eastern European nations contrary to the policy of the EU. Countries have a right, the black African prelate emphasized, to distinguish between political and religious refugees and those emigrating for economic reasons.

“Some people exploit the Word of God to justify the promotion of multiculturalism and gaily take advantage of the excuse of hospitality to justify the admission of immigrants,” Sarah said.

Unsurprisingly, the speech was seized upon by alt-right-ish media in the U.S., both Catholic and secular, from LifeSite News to Breitbart and the Daily Caller. Breitbart pointed out that the pope has himself distinguished between policies for refugees and for migrants, but it’s nonsense to imply that Francis, who has made opposition to anti-migrant populism a centerpiece of his papacy, would associate himself with Sarah’s remarks.

As if to dress down the cardinal once again, on Thursday Pope Francis told a group of children from Houston “that one of the nicest things is to welcome a new culture that comes from somewhere else, be enriched through dialogue with that culture, and welcome the other,” according to Crux.

“And it’s not me who says this, someone much more important than I said it: God said it, and in the Bible it’s clear. Welcome the migrant, the refugee, because you were a migrant and refugee in Egypt,” he said. “Jesus, too, was a refugee.”

Thus far, the American bishops have maintained their staunch support for undocumented immigrants, backing a path to citizenship and, most recently, strongly condemning President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program. But there are those in the Church who, on this issue too, disdain the pope in favor of the now Trumpian GOP.

About the author

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service


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  • Revisionist historical garbage. Because bishops are replaced only when they retire, it took a decade or two for John Paul II to turn the US episcopate into an adjunct of the the GOP. Yes, in the 1980s, bishops opposed nuclear war and supported social justice but by the mid-1990s, abortion became the “non-negotiable” issue for Catholics to vote Republican. Opposition to Obamacare was strictly political obstructionism because the Massachusetts bishops were silent when Romneycare covered abortion.
    Pope Francis is right-wing. In Oct. 2015, a video captured him telling Chileans “Think with your heads and don’t be carried away by any accusations made by lefties,” in reference to their objections to his appointment of a bishop who covered-up sex abuse. (Buenos Aires Herald)
    Pope Francis, like the now-global Religious Right, is opposed to reproductive health care for women and equal rights for LGBTQ persons in statements far too numerous to quote.
    Burke is an unimportant prelate, raised to celebrity status by the dishonest US media as “boogeyman” of traditionalist. Anyway, the pope just reappointed him to the Vatican court.
    The “civil war” with traditionalists was ignited when Pope Francis accused bishops and cardinals who disagree with him of “ legalism,” “closed hearts,” ( “blinkered viewpoints,” judging “sometimes with superiority and superficiality,” lacking “understanding,” unable to “discern,” cowardice in “burying their heads in the sand,’ “a nasty spirit in order to sow division,” and psychologically “born from something missing, from trying to hide one’s own sad dissatisfaction behind a kind of armor.” He warns that they are a “cancer of the Church” in pursuit of glory rooted in “the logic of ambition and power.” (

  • The problem with this article is the writer is not speaking as a fair minded Catholic. Rather, Mark Silk is a progressive liberal. I would bet anything he has a hard time with the church’s position on abortion, gay marriage, transgender rights, traditional family etc. The shear fact he calls illegal aliens undocumented immigrants should be tell anyone reading this article is is a progressive liberal. The problem with progressive liberals such as Mr. Silk, Joe Biden, Barbara Pelosi, and Tim Kaine is they are basically heretics. They have always opposed the church’s teaching on social/moral issues and some of these so-called Catholics actively work against the Church’s positions on these issues. Yes, the church is more comfortable with the position the Democratic party when it comes to the economy and illegal immigration and the death penalty. Yet, supporting capitalism, a strong boarder policy, and the death penalty are not considered intrinsically evil. Abortion, euthanasia, and the gay lifestyle are intrinsically evil . These positions are not something new started by right wing Catholics. The positions are foundational to Church teaching. Favoring capitalism over socialism is not.

  • Intrinsically evil is calling people whose sole crime is not being just like you intrinsically evil.

    I live my life, support my community, pay my taxes, and stand opposed to the kind of religious rhetoric that demonizes people who are not you as being intrinsically evil. I harm no one and wish to harm no one.

    Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality. He was quite clear on being holier than thou.

    So which one of us is intrinsically evil?

  • The Bible clearly states that there are NO SODOMITES in heaven and that sodomy is an abomination. Seems clear to all who respect the Lord’s authority over us.

  • Also equally clear that slanderers and revilers and drunks aren’t making it to heaven either. Funny about what gets you exercised. Given that, aren’t you worried about you notmaking it to heaven, either?

    But as for respecting YOUR lord’s authority over us: I don’t believe in your lord, or that he has any authority. 2/3 of the world agrees with me.

  • The Catholic church is just as divided as America is now, and with the same intensity of passions. This will only get worse over the years to come and there is little effort to change this. Everything in this world seems to be in crisis mode and I pray cooler heads prevail.

  • You obviously do not believe in God’s words. The Bible(God’s Word} clearly states
    It is not natural for men to be intimate with their own sex nor woman with theirs. READ THE BiBLE

  • Ya figured all that out, Mrs. Einstein? Congrats!

    The Bible says all kinds of things. You’re right, I don’t believe they are god’s words. I read the Bible, very nearly became a Christian, and then realized that it was all hokum.

    ironically, John 3:16 convinced me of that.

  • But brbg just corrected you and you just blew it off like you weren’t corrected. Then you went on to tell us something we already knew which in no way changed your false position. Then you denied believing in “our Lord’s authority”, (as if such nullifies it) and claimed that 2/3 of the world also doesn’t believe He has authority.

    But most of the world does adhere to moral codes that admonish homosexuality, nor is it accepted by communist China which is secular.

  • “Correction” is only given by those convinced of their own authoriteh. He has none over those who recognize his pompous nonsense for what it is.

  • Every time I hear some radical right lay person or clergy subvert the word of God I think to myself “Pharisee”. And lo and behold today’s gospel with Jesus preached the two great comandments to the Pharisees. Do they think Christ would approve of taking a sink ten year old girl from her family?

  • Yeah, would those be the same moral codes that had no problem with the chattel ownership of other people–you know, slavery? The churches had no problem with that for a very, very long time.

  • What are you talking about? Ben in Oakland, said that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. brbg pointed out that Jesus says such. Revelations 21:8 states that people must overcome themselves and implies homosexual acts as part of all sexual immorality. I already made the point that Ben’s denial of Christ’s authority had no bearing on the existence of the scripture.

  • I’m referring to Hinduism which has very drastic punishments for sexual immorality of all kinds. Buddhism was a religion of detachment from sensuality to avoid the endless karma of the same. Add to that Islam and a communist country like China and it’s more than two thirds of all people who actually do hold proscriptions on homosexual acts before you get to the one billion and a half Christians of varying denominations. If Ben thought he was placing Christianity in some little corner office regarding proscriptions on homosexual acts, then he was misinformed.

  • The Bible also states “Leviticus 20:9 “If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him.”
    In the New Testament, in the case of the woman taken in adultery, Christ did not deny the scriptural demands that she be put to death, but he made it pretty clear what a bunch of hypocrites were the people demanding punishment of these “evildoers” .
    I would suggest that you first start by treating Scripture as the word of God telling YOU how to live YOUR life before you follow the modern Republican trend of using it as a tool to condemn others whose politics you disagree with.

  • I don’t think its hokum. When I read the book of Genesis for example, I never cease to be amazed at the beauty and elegance of the book and how the author CLEARLY saw it as a piece of symbolic literature trying to find a way to express a deeper truth. It is the modern human mind that has apparently crawled back into the swamp that appears to be incapable of understanding the difference between empirical truth and symbological reality.

  • Everyone already knows that Christ seeks mercy, but that doesn’t exempt people from the need to overcome their own behaviors. The adulterer was told to sin no more. So what is your point and how does this have anything to do with two political parties that have lost credibility with the public, or the Democratic candidate who called Americans deplorables?

  • A cabbie picks up a Nun. She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won’t stop staring at her. She asks him why he is staring.
    He replies: “I have a question to ask, but I don’t want to offend you.”
    She answers, “My son, you cannot offend me. When you’re as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I’m sure that there’s nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive.”
    “Well, I’ve always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me.”
    She responds, “Well, let’s see what we can do about that…
    1) You have to be single and

    2) You must be Catholic.”
    The cab driver is very excited and says, “Yes, I’m single and Catholic!”
    “OK” the nun says. “Pull into the next alley.”
    The nun fulfills his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker blush. But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.
    “My dear child,” said the nun, “why are you crying?”
    “Forgive me, but I’ve sinned. dI lied and I must confess, I’m married and I’m Jewish.”
    The nun says, “That’s OK. My name is Kevin and I’m going to a Halloween party!”

  • Christ died for the ones who curse their father and mother, if they choose to accept His gift of life, otherwise, He didn’t lie. They will die for their sins.
    The woman taken in adultery was a set up. They didn’t bring the man participating with her – an adulterer – and Christ taught a greater lesson though this by loving her, protecting her from the hypocrites, and telling her to sin no more.

  • “Christ died for the ones who curse their father and mother”……where does the Bible say that specifically? I showed you a place where the Bible says the exact opposite and Christ never reversed ANY teachings of the Bible.

  • She didn’t call “Americans” deplorables. She called Republicans deplorables. very different thing.

  • What do you think my point is? I was responding to an earlier post (Marien Obrien) where the author used a quote from the Bible to condemn homosexuals. I was giving a simple example of how you can cherry pick almost anything you want from the Bible to justify almost anything you want…if you are prepared to overlook the bigger picture.
    You really need to make an effort to follow the discussion thread of posts on these sites and not just to jump in a push your ideology onto posts out of context.
    My only real Reference was to Republicans who tend to be more religious than Democrats and in many places like to use religious quotes to reinforce their somewhat perverse political ideals.

  • Dear suzyspellcheck, Would you care to specify exactly what kind of acts said holy men engage in? Are you saying that most of the world, which Ben and I have alluded to, shops at Walmart?

    Also, if everyone says we have free will and most arguing for every kind of right to do as they please believe so, then why would you suppose it’s God’s job to interfere with your free will or anyone else’s free will? I thought the idea was that each was responsible for their own actions?

  • Thats precious. First, science does not follow magical fantasies. Science follows the empirical, testable evidence all the way back to the big bang, but there is no theory in existence today of what happened before the Big Bang. No one in science claims that the Universe emerged from nothing. You might find a few authors in books using that language but the present scientific opinion is focusing on speculative ideas like multiple universes (one universe contracting to a singularity which erases the entropy and then expanding again) or quantum singularities. So you are basically lying about what the scientific community proposes. Also your ignorance is shining brightly through your comments.
    Second, the “magical fantasies” lie on the religious side. You don’t know how the universe appeared, so you say…”God did it”. Where did God come from? Explain what this God thing is? You can’t. All you are doing is wrapping up all the unknowns and applying a word to it. You are the one indulging in magical fantasies.

  • If you are an American, then I’m sure you accept sexual abuse of minors. The US Juvenile Detention System had more allegations of sexual abuse of minors in one month in 2015 than the RCC, Boy Scouts and other mainline Churches combined had in the last 10 years. I left the Evangelicals out.They tend to bump the numbers up a bit.
    As an American, you tolerate the US Juvenile Detention System so …just like you are accusing catholics of tolerating pedophile priests, you are tolerating sexual abuse of minors. So you are basically a hypocrite???

  • First of all, you’ve only shown you do not understand scripture.

    1 Peter 3:18English Standard Version (ESV)

    18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

  • Exodus 20:5-6: It appears that God has no problem with abusing children for the sins of their parents…..and their grandparents…..and their great-grandparents….and their great-great-grandparents.

  • I read the posts. I saw what Marion was doing and you were alluding to Christ’s call for mercy, but you overlooked that He also told her to sin no more and that is part of the bigger picture. Christ called all people to overcome themselves.

    Both political parties have lost credibility because they are two halves of a one party system that is looting this country blind and using all factions to their advantage, which is why an outsider won the election. Yes Trump won with the help of a candidate who called half of his backers (who happen to be Americans), deplorables; racists, sexists, homophobic, bigots, Islamophobic, xenophobic, etc. Some of those who voted for Trump were for Bernie and hated her for what she did to him. Evangelicals were disposable to the Republicans. It’s a class war and the Democrats and Republicans are serving the same end towards an elite government /corporate global monopolization of everything and everyone knows it. Sorry, but the aim of this is money and power, not anyone’s feelings. The evangelicals already learned this lesson with Bush’s betrayal of them. Do you think America would have ever voted for a New Yorker, no less from Queens? They did so because Jeb and Hillary and Romney and others were in it together.

  • I will agree that one of us doesn’t understand what believing in him really means.

    Catholics calling protestants heretics, protestants calling Catholics heretics, or in the case of the hyper conservative Catholics calling other Catholics heretics— none of this is new. The problem is that ALL of you pick and choose out of the things Christ said, and then condemn others for doing the same. Paul said this clearly the part of Romans that so many Christians seem to wish to ignore— right after the part that they can’t wait to get to.

    My favorite is Jesus’s cLear admonition not to judge others unless you are sinless. The hyper then go to a place where he told them to judge righteously, as if they could! Because “there is no one righteous. No, not one!” And then Francis gets creamed by the hyper for saying “who am I to judge?”

  • You are incorrect. Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett have indeed insisted that the universe came from nothing. Actually they claim there was a field of something, but that still could not have come from nothing, because everything comes from something as a scientific principle and therefore even what was called almost nothing, couldn’t have come from nothing. It still had to come from something. It’s a snag they fumble through to avoid the obvious limitations and recognition of our unknowingness.

    Even multiple universes implies something and such had to come from something. You are also wrong to submit that all religion is magical, because silence and unknowingness are two prevailing themes in religions and they are both objective in nature. So powerful is silence that people who have experienced it coming upon themselves never forget such even if it is but for a brief moment. One may argue that as experience it has to be subjective, but that it is silent is objective. It is a unique experience from simply the absence of noise. The whole point of faith is that we can’t explain who or what God is. The very notion is identical to all that beyond silence and unknowingness. What we know comes by the way of the revealed teachings of Christ and His attributes which are the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies and a New Covenant in regard to us, our behavior, but they in no way identify all beyond that which we can know.

  • 2/3 of the world is going to hell? So much for “so god so loved the world.” He could make it possible for them to see the One and Inly True Faith, but instead he punishes ignorant people who can’t and don’t know any better because he failed to get the message to them.

    They only reject YOUR god, or YOUR version of YOUR god.

    Magical fanatasies describes most religion, as far as I can tell. I just believe in one less magical fantasy than you do.

    Everything created itself from nothing is no different a thing thaN you think of your god, whose might encompasses the entire infinite universe, yet who seems to be created from nothing. It does no good to claim that he has always been there, because that is no different than claiming the universe has always been there.

    Very illogical and dumb? Oh, I don’t know, there are religions that are far older and wiser than christianity or Judaism. Many of them feature demigods who were born in humble circumstances, often to a Virgin, and who die and promise to return to redeem mankind. They also feature flood stories. Go figure.

    What seems illogical and dumb to me is picking out your particular understanding of your particular version of your particular religion, and claiming that it alone, of the thousands of religions, tens of thousands of versions, and millions of understandings, is the correct and true one.

    Funny, but that is exactly what people who fly airplanes into building think. The difference is that they are willing to die for those beliefs. I suspect that many hyper conservative Christians feel persecuted if they have to bake a cake.

  • Ben in Oakland, Can we please try to keep it real? Francis was referring to someone, (a homosexual) honestly trying to live by the spirit and struggling with their temptations, their concupiscence. That’s quite a different thing than the way the news outlets framed it. Christ also holds each responsible for teaching the sinner right from wrong. There’s a difference between teaching or trying to correct something and someone who is boldly doing the opposite crying that Christ has it wrong, or that He has no authority because they don’t recognize Him, etc. Each are different things, different positions and as different positions, they involve different cosmologies regarding behavior. Each will argue their case because that’s the nature of each position. You can live your life in peace, or fight it out, but you’re not going to extinguish the nature to the positions.

  • You should not say that to me. You should say that to the biblical fundamentalists.

    For myself, I’m not sure what symbological reality is. The problem with symbols is that they are used to represent reality, as if the latter were actually something we could know, let alone express clearly, let alone in symbols which themselves require definition.

    You might ask me about a star. I can tell you it’s location in the sky, and it’s mass, mean radius, distance, spectrum, and a host of other variables. Each of those things is a symbol. I could provide you with all of those things,and that all might be very useful, but have I anything left of the star? Of course. All of it.

    Genesis may be symbolic of something, it might not be. But what those symbols refer to is anybody’s guess. Genesis is in fact a good example. I haven’t read the material in a long time, but if I recall, there are at least TWO authors of genesis. There are certainly two different creation stories. There is no CLEARLY about it.

    I’m not trying to pick a fight. I’m just pointing out what I think is a flaw in your thinking. To me, to is the problem with the Bible and all interpretations of it. In the strictest sense,it doesn’t matter to me what you get out of religion, what meanings you attach to it. I only care about the use to which the religion is put. And when it is used as a weapon, as this lady did here, I tend to object, and loudly.

  • I don’t accept religious opinions made in ignorance to be worth giving too much value to. Most of You all assert your particular understanding of your particular version of your particular faith is true, and all of the others are false, if not of the very devil himself.

    Just because many of you agree that gay people are bad doesn’t mean you’re right, just as you assert that 2/3 of the world thinking that the Christian story is nonsense doesn’t mean they’re right. And I doubt that the figures are as high as you would like them To be. China may not approve of gay people, but they don’t criminalize us or make any concerted effort to make us go away.

  • First, Dawkins and Dennet are not scientists. They are authors in the area known as popular science. They used to practice science many years ago, but are no longer active. Also, in the past Dawkins’ area was evolutionary microbiology not cosmology, so he is no more authorized than you are to talk about the origins of the universe. Same with Dennet. So I am not incorrect. Steven Hawking might be a better choice.
    I stress again, discussions about what occurred BEFORE the Big Bang are speculative. Why? Because the reliability of the scientific method comes from testing a hypothesis on empirical data, and there is NO empirical data of ANYTHING before the Big Bang. Physicists have developed a fairly good model to describe the emergence of fundamental particles in the first few seconds after the Big Bang, but this is still highly speculative.
    As regards your religious ideas….I have every respect for silence…particularly people who have learned to keep their mouths shut on topics about which they know nothing.
    But to claim that silence is “objective” because it is the absence of noise and noise is “objective” is stretching logic to the breaking point. Thats like claiming ignorance is a form of knowledge because it is the opposite of knowledge.

    I am absolutely NOT questioning your right to believe that there is something greater than us that is a deeper level of reality in the universe. Also I am not denying that Christ may have been correct in his teachings and applied a sense of meaning and value to that deeper reality. I have no way of knowing, so I have to rely on faith. And that is not unreasonable when it comes to trying to understand something that is clearly greater than we are. We are no different than any other species in that respect. Your dog will never understand the Internet for example.

    But frankly, human beings have been claiming special insights from God since the beginning of recorded history. At the last count, there were about 4200 different religions present in today’s world. The Abrahamic religions certainly rose to a much higher level of sophistication than most of them. But you can’t just assume that just because someone tells you they have the right belief system, that therefore that is true. Everyone thinks they are right, or they would not be doing what they are doing. If following Christian religion has given you a greater sense of fulfillment and completeness in your life then that is good. I would not criticize you for that. But you can’t just throw reason out the window.

  • The story is about man’s aversion to God; how the wound of chastisement from the garden for disobedience left man avoiding God. First in self consciousness or shame having lost the enveloping love of God, then anger, etc. The Seal of Cain was to protect Cain and to reassure Cain that God still loved Him even though he was being chastened for killing Abel. Then the story of the Seal or Mark of Cain gets to Lamech, who misinterprets it to mean that he will be punished much more than the seven times Cain was punished. So the loss of grace by sin is set in motion and later leads the people to kill off God’s prophets until they kill Jesus, the Divine Man, the Son of Man from Daniel. Jesus suffers their rejection and in doing so, wins the right to intervene with His grace to bring mankind back to the Father through, His spirit, His fidelity which He proves by loving a mankind which killed Him. A long time after the killing of Jesus there’s a great apostasy or rebellion against God. That’s the basic story, so yes, Jesus opens the door to forgiveness to those who want it. You’re correct, the law isn’t changed for those who refuse repentance. So the non-believer is part of the story, a very big part of the story.

  • Absolutely. It is a story using symbology to attempt to express a deeper reality, albeit about a deeper truth. The use of symbolic language and myth does not imply that the story is fake. But it does suggest that a literal interpretation is not valid.

  • lol…..Ben, I want to see the look on your face when you’re kneeling before Him……………..well then, maybe it won’t be so funny after all……:(

  • “He could make it possible for them to see the One and Inly True Faith,” He did. He left His Word in the Bible.
    Christ knew He would be rejected because of the ignorance of men, Ben.
    No magic necessary when you have created the world.
    Actually, Christianity started before the garden. (John1:1)
    Christ is the only God who reached down to help you Ben. The others want you feeding their ego.
    They are not persecuted because they have to bake a cake…..they are persecuted because they are forced to go against what Christ wants from us.

  • As always, dear, you are happy to reveal your true self when you think no one is looking. Like the nobility in the renaissance world, who imagined that they would be looking onthe suffering of the Damned in the horror of hell, laughing and enjoying a good Chardonnay.

    Have I ever told you you,re not a nice person?

  • Of cours, when Jesus told you not to judge others, he really meant that you could.

    I rest my case.

  • No, I’m not throwing reason out the window. The men mentioned were major proponents of modern atheism along with Hitchens and some others who passionately did dismiss the notion of God and attempted to explain away the mystery of a nothingness giving birth to the universe by explaining transitional phases of evolution. Such men were not corrected by the scientists that be. Of course no scientist can explain what happened before the Big Bang, but there had to be something, that is the point. Nothing comes from nothing. That’s reason.

    No, I didn’t claim science was objective because of the absence of noise. I said that silence was something more than the absence of noise and that such was objective.
    I landed on Christianity not by my choice. I had entered by way of eastern thought and American commercialism. Then my apparently happy life went through something that led me to read the New Testament. So I don’t just assume something simply because they told me. It was compelling for its reason, whereas evolutionary or behaviors evolved from survival offered very little in the way of beauty, sacrifice, receptivity, intimacy, trust and abandonment. Even more so does such seem implausible if one were to attempt the feat by abandoning themselves to nothing.

  • I see you didn’t read the full comment. Ben no one wants you dead and in Hell – particularly Christ. You make that choice all on your own. Many of us here would be honoured to help you.
    Also Ben, I won’t see you in Hell. I’m saved.

  • Actually, the government recently tried giving electric shock treatments to gays in China. Sexual proscriptions in Christianity are serious and for everyone and it’s an absurdity to claim otherwise. As for what you accept or claim to know about what people know or don’t know is a bit of your own bigotry. My point to you was that most of the world holds proscriptions on homosexuality and all kinds of sexual behaviors. There was even a recent report from NBC on oral cancer coming with HPV virus acquired from oral sex. Imagine what it was like before penicillin. Hardly stuff made up and hardly is it all in the past. Many reports worry of a new era of super strains of viruses and STDs.

  • You need to try to understand the difference between “popular science” and real science. When you understand that difference you will understand that just because someone like Dawkins says something, does not mean it is true. While many scientists accept Dawkins ideas on evolution and DNA etc the reason why genuine cosmologists do not question what he says is that they don’t consider his statements on these issues as worth commenting on!! There is no scientific substance to them.
    As regards you not believing that evolution shows no “beauty, sacrifice, receptivity, intimacy, trust and abandonment.” …I’m not quite sure to how to evaluate that. I think the scientific theory of evolution is a very beautiful concept. What it does show however is empirical verifiability…up to a point. Much of evolution occurred billions of years ago, so we have very limited ability to gather empirical evidence from that period. All these other things you mention are perfectly good, but science was unique in so far as the scientific method gave us knowledge about the universe that we could rely on….unlike these other things which are mostly subjective ideas.
    I would also point out that very few scientists really believe in the concept of nothing. Indeed the most popular scientific speculation about what the Big Bang was before the “explosion” is that it was simply a quantum state of nothingness. Go read up on your physics to understand what that is, what evidence we have for its existence (and we do have evidence that empty space exhibits quantum fluctuations ).

  • Try reading it again. One is not judging another if they are trying to help them. If a doctor says, all these STDs are going to kill you, is he judging you or trying to help you? If he doesn’t tell you you are sick, is he doing the right thing? What I’m saying is that each position including yours, seeks its end and that’s part of human nature and the nature of verbal wrangling. There are billions of people out there from different walks of life who would argue the same and that’s an objective reality. Is that what you want to do with the precious little time we have in life?

  • Back in the era before science and our more intellectual/rational view of the world, people tried to express their deeper views about the world and reality in concepts that those cultures felt more comfortable with. Read the works by Joseph Campbell on the role of myth, metaphor and symbology to understand what those terms mean and how people of those days tried to communicate fundamental understandings of the world. In our world of empirical reality we tend to equate myth as falsehood, and truth as being based o empirical verifiability, but that was meaningless for these earlier cultures. They sensed something deeper but did not have the intellectual tools to explain it and so they developed the techniques of myth and symbology. A type of symbolic story telling. If you don’t understand that, you will NOT understand what they are trying to say.
    Regards your statement about a star. These quantities are NOT symbols. Absolutely not. They are empirical variables of some physical property of the star that can be verified by another persons empirical measurement. It has nothing to do with symbols. So I really don’t understand what you think a symbol is.
    Regarding Genesis, yes there were at least two authors based on the blended stories. The book is a set of stories compiled and handed down to us where a prescientific people were trying to place order onto the issue of where the world and people came from and how intelligence , morality and ultimately religion developed in that world. These authors clearly had the intelligence to understand they were writing a mythological narrative to attempt to explain much deeper issues. Unfortunately the mind of many people in modern humanity doesn’t appear to have reached their level.

  • You must not believe in logic, either. You said Jesus said nothing about homosexuals, you were corrected, indirectly, because sodomizers are condemned and you just go on about what else he condemned. Evangelicals also don’t mess around with reason, but avoid the issue with technicalities beside the point.

  • You’re defending the indefensible. Something cannot come from nothing and scientists might not have come forward to comment on what they were saying because A) the position is indefensible and B) because they also believed in transitional evolutionary phases of say a wing or eyeball to the point that it is beyond question in their minds and they could entertain no other possible elements beyond a type of survival or biological need/self interest having caused it.

    Science is a laborious process regarding how one learns how stuff works and it’s useable as a tool but not for every discipline. To play drums in a jazz group where the music is moving very fast, it’s not a good tool because the master drummer has to abandon themselves to the music.

    I don’t expect you to comment on the mentioned aspects of trust required for abandonment to life beyond self interest, or faith required for abandonment or things you are calling subjective ideas, but these were very striking aspects of the call to faith in the New Testament. There’s something objective about experience that isn’t confined to personal subjectivity. The absence of trust is anxious and its presence isn’t. It may be subjective, but it is still objectively discernible. Limitations on imagination as a human tool are also suspect. I mean, since when do scientists not use their imagination or speculate upon things? It’s not a valid criticism to say something is imagined or imaginative or not scientific. We would have no thinking at all if we didn’t use the medium of thought which is materially insubstantial and of imaging, imagining, imagination. To reduce everything to positivism is in contradiction to the use of the medium of thinking through which one reaches a conclusion. Just as deconstructionism is in contradiction to the constructions of the medium which explains it. Anyway, it was nice sharing a few thoughts with you and have a good evening.

  • Illegal aliens are not undocumented as though they lost their library card, they are people who broke the law and by their illegal behavior show their disrespect to this country and to its laws. The giant vast majority are economic opportunists willing to subvert the law and are here not out of desperate flight from war or famine but strictly for personal economic reasons. They are criminals and should be treated as such, they steal opportunity from citizens and from legal immigrants, they are interlopers. In short, they are thieves of economic opportunity taken from rightful citizens and their presence lowers wages for actual citizens. You do not become American by thievery, EVERY prior group of immigrants came in LEGALLY, there is a huge difference and it starts with honesty and abiding by the law.

  • What a poorly explained, inflammatory article. Alt-right? Now the term for a Catholic? Yes, a catholic. This article is written as if there are degrees in which one can adhere to Catholicism and they cannot. They can do so in their mind and actions, but in truth they hare simply Protestants. They are disingenuous deceiving others to believe they can descent without impunity. Again, they cannot. They can act, they can pretend, but the church was started by Jesus. Jesus didn’t come to start a bible. That’s why you have 40k denominations. It’s like pretending one can commit mortal sin. Let’s say a person murdered someone, but hey the guy stole 10k and even took the first guys wife. He justifies it because he feels wronged in someway. He doesn’t believe he needs confession and remorse. Sure, he may not receive any punishment here on earth, but the truth is Jesus says otherwise and although Jesus doesn’t give the smackdown NOW! But when he dies he WILL pay whatever Jesus deems. Is His punishment regardless of his “personal” beliefs. Because in the end Gods laws are written in concrete, just as His church is

  • The Pope is saying welcome the migrant and refugee stating the Bible says you shouldn’t mistreat the alien among you but that doesn’t mean they should be coming in by the droves practically taking over your land especially when many of them have different values and uncertain intentions. What will this Pope say when there will be no enter zones right at the foot of the Vatican, when it is bad enough already there where all tourist attractions are guarded like an armed camp. It is the Christian duty to help those in need but each country has a right to preserve its heritage and identity. He also claims his parents were immigrants in Argentina somehow justifying immigrants coming to Italy, but this is a whole different ball game as Argentina, the USA, Canada, Australia, and Brazil are a land of immigrants while Italy was till recently a homogeneous society. Also he is saying that Europe and Italy endured invasions and shifting peoples before somehow making it seem as if its justified in taking all these people in but that was in the past and the European identity has already been molded. It makes me wonder what his agenda is.

  • All due respect but the Pope says who is he to judge gays yet he said lets wait and see before I judge Trump???

  • Say that to the atheist regimes that have killed millions and the secular abortionists that have murdered millions of unborn

  • laughable, your opinions, “party of reaction” I think not. Biased writing. You will see the triumph of God coming from the religious right, and you will get on your knees. wait a while, you’ll see.

  • Wow. I think you’ve completely misstated what Dawkins and Dennett claim.

    Do you have any references to back up your claims? I’ve read and listened to quite a lot of both of them, I recall nothing of the sort of claims you describe from either of them.

    Perhaps you’re confusing them with Lawrence Krauss, who wrote a book “A Universe from Nothing” which was immediately criticized by a bunch of people who hadn’t actually read the book and largely misunderstood (or ignored) his particular description of nothing?

    Honestly, if you’re not even going to bother to understand what these people are talking about, you’re not in much of a position to usefully critique their words.

    1. Learn
    2. Understand
    3. Respond

    It appears you’ve skipped straight to #3.

  • Actually, Dawkins is a zoologist (biology) and made a number of significant scientific contributions. So, yes, scientist.

    Dennett is a Professor of Philosophy.

    They also happen to write books both for their respective technical fields of study as well as the general public.

    So you don’t even really know who these people are yet want to discuss and dismiss their opinions, about which you don’t seem to really have a clue.

    How is that useful? Well, I suppose its useful if you want to obscure facts. Let me restate:

    How is that being an honest participant in a conversation?

  • “Something cannot come from nothing”

    And that’s just an assertion that you make without an understanding of what it is you’re talking about. I’m guessing by your other posts that you’ve not done much study of physics.

  • I don’t think USJDS makes any claims to moral high ground or that they’re “the one true way to salvation”.

    Also, not really a membership organization. Its not like people choose to show up at USJDS, at least, not the victims. There are no people who ‘join’ this organization and hold it in high esteem, encourage others to do the same and defend its honor with really poor logic.

    Got any other bad arguments? Or did you just want to make up a crap reason to call people names?

    FWIW, I think you can safely ignore suzyspellcheck and stop responding to her baiting posts (that is to say, stop falling for them, you’re too easy).

  • (I apologize in advance for the gross overuse of the word ‘literally’.)

    When you use words and phrases like “spiritual realm” I *literally* have no idea what you’re talking about. I also know that you *literally* have no idea what you’re talking about, either.

    We have this thing called the Standard Model that, more or less, describes what we’ve learned about the world. When you talk about things that don’t fall within what can be described by what we’ve learned, that is, does not fall within the space of human knowledge, you literally have no idea what you’re talking about. *No one* has any idea what you’re talking about.

    This isn’t a religious claim, its simple reason. Science, in general terms, describes what we know about the world, what we’ve tested and verified (for instance, all the stuff that makes your smartphone actually, you know, work).

    When you talk about things that are not tested and verified, or to put another way, things that are not known, and you speak of these things with any sort of authority or to give any impression that you know what you’re talking about…

    you are literally Lying.

  • Bragging about your goodness and calling mvcoach intrinsically evil is not really good, you cannot expect to be upheld as a model of morality whether you believe in God or not. Need a mirror when remarking to others?

  • It’s not just an assertion. It’s part of the existential question, from where did we come from? Each division of something is still something and at some point it had to have had a beginning, an initial cause. No matter how infinitely small or insubstantial that something is, if it exists, it still is something.

  • Don’t use the Bible or the words of Jesus if you don’t believe, use your own words and authority to back up your judgements and criticisms. And Pope Francis has nothing to do with your formation either, because you are your own pope.

  • Social order requires trust. Governments go to tremendous expenses because they can’t trust, so they build up huge arsenals, etc. If you’ve ever dealt with a person who cannot trust, then you know the terrific burden a lack of trust places on others.

    The biblical story is about trust, which you can’t get from the scientific process because it’s a different thing altogether. A world built on science alone doesn’t answer the need for trust and will tend to a police state. Science cannot offer inner peace. Such are vitally important human things. Forgiveness in the New Testament is based on the story that Christ is willing to forgive humans their sins despite having brutally murdered Him. That is, that God’s forgiveness is born of a deep sorrow and despite man’s total rejection of God. That’s a concept that can’t be found in physics, or some other scientific discipline. One either has the heart to understand it, or they don’t understand it. People assume trust and forgiveness, but they are only living with presumptions. They are living in a fantasy world based on the accessibility to material goods and other props that make life convenient, but are oblivious to the nature of their own humanity and the need for trust and forgiveness among people.

    People are asking or assuming science can answer things outside its domain, but what they are doing is simply dismissing or neglecting things outside the domain of science.

  • At one point a few years ago, Dawkins had a statement on the homepage of his website which I remember as something like this, (We’ve reached a point where) scientists may have to accept that the universe came from nothing.

    I don’t know for how long it appeared, or its exact wording, but that’s what it said to the best of my memory and that’s certainly what it meant.

  • No Eskimo man isn’t literally lying. He’s talking about something you admitted you know nothing about. Does anyone love you? How would you know? You can’t measure it, so love is an illusion? That’s a serious question.

  • As per James Somerville, Philosophy professor emeritus from Xavier University, Cincinnati,

    “The faith of the vast majority of believers (and non-believers) depends upon where they were born and when.”

    It is disturbing that such debates and too often violence and hatred continue unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of it all.

  • But it wasn’t the text of John 3:16 that was the issue. Even the topic of gayness wasn’t the issue.

    It was an important question that somebody asked you about.

  • Protestants aren’t Christian, but part of a worldwide plot by zionists and Jews and masons— oh my!

    Sorry, you just went over the line. Have nice day.

    Romans 1:26 is the part they love to read, forgetting about Romans 2:1

  • There is only one Genesis creation account and only one book of Genesis, from one author (Moses). The usual denials have already been defeated in this forum.

  • The Bible is equally clear the your bacon sandwich is an abomination, but you manage to magick that one away because you like bacon sandwiches,

    And really don’t want to lose your foreskin. Paul realized that if he told men to basically cut off their weenies, Christianity wasn’t going to sell well.

    So, there you have it.

  • The Catholic Church has generally been on the wrong side of civil liberty issues since inception. Pretty much anyone who has some measure of humanity and sanity is at odds with their take on sexual politics.

    Your take on economic and political issues such as immigration and social welfare runs counter to your church, as expounded by its unquestioned leader. It’s pontiff and sole interpreter of religious doctrine, the Pope.

    There is nothing intrinsic evil about abortion, euthanasia or homosexuality. If it were, you would not have to rely on church teachings to tell you so. All you are saying is that your view is not informed by moral thinking but by direct command from arbitrary authority.

  • Let me explain something to you, dear lady.

    I really don’t care what you believe. And I mean that sincerely, and without rancor. It’s what you do with it that matters to me. And when you use it to harm people, to demand dominion over the lives of people who don’t share your beliefs, to insist that purely theological concerns should be in the civil law that governs all of us, then I tend to get object, and loudly.

    Wanna believe I’m not going to heaven? Good, we’re in agreement. Wanna insist that that grants you dominion over my life? expect a fight.

  • No such regimes. Communists simply took religion out of the hands of priests and created worship of the state.

    Abortion is not murder. Concern for the unborn goes hand in hand with indifference and hostility to the lives of the born.

  • As I always like to note, whenever the Bible says something inconvenient, it must say something else entirely. And when Moses was writing about his own Funeral in Deuteronomy?

    OH well, with god, all things are possible.

  • That’s it. That must be it. Because we get our orders from gay central, and when gay central says go destroy the church, we have no choice but to obey, because gay central is just like god.

    And all of that stuff about being called by god to the priesthood? The men don’t determine it, but the church. so, we must conclude that God must surely love seeing children molested.

    Of course, it isnt homosexual men at all, but child molesters, sexually confused men, men with access to boys but not to girls because no sane parent would give a priest unrestricted access to girls.

    The millennium old problem in the church of child molestation is far more complicated than trying to find a scapegoat for it. It’s one of the reason it persists. Here is a fact for you. SOME of the molesting priests may be classed as homosexual. Most would probably be classed as pedophiles. And what do we call all of the priests-bishops-cardinals who have hidden this crime against children from the world, enabledit, covered it up?

    Here is another inconvenient fact for you. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE MEN WAS A CATHOLIC PRIEST.

  • So you voted for a guy who is a billionaire, who appointed other billionaires and Wall Street executives to s government, and who is going to give tax cuts to those poor oppressed billionaires on the backs of people who need health insurance.

  • Slavery is all they are good for?

    Do you people ever think about what you say, or are you just so full of god’s special love for you, according to you, that you have left all morality and empathy behind you?

  • It’s telling that bigots, liars, xenophobes, and malicious trolls consider themselves the only Americans out there.

  • Now that Cheetos Caligula has been elected deplorables; racists, sexists, homophobic, bigots, Islamophobic, and xenophobic, are all that’s left of his support base. About half the people who voted for him regret the decision.

  • Ben, how is it you are so bright and can’t grasp either the concept or the reality of unknowingness? God is a mystery, beyond all existence. First you have to admit that you don’t know, then you drop the pretenses that any existing thing can explain such because it can’t by virtue that it already exists. Then you come down off your mountaintop and join the rest of the human race which doesn’t know.
    Jesus said no one knows the Father, but Himself. He said He was the Alpha and the Omega. He told them of a great rebellion against God at the end of the age, a time of great knowledge. He spoke of trust and forgiveness. Some of this is accessible by reason, such as our need for trust, love and forgiveness and other things have to be taken on faith. If it’s not for you then fine, but don’t pretend you have something to offer in its place, or that everyone must move aside because you acknowledge none of it.

  • There is no room for a liberal in the Catholic Church. Let the Republicans keeps its poodle, the US Catholic church. Others need to get out now while they still have their sanity. God really is not imprisoned in any one religion.

    The US bishops bleat against this or that Republican policy but they always back Republican candidates.

  • You might want to look up Trichinosis. I assume you’re able to explain the difference between law and spirit, or even law and spirit of the law. Isn’t it you who demands factual verification for all things? Then I guess by your measure we can throw out the spirit of the law and get bogged down with the letter of the law in every matter. By your measure we can dispense with spirit altogether because it’s too conceptual or insubstantial for you to consider real. And by what symbolism and through what medium are you thinking and writing?

  • As I said, I harm no one. If that makes me evil, then I guess I have no understanding of the word.

  • You might want to look up what cooking meat does to bacteria like trichinosis. There’s a fact for you.
    The spirit of the law simply means you get to claim the biblical truths are true only insofar as you wish to believe they are true. Take that up with the biblical literalists, not me.

  • Spuddie, I concede the political realm to you. I made my point why Hillary defeated herself and why the cult of elitists who rejected Trump are spanking mad. They aren’t mad at Trump for being Trump, they are mad that he might get in the way of their plan to dissolve all identifications and borders, turning the world into a wasteland of indebted and looted governments and half empty strip malls with an obligatory abortion mill, marijuana dispensaries and legalized brothels.

  • Yes Ben, That’s why I directed you to the disease. They didn’t have electric ovens to measure temperatures back when, so they had a law to prevent people from getting sick. So you are a legal positivist too. Now on what grounds am I to take your humanity seriously? I’ve argued here with others for our humanity, our need for trust, our need for forgiveness, our need for love, but you nor others have given us anything but physical causality; until of course you go back to the beginning, then you have nothing to say. If I’ve said nothing to give you pause, then please stop pretending you’re human, because you keep denying our humanity on pretenses that scientific or logical positivism is the only source of knowledge.

  • Anterograde amnesia is a definite problem for Cheeto supporters these days. They can’t seem to form new memories after last November.

    Given the sheer incompetence and malice typifying the first test of the presidency, one pretty much either needs leave of their senses or have no regard for the nation to continue support of the guy.

    Sorry Cody, but a President who had told more then three million citizens still suffering the ravages of a natural disaster over a month ago to eff off and die, as this one has, is unworthy of even the slightest bit of respect and courtesy. His supporters are even lower than such filth.

  • Read again Spuddie. I wasn’t arguing for the President. I was attacking the elite one party system that’s angry they didn’t get Jeb or Hillary or one of their other puppet presidents. After that, the political realm is all yours.

  • No one said anything of the kind, but you parrot a sour old lady who ran a terrible campaign and did herself in the very same words you used.

  • The Bible has certainly said some inconvenient things to YOU, as it has to all of us equally.

    Moses clearly wrote the first five books of the Bible (even Jesus affirmed it), and when Moses died, somebody attached a brief obituary at the end. Just like we do today.

  • Well you are the one who conflated those called “deplorables” with all Americans. Fact is, given the crapshow of our current administration, it looks like you choose poorly. Moreover, your inability to address anything going on for the last year, shows just how little you think of it as well.

  • You are trying to make yourself feel better about choosing to elect one of the least competent people to take office in recent memory. Not letting you off the hook for it.

    You are supporting the EPITOME of elitism. Someone who is happy to let millions of Americans die or suffer unnecessarily to enrich himself or stroke his ego. So by opposing a largely fictional elitism you support a more blatant one. That is pretty silly.

  • Joseph Campbell’s setup has already been put out to pasture by Christian scholars.

    The claim of “at least two authors based on the blended stories” has been H-bombed likewise.

  • Politics is something of a lost cause if we can’t even substantiate our humanity. I didn’t conflate deplorables with Americans. The “deplorables” are Americans, like it or not.

  • There’s a third option: you simply have to read the Bible, paying attention to the wording and context.

    Simply suspend the Darwin-worship and the atheist cult lies, just do it long enough to study the Bible as written, and you’ll see that Genesis is written as actual no-nonsense history.

  • There is always a convenient explanation. Isn’t there? someone attached an obituary, but no one attached anything else, like two creation accounts.

    Keep digging.

  • Nothing fictional about it. The Bush family and friends are angry because Trump isn’t dissolving the border between Mexico and America as Bush II was attempting to do. A policy Obama and Clinton made overtures to regularly. Think whatever you want, but no guy from Queens is the epitome of elitism.

  • It’s like you said. “Facts, logic, evidence.” This is what Christians offer you.

    If you are evidence-driven, then you will necessarily drop all the desperate skeptizoid scam-jobs, and simply allow the Bible to speak for itself.

  • The doctor has facts, logic, and experience when he tells me about that.

    All you have is beliefs, faith, and beliefs when you tell me what’s wrong with me.

  • Queen Hillary is still gone for good, Spuddie. America absolutely did the right thing — the survival thing — by dumping her.

  • You are on the dishonest side of the two options there. You are educated enough to know better, but choose to pretend otherwise.

    You have no faith in faith, so you lie about science and religion in order to attempt to browbeat others into accepting your beliefs. The power of your religion to convince others not being strong enough for your purposes. So you try to appropriate the credibility of rational discourse and science. All the while showing utter contempt for the methods used that make it so credible.

    It’s not the Bible which urges you to be so dishonest. It’s your lack of faith, or more to the point your lack of trust in the power of faith.

  • “Sometimes, just for the comedy value I wish your theo-reality were true, just so I could watch the expression on your face when Jesus says– “Get away from me. I never knew you.” — Ben in Oakland to Floydlee.

    Very nice.

  • You have to use extra-biblical ideas to believe Jesus did not give us his body and blood, because the disciples that left and the Romans and Jews that persecuted them for that reason, amongst others, knew the kind of thing he was talking about, though he was talking about his body being able to take whatever form he wished–a piece of wheat bread for Holy Communion. Reason was not needed for that, as it was clearly stated and the Bible indicated the form his body would take and his blood, which, though his blood, was not necessary to receive separately as it was all Jesus in the consecrated host. Jesus also laid out needing to do good for the least of us or damnation and that divorcing and remarriage will be counted as adultery, which Christ has as damning, as if Bible thumpers care.

  • What is your problem? I just wrote a paragraph about what can and can’t be accessed by reason, what is of faith, what is revealed as a matter of faith and what is unknowable. There’s nothing silly about it. It’s not only a theme in the bible but in most of the major religions often referred to as silence. It’s the driving force in all human inquiry including science, but you have conceded nothing to its reality because to you there’s nothing profound in life but what you know and that’s a modern presumption, a pretense.

  • If Christ “was correct in his teachings” as you seem to allow, then evolution’s most important claim (human evolution from an ape-like common ancestor) is destroyed.

  • What else can you say? Positivism presumes humanity while debunking it because it’s soft psychology, soft science, folklore, etc. You haven’t argued a single point since you’ve begun except to attack the humanity of others as fiction. Then on what grounds are you crying for understanding and sympathy?

  • They don’t seem to consider anyone else as American, so I am merely returning the sentiment. They don’t consider people like me to be really American, so why should I show them such courtesy?

    My issue was that Hillary was far too apologetic to those considered “deplorable”. They are people literally trying to destroy America and what it stands for.

    Its telling how public displays of bigotry are not only becoming more commonplace, but becoming associated with our president. We have a presidency which actively states its hostility to the notion of representing all Americans. There is a reason Trump is polling in the 30%+ range. Most Americans are rejecting such cretinous elitism.

  • So you think it’s plausible to call a segment of the country, say 30% of the country who make up this powerless network of “deplorables” who are out of work or from rural counties, all kinds of names and then snivel about what a victim you are? Spuddie, you sound perfectly capable of standing up for yourself and I’ve conceded you the political area in this thread. Please find some other shoulder to cry on.
    PS: I do like your moniker Spuddie and the Godzilla pic. Take care.

  • The difference is, I don’t believe in Jesus, or that I or Sandi or Floyd or you or anyone else will be damned for an eternity of pain in hell, or rewarded for an eternity in heaven because I followed the instructions— unclear, ambiguous instructions— in an ancient book produced by people a universe away from us. The difference is I’m not proclaiming that I am saved and someone else is not. The difference is I’m not proclaiming I’m god’s BFFF forever.

  • I don’t care about Ben’s niceness anyway. I’d tell him to “gotohell” in a heartbeat, except that I am utterly, even excitedly, convinced that the Lord Jesus really DOES want to talk with Ben for just 3 minutes, just to somehow answer the deepest difficult questions of his life.

    So Jesus says I can’t cuss at Ben because He likes Ben, and is his Friend. But He says I can put some more R & S on Ben, to help keep his blood moving properly!!

  • “[Former RNC chair and Trump chief of staff Reince] Priebus praised Republican U.S. senators who had worked with Democrats on an immigration bill that would give legal status to most of the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants after steps are taken to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.”– press release from the Republican National Committee on GOP. com. Of course, that was back from February 2013, long before Golden Showers arrived on the scene to teach us that referring to fellow human beings with dignified language was un-Christlike.
    btw, Mark Silk is Jewish, not Catholic. If anyone should be calling someone a heretic, it would be the other way around.

  • You’re a very stubborn guy. Do you think that people didn’t get venereal diseases thousands of years ago? Religious proscriptions on sexual license are for all people. You have yet to explain how facts substantiate our humanity. They can’t because our humanity is defined by what we don’t know, our needs, our loneliness, our alienation, our proclivity for errors and creating unforeseen consequences, our sensitivities. That is, much of what defines our humanity is not fact but is defined by an absence of something missing in our lives. Neither are our relationships measurable in terms of positivism. It is you who are living in a land of fiction. We all are in certain ways, only you don’t know it and until you acknowledge it, your cries for understanding and sympathy are in contradiction to your cool unsentimental views on life. Sorry but you’re asking me for something that by your own definition, you must deny others. Still Ben, I wish you all the best.

  • When Jesus talks to me, I’ll be happy to listen. As I have said many times before, I am perfectly willing to be a Christian, or a muslim, or a hindu, or even a (shudder!) Mormon. All you need to do is show me incontrovertible evidence that your particular religion is true, and that the others ipso facto are not. As with most atheists, I’d give worlds to see that proof that there is a god, not an empty assertion that there is one simply because you believe it.

  • Really. Zionism was created in 1517? That’s rich. Luther was a real lover of the Jewish people, wasn’t he. Well, you got one thing right: “I just know what I know.”

  • When talking about a group which is excited to use the apparatus of government to specifically attack others, to exclude fellow Americans from the political process, and make life miserable for most people just for the sheer joy of doing so, “deplorable” is a fair term to use.

    Powerless is not a term I would use here. They are more than capable of acting and finding outlets for their hostility to the rest of America. All Americans are victims of the deplorable agenda. Its just some don’t realize it yet. Mistakenly thinking they are in control.

    Those out of work in rural America aren’t going to get any better supporting someone who thinks a few extra millions to hoard in their portfolio is more important than your ability to survive. You want to claim being victimized by “elites” but you do nothing except support people who actively attack your interests.
    The moniker came from Trainspotting. Spud, the most ridiculous character was obviously taken as a screen name.

    The pic (which was much later) came from this:

  • Hilarious, pathetic and a complete demonstration of your ignorance on this topic! Richard Dawkins is an ethologist at Oxford University and specialized in studying how human behavior evolved. His current interest is in the evolution of human consciousness which is why he hangs out with Daniel Dennet. But most of his current focus is on trashing religion. I attended a talk by him about six months ago on exactly this topic. He also has a special interest in evolution and how the gene evolved over time.That was his original genuine scientific work….a long time ago!! Hence all the books he has written. But these are NOT scientific works. They are popular science. Go learn the difference! Dawkins would not recognize a test tube if you stuck it up his rear end!
    See for a list of his publications. The last genuine scientific paper he wrote was in around 1980!
    So I know exactly who these people are, what areas they are focusing on, and it appears to be you who have no idea!
    So please get your facts straight before you start criticizing other people. Geez!

  • Are you seriously trying to justify the behavior of the USJDS with that “argument” . I thought your nonsense on Darwin was unique, but this really takes the prize. For gods sake. Go look up some real numbers. You don’t need to take them from me!!! I don’t care what USDJS claims. The number of allegations of sexual abuse (as of 2012) are now fully documented after the disgusting events in Texas in 2007 where the system in one Texas facility was found to be “renting” out children to local pedophile groups among other things. In 2012 they actually introduced a new rule that forbade the system to punish children who reported sexual abuse! The system It had a different name back them (Texas Youth Commission). All the details are fully available with a simple Google search. So please go get some facts before you open your e-mouth again and belch more hot air.
    I agree about suzyspellcheck. I just put something down for the record.

  • Sounds simple for you then. Don’t be Catholic – nobody forces anyone. You join purely by choice

  • No, I’m “mad” that he might start World War III because he has a tiny tiny penis and feels inadequate when a loser like Kim Jong-un insults him.

  • We have no direct record of Christs teachings. We only have the Gospels etc which are the early churches VERSION of the words of Jesus and they were written a long time after his death to support the goals and intentions of the early Church. Doesn’t make them invalid. But they are not a historical record either.
    Science is the only source of knowledge that we can rely on because it is based on empirical verification. However, not all areas of science are equally reliable because they cannot necessarily access the empirical verification they need for the scientific method. Evolution falls into this category simply because the empirical data required to prove its claims may be lost over millions or even billions of years. It doesn’t mean its false, and it can be partially verified by its relationship to things like the fossil record but it certainly DOES not mean that it has the same reliability as say a physics experiment carried out in a lab. Thats just life as they say.
    Also science deals with the world of FACT, religion exists in the world of VALUE and meaning. They have some overlap, but frankly, not a very big one. Religion provides no empirical evidence and science really doesn’t care what values you implement in your life as long as you acknowledge all sources properly when writing a paper and don’t fabricate data.
    Please try to understand this. Even if I repeat a million times that Jesus was correct in his teachings, that cannot destroy ANYTHING in science because I have no EMPIRICAL evidence that Jesus was correct…period. I can’t even know for sure that he existed!

  • If only that were possible, as the catholic church declares…
    that my marriage is against the will of god, and does everything in itsp ower ot force the civil law to conform to its teachings.
    that abortion is against the will of god, thereby forcing women who cannot afford or did not want a child to have one.
    that birth control is not really a part of health care, and so objects even to saying that they won’t provide that healthcare to women
    and so on.

  • Your first sentence is far more dangerous (from an atheistic point of view) than you realize, but hopefully you sincerely meant what you said.

    If you did, then God can work with that. Wouldn’t be the first time He did house calls.

    Meanwhile, I’m still gonna act all Wild-Child until you and Him finally meet up already.

    For example, you trying to demand “incontrovertible proof” of God’s work, when all ya gotta do is wipe the moldy toothpaste stains off your cheapo bathroom mirror and just look at yourself for 5 minutes!!

    (Hat tip to Psalm 139:14)

  • You know, I went to bed and thought about that last night. You may have read the full comment, but, if relating to you the danger you have put yourself into is cruel, in your eyes……would you prefer that someone left you to fry in a fire?

  • Hmmmm….did you read the entire statement before judging me Arb. I am glad to see that you recognize where Ben is placing himself.

  • Welcome to a democracy. I wouldn’t worry too much. The pendulum is swinging in your favor. The good part for you is that it’s in the Bible that it will swing completely in your favor right up until faith is pretty much extinguished. So things are right on course

  • I’m not even sure where to begin with all that nonsense. And just for your reference, the Big Bang theory was developed when the scientists discovered the Universe was expanding. They then said ….”what did it expand from”. All the measured data suggested that it came from a singular location. So they simply back tracked and used the known laws of physics to determine what state the Universe would be in under those conditions. So its not just my belief. It is based on measured data and ONLY on measured data. Science does not claim what existed before the Big Bang. It has no data to support that.

    I am not opposed to God. Searching for God is unscientific, because God by definition is NOT an empirical object. Science deals with FACT, Religion deals with VALUE.
    All the stuff you are saying about God in your post…sounds lovely, but is ultimately a bunch of meaningless BS. Totally meaningless. Calling God the Alpha and Omega. What on earth does that really mean. Nothing! Its just fancy sounding language.
    Just because people like you spout nonsense and lies about your so called experiences with Him, does NOT mean that he doesn’t exist. But as a gambling man I am willing to bet that you have not had a single experience that you can unambiguously attribute to God despite what you are trying to tell us.
    I don’t have a problem with accepting that God exists. I just have no clue WHAT He really is.

  • Yes, I read your entire statement. It wasn’t that long. Three LOLs and several elongated ellipses.

  • The warning is coming and we all should be ready to confess all sins to our Priests ,good, bad or indifferent they are all we have and I’m blessed to have them
    We all are sinners, no one is above GOD’s Laws and you all should know this.
    Stop and think about what’s on your Soul before you criticize anyone else.

  • But the Christian Reich will keep trying to enforce its theocracy on our democratic and secular republic, and on people who don’t share those beliefs, until decent people get tired of theocratic pretensions, and religion,owes even more than it is already.

    For the record, I don’t care about your faith getting extinguished. That isn’t going to happen, not now and not ever. I do care about your narrow version of your faith being forced upon people because you believe “god said it.”

    You should be, too.

  • I would prefer it if you would follow your own faith and mind your own business, not trying to mind mine. Your opinion about the position of my soul is simply that — your opinion. I have yet to see where anything in your Bible authorizes you to pronounce anything about the relationship of any person with your God, let alone his relationship with those people.

  • Of course I meant what I said. I know no one who wouldn’t give worlds to see the proof of any religion’s claims. Unfortunately, no religion has yet been able to provide it.

    Just imagine what would’ve happened if the Virgin Mary didn’t decide to show up to three illiterate and superstitious ppeasant children in Portugal 100 years ago, but instead chose to show up on the steps of the main cathedral in Lisbon. Or even better, on the steps of St. Patrick’s in NYC. Imagine what would happen if Jesus chose to show up on network television, rather than a taco.

  • But honestly, you DO know “for sure” that Jesus existed.

    Even the skeptizoid PhD scholars (like Dominic Crossan or Marcus Borg), who would agree with you on every OTHER point you offered, are adamant that there’s enough evidence (from both friendly and hostile literary sources) to show that Jesus at least existed. You actually have an unrefuted scholarly consensus there, from all sides. So let’s start there.

    The fact is, Jesus’s teachings COULD indeed be as recorded in the Gospels, and they COULD be correct. You can’t just give the skeptizoid side a free pass on such an important issue, you gotta check out what the conservative scholars are saying on the very same topics. Thankfully, the Internet makes it a lot easier, although some items may still require some library time.

    As for “human evolution”, the morphology isn’t cooperating. The fossils aren’t cooperating. They say, “You’re on your own evolutionists, don’t stick us in your mix.” Even the genetic stuff hasn’t yet proved to be pay dirt for “apelike ancestor” evolution. Jesus and the Bible, it looks like they’ve got it right.

  • Except Ben, you provide the perfect platform to tell the truth to people who think you are correct on several matters. Cannot ignore you. He does, there is scripture about knowing fruit. Google it.

  • Cody, there is only one answer -FAITH————It is a GIFT and there is no argument , if you have it, then you are Blessed. if you don’t have it., and you are one of those people without it, I feel sorry for you, and will put you in my prayer list.

  • Were electric ovens invented in the first half of the first century CE? Because that’s around the time Christianity ditched the proscritch against bacon.

  • My interest is to defend our humanity from attacks by aggressive atheism, logical positivism and what is probably going to be a sophisticated assault on our humanity from future AI proponents. I’m a believer and defend such, but I see our humanity as very wanting and vulnerable to self deception, should one believe or not believe.

    Western civilization is getting hammered from every direction. A lot of it is valid, but the goals behind the attacks are not all for its survival but its end. In the past decade I’ve lost old friends from Bush haters to Obama haters, from Catholics to Evangelicals. Sometimes I didn’t know when to stop and sometimes another didn’t know when to stop. So I’ve sort of gotten off the train with Trump. Such losses have made me unhappy and resentful of much of these conflicts and those juicing them up. It’s like we’re reevaluating the West from every possible angle. Then there are the neo-cons who can’t stop starting wars and this global economic thing. Maybe the rancor is necessary but I pray for the end of it. Thanks for the links and sharing the source of Spuddie!

  • Every prior group of immigrants did not come in legally. They came in white — or at least white enough by 2017 standards. Like right-wing queen Tomi Lahren’s grandfather or great-grandfather, many lied about who they were and where they came from.
    Do we refer to citizens who commit crimes as “illegals”? There are about a thousand driving infractions, I’ve never heard anyone use the term “illegal driver.”

  • Bad theology produces bad fruit. I already know it.

    Antigay theology produces kids committing suicide, destroyed lives, destroyed families, destroyed careers, hate disguised as love, and theocracy masquerading as good government.

  • Nice one. No, but there was this man named Jesus who some say never existed. He declared all foods clean and brought mercy to bear on human faults. Bigger brains such as yours and mine put him to death.

  • As opposed to the hell on earth that you and every other religious fanatic takes such joy in sponsoring.

  • Thank you Marian. I’m trying to communicate to people who have blocked certain openings which give pause and reflection. Faith is a gift, but there was a key person who opened such pathways in my life and often so in the lives of many people who convert over time. I appreciate your prayers and sincerely thank you.

  • Ben, I’m not asking for sympathy. The bigger question should be is whether or not God exists and if in fact Jesus is who He claims to be. I have no personal animosity towards you. You’re right though. The Catholic Church has remained for over 2000 yrs. There have been Pope’s who have had children on the side, there has been scandals big and small, true and false. There’s absolutely no reason why the church should remain, but it does and it will. We are all sinners. I didn’t want to be Catholic. I wasn’t at one time, but over a period of a decade I had to know, for myself, if it is true and what was true from not. I have a brother who is gay as well. We’re great friends actually. It’s your life. I know it doesn’t matter, but you, as with my brother, will always be in my prayers.

  • If you consider offering people a relationship with Jesus, the Creator of everything, and the blessings He bestows, with eternity with Him as Hell, perhaps you need to check your priorities, Ben.

  • The difference is….you wish there were a hell so you could see us sent there. That was the gist of your comment.

    The difference is…we’re not condemning you here for being human, for we ALL instinctively feel unkindly toward those who either attack us or simply tell us what we don’t want to hear, because we are all fallen and will be until we are rid of our mortal flesh. But then we remember the price Jesus paid for you and how much He wants you with Him…and we can not help but want you there too.

  • Humanity can defend itself. Aggressive atheism is not something to worry about. My guess is what you call aggressive is better known as simply standing up for one’s self. Not being slandered or maligned. Atheists only want to post articles and defend freedom of religion. Aggressive religious believers want to kill people and break things for God(s).

  • I’m not so sanguine regarding man’s self confidence. Humanity has ridden the coattails of its various defenders who have been heroes, or suffered the travails of subversives misguiding it. Examples for both are numerous, but are no less important. Aggressive atheism is a form of hubris which believes it is fully capable of its own self guidance. It can take the form of neo cons or philosophers, liberals, conservatives, libertarians or statesmen. It’s error is in its inability to understand unforeseen consequences. No, the pitfall doesn’t belong to them alone, but they stand by it.

  • There you go again, reading my mind and telling me what I think and want.

    No, I don’t wish to see you in hell. That’s simply your religious twist on my words. I don’t believe in hell, nor would I wish anyone an eternity of pain. I’ll leave that to good Christians like sandimonious.

    what I would wish to see is your absolute certainty about what god wants from us, god and his relationship to any one else on the planet, and god’s word, slapped down incontrovertibly by the author.

    And then– if I believed in any god, which I don’t– what I would want to see is god saying, “Ya know, I’m not as small minded and ignorant as you would make me out to be. In fact, I’m not like you at all. You totally missed the point of what I was saying. So, despite your millennia of slander directed towards me, here’s your electronic key card to heaven. You will, however, have to spend about three minutes in hell– or the DMV, take your pick– just so that you can see what you were wishing on other people. After that, Go have a nice time, and please, try not to confuse yourself with me.”

  • excuses, excuses, excuses. You would love a good debate with one of the apostles, Ben. You would look for Paul to argue with Him. You deprive yourself of good things and try to blame Christ for it; that’s all. Christ will give you your wishes then, and don’t call me cruel for telling you about it.

  • LOL! Another “That’s not what I meant!” moment. Ben, we can all read what you said. That you wish hell were true so you could see our faces when we are sent there. Even YOU can’t explain that away. And you never took it back or softened it in any way — until now, of course, because it makes your response to Sandi look a bit ridiculous. Nor is it the first time you have expressed glee about other people’s troubles. We get it. We’re all fallen as well. But the fact remains that we DON’T want you to die. Jesus wants you. You are of inestimable value.

  • Sometimes they are. Sometimes they’re not. Just depends on the individual situation.

    (Obviously, some gay folks are upset about actor Kevin Spacey’s recent apology since it included a declaration of coming out as a gay man. Bad optics, ya know.)

  • Lol indeed. You went from quoting me directly, where I didn’t mention hell, let alone being sent there…

    to that was the gist of my comment, when it certainly was not, because I cannot simultaneously believe that “god so loved the world” that he invented punishment for eternity just in case you don’t love him back…

    to wishing I could see your faces when you went there, which I also didn’t say and which you have reliably informed me is not really what everyone thinks it is, but being cut off from god.

    No, what I meant was what I said, that I wish I could see your faces when god told you that your entire beliefs about him were wrong wrong wrong, and that your entire belief system was just so much hooey, and that all of the damage that has been done to so many people was really just you confusing yourself for god.

    As for “inestimable value”, that’s also not what you usually say, especially when referring to human trash.

    But of course, believe about me whatever you wish, because that is what you do,

  • Marian’s profile is fake, real people don’t write a name like O’Brien that way. Ignore her.

  • John 1 – 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
    Christ said everything condemning homosexuality.

  • Total nonsense. Campbell is a well respected author by may theorlogians and oter scholars. His books are regularly quoted as references.

  • You are correct. It is a story, not a factual historical account. Thats my point. It doesn’t mean its wrong. It means that you need to wind up your brain and realize how you need to understand that scripture.

  • Genesis was not meant for literal interpretation. You really think there was Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve sinned by stealing an apple after a snake talked to them? Geez! You really are something else!!!
    You have no idea what science says about the origins of life or the origins of the universe, so I don’t see how you feel the ability to make ridiculous statements like those in your last post.
    If NOTHING can happen without a superior force making it happen, then God requires a superior force to make Him happen…… and so on to eternity!
    Also it is clear that you know nothing about Quantum mechanics.

  • Nonsense!!! The quote you gave me affirms that Christ is doing nothing to reverse children being killed for cursing their mother and father. ……”being put to death in the flesh”…..but don’t worry…you’ll be alive in the spirit, whatever that means.

  • Not true. There are some vague references to the existence of Jesus, granted, but nothing that would not have a forensic expert rolling on the floor laughing, especially to say that he was the same character as the Jesus of the Bible. The historical evidence shows a criminal executed by the Romans.

    The Gospels were written a long time AFTER Jesus died. They were statements of what someone CLAIMED Jesus said. They may be true, but they could equally well be false. There is the other minor fact that sometimes different Gospels contradict each other about what Jesus said and when he said it. Name me one scholar who claims the Gospels are an accurate account of what Jesus said and can offer anything resembling proof.

    Evolution has a massive amount of proof supporting its validity, but scientists have to be honest. It is tricky to obtain empirical data from 1 million years ago or more. But a weakness regarding the ability to collect empirical evidence does not justifying you turning round and saying …”so there is a fairy at the bottom of the garden.” If God exists, give me one single tiny teeny piece of evidence to support that theory!

  • You didn’t mention hell? Neither did Sandi.

    And no, you clearly said that you wished OUR “theo-reality” were true, and hell is part of that theo-reality, as you know.

    Weasel-wording is not becoming, as Larry would be quick to point out if you did not possess the requisite views on homosexuality — in which case none of the usual logical fallacies apply and bigotry and hypocrisy are merely “observation.”

    “Human trash” is your own super- imposition over our words. You’ve certainly never heard that from me, or from Sandi either so far as I recall. Jesus didn’t take the nails for trash.

  • Let me be more specific…..The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus dying in the flesh and rising again will not prevent us from dying in the flesh, but will allow us to be able to live in the spirit just like He did. You know and I know that! nothing Jesus did stops ANYONE physically dying for ANY reason. Wake up and stop deluding yourself. I truly believe that the Jesus of the Bible utterly transformed how humanity sees itself, but that does not justify you then believing in a bunch of superstition and nonsense.
    Remember, the woman taken in adultery. Jesus did not say that she should NOT be killed. He just told the people who were trying to kill her that they were not actually qualified to slaughter her, because they were sinners too.

  • “because I cannot simultaneously believe that “god so loved the world”
    that he invented punishment for eternity just in case you don’t love him
    “I really don’t care what you believe. And I mean that sincerely, and
    without rancor. It’s what you do with it that matters to me. And when
    you use it to harm people, to demand dominion over the lives of people
    who don’t share your beliefs, to insist that purely theological concerns
    should be in the civil law that governs all of us, then I tend to get
    object, and loudly.”

    you are on fire tonight.. some might even say, you doing the lords work. nicely done.

  • Thank you. I’ve been in that mood since yesterday. Too much stupid, not enough humane. Sometimes it gets me going.

  • As I said,you’ll interpret as you choose.

    It’s your assumption that people will go to hell, not mine. And I do remember recent usages if not a human trash per se, at least that which is the equivalent.

    I forgot to mention that I am flattered that you keep a record of what I say, or at least were willing to do the work to dig it out of my comments. I’m not willing to do the same for your comments, though.

  • Neither you nor brbq possess any authoriteh whatsoever. Revelations is the work of a lunatic known as John the Revelator written some three generations after Christ’s criucifixion. You need to work on overcoming your sins of choice and look in the mirror, not out the window. You possess no authoriteh whatosever despite your tiresome assertions otherwise.

  • Neither Dawkins nor Denney are physicists or cosmologists. We can go back to a fraction of a second after the Big Bang because we can duplicate some of the conditions in the Large Hadron Collider and perform tests. Prior to that we can only speculate and hint via mathematics. Lawrence Krauss postulated a universe from nothing that does the public a disservice because the nothing isn’t really nothing – it involves quantum mechanics.

  • On things like “Universal Health Care”, you either have to rob me at gunpoint to fund it, or use the same gun to force Doctors and Nurses to provide the care without compensation.
    The State CANNOT be an agent of charity as its only means is violence.
    Does Pope Francis or the author say it would be justice to slaughter me if I didn’t pay for someone else’s health care, even when they lived a dissolute lifestyle and the diseases and disabilities were traceable to their sinful behavior?

    Conversely, the ACA prevented private insurance – imagine if the Knights of Columbus could provide Health insurance as they do Life Insurance.

    As to “migrants”, all I can say to the Vatican and Pope Francis is to quote Reagan: “Tear down that wall!”. let them lead by example.

  • You’re welcome Ben. I think everyone is receptive to a “shot” of truth, but nobody likes a whole “pitcher” dumped on them at once. If you want to learn anything regarding Religion start with who is at its center. It’s there you will find God. The God who forgives, the God who loves so deeply that it’s through the revelations of saints, those most intimately loved by God that He has chosen to reveal the extent of suffering he endured to pay the price of our sins. We all have them, we’ve all done them. Read about the saints and you’ll discover why someone would endure such horrific deaths if they didn’t know, not think or believe, but know who God- Jesus is. It makes it much easier to love others and God when we know who he is. It helps us to understand why certain things we do are seen as sins. Ultimately it’s because God created us to live in a world absent of evil. It’s this revelation that we begin to understand why. It’s too bad these conversations become so limited to a string of comments on some article, especially an op-ed. I’ve never known anyone who’s been converted by the methods I read here. Good luck on your journey. May God reward your search, if your still up to it. I don’t think there’s anyway to communicate more directly, but I would certainly offer any help if able. For the short term. I try to only write what I think will not be written with malice. I find I feel better about myself for trying to take the high road. There’s plenty of nastiness in the world. I see plenty written by the very people who say they are Christian. I find I’m trying more than succeeding most of the time.

  • Is it not a scientific assertion that something cannot come from nothing? It’s hardly a disputed thing. Saying Dawkins isn’t really a scientist doesn’t make the statement about the universe possibly coming from nothing, that appeared on his website, a false statement. If there’s something, it had to come from something else. I don’t claim that God came from nothing. The biblical claim is that God always was, is and always will be and from Him came the something we call existence, life, etc. That’s a far more curious notion than turtles on turtles. Yet a concept like eternity is also wildly beyond our perceptive capacity yet an easy idea to understand. If our humanity is defined by things we aren’t, such as our alienation, our longings, desire for companionship or missing virtues, then why is everyone so sold on positivism as the only defining end of everything? It’s fair enough that one doesn’t accept that something from which the universe came from was intelligent, but hardly is it an impossibility simply because its mysterious or an unknown. Whatever is behind that nothingness, that unknown, that silence, that unknowingness, it is beyond us and every religion holds such characteristics to be present in its awe of the heavens, intimacy, the virtues, the human heart and life itself. Rather, knowledge inclines to turn all things into subjects, thus beneath us. What I’m saying here has always been sensed as profound because its a mystery and is cause for reflection on the meaning and experience of things. This is true despite mystery being a negative to positivism. Are we defined by what we are and aren’t? Or are we simply defined by what we are? Then why are we driven to learn and seek? The whole matter is more profound than brute survival which is not so conceptual though it still remains a force of nature and human nature. Mocking an old book makes for good sport, but not very interesting thinking.

  • I would like to believe your answer means your heart is more alive than the content of your thinking. If so, then that’s a good answer.

  • Nope, nice try but neither human trash nor its equivalent. Certainly not from me or Sandi or Floyd or Edward or any of the serious scripture studiers around here. Probably you’re remembering Larry trying to tell people what they think again — it sounds like him.

    I didn’t dig it out of your comments. When I used to have fun with my sock puppet I got in the habit of saving particularly outrageous comments posted by people who tend toward anti-Christian bigotry and hypocrisy, both to play sock puppet and to share with friends. Most of them were Larry’s, but you are responsible for a few gems yourself.

  • “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

    Ezekiel 16:49

    So, no, Sodomites (those who do not help the poor and needy) are not in Heaven. Your point?

  • Get used to being on fire – you’re going to spend an eternity burning in Hell by the hand of the God of Love!

  • Some of the difficulty with this subject of religion lies in understanding categorization. If one wants to learn to play an instrument, they go to a music teacher. If they are to learn chemistry they go to a chemistry teacher. If they want to express the inexpressible or the human heart in words they may learn poetry. If one wants to access the beauty of the hidden God of the Bible they must pray to Him. Other things accessing the hidden God are the sacraments and yes, scripture. Can people be deceived by their own vested interests? Yes and humans did so by killing Christ, but He prayed for their forgiveness.

    Most of the arguments against the human heart and the Bible today are based on logical positivism, which is the way of dealing with the knowledge of matter, not the human heart. The two are different worlds. Math is slightly different than positivism too because it involves imaginative or non material processes and that’s why mathematicians are more inclined to accept a platonic reality. The Bible has proscriptions against sexual behaviors regarding all people and such is a challenge for all people. If people abuse these and however they abuse them, it doesn’t change the Bible or its message. But most of the attacks on the bible on this string are coming from people who arguing against faith based on logical positivism. Applying logical positivism to the Bible is like trying to play and instrument with chemistry, it’s not going to work. One may make noise, but it’s not going to be music.

  • Your need to lie in service of your faith, your lack of trust in faith as something convincing is duly noted.

    Actually everything about it has been proven otherwise. From the world bring flat, to the order in which living things came about, a world flood, and so on… You have to be utterly dishonest to take it literally in a modern age where one communicates by electronic devices. Just because you don’t feel like accepting scientific development doesn’t mean it does not exist or that you are taking a sane course of action

    Nobody ever has to assume as you do, that any part of the Bible makes assertions of fact. Your belief is based on faith. Faith is belief in the absence of fact, not because of it.

  • YOU said that “Zionist Masonic Jews” “created” Protestantism. Protestantism is generally considered to have arisen in 1517 with Luther’s nailing of the 95 Theses to the Wittenburg church. If “Zionists” had a hand in this, they must have been around by 1517 if not before. Obviously they weren’t, making you look like a dotard.
    Luther wasn’t pretending anything. He thought in his delusions of grandeur that his writings would cause the Jews to convert on the spot. When their answer turned out to be the same as it has been for the past 2,000 years — “hard pass” — he unleashed a venom upon them that would make the alt-right blush.

  • Oh look, you found a warmed over version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. What is it about the belief that not only is there a Jewish cabal running the world, but that this cabal *puts down their plans in writing for posterity, just to uncovered later by the unsuspecting Gentiles?* It’s almost like this is the same exact flaw in every conspiracy theory: plan plan plan, but leave the evidence for “truthers” to find.
    Also, what is it about you guys and your obsession with B’nai Brith? Are you under the impression that this organization has any real influence? You would be hard pressed to find even 10 members under the age of 60. There’s a reason B’nai Brith’s university, high school, and civil rights watchdog organizations were spun off to become their own entities decades ago.
    btw, tell us about all the non-Catholics in the Knights of Columbus.

  • As I said. You’ll interpret my comment as you wish.

    As I have also said, if You People would Just stop trying to force everyone to follow your religious beliefs, you’d be amazed what little interest you would generate.

    You can call me a bigot all you wish. Thanks for being honest. I know I’m not, as does everyone who knows me.

  • I don’t “recognize where Ben is placing himself,” I recognize where you think Ben is placing himself.

  • Anti Semite. Anti Protestant, anti gay. Anti mason. At least you left out the Illuminati. Oh, wait! you didn’t! the circle is complete!

    What a nasty little world you inhabit.

  • Certainly the Church’s abandonment of the dietary laws could not have eliminated the foodborne illnesses that you seemed to posit were the reason for the laws in the first place. And the widespread knowledge of safe food practices today has not eliminated kashrut among observant Jews. The truth is that the dietary laws have very little, if at all, to do with food safety. It is “intentional eating,” and a way of making the Israelites a “set apart people.”

  • You believe you harm no one.You are harming more than you realize, which is more harmful for others, and the blindness on your part makes you less culpable. But then maybe your intention is to harm which makes you fully culpable.

  • So positivism which is not a discipline of the heart and having no heart remains your measure of a book regarding the heart. That Ben has been my gripe with you throughout the exchange. You’re doing music with your ears shut and poetry with skepticism and attacking the hidden God with logical positivism. You haven’t applied the proper tool to the task.

  • Or maybe, you people are so obsessed with homosexuality that you think there is nothing else on the planet to obsess about.

    Or maybe, you people are so obsessed with homosexuality that your obsession blinds you to the simple facts about our lives. I’m a tax payer and a law abiding productive, contributing member of society.

    Or maybe, bigots gotta bigot. But because there is at least some resemblance of morality in your lives, you have to pretend that there is something wrong and harmful with us to justify the two millennia of harm that you have wreaked upon the lives of people whose only crime and whose only “sin” is the be different in a way that scares the hell out of you.

    The immorality of prisons, murders, executions, vilification, lies, slanders, destroyed lives, Suicides, destroyedfamilies, and destroyed careers, and blaming us for all of your sickness simply does not register with you.

  • No, it’s actually simpler. I couldn’t it through your word salad to figure out what one earth you are talking about.

  • Thank you Arbustin, I accept that. It did so happen that people did die from eating pork not cooked well enough and from venereal diseases. Lifting the ban on sexual proscriptions by modern governments so homosexuals wouldn’t be treated discriminantly hasn’t stopped people from dying from STDs either. Rather, deaths from such increased and dramatically so.

  • This is a another example that the Roman Church since its beginning under the reign of Emperor Constantine backs the important ruling political power be it a political party, alliance, dictator, king, viceroy or emperor. That is the only truly consistent teaching.

  • Universal Health Care in a developed civilized country is something paid through either taxes or government assisted insurance. Just like paying for the military, social security, roads, public schools, parks, etc. Get over it.

    The state is always an agent for charity, but historically for the rich and powerful.

  • The old “word salad” defense. Much like the claim to not understand talk of the heart as “religious talk” or “poetic nonsense”. When all else fails, make believe it’s too chaotic and unscientific to give credit. Like having but a hammer, everything gets treated like a nail, so the positivists feign some lame excuse when called to answer for their humanity.
    No, is then not a response, but an inarticulate excuse.

  • “What you do unto these, the least of my brothers, you do unto me.” Who said that? No one important to modern Christianity.

  • Thats correct. I don’t see any consistent pattern in what you say. Seem to be following the usual behavior of people cherry picking bits from the Bible to simply make their point. Maybe there is is something broader there. I just haven’t seen any evidence of it.

  • You realize of course that every time you buy something, collect a paycheck, or pay your taxes, you’re paying the state. Do you consider every business that charges sales tax, employer who deducts social security, or tax preparer in the country to be “robbing you at gunpoint?”
    Pope Francis is against capital punishment, but he probably understands the need to punish people who don’t pay their taxes, even jailing them in some instances.

  • Use of stereotypes is the lion’s share of bigotry. For some here it’s about all they can do. Others, like you, slip into it once in a while. But what makes it particularly noticeable when you do it is that you’re a big complainer about bigotry.

    Not surprised that you and your friends don’t think you’re a bigot. I bet you don’t think Larry is one, either. 😀

  • No I am real, have had the name of O’Brien for 66 years, buried my Beloved husband of 49 years,17 years ago next Friday, and I reserve the right to spell my beloved’s name any way I want!

  • The Church never “abandoned” dietary laws because it never had them. Dietary laws in the early church were a feature of the first Christians’ Jewishness, nothing else.

  • Gosh, I don’t think I can stand all that warm and fuzzy coming from you.

    If you can show me where I am a bigot, where I wish to harm you, where I wish to restrict your rights and your participation in society, that I tell nasty, fact free lies about you, then let’s hear it. disagreeing with you about theology and the impact of religion on gay people’s lives doesn’t count. And fantasies that I must want you to burn in a hell I don’t believe in — I don’t “love” anyone that much, thank you— also don’t count.

    Complaining that a number of bigoted people are bigots hiding behind religious belief is not in itself an indication of bigotry.

  • 1. It may well be true that “the bible” states that. But does Jesus say that? In fact, it would be very interesting to see a compilation of Jesus’ words regarding sex, especially as compared to his words on other “sins”.

    2. Are you aware that men and women in man/woman marriages routinely engage in “sodomy”?–i.e. oral, anal sex.

  • So some of the first Christians did observe the dietary laws. Most of the earliest practices were a feature of their Jewishness. Some of these, like prohibitions on certain sexual acts, eating the meat of strangled animals, and eating food offered to idols, were retained or even amplified. Pretty sure the last one is a rabbinic prohibition, not something directly stated in the OT. You can put a theological gloss on it, but to me it seems like “take what you like and leave the rest.” I don’t have a problem with that, it’s what all religions do to a certain extent. It seems to work for AA too.

  • I can hear myself very well. I know exactly who I am.

    “You are harming more than you realize.” No, I’m not harming ANYONE. Perhaps you should listen to YOURSELF

  • Considering the way that religious households consistently give more to both religious and secular charity, both money and time, than non-religious people, I’d say that verse is still highly important to modern Christians.

  • “Welcome the other.” Good words for Christians of any stripe.

    Good words for anybody, really, but we Christians have been clearly told by our Lord not to be ruled by our fears. And the main reason people don’t welcome the other is that they fear the other.

    I don’t think Jesus said specifically anywhere that we need to reject those who traffic in making people afraid, but it seems to me to be a pretty direct corollary of everything he did say.

  • The apostle Paul said in Romans 13 that taxation is legitimate.

    It hardly matters whether or not the state can be an ‘agent of charity’ by your definition if it can help those in need.

    Maybe we Christians should rejoice when the state steps in to feed the hungry and take care of the sick to a much greater degree than religious organizations or other private charities have ever managed.

    Returning to taxation, our tax dollars (in the U.S.) pay for a lot of different things, including wars that leave hundreds of thousands dead. Funny how the only time conservative ‘Christians’ object to government policy on the grounds that people’s tax dollars are being ‘stolen’ is when the government reaches out to help the needy, and not when the government is engaging in gratuitous wars in faraway countries.

  • Given this logic-Jesus is a heretic! He was actually to the Pharisees a heretic. I fear the American Christian Church has lost its way both in Conservative Catholic and Protestant circles. It is time to cleanse the Temple! Read the Book of Acts-we are to share, love, welcome and take risks with new inclusive ideas. As a theologian, I see the old dogma as man-made spiritual sounding paint that we use to cover-up our our racism and fear!
    The fastest growing group in the USA are the “nones” . Check the next census. Why is that? Because people will no longer support our hypocrisy! Preaching Love and demonstrating Hate is not the Jesus way.

  • Romans 13 is a bit more subtle – we must render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. For the PROPER functions of government, enumerated in the Constitution, I would tend to agree.

    Should Christians rejoice when the state steps in to help slaughter innocent babies by funding Planned Parenthood? Encourage out of wedlock births because Women know their unchastity will be subsidized? To subsidize the OBESITY EPIDEMIC and cause type 2 diabetes, while paying for big pharma crony medicine?

    The Churches made distinctions. The State just wants votes and power.

    To return to St. Paul, he said if you don’t work, you don’t eat. You rejoice the slothful and indolent can just sit home and get food stamps. The body becomes corpulent while the soul rots and you cheer?

    I also completely reject all the unjust wars (see Chuck Baldwin at and Ron Paul’s institute for PEACE and prosperity). But this is the unholy bargain you make – you accept big government if they will take care of YOUR responsibility to help the sick, poor, etc. but ignore war and abortion.

    If it would mean ending the unconstitutional and unjust welfare for everyone but at the same time ending abortion and all the unjust war slaughter, would you desire it? Or would you continue to burn incense to Caesar on the “help the sick and poor” altar even knowing that many more innocents would continued to be slaughtered in war and abortion?

  • I don’t think it had anything to do with what anyone “liked” but with what had and had not been expected of Gentiles traditionally. Sexual prohibitions were retained because the Torah said quite specifically that God judged and rejected Gentiles for those practices long before there ever was a Torah. The matter of strangled animals had to do with the prohibition on eating blood, which was a Noahide command and not Torah (strangled animals are not properly drained of blood). Paul’s discussions of meat sacrificed to idols indicates that such abstention is about avoiding the appearance of condoning sin — and I’m sure most would have “liked” to dispense with that command as well since sacrificial meat was ubiquitous in the ancient world, but of course it was logically inescapable.

  • The businesses are merely acting as coerced agents as am I. They have the same gun to their heads. The advocates tell the government to put the gun to the heads of businessmen and tell them to put the gun to my head.

    Perhaps we should have a specific Abortion Tax to fund Planned Parenthood and the like, and collect it at similar gunpoint and see if the clergy will actually oppose it or even do something like the sanctuary movement to protect those evading the tax as much as they protect illegal aliens.

  • Jesus said to help the sick.
    Jesus didn’t say to pay robbers and mercenaries to grab wealth and enslave doctors and nurses to provide care because you found that more convienent or efficient than doing it yourself.
    The Good Samaratin paid himself for the care of the robbery victim. The Jericho road robbers would still be robbers if they did so to pay a physican to help one of their fellow robbers.

  • The state maintains the peace and order (see Aquinas in the Summa).
    Public health is covered, things like quarantines which we are refusing to do to control the modern plagues like STDs, but also Hepatitis and the Plague.

    Government assisted Insurance is robbing Peter to pay for Paul’s policy.

    It is NOT charity when it is coerced and not voluntary.
    It is theft or robbery. That the state has always been an agent of violence, robbery, and theft for the rich and powerful, I would agree with.

    That is why we had a revolution, and tried to limit government. Taxes are to be used to preserve peace and order, not for poverty and such. They are “not yours to give””

  • You have a simple solution.
    No health insurance for you. If you get sick, you agree to pay for all medical costs. No running off to the emergency room without your credit card or checkbook.

  • What about those who only took the bread and not the wine? Do they only half believe? Lutherans believe Christ is present under and in and around the host and wine. Most mainstream Protestants believe Christ is present in Communion, they just do not use the interpretation of the Papists. Learn what others believe and not what some ignorant nun or priest taught you so you remain a dues paying member. it might expand your horizon.

  • Unbelievable. Slavery was really a good thing for the darkies.
    Let me know how you feel about it when the leg iron is on the other foot.

  • There are a pile of hard core sola scriptorum groupies on these very pages who will sharply disagree with you on that.

  • Agreed. It’s a deal. Refund me all the costs of the Obamacare subsidies, medicaid, and medicare taxes you force me to pay at gunpoint. Then I could easily afford my health care and be able to make (real) charitable contributions to those who can’t afford treatment.
    As long as the ER posts its fees and charges me the same as everyone else – those with insurance and medicare. Not $80k for me for scorpion anti-venom, but under $10k for $100 of mexican anti-venom (search the story).
    Also, why are you so horrible to deny me the ability to PAY FOR MY OWN INSURANCE WITH MY OWN MONEY WITH THE COVERAGE I DESIRE – e.g. I don’t need abortion, contraception, liposuction, chiropractic?
    I could likely find a catastrophic policy for $100 a month that would cover major trauma, cancer, or other rare conditions, and I will handle things like the sniffles or aches myself.

  • My book is the original. God’s name changes from Elohim in chapter 1 to YHVH midway through chapter 2. Why did the author of Genesis do this?

  • Because it was written as a symbolic narrative intended to communicate a fundamental belief. It was not a historical narrative. The church teaches that the underlying message is true. It does not require people to believe every detail of the creation narrative as literal historic truth. Despite your evident ignorance of matters scientific, modern science completely refutes a literal interpretation of Genesis and provides testable empirical evidence to support its position. But that doesn’t mean the underlying message is false. If you maintain that the literal interpretation is true and science definitively refutes it, the logical conclusion is that part of Genesis is FALSE, hence the Word of God is FALSE, and hence we cannot trust the Word of God.
    The NT Gospels are filled with parables. You can’t take them as literal ‘fact’. They are symbolic stories that are trying to teach a message by using a story. The authors of the Bible were clearly intelligent enough to understand that. That doesn’t mean that nothing in Genesis is to be interpreted as a historical narrative. But only an idiot would interpret a story about a snake in the garden of Eden telling two human beings to eat an apple in order to condemn them to hell for all eternity as a literal historic narrative. Its a mythological narrative trying to make a fundamental point. That is exactly how the RCC teaches it. Evangelical Fundamentalists don’t obviously believe that, but they are not a christian denomination. They have rejected the entire history of Christianity in favor of a “modern” American cult movement. They only adopt a literal interpretation of scripture because they have rejected the TEACHING authority of the Church, and hence they have no alternative but to fall back on literalism because they have nothing else left to assert the truth of the Bible..

  • Because it was written as a symbolic narrative intended to communicate a fundamental belief. It was not a historical narrative. The church teaches that the underlying message is true. It does not require people to believe every detail of the creation narrative as literal historic truth. Despite your evident lack of knowledge of matters scientific, modern science refutes a literal interpretation of Genesis and provides testable empirical evidence to support its position. But that doesn’t mean the underlying message is false. If you maintain that the literal interpretation is true and science definitively refutes it, the logical conclusion is that part of Genesis is false, hence the Word of God is false, and hence we cannot trust the Word of God.
    The NT Gospels are filled with parables. You can’t take them as literal ‘fact’. They are symbolic stories that are trying to teach a message by using a story. The authors of the Bible were able to understand that. That doesn’t mean that nothing in Genesis is to be interpreted as a historical narrative. But it is really not acceptable to interpret a story about a snake in the garden of Eden telling two human beings to eat an apple in order to condemn them to hell for all eternity as a literal historic narrative. Its a mythological narrative trying to make a fundamental point. That is exactly how the RCC teaches it. Evangelical Fundamentalists don’t obviously believe that, but they are not a christian denomination. They have rejected the entire history of Christianity in favor of a “modern” American cult movement. They only adopt a literal interpretation of scripture because they have rejected the TEACHING authority of the Church, and hence they have no alternative but to fall back on literalism because they have nothing else left to assert the truth of the Bible..

  • It changed from Elohim to Yahweh. The reason is one of the most studied things in scriptural theology.

  • If you define a fetus as a human being which is simply at an early stage of its development and it will continue that development until it reaches adulthood, then it is quite possible that abortion could be murder. It all boils down to when you consider a fetus to be an individual human entity distinct from the mother, even though it is still in the womb. I can certainly understand why people may not want to consider a few undifferentiated cells as a human person, but once a fetus basically has all the elements of a human body I’m not not sure why it cannot be considered as a human being, at which point abortion can essentially be viewed as murder.
    Of course if you maintain that we can arbitrarily define when the fetus is a human being, then of course we arbitrarily define when we can call it murder.

  • What exactly is grace? It is not unusual for religions to invent a whole lot of ideas and terms which are really nothing but words which have no real meaning.

  • But look! While I can support your right to select a political ideology of your choosing, how can you possibly, as a christian, elect a man as President who has 13 women accusing him of sexual abuse and was secretly recorded to boast about how he could grope women’s genitals and they couldn’t do anything to stop him! I think you will have a serious problem explaining that one to Peter when you come to the pearly gates.

  • I didn’t overlook anything. I am not justifying homosexuality or any other sexual behavior. I am challenging the hypocrites who cherry pick the bits of the Bible that they feel support their condemnation of other people, but are totally willing to overlook or ignore the parts that condemn their behavior.

  • I have no problem with people dumping Clinton. I cannot imagine her as President.
    My problem is who they chose in her place. If I can use an analogy, electing Trump was a bit like a parent choosing a pedophile to babysit their kids because the guy had claimed that he had an interest in kids!

  • You seem to forget that a fetus exists inside a woman. It can’t be considered distinct from its mother until it can be physically separated from her. Therefore, by deliberately ignoring that point, your whole spiel is dishonest, pointless nonsense.

    I don’t have to care whether it’s a human or clump of cells. I have to care whether it is inside the body of a person or not. When life begins is less important than where life exists. Fetus worshipers have set the pace of the arguments in the wrong direction. None of it relevant as to why abortion is legal in the first place.

    You try to handwave away the point that to even consider a fetus a person with its own distinct rights involves stripping away the personhood of its mother. Reducing get to a biological incubator with no will of her own. This undermines any moral pretensions you aspire to here.

    Therein lies the dishonesty and callousness of the anti abortion point of view. You can’t just pretend the woman is not important to the situation. Your view extols the gestating and shows utter contempt and hostility to the born.

  • Yes Spuddie, good point. It’s a scientific fact that life begins at conception. Life forms in a human mother, so the child which develops in silence is always a developing child of the mother. There is no point at which it isn’t part of a human mother. No one would argue that the developing child of the human mother could be a toad or apple, or fish. It is always part of a continuum of life that is human and of the mother. The genetic material is of the mother and father taking formation from the mother’s flesh. Even the feminists have conceded this. They just ague that one still has the right to kill the child at any point in the pregnancy, even as they expose part of its head and suck the inside of its brains out. When we are dealing with such a level of insensitivity, we have distinguished an ideology from humanity, experience and being.

  • I know, it’s very sad and puts people in a bad spot. I guess everyone should have voted for a woman who laughed at killing the leader of a foreign government who had already surrendered his nuclear program. That was the same woman whose husband and herself were taking massive “donations” (50M) from countries such as Kazakhstan as reported years back in the Wall St. Journal. It’s a sign of how corrupt things have gotten.

  • Paragraph breaks are your friend.

    You didn’t actually ready my post.lf you did, you would know that abortion rights are not based on wherever fanciful notions you cough up about when life begins or what form it takes in a womb.

    It’s based entirely on the fact that a fetus exists in a womb. One belonging to a woman, who has her own distinct and autonomous rights of personhood.

    Until a fetus is (or can be) physically separated from its mother, ie born, it cannot be considered a separate and distinct being from her.

    That fetus can be your next Messiah, speak 7 languages prenatally, or be destined to bring about world peace everlasting, and none of that would have any bearing on the subject. As long as it exists in its mother’s womb, she had the last word as whether to keep it.

  • You have asked a good question, so I’ll try to answer it, which means I will try to answer it in part as it involves things we can’t fully know. It helps to distinguish ideology as something that exists as only an idea, apart from living experience. (An idea may not be true just as an experience can be deceiving.) Grace is of experience because it is alive, though it may not always be discerned as experience, that is, as a consolation, a pleasant experience. It also can involve sophisticated things that don’t always make immediate sense, such as getting caught at doing a small bad thing before going on to much worse things. So getting caught stealing a small piece of candy could be a grace compared to living a life of crime, for example.
    So we don’t understand the fullness of grace, just as we don’t understand the fullness of anything. We may understand its biological processes, but don’t fully understand its beauty. We experience its beauty, which is different. But we don’t deny its beauty because we don’t fully understand beauty in some kind of analytical terms which are different than experience anyway. So there’s this existential mystery in grace. Knowing the bible doesn’t mean we therefore fully know God.

    If one imagines being completely and fully loved, they may experience perhaps for a brief moment, a sense of what it means to be recollected and it’s a beautiful thing. Does this mean the experience is make believe, or self induced? Or does it mean it is of a beauty aligned with the grace of God? One cannot fully distinguish the two. Grace is living in such a recollected state, either momentarily or as one hopes, continually. This whole area of recollection is increased through prayer, which is a primary way communicating with God as taught by Jesus in the Gospels. Then there are the other sacraments. So it is a collection of things through which grace acts. But God may respond to all prayer said sincerely even if one doesn’t believe, especially when said for the benefit of others.

  • A point well taken. But you have to consider that the bible is the only thing
    that admonishes anti-social behavior at all, even as hundreds of people are dying per day from drug, alcohol and sexually transmitted diseases. Balzac said he admired the Catholic Church because it was the only thing standing between man and his debauchery, or something to that affect.
    Reading the bible doesn’t instantly cure our humanity of habits to do selfish things and many souls go to the other side in pretty bad shape, but for their humility and regret that they lived for themselves alone and that’s a world of difference over being defiant about it. For whatever is wanting in these discussions, humans are prone to errors, shortcomings and misunderstandings. I recently read a story where a priest hearing a sinner in confession ask, How can I be sorry when I enjoyed everything I did? The priest then said, Well, are you at least sorry that you’re not sorry? The man answered yes, I can say that.
    All this stuff is far more profound and difficult that anyone is giving it credit. None of us truly realizes how hurtful we can be to others even in our ordinary everyday behaviors. Nor can most of us say that if we returned to some old flame who was a blast, but not someone they were likely to have married, could they be sure they would resist another fling? To the contrary, Justice Kennedy’s decision was based on such vapid thinking that it left society vulnerable to everything, because it meant anything goes, and that left the government and corporations to be the arbiters of conscience and morality. That’s not a happy place for anyone and that’s at the heart of this culture war. Faith was subsumed and then eliminated by the government corporate structure.

  • Conspiracy theorists open only the eyes of other conspiracy theorists. Your statements about the K of C are instructive. The Knights of Columbus are known as one of the most conservative lay Catholic organizations there is. It was founded as a fraternal organization alternative to Freemasonry for Catholics. It’s about as Masonic as a wet paper bag.

  • I did read your post. But it’s a scientific fact that life begins at conception. It doesn’t begin at any other point. Every biology student learns this and no one disputes it. The DNA specific to the child comes into existence, that is, it becomes, or comes into being at conception. If you are going to stand with the feminists, take the next step and admit what they believe, that the mother has the right to kill the child. Not, “the last word as whether to keep it” which could mean the mother might offer it to adoption and so isn’t the correct terminology. No one argues the mother doesn’t have the right to give up the child for adoption. The right to kill the child is what the feminists are now defending. So bring yourself to say it. You are defending the mother’s right to kill the child.

  • The problem with your spiel about when life begins is your ridiculous belief that it is anything remotely relevant to the subject. All the while ignoring that a fetus exists inside the body of a woman. Making its existence distinctly much much different from a born child. Your use of the term “child” and your attempt to equate the born is dishonest and flies in the face of cold hard reality.

    “No one argues the mother doesn’t have the right to give up the child for adoption.”

    Say what?

    At no point do you have ANY say in what a mother does with her pregnancy!

    You mistake having an opinion with having control. Women are not beholden to you nor subject to your opinion on such matters. The fact that you have such arrogance to demand what choices they have to make undermines any notion that you have concern or respect for actual living people. Its all about control for you.

    A woman has a right to terminate her pregnancy, what is going on in her body, without ever having to consult you at any time, because it is within her body. That is the only relevant fact here. Not whether a fetus feels pain, has an eyehole or two or a heartbeat. She is a person, a fetus is not. A child is. People are born. They exist outside the bodily systems of other people.

    Your whole stance is based on the idea that a woman is your personal property to command as you wish. That you have a say in what goes on in her body and she, as a person does not. Well that is complete and utter garbage. Any pretension of a moral stance in your position is a fiction.

    “You are defending the mother’s right to kill the child.”

    No, I am defending a woman’s right to be a person. Children have nothing to do with your view.

  • I mentioned a handful of scientific facts and what contemporary feminists are arguing today, the right to kill the child. Feminists admitted some time back that the right to life argument was more evolved than the feminist arguments. I forget the woman’s name who made that statement, but she was the head of NOW at the time. Then she went on to make the statement that feminists had to regroup and make a new argument based on the right to kill the child. I’m afraid Spuddie that you might have missed all this from your comment. Besides the leader of NOW, Gloria Stenem admitted that of course the unborn have rights, but then said she still believed the mother had the right to kill the child. Feminist Antonia Senior says in “Yes, Abortion is Killing. But It’s the Lesser Evil,” she acknowledges that an unborn child at any stage is a human life. Then proceeds to assert that feminism is more important than life, and that, when necessary, women must be willing to kill for the feminist cause even as they are willing to die for it. Such is ideology.

  • You have raised a lot of points here. So I apologize if this response is a bit long. I am not downplaying the rights of women. I am upholding the value of human life. Just because another important moral value has entered into the situation does not mean we demean women’s rights because we have to decide which is the higher of the moral values. As in all moral clashes, sometimes we have to make difficult decisions, which involve establishing where the various values lie in a hierarchy of values and choosing to protect the highest value.
    Otherwise we descend into simple moral relativism, which is exactly what you are doing.
    YOU have to try to twist and turn to impose your own subjective moral system to justify your opinion . In your case it is when you state “When life begins is less important than where life exists.” I totally disagree. It is not when or where , but THAT life exists!! Where life exists is certainly important, but it would be totally irrelevant if the value of life itself was not the underlying value…i.e not “WHERE life exists!” …but… “where LIFE exists.” Different emphasis…very different results!
    The most fundamental of all our values as a human being is the value of human life. Values associated with personhood etc. are also very fundamental and are critical to how we relate to each other and how we function in society, but they are dependent on the underlying value of the human life itself, otherwise they have no basis.
    We have seen in the past exactly what happens in the mind of some people when they accept the existence of values of personhood and the rights associated with it, but do not respect the fundamental moral value of the human life itself… was called slavery! As we saw back in the days of slavery in the US, a slaves right to personhood was greatly diminished in the legal system, to the point where, if the slave owner decided to turn against his slave, that often resulted in the slave being lynched or otherwise killed, with the slave owner doing it with virtual legal impunity. But whatever the reality in the legal world of that time, we would state unequivocally that killing your slave was murder, because you violated the moral value associated with human life, even if you denied his legal rights of personhood..
    Hence the value of the human life of a fetus is a more fundamental value than the values of the personhood of the mother. It does not mean to say that we have the right to arbitrarily demean the personhood of the mother, but it cannot be placed above the the value of the human life of the fetus.
    That a fetus is unquestionably an individual human life is a fact 100% established by science and is completely beyond debate. It may be physically dependent on the mother for survival, but its existence and its survival are two different things.Even after birth, for a long time, it will still be completely dependent on the mother or another human being in order to survive and develop. It is also unquestionable that a fetus does not have the full properties of personhood, but neither does a new born baby, although society grants a new born a whole range of rights that a fetus would not have.
    The only time, in my view that a mother would have a moral right to abort a pregnancy would be if her life was threatened by the existence of the fetus. Then it is a life for a life and most people would acknowledge that the mother’s life should take priority. I would also accept that if a mother was sick, e.g. cancer, and even though her life was not threatened by the life of the fetus , if the treatment she required to preserve her life ended up killing the fetus then, unfortunately, that is also morally justifiable since the life of the mother would deserve priority.
    But to simply abort a fetus because a woman decides to end her pregnancy for a reason which is not a life for a life, for example because a new job opportunity arises after she is pregnant is simply not morally acceptable.

  • Wrong. A child is born. So nobody is talking about the right to kill them. Your use of the term child is dishonest conflation.

    Nothing you have mentioned has any relevance on the subject. Anti-abortion types have framed the discussion on the subject of “when life begins” to avoid addressing the reasons why abortion is legal in the first place. Rather than come up with rational legal arguments, they simply dodge and avoid facts.

    Don’t care what kind of misrepresentation of feminist arguments you feel like making either. This is really very basic stuff. As long as a fetus exists in a woman’s body, it is her choice as whether to keep it. Her body is her own and not your property. Pregnancy does not automatically revoke a woman’s personhood or make her subject to your personal opinions as to such matters.

    There is no such thing as “unborn rights”. Because in your efforts to pretend women are not people, one cannot grant the unborn rights without attacking those of its mother. There is no other kind of existence where one’s rights and personhood are directly attributable to removing it from others.

    All you have demonstrated to me is that you have no regard for women as people.

  • You have raised irrelevancies if you can still equate the born with the unborn. You have deliberately and dishonestly avoided the most relevant facts. There is nothing objective or grounded in relevant facts in your position.

    You are not upholding the value of human life in any way. You are deliberately reducing human life of born, especially women to your property.

    Your moral stance is a complete and utter sham. You can’t claim any kind of moral high ground while showing complete hostility to the lives of others as you do. It has nothing to do with morals or protecting life for you. Its about exerting control over others. It is an expression of arrogance and narcissism on your part.

    “When life begins is less important than where life exists.” I totally
    disagree. It is not when or where , but THAT life exists!!

    Unless that life is a pregnant woman. Then you don’t consider her life important at all.

    There is no such thing as an argument which states, “I am morally superior to you, therefore I must control your life”. One’s life is their own. If you can’t respect the lives of others, then you can’t claim any kind of moral stance here. You have no respect for personhood period. People are born. You consider the born to be your personal property to command as you wish.

    “Hence the value of the human life of a fetus is a more fundamental value than the values of the personhood of the mother. ”

    And there was the glorified s1utshaming. A fetus being somehow “innocent” and worthy of respect for life while its mother is such a dirty s1ut that she no longer deserves personhood and must become your property to command as you wish. There is your hostility and utter contempt for those already born in order to satisfy your self-styled moralizing arrogance. How can I possibly care about your alleged concern for life when you have zero concern for most life in existence? I can’t. Your concern is phony garbage. All merely a cover for your arrogance and contempt.

    “The only time, in my view that a mother would have a moral right to
    abort a pregnancy would be if her life was threatened by the existence
    of the fetus.”

    The only time anyone has to consider your opinion on such subjects when making such a personal decision is never. Unless its your own body.

  • I didn’t say women aren’t people. What I’ve done is update you on what the feminists have been arguing for better than ten years now. I didn’t impose a single opinion of my own in that last comment.

    Okay, so a child is born and an infant is born, a person and human being are also born. At what point were they not human and not alive? A child develops in the womb and a child continues to develop after being born. Are you saying the developing children we see on a sonogram are not the same beings that were later born? Are you saying the infant isn’t human by some criteria of their inability to communicate? If as feminists have conceded to science that the unborn are human beings and have rights to medical procedures and proper treatment, etc., then how can one kill them? Contradictions abound here and there are no answers to make them less contradictory.

    So we can throw out God because it’s not scientific and unfair and then throw out natural law because its rights for the individual flow from God. We throw out reason because it’s not scientific as well. Okay, but then you’re saying that we can then throw out science when it doesn’t suit our desires, which you are calling rights? We throw out science when it comes to the unborn, but then cite science when arguing transgender rights? We throw out the rights of children to their natural parents whenever possible and throw out the rights of surrogate mothers to see their children while giving other mothers the right to kill their children the day before they are born. Our wants now have precedent over actual life. That’s the philosophical problem for modernism, it has no basis for anything. Our desires are neither science or necessarily rights. Anything now goes and rights are a matter of political power, will and force.

  • Actually you have been saying it from the get go. It is inherent to your position. A fetus being a person but a woman being your property. Unable to exert control of what goes on in her body and requiring your input in personal and intimate decisions.

    By pretending the existence of a fetus in a woman’s womb was an irrelevancy you reduce her to a non person. One whose life is not of any consideration.

    If you attack a woman’s very inherent right to make decisions as to whet goes on in her body you are very much imposing tour view here.

    Don’t care about whether a fetus is considered alive, human or a being. It’s not as important as the fact it exists solely she to its mothers biological systems and nobody can separate the two physically until birth.

    Your entire focus on the fetus is some to contemptuously deny any discussion of its mother. Unless one can separate a fetus from its mother, a fetus is not a person with its own distinct existence. Which means you are talking up a storm on things of no importance to the discussion.

    You really have a problem with going off script here. Obviously you feel the need for word salad blocks on the whole “when life begins” argument and I am not bothering to take the bait.

    So far your response to where life begins involved some truly nasty and reductive views of actual born people.

    “while giving other mothers the right to kill their children the day before they are born.”

    Can you be more dishonest? I specifically used terms like “can be born” to avoid your overused canard. If a fetus can be removed by birth, abortion is not an issue. Your constant use of child is just being childish. Children are born. You use such rhetoric to pretend there are relevant differences between born and unborn existence. Again pretending the mother and her womb are of no importance.

    There can be no moral argument made with such dishonesty and frankly callous indifference to the lives of others.

  • I have a wife and children who disagree with you on the basis that they are alive and love being alive. It is you who have failed to unravel your contradictions and explain the basis of the “rights” you are defending. I know why such “rights” are not mine to claim, but yours are arbitrary. I’m arguing the science which everyone but you acknowledges today. Your arguments are out of date.

    Your position is unscientific, amoral and doesn’t acknowledge anything but will.
    My gosh, more word salad defenses. Please Spuddie, all you’re defending here is will and the will to kill a human life. Sorry, but that’s your argument and it’s based on nothing. At least have the guts as do feminists like Gloria Steinem and Antonia Senior by saying the words, that you are defending the right of the mother to kill the unborn child, an unborn human life.

  • I couldn’t care less who you find that agrees or disagrees with me on the subject. You fail to understand that the personhood of others isn’t subject to your opinion here. Either you respect it or you are a terrible person with no regard for others. Women, even pregnant ones are people with their own lives and bodies which are not subject to your approval for their personal decisions.

    You don’t have to like or approve of their decisions. You have no say in any of them.

    “but yours are arbitrary.”

    Hardly. One’s body is theirs. Not yours. Its in her womb and lives on her bodily systems. It belongs to nobody else. Not you or the government. She possesses the fetus, she possesses the choice.

    Personhood is the most fundamental right one has. It exists independent of everyone else. You can’t grant personhood to one by taking it away from others. This is why a fetus can’t be considered a person, but a born child is.

    “Please Spuddie, all you’re defending here is will and the will to kill a human life. ”

    For feks sake Cody, you are claiming all women are your property to command. You don’t give a flying crap about human life because you don’t consider women as people. George Carlin had your crowd down pat
    “For 9 months they care. Once your born, your f—ed”

    “That you are defending the right of the mother to kill the unborn child, an unborn human life.”

    There is no such thing as an unborn child. Children are born.

  • Your arguments have expired. They are terribly dated, unscientific, without conscience and fraudulent. None are making your unscientific argument anymore.

    I’m appealing to the scientific basis of life and human conscience regarding life, both of which were denied for decades by the old arguments that turned out to be scientifically in error. Our government has created chaos by creating rights for which there is no basis but will; rights by fiat. So I appeal to people themselves to make decisions not based on fear or the fake non scientific arguments, but through a developed human conscience. That’s why I conceded to you the political arena Spuddie, because it’s defunct and useless, without human conscience on all subjects and matters, from rights to fiat finance. Our modern government is in a terribly confused and contradictory state and has been for some time, so I put no hope in government. No, I am not treating women as property, I’m appealing to their conscience and to the cowardly men who blame them for getting pregnant and demand they get an abortion. Your charge against me is baseless and so is your name calling, which you resorted to because you’ve undermined your own claim to science. Your only values are wants and will. That’s all that’s left to the abortion argument.

  • Thats one of the most discussed topics in all of biblical theology. Go read a text on biblical theology. The answer to your question has been known for CENTURIES.

  • I laid out my moral argument in a perfectly clear, respectful and rational manner. Its there for people to read. Your response is barely rational, is a clear misrepresentation of almost everything I said, and does not address any of the issues. I’ll make my point once again. The value of a human life is higher on the scale of moral values than a woman’s procreative rights…period. It does NOT mean that a woman’s procreative rights are not profoundly important, but a woman CANNOT kill a fetus simply to assert her procreative rights. The fact that it is in her womb does not mean it is not a separate human being. It is! That is 100% backed by science.
    If you can come back with anything resembling a rational argument instead of the foul mouthed ranting in your last post, then I’ll respond, otherwise it appears that I am wasting my time.

  • You have no moral argument to speak of. You have ignored relevant facts, made dishonest statements and avoided rational discussion at all costs for canned scripted arguments.

    Your whole argument is that a woman is not a person, but you and a fetus are. That she is your property to command. There can be no moral argument to the effect of “I declare myself superior, they must do as I command.”

    A moral person who respects and values human life is, one who respects ones body is their own. That people will make personal decisions you won’t like. I don’t have to argue whether abortion is inherently right or wrong. I only need to argue that it’s none of your business.

    Her body, her choice. There is no moral argument against this.

  • Declaring yourself the winner. LOL! Whatever.

    There is nothing you have said, which didn’t follow a long worn and thoroughly irrelevant script.

    My position can be summed up in far more honest terms then yours.

    Her body, her choice.

    Yours is “her body is mine to command”

    I don’t have to lie about basic placental mammalian reproduction, use dishonest terminology, misrepresent opponents points or attack the personhood of all born to make my point.

  • Spuddie, No one is the winner here. Going to websites and accusing people of things they aren’t has become a sport, but also a sign of how sad our times are. By placing ideas ahead of life, we’ve become a collection of carbon units with nothing in common. Our hearts and consciences have atrophied under the weight of endless self oriented ideas and behaviors.

    Liberty is a good, but it is not a personal virtue and neither is it a good without a social order and a shared place. We share life first, walk through the same fields, seeing each others faces, smiles, a laugh, an argument, an apology. None of this exists in the virtual world. Life is shared only through the medium of words. But when we believe only in our individual personhood, we lose touch with life and each other.

    As if humans weren’t lonely enough, they invented a false god in liberty as libertarianism, in selfism. A libertarian aggression has been inching its way dangerously towards departing from all restraints. We’re seeing this in various protests around the world and awful attacks on crowds of people. No one wants to be beholden to anything. This whole thing has gotten very sad. Take care.

  • Oooh poor you. So upset that people won’t do as you say but instead lead lives of their own. That actual respect for the sanctity of life and people involves accepting that people will make and have every right to make decisions you won’t like.

    If you somehow respect the life of a fetus, but do not respect the life of its mother or of children already born, what does that say about your concern here? It says noting decent about your moral thinking. Its fetus worship. Nothing else.

    Its not about having a conscience, its about self-styled arrogance and narcissism. You can take your holier than thou and airs of moral superiority and stuff them.

  • No Spuddie, It’s far bigger than any one issue or the sophomoric arguments for libertarianism. Sure, you can legally do anything you want, go right ahead, this is the modern world. I’m just tired of watching people die from their own self excesses and I have kids so I worry about them and the future as I’m watching this thing unfold. 900,000 people walking around with HIV while everyday people are being attacked at random for doing nothing but walking down the street. They’re being sucker punched in knock out “games” or beaten with baseball bats or having acid thrown in their faces while authorities make excuses for the criminals based on some ideology of victimology. The belief in selfism has gone off the deep end. The moderns have had a blast making fun of history, making fun of our country and they can keep blaming Christianity all they want, but the current world belongs to them, it is all theirs, for better and worse.

  • No its far more basic than any of the nonsense you are putting up.

    You are arguing that the lives of everyone else belongs to you as your property. That any kind of trespass upon others can be excused by some spurious claim of moral superiority.

    I find your concern to be phony. An act. Something where you feel good about yourself for going through the pretensions of care. But not showing actual respect or care for others. It has nothing to do with caring. It has to do with control and making demands upon others you have no business doing.

    Have a good weekend. 🙂

  • Spuddie, I’ve been giving you an out by making the subject larger than either of us by addressing it as a sociological reality. But you kept making it personal by name calling. I lived very much according to the libertarian American upbringing and had no association with religion after early childhood and was indifferent about it. I’m well versed in the positions of selfism because I lived that life for decades. I also know how hard it is to move on from those positions having been inculcated with the brainwashing early on. Claiming I have no empathy for victims of knock out games, or acid attacks or people suffering from STDs is nothing but your opinion. Rather it was you who came here with a roaring sense of moral superiority attacking people and their beliefs and you leave with nothing but your opinion because that’s all you were ever beholden to.

  • See theologian Cathleen Kaveny’s “Intrinsic Evil and Political Responsibility” at AMERICA MAGAZINE’s website.

    Key quote: “Some acts that are not intrinsically evil (driving while intoxicated) can on occasion be worse both objectively and subjectively than acts that are intrinsically evil (telling a jocose lie). Some homicides that are not intrinsically evil are worse than intrinsically evil homicides.”

    Let’s not make of intrinsic evil more than it really is.

  • Just pointing out some of the apple/orange properties of the comparisons you were trying to make.

    Fight the good fight, but at least try to be honest about it. You do no good to a cause you seem to care about by making specious arguments and comparisons.

    Then again, what else should one expect from someone who somehow read my comment as some manner of justification of something. Seriously, how did that happen?

  • A ethologist and evolutionary biologist as a working scientist who … studied (he would, and generally does, say ‘read’) Zoology at Oxford.

    Try to get a deeper understanding of the facts beyond the soundbites you’ve picked up.

  • Are you going to start discussing any issues, or are you going to keep ranting on at people who have different opinions from you? I am providing facts for you, you are just mouthing off about “specious arguments and comparisons”. If you disagree with someones post, try presenting some facts to counter the other person. You can say anything you want of course, but my posts are on the site for anyone to read if they want to see who is actually trying to discuss issues and who is not.

  • You are still talking nonsense. I have laid out the details of my arguments quite explicitly, so people can go and read them for themselves rather than listen to your facile misrepresentations of them. I most certainly am NOT saying that a woman is not a person. I am saying that the moral issue surrounding abortion is twofold:
    1. There are TWO lives involved. The woman and the child in her womb. So it is NOT just “Her body, her choice.” . Otherwise what happens in her womb would indeed be none of my business. I have given you plenty of reasons to intellectually, scientifically and morally justify why a fetus should be treated as a human life and why our moral system places the value of human life as its foundation. You just keep ranting on that women have rights (which I don’t disagree with) and simply write the fetus off as if it is no more than a cyst growing in the woman’s uterus and she can get rid of it if she chooses.
    2. I am strongly disagreeing with what I think is the essence of your erroneous argument. You said…”A moral person who respects and values human life is one who respects ones body is their own.” I think that highlights the error in your opinion. In fact that’s not just wrong. It is bizarre. I can’t imagine ANY human being who DOESN’T respect the life in their own body, although I have no doubt there are some. A person who respects human life is a person who also respects ANOTHER person’s body and life, not just their own. And the issue here is that there are TWO human lives involved, not just one. Thats the whole point of why people can be charged with murder for taking another human life other than in self defense.
    However, I am not arguing that abortion should be treated LEGALLY as murder. Thats the real issue of the distinction between a human life and a human person. However, the legal issues can be quite different from the moral issues.

  • Didn’t read, don’t care. Moved on to another conversation. Fetus worship is silly nonsense. I will pray for you.

  • Thats fine. I assumed that from the shallow responses you were posting. Probably best you don’t induce too much climate change with all the hot air!

  • your kind has nothing to offer but death. Your religion is an EFFING death cult. It’s dying out. Too many child molesting priests. The Catholic Church has ZERO moral authority and you have less moral authority than that. Feeble, that’s you.

  • I am stating simple moral and scientific facts….period. Where did I say anything about a Big Guy in the Sky? I often get into debates opposing what any church says, particularly when it violates scientific facts. But I really have to ask…. how is ANY church a death cult? YOU are the one who is screaming for death…not me if you are supporting what Spuddie (above) was saying !!!! Pure psychopathic nonsense.
    Kill an unborn baby because it can’t really complain as it is slowly cut to pieces. But it has no right to complain anyway because it is still attached to its mother!

  • is it not ‘Soul Murder” for a priest to rape a child. The Catholic Church has done NOTHING to stop this. And how about the children in the Irish orphanages. Those whose parents sent some money got fed. The others languished on gruel and died. Then there were the women who went to the nunneries to have a baby ‘out of wedlock’ as if that matters, and were kept there to work in the laundry for the rest of their lives, like slaves.

  • Why the **** are you going on about all this nonsense. I have no idea what the Catholic Church did or does. But I have a number of friends and neighbors who are Catholics and they are perfectly good people. Of course its wrong for priests to rape a child. I don’t know for sure, but I think the RCC now rigorously implements a 2 adult policy for any dealings with children which is a lot better than what all these Evangelicals are up to if we believe Billy Graham’s grandson’s statements on this issue. ( But I really don’t know the details there.
    All I know is that, in the US, the organization with the largest number of ongoing complaints of sexual abuse of minors is the US Juvenile Detention System. In 2015, they had more allegations of sexual abuse in 1 month than the RCC, all the other Churches and the Boy Scouts had in the last ten years! And no-one gives a ****…presumably because the kids are mostly black! The good folks of Texas were shocked in 2007 when they found out how many of the kids were being sexually abused in detention,( ) and it was found out later that one of the facilities was actually renting the kids out for money! The good folks of Texas fixed this by changing the name of the detention system, although they did shut the offending facility down, and the good folks of the USA took till 2012 to change the law that actually PUNISHED a kid who was incarcerated, for reporting sex abuse!

    You can go research it yourself if you don’t believe me. I am not making excuses for the RCC or any other church. Sex abuse of kids, or anyone, is repugnant. But I guess what I am saying is that it bugs the *** out me when I read the hypocritical *** in the stuff you are posting.

  • I dunno, I think my uses of the word ‘literally’ were correct… literally no idea, literally lying…

    I try to avoid the being a member of AWFUL.
    (Americans Who Figuratively Use Literally)