Holy Communion!

One more thing today….It’s a little strange that some Catholics believe that, “Catholics who promote gay marriage should not try to receive holy Communion.”

…the archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron, said Sunday that Catholics who receive Communion while advocating gay marriage would “logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.

Let’s get this straight. The church is riddled with priests who either participated or covered up pedophilia, and they can take communion and give it, too? Then there are the annulments granted (for a price, of course), birth control, and the usual sins (some of them deadly) pardoned over and over and over again. Whether you’re a priest leading mass or you’re a parishioner sitting in the pews, isn’t everyone rejecting what the church teaches on a daily basis? I mean, Jeez. They’re making my head spin with the hypocrisy here.

It seems to me embracing two people who love each other–and who are harming no one with their love–should not be considered sinful. But who am I to say? I’m just a lowly woman who wouldn’t be allowed to offer up my voice even if I did believe.

So, who doesn’t “double-deal”? I just don’t understand. Does accepting gay marriage somehow emasculate the church? Through communion, Catholics believe they are actually eating another man’s body. How gay is that?


107 responses to “Holy Communion!

  1. This is the Church attempting to flex its political muscles. It will probably have very little effect.

  2. Former Catholic here. The CC has just become laughable. They have no moral standing in the world and won’t have so until they change their arrogant ways and sustain that humble posture until about two generations have died off. Which means never, and that’s a good thing.

  3. And does the picture of the archbishop in the link look to anyone else like he should talk like the priest in The Princess Bride?

    “Mahwige. Mahwige is what bwings us together today. Mahwige, that bwessed event, that dweam within a dweam. Wuv, twue wuv….”

  4. As Catholics, we do believe that we are receiving Jesus’ body. You have no right to call that gay- it is our belief and we are free to believe it since it is basically one of the central components of our faith. It doesn’t hurt anyone. Is it gay that orthodox Jews don’t eat pork, or that conservative Muslim women wear berkas? The Catholic church charges for annulments, just like courts charge for divorces. No one argues that the court should be able to charge. No Catholic is perfect, and never sins, and never questions anything. That’s not being hypocritcal, that’s being human. Do you always act to your highest moral standards? I doubt it. Can’t Catholics have that privilege? PS Pedophiles should be punished under the law and in the church.

    • @Melissa A lot of us, including me, are former Catholics. It’s called transubstantiation, the doctrine you refer to, and it’s part of the reason why ML broke free of the CC.

      I wouldn’t even bother with the CC, but having family members that ARE still Catholic, I know for a fact, many CC’s push their doctrine and their prejudices onto the people and ask them to go out and vote.

      Though the CC no longer racially discriminates, it still discriminates and excludes on other fronts.


  5. Melissa, no one is calling transubstantiation gay, just as no one says Jews refraining from eating pork to be gay or Muslims wearing burkas is gay.

    What we’re saying here is that the Catholic Church has come to epitomize hypocrisy: it takes hard-line stances on issues when it the Church has itself has engaged in some of the more morally reprehensible behavior possible. In other words, take the beam out of your own eye before removing the mote from your brother’s eye.

    Now, if the Church wants to deny communion to people who support gay rights, I think it’s perfectly within its rights to do so. That’s a matter between the Church and its members, and I personally think it will shrink the number of Catholics in the world which, as I intimate at the end of my first post, is a good thing.

    When the Church, though, lobbies to keep other entities from supporting gay rights, birth control, or abortion, then it has crossed the line. It should be enough for the Church to prohibit its members from engaging in such behaviors and should then leave the rest of us alone.

  6. I do not recall if the RCC took that same position (banned from Communion) of those supporting the death penalty since they do not (supposedly).

    • @LanceT I don’t remember either, but the death penalty doesn’t evoke the same sort of strong responses as abortion and gay marriage….

  7. I wonder what they’d say in this age of austerity and fiscal “responsibility” if Catholics starting supporting an end to tax breaks for religious institutions?

  8. @deosullivan3 Really? Dam wasn’t calling transubstantiation gay? (yes, I am familiar with that word and doctrine, @Dam). Because her last line of this post reads: “Through communion, Catholics believe they are actually eating another man’s body. How gay is that?” Look, I’m not speaking about the Church’s positions of issues that many of its members disagree with (such as abortion, gay marriage, etc.). But to go against transubstantiation at random? That’s an unnecessary insult. Yes, the Catholic church has had terrible incidents with pedophilia. Did I ever deny that in my comment? Did I ever say that their condemning of this crime, while having priests committing it, was not hypocritical? Of course not. There were (and possibly still are) some very bad people within the Church who committed these crimes, but the majority of priests, to my knowledge, are good men trying to get away from this stereotype of hypocrisy. Currently, the Church is trying to remove these people (even if they didn’t do that in the past) and make sure it doesn’t happen again through background checks, etc.
    And @dam, Would you call it “political clout” for a store to endorse a political party, or a company, or an organization? Then why is it bad when the Church, when speaking with its own members, says to vote against abortion since that is a principle teaching? People can have their opinions, and share them with other. So while it may bother you that Catholics possibly share-or push- their beliefs on you, well, they are within their rights, even if they should probably keep their thoughts to themselves. I hope you consider my response fairly, even if you disagree.

    • @Melissa, Ah, yes, I see. She did make a comment like that, didn’t she? I guess my eyes skipped over the last line or two.

      She has it right on the money, though. Eating another man?

      Or perhaps it’s not gay, just cannibalistic. So Catholicism is based on cannibalism, is that better?

      Of course, there’s the whole “Drink this wine; it is my blood,” which is more like vampirism. Boy, cannibalism and vampirism all in the same religion! Quite a religion there.

      Then again, how can you be cannibalistic without being vampiric, right? That was how Portia got Antonio off the hook in The Merchant of Venice, right? The price demanded by Shylock was a pound of flesh, but no blood.

      So yes, the “gay” thing might have been off the mark. Catholicism is a totally non-gay, cannibalistic and vampiric religion. Glad that we agree.

    • @Melissa Yes, I did say, “How gay is that?” I said that, obviously, because the church is discriminating against not just people who are homosexual, but also those who believe it is wrong to exclude gays. Yet they are eating the flesh of another man. So, no, I was not going “against transubstantiation at random.” FYI – The majority of Catholics are not even familiar with the doctrine of transubstantiation. Just try asking a few you know if the host is a SYMBOL of Christ or the actual body of Christ.

      As deosullivan3 said, the CC risks alienating a lot of people with their stance. Hell, even Christian universities are moving towards greater tolerance. The Catholic Church, OF ALL churches, should not be judging people’s sexuality.

      First–what a joke that the church is trying to “remove these people.” The church has been covering up, hiding and hushing bad behaviors for hundreds of years. They are all guilty. Had they not been called out, the cover-ups would have continued. Who stepped up and tried to clean up the RCC? Which priests came forward?

      I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OR ANY OTHER CHURCH ‘PUSHING OR SHARING’ THEIR BELIEFS WITH ME. JUST GIVE UP YOUR TAX-EXEMPT STATUS!!!!! They are a not-for-profit and should not be a political entity. For further enlightenment on this, check out the latest press for the Boy Scouts.

  9. Eddie Izzard says it best here.

    “Why did you say, drink this wine, it is my blood? Why didn’t you just say, drink this wine, it’s a merlot?

    • @deosullivan3 Group write, like group think, is always better. (That’s the reason I like Wikipedia!)

      Ya know, the point of the article was that people who supported gay marriage weren’t supposed to be taking communion…And so the reference to man eating man was supposed to reference the homophobia of the church.

  10. The point is, they’re not supposed to question. The main tenet of all religions, save Buddhism, is that once the leaders speak, the thinking has been done. They also rely on lack of education and reasoning skills. Take the Mormons, for instance. They are instructed not to read any church-unfriendly material…even though there are loads of sites on the Internet that debunk Joseph Smith and the various prophets. They simply aren’t allowed to read them, just like grown adults cannot watch R rated movies. Their celestial kingdom post mortem literally hangs in the balance if they do, so they are pretty good at policing themselves…until you consider that Utah has the highest rate of paid porn per capita in the union.

    • @Momofthree That’s hilarious. Seriously, I did not even know they tracked paid porn per capita. Should have figured. I also didn’t know that Mormons aren’t allowed to read church-unfriendly material or watch Rated R movies. We have a lot of Mormons here. They keep to themselves. A family up the hill from me is Mormon. I’ve tried to strike up a conversation but she is very timid and keeps to herself. I hear they are discouraged from talking to others…

  11. @deosullivan3 Thanks for that lovely, enlightening response about vampires filled with insults about the Catholic religion. Say those words to any Catholic’s face who actually cares about her/his religion, and boy, would he/she be offended. I’m not because this is the internet people feel freer to say things online that they normally wouldn’t. Look, if you want to call it cannibalism, fine, but it isn’t your religion, is it? No humans die in the process of transubstantiation, so I think we are good.

    • @Melissa I’ve said that to plenty of Catholics! To their face. If that’s the stand the church takes, it IS cannibalism, isn’t it?

      Christ is the sacrificial victim over and over again, I mean, if you believe that kind of stuff is real. So, I guess he dies again and again.

  12. internet and*

  13. @Melissa I was a Catholic for 40 years, and I am very bitter for the time and energy that the Church took from me. They robbed me of so much of my life, and I am glad that I can spare my children that pain.

    Atheists suffer insults from the religious every single day, so I guess you’re just going to have to call us even.

    And if you think no humans die in the process of transubstantiation, then you don’t really believe in it, do you? Furthermore, if you think no one died because of transubstantiation, then you don’t know your history: remember the Crusades, Inquisition, and Wars of Religion in the 16th and 17th centuries.

    If you don’t want to be offended, then don’t come to blogs like this with your holier-than-thou attitudes about what you believe. Otherwise, if you want to take part in the exchange, you better be ready to be offended, because we shouldn’t have to censor ourselves to accommodate your irrational beliefs.

  14. @deosullivan3 and @dam I am not going to argue over this- it’s not worth it, because we are too far apart on these issues but I will say this: 1) Catholic schools and seminaries now require strict background checks. This is a fact- go on any archdiocese’s website. 2) I do understand transubstantiation. No church members die. Yes, Jesus died for our sins. His sacrifice is commemorated at every mass and the bread becomes his body. He is not literally put to death here on earth again every time mass is celebrated 3)The Church has now condemned the crusades and Inquisition. We could make talk about France’s government and the French Revolution here, in the name of democracy, in the same way that we can talk about the Church and crusades. But honestly, that was hundreds of years ago and is irrelevant.

  15. It’s like birth control, abortion and war. I’m 61 years old and was raised Catholic. I think that if someone doesn’t approve of birth control or abortion (The Laws of The Land), then their name should go on a nation wide list of like minded other persons. Now, whenever an unwanted / unplanned baby is allowed to occur, because no birth control method was used, or when an abortion was not chosen, then each person on the “Nation Wide List” is assessed an amount of money, each month to pay towards the complete raising of this child until the age of, maybe, 21. All such (That would never have been born) children would be under the care of all of the people on the list, based on the above conditions. Why aren’t all of the people who are protesting against abortion, also exerting an equal amount of energy and resources protesting against unnecessary wars? Most wars are not necessary. Else, why do Christians, etc. think that it’s OK to shoot the abortion doctor or someone who does not believe as they do, but they will support and fight in wars? I remember that “good feeling” right after mass ended on Sunday mornings. Then, the moment that everyone got in their cars, it ended abruptly and “all bets were off!”. I guess that Religion really is the opiate of the masses. Maybe at best, it helps to keep some people under control. I just will never understand how intelligent and educated people can truly believe in something at least as unprovable as “little green men from Mars”. Irational and blind belief in anything often becomes very dangerous. My best wishes to all of you visiting this site. I’m glad that I found it. There really is sanity “here”

    • @Tim That’s an excellent idea about “the list.”

      There’s nothing more frustrating to me that people who are support war or the death penalty yet not abortion. We can’t even be humane to the people we already have…

      Funny, that’s one of the things I remember my mom saying as a kid. After mass, as soon as we’d get in our car, it was each man for himself.

  16. I was raised Catholic, and Melissa has drunk the Kool Aid. So there’s no arguing.

  17. I grew up Catholic, and for as much as my parents identified as the same, they were probably Deist at best. (I think they just wanted *me* to grow up Catholic. Nowadays, they’re barely believers yet I still get static for being an atheist. Go figure.) None of us bought into the literal interpretation of the Transubstantiation past grade school back when I was growing up; the overwhelming majority of the congregation just thought it was a metaphor for remembering the Last Supper.

    Anyone who believed otherwise was considered about a half bubble off plumb.

    As far as holding back Communion, I agree that it’s a pretty ballsy thing to do, considering the vast range of other rules from the same books of the bible we collectively ignore as a result of living in a modern secular society. I think it’s just a way for them to take a stand on a popular issue over which they see themselves on the losing side, as selective as their stand (as well as that of other “single issue” Christians) might apear to the non-religious. With the majority of their own parishes favoring same sex marriage, it’s easy to see why they feel compelled to do this, but it’s only going to alienate more people and move the church further into obscurity.

    • @Senator Jason I agree. It really doesn’t matter anyway because the church can’t look inside someone’s head and say, “Do you support gay rights?” People will just take communion anyway. For over a thousand years, communicants have not been following the rules of the church.

  18. If you look past your preconceived notions you’ll realize there is no hypocrisy here. Specifically, the Church says that pedophile priests SHOULD NOT receive the Eucharist, it says that divorced AND REMARRIED people SHOULD NOT receive the Eucharist, it says that those in a state of what you think is deadly sin SHOULD NOT receive the Eucharist.

    So if they were to say that Catholics who promote gay marriage SHOULD receive the Eucharist then and only then would they be hypocrites. I would say they are more consistent with their logic then you clearly are.

    As a secondary note to say RIDDLED with pedophiles is dishonest rhetoric. Let’s talk facts and not rhetoric…

    Clearly you wouldn’t say that if 1.5% of the nations police force were dirty cops that the nation was RIDDLED with dirty cops.

    The Catholic church is not RIDDLED will pedophile priests. I’m not saying that the few priests that committed such atrocities should not be punished, nor am I saying that the few bishops that covered it up should not be punished. I’m merely saying that we should all be honest and recognize that the percentage of priests who were ACCUSED of pedophilia related crimes in the US was 4% (4392 or 109,694). Those allegations were substantiated for 1,872 priests and unsubstantiated for 824 priests. They were thought to be credible for 1,671 priests and not credible for 345 priests.

    So doing the math, 1671 is 1.5%. Obviously still too many but clearly you wouldn’t say that if 1.5% of the nations police force were dirty cops that the nation was RIDDLED with dirty cops.

    If you are claiming that you want to raise your kids to use logic and not rhetoric how about a little honesty? You should educate your self before you accuse.

    • @JoeK The priests, bishops, cardinal ARE the church, so when they lay down the law, the doctrine, and the either participate in the activity, cover it up or secretly support it, they are being hypocrites.

      Key word: ACCUSED. How many got away with it? It’s safe to say, in a church that continued to allow it’s abusers to have contact with children, we may never know how many offenders there were. This, of course, is IMO, but it logically follows.

      I also know my local paper had a big investigation about the abuse in the Church and found that the church–even after the lawsuits started rolling in–continued to just CYA and protect its own. “The Church” (its people) just moved the priests around but still ignored their illnesses and still allowed them to serve in the same functions, just in a different community. So you can’t limit the “guilty” verdict to just the roughly 5% of people accused. You know that–for every person who covered up, they are guilty, too.

  19. Now that I’ve read through the comments I’ll respond to inaccuracies there:

    1. The Catholic Church does not always charge for the annulment process. If you can’t afford one the local diocisan tribunal will do it for FREE, So dam’s assessment here is based on an incorrect notion. You’ll find that alot when it comes to so called “I used to be Catholic” people. Most times someone leave it has nothing to do with the correct understanding of anything.
    2. dam has every right to call transubstatiation gay. It may be unfounded, untrue and irrational but many of my friends (I have too but I’m past that point) are risking their lives so she and you have that freedom.

    1. Luther did not leave the CC because of Transubstatiation. Lutheran’s actually believe somethign similar known as CONsubstantiation but this wasn’t the cause of Luthers departure

    2. EVERYONE Discriminates. Don’t forget that. Discrimination is recognizing natural differences in people. Discrimination does not always, contrary to societally driven beliefs, mean that dignity or respect if neglected.

    3. You shouldn’t really use the term “..it’s gay…” in the context you used it regarding transubstatiation. Not because if TS but because it is derogatory toward those same sex attracted individuals that identify as gay. They find it offensive. I honestly don’t think you mean to be offensive to them.

    4. If the church is crossing a line in lobbying for one agenda or another they believe to be in the best interesat of society, how is that any different that an atheist organization doing the same? If they were lobbying into forcing people to believe something then I agree, but they have NEVER EVER done that. You’ll disagree with that NEVER EVER but I’d love to have an HONEST discussion with you on this one.

    5. If you look into what substances and accidents are then you will understand that it is not canniblism.

    @Lance Thruster. The church’s postion is NOT catagorically opposed to the death penalty.

    1. I’d love to have a conversation about Transsubstatiation becasue you clearly misunderstand what that means but first please enlighten yourself with the concepts of substance and accidents so we can speak intelligently.
    2. Can you descrie the notion you have of the Inquistion and what the Church (not just those people who say they were Catholic) formally said abotu the inquisition and what it’s purpose was?

    @MomofThree…They do not rely on lack of education, if it were not for the CC you wouldn;t have the educationsystems you have today. And the church supports reason much more than you would expect based on CNN and MSNBC’s descriptions. Try Fides et Ratio by JPII. It’s tough reading but well worth it if you really want to look at truth with honesty.

    @Tim…Sounds like you want to live in china.

    • @JoeK I know they charged my cousin and my aunt to get an annulment, so why don’t you show me proof of one that doesn’t charge?

      I see where your messages are being sent from, JoeK. Don’t even get me started on that whole misplaced notion you have that you are defending everyone’s rights in America. “Freedom’s not free.” And all that BS propaganda that your fed.

      I also know you tend to go out on the Internet and cut and paste your replies. ML DID leave the church, in part, for the idea of transubstantiation. (Hence, that’s why the Lutherans have a different doctrine.) Do you know what consubstantiation is? It is not much better.

      Yes, we all discriminate–as we should. Discrimination evolved to help keep us safe–from animals that might cause harm, from plants that might be poisonous, from ideas that might be harmful.

      As I said earlier, the Church can “lobby” for whatever it wants, whenever it wants, but it should give up its tax-exempt status. They should not be trying to legislate THEIR morality.

  20. You are correct that those that cover up or break the law and then act against it are hypocrites but in this case those that covered it up only made up as I demonstrated before 1.5% or if you want to assume some got away with it, I’ll split the difference with you and call it 3% of the whole. To say that the CHURCH AS A WHOLE is hypocritical based on the actions of 3% is rhetoric and not valid. It’s like saying that because 4% of kids don’t like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all kids don’t like peanut butter sandwiches. That’s just plain irrational.

    As to your claim of 5% I thought you lived (and I am a citizen of) in a country where people were innocent until proven guilty. Do you believe that or are you being a hypocrite to fit your agenda?

    You demonstrate the fact that, although you may have one considered yourself Catholic, or rather your parents may have told you that you were Catholic, you clearly did not understand the teaching of the Church very well. If you did you would realize that the church IS NOT the priests, bishops and cardinals.

    The Church is ALL the members, BOTH clergy AND laity, of the Church And not just those on earth but those in Heaven, those in Purgatory and those here on Earth.

    I’m not saying you believe any of that but every living breathing human being that considers themselves Catholic are the Church.

  21. Boy, a lot of bridges are missing their trolls today.

    @ Joe K I notice that you spend a lot of time telling people to get educated. I wonder if you’re not compensating for something?

    There is a difference between lack of education and differences of interpretation. Just because the church teaches one thing does not mean that other interpretations are not possible. I understand very well what the church teaches, but see, I use my brain to figure out what the intended and unintended consequences of their teachings entail. I also call BS on a church that lays down moral laws for the laity and then covers up the immoral acts of its hierarchy.

    And just to clarify what went into my education: those 40 years of being a Catholic involved many years of Catholic school, including advanced degrees from two Catholic universities. My Ph.D. is, in fact, is in medieval studies from a Catholic university and I wrote a book on the Marian devotion in medieval song. You can look it up on amazon.com.

    I’m pretty sure that I’m speaking from a good foundation of Church history and theology.

    • @deosullivan3 I wondered what your background was and what you were teaching. Very interesting. I’ll check out your book here shortly.

      So, having attended a Catholic university for medieval studies, are there things that would not be taught there? For example, a course about magic in religion?

  22. @dam…I did NOT say I was defending anyone’s freedom at this moment, as a matter of fact I specifically said I’m not now but have in the past. I have to admit, for the first time I am actually offended since I’ve been following your blog. Are accusing me of not being a member of the US Navy stationed overseas? Are you telling me that my best friend didn’t die in Iraq on June 4th 2004 from an IED? Are you telling me that my good friend isn’t in Afghanistan right now and hadn’t a week ago served with Anne Smeddinhoff, the US Diplomat that just lost here life? Are you telling me that the man who introduced me to my wife didn’t lose most of his unit in Falluja? Are you telling me I didn’t deliver Christmas gifts to his corpsman suffering from severe trauma received in Iraq and see his wife’s grief? You have no basis from which to accuse me of spreading BS. If you want to accuse me of spreading BS on another subject by all means have at it, but on this one you’ll just end up making yourself look bad.

    Now that I’ve calmed a bit….

    I didn’t say they don’t charge for annulments. I said they don’t charge in all cases. If you can’t afford one because of financial hardship they don’t charge you. There is a lot of work that goes into an annulment. Contrary to your preconceived notion, annulment does not equal divorce. They evaluate whether you were validly married in the first place (i.e. if you were 18 and getting married because you got some girl pregnant then odds are your marriage may not have been a complete and total act of ones will and therefore something was missing in the marriage.) I guarantee you my wife and I could never get an annulment.

    As to cutting and pasting replies. Of course I do. It’s the best way to give facts without screwing them up. It’s also the best way to quote things without getting the quote wrong. I don’t see your point there.

    You are technically correct on the Trans vs. Con substantiation thing. I was referring to the 95 thesis which that was not a part of.

    • @JoeK I didn’t say you were defending anyone’s freedom at the moment. This is what I wrote: “I see where your messages are being sent from, JoeK. Don’t even get me started on that whole misplaced notion you have that you are defending everyone’s rights in America. “Freedom’s not free.” And all that BS propaganda that your fed.”

      If detailing the extraneous information you’ve provided is proof that you are a good man, you didn’t need that to tell me. You can say whatever you want. I can tell that you’re good just by interacting with you. And I DO understand you love the Catholic church. I would not go to your home and confront you, but you are reading a blog with a community of nonbelievers. My audience is geared toward those of us who are nonbelievers, and I would not intentionally say hurtful things to you. Still, your insights and opinions are valued and respected.

      If I were worried about making myself look bad, I sure wouldn’t have this blog, would I. Let me just say that I believe we should only have a military for defense only. I don’t want your blood or your friend’s blood on my hands. As you are against abortion, I am against war. Before the Iraq war started, I had some pieces published in the paper arguing against going to war, and you can imagine how vicious people were. Turns out, the war caused more damage, created more terrorists than any of us could have expected. It’s not “good” guys against “bad” guys. “They” are not evil. We’ve killed hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, grandparents. We destroyed their infrastructure. We suffered relatively few casualties compared to Iraq and Afghanistan.

      Your personal reasons for joining (voluntarily) the navy are irrelevant. I pay for you. We all do. And we provide you a career and benefits. We’re all connected.

      I know the difference between annulment and divorce. So why don’t you tell me what you think the purpose of annulment is? I guarantee if you had enough money to spare, your wife and you could get an annulment.

  23. @deosullivan…Whats the book name?

  24. Is this it?

    O’Sullivan, Daniel.
    Marian Devotion in Thirteenth-century French Lyric.
    University of Toronto Press, 2005.

  25. @deosullivan…Based on your pedigree you should understand the difference between substances and accidents. I assume so if you took any of Dr. Kreeft’s courses while pursuing your degree. I apologize for assuming you didn’t.

    That being said…

    Cannibalism consists of consuming an object that contains both the substances AND accidents of flesh and specifically internal organs.
    Catholic teaching on the Eucharist states that the Accidents DO NOT change.

    So how do you logically make the conclusion that Catholic teaching = Cannibalism?

    • @JoeK Ah, yes. Now I remember accidents and substances. How do you logically explain that the Eucharist actually becomes the body of Christ?

      I don’t think any of us said that Catholic teaching = cannibalism. I think we were noting that, if you accept the concept of transubstantiation, you are eating the body of another man, which is cannibalism. This is all kind of moot for nonbelievers anyway since we don’t believe in the doctrine.

  26. I didn’t want to take up a whole page with my comments, so I kept them short. Live in China? I grew up under “Duck and Cover”. “The only good Commie is a Dead Commie. No, I don’t think that China will suit me. Why did you make that comment, about china? Curious. Have Fun Everyone, and remember that we are all on the same team here.

  27. Haven’t heard this for a long, long time until this morning.

    Lennon has done several atheist/humanist standards (Imagine/War Is Over). How was the first of the Beatles who saw what a scam the Maharishi was pulling.

    b>John Lennon – God

    God is a Concept by which
    we measure our pain
    I’ll say it again
    God is a Concept by which
    we measure our pain
    I don’t believe in magic
    I don’t believe in I-ching
    I don’t believe in Bible
    I don’t believe in Tarot
    I don’t believe in Hitler
    I don’t believe in Jesus
    I don’t believe in Kennedy
    I don’t believe in Buddha
    I don’t believe in Mantra
    I don’t believe in Gita
    I don’t believe in Yoga
    I don’t believe in Kings
    I don’t believe in Elvis
    I don’t believe in Zimmerman
    I don’t believe in Beatles
    I just believe in me…
    Yoko and me…and that’s reality

    The dream is over
    What can I say?
    the Dream is Over
    I was the Dreamweaver
    But now I’m reborn
    I was the Walrus
    But now I’m John
    and so dear friends
    you’ll just have to carry on
    The Dream is over


    I just believe in me…
    Deborah and me…and that’s reality


    • @LanceT That’s nice. You’re a poet…Here’s a smile back. 🙂 I don’t know why but that song always makes me want to cry. Very existential. Very sad.

  28. @dam – Yeah, it affects me that way, too. I was lucky to have a friend that was a Beatles fanatic (I’m a Stones man myself) who turned me on to Lennon’s solo stuff.

  29. @ Joe K Distinctions like those between substances and accidents belong to a worldview that no longer pertains.

    Aristotle was a brilliant thinker and Thomas Aquinas was also a man of incredible intelligence, but if they lived today, they would in all likelihood have based their ideas on matter and creation on modern science and contemporary understandings of the universe. That is what they were doing when they were writing.

    So according to Catholic teaching, strictly speaking, the Eucharist may not be cannibalism, but that is only if one is willing to accept a whole host of assumptions about the world and universe anchored in a distinctly pre-modern mentality.

    I could impose distinctions between and definitions of any number of things in the universe to derive a justification or rationalization for any given assertion. If you don’t accept the premise, however, the conclusion is not tenable.

    Our world has moved beyond the Middle Ages when it comes to medicine (Aristotle was still an accepted authority on that subject into the 17th century), education (we no longer restrict university curricula to theology and philosophy as they once did in medieval universities), political organization (no more divinely ordained kings for us), and in many other spheres of life. It is time to move beyond medieval explanations of cosmology as well.

    I can and do still maintain an appreciation for the sophistication of medieval systems of thought in terms of historical and epistemic archeologies, but I can no more think of them as sufficient explanations of the universe as I could explain the rising and setting of the sun as drawn by a chariot.

  30. @deosullivan…Thanks for a mature response. It is much appreciated. I have a new found respect. When you started out your discussion with Monty Python and Cannibalism accusations, my initial impression did not equate to my current.

    Are you saying that Aristotle’s concept of Metaphysics (obviously not the hippy dippy rock shop version of metaphysics) is invalid because of our modern understanding of science? When specifically did that change in premise take place? Seems to me it was still taught in the Philosophy classes I took about two years ago. Additionally, its been in all the philosophical text books I’ve seen.

    Finally, you state, “…they would in all likelihood have based their ideas on matter and creation on modern science and contemporary understandings of the universe.” What is that statement based upon?

    As to moving beyond medieval notions of cosmology, we did that when LeMaitre proposed the Big Bang Theory, the theory of which has yet to be refuted and is supported completely by credible scientists like Vilinken and pop scientists like Krauss.

  31. They are actually saying a Catholic who supports gay marriage can’t have the body of Christ in their mouth. ~John Fugelsang

    On another note: Clergy coming out of the closet

    Once we start seeing clergy come out…..it’s like an atheist wet dream!

    • @mtprairiegirl you and Derborah might be interested in the website called The Clergy Project, first brought to my attention by Daniel Dennett:

      The Clergy Project is a confidential online community for active and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs. The Clergy Project launched on March 21st, 2011.

      Many of them are afraid to come out, and for obvious reasons: ostracism from the church, alienation from their parish for having betrayed their trust, and even the internal struggle of reconciling an entire life’s work based on what is now thought to be a lie.

      • @Senator Jason Thanks for the link. I had actually seen that, too. Don’t remember how I got to it, though. I think it was from another website.

      • @Senator Jason Interesting…on the Clergy Project, one of the “fallen” talks about taking the native tribes in Canada and forcing their kids to be “christianized.” (As late as the 1990s.) His story reminds me a lot of what we did to the Native Americans here in the US, and what we still continue to do, in some ways, with missionary trips.

    • @mtprairiegirl I didn’t see the show, but that’s funny how Fugelsang put that.

      That looks like an interesting documentary, but I couldn’t understand those guys whose voices were disguised. When I was growing up, there was this Catholic priest at our church. He was a bright guy, but he was a drunk. I remember my dad had a couple of conversations with him, and he once told me he thought the guy (our priest) didn’t really believe in the stuff he was preaching. Maybe that’s why he turned to alcohol. He also seemed very lonely. Of course, believers will say it’s the devil’s work, totally denying a person’s ability to think and reason. That just f*cks with your head even more. You’ve gotta think the clergy, at some point, if they are thinking, they come to the conclusion that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

  32. @deosullivan3…….wuv that movie! 🙂

  33. @Senator Jason…….I actually stumbled upon that site about a year ago when MSNBC broadcasted it. Back in 2006 or 7 when Dan Barker who was a former Evangelical priest and religious songwriter came out with his book book Godless I began to wonder how many more were out there like him and afraid to “come out of the closet”. So thrilled to see this coming into effect!

  34. @ JoeK I hate being mature … 😉

    Well, yes, Aristotle is still taught and should be taught. Same thing with Aquinas, Augustine, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Nietzsche, and all of the important philosophers.

    We should also teach Shakespeare, Old Norse mythology, and medieval chivalric romance replete with its giants, dwarves, and wizards.

    But teaching those things as systems of thought and outlooks on the world versus believing them to be literally true are very different ideas.

    As for why Aristotle and Aquinas would base their outlooks on science now, that is indeed a supposition, but not far-fetched. They were dealing with some of the newest knowledge of their day in the production of their theories of the world and cosmos. Aristotle was widely translated into Latin only into the twelfth century, shortly before Aquinas was born.

    Why would a thinker of Aquinas mental faculties being born today ignore all that came to be known since the 13th century?

  35. @Tim…..love your idea of a “Nationwide list” makes sense to me!

  36. @Joe K – Did you ever provide corroboration for your statement that Robert Ingersol was veheminently anti-Catholic?

    You stated it as if it was an accepted fact and I figured it would be easy enough to provide some details (unless you were just parroting someone else’s smear).

    (please ignore any spelling errors as I was rushed).

  37. @Joe K…….atheists do not lobby. People who are non-believers “seek” out other non-believers, which is very hard to do. It’s not like we have a building of worship on every street corner like the religious do. I don’t know of any TV shows that preach Atheism, nor have I seen ads in the newspaper saying “join our congregation of non-believers”. When was the last time you got a knock on your door from a non-believer wanting to “show you their way”? Now religious folk on the other hand………….
    Fortunately we now live in an era where the non-believers are finally able to open up and express freely, (but not as free as the religious) their critical thinking skills and challenge people of faith when needed. Unfortunately though it is extremely frowned upon and looked at as being immoral for doing so. I think I can speak for most if not all non-believers that on the contrary of what you might believe we wait for the religious to come to us not the other way around. I wouldn’t use the word “force” that the religious plague us with, but “dictate” what we as a society should believe.

  38. @mtprairiegirl There is a TV show on Austin, TX public access called “The Atheist Experience.” You can see past episodes on YouTube or you can google it to see how you can livestream.

    You’re right, though, that they don’t preach anything. They are a resource to the atheist community of information on science and reason and on what is going on with religious organizations that are actively trying to proselytize or force religion into the public arena.

    It’s on for one hour once a week. I remember watching an episode and a religious person called in (yes, they take live callers, too) and wanted to know why the atheists felt like they needed to have a TV show to spew their hatred of religion, advance their satanic agenda, or whatever. The host pointed out that religious organizations have entire internationally broadcasted TV and radio networks that transmit their messages 24/7 and that he was begrudging a group of atheists just one hour a week on one tiny public access station. I mean, just how hypersensitive and paranoid can you get?

    Of course, it’s the clips featuring the wacky Christians who call in that get the most attention, but some of the more serious presentations and calls are quite good.

    • @deosullivan3 and mtprairiegirl I will check that series out. I’ve never seen it, but I’m sure I can find it on YouTube.

      It’s very frustrating to me that believers think we are “haters” of religion. It’s not that. We may hate the hypocrisy, but we’re not trying to choose for others….I know some here feel that religion does a lot of bad and should be entirely eliminated, but it also does good, and it is also necessary for some folks. (We WANT some people to keep their religion!)

  39. @dam….I subscribe to John Fugelsangs FB page so get numerous quotes throughout the day from him on the popular topics that are currently in the news. Love that guys sense of humor!

    • @mtprairiegirl That’s a great idea! I will do that, too! This way I’ll get the best of the best…Yes he (and John Stewart) are hilarious!

  40. @deosullivan3 I actually have seen The Athiest Experience on Youtube. So it is actually on TV? Must be cable? I remembered when I first viewed it which was probably a couple of years ago and thought oh great…….these guys are NOT a good representation for us non-believers. They almost seemed goth like. Maybe they’ve clean up since then.

    Oh wow!!!! One whole hour a week??? I’m sure they are just reeling in heathens by the hundreds of thousands! 😉

    • @mtprairiegirl No, no goths, at least, not that I’ve seen. They just seem like regular folks, most of whom were once believers, and they talk about stuff for an hour and go on their merry way. They even advertise where they’re going to have dinner after the show in case people want to come hang out.

      I was in Austin last year but didn’t know about the show; otherwise, I definitely would have gone for a beer with them.

      • Cool. Thanks for the link and the info deosullivan3. I’m going watch tonight. I’m 3.5 hours from Austin. Maybe I’ll “take a hike” there sometime.

  41. Here’s a representative example.

  42. Ray Comfort, he’s interesting. When I was in choir at a church near Nashville, he was a guest speaker one Sunday, and I couldn’t believe what he was saying. The Titanic movie had been out for a good while, and he was pushing his Titanic tracts to sell to all of us. His reasoning was that if someone saw it on the ground they would be interested in picking it up thinking that it was a memento from the movie. Even at that point in my life, being a good Christian single girl in a crappy, manipulative church, I knew something was up with his approach. “God, the Almighty, needs a gimmick to get people to believe?!” I found it offensive (at that time) because I felt that he was belittling god.

    • @deosullivan3 Thanks for sharing the link to the Atheist Experience. I have up the videos to watch some more. I thought the guys had a pretty civilized conversation with the Ray Comfort character. Actually, I thought they were all pretty respectful of each other, and that’s a good thing.

      @Charity Are you saying Ray Comfort was trying to sell you his videos so that you’d leave it some place or drop it on the ground for others to pick up???

    • @LanceT. Jeez. Everything is bigger in Texas, even our stupidity. Man is no doubt affecting the climate. We definitely take carbon out of the ground and put it in the atmosphere where it mixes with free oxygen. Texas is one of the worst offenders. We have a lot of coal plants, a lot of big houses and a lot of big cars and trucks. We also have a lot of cattle, but methane doesn’t stick around as long as co2. We are stupid.

  43. People like Joe – who give legitimacy to the notion that we can simply reject science if it contradicts a 2,000 year old manuscript – are the reason why I started blogging in the first place. Religion as a whole encourages bad thinking, but I’d even leave that element of it alone if they just stop legislating under its influence.

  44. @LThrust…when I was on one of my first vessels I had a boss that, when someone submitted a bit of paperwork that wasn’t essential (i.e. a proposal for a new program) he would put it in a file and not do anything with it until someone asked him again. That’s where I put your question on Ingersol. Please realize that in this com box I am in the minority and much of what comes out I take with a grain of salt as just puerile bluster, if I didn’t I’d probably be pissed off every time I check this blog. But when you discard the banal comments that show up on the blog, there is an underlying discussion that intrigues me and that I thoroughly enjoy.
    As to your bottom of the queue question…Before I became Catholic, I read quite a bit of “older” authors. Two of the writers that appealed to me, who granted were separated by a few years but non the less I would have considered them “brothers-inn-arms”, were Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersol. Robert Ingersol like Paine were heads and shoulders above the so called crack atheists of today (i.e. Dawkins and his ilk). I guess in reflecting on it a bit more the word vehemently, would not be appropriate in this case. He was however, shall we say, committedly anti-god, or maybe better yet anti-religion since he never really settled on a solid claim God did not exist (at least I don’t remember him ever outright saying it). I suspect in today’s day and age he would though. And to answer your next question, he wouldn’t then because the the people of his day were not as open to discussing the theory that God does not exist. I would be a fool to admit that many of today’s religious folk are not open to quality reasoned discourse. I suspect that the part of me that cause Pain and Ingersoll to appeal to me is that same thing that makes Lewis and Chesterton appeal to me now. So to answer your question, I can’t because his discourse was not vehement, but it was strong and it was strongly anti-religion and therefore can be classified as strongly anti-Catholic.

    Oh and one last thing. You’re spelling is harribal.

    @deosullivan…I don’t think Aquinas would neglect 700″ish” years of thought. I think he would embrace it as true, much like he did when he embraced Aristotle as true back in 1250″ish”. Don’t forget back in Aquinas’ time the dominant Greek philosopher was Plato and he and Aristotle had a very different view on this existence. Aristotle was much more of a naturalist than Plato ever was. Aquinas used Aristotle fully throughout his thought. If I’m not mistaken and I’m reaching here so please correct me but if it wasn’t for Aquinas, Aristotle might not be as prevalent as he is today.

    I guess the question at hand here is though, is that 700 years worth of science actually contradictory to the existence of God as it was taught in Aquinas’ day. I actually agree with Mr. Dawkins and his ilk on the fact that God doesn’t exist, if you start with their definition of God as some super being flying around in the sky. But if you look at God as, what Aquinas termed, “Ipse Actus Essendi subsistens” or the essential act of being then lack of existence of God doesn’t rationally fit. Nothing in science has changed that, actually looking at the Big Band Theory (proposed by a Catholic Priest by the way) it only substantiates Aquinas’ arguments.

    @mtprariegirl…have you turn on Bill Mahr lately? While there may not be a TV show that called, “God is Dead” there is a substantial amount of atheistic discourse out there.

    • @JoeK The reason why Paine didn’t claim God didn’t exist is because he was a deist. He might suggest God doesn’t exist now in our world, but he was not atheist or even agnostic.

      For the last 500 years science and religion have been in conflict, first science was used to “prove” that God existed, even when the theories didn’t fit. Then science was used as a way to disprove God existed. But science and religion have been at odds for over 200 years now with little progress. We’re still arguing over the same things.

      Reference “God & Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science” ed David Lindberg or “Science & Religion: Conflict to Conversation” by John F. Haught or “Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives” by John Brooke

      My favorite was the first, and I think you’d enjoy it, too.

  45. @LT and Sen Jason…As to Senator Joe. If you watch the video he’s not saying that climate change is being caused by God. He specifically says that we, “…can have an honest difference in opinion on what’s causing that change without automatically being all in that is all because of man-kind and that it’s just natural, theres a divergence…”. He then goes in to say that the “Great Flood” was an example of Climate Change that wasn’t man made. While you may find that ridiculous, his point was not denying science as to climate change. You may disagree but I chalk this one up in the “let’s discredit his actual statement and intent by claiming he’s a religious quack category” so we can marginalize his position. That is the typical action you get from a bunch of people who don’t want to have a discussion. It’s dishonest. Kind of like claiming this guy really thought the island would tip over….

  46. @dam…As to misplaced notions and BS. I completely misunderstood your post. I thought you were saying that because you can see my IP address you see that my posts are not coming from the states and they I was claiming to be someone I was not thereby trying to give credibility to my statements.

    I see now that you were saying that we soldiers and sailors have a notion that we are defending freedom and THAT notion is what you call to be BS. While I disagree, I was offended without cause.

    • @JoeK No worries, JoeK. I know you mean well, and I can tell how you interact, even when you don’t agree, you’re kind to everyone. And you don’t have to be because we’re all pretty anonymous here. So it says a lot about you.

  47. @ JoeK But that’s my point: Aquinas turned his back or at least turned away from Plato and towards Aristotle which was “new” by the 13th century. (Don’t forget, by the way, that Plato was known primarily through Christian commentators and Latin translations of Arabic translations of Greek texts. Plato wasn’t know from primary texts in the West until the late 15th-early 16th centuries.)

    Now I don’t want to turn this into some tutorial on medieval attitudes towards sources and this thread is already getting pretty long, so I’ll make 2 points quickly:

    1. Medieval thinkers equated old or ancient with true. Plato, Aristotle, the Father were considered true because they were ancient, not because of what they said was provably true or false. It was just assumed to be so.

    2. What else would you take for truth that was postulated 700 years ago? There may be some things, but let me go back to my earlier list: Medicine? Balancing humors through leeches and bleeding patients? No thanks. Education? The sun revolves around the earth because the scriptures say it does? Not for me. Politics? I get thrown in the dungeon for publicly disagreeing with the divinely ordained head of the state, i.e., the king? Nope.

    In conclusion, and I’ll let you have the last word here, your rapprochement between Aquinas and the Big Bang Theory is a non sequitur. “Ipse Actus Essendi subsistens” is an invention of a mind that abhors a vacuum and insists of filling it with something, anything, to assuage fears that there may in fact be no god. The Big Bang theory goes back and back and back, but not all the way to the beginning, and that’s ok. Progress is always being made, and I see no reason to fill that void with an unprovable, unknowable being.

    You know, maybe there is a god–it’s highly unlikely, IMHO–and I’m willing to let people believe in gods, but they should not dictate to their fellow human beings a morality that is predicated upon believing things are true only because someone a long time ago said it. And that’s where this hold discussion started.

    • @deosullivan3 It’s been a long time since I read Plato, Aristotle & many of the others, so I’m glad we have a resident scholar (or more, perhaps).

      I do love & agree with your conclusion here: “You know, maybe there is a god–it’s highly unlikely, IMHO–and I’m willing to let people believe in gods, but they should not dictate to their fellow human beings a morality that is predicated upon believing things are true only because someone a long time ago said it. And that’s where this hold discussion started.”

  48. Hey Deborah, I hope all is well with you and your family.
    Ray Comfort is the guy who is normally with Kirk Cameron on TV, and they both street evangelize together. He sells tracts by the bundles. Tracts are those little papers/booklets that people pass out at businesses and on the street, and they include scriptures and the sinner’s prayer.
    I didn’t mean to be so cold by not addressing your past marriage. Marriage is very tough, and it no longer offends me when people don’t want to marry or decide to live with a romantic partner instead. I am so sorry that you went through a divorce, but I’m sure that with the extreme differences of faith and opinion it was really difficult to agree on anything. I am so glad that you are in a serious relationship with someone who can relate to your thoughts and opinions.
    I’m awfully, can I say it, blessed! I have learned that having someone in your life who understands you isn’t enough for they may not love you. I have also learned that having someone close to you who loves you, but doesn’t understand you may likely never work. I have love and understanding for and from my husband. I’m at an advantage though, our individual courses in Christianity went through many of the same phases at the same time. The process was really difficult on our marriage, but through it all we had each other. Now we’re both atheists. Don’t get me wrong, once in a great while he’ll ask me “what if I’m wrong, and we all go to hell, and I’m responsible because I’m the husband and dad in our family?”

    • Hi Charity, I didn’t actually know about “tracts,” Ray Comfort (I just heard him on the YouTube video this morning) or that Kirk Cameron was an evangelist. I have seen people hand out those leaflets both at my house and on the street. Sometimes I see them in doctor’s offices and other places. Thank you for enlightening me.

      That’s really nice of you to address my marriage and to share yours. It is very, very hard as you said for a mixed marriage of nonbelievers and believers. Still, I try not–and should not–call anyone out personally, especially since they can’t defend themselves.

      I can see why your husband would think that. We just don’t know 100%. But we certainly seem to have created God in our image and not the other way around. If there is a good, and he is the loving, good father that religion teaches, then I would think he would accept all people who are good. If Catholics, can murder, cheat and abuse children, then confess and be “forgiven,” I think you and your husband and family are safe. 🙂

  49. @Joe K – It’s interesting that you consider your minority status a problem in what is clearly a safe haven for anybody to weigh in. Do not forget that the church had the power to punish skeptics, doubters, and heretics in ways that are largely unthinkable today. What I liked about the Ingersoll piece was that he basically attacked the church’s hubris in declaring “this is true because we said so” as they had no rational argument to put forth and instead offered up tradition and circular logic.

    *You* can’t reason a person out of a position they weren’t reasoned into . . . they have to do it themselves.


    “If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.”~ Anatole France

  50. As far as I’m concerned anyone invoking “the Great Flood” to explain anything might as well be citing a report on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    Arthur approaches an isolated castle guarded by soldiers ( #1 & #2 ) …..

    S #1: Where’d you get the coconuts?
    A : We found them.
    S #1: Found them? In Mercia? The coconut’s tropical!
    A : What do you mean?
    S #1: Well, this is a temperate zone.
    A : The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land?
    S #1: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
    A : Not at all. They could be carried.
    S #1: What? A swallow carrying a coconut?
    A: It could grip it by the husk!
    S #1: It’s not a question of where he grips it! It’s a simple question of weight ratios! A five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut.
    A: Well, it doesn’t matter. Will you go and tell your master that Arthur from the Court of Camelot is here.
    S #1: Listen. In order to maintain air-speed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?
    A: Please!
    S #1: Am I right?
    A: I’m not interested!
    S #2: It could be carried by an African swallow!
    S #1: Oh, yeah, an African swallow maybe, but not a European swallow. That’s my point.
    S #2: Oh, yeah, I agree with that.
    A: Will you ask your master if he wants to join my court at Camelot?!
    S #1: But then of course a– African swallows are non-migratory.
    S #2: Oh, yeah…
    S #1: So they couldn’t bring a coconut back anyway…

  51. @dam – Monty Python and the Holy Grail

  52. Deborah, I personally compare god and hell to leaving an abusive husband. Every time you think you have found the courage to leave he makes threats to destroy you, and you’re so scared you stay because you don’t want to risk losing what is important to you: your kids, and your safety. I know my comment will upset some Christians, and I understand. It’s just that Christianity was hell for me. I tried so, so many denominations, churches, sunday school classes, bible studies, prayer meetings, volunteering opportunities, revival services, and I really dug my heals deep into a personal life full of private time with god in worship, and prayer. I studied the bible repeatedly and over a huge number of topics for many years. When all is said and done and you find yourself increasingly questioning everything, and are finding no answers, it’s time to move on.
    Since I’ve left I have found more peace because I am no longer stuck on what is a sign from god or a distraction from the devil. Religion did give me my husband, we met at a singles house group, and married a few months later. Little did we know that less than half a year past our wedding we would more less get kicked out of our church…..it’s too long to get into. I guess you could say that religion gave me my children too, as well as their first and middle names. If it wasn’t for religion I wouldn’t have my two favorite musicals on Blu-ray: “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Sound of Music”, nor would I have my more recent guilty pleasure “Call the Midwife”. Sometimes it takes nothing for me to be bitter about the decades Christianity took from my life, on the other hand, I walked away with the most cherished people in my life.
    We all should be kind to believers, we don’t know what kind of personal hell they’re going through. Sometimes the one who is trying so hard to convince us to follow Jesus is trying to convince him/her self. I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on here on how horrible Christians are to atheists. It needs to be understood that there’s great disrespect for god and fellow believers in many churches. There’s a lack of common courtesy and common sense, but it’s hard for them to see that because they have been programmed to think that’s okay, and it becomes their norm. As a result, they talk and act the same way to those outside of their church, us nonbelievers, and they wonder what our problem is for not just going along with their flow.

    • @Charity, That’s a really good point you make here: “We all should be kind to believers, we don’t know what kind of personal hell they’re going through. Sometimes the one who is trying so hard to convince us to follow Jesus is trying to convince him/her self. I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on here on how horrible Christians are to atheists. It needs to be understood that there’s great disrespect for god and fellow believers in many churches. There’s a lack of common courtesy and common sense, but it’s hard for them to see that because they have been programmed to think that’s okay, and it becomes their norm. As a result, they talk and act the same way to those outside of their church, us nonbelievers, and they wonder what our problem is for not just going along with their flow.”

      We need to forgive them, for they know not what they do….

    • Charity–Another thing I noticed. Deosullivan3 has mentioned this, too. You feel the church took away time/years from you. It’s almost like you felt you were in prison or in servitude, not part of a mutually beneficial relationship.

  53. CHope makes a good point. Sometimes true believers have all the fervor of a regional sales rep, but often you get the impression that what they’re trying to do is convince themselves.

    “Nothing offends a person more than to reject their deeply held beliefs ~ LT

  54. Sorry, having issues, and my account went back to “CHope”.

  55. @dam…the Link LT gave links to another article with the video in it.

    @deosullivan…I don’t need the last word but if you’re granting it I’ll take it in three points. (Although I suspect we’ll get on it again in the future)

    1. I challenge your assertion that medieval thinkers equated old with true. If that was the case then Aquinas would have agreed with Plato’s bifurcation (theres a more technical term but I can’t recall) of body and soul. Instead he contradicted it. Additionally, if I’m not mistaken (my phil text books are back in the states) the writing of Aristotle were “new” (i.e. relatively obscure until then) at the time of Aquinas and his goal was to see if Aristotle was right or wrong in compared to what he believed truth to be based on the church’s interpretation of scripture. If that is right, then couple Aquinas eval (not blind acceptance) of Aristotle with his skepticism of Plato and you see that Old didn’t = true as you are asserting.

    2. Your assertion that the Big Bang theory goes back and back and back but not all the way to the beginning is not a valid assertion. It goes back to a mathematical and cosmological singularity. There have been many attempts to show that is not the case and each one has been categorically refuted. Most recently in January this year at Stephen Hawkins 70th birthday “party”, Alexander Vilinkin refuted the remaining current theories and pointed out that the universe had a beginning. Specifically he stated, “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” [ http://www.scribd.com/doc/77980709/Why-Physicists-Can-t-Avoid-a-Creation-Event ] It’s a great article, albeit a little “physics-y” but not even close to needing a physics degree to get it.

    3. Finally my last word which remember you gave me…I’m right your wrong, full stop.

  56. @Joe K | April 12, 2013 at 4:59 am |

    So the short answer is you got nuttin’.

    (no apologies this time for harribal spellink).

  57. Cool article here –

    Does God have a gender?


    • @LanceT Thanks for posting this interesting article….It reminds me of the history vs herstory argument, and how we view history. The author’s perspective is interesting, too, because it is much more conservative, acknowledging that God is unknowable:
      “So, given that most believe God to be beyond our human capacity to understand, asking whether God is male or female is a bit like asking whether God has curly or straight hair, is tall or short.”
      He must be considered a more progressive or liberal Christian. In this area (Austin is a sharp contrast to Dallas), you hear Christians often speaking of God as if they just had coffee with “him” (or her).

    • @LanceT That’s a great way to look at a tragedy. I was thinking when I saw the news yesterday that so many people were running to help, not knowing if another bomb would go off. So sad someone could plan and carry out something like this, no matter the issue….

  58. Found the quote in text to cut & paste –

    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

    @dam – whether a garden variety sociopath merely looking to hurt people, or a political sociopath with an agenda, who benefits?

    I am always particularly saddened when tragedies like this happen to people simply out enjoying their lives.

    Be well, all.

  59. More gold from good old Fred –

    “It’s not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. It’s the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is good stuff.”
    ― Fred Rogers

    from: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/32106.Fred_Rogers

  60. @deosullivan3 just watched the link you provided on The Atheist Experience and I would say the two guys on there are a much better representation than what I remember a couple of years ago.

    @JoeK yes I have seen Bill Maher lately and actually watch him every week. Have for quite some time. Everyone knows where he stands with religion, but his program for the most part is 98% politics, which is why I watch him. The jabs he makes with religion is just icing on the cake.

  61. @dam – Great Fugelsang piece.

  62. @dam – haven’t watched Viewpoint lately. Glad you posted this. He has such a great way of articulating his viewpoint!

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