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Author Topic: Interesting article that will most likely become a flame war
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2007 14:20      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lostfaith21jul21,0,3530015,full.story?coll=la-home-center

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2007 14:38      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sounds to me like it's time for him to invite Allah into his life.

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 9 posted August 13, 2007 15:48      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
HIs experience sounds familiar. Not exactly the same of course, and I'm not quite to atheism yet, but it is familiar.

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2007 17:16      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There are a lot of ways people have attempted to address the problem of evil (theodicy). There are certainly no easy answers, particularly since it's an emotional issue for many, and all the theological works ever written on the subject aren't going to change how they feel. That seems to be where the author of the article is coming from.

So, here's an excerpt from an eulogy that Rev. William Sloane Coffin delivered for his own son, which echoes how I feel about these kinds of things.

quote:
My own consolation lies in knowing that it was not the will of God that Alex die; that when the waves closed over the sinking car, God's heart was the first of all our hearts to break.


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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2007 03:03      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
My own consolation lies in knowing that it was not the will of God that Alex die; that when the waves closed over the sinking car, God's heart was the first of all our hearts to break.
Of course, this raises the question "Why didn't God reach out and lend a helping hand?"

Perhaps this is the answer.

--------------------
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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2007 04:41      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Perhaps this is the answer.

I can't help but find this idea familiar... 13th Floor, maybe?

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2007 07:00      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There are no wholly satisfactory answers to the problem of suffering, though there have been numerous attempts to address it since the earliest days. It is after all the subject of the Book of Job. A partial answer is that for man to have free will, and in particular free will as to whether he believes in God or not, suffering is going to be spread randomly among the faithful as much as among the rest of us. Perhaps another part of the answer is that religion is not there to make your life easier or your sufferings less acute, though it may let you view your life in a different way and give you the strength to bear your troubles. Christ's life and death was no easy ride, and he is supposed to be the example for all Christians.

What troubled the author of the article was something more difficult, particularly for a Catholic, because of the authoritarian nature of the Catholic church. If as has happened, evil has not only infiltrated the clergy, but also the church hierarchy, when not actively colluding in covering it up, has committed some of the most grievous of sins of omission by looking the other way, it must be very hard indeed to keep any kind of faith. As an outsider it appears to me that these sexual abuse scandals are a much more serious threat to the Catholic church than even it currently realises. They are a cancer that will gnaw away, until there is a big shakeout from the very top with nobody immune from exposure and punishment, and I am doubtful that the current Pope either could or would drive such a campaign.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2007 09:13      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
 -

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2007 14:31      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
My own consolation lies in knowing that it was not the will of God that Alex die; that when the waves closed over the sinking car, God's heart was the first of all our hearts to break.
Of course, this raises the question "Why didn't God reach out and lend a helping hand?"

Perhaps this is the answer.

Well, I would question what kind of world would be created if our behavior carried no (or few) consequences. You ever meet a kid whose parents always fixed his/her screw-ups?

quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
What troubled the author of the article was something more difficult, particularly for a Catholic, because of the authoritarian nature of the Catholic church. If as has happened, evil has not only infiltrated the clergy, but also the church hierarchy, when not actively colluding in covering it up, has committed some of the most grievous of sins of omission by looking the other way, it must be very hard indeed to keep any kind of faith. As an outsider it appears to me that these sexual abuse scandals are a much more serious threat to the Catholic church than even it currently realises. They are a cancer that will gnaw away, until there is a big shakeout from the very top with nobody immune from exposure and punishment, and I am doubtful that the current Pope either could or would drive such a campaign.

I would agree that the scandals are quite serious, and must change the way the Roman Catholic Church sees itself. In a way, it's a misnomer to call them "sexual abuse scandals," as the true scandal is less about the sexual abuse than the behavior of the church hierarchy.

There are two issues I see in those who covered up the abuse. One is the attempts to hide the issue for fear of the embarrassment the church would receive. That was simply deplorable and foolish. Church leaders have fallen before, and it will happen again in the future. Trying to hide a problem is worse in the long run, as it's better to openly address it.

The second problem I see is the tendency for the Catholic Church to see itself as a separate entity, attempting to take care of problems purely internally, often protecting the offender at the expense of the victim. Considering the nature of many countries in which Catholic churches operate, I can see why they would hesitate to have a policy of simply handing priests who have committed crimes over to the local authorities. However, they must find some way of making sure that victims and offenders are given justice, which certainly did not happen in the cases involved in the scandal.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2007 16:40      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
Considering the nature of many countries in which Catholic churches operate, I can see why they would hesitate to have a policy of simply handing priests who have committed crimes over to the local authorities.

That should make no difference. I know some countries are quite cruel when it comes to child molestation punishment, but a priest should not be able to hide from the law behind his collar. This goes for any and all religious leaders as far as I am concerned. What happened to "you reap what you sow"? After all if they would have practiced what they preach then they would not have done it in the first place.
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2007 16:45      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I always thought this would be a fitting way to punish child molesters.

 -

I actually feel for the guy in the article. I lost faith in the church a long time ago. And honestly have never found a reason to hate myself enough to return.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Chesty
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2007 19:42      Profile for Chesty         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There are a lot of people who confuse the Catholic Church with actual Christianity, which is based on the teachings and example of CHRIST.
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2007 21:34      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Chesty:
There are a lot of people who confuse the Catholic Church with actual Christianity, which is based on the teachings and example of CHRIST.

And nothing ruins a good philosophy, like the people that follow it.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2007 22:05      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CrawGator:
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
Considering the nature of many countries in which Catholic churches operate, I can see why they would hesitate to have a policy of simply handing priests who have committed crimes over to the local authorities.

That should make no difference. I know some countries are quite cruel when it comes to child molestation punishment, but a priest should not be able to hide from the law behind his collar. This goes for any and all religious leaders as far as I am concerned. What happened to "you reap what you sow"? After all if they would have practiced what they preach then they would not have done it in the first place.
I'm thinking broader than just this particular set of scandals.

Besides, simply throwing the offender to the wolves isn't necessarily justice. It may feel good, particularly with something as despicable as child molestation, but that isn't the same as justice. I know several people involved in a Victim Offender Reconciliation Program, and have had some training from the organization, so I've had a chance to see how restorative justice principles can be surprisingly effective in certain types of cases.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 15, 2007 08:52      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Chesty:
There are a lot of people who confuse the Catholic Church with actual Christianity, which is based on the teachings and example of CHRIST.

What an odd thing to say. Or perhaps you have found the perfect church, consisting entirely of unflawed and flawless folks. No sins? No need of forgiveness then.

Let those who are without sin cast the first stone, or so the Church teaches, despite its imperfections.

FWIW, etc. [Big Grin]

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted August 15, 2007 14:42      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Perhaps gg the point Chesty was making was the one I alluded to, that from the outside anyway it does appear that the relationship of a Catholic lay person to his priest and church is more subservient than in other denominations. This is reflected in the language you use, addressing your priests as "Father", and in the greater authority the Pope enjoys, compared to the heads of the Anglican denominations. I know that much of this is a hang over from the not very distant past when the Catholic church enjoyed much greater temporal power, particularly in Latin America and countries such as Spain, Ireland and Italy, but I would nonetheless suggest that it does make these problems much more significant for the Catholic church than for other denominations.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted August 16, 2007 13:29      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
While the tenets laid down in the Bible and attributed to Jesus are in many cases good guidelines for life, organized Judeo-Christian* religion has always been about power and control. Why is it that it perpetually surprises people when that becomes so obvious that it can no longer be refuted?

*I'll stick to that because it's a) the topic of the article and b) entirely possible that some thirty person tribe in darkest Africa once had an organized religion that really was all about love and goodwill. (I bet it didn't last, though.)

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted August 16, 2007 15:00      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fs:
While the tenets laid down in the Bible and attributed to Jesus are in many cases good guidelines for life, organized Judeo-Christian* religion has always been about power and control. Why is it that it perpetually surprises people when that becomes so obvious that it can no longer be refuted?

Looking at church history, as well as more modern organizations, not always. It's actually rather interesting to look at how different movements have arisen. While some were definite power grabs, others were far more of an acquiescence to the laity they supposedly controlled. Once the reformation hit, it changed the game even further, as many churches developed a democratic structure for governing churches and denominational organizations. It's easy to say that control is all that it's ever been about, but it's not easily backed up in light of the complexity of historical events.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted August 19, 2007 11:36      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Part I: Bible Tips on Con Men
quote:
from news article:
... if viewers send money to the network, God will repay them with great riches and good health.

Note: There's a better quote than below, but I can't remember the wording.

from the Bible: Jesus Accuses Some Leaders (Luke 20:45)

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his followers, "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around wearing fancy clothes, and they love for people to greet them with respect in the marketplaces. They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues and at feasts. But they cheat widows and steal their houses and then try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. They will receive a greater punishment."

It should be a matter of common sense: There are people that lie about their motives (and what they are, aka. false prophets). Chinese proverbs, Greek proverbs, whatever -- there are at least a dozen (very old) good tips on spotting con-men. Con-men don't cheerfully reveal their true nature, because they wouldn't get very far by saying "Hi there, I'm here to steal your money with some fancy words."
 

Part II: It's ALWAYS About Power and Control
quote:
August 16, 2007, 13:29
... organized Judeo-Christian* religion has always been about power and control.

Did you want to clarify that statement? Christians "are the only religion about power and control"? Did you mean to say "ALL religions"?

Second, the term "organized": For an Anarchist -- anything "organized" that has power is "bad." Or did you mean "it's OK for everybody except Christians to have organized power"?

... anyway ...   [Roll Eyes]
    Let's look at the Christian "Crusade" for Power (imagine a conversation 2000 years ago)
quote:
"J": OK, I'm going to start a religion about power and control.

all disciples: Fantastic!!! We're in!!!

"J": Most of the teachings will be credited to the guys that said it years ago. Like "don't murder." Then I'll a few extras like "blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." After that, the Romans are going to execute me.

disciples: What's "Plan B"?

"J": Well, after a couple of days, I rise from the grave.

disciples: Great, then we take over the world?

"J": No..... After that you all go separate directions, spreading my new religion after I disappear.

disciples: So ... we each get to take over part of the world for ourselves?

"J": No..... There's going to be a guy named Saul from Tarsus who's going to be throat-punching everybody that follows what you teach.

disciples: (stunned silence)

"J": But then "BAM" he gets stuck blind, has to have a follower restore his sight by placing his hands on Saul's eyes, then Saul changes his name to Paul and like totally teaches my religion.

disciples: So ... he leads us in taking over the world?

"J": No..... But he does a great job of spreading "the word," and in about 300 years, a Roman emperor names my religion as THE RELIGION of the Empire.

disciples: Like after we're all dead..... and then your religion dominates the world?

"J": No.... but the Empire spreads the religion even further!

Judas: That is THE MOST STUPID, Donkey-Ball-Sucking plan I have ever heard. Thank you all for wasting my time, excuse me while I go KILL MYSELF!!!

Instead of focusing on the Christians' "quest for power and control" ... maybe, someone can talk about the behavior of "Islam" in its first 100 years, and if its actions indicated a "lust for power" (and control).
 

Part III: Conspiracy -- The REAL Religion About Power and Control
quote:
Why is it that it perpetually surprises people when that becomes so obvious that it can no longer be refuted?
 -
 
You know "those" Buddhists.... Saying stuff like:
quote:
Internal peace is an essential first step to achieving peace in the world. How do you cultivate it? It's very simple. In the first place by realizing clearly that all mankind is one, that human beings in every country are members of one and the same family.
But why is it that ALL of the Kung-Fu Masters come from "Temples"?
 
 -
 
Buddha's teachings were lost and misunderstood by his followers. He loved fighting so much that he "stole" every chance for his followers to be violent:
quote:
(imagine way back when)
Thug: You in the funny robes. Give me all your stuff!

Follower: Fool, now you will suffer the ...

Buddha: HHYYAAAAAH !!! Follower, do some meditation ... or prune bonsai. Ruffian, your sword is weak and rusted; use this samurai sword instead, ... and come at me violently!

Thug: It's your funeral, old man.

Buddha: HHYYAAAAAH !!! (rips out thug's spleen)

The misunderstanding was simple: They thought that being a follower of Buddha meant you did not go around killing people, instead you sought the path of understanding and harmony.

(If it wasn't true, it wouldn't be on the Internet.)

--------------------
Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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The Explainer
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Another data-point in support of The Explainer's 'Great Satan' theory.

Ms fs writes
quote:
... organized Judeo-Christian* religion has always been about power and control.
This is a simple statement, of the form
Religion X has characteristic Y.

Mr 65816 is unable to extract the simple meaning of the statement. With two equally wrong misinterpretations to choose from, Mr 65816 becomes confused.

Should he mis-read the statement as

a) "Only religion X has characteristic Y" ?

Or should it be mis-read as

b) "It's OK for everybody except Religion X to have characteristic Y" ?

Most of the rest of Mr 65816's posting is an attempt to refute mis-reading (a).

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Rhonwyyn

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ASM, I absolutely LOVED your dramatization of Jesus and His disciples. It was so totally right on and completely cracked me up.

The Buddha drama was rather clever too. You pointed out something I'd never thought of before. If Buddha (and Confucius?) were all about peace, then why all the violence from their followers?

And that makes me ask, why does Christianity get all the bad rap for having followers who are violent? Why doesn't Buddhism and Islam get it too?

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Callipygous
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<edited out as I don't think we need yet another thread hijacked into a discussion about ASM's Islamophobia>

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The Famous Druid

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quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
ASM, I absolutely LOVED your dramatization of Jesus and His disciples. It was so totally right on

Assuming of course, that JC had the power of prophesy.
This is not universally accepted.

quote:
If Buddha (and Confucius?) were all about peace, then why all the violence from their followers?
One might ask the same question about Christians.

quote:
Why does Christianity get all the bad rap for having followers who are violent? Why doesn't Buddhism and Islam get it too?
Islam doesn't get criticised for the violence of (some of) its followers?
Where have you been hiding?

--------------------
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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2007 04:41      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TFD, what I meant by that was that whenever someone brings up the violence espoused by Islam itself, someone usually counters with "Well, Christians are violent, too" as if that in some way makes it all right for Islam to be violent.

--------------------
Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2007 05:29      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
TFD, what I meant by that was that whenever someone brings up the violence espoused by Islam itself, someone usually counters with "Well, Christians are violent, too" as if that in some way makes it all right for Islam to be violent.

No, it's not ok for any religion to be violent.

That includes Christians.

If 'Christian' (and I use the term loosely) bigots like ASM are going to rabbit-on about what evil baby-eating monsters muslims are, they've got to expect some of their own side's sordid history to be mentioned.

Glass houses, stones...

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