Friday, May 7, 2010

Capitalism without Christianity?

Some of you regular GeeeeeZ readers know that I've often mentioned how I honestly can't imagine Capitalism or Democracy surviving without the Judeo-Christian tenets upon which America was founded... I've had the feeling lately that the farther we've come from the worship and acknowledgment of God, the farther America's slipping into an unhappy situation of immorality and selfishness of every kind. Well, today, someone gave a lecture I got to hear and the speaker quoted George Washington who said this:
"....reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle..." (September 26, 1796) And John Adams, who said....

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." (October 11, 1798, address to the military)

I guess my thinking was right. I'm sure Washington's and Adams' was. Of course, it's not improbable that some people have read these and realized that, to fundamentally change America, people would have to start to mock God and His followers, using terms like "weak people who need a crutch," "religious zealots," doing things like prohibiting Franklin Graham from praying at the Pentagon, and other things we've all heard to make God's followers look ridiculous. What do you think? Do you think we can continue as we have, prosperous, good, giving, caring people, without the tenets of Christian faith, like the 10 Commandments?
I don't.
When secularists whine about Christians, they don't mean the millions who pray and still go to church or just plain live honest, productive, faithful lives which bring blessings to America...they bring up abortion killers and nuts who act in the name of Christianity but couldn't be farther from the Truth.......we need to set examples in our communities and show real Christian values and also to pray for revival in America.........the 'down side' of Christianity, even if it's all NOT TRUE, is one has lived a happier, healthier, more blessed life through trust and hope and just plain living as close as possible to the Commandments (an odd way to put it, but I think you know what I mean)...........America'd be a better place again if more of us walked the walk. Even Michael Medved and Dennis Prager, both very observant and faithful Jews, often say this on the air.......I think they're right...don't you?
Z

366 comments:

1 – 200 of 366   Newer›   Newest»
Tom said...

Several of the Founders of our Nation were actually Deists, if you look into the matter. And they all ultimately agreed in their wanting a society that ensured secular laws based on a code of ethics that - though it acknowledged a Godhead of some sort out there - based its precepts on a trust in the rational faculties of Man for the sensible and just running of a de facto secular system. Freedoms of worship and belief were to be imparted on all the countries free persons, but the laws and fabric of what comprised their understanding of 'capitalism' was (still very much Mercantilist with some forms of government-enforced pecuniary commerce) were to stay apart from religion, including Christianity. And what's evolved as the field of Economics, and the study of pure Market Capitalism specifically (look up the von Mises site for one) delves into human behavior and interaction on a non-religious basis - separate from the moral and religious side of Mankind. Its emphasis and preoccupation is on the honest impetus for self-maximization in a market of needs and tradeoffs. This side of Man (Capitalism) is apart from, but can become complementary with, the Christian (or any other religious) side of Man - toward some optimal state that ensures both freedom of property and wealth-building, as well as caring and pooling risks that ensure a humane safety net for the less fortunate in life. And so you can have Christian Capitalism, and even Capitalist Christians (the latter which I, for one, highly recommend). Cheers, Tom

Mustang said...

Some of our founding fathers were Deists, most were not. Painting our founding fathers as “spiritual,” but not religious is a cheap trick played upon our children by a socialist education system. Z ... you are right on the mark with this post. And because you are correct, then you understand how important it is for leftists to distort our founding fathers’ character. George Washington was a rich bastard who owned slaves. Thomas Jefferson took a slave woman as his mistress. The argument goes on ad nauseum, but we should ask why is it relevant? We do not set these men up as saints —only truly remarkable and highly intelligent men who understood human nature.

Defeating the importance of the founding fathers by applying contemporary values to 18th Century men is a cheap trick, but a favorite among those who wish to see America fall. Sadly, it is working; ask any 9th grade student what they can tell you about George Washington and if they even know who you are talking about, he owned slaves. Who in Virginia back then didn't? But I do wonder how any of these leftist idiots can imagine that Karl Marx, or Vladimir Lenin, or Stalin, or Mao were better men ….

Z said...

The Deist thing is rather amusing...Thomas Jefferson wrote something like 15,000 letters, 6 or so of which he was more deist than Christian...the preponderance being quite the opposite but academic secularists cling to and quote from them; we find "Jesus" mentioned many times in his letters...
I found Jesus mentioned as the important driving force, the template, for goodness and morality...Christianity, in many of those we considered Deist.
They're all individuals, they're all extremely bright and, I believe, even divinely inspired.

And yes, Mustang, if they had one slave, they were bastards undeserving to be considered a Founding Father by the new left which couldn't wait to GOTCHA! anybody they could (except people who thought like they did)...context is everything...getting details is everything...........

Z said...

Frankly, Mustang, if you ask young kids about Washington, they'd probably tell you "America sells mattresses on his birthday" IF they know his name,...at least, when presidents were honored by name and not position (Lincoln's Birthday, instead of President's Day), even the less brighter of our kids knew Lincoln and Washington's NAMES....our schools today dump them into groups so they miss having to hear about these awful Deists who had slaves (sarcasm)

Elmers Brother said...

Democracy, freedom and Christianity go hand in hand, but we as Christians do have to be careful not to conflate capitalism and Christianity as one in the same. I'm sure it would be difficult to be a Capitlist society without our religious principles but we can be strong Christians in a non Capitalist society. I know this isn't what you're suggesting, it's just MHO.

Tom said...

here are two religious-economic sites of possible interest:

http://homepage.newschool.edu/het//schools/salamanca.htm

http://www.acton.org/

and for the record, especially if you look at the Mises site, I'm anything but socialist/liberal. But cheers nonetheless

Tom said...

Great quote from first: "The accomplishments of the Salamanca theorists have led scholars such as Friedrich von Hayek to note that, contrary to Max Weber's thesis, it is the religion of the Jesuits and not the Calvinists, that set the grounds for capitalism."

Ducky's here said...

Well the founders were so enlightened that they couldn't give women the vote and considered some individuals only "partial people".

So by all means, mustang, let's praise 18th century values. Sheer lunacy.

And then you conflate "leftist" and Mao while you complain about founders worship being mischaracterized. Now maybe it is possible to discuss the problems of the irrational extent that Locke went to in erecting his worship of the individual. Ann how the excess has been perverted by libertarians(i.e. Jefferson, a mediocre mind).

Maybe the discussion is possible, but not with the indoctrinated right wing slaves to the 18th century who are so far in the weeds that they worship an outmoded plantation system economy. But keep reminding us that you "know history" and do tell me why it isn't worthwhile to understand Marx's critique of capitalism (which you do not). Even as right wing an economist as Schumpeter felt Marx was the one economist that had to be refuted and Schumpeter gave him some grudging acceptance.

Come back when you've read Polyani's "The Great transformation" and have some of the basics for a conversation.

Tom said...

http://www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib/docs/62/The_Jefferson_Bible_The_Life__Morals_of_Jesus_of_Nazareth_1.html

Name: Soapboxgod said...

To be certain, religion is not a requisite for morality.

Anonymous said...

Too big a subject!

It should be obvious enough that were it not for the influence of the Christian Gospels and the culture that sprang from the establishment of Christianity as a dominant force in Europe this generally admirable thing we call Western Civilization would not exist.

Capitalism and Christianity are anything but synonymous. I think Z's premise is correct, however, that we cannot hope to have a free, enlightened, quasi-egalitarian society without being bound by the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, etc.

If these are not upheld as ideals, we soon lapse into a chaotic jungle where only the fittest and the cleverest survive the voracious machinations of bullying forces determined to get their own way no matter what harm it may cause others.

Glad to hear from Tom -- a new, thoughtful, informed voice -- who might add to our store of knowledge and understanding.

I'm going to have to refresh my memory and look up Mercantilism.

The religious beliefs and practices of the Founders may be questionable, but there can be no doubt they were informed by the tenets of Christian faith and heavily influenced thereby, even if they expressed doubts privately.

Attending church regularly does not make one a Christian. NOT attending church does not make one NOT a Christian.

Adams was a Unitarian. He considered himself a devout Christian, however. Trinitarians may vehemently dispute that. What Adams would make of the highly secularized Unitarian Universalist "Church" of today I shudder to think. The same would be true if William Penn could see what has happened to the Quakers. Both are now more virulently leftist social clubs than anything resembling a house of worship. The United Methodists are not far behind. Too many Churches preach the Social Gospel more than they do the Word these days. The Church of Christ has somehow been transformed into the Church of Marx.

No wonder we are confused!

It really is too big a subject to be handled by our knee-jerk "feelings." It demands much research, and less partisan carping and caviling.

~ FreeThinke

Brooke said...

Once again, Ducky displays his idiocy.

The Founders used brilliant language so that the change they wanted could one day be enacted, and so it was... But no thanks to leftists who later used the Black Codes, Jim Crow laws and such to restrict blacks and "mulattos."

Hell, it took Republican military rule after the civil war to ensure that blacks got the right to vote and to ensure that suffrage was extended.

Anonymous said...

Ducky has little or no understanding of Principle. Instead he bedecks himself in the changing fashions of Intellectual Constructs brought into the scholastic arena by "thinkers" eager primarily to draw attention to themselves -- or in some instances to wreak havoc on the status quo.

Principle, like Truth, never goes out of fashion.

One does not need to study Marx in depth or read Schumpeter to live a decent, productive, fulfilled life anymore than one needs to eat a two-pound lump of excrement to know that it does not sit well on the stomach.

~ FreeThinke

FairWitness said...

Tom said, "Several of the Founders of our Nation were actually Deists."

Revisionist rubbish! They were deeply relgious Christians. The Deist assertion is Progressive claptrap lies!

Hey, Tom! We're not buying your propaganda anymore. We're on to the Progressives decades-long campaign to rewrite & LIE ABOUT our Founding Fathers. You have failed in dumbing us down.

We're about to send you wrong-headed, greedy radicals back to your dark, smoky coffeehouses where you belong. You're being run out of our government!

Z said...

Tom...thanks for writing again, it looks like I considered YOU a soc./lib. and I wasn't...I was just extrapolating because you made that first point...all I meant is it wasn't quite as widespread a thinking as professors are teaching these days...Your last sentence convinced me you're not with them necessarily!

Your link included "it is the religion of the Jesuits and not the Calvinists, that set the grounds for capitalism."

Thanks for finding that...oops!, I just saw your second comment! great minds :-) Thanks for that.

Soapbox, I have never and will never say that all atheists are immoral but I will say that most of their parents raised them not as atheists, with a streak of conscience one can absorb by living with religious types...I've seen that many times.

FT, that information on John Addams is amazing because other scholars will definitely id Adams as one of the most devout Christians. Not believing in the Trinity is certainly not CHristian...but, we have to take words in context. Certainly Unitarian THEN is not Unitarian NOW (no more than Episcopalian 20 years ago is the Episcopalian church of today) Thanks for that information.
By the way, nobody says one has to go to church to be a Christian, it only lends a whole amazing richness of experiences that helps one on one's walk.
Interesting that John Adams back then mentioned that he thought Jews ought to have their own country...what a prophet!
I'm eager for more input from others as I think sticking to the two comments I mentioned would make this a very interesting thing to talk about.

FairWitness, It seems that Tom's not a radical progressive if you read his other posts and links......DEIST might have been a term some founding fathers used but it's very difficult to prove as many as secularists like to mention were deists...

Ducky, I have one post subject and am eager for conversation on it. If you'd like to tell us all about Marx, go for it...maybe your own blog would be a good place to criticize this one and print more what YOU would like discussed..thanks.

Elbro, I absolutely agree with you.

Anonymous said...

A Brief Explanation of Mercantilism in the British American Colonies:

http://www.landandfreedom.org/ushistory/us3.htm

PART ONE

Even before the first boatload of Englishmen landed at Jamestown, Virginia, European countries had experimented with empire-building, engaging in the system of mercantilism. Although it was never a cohesive system, and changed from nation to nation, its variations had similar characteristics and, most important, a shared economic philosophy.

First and foremost was state control over human behavior: the belief that many aspects of a nation's economy had to be regulated. With the acquisition of colonies came the recognition that their purpose was to satisfy the needs of the mother country. The regulation of economic activities in the colonies, then, centered around the accumulation of wealth for the European powers, at the colonies' expense. The degree of control varied according to the nation. In the 1500s, Spain and Portugal exerted strict control over their colonial inhabitants. However, the British were more lax in governing their colonies.

~ FreeTHinke

Anonymous said...

PART TWO

For the first 150 years after the initial settlement at Plymouth, in Massachusetts, English control over the colonies was minimal. ... as the colonies grew and prospered, the English realized that the colonies could provide increased trade, if competition could be eliminated. Americans had established profitable trade with other countries, notably the Dutch. In order to increase her wealth, Britain tightened the economic noose around the neck of the colonies by implementing regulatory policies, thus changing in degree her relationship with the colonies.

From 1650 on, England instituted a series of laws of trade and navigation known as the Navigation Acts. Their purpose was to limit colonial trade to the British only. ... If colonists intended to trade with any other nations, all goods had first to be shipped to England, giving her the chance to collect revenue ... certain products that could be traded only with Britain ... As time went on, the list of enumerated goods grew -- continually decreasing what the colonists could sell to other nations.

... though many of these restrictions were on the books, they did not cause havoc to the North American colonists, as was the case with the Spanish and Portuguese colonies. ... the British colonists received advantages from this system -- a built-in market for their raw products. Also, trade regulations were not rigidly enforced.

With the culmination of the French and Indian War in 1763, the British were victors in the world struggle for commercial supremacy and their policies of mercantilism changed. Now they began to enforce their mercantilist policies, which led to intensified animosity between the English and their colonies.

Having tasted economic independence for too long a period, the American colonists had no desire to return to the mercantilist policies endured by the colonies of other European nations.

~ FT

Z said...

Tom that link of Jesus of Nazareth isn't working for me...
But, I see "Jefferson Bible" as part of it.
I can only turn you to Wallbuilders, a blog by David Barton and you can see a man writing on these subjects with first-hand information as he personally has read most of the Jefferson letters.
Jefferson took out Jesus' miracles in his bible.......if that's what you're getting at by linking it.
Interesting that congressmen were given a book of the sayings of Jesus of Nazareth upon entering our government until the 1920's...we could use some decent input to them now, but, alas....10% of Americans wouldn't like it, so the majority has to step aside.

Barton's Wikipedia mention made me laugh...he must be more academic and verifiable than I thought because Wikipedia couldn't emphasize their disdain for his work much more than mentioning his Republican leanings as if that negates his amazing breadth of knowledge re faith in America.....Actually, I was surprised to read such little criticism; it's there but subtle and apparently they couldn't get too much on him.

Anonymous said...

Z, and All

I just googled Unitarianism and John Adams. This was only the first page of references cited. We all need to do more reading.

Good point, Z, about what mainline denominations have BECOME in latter years.

The religion of John Adams, second U.S. President

President John Adams was a devout Unitarian, which was a non-trinitarian Protestant Christian denomination during the Colonial era. ...
www.adherents.com/people/pa/John_Adams.html - Cached - Similar

Religious Affiliation of U.S. Presidents * Religion
Jul 7, 2006 ... 2, John Adams, Congregationalist (raised); Unitarian. 3, Thomas Jefferson, raised Episcopalian; later no specific denomination ...
www.adherents.com/adh_presidents.html - Cached - Similar

Show more results from www.adherents.com
John Adams

John Adams's uncle Ebenezer, among Briant's accusers and Deacon Adams, .... A crypt beneath United First Parish Church (Unitarian), Quincy, is Adams final ...
www25.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/johnadams.html - Cached - Similar

John Adams - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
By the time of John Adams's birth in 1735, Puritan tenets such as predestination ..... Green Unitarian Church and instigator of the Revolution Controversy. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Adams - Cached - Similar

Two Presidents Who Were Unitarians
John Adams, first of the four presidents who were Unitarians, was on-and-off friends with Thomas Jefferson, who had Unitarian leanings, but was not a member ...
www.sullivan-county.com/identity/upres.htm - Cached - Similar

Franklin Steiner's book The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents relates that John Adams was a Unitarian. Adams "believed that all good men are Christians ...
www.humanismbyjoe.com/Adams_Family_Religion.htm - Cached - Similar

Was John Quincy Adams Congregationalist or Unitarian?
The dissension revolves around the question of whether John Quincy Adams (JQA) was a Congregationalist or a Unitarian. I may have unintentionally ignited a ...
www.macucc.org/president/JohnQuincyAdams.htm - Cached - Similar

John Adams versus Thomas Jefferson: Unitarians Struggling Over the ...
Feb 20, 2005 ... HUU Sermon Archives - John Adams versus Thomas Jefferson: Unitarians Struggling Over the Soul of our Nation delivered by Barkley Rosser.
huuweb.org/Sermons/john-adams-versus-thomas-jeffers.htm - Cached - Similar
United First Parish Church (Unitarian), Quincy, Massachusetts An active Unitarian Universalist congregation. Also known as the Church of the Presidents. Burial site of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, ...
www.ufpc.org/ - Cached - Similar

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

It's hard for me to understand that people so bright and so apparently Christian don't understand the Trinity. it's a mystery, no doubt about it, but there are beautiful explanations which usually are quite convicting.....
who knows the bible study input they had back then? Hard to say, but it appears that belief in the Trinity was a stumbling block for Unitarians.
We're doing a lecture series on DVD at our church on a weekly basis, an ongoing series, and one of the people the lecturer highlights is a Unitarian and her feeling that "Truth is what you want it to be...and comes through the light of our windows" or "What is GOD? Well..he's in my heart and sometimes isn't and we just can't really say"....
You have to hold your giggles back because you all know I don't say ANYBODY HAS to buy into Christianity but to call yourself a Christian group and say this stuff is almost hilarious, not to be disrespectful.

As you all know, my tenet is this: Christianity is ONLY informed by the Scriptures, the Bible...nothing else. To not believe those things we don't like in it is fine, but goofy...what else informs? OURSELVES? SO, then, are we in competition with God?
Sure, be what you want to be but CHristianity is from the Scriptures......

I won't be around much of today..have a huge surprise party I'm helping throw so I'm swamped...will check in from time to time till later this afternoon.

Have at it! I'll be eager to read your input....

Anonymous said...

Let’s try to define what we’re talking about for those who may not know.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&defl=en&q=define:deism&ei=uULkS9zTFsL7lweo4YCoAg&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title&ved=0CBcQkAE


Deism - Free Thought (the form of theological rationalism that believes in God on the basis or reason without reference to revelation.

Deism (/ˈdi:iz(ə)m/[1] or /ˈdē-ˌi-zəm/)[2] is a religious and philosophical belief that a supreme beingcreated the universe, and that this (and religious truth in general) can be determined using reason and observation of the natural world alone, without the need for either faith or organized religion. Many Deists reject the notion that God intervenes in human affairs, for example through miracles andrevelations. These views contrast with the dependence on revelations, miracles, and faith found in many Jewish, Christian, Islamic and other theistic teachings.

Deists typically reject most supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and tend to assert that God (or "The Supreme Architect") has a plan for the universe that is not altered either by God intervening in the affairs of human life or by suspending the natural laws of the universe. What organized religions see as divine revelation and holy books, most deists see as interpretations made by other humans, rather than as authoritative sources.

Deism became prominent in the 17th and 18th centuries during the Age of Enlightenment, especially in what is now the United Kingdom, France, United States and Ireland, mostly among those raised asChristians who found they could not believe in either a triune God, the divinity of Jesus, miracles, or the inerrancy of scriptures, but who did believe in one God.

Deism - An 18th-century Enlightenment concept of religion emphasizing reason, not miracles; partly a reaction against Calvinism and religious superstition.

Deism - The belief that the world was created and set in motion by a supernatural agent which subsequently does not intervene.

Deism - The form of theism or belief in god(s) which posits a creator god that does not take an active role or moral interest in human affairs.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

And here we have these great "keepers" of our founders:

"While pointing out that it is the responsibility of the federal government to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said Thursday it is cheaper to treat teens for drug abuse than it is to interdict drugs being smuggled across the border. She said she is “for reducing [drug] demand in the United States.”

Stupid is as stupid does?

"Just two weeks after a federal judge in Madison, Wis., ruled that the annual National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional, 92 percent of Americans told the USA Today/Gallup poll that they believe in God and only 5 percent said they oppose the National Day of Prayer.

Where does this "judge" get his...information from to make sweeping anti Christian law like this? He certainly needs an exorcism.

"White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he did not know and could not imagine asking President Barack Obama whether he used the vulgar sexual term “tea baggers” to describe Americans active in the Tea Party movement. But he added that he would check.

Yea Gibbs...he said it.

"A standing ovation greeted preacher Franklin Graham as he took the podium at the National Day of Prayer on Capitol Hill on Thursday to give the keynote address. Graham did not back down from criticism that he had disparaged Muslims, telling the crowd that he is a Christian minister who preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Maybe the "judge" should take heed?

There's a new dawn arising in America...take heed rats.

Major

Anonymous said...

Definitions of Unitarianism and a few references:

Definitions of unitarianism on the Web:

Christian doctrine that stresses individual freedom of belief and rejects the Trinity
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn


Unitarianism as a theology is the belief in the single personality of God, in contrast to the doctrine of the Trinity (three persons in one God). Unitarianism as a movement is based on this belief, and, according to its proponents, is the original God-concept of Christianity.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarianism

The belief in a single God, not divided into any aspects, particularly when presented as a contrast to Christian trinitarianism
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/unitarianism

The religious belief that God is a single Person; Short for Unitarian Universalism
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Unitarianism
unitarian - adherent of Unitarianism
unitarian - of or relating to or characterizing Unitarianism
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Unitarian - Unitarianists (in Spanish, Unitarios) were the proponents of the concept of a centralized government in Buenos Aires during the civil wars which shortly followed the Declaration of Independence of Argentina in 1816. They were opposed to the Argentine Federalists.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarian_(Argentine_political_party)

A follower of Unitarian Universalism; A monotheist who is not a Christian; A Christian who does not believe in the traditional doctrine of the Trinity; Pertaining to Unitarianism
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Unitarian

unitarian - Espousing a unitary view of something
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/unitarian

The doctrine of a Protestant denomination which rejects the Trinity, but accepts the ethical teachings of Jesus and emphasizes complete freedom of ...
www.innvista.com/culture/religion/diction.htm
In general, the belief in only one person in the Godhead. In particular, this term usually describes a movement that emphasizes the unity of the ...
www.newbeginningchurch.com/glossary.htm
unitarian - Brief History of the Unitarians called also Socinians. 1687.
www.bartleby.com/220/1600.html

unitarian - a type of religion which Joseph Priestley introduced to America
www.josephpriestleyhouse.org/index.php

The Birmingham Unitarian Church[14] is affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association.[15] It is located on Woodward Avenue, north of Lone ...
en.wikipedia.7val.com/wiki/Bloomfield_Hills

~ FreerThinke

Z said...

So, you can't be a Christian and a Deist...."CHRISTian"...very interesting, at least on most of those definitions.
I think we all know what Deists are but it helps to see it spelled out like that..in detail..thanks!

Major, AMAZING...imagine an America where the tyranny of the minority is winning so strongly? I suppose a lefty might suggest it was a tyranny of the minority of our rich in America which used to rule, so it's only fair.(smile)
I challenge that with "And how many of the majority poor will be hiring others? How many will be building homes to put those poor majorities to work?..etc etc etc etc"

And now we don't say MERRY CHRISTMAS at some stores because a very small percentage will be insulted? Funny, every Jew I know loves Christmas and the music and giving presents, and trees and parties...nobody's offended among MY JEWISH FRIENDS! :-)

Obviously, has PC become so ingrained in some of us that retailers would take that chance to tick off 90% of their Christmas buyers by not mentioning CHRISTMAS, the name of the holiday people are BUYING FOR?; but they DO. WHY? curious. D0 they get a 'memo'? Hmmm

Z said...

FT, sorry...got stuck on the first one! Imagine? "Christian doctrine that stresses individual freedom of belief and rejects the Trinity"

But, Christian Doctrine IS THE TRINITY..Father, Son and the Holy Spirit!

Amazing, isn't this!? WOW

Anonymous said...

Why is the term "teabaggers" considered a sexual reference? I don't get it. It may be vulgar in that it is made up slang, but only someone with a dirty mind would think of it as sexual.

If it IS " a vulgar sexual reference," what good could be accomplished by referring to it over and over again? All that does is spread something unwholesome and undesirable.

Most people don't think of tea bags in reference to sex, so why PROMPT them to do so?

At any rate, this is a far cry from talking about the religious beliefs of the Founders.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Well, Z, John Adams considered himself a devout Christian and he was definitely a Unitarian. I'm sorry you think his Unitarianism disqualifies him to be considered a Christian. Adams, himself, would disagree, of course.

This could be an extraordinarily profitable discussion, but sadly the mention of religion usually sends people running behind the barricades ready to do battle with anyone or anything that does not square with their own beliefs.

I, personally, think it's fine for all of us to believe what we are ABLE to believe, and respect others who do not think and feel as we do.

I'm pretty sure that is why the Founders were against the establishment of an official State church. I'm sure they all had different ideas of what constitutes a true Christian and what does not.

We should be able to be secure in our own faith without feeling threatened those who differ.

That said, I am POSITIVE that Islam has NO legitimate place in Western Civilization, because by its very nature it DENIES the right of all other systems of belief to exist, which is EXACTLY what the Founders did NOT want.

We've had discussions of this sort many times before.

I agree certainly that if everyone would follow the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, the world would be a much better place. It's the CONDEMNATORY approach to those who CANNOT that I take exception to.

But your original thought is EXACTLY right. Capitalism unrestrained by Conscience can be a great evil. But that is true of everything else as well. St. Paul summed it up perfectly in effectively saying that NOTHING is WORTH ANYTHING unless motivated by the Spirit of LOVE.

~ FreeThinke

WomanHonorThyself said...

I honestly can't imagine Capitalism or Democracy surviving without the Judeo-Christian tenets upon which America was founded..agree fully Z..but not with Hussein O at the helm!

Z said...

FT, You think I'M the one disagreeing? We're talking CHRISTIANITY here, which wasn't MY idea, I assure you! (i"m good, but not THAT good:-)...as I've said 1000 times here, Christianity's ONLY INFORMED by the Scriptures...which say very clearly "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life..." Jesus being the "I"...Now, you don't have to believe that but the only thing which informs us tells us that! There isn't too much room for interpretation there and, of course, ALL are welcome, as it also says.
And the Trinity is the pivotal part of the New Testament (Christianity)...

Please don't assume so much here when you say "I'm sorry you think his Unitarianism disqualifies him to be considered a Christian. Adams, himself, would disagree, of course."
I THINK? No....it's not my idea!
Also, I'm an enormous fan of Adams'.
Secretly, I harbor the feeling that our founding fathers were so intent on making sure they didn't put their faith on this country in a pushing way that DEIST sounded 'friendlier' to them, knowing as they knew then (in the context that nobody'd NOT be Christian because most (ALL?) WERE in their circles at that time), it was safe to claim DEISM and not suffer the interrogations of future generations of Americans they wouldn't have possibly believed would be as far as we are now from the faith they put lock, stock and barrel in.

I'm not here to argue Christianity and I won't have it done here.... As I have said TOO many times, it's not ME, not MY Beliefs, which inform the faith..and as I've said a couple of hundred times more, NOBODY HAS TO BELIEVE IT, FreeThinker!
But, to suggest a person who doesn't believe in the divinity of Christ or the Trinity is CHRISTian is ...well...
I'll leave it at that

Anonymous said...

Seems leftist propaganda flows non-stop from those who have immersed their brains in enough of that crap to actually stew any rational thought process. Ducky, Schumpeter, a "right wing economist"? Not exactly ... Just another socialist of the Fabian variety.

"In 1906, at the age of twenty-three, Joseph Schumpeter received the degree of Doctor of Law from the University of Vienna. A son of aristocratic parents he was sent to attend lectures at the Fabian socialist London School of Economics in London England. There he attended lectures given by Sidney Webb, head of the Fabian Society. He also attended seminars given by Alfred Marshall. He received a thorough grounding in Fabian socialism to which he remained attached for the rest of his life.(7) He fought for a Fabian policy of disguised socialism among Austrian socialists for many years. In two articles aimed at his socialist comrades he pointed out, “the enormous superiority of the British system, (Fabian socialism) with its dignified, well mannered, evolutionary way of doing things, as compared with the revolutionary, dogmatic methods of continental socialism always marred by bad manners and demagoguery.”(8) In these same articles he heralded the disguised socialism of the United States as a model for Germanic socialism." ...

..."Beginning with 1906 Schumpeter belonged to a group in Austria that spawned the future leaders of the socialist movement in that country. He immersed himself in Marxist dogma along with such socialists as Otto Bauer, later leader of the Austrian socialist movement and foreign minister in 1919; Rudolf Hilferding who twice became the socialist Minister of Finance of the German Republic after World War I; and Emil Lederer who followed Schumpeter to the United States and became the founder of the Fabian socialist Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City in 1934."

http://www.keynesatharvard.org/book/KeynesatHarvard-ch11.html

Waylon

Ducky's here said...

Right Brooke, it was the left that perpetuated Jim Crow. Pitch till you win.

Ducky's here said...

Honor the Sabbath and go to the mall.

Yeah, Capitalism and the Commandments can't do without each other.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the canard that the Jesuits are advocates for capitalism will have Ducky paddling in circles by now. Hard to imagine Jesuits on the right. Just because they make loud noises about being "anti-communist" is no reason to believe they are what they say they are — especially when reality does NOT confirm that.

How else to explain the products of Jesuit seminary training have become some of the bloodiest despots of the leftist variety through the span of the 20th Century? Such stalwart graduates as Robert Mugabe, Patrice Lumamba, Fidel Castro and Josef Stalin should do for starters ... now I can understand Ducky having wet dreams about those "supermen".

Waylon

Z said...

Ducky, sometimes your extremism casts you in not too good a light.
Can you never think nuanced at all?

Yes, actually, Capitalism is something that cannot do without good people because good people don't take advantage, their greed doesn't get the best of them; other monumentally more important things come first.
And they still have freedom to do what they want...even shop on Sunday if they like.

Z said...

Waylon, you think being trained by Jesuits or any Christians makes one immune to horrible behavior?

Z said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Crow_laws

Ducky, read the whole thing, especially the early days...
I'm sure you'll come back with some "REPUBLICANS DID IT" nonsense, but I don't have the time to read the whole thing through and you'll learn something:

"Blacks were still elected to local offices in the 1880s, but the establishment Democrats were passing laws to make voter registration and elections more restrictive, with the result that participation by most blacks and many poor whites began to decrease."

and "Woodrow Wilson, a southern Democrat and the first southern-born president of the postwar period, appointed southerners to his cabinet. Some quickly began to press for segregated work places, although Washington, DC and federal offices had been integrated since after the Civil War."
"Johnson however, due to political expediency, was forced to vote with his fellow Southern Democrats in Congress, against civil rights measures such as banning lynching, eliminating poll taxes and denying federal funding to segregated schools, measures which later would make up ground breaking legislation.
Johnson continued to remain careful and appeased the Southern racists, such as in 1956 when he killed a civil rights bill in Congress "

geeez, educate yourselves, folks

Anonymous said...

Wise UP FT...you seem to be an educated fellow. And if I can find the defintion...so can you.

But..we're all adults here, so Ms. Z forgive the anatomy lesson for FT:

"To tea bag is a slang term for the act of a man placing his scrotum in the mouth of a sexual partner. The practice resembles dipping a tea bag into a cup of tea when it is done in a repeated in-and-out motion.

The activity has become more prominent in the media, and the term is used to ridicule those in the Tea Party movement.


So you can understand why it's use by the POS...is an insult to 99% of regular Americans. Another fine act we're supposed to accept along with fisting. And every other filthy perversion including sodomy...by that "happy" community.

Major

Z said...

Major..I hadn't see this from FT:

"If it IS (teabagging) " a vulgar sexual reference," what good could be accomplished by referring to it over and over again? All that does is spread something unwholesome and undesirable."

I have to admit I consider myself pretty hip and didn't know teabagging has come to mean what it does today...Um, Major, your graphics could have probably been left out, but you do make the case!!!

And, of course, our president probably is WAAAAY hipper than I am so he probably knew but I can't imagine any president doing that..
Of course, he also mouthed the F word at the Washington Correspondence Dinner...as he says "I didn't SAY IT" but the whole huge crowd got the word in their head.."Nice job, Mr. Dignified President, great example" (sarc)

Finally, FT commented "All that does is spread something unwholesome and undesirable."

Which is EXACTLY what Pres Obama wants to portray the Tea Partiers as, of course.

FT...please be careful in your response to Major. I'm not kidding. thanks.

Z said...

OOPS..
by "I can't imagine any president doing that" I didn't mean "THAT", I meant SAYING THAT about Tea Party members...sorry !!! Yikes!

Leticia said...

I agree Z, many so-called Christians talk the talk but never even consider walking the walk. It is not an easy life, yet, most of us choose to follow the teachings of our Lord and Savior. God gave us 10 Commandments to follow and yet, we all fall short.

This nation has the guidelines and patterns to follow to make our nation strong once again, a nation who fears God and honors Him will have strength, integrity and prosperity.

Sadly, with the current administration, the biased media and liberals in general, this nation will continue to spiral down into a cesspool of moral decay.

Anonymous said...

"Um, Major, your graphics could have probably been left out...


Trust me...it was heavily edited. However it was necessary...for those that just don't know what Oberman, Cooper, Matthews and MadCow are laughing about when they refer to decent Americans expressing their rights.
Which makes the "expression" all the more odious, obscene, mocking, disrespectful and hateful.

As a gentleman....I apologize.



Major

Z said...

Leticia, thanks for that...you're so right.

Major, if I didn't think you were a gentleman at heart and deed, I'd have deleted that. I appreciate your apology, however, and your editing :-)

Anonymous said...

A pretty interesting topic. I think the founding fathers had a good idea that man cannot be counted on to act morally. Separation of powers, etc. were put in place because the founders knew that human nature cannot be trusted.

Capitalism recognizes that humans are selfish--that a profit incentive is often necessary to pompt people to do things for others. Selfless altruism is admirable, but fallen man is not a selfless creature, and to design an economic system based on the assumption that man is selfless would be inappropriate.

A God-fearing Christian populus makes for a better society, but that's true regardless of the form of government.

-tio

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the honest answer, Major. However, there are many things of which it might be better to remain ignorant, if possible.

Let the "in" groups have their little "in" jokes.

I prefer to remain outside their nasty little precincts, thank you very much.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Tio, Yes "A God-fearing Christian populus makes for a better society, but that's true regardless of the form of government."

Except, in America, we've seen the huge upturn in the immorality in our populace since Christianity began to be so mocked...anybody can see that.

My point is that good people do good things, not needing prompting....
Had Wall St been full of good people who cared about their investors, who'd never dream of screwing people like some have (though I have another viewpoint on that, too), allowing our secular media to convince so many Americans it's CAPITALISM'S FAULT (oh, for joy!!) and that GREED comes only from Capitalism and nobody can HELP IT being BAD, we'd not be in this situation.
Yes, I'm broadstroking but I do believe this is true.
Now, that we have so many people and so many who are ruthless might mean that no amount of faith will ever help bring America back to where it was but....we can pray I'm wrong on this.

Z said...

I'm with you, FT, but Major did fill us in and did prove our points that an American president might not consider using that kind of language!

Anonymous said...

Re the vulgar reference issue:

I should have added this famous quotation from Thomas Grey's Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard:


"If ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."


~ FreeThinke

Brooke said...

Thanks, Z.

It's not too hard to pitch a no-hitter when Ducky's at the plate.

FrogBurger said...

I would be even more precise. Capitalism without the protestant spirit is doomed. Look at Europe: mostly catholic and what did it produce? Socialism. Orthodox? Greece, Russia. Max Weber was definitely right. Israel too is not the most capitalist and individualistic country on the planet. Concepts such as kibbutz are definitely not something very capitalistic.

FrogBurger said...

Ducky is a catholic and is far from being a capitalist :) Personally that's why I reject my catholic upbringing. I feel a lot closer to protestants from a philosophical standpoint. Sorry if some of you are catholic. But in France a lot catholic priests are socialists and even self-declared communists. "Pretres ouvriers."

Anonymous said...

Waylon, you think being trained by Jesuits or any Christians makes one immune to horrible behavior?

______________

I always thought religion was touted as offering some moral base from which to live one's life. I must have been mistaken since some of the worst evils perpetrated on long-suffering mankind has been in the name of religion.

If not "immune" then perhaps some inner moral strength to "face the day" and it's possible travails.

Waylon

Ducky's here said...

Yes, it's a fact, Frog. It's not those of us who ARE NOT Calvinists who should feel shame.

Z said...

Waylon, very honest comment...but, as you know, the Scriptures don't tout the kinds of atrocities man's done to man......
Maybe Tim McVeigh went to church every Sunday and Wednesday nights, too...doesn't matter; something cracked, his fallen human nature overruled, didn't it. That's why we need Christianity but to really stay connected, reading, church if you can find a good one, etc.

This point of "Christian" atrocities turns some from faith and it seems silly...it's like saying Christians must be perfect, when, if Christianity teaches us anything, it teaches we're NOT...not even close.
Kind of mystical, I wish I could verbalize more on this subject...maybe somebody else can..I know they'd do it better than I. Of course, it's also as silly as saying Hitler or Castro are true Christians..

Brooke :-)

FrogBurger, as you know, some people who call themselves Christian are very liberal and misread the Scriptures to suggest that if we're not giving EVERYTHING WE OWN to someone who needs it, we're not being Christian....The left seems to think so, although you look at the gazillions so many far leftists have and wonder. And, of course, to be fair, some are big philanthropists...
"In his new book, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, Arthur C. Brooks presents research showing that religious conservatives are more charitable than secular liberals. He says people who support the idea that government should redistribute income are among the least likely to dig into their own wallets to help others. Included in his book is an analysis of 15 sets of data that he says all came to the same conclusion."

I guess you could say you could pour pounds of ashes on one's forehead on Ash Wednesday but the weight isn't going to help anything sink in...unless the real meaning sinks in.......?

And, trust me, I'm no judge of who's REALLY CHRISTIAN!!!! Not sure I am! .......that is FOR SURE.

Anonymous said...

Merci, M. Grenouille. Vous avez raison.

I'm one of those "I will defend to the death your right to read, think, and be anything" people, BUT I draw the line at mass murder, individual murder, rape, mayhem, theft, vandalism, extortion, rioting and bullying in general.

We cannot have a civilized society if we tolerate anything on that all-too-familiar list.

I am reasonably certain that the prosperous middle-class of property-owning tradesmen, who developed Capitalism after the Industrial Revolution, arose from Protestantism. So did the probing, questioning insights that threw off the shackles of mindless obeisance to Authoritarianism and gave The Enlightenment.

Some see The Enlightenment -- which might well be characterized as a Deist movement, since Reason took center stage, and blind, unquestioning faith was pushed into the shadows -- as un-Christian or even anti-Christian.

The Enlightenment did herald the arrival of so-called Liberal Christianity. Strict fundamentalists see this as anathema, others -- like nettlesome old me -- see it as a giant leap forward in Man's search for freedom through greater understanding of Ultimate Truth which is God.

The "Gate" may be "Strait" and the way "Narrow," but MANY roads lead to that point.

It might be entertaining to read an argument advocating the notion that modern Capitalism arose from a part of Roman Catholicism more than Protestantism, but I doubt if fleshing out that opinion is vital to human progress.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Ducky, oh MY...Calvinists should feel SHAME?
Your hatred for Protestantism is amazing..

Ducky's here said...

Yes, actually, Capitalism is something that cannot do without good people because good people don't take advantage, their greed doesn't get the best of them; other monumentally more important things come first.

----------------------

You're naivete is touching, z. Your knowledge of capitalism is abysmal.

Anonymous said...

I wrote this to personal friends the other day, but feel it may be pertinent to this discussion:

It's often said "The love of money is the root of all evil." I don't think so; I think it's the love of POWER. The biggest human failing is the persistent belief that "someone" ought to be "in charge" telling the vast majority what to do, when to do it, and how.

Look what the earliest settlers and the westward bound pioneers were able to accomplish with virtually no supervision at all, except mutually agreed upon codes of conduct they made amongst themselves.

Despite all the odds against them -- defenselessness against disease, high mortality rates, danger from the elements, sometimes hostile savages, great physical discomfort, privation, etc. -- their positive accomplishments exceeded those of the industrialized, over-regulated, de-humanized, violence-ridden world of the post-industrial age by leaps and bounds.

That ought to tell us something important about human nature, but who's going to listen?

Ducky's here said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Schumpeter

I eave it to you all to judge the man's brilliance. He wasn't a doctrinaire Marxist which puts him to the right.

However, you can see that he's been pretty accurate.

Ducky's here said...

z, is Ben Franklin considered a "founder"? He's considered an atheist.

It's been established that the founders do not conform to your classic Calvinism.

Anonymous said...

"... Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger and clamor and evil-speaking be put away from you with all malice, and be Ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, who for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

AMEN!

~ FreeThinke

FrogBurger said...

Your knowledge of human nature is abysmal, Ducky. After you pass, human nature will be the same.

Why do the left and you keep thinking they can change it?

Have you learned from history? From the decline of civilizations? From wars?

I think it's better to have abysmal knowledge of something than to totally lack a sense of observation or/and be in a constant state of denial.

Knowing for the sake of knowing is snobbery and elitism. That's all it is.

FrogBurger said...

Nice one Ducky. The man was right. And it's because people are voting themselves money. That's all it is. That's the downfall of a democratic society.

Which therefore means people agreeing with socialistic ideas are also greedy and are using those collectivist policies to actually fill their wallet.

Which brings me back to being in denial of human nature.

Thanks for proving my point.

Anonymous said...

Z, I stand by my statement the a God-fearing Christian populace is important to any society, though I will cede on the spelling of populus.

Goldman made money by bilking a system characterized by government intervention. If the tax payer doesn't bail out AIG, Goldman doesn't cash in. The Goldman example would be a stronger argument for an ethical populace in a socialist system.

I suppose one could argue that the character of the populace is less important in a tyranical society where the citizens don't have the power or freedom to do anything. But then the importance of an ethical government/ruler would be that much more important, and then you have to figure out where you're going to find the angels to run such a society.

I'm not saying ethics aren't important to a capitalistic society. I'm saying that capitalism deals with man's ethical failures better than any other system.

tio

Z said...

"You're naivete is touching, z. Your knowledge of capitalism is abysmal."

Ducky, I pity you. Thanks for the 'touching'.yes, my hope always springs eternal that people will wake up to the goodness of capitalism and avoid the greed (although greed is in EVERY human endeavor, including your very beloved socialism...probably even MORE greed there as people can never see their hard work amount to anything, poor things) but I think libs like your ilk have probably ruined it for America forever...what we've lost here is due to people like you who want to resort to making America 'just another place'..I keep asking you what country's more Exceptional, taking for granted you understand the word EXCEPTIONAL's meaning. If we aren't who is?

My knowledge of capitalism is as good as yours...i just happen to believe in it and you don't.

Glad you brought Benjamin Franklin up...must have taken some time Googling, huh? He doubted Jesus' divinity, all the while thinking the world of the man and knowing the world would be better following his tenets. Let me just say that if someone doesn't occasionally doubt divinity, he's not thinking..or extremely lucky.

I'm not getting into that game again "Who of our founding fathers WAS and who WASN'T Christian"..as I've said before, it's unseemly and, quite frankly, I don't want that on my blog and will delete.

But, I do stand behind Washington and Adams' quotes in my post, which I hope more will address with kindness and civility...

FrogBurger said...

You're right Tio. Government is the less ethical, amoral institution. Yet it tries to make us believe it establishes the ethical rules. That's where I agree 100% with Nietzsche in history of morals. Usually those are established by the elite. That includes the Catholic church in the middle age and Renaissance with the whole King-God confusion.

When you see how Obama lectures people on their individual behavior, that totally applies.

FrogBurger said...

Z, don't worry. It's because his knowledge of socialism is abysmal too. He didn't have to deal with it for 25 years like I had. Or like the Greeks.

Anonymous said...

FYI: I found no definition of Deist that denies the existence of a Creator/God. Deists are not to be equated with atheists.

The impulse to TYRANNIZE (i.e. dominate, restrict, inhibit and otherwise discourage the honest expression of ideas and to punish dissent with withering scorn, ostracism, other forms of deprivation, incarceration or bodily harm) is deadliest sin of all.

~ FreeThinke

Elmers Brother said...

Your hatred for Protestantism is amazing..

duhkkky's Neo-Marxist mimicing of Max Weber is getting old.

We know duhkkky, 'the love of money is the root of all evil.'

Anonymous said...

When you have Capitalism without Christianity you get AYN RAND

~ FreeThinke

Elmers Brother said...

The impulse to TYRANNIZE (i.e. dominate, restrict, inhibit and otherwise discourage the honest expression of ideas and to punish dissent with withering scorn, ostracism, other forms of deprivation, incarceration or bodily harm) is deadliest sin of all.

now now FT, you're getting dangerously close to describing duhkkky's brand of liberation theology

Anonymous said...

Could be, Elbro, though it applies to many the wide world o'er.

~ FT

LASunsett said...

//Karl Marx, or Vladimir Lenin, or Stalin, or Mao were better men ….//

Three of these four men were killers of all who dared to disagree with them. The fourth one is just an idiot.

But this is the Left's idea of honorable men. These guys are a "who's who" of another kind of founding father. Only what they founded was a severely flawed philosophical economic and oppressive political system.

George Washington willingly gave up power after 8 years, as did everyone who followed him up until FDR, a socialist.

Go figure.

Always On Watch said...

Duck,
Honor the Sabbath and go to the mall.

Are you suggesting that the Blue Laws should be re-enacted?

Anyway, believe it or not, many Christians will not work on the Sabbath. You'd probably call those Christians "Bible thumpers," right?

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

Wow, Z, you sure got a plethora of comments on this one!

Tom: Stop listening to the Lib history revisionists and do your own homework (and I don't mean on the Internet).

Ducky: (1) Don't be so dense ("well, the founders were so enlighted"). Throughout history, people have been the products of their times. And times change. (2) I'll never understand why you Libs think capitalism is so evil. I trust you'll be the first to give up your private property rights, free trade and economic liberty. (3) The founders of this nation were not all created with the same cookie cutter. Please say you're joking when you question whether Benjamin Franklin was one of this nation's founders.

Anon: Right on. I've been posting about the power of prayer for the past two days.

Elmers Brother said...

But even Weber believed that capitalism could be divorced from religion.

Anonymous said...

FT
Good point re Rand. I read her stuff, thinking I was supposed to like it. I found it depressing.

Frog,
I didn't accidentally agree with Nitzche, did I?

tio

Tom said...

The first economists, as with Adam Smith himself, called themselves Moral Philosophers. Here's an interesting quote as well: "MacIntyre has argued that Aquinas' synthesis of Augustinianism with Aristotelianism is more insightful than modern moral theories by focusing upon the telos ('end', or completion) of a social practice and of a human life, within the context of which the morality of acts may be evaluated. His seminal work in the area of virtue ethics can be found in his 1981 book, After Virtue." from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alasdair_MacIntyre

Ducky's here said...

Change human nature, Froggy?

For an unrepentant Randoid who thinks that the human animal is necessarily an acquisitive consumption engine with no idea of long term goals you have a warped view of humans.

Don't start throwing mud when you need good bath yourself.

Tom said...

What's very intesting about MacIntyre, moreover, is what he had in common with the two other foremost Catholic philosophers of the 20th century:
http://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/SIPTRANS.HTM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_von_Hildebrand

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/maritain/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Maritain

Answer - all three were converts. What did they separately see that made them converge on the same conclusions? Cheers and good eve too.

RightKlik said...

What a very important topic. I'm sorry I came late to this discussion. I'm convinced you are right, Z. What you've said reminds me of some of the things Dinesh D'Souza has written.

The Christian Church is in a state of decline in the West. As this trend continues, free and voluntary participation in the Christian Church will likely be replaced with compulsory participation in statism. The social services provided by church and charity will be replaced with cradle-to-grave state-controlled social programs.

I don't know how we can expect to enjoy continued economic and civil liberty if a world-view based on the belief in the inherent value of the individual (worthy of redemption by an omnipotent God) is replaced with alternative views.

An atheist world-view is particularly problematic. It's a absurd to suggest that atheism allows for anything other than a "might is right" code of ethics.

HoosierArmyMom said...

During the years it took for the founders to agree on The Declaration of Independence they started out opening their sessions with prayer. After a while the discontinued the practice. Then they started doing more arguing and bickering and it was Ben Franklin who suggested they start opening sessions with a prayer again. So I would say, if he was an atheist, he was one who saw the value in prayer.

christian soldier said...

Franklin-a supposed diest-called for prayer when he noted that the Constitutional Convention was getting no where-it was in chaos---I'll be glad to post the actual quote -if necessary---
Jefferson-a supposed diest-called for the study of the Bible in the public schools in Washington D.C. -as he was the superintendent of same while he was President of the US...
C-CS

HoosierArmyMom said...

This explains the religious affiliation of Thomas Jefferson.

http://www.adherents.com/people/pj/Thomas_Jefferson.html

I found this quite interesting:

"President Thomas Jefferson was a Protestant. Jefferson was raised as an Episcopalian (Anglican). He was also influenced by English Deists and has often been identified by historians as a Deist. He held many beliefs in common with Unitarians of the time period, and sometimes wrote that he thought the whole country would become Unitarian. He wrote that the teachings of Jesus contain the "outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man."".

Doesn't sound like a man who didn't see value in the teachings of Jesus.

Ducky, you should have such a "mediocre mind" as Thomas Jefferson! A Lawyer, Farmer, Scientist and excellent architect whose buildings still stand all over Virginia. To be so accomplished and also have "President of the United States" on one's resume is hardly mediocre. But of course I have come to expect those kinds of statements from you. As usual, your lack of real knowledge of this man shows. And for the record, you gave no real evidence in trying to debunk Mustang's learned remarks on the subject... so you lose the debate... as usual.

I think one Mustang or one Brooke or one Frogburger is worth a 100 Duckies!!! Only a loser would try to "down grade Thomas Jefferson".

HoosierArmyMom said...

Thanks Christian Soldier, it was the Constitution and the First Continental Congress where Franklin suggested they get back into praying. I was mistaken on when and where. I stand corrected on that.

psi bond said...

Z: Barton's Wikipedia mention made me laugh...he must be more academic and verifiable than I thought because Wikipedia couldn't emphasize their disdain for his work much more than mentioning his Republican leanings as if that negates his amazing breadth of knowledge re faith in America.....Actually, I was surprised to read such little criticism; it's there but subtle and apparently they couldn't get too much on him.

According to the above-mentioned Wikipedia article, David Barton's work "has received wide popular acclaim, but no academic acceptance:" He has "a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious education from Oral Roberts University in 1976 but has no academic qualifications in history."

Senator Sam Brownback praised Barton’s work, Wikipedia says, for providing "the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today—bringing God back into the public square". He has also been a frequent guest on the Glenn Beck Show, where he is represented as a historian, rather than as an evangelical proselytizer.

Wikipedia mentions that Barton was described in a 2005 Time magazine article entitled The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals as "a major voice in the debate over church-state separation." Barton has been widely accused of practicing historical revisionism, rewriting American history as post-biblical Christian history. He is described as being a pseudohistorian, and his work has been criticized by historians.

Richard V. Pierard, Stephen Phillips Professor of History at Gordon College describes Barton's work as follows:

Moreover, American history is rewritten to become “Christian history,” the story of a people chosen by God and who honored him in the past. David Barton and a host of other evangelicals have produced books and videos setting forth a “holy history” of America—an idyllic past to which we must return if the nation is to be saved from destruction at the hands of secularists.

Writing in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, (then Republican) Senator Arlen Specter stated:

Probably the best refutation of Barton's argument simply is to quote his own exegesis of the First Amendment: "Today," Barton says, "we would best understand the actual context of the First Amendment by saying, 'Congress shall make no law establishing one Christian denomination as the national denomination.' " In keeping with Barton's restated First Amendment, Congress could presumably make a law establishing all Christian denominations as the national religion, and each state could pass a law establishing a particular Christian church as its official religion.

All of this pseudoscholarship would hardly be worth discussing, let alone disproving, were it not for the fact that it is taken so very seriously by so many people
.
— Arlen Specter, Defending the wall: Maintaining church/state separation in America.

Never mind "his Republican leanings"; the unadorned facts, furnished by Wikipedia, concerning David Barton's pseudo-historical work, quite suffice as criticism.

Tom said...

it's all rather simple once definitions are sorted out. If you believe Jesus was the wisest of teachers, and perhaps even a prophet from God, then that's one thing - if you believe him to have been the Son of God, then you're deemed a Christian of one sort or another. The word "liberal" seems to be equated with being fast and loose with facts, and perhaps even for a left-leaning agenda. Politically it's identified with the Democratic Party in this country, though one can actually be a political conservative (i.e. limited government, as in the term Jeffersonian) while also being a social liberal. In the field of Economics though, a liberal is an advocate of free markets - where laws should avoid interfering with the laws of supply and demand, ensure no unnatural barriers to entry, and enforce consumer sovereignty throughout. As for the term "revisionism" - I for one have never been afraid to consider all rewrites of history, and if you study the field over the last thirty years - a slew of books have made us aware of so much more about even our own presidents, than what was taught in class. And many a controversy has led to newly accepted conclusions too. So to have that term pegged is actually a badge of honor, in having an open and inquiring mind about other explanations for happenings throughout the ages. There's usually much more than meets the eye, and that's why investigative reports are done, and problematic topics debated regularly. If one's not afraid to listen to all the pros and cons of a subject matter, one can start seeing things in a new vein and come up with individualized results even - that may help bring others to new revelations for how and why things are as they are. It's actually a fun endeavor to be inquisitive and to not blindly accept simple categories for things. Life isn't all that neat, and so neither need our minds be. I have my definite conclusions on things - such as whether I'm a true Christian - but am willing to try seeing things at different angles that may actually further bolster my beliefs with certitude. Cheers.

LASunsett said...

Ducky,

//Well the founders were so enlightened that they couldn't give women the vote and considered some individuals only "partial people".//

This is not untrue. However, these flaws you mention were societal norms in that time period. There was no government at that time that gave women a right to do much of anything.... and slaves were used all around the globe. This was not confined to our country.

While what you say is true, the premise on which you build your statement is: Because of these men's flaws, nothing else they did could have been good.

Here's what you do not understand:

Great men are great men. Smart men are smart men. But like all men they have flaws and are sometimes tied to the social norms and mores of their era.

psi bond said...

If his [George Washington’s] views on slavery were typical of his time and his class, there was one area in which he proved an exception to the pattern of behavior expected of a prominent Virginia gentleman: he was excessively and conspicuously assiduous in defense of his own interests, especially when he suspected he was being cheated out of money or land. He took out an indictment against the local iron maker for fraud when he concluded, wrongly as it turned out, that the iron had been improperly weighed. He disputed the terms of a contract to purchase Clifton’s Neck, one of the parcels adjoining Mount Vernon, generating a tangled legal conflict that stayed in the courts for thirty years. He accused his wine dealer of thievery for not filling one cask of Madeira to the top. Ship captains delivering his wheat and flour for sale in the Caribbean never got the price he thought he deserved. When he hired a friend, Valentine Crawford, to assist in the management of his western lands he drafted the following instructions:

as you are now receiving my Money, your time is not your own; and that every day or hour misapplied, is a loss to me, do not therefore under a belief that, as a long friendship has long subsisted between us, many things may be overlooked in you … I shall consider you in no other light than as a Man who has engaged his time and Service to conduct and manage my Interest … and shall seek redress if you do not, just as soon from you as an entire stranger.

Neither Jefferson nor most other members of Virginia’s planter elite could have written those words, for they convey an obsessive concern with his own economic interests that no proper gentleman was supposed to feel, much less express so directly.

— Joseph J. Ellis, His Excellency George Washington, 2004, pp. 46-47

TomG said...

"Numbers Rule: The Vexing Mathematics of Democracy, from Plato to the Present, by George G. Szpiro. A history of social choice theory, with much more detail (yet still readable) than one is used to receiving on this topic. I liked this book very much, plus it has extensive coverage of Ramon Llull, who remains a very underrated thinker. Among his numerous achievements, he understood a significant chunk of Borda and even Arrow in the thirteenth century." - is the third book being reviewed by Prof Cowen here: http://www.marginalrevolution.com/

JINGOIST said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JINGOIST said...

Brilliant post Z! I agree 100%. Freedom CANNOT exist in the absence of an agreed upon set of moral rules of the road, so to speak.

We Christians and Jews already have a set of agreed upon rules in the 10 Commandments and Jesus' exortation to "treat others as you want to be treated."

Taken in their entirety, I think they are IMPOSSIBLE to improve upon. In the terrible absence of G-d's basic moral laws we are left with the simple law of the jungle;

"Might makes right."

That's the basic moral law of communism, fascism, and anarchy

Always On Watch said...

Hey, Duck.

Why don't you list some of those whom you think are/were great men? Should be an interesting list.

frogBurger said...

"
For an unrepentant Randoid who thinks that the human animal is necessarily an acquisitive consumption engine with no idea of long term goals you have a warped view of humans.

Don't start throwing mud when you need good bath yourself."

Did I say human nature was about consumption?

Again your lack of intellectual honesty makes you put words in my mouth.

That's why I can't discuss things with you.

Go back to the English dictionary and check the definition of selfishness and let me know if it relatest to consumption, idiot.

Anonymous said...

Failure to affirm
Makes you lower than a worm.
Incessantly debunk,
And you're a lousy skunk.

Yet, always playing ostrich
Will put you in the Lost Niche.
Put your thoughts in airless vaults;
Entertain no hero's faults,

And your grasp of what is real
Fails with each loved false ideal.
Debunk and you are sunk,
Yet allegiance to sweet lies
Forms a climate where Good dies.


~ FreeThinke (5/8/10)

Z said...

TOM, I've been thinking about your comment and wanted to comment on this that you said "if you believe him to have been the Son of God, then you're deemed a Christian of one sort or another. The word "liberal" seems to be equated with being fast and loose with facts, and perhaps even for a left-leaning agenda."

If you believe Him to have been the Son of God it seems odd to interpret the Scriptures to your own liking, which many people and liberal churches do. It's odd that people can see Jesus as the Son of God and know the Bible is the only thing that informs his followers and still pick and choose and whittle and rewrite, etc! This isn't a stinging rebuke on my part, it really isn't, it's just a curiosity to me.

As for being "liberal," that really fascinated me because our liberal media seems the most bent on protecting this administration to the detriment of facts and gets a pass that's extraordinary...yet nobody ever quite comments on this but Conservatives with the facts who get slammed so hard if they veer off the OBAMA TRAIN by an inch....glad you see it this way.

Also, not particularly to you, Tom, but I say this in general...

LASUNSETT's comment nailed it: it's one thing to be enlightened that our forefathers weren't perfect, quite another to take the leap that so many liberals are doing these days with many books on these subjects, condemning everything they did because they had, for example, a slave.
The truly sad thing is the indoctrinated teaching class goes into our schools with things they learned in university and feel our really young children, in their formative years, need to know 'the truth', too...Suddenly, we have a couple generations now of young people who honestly don't know the Constitution (might make them too smart and actually adhere to our country's ethos which makes our left REAL nervous) and very sadly have no respect left for the forefathers.....
Today, also, Columbus is taught as a rapist and pillager..
There's no pride in America left...and, it's starting to look like this might be intentional.
It's what makes the idiot university people I know say things like "Well, if WE have nukes, why shouldn't N. Korea or Iran?"

We've threatened the very beauty and glory and pride in our country by teaching our children "THE TRUTH" and not THE WHOLE TRUTH..none of the greatness..our left has been naive enough to think they're THINKING CHILDREN and should sort that out themselves (at 9) Very sad. And I'm not SURE we can recover..

Anonymous said...

Another great quote from Shaw:

"All this struggling and striving to make the world better is a great mistake; not because it isn't a good thing to improve the world, if you know how to do it, but because striving and struggling is the worst way you could set about doing anything."


~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

I would substitute "fussing and fuming" for "struggling and striving" in many instances.

Quietly listening for "the still, small voice that comes from God" and being RECEPTIVE to what it might tell you gives balm to the soul. It also puts us in touch with Intelligence.

Much better than wringing one's hands, wailing at everyone in sight, tearing down the draperies, ripping one's clothes to shreds, smashing the looking glass, and setting the house on fire, because things don't seem to be going very well at the moment.

"Be still, and know that I am God."

How powerfully reassuring that is. What do the clamor and din made by aggressive atheists and loudmouthed fools matter in the face of Almighty Truth and Love?

IF we believe that God is almighty, ever-present and everlasting, what could there possibly be to FEAR other than our own lack of faith?

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Another serious question we might ask ourselves is this:

Do we want to expend our energies vehemently opposing and objecting to all opposition or would we be better off spending our time affirming and celebrating what we believe to be right and rue?

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

LOL! A Freudian slip, perhaps?

Naturally I meant to type right and true.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Psi Bond, for bringing us data that does not merely flatter, extol and exaggerate the virtues of George Washington. Parson Weems fictitious, fulsome and often fatuous paean of praise to George does him the greatest disservice.

It's good to know GW was a creature of flesh and blood with foibles like all the rest of us. That only makes his greatest achievements appear all the more impressive, since he was not invested with god-like supernatural powers and a saintly disposition.

The zealous pursuit of self interest, however, is not recognized as a character flaw by conservatives and libertarians. Neither is reticence about trumpeting the less agreeable aspects of one's personal business.

The line between polite, gentlemanly conduct of the Old School and blatant hypocrisy is too often smeared beyond recognition in the thoughts of brash and cynical debunkers of iconic figures.

David McCullough and Kitty Kelley may represent the two extremes in the biographical treatment of famous, highly respected public figures. If I had to choose between the two approaches, I'd take Mr. McCullough's any day.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

I've loved this discussion and thank EVERYONE for such great input....it is important to discuss these things and I loved hearing most of your points of view..Thanks

Anonymous said...

By the way, the foulest flatterer and most mendacious mythmaker of them all may well be the late Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. whose shameless brown-nosing of JFK and the benighted Kennedy clan makes the effusions of Parson Weems look hard-nosed, cynical and abrasive by comparison.

What Kitty Kelley does in the realm of brutal denunciation and denigration the late Arthur m. Scheslinger does in the realm of saccharine, idolatrous praise.

Kitty satanizes while Arthur canonizes. The absurdity of their excesses makes each cancel the other out. Only the gullible, guileless and morally blind could take either seriously.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

FT....you've mentioned Kitty Kelley a few times, did somebody bring her up?

Anonymous said...

Psi Bond was quoting deliberately unflattering anecdotes about George Washington, Z. KK is a prime exponent of that technique -- using selected facts or unprovable assertions to present the most unsympathetic a portrait of her celebrated "victim" possible.

Oblique references of that sort abound among those who enjoy writing criticism and opinion pieces.

Do you think we should respond only to things others have mentioned, and avoid introducing new material we regard as pertinent to the conversation?

It's a tremendous, very stimulating topic you introduced -- something bound to draw lots of unexpected responses many of them not particularly welcome.

Have a lovely evening, Z.

~ FT

Z said...

FT: "Do you think we should respond only to things others have mentioned, and avoid introducing new material we regard as pertinent to the conversation?"

Have I ever given that impression?
I've been very very patient lately, FT...I hope that, when you're here, you will be the same.
My question was legitimate, not whatever you took it as.
Thank you.

Z said...

By the way..."unwelcome", by whom?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what you're driving at, Z. A great deal was said here by many people. I thought it was all very interesting and worthwhile.

It takes rather a lot of patience just to get one's thoughts put down in some kind of coherent form. No matter how hard one tries to be clear and to maintain interest it's always too easy to be misinterpreted -- and to misinterpret the remarks of others, of course.

Perhaps we are misreading one another? It's always possible, even after long years of friendly communication. Though I often disagree with with many remarks I make every effort not to be honest but never unkind. If I've failed in that attempt, I'm sorry, but i don't understand. The idea with me is only to share thoughts never to "start a riot."

It's a little after 5:00 PM here. Time to start dinner. Thank you for providing this venue for very absorbing experiments in communication.

~ FT

Anonymous said...

WHOOPS! That sure came out wrong. I meant "to be honest" of course. Sorry! My fingers must be getting tired.

Time to quit! Good night.

~ FT

Tom said...

Hi Z - I apologize, in that I didn't think I had any way of separating my last comment into three parts as I wanted to. The first part was about the distinction of Christian versus Jesus-as-special - while the next two "liberal" and "revisionist" pertained only to some attempts to label (inaccurately) those whose comments they can't accept. Cheers, Tom

Tom said...

BTW, one more about your important point about being a Christian - that I deliberately put in "one sort or another" since we're aware that there are several denominations of Protestantism, Evangelical groups, unaffiliated Bible followers, Russian and Greek Orthodox, and Roman Catholic orders - all claiming to adhere to the central premise that Jesus was (is) truly the Son of God. And if you start to delve into the mysteries of the Trinity, the complexities grow exponentially rather quick (as does the distinction betwixt Roman Transubstantiation versus Anglican Consubstantiation - in the degrees of perception/conviction of Christ's presence in the consecrated bread and wine (His body and blood). And weren't there not many versions of the translated Bible throughout the Church's history - so much so that essential phrases from our Lord could vary in emphasis from this Good Book to that Good Book? I used to discuss with a Church of Christ preacher his interpretation of Jesus' assigning Peter as principle apostle by which the succession of Popes would spring forth - his professed belief being that Jesus was saying instead that "Peter, you are but a pebble - but upon this rock (allegedly pointing elsewhere, perhaps to his flock or other disciples) I will build my Church". This difference has drastic implications and the root cause of a permanent rift between fellow Christians, minus divine intervention of some sort to actually sort out this conundrum! Anyway, it's all so very facinating from an academic standpoint - much more interesting than supply and demand curves to me ;-) Cheers, Tom

Z said...

Tom, I don't remember seeing where Christ tells Peter "and from you, the Popes will come"

I also don't believe indulgences are in the Bible or sanctification of Mary, though I disagree with some Protestants who think "Mary is a little too my IN MY FACE" (which I actually heard once from a dear Prot. friend of mine)

give me more :-) I'm eager and don't quite get where you're going...thanks

Anonymous said...

I won't be standing in line to learn anything from the "genius" George Bernard Shaw. I find it odd that those who loudly proclaim the virtues of Christianity also loudly proclaim the "genius" and virtues of George Bernard Shaw — an avowed atheist, Fabian socialist, an admirer of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini.

Not only THAT: the religion he thought most acceptable was Islam. I could say he sounds like the grandfather our enlightened progressive age of today. RIP with GBS, FT.

Waylon

Tom said...

Hi Z, let me just repeat one part of my last first: "And weren't there not many versions of the translated Bible throughout the Church's history - so much so that essential phrases from our Lord could vary in emphasis from this Good Book to that Good Book?" And now ask you whether you accept this fact (never mind all the add-ons and thrown-out Apocryphal works)? That way I at least know where our starting point ought to be, thanks. No, of course, Jesus didn't mention Popes - rather that's a mere historical extension of the claim that Jesus imparted leadership of his New Covenant, the earthly Church, on Peter the Rock (who then presumably knew what instructions were given him and selected Linus as his successor). At least that's how the historical records that survive say it happened (don't pretend to have all the details in my recollection, btw). Thanks, and talk to you tomorrow perhaps.

Z said...

Waylon, you said "I find it odd that those who loudly proclaim the virtues of Christianity also loudly proclaim the "genius" and virtues of George Bernard Shaw"

If those people you're referring to mean GBS's politics.

Hi, Tom!
Yes, there are many translations, except it appears to me that they've become pretty sophisticated lately and most theologians, at least the more fundamental types who aren't earnestly seeking scripture to support their viewpoints, look to pretty solid translations of Hebrew, which is pretty close to the original mark, I'd guess. I'm no theologian, so... I'm just talking about my experiences in studying and hearing translations' opinions, etc.
I am absolutely certain Scripture translations have never included indulgences or some of the other things of the Catholic church.
Are you Catholic? I'm not but I have never slammed Catholicism as some Protestants do. Never, and I never intend to.

For instance, how the heck can MARY, the MOTHER of Christ be 'too much in our face', as I mentioned I've heard? She was HIS MOTHER, chosen by God. Plus, more and more, I have Catholic friends REALLY studying the bible and some of their churches have the redeemed cross now and many don't require intercessory prayer as far as praying through saints TO Jesus, etc.

The 'earthly church', as you put it is not Catholicism as far as I know. I was raised Orthodox and that's the church which kept the Bible alive until it was written down...HOURS and hours of Sunday mornings repeating the Gospel again and again...and the congregations STOOD for all those hours, isn't that amazing? It wasn't Catholic...yet.

your turn! XX (i hope you and your family are having a wonderful Mother's Day)

psi bond said...

Fauxthinker: Thank you, Psi Bond, for bringing us data that does not merely flatter, extol and exaggerate the virtues of George Washington.

You are welcome. Someone had to do it. It contrasts sharply with the Peale portrait of a serenely nonchalant Virginia squire, about to discard his old uniform for his riding clothes, then go off with his horses and hounds.

On his show Friday, devoted to worshipping George Washington, Glenn Beck said that the people thought of Washington as a god. He was corrected by one of his own guests on that point.

A great man is a man after all, not a monument. In his obsessiveness about money and financial dealings, Washington reminds me of what little we know of the life of Shakespeare, another man who was undoubtedly a great man.

psi bond said...

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, in their seventies, with a friendship that had survived serious political conflicts, could look back with satisfaction on what they considered their greatest achievement — their role in establishing a secular government whose legislators would never be required, or permitted, to rule on the legality of theological views. Trying to discern the true religious opinions of the founders from their voluminous writings is rather like searching for the real Jesus in the conflicting passages of the Scriptures. Jefferson’s political opponents in the early 1800s were just as mistaken, and as hypocritical, to call him an atheist as his conservative modern rebaptizers are to claim him as a committed Christian. Adams’ critics and admirers, then and now, have been equally misguided in their attempts to portray him as a man of orthodox faith. What did distinguish the most important revolutionary leaders was a particularly adaptable combination of political and religious beliefs, constantly subject to revision in an era when modern views of nature, science, and man’s place in the universe were beginning to take shape. These views included skepticism vis-à-vis the more rigid and authoritarian religious sects of their day; the conviction, rooted in Enlightenment philosophy, that if God exists, he created human rationality as the supreme instrument for understanding and mastering the natural world; and the assignment of faith to the sphere of individual conscience rather than public duty. The logical extension of such beliefs was a civil government based not on the laws of God, as promulgated by self-appointed earthly spokespersons, but on the rights of man, of individuals.

Tom said...

Good morning Z, and Yes - a Happy Mothers Day to your family as well, thank you kindly :-)
On our ongoing discussion, a question to start: do you think Jesus explicitly chose, in a sense, an heir or successor for once he departed the earth? If it was indeed Peter (whose eventual fate was to also be crucified, but upside down as well) then there was only one Church for a thousand years, until: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Schism
And that's what I've mean by "the Church" - with all its Councils and appointed bishoprics throughout the Roman world of that time. And several of those councils wrestled with very fascinating heresies, and with deciding which of the many gospel versions were to be considered divinely inspired - relegating the rest to a lesser status called Apocryphal, while others considered phony or even evily inspired termed Gnostic. Here are some interesting facts worth knowing (and I'm not saying you don't already either): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocryphal_gospels and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_according_to_the_Hebrews where within it says: “The two-source hypothesis was the most commonly accepted solution to the synoptic problem. It argued that Matthew borrowed from two Greek sources, the Gospel of Mark and a hypothetical sayings collection, known by scholars as Q. Therefore the Bible's Gospel of Matthew was composed in Greek at a later time than the Gospel of Mark. More importantly, scholars now believe it was not written by Matthew.[ B. H. Streeter argued that a third source, referred to as M, and also hypothetical, lies behind the material in Matthew that has no parallel in Mark or Luke.”
So as can be seen clearly - there's much room for doubt. But the whole point is the faith by Church leadership that the Holy Ghost (now called Spirit) as Third Person of the Trinity was present at those councils to steer the hierarchy in selecting the right books for their eventual Holy Bible. Meanwhile, especially early on before Constantine made Christianity the official religion of his empire, there had been many a martyr for the Church's professed truths - and the authority to declare them saintly came into being: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannonization And of course the first amongst them would've been Mary, as Mother of God - and according to the Gospels, born without sin (therefore with pure womb within which to hold the sinless Son of God). I hope this adds some light to how I was brought up believing and then inquiries over time as well (that admittedly only add more questions and perhaps uncertainties to my sense of logic and certitude, where facts are so messy in arriving to what my faith knows is true). Cheers, Tom

Tom said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_according_to_the_Hebrews sorry, just saw that this one got truncated when i copied it over

Tom said...

it did it again - so just finish with "according to the Hebrews"

Elmers Brother said...

a better source for apologetics than Wikipedia might be equip.org, any one of Josh Mcdowells works and Lee Strobel

Tom said...

Thanks EB, found these good ones there: http://www.equip.org/articles/the-doctrine-debate and http://www.equip.org/articles/the-covering
Cheers, Tom

Tom said...

And if you're a believer that the Paraclete ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraclete ) has worked throughout human history to even now, then you may find this site of interest (Thomistic theology bridging Aristotelean philosophy and Augustinian faih:
https://uwc.webmail.optimum.net/en/mail.html?lang=en&laurel=on&cal=0

beamish said...

Why does no one in the Book of Acts recognize Peter as the Bishop of Rome nor ask him why he was in Jerusalem rather than Rome?

Why did Paul have to write an theological epistle to the Romans if Peter was leading that congregation? Why doesn't Paul refer to Peter in the book of Romans at all?

Why, if he was "bishop of Rome" as the Catholic mythos has it, did Peter write epistles from Babylon?

The short answer:

Peter was not "bishop of Rome" nor was he the "first Pope."

The long answer:

Catholicism is a religion 300 years younger than Christianity.

beamish said...

Mary, as Mother of God - and according to the Gospels, born without sin (therefore with pure womb within which to hold the sinless Son of God).

According to who's Gospel? Not Luke's. See Luke 2:22-24.

Also see Romans 3:23.

Mary was a sinner, just like everyone else.

Z said...

"Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"[

Beamish, that's in your Luke verse, as you know...Mary took Jesus there, it appears, because that was the law of the land at the time. It doesn't negate her purity.

As for Romans..you want Him to have said "All have fallen short..but, Mary, Jesus..."? It seems like a generalization that includes MOST people, wouldn't you think?

I've never heard Mary's purity questioned before.


TOM, thanks....and I'm far too busy this morning, and maybe the whole day, unfortunately, to try to get to reading and commenting on your links (thanks) (hopefully, I'll have the time in between doing a lot of stuff today)...but, I keep asking about things like indulgences; are you suggesting by saying there are many sources that they are in the Scripture somewhere and we don't recognize that or ??? What would be the Catholic reasoning for some of their tenets which have no bearing in Scripture?

beamish said...

Z,

Beamish, that's in your Luke verse, as you know...Mary took Jesus there, it appears, because that was the law of the land at the time. It doesn't negate her purity.

Actually her geneology back to Adam negates her "purity," by the doctrine of original sin. Mary was in need of a Savior as much as any other human.

As for Romans..you want Him to have said "All have fallen short..but, Mary, Jesus..."? It seems like a generalization that includes MOST people, wouldn't you think?

Jesus wouldn't have to be excepted there by Christian theology (how does God's incarnate Word fall short of His own glory?). Mary is very much a member of the "all" that have sinned.

Elevating Mary to some divine state of perpetual sinlessness is just another scripturally indefensible dogma making a stark contrast between the two different religions of Christianity and Catholicism.

Anonymous said...

Magnificat (The Words of Mary at the Annunciation)

My soul doth magnify the Lord :
and my spirit hath rejoiced
in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded :
the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth :
all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me :
and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm :
he hath scattered the proud
in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat :
and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things :
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen
his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

Glory be to the Father,
As it was in the beginning

Amen.

St. Luke I.

Z said...

well, Beamer...she WAS 'highly favored'...let's just say she was no Mary Magdalene :-)

Technically, yes..she was human and from Adam, so with sin....
Practically, she must have been an amazing young girl, pure of heart and body...
I don't know why elevating her at least to a place of exalted womanhood is a lousy idea.

I like :-) Seems like God did, too!

Nice that we're discussing Mary on Mother's Day

Anonymous said...

The Maid-Servant At The Inn

"It's queer," she said; "I see the light
As plain as I beheld it then,
All silver-like and calm and bright-
We've not had stars like that again!

"And she was such a gentle thing
To birth a baby in the cold.
The barn was dark and frightening-
This new one's better than the old.

"I mind my eyes were full of tears,
For I was young, and quick distressed,
But she was less than me in years
That held a son against her breast.

"I never saw a sweeter child-
The little one, the darling one!-
I mind I told her, when he smiled
You'd know he was his mother's son.

"It's queer that I should see them so-
The time they came to Bethlehem
Was more than thirty years ago;
I've prayed that all is well with them."


Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

Yes -- THAT Dorothy Parker. This unique view of The Holy Family evokes the tenderest feeling for The Virgin Mary -- as a vulnerable human being. And this from a Jewish girl best known for her caustic, penetrating wit and stunning quips.

Parker's short stories and her many serious poems, however, reveal an exquisitely tender heart. For me this surprising piece of poetry a beautiful way of honoring the Virgin Mary and all mothers on Mother's Day. It's makes a wonderful Christmas greeting as well.

~ FreeThinke

Elmers Brother said...

I've never heard Mary's purity questioned before.

It's her sinlessness that seems to be the question and I believe Beamish hit the nail on the head.

Tom said...

If sticking to merely Scripture, what more to say: "A virgin shall conceive and bear a son" (7:14; cf. Mt 1:22-23).

Tom said...

Hi again Z - within this site: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_05091898_diuturni-temporis_en.html
reads the following:
"5. It remains to be added that great value and utility accrue to the Rosary from the abundance of privileges and favours which adorn it, and more particularly from the rich treasures of indulgences attached to it. It is evident how greatly to the advantage of all who are solicitous for their eternal salvation is the obtaining of these benefits. For it is a question of obtaining either totally or partially a remission of the debt of temporal punishment which, even after guilt has been forgiven, must be paid either in this life or in the next. Vast indeed is the treasure won by the merits of Christ, His Mother and the Saints, to which our predecessor Clement VI. so aptly applied those words of the Book of Wisdom: "She is an infinite treasure to men: which they that use become the friends of God" (Wisdom vii., 14).

6. The Roman Pontiffs, making use of that supreme power granted them by God, have opened out the most abundant fountains of these graces to the members of the sodality of the Holy rosary and to those who recite the Rosary."

And there's this site:
http://asv.vatican.va/en/dipl/doccardinals.htm

So that I've found over my many decades that there's a permanent disconnect between those brought up as Catholics - with an inherent belief in our Church as a living, breathing organism that's constantly in touch with Christ through the Eucharist, intercession of the Saints, and an active Holy Spirit influencing the followers' faith - and those who haven't a clue what that kind of obedience *feels* like (it's not an intellectual experience at all). So that when someone arguing from a biblical literalist POV is asking where a Catholic finds such 'n such in the Bible, it doesn't really mean anything to him/her. I wish I could say more on this subject - but it's not an attempt to avoid answering, only that any answer given will prove wrong a priori ... thus the impasse. One's freedom to make assumptions on what's to be considered Truth, and of how to view any and all exo-biblical knowledge, is what makes for the several types of Christianity I was alluding to - where the significance of these interpretations become quite stark and prove to make for truly very huge differences in how Jesus the Christ is looked upon (His teleology, importance of his Resurrection, and why his depiction as having suffered a very human death of agony and disgust is paramount to Catholics yet not others - the essence of which has metaphysical implications worth pondering at length, I for one would urge). Cheers, and sorry for rambling.
Tom

beamish said...
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beamish said...
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beamish said...

Why don't Catholics idolize Joseph as well? He could have rejected the pregnant Mary, thus leading to her shame and possible stoning to death. Surely Joseph has an equivalent merit to Jesus and Mary in winning the "vast treasure" of Catholicism material self-aggrandizement. And surely Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate and the Roman soldiers should be exalted alongside Mary for making Jesus' execution and death possible?

Many Christians have felt the "supreme power" of Catholic Pontiffs and their commands to slaughter them without regard to what the scriptures say. I have to strongly disagree with Tom here. When speaking of Christian faith, you can only speak of Catholic faith in contrasts because they are two entirely different, wholly unrelated religions.

Z said...

Tom, you said "these interpretations become quite stark and prove to make for truly very huge differences in how Jesus the Christ is looked upon (His teleology, importance of his Resurrection, and why his depiction as having suffered a very human death of agony and disgust"

What denomination of Christianity doesn't look upon the crucifixion as IMPORTANT? Are there any? Well, I guess unitarian and some others, MAYBE, but that IS the Life of Christ, it was the WHOLE PLAN OF CHRISTIANITY!!!...without his having died upon the cross for our sins, what the heck's LEFT?
LOVE? Without the cross, in my humble opinion, all that LOVe and CHARITY is nice but anybody with a heart can feel that...it's not the LIFE OF CHRIST and WHY HE'S SO INFINITELY IMPORTANT, right!?

Beamish, you'll be shocked (maybe) but we've been studying the end of Luke lately at my class and I actually have told my group that I would love to write a book called DID JUDAS GO TO HELL? Because, he made that awful choice to turn Christ in through free will but SOMEBODY had to have done it and, if you believe God's frequent reminders that He knows us before we're knit in our own mothers' wombs, He knew what Judas would do...HAD to do.
For US.

:-) Nothing like throwing out a tidbit for some good discussion, eh? I hope so!

beamish said...

But then you get into the philosophical and theological ramifications of believing that God knew he'd have to send His Son to save the people of the world He was about to create, yet punished this world with floods, fire, and plagues to benefit a selected and protected grouping of humanity along the way.

Tidbit for discussion? You threw out a smorgasbord, Z. :)

psi bond said...

BeAmish: The long answer: Catholicism is a religion 300 years younger than Christianity.

The short answer is that Catholicism is the oldest extant sect of Christianity in the West.

Christianity encompasses a broad number of Christian sects, being a collective term. The first recorded usage of the word 'Catholic' in Christian literature is found as early as 107 CE. A disciple of the apostle John, St Ignatius of Antioch, said: "Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." (Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, Chapter 8, Let nothing be done without the bishop).

Tom said...

Hi again Z - I asked my uncle, an Augustinian and Prof of Theology, about your inquiry re indulgences and here's his succinct response: "One must remember that the Living Church inspired by the Holy Spirit produced the Bible. The Bible is eminently useful to the Church throughout the Ages, nevertheless, the Bible did not found the Living Church. Protestants do not include the Book of Wisdom, 1&2 Maccaebes and a few more books. You will not find indulgences in the Bible but in Maccaebes it does say pray for the dead which implies that our intercessions are beneficial to them analogous to indulgences. So you wont be able to convince a non-RC of the doctrine of indulgences. So don't try!" You may then consider this an official RC response to that subject. Now as for your latest comment on the death of Jesus, I'm not saying there aren't other Christian groups and denominations that don't accept the very real pain and agony of a human death that he went through toward asking his Father's ultimate forgiveness for the ultimate murder (in a sense being attempted Deicide if viewed in a Trinitarian prism) - but only that there's real lessons of sacrifice, humility and acceptance of grace (as a means toward each of our salvations) that come from concentrating on the gravity of the cross, that Catholic history has made so very real (such as the some saints' stigmata for instance). Instead of casting aside this aspect and only viewing the victorious, risen Christ brings about a distorted perspective of the importance of what happened. I'm not saying others don't have a correct view too, only that many groups today think it chic to emphasize only the Jesus Christ Superstar part - and of what prayer can do to enrich us here on this plain of existence (might as well advertise to "get your magic wand today"). Life is really a valley of tears, but one with moments for laughter, love and charity toward the downtrodden, as best we can. Expecting Nirvana here and in any church is a grave mistake - comprised of very human and erring individuals. Cheers.

Z said...

Beamish, that bothers me so much I'll be in a bad mood all day considering what you wrote...i'll get back to you :-)

Tom...I'm going to sound like I'm slamming Catholicism and I don't...it's just that INDULGENCES before and in the days of Luther, for example, included PAYING for the dead, collecting money for their entry to Heaven, etc. I'm not sure that ever stopped, did it? That, I think, your uncle would disagree with, don't you?

You said "many groups today think it chic to emphasize only the Jesus Christ Superstar part - and of what prayer can do to enrich us here on this plain of existence (might as well advertise to "get your magic wand today"). Life is really a valley of tears, but one with moments for laughter, love and charity toward the downtrodden, as best we can. Expecting Nirvana here and in any church is a grave mistake - comprised of very human and erring individuals."

I couldn't agree with you more.
I've even had some Protestants who mentioned how odd it is to wear a crucifix ......as if they feel showing Christ on the cross is anathema to the joy of His resurrection. I guess they feel that His sacrifice is done and we should put that behind and I question that.

I'm getting into deeper water than I can tread even slightly gracefully in here, but if the Bible is God Breathed and inspired, etc., I'm wondering if Books COULD have been 'left out' which He felt important to inform the faith, that book being the ONLY thing which does inform Christianity.

beamish said...

The short answer is that Catholicism is the oldest extant sect of Christianity in the West.

Only if you erroneously broaden the theologically distinct beliefs of Christians to include Catholicism's antithesis of those beliefs as also "Christian," so that you have people who call their priests "father," worship the "Queen of Heaven," and believe Joseph Ratzinger is the vicarious replacement of Christ on Earth all in the same tent with Christians who can point to scriptures finding those Catholic actions and beliefs to be abominable sins and blasphemous heresies.

Catholicism is not Christianity.

beamish said...

Beamish, that bothers me so much I'll be in a bad mood all day considering what you wrote...i'll get back to you

Theology is one of my favorite subjects, and that question has been generating debate for centuries. We'll never solve it satisfactorily, but exploration of the question can be insightful into one's own faith.

Z said...

Beamish...the first part puzzles me and has me thinking..this part "yet punished this world with floods, fire, and plagues to benefit a selected and protected grouping of humanity along the way." seems not to fit in...could you explain that, pls? thanks

beamish said...

Z,

In other words, before the universe was created by God, God being God knew what the outcome of the existence of mankind would be, from the original sin in the Garden of Eden to the necessity of sending Jesus into the world to save it.

In order to bring about Jesus in the world of free-willed men, human history had to be shaped to that end. The question advances in the direction of to what degree of mystery is there in why God burned Sodom and Gamorrah and flooded the Earth killing all inhabitants save Noah and his family rather than to send Jesus earlier than He did, and what divine purpose is served by leaving much of the world either ignorant of or in active rebellion against God's Will for the last two millenia. It's just another variant of the "if God is benevolent, all-powerful and all-knowing, why does evil and pain exist" theodicies, only this one examines whether or not God could have created a world with a diffrent outcome or if His Will in the world actually changes anything contra the free will of men.

We need hella amounts of coffee for this. ;)

Anonymous said...

I believe that in the final analysis the only thing that matters is the "fruit" each individual bears in this life.

"By their fruits shall Ye know them."

I realize this appears contrary to Scripture, but how could we NOT believe that anything from any source that serves the purposes of goodness, mercy, tolerance, meekness, generosity and affection is unworthy, unless couched in certain terms?

We can spend years and years debating about consubstatiation and transubstantiation and how many angels can and cannot dance on the head of pin, and is Womankind -- as represented by Eve -- badly defamed as the One who brought Evil into the world and all the rest of it, but I will, personally, insist to my dying day that deeds trump doctrine every single time.

Don't mean to be offensive or contrary, but somehow I had to get that in there. Other's may think what they choose, of course.

The simple faith of a child may be more powerful than whole libraries housing Talmudic scholarship and tomes upon tomes attempting to explain the fine points of Christian theology form any one of hundreds of different viewpoints.

We are commanded to LOVE one another. If we followed that simple, clear directive, everything else would soon fall into place.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Beamish, thanks..
I'd LOVE to have that 'lots of coffee' with you and wish blogging was more conducive to this kind of conversation that should last for HOURS in a smokey room with comfortable couches and coffee or...vodka:-)
(I always mention vodka for some reason and don't think I've had any in at least three months, but...!)
But, seriously, I see...
The thing about Jesus not having come back earlier and the flooding; makes perfect sense the way you put it now.
I think FAITH is so huge, that "..in things you do not see" is so important to God, complete faith in Him, his Son, etc., and because the Scripture tell us "no one comes to the Father but through the Son" (sorry, I always badly misquote but that's close), I've thought that delaying His promised return might be about bringing more and more and more people TO him in eternal life...see what I mean?
Plus, I think it's Paul who talks about those who won't be told about Christ because they just aren't 'available' to it geographically, for example...that inexplicable but sure feeling that a sunset has to be from God or their thought of a higher being, is an e ticket to heaven...which makes sense to me.

I am reminded that if God put everything in the Bible so's we understood everything completely, we'd have no need for faith..or Him.
I also sometimes wonder if, should scientists, etc., come up with anything absolutely OBVIOUSLY showing GOD EXISTS and JESUS is His Son, we'd have no more need for faith and no more need for life because of that.....life being that time to come to Him one way or the other?
Just musings I've had.......

pass the coffee...

beamish said...

It's one of the intersections where different religions diverge in their conception of God. Lots of coffee and vodka has been drank puzzling over the question over the centuries, not to mention the wars fought over it.

I'll have coffee. Vodka turns me into Sargeant Belligerent.

beamish said...

We can spend years and years debating about consubstatiation and transubstantiation and how many angels can and cannot dance on the head of pin, and is Womankind -- as represented by Eve -- badly defamed as the One who brought Evil into the world and all the rest of it, but I will, personally, insist to my dying day that deeds trump doctrine every single time.

The serpent's question was "Did God really say not to touch the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil?"

Of course, you look back at what God said and find he only restricted eating the fruit. Presumably touching the fruit, playing baseball with it or what have you was "legal" but eating it was a no-no.

The "do not touch" rule came to Eve from Adam, as she was not created yet when God made the commandment.

The fall of man came from man adding to the word of God. It's really no wonder theologically that the first city on Earth was built by a fratricidal animal herder. Violating nature is what mankind does best.

Tom said...

Someone asked about the (lack) of importance of Joseph to Catholics (btw, nothing's farther from the fact - it even being my middle name for 7 generations as far back as known):
https://uwc.webmail.optimum.net/en/mail.html?lang=en&laurel=on&cal=0

Also Z, you mention paying money for indulgences - so which I must ask: isn't money, as a store of value - whose possession means someone's earned its purchasing power - act as a sacrifice or donation when given away? So that, in the case of "paying for indulgences" doesn't it become an act of materialized prayer - on behalf of others' souls? Forget for a moment whether you believe in Pergutory or different levels (mansions, per Theresa of Avila) of Heaven - does the idea of sacrificing in any shape or form, as a means of beseeching God's mercy for loved ones or humanity in general, make any sense? But meanwhile I will try to find out about whether the Church still 'charges' for indulgences (even if termed 'donations' even - something I know even Protestant denominations are really good at emphasizing). Cheers, Tom

Tom said...

"Violating nature is what mankind does best." But contrariwise if Sin is the nature of our fallen state, then Man actually fits hand in glove with such Nature. Cheers.

psi bond said...

The short answer is that Catholicism is the oldest extant sect of Christianity in the West.

BeAmish: Only if you erroneously broaden the theologically distinct beliefs of Christians to include Catholicism's antithesis of those beliefs as also "Christian," so that you have people who call their priests "father," worship the "Queen of Heaven," and believe Joseph Ratzinger is the vicarious replacement of Christ on Earth all in the same tent with Christians who can point to scriptures finding those Catholic actions and beliefs to be abominable sins and blasphemous heresies.

Catholicism is not Christianity.


The short answer is: Christianity is not a settled set of religious beliefs and practices.

In its broadest outlines, Christianity is the belief that Jesus of Nazareth, a radical Jewish rabbi who preached in Palestine some two thousand years ago, was the son of God, born of an unmarried mother (the Virgin Mary), who was sent into the world to redeem humankind from Adam’s sin. He was crucified by the Romans in his thirty-third year and miraculously resurrected; those who believe in him today will be granted eternal life.

However, even as general an account of Christianity as this one is contentious — for every assertion one might make there are sects, denominations, and movements that would argue with it. Many Unitarians, though they consider themselves Christians, would deny that Jesus was the son of God or his mother a virgin; a Roman Catholic would argue that belief is not sufficient for redemption without the sacraments of the Church; a strict Calvinist might argue that along with faith you need to be predestined for salvation. Those who believe Jesus is divine are not necessarily in accord on whether he is consubstantial with his father or created by him. The mystery of the Trinity, the idea that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are separate aspects of the One God has been a cause of contention since it was first articulated. Some believe that Jesus’ teachings supersede those of the Jews; others, that they cannot be fulfilled without the existence of a Jewish state. Doctrine is not the only thing Christians argue about. Though the Jesus of the Gospels did not seem to have a high regard for wealth; many contemporary Christians believe he rewards his followers with riches; though Jesus famously preached that one should turn the other cheek when struck, many wars have been fought in his name. Capitalists and communalists, anarchists and monarchs, pacifists and militarists, white supremacists and practitioners of tolerance, supporters of sacerdotal church Christianity and supporters of biblical Christianity have all styled themselves as true Christians.

Tom said...

And so are there various professed Christians, of one sort or another. One clarification on Catholicism though - that though it's true that we belive it's not by belief that one is saved, but by the Grace of our Lord, in the end when all's said and done - only God knows the true intentions of every living soul, and where they belong for eternity. Though we are all sinners (of the seed of Adam), His infinite mercy we trust will save most persons - since His Son died with each of our names on his tongue. The Sacraments are there to reinforce this conviction, and to trust He is ever present. But a Catholic of intelligence also knows that if you were never born to know Him, then how can you be damned for that happenstance?! So we don't pretend to be an elect elite who are the only saved ones - a totally absurd notion that's caused many a former Christian to stay away from knowing the Redeemer better while on this sphere (third rock from the Sun). Cheers

psi bond said...

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

psi bond said...

Oftentimes, unfortunately, a professed Christian believes his faith empowers him to judge who is and who is not a true Christian.

beamish said...

And sometimes a Christian can rely on history and scriptures and thoroughly defend his determinations that some claims to the mantle of Christianity by others are erroneous or perverse.

Z said...

No, Tom, I won't ever believe that God takes money for Aunt Harriet to get to heaven....nope. it's only up to Aunt Harriet:-)

Z said...

Also, Tom, I really appreciate your input re Catholicism; I don't know enough about it and am learning a lot.Thanks..and to your uncle :-)

Anonymous said...

I've always seen Existence as a paradox. It's so complex, so contrary, so wonderful, so comical and so poignant that it really just shouldn't BE -- if one adheres to the course of human logic -- and yet THERE IT IS.

I am determined to look at Life as a GIFT from Divine Providence or God, if you prefer the term -- a wonderful OPPORTUNITY with no guaranteed outcomes -- a blessed amalgamation of heavenly and hellish extremes -- full of surprises, many of them exquisite and filled with joy, even amidst the pain and suffering.

The determination to be GRATEFUL for whatever comes our way is one of the cornerstones of faith.

The Greedy, the Captious, the Cynical, the Sour and the Ungrateful will ALWAYS be miserable and dissatisfied.

We owe it to ourselves -- and certainly to our Creator -- to be cheerful, optimistic and altruistic.

There's no way to avoid pain and injustice, because as JFK said, "Life is not fair," but the agony is much easier to bear for those who love Life (God).

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

well said, FT..thanks.

Tom said...

Your most welcome Z - have truthfully enjoyed this interchange of ideas and beliefs (only deserving a paranthetical, I also pay heed with a 'Cheers' to any who've implied what I inferred to be false attributions - rather than countering someone's points with solid argumentation ... but cheers none the less, with no ill will here ever). As for money being any different than the toil and effort I witnessed first hand as a child - in the poor barrios of Mexico, where rosaries would be said aloud *during* Mass by these entranced, faithfilled ladies - I would only go back to what money really is as an economic store of value ... no difference at all, and still a sacrifice to some degree of valuation (the toil having been done beforehand, in some fashion presumably). And therefore when my Uncle cited that passage urging prayer for the dead - would that make any sense, especially to a literalist, if it didn't mean to have a material effect? So that praying for others' souls is considered - in a way - an appeal for God's mercy upon the souls in question (a power I *do not* feign to understand!). IOW, the act of sacrifice and the faith it exemplifies - whether by immediate action or paid price (store of value for prior time's action) is what would be considered (as the argument goes) for Aunt Harriet's admission through the Pearly Gates. Is the Church truly empowered to guarantee the # of brownie points for entry (price of admission, if you will) - that's a mystery to me as well ... and I would have to delve deeper into its history to understand how its concept/practise/validation began and if contemporaries even within the Church's flock had anything to say for or against it (perhaps those writings don't exist, but would be interesting to know if it may have been a revelation via divine intervention or such). Anyway, life is truly an adventure as FT states - and even for us who've lost a child to cancer, and so not always the shiny path of sun-filled splendor that's dreamed for. Cheers to all of you - and I for one can consider this topic exhausted, at least for my final words.

psi bond said...

BeAmish: And sometimes a Christian can rely on history and scriptures and thoroughly defend his determinations that some [historically older] claims to the mantle of Christianity [as if ‘Christianity’ were an honorific rather than a classification] by others [i.e., other Christians] are erroneous or perverse.

However, whether sacerdotal apostolic transmission is less correct or less appropriate than any reader’s understanding of Scripture is not a logical deduction but a dogmatic judgment. Mathematics it isn’t.

Z said...

Oh, Tom, I'm so sorry you lost a child to cancer. God bless you and your family......
I lost my husband in October to Amyloidosis. I can only imagine now what losing a child would be like, having only stepchildren whom I'd not like to lose!

I hope you comment often at my blog, I've really appreciated your input and your kindness and civility.

My faith origins are in the Armenian Orthodox church so I must admit I'm drawn to the high rites of Catholicism, though the Orthodoxy isn't really close in "philosophy" to much of Catholicism. That's probably why I'm quite at home in a Lutheran church with the 'Divine Service', very traditional, just short of having incense!

I have seen things that bother me, especially in Mexico City, where very poor people walk on their knees for hundreds of feet to get to the gold altar...those juxtapositions are difficult for me but to each his own..and, of course, the strength of their faith and their devotion are humbling.

All the best and hope to see you around GeeeeeZ soon! xx

beamish said...
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beamish said...

That's a cute strawman of my position, PissBong. Can't address my points, so you add bracketed commentary and pretend you've accomplished more than your perennial displays of imbecility.

Go make some balloon animals, clown.

Anonymous said...

"The logical extension of such beliefs was a civil government based not on the laws of God, as promulgated by self-appointed earthly spokespersons, but on the rights of man, of individuals."

True enough, Psi Bond. The Founders were wise enough to see that many established churches fell far short of supporting God's laws, and were, therefore, unfit to dictate to humanity.

HOWEVER, if one understands the logical implications of God's Law -- as represented by the Ten Commandments, The Sermon in the Mount, the more sanguine writings of St. Paul -- and many others -- one ought to realize the ideals of human rights, and the rights of the individual so well-articulated in The Enlightenment are logically rooted in biblical precepts.

Simplistic, I know, but if people obeyed God's Law, instead of trying to discredit it, the world would be a much more wholesome, civil, salubrious, even joyful place.

The point is that the institutionalized CHURCH in almost every instance FAILED to support and live by the Word.

I don't think the Founders doubted the Word so much as they did those who were supposed to be its "official" representatives on earth.

The Church largely became just another self-serving power structure. WIth Schism it warred against itself --battles that were often bloody and insane.

This, however, should no discredit The Word -- only those who misused and misinterpreted it to gain and hold suzerainty over innocent, ignorant people.

Thanks for your input. Much of it makes a great deal of sense -- at least to me.

~ FreeThinke

psi bond said...

That's a cute strawman of my position [presumably a reference to my concise characterization of the schism between church Christianity and biblical Christianity, in which you strongly indicated you favor the latter], PissBong [psi bond]. Can't address my points, so you add bracketed commentary and pretend you've accomplished more than your perennial displays of imbecility [the bracketed words are immediate line-by-line responses to your ill-conceived points].

You cannot honestly evade my point, Beanish, with your typical peevish fuming:

In a rational view, it is understood that 'true Christianity' is an honorific term and 'Christianity' is a classification. So when you say, Beanish, some sects of Christians, particularly the earliest one, do not deserve "the mantle of Christianity", in your view, you are really saying that you don't recognize them to be true Christianity. That godlike judgment is an expression of extreme hubris.

For Catholicism is Christianity for hundreds of millions of worshippers believing Christ is their salvation — these people cannot properly be branded non-Christians or heretics.

Go make some balloon animals, clown.

I hate to burst your balloon, Beanish, but everyone knows, save you, the pope (the living conduit of apostolic tradition) is a Christian.

beamish said...

PissBong,

We're not going to be able to have a respectful, honest discussion as long as you keep neglecting to mention the fact that you're an imbecile.

Back to my point that you're ill-equipped to refute, the history of Christianity and the authority of scripture argue decisively against the Catholic mythos of "apostolic succession." Mr. Ratzinger's claims to be the vicarious replacement of Christ on Earth operating under the stage name "Pope Benedict XVI" through an institutional legacy back to Peter are hubristic and false. Peter was not ever the "bishop of Rome," and further, not once, ever, in the New Testament accountings of the 1st Century Christian faith is Peter deferred to as the head of any congregation of believers. Not in Jerusalem, and not in Babylon where he wrote his epistles from when Catholic mythology alleges he was "bishop of Rome." Paul's epistle to the Roman congregation fails to greet or address Peter at all, which argues two things: Peter didn't have anything to dso with the congregation at Rome, bishop position or otherwise, and the fact that Paul was offering advice to the congregation at Rome and other places renders the idea that Peter had any superceding claim to authority over the body of Christianity in his lifetime rather ridiculous.

The history of the Roman Empire's relationship to Christianity is one of murderous persecution. Paul as well as Peter was put to death by the Roman Empire.

The papalist concept of a hierarchical organizational structure for Christianity with a "holy man" at the top in Rome comes from Imperial Rome's belief that the emperor is a god, and not from the clear egalitarian traditions of 1st Century Christianity documented in the Bible.

Just as you claim to not be an imbecile when clearly you are, Roman Catholicism's claims to represent Christianity are clearly contrary to established criteria.

Cathoiicism, as an organized religion, began three centuries after Christianity did, and contradicts Christianity in just about every detail.

psi bond said...

Blemish: We're [what you mean is ‘you won’t’] not going to be able to have a respectful, honest discussion as long as you keep neglecting to mention the fact that you're an imbecile.

You will not be able to have a deferential polite discussion with me, Blemish, until you can grow beyond this juvenile nonsense of yours.

The fisherman Peter is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as the first of its unbroken succession of popes. In religion, it is not fussy issues of interpretive church history but fundamental doctrinal beliefs that determine what a sect is. For, in religious matters, adduced or purported facts take second or third place to uncritical faith.

Those believing in salvation through Jesus Christ are Christians, whether or not they have a pope at the head of their church, or laymen, and even if they fail to satisfy your personal criteria or have no church to go to. The pope is a Christian regardless of whether he represents your cup of tea, Blemish.

Whatever or whoever you may judge Peter to be is quite irrelevant — for Catholicism is the earliest surviving form of Christianity in the West. That is a well-accepted fact outside of this thread. Among those who do not badmouth Christian sects other than their own, it is not controversial.

psi bond said...

Fauxthinker: Thanks for your input. Much of it makes a great deal of sense -- at least to me.

Thank you for this testimonial. Yours is a minority opinion here — the prevailing opinion seemingly being one of crude dismissiveness (see above).

beamish said...

The fisherman Peter is [posthumously imagined] by the Roman Catholic Church as the first of its unbroken succession of popes. In religion, it is not fussy issues of interpretive church history but fundamental doctrinal beliefs that determine what a sect is. [And a "sect" that dogmatically contradicts the doctrines of a certain religion's founders, in this case the teachings of Jesus vs. the syncretic theology of Catholicism, Catholicism is not a sect of Christianity] For, in religious matters, adduced or purported facts take second or third place to uncritical faith. [But we're not talking about uncritical faith. We're talking about comparative faith, between the two different religions of Christianity and Catholicism]

You're corrected now.

Do try to keep up with the discussion. Follow the screen with your finger if you must, PissBong.

Anonymous said...

Pissbong and Blemish! Those almost sound like terms of endearment.

Watch it, you two. ;-)

~ FT

beamish said...

FT,

PissBong is my assistant in helping to prove all leftists are imbeciles. He keeps the experiment unbiased by denying he's an imbecile while undeniably being one.

psi bond said...

Pissbong and Blemish! Those almost sound like terms of endearment.

Watch it, you two. ;-)


You may be right, Fauxthinker, but being Blemish, his lavished expressions of fondness necessarily come out unvarnished, tarnished and blemished, thus making them susceptible to being misconstrued — alas!

psi bond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
psi bond said...

Blemish: The fisherman Peter is [[recognized] posthumously imagined [Christianity is a posthumous invention following the death of Jesus, who considered himself a Jew]] by the Roman Catholic Church as the first of its unbroken succession of popes. In religion, it is not fussy issues of interpretive church history but fundamental doctrinal beliefs that determine what a sect is. [And a "sect" that dogmatically contradicts the doctrines of a certain religion's founders, in this case the teachings of Jesus vs. the syncretic theology of Catholicism [Jesus preached submission to higher earthly authorities, giving them their due], Catholicism is not a sect of Christianity [so you imagine]] For, in religious matters, adduced or purported facts take second or third place to uncritical faith. [But we're not talking about uncritical faith.[the origins of all religions are dependent on uncritical faith] We're talking about comparative faith, between the two different religions of Christianity and Catholicism [You are talking about comparative faith, albeit not with scholarly rigor. I am talking rationally about Christianity as a collective term denoting a classification and Catholicism as a sect of Christianity]]

You're corrected now.

Your wrongheaded “corrections” have now been rectified, Blemish. No thanks necessary.

Do try to keep up with the discussion. Follow the screen with your finger if you must, PissBong.

Let’s examine the ramifications of this line of discussion. To proceed, here are some key questions for you, Blemish. If you need help understanding them so you can answer them honestly and without intention of evasion, let me know.

Is Anglicanism a sect of Christianity?

Is Episcopalianism a sect of Christianity?

Are the churches of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sects of Christianity? (Orthodox Christianity identifies itself as the original Christian church founded by Christ and the Apostles, and traces its lineage back to the early church through the process of Apostolic Succession.)

All of these have church hierarchies headed by a primate, archbishop, or other supreme leader.

beamish said...
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beamish said...

No need to go overkill on the emphasis you place on being undeniably imbecilic, PissBong.

I have no interest in exploring "ramifications" born from your lack of reading comprehension skills. Get back to me when you wish to address my points, and not your distortions of them. Please, at least confine your intellectual dishonesty to denying you're an imbecile.

beamish said...
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psi bond said...

There’s no need, Blemish, to flamboyantly, albeit predictably, flaunt your bullying proclivities once again.

Of course, I knew that you would not be able to honestly handle the logical consequences of your ill-conceived dogmatic position. For they constitute a reductio ad absurdum refutation of your proposition about Catholicism, the whole point of which is that it is not a sect of Christianity.

beamish said...

PissBond,

There's no need for me to defend an argument I've not made, nor is there a need to consider "ramifications" of an argument you're mischaracterizing as mine because of your insistence that your lack of reading comprehension skills must afflict every one.

Let me know when you're prepared to actually address my argument and not your bizarre concoction.

The Catholic religion's claim of an "apostolic succession" from Peter as "bishop of Rome" is historically indefensible in the light that Peter was never a "bishop of Rome" nor in any congregational leadership role that conforms to the criteria of "bishop" given in Timothy at Rome or anywhere else.

The Catholic religion's insistence that Mary and other biblical characters and historical figures have a ritualized and necessary "intercessional" role in prayer is another area Catholics draw a distinction between their religion and that of Christians.

There are many examples of Catholicism diverging from scripture and demanding faith in their demonstrably ahistorical claims. To belief Catholicism requires belief in a lie, or at least concurrance with perpetuating a stylized mythology.

The Catholic religion's claim to be representative of Christian belief are decidedly false, both in history and in scripture.

Anonymous said...

Let nothing disturb thee
Nothing affright thee
All things are passing
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things
In whom God pleaseth
In nothing is wanting
Alone God sufficeth


~ St. Teresa

(Lines written in her breviary as translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

~ FT

psi bond said...

There's no need for me to defend an argument I've not made, nor is there a need to consider "ramifications" of an argument you're mischaracterizing as mine because of your insistence that your lack of reading comprehension skills must afflict every one.

Blemish, you stated, to use your words, that “Catholicism is not a sect of Christianity”. Are you now walking away from that statement?

Let me know when you're prepared to actually address my argument and not your bizarre concoction.

You said, “We're talking about comparative faith, between the two different religions of Christianity and Catholicism.” Let me know if you now think that you were being too rash in so claiming.

The Catholic religion's claim of an "apostolic succession" from Peter as "bishop of Rome" is historically indefensible in the light that Peter was never a "bishop of Rome" nor in any congregational leadership role that conforms to the criteria of "bishop" given in Timothy at Rome or anywhere else.

Eastern Orthodox Christianity also claims descent from an apostolic succession. Would it likewise not be a sect of Christianity?

In especially solemn fashion Christ accentuated Peter's precedence among the Apostles. He promised that he would be head of his flock.

The Catholic religion's insistence that Mary and other biblical characters and historical figures have a ritualized and necessary "intercessional" role in prayer is another area Catholics draw a distinction between their religion and that of [other] Christians.

Doctrinal differences exist between Protestant denominations as well. Jewish sects have differences of belief, too, and they are all Jewish.

There are many examples of Catholicism diverging from scripture and demanding faith in their demonstrably ahistorical claims. To belief [believe?] Catholicism requires belief in a lie, or at least concurrance [sic] with perpetuating a stylized mythology.

That which cannot be objectively determined cannot be honestly said to be lie. Whether scripture or apostolic tradition is paramount is not a question that can be decided by scientists or objective scholars.

The Catholic religion's claim to be representative of Christian belief are decidedly false, both in history and in scripture.

Thanks for this opinion, Blemish. Are you now decidedly walking back your words? Previously, your point was that the Catholic religion's claim to being a form of Christianity was false. Today you are saying the Catholic religion's claim to be representative of Christian belief is false, presumably in the context of some conference of Christian folks chaired by you. Or do you mean it is not representative of Christianity in the sense that Judaism is not representative of Christianity? Which is it now?

beamish said...

Catholicism claims an apostolic sucession form Peter as "bishop of Rome," but Peter was never a bishop of Rome.

Catholicism claims (after the year 1870, anyway) that their false claim of succession from Peter imparts "papal infallibility" when Peter was neither the founder of Catholicism nor infallible himself.

Catholicism claims Mary as "co-redemptrix" with Jesus, but the Bible is clear (to Christians, anyway) that redemption comes through belief in Jesus alone.

There are many other distinct theological and ecclesiological differences contrasting Catholic belief with Christian belief.

THey are not the same thing. Catholicism, in many respects, is the opposite of Christianity.

psi bond said...

You are repeating yourself, unresponsively.

THey are not the same thing. Catholicism, in many respects, is the opposite of Christianity.

To be rational: Catholicism and Christianity do not denote the same thing because Catholicism is a particular sect and Christianity is a collective term encompassing many sects.

Previously, you declared that Catholicism is not a sect of Christianity. Then you modified that to say Catholicism is not representative of Christianity. Now you declare that, in many respects, is the opposite of Christianity.

Which is it?

Can a sect that teaches that Jesus is the son of God who died on the cross and was resurrected be something other than a sect of Christianity?

beamish said...
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beamish said...

You really could far in alleviating your self confusion, PissBong, if you elevated your thought processes above the on / off binary this or thats of a light switch.

But then you'd actually be trying to distinguish youself from imbecilic leftists, and we can't have that, now can we?

Previously, you declared that Catholicism is not a sect of Christianity. Then you modified that to say Catholicism is not representative of Christianity. Now you declare that, in many respects, is the opposite of Christianity.

Which is it?


All three. There is no contradiction to be found in what I've said. Catholicism is not a sect of Christianity, does not represent Christianity, and in many respects is the opposite of Christianity.

They are two different religions.

Can a sect that teaches that Jesus is the son of God who died on the cross and was resurrected be something other than a sect of Christianity?

Even some sects of Hinduism claim Jesus as all that as, like Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu. Nobody claims this makes Hinduism a sect of Christianity, or Christianity a sect of Hinduism.

But Catholicism goes further, to elevate Mary to divine status as "co-redemptrix" with Christ. Catholicism goes further, to trash the egalitarian spirit of autonomous Christian congregations to impose a heirarchical order subservient to Roman authority headed by a man claiming to be Jesus' replacement (the Pope's hubristic title of "Vicar of Christ") with pagan deities reimagined as "saints."

Catholicism is not Christianity. It is a perversion of Christianity, with a long history of violent persecutions against actual Christianity, composed of ritualized dogmas that contradict and oppose the traditional beliefs of Christianity established three centuries before Imperial Rome's polytheists declared themselves the governing body of a religion they had long tried to eradicate and set forth to eradicate instead Christian congregations that did not submit to their authority.

They did not succeed in eradicating actual Christianity. Before there were Protestants who, given access to scripture discovered Roman Catholicism to be perverse in the light of scriptural authority, there were congregations that existed three centuries before Constantine and his Council of Nicea that did not sign on to the agreements to be lead heirarchically from Rome or even participate in the "apostolic sucession" sham. For example, Baptists, through their legacy of autonomous congregations of Christian fellowship, were never, ever a part of the anti-Biblical Roman Catholic hegemony.

The differences between Christianity and Catholicism are historical, theological, and ecclesiological.

Catholicism is an iteration of pagan / polytheistic Rome's syncretic theology, and not the Christianity that preceeded it and survives today in spite of it.

Anonymous said...

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.



Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

psi bond said...
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psi bond said...

You really could far in alleviating your self confusion, PissBong, if you elevated your thought processes above the on / off binary this or thats of a light switch.

You could go far in alleviating the confusion infesting your mind, Blemish, by recognizing the binary nature of your thinking on Christianity — i.e., either a sect accepting Jesus as personal savior believes as you demand it must to be considered by you as Christian, or it does not and so is not Christian. For you, a range of beliefs among modern sects is decidedly not permissible or acceptable.

But, then, you are aggressively trying, albeit futilely, to prove you are a rational and superior being.

Can a sect that teaches that Jesus is the son of God who died on the cross and was resurrected be something other than a sect of Christianity?

Blemish: Even some sects of Hinduism claim Jesus as all that as, like Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu. Nobody claims this makes Hinduism a sect of Christianity, or Christianity a sect of Hinduism.

The above shows poor reasoning and poor research.

Lord Buddha is the 24th avatar of Vishnu. He is not a Maha-Avatar. Some people tend to include Him in the Dasavatara List, but it is not right. Lord Balarama is the 8th Maha-Avatar of Vishnu.

Jesus is not an avatar because of the following reasons:

1) His miracles are not proof of divinity. Hinduism explains that such powers (walking on water, healing, etc) can be attained by normal men, if they practice mystic yoga. The Lord does not do petty miracles like healing. He would say, 'Deal with it, suffering cannot be avoided'.

2) Jesus, at the most, could be called a partial incarnation, like Buddha. However, no partial incarnation ever says, 'I am the way'. Because, they are not complete avatars, but rather, only a living soul endowed with some powers of Vishnu.

Buddha, Kapila, Vyasa, etc. are all partial incarnations. They never said, 'Worship Me'. Krishna and Rama are complete incarnations (Purna Avatars). They said, ' Worship Me'.

A Partial Incarnation will only come to preach some truths, or will have some battling skills (such as the warrior incarnation Parashurama), or may come to tell people to worship Vishnu in general, or they will not speak of God at all.

Jesus claimed to be part of an exclusive way. So he is no avatar.

3) The Christian Philosophy is flawed. God creates 2 humans, they commit sin, so the entire human population is doomed, so God feels he made a mistake and repents, so he comes to torture himself to remove everyone's sins.

Hinduism agrees that the Supreme Being, being omnipotent, can suffer. Really suffer. Like Lord Rama did. But He won't torture or crucify himself. And he certainly won't do it to remove the sins of the people.

Hinduism agrees that complete surrender to god is essential for removing sins. But God won't sacrifice himself or die to remove your sins. He will simply remove it if you surrender at His Lotus Feet.

Since the philosophy is flawed, Jesus is not an avatar
.

No one but you, Blemish, would deny that a sect, Catholicism, is Christian that believes Jesus is the son of God who was crucified for man’s sins, and that he is the way to everlasting life.

Half seriously, I sometimes think you believe Mary had twins named Jesus and Christ, and Christianity believes in one while Catholicism believes in the other.

beamish said...

PissBong,

Again we run into that symptomatic characteristic of leftism - lack of reading comprehension skills - that proves too great an intellectual hurdle for you to overcome so you resort to flailing away off topic and hope no one notices your failure to address arguments actually made.

I didn't mention Buddha or Buddhism or anything relating the Buddha to Hindu avatars. I mentioned that "even some sects of Hinduism claim Jesus as all that as, like Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu. Nobody claims this makes Hinduism a sect of Christianity, or Christianity a sect of Hinduism." Some sects of Hinduism claim Jesus as an incarnation of Vishnu. Certainly not all sects. Unfortunately I can't dumb that down any further to coloring book level so leftists like you can grasp it, but my point was and is that Hindus syncretizing Christ into their polytheistic systems is really no different from pagan Imperial Rome syncretizing Christ into their own polytheistic systems.

No one but you, Blemish, would deny that a sect, Catholicism, is Christian that believes Jesus is the son of God who was crucified for man’s sins, and that he is the way to everlasting life.

You forgot to address the rest of Catholic theology. Brigid, the pagan Celtic goddess of fire and poetry, is an untercessory "saint" in Catholicism. So is Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. Even rocks in some East African animist religions are up for Catholic "sainthood" along with several figures from Aztec mythology.

We're talking about Catholicism, not Christianity at that point. Catholicism may have borrowed some names and references from Christianity, but it did not adopt Christianity's theology or ecclesiological structure.

They ain't the same.

But on a further but related note, I'm not putting anyone to death for disagreeing with me on what constitutes Christian belief and what is a perverse mockery of it. We both know Catholicism can't escape that historical record.

I don't include Catholicism as a sect of Christianity because they have entirely different theological and ecclesiological structures. Both are different religions from each other.

Anonymous said...

Ding!

psi bond said...

You are misreading history, Blemish. From the earliest days of Christian history, two important manifestations of Christianity have developed. — church Christianity and biblical Christianity. Church Christianity has had the most extensive development over the longest period of all types of Christianity. Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church belong to this type, as do many of the earlier Protestant churches, most notably the Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Anglican churches. With its origins in the upheavals of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, biblical Christianity develops out of church Christianity, and retains a number of its characteristics, including its orientation around higher power. But rather than locating such power on earth in the church, its rituals and traditions, priests and sacraments, it attributes highest authority to the Bible.

No sect of Hinduism or Upanishad teaches, as Christianity does, that Jesus is the son of the God of Israel, sent into the world to redeem humankind from Adam’s sin. Only Christian sects, including Catholicism, believe that. Islam reveres Jesus as a prophet but it does not believe in his divinity.

St. Brigid of Ireland: Born in 451 or 452 of princely ancestors at Faughart, near Dundalk, County Louth; d. 1 February, 525, at Kildare. Refusing many good offers of marriage, she became a nun and received the veil from St. Macaille. With seven other virgins she settled for a time at the foot of Croghan Hill, but removed thence to Druin Criadh, in the plains of Magh Life, where under a large oak tree she erected her subsequently famous Convent of Cill-Dara, that is, "the church of the oak" (now Kildare), in the present county of that name. ... Viewing the biography of St. Brigid from a critical standpoint we must allow a large margin for the vivid Celtic imagination and the glosses of medieval writers, but still the personality of the founder of Kildare stands out clearly, and we can with tolerable accuracy trace the leading events in her life, by a careful study of the old "Lives" as found in Colgan..

More Christians convert from Protestantism to Catholicism and vice versa than they do to Hinduism or Islam. Those doing so don’t have to renounce their belief in Jesus as the son of God and the redeemer. They have the same religious holidays to celebrate, like Easter and Christmas, which is celebrated not on the date of Jesus’ birth, but on or around the winter solstice, a date well established in the Roman imperial calendar (worship of the sun god as the main divinity of the Roman pantheon reached its height of popularity in the reign of the emperor Aurelian in the 3rd century). You can amuse yourself, Blemish, imagining Catholics worship rocks or crystals or maybe mushrooms or Bacchus (a martyr killed when he acknowledged his Christian faith), but the central figure of worship is unquestionably Jesus, the same as in all other Christian sects. In non-Christian religions they worship other gods.

beamish said...

You're answering your own argument, PissBong.

Catholics have a "central figure of worship" in Jesus, alongside Mary, Brigid, Bacchus, and a litany of pagan dieties-turned-"saints."

Christians have a solitary figure of worship, Jesus, worshipped as God incarnate, and do not worship anyone or anything else.

psi bond said...

You are misrepresenting my argument, Blemish — only Jesus is worshipped as God incarnate; he is not worshipped thus in other religions.

And you are ignoring Christian history. Catholicism was the earliest form of Jesus worship, and the one with the longest history. All the Protestant sects that worship Jesus developed in a break away from Catholicism in the pre-modern era. Hence, Catholicism gets as a matter of priority the name of Christianity. If you want to continue to insist that Catholicism and the Protestantism (despite similarities in sects like Anglicanism) are two different religions, it is the latter that needs to be called by a new name. Maybe you can call Protestantism Jesusism in your own references, though it may result in your confusing most Christians.

beamish said...

And you are ignoring Christian history. Catholicism was the earliest form of Jesus worship, and the one with the longest history.

Worship of Jesus began in earnest at the day of Pentacost some 300 years before Catholicism came along, and I'm ignoring Christian history?

Uh, okay.

Tell me something, PissBong. Do you ever argue from an informed position, or is that anathema to your efforts to be taken as an imbecile at every turn?

psi bond said...

Blemish: Worship of Jesus began in earnest [so, before that the Apostles were just kidding around?] at the day of Pentacost [sic] some 300 years before Catholicism came along, and I'm ignoring Christian history.

Among Christians, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the New Testament Acts of the Apostles 2:31 during these Jewish "fiftieth day" celebrations in Jerusalem. For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described as the "Birthday of the Church".
The Pentecostal movement of Christianity derives its name from this biblical event
.
— Wikipedia

Although I may not be paying heed to the Pentecostal re-creation of history, the Pentecostal movement — which thus takes its origin as the supernatural event with the Holy Spirit that is posited on the day of Pentecost — did not come into existence until more than two thousand years after Jesus, in the 20th century. (Nonetheless, the doctrine of the Trinity is rejected as pagan and unscriptural by a subset within Pentecostalism.)

So, the son can conceive his father?

Uh, okay. It’s good guess, then, Blemish, that you are one of those who chose not to mail in his census form.

The Catholic Church ascribes its origin to the selection of Peter by Jesus as the foundation of his church (Matthew16:17–19).

Do you ever argue from a common-sense position, Blemish, or is your position always fatally blemished by profligate fanaticism?

beamish said...

PissBong,

If you possessed measurable reading comprehension skills, you would not be trying to conflate the derivation of the name of the Pentacostal movement within Christianity with the creation of of new religion in the 20th Century. Particularly when non-trinitarian and trinitarian groups fall within the umbrella term of Pentecostalism (and there is no serious dispute between Pentecostals that believe God is a Father / Son / Holy Spirit trinity and Oneness Pentecostals who believe in the Father / Son / Holy Spirit are all manefestations of the same one God.)

But still, you're answering your own argument (likely because you're too imbecilic to construct an effective argument). The Pentacostal movement derives its name from the "birthday of the church" - the day of Pentecost, which most assuredly occured three centuries before the catholic syncretism of pagan Rome added Jesus and several other biblical figures to their pantheon.

If snippets from Wikipedia are all you've got and it's blatantly obvious that you can't even comprehend what you're cutting and pasting, it's time for you to slink away and go be your usual militantly stupid self on another thread.

This pool's too deep for you, kid.

psi bond said...

As Penecostalism is an umbrella term that includes both trinitarian groups and their opposite, nontrinitarian groups, who reject the Trinity as being a pagan concept adopted by Church officials under Roman rule, so Christianity is an umbrella term that includes groups that emphasize the church as ultimate authority and other groups emphasizing the Bible as such.

Mindlessly making personal attacks on your political opponent, Blemish, does not distract attention from the fact that you have a weak argument. An umbrella term, being a collective appellation, can include both sects you approve of and others that you do not approve. In this respect, it is similar to the political terms ‘left’ and ‘right’. A person on the 'right can always name others on the right whose beliefs they reject. And the same is true of a person on the left.

Anonymous said...

Ding-a-Ling!

beamish said...

Except Oneness Pentecostals do not characterize trinitarians as adhering to a pagan concept, so to make your ding-a-ling "argument" (thanks, Anonymous) work, one must accept your ignorant, uninformed presentation of their beliefs contra what they actually believe. Both trinitarian Pentecostals and Oneness Pentecostals believe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all the same being, God, so there is no real theological distinction there beyond semantic emphasis.

Catholicism's distinct theological differences with its rival religion Christianity can not be characterized as a mere doctrinal deviation among Christian sects as is found within the Pentecostal movement.

It can't be stressed enough that you have absolutely no clue what you're posting (or cutting and pasting) about.

I'm sorry you take the honest observation of your imbecility as an insult, PissBong, but I'm not here to soothe your self-esteem. You proudly display your imbecility, so I see no reason to let it pass unnoticed.

Anonymous said...

BOOM!

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