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Tuesday, June 16. 2015
Where did I get the idea that his job was to shepherd souls to Christ, regardless of the weather and regardless of their wealth?
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I still identify as Catholic, though I do not practice.
I once joined the Knights of Columbus, but I left after only a few months because I was told they were not a political organization, yet spent far too much time discussing how to eliminate abortion rights (a political topic, near as I can tell). While I sympathize with the view (I am opposed to abortion, personally), I don't agree with the political solution of making it illegal (I'm afraid I can't put myself in the position of a scared single mother who is operating from a position of little to no information).
The problem of religion is politics. Religions have a history of tying themselves closely to political systems and figures in order to gain or retain power. There is a belief, however misguided, that politics is the solution to the problem of getting people to 'be good'.
My view is that choice is essential. I can not make you 'good' (and certainly not good enough for my own moral and ethical standards) simply by passing laws.
I have to accept there is some 'bad' in the world and we must try to navigate around it whenever possible, but continue to preach and attempt to live what is 'good'.
Politics doesn't do any of this. Politics is about power, pure and simple.
Shepherding souls shouldn't be about accumulating power or giving advice on how to develop it.
So I've essentially not been a Catholic for years. Nor will I consider any other religion an option - almost all suffer similar failings in this regard.
I am a Roman Catholic, and a devout one.
However, I don't mind admitting that if this is true, I am very uncomfortable with it.
A rejoinder from the Pope that we ought to be good custodians of the Earth, fine.
A encyclical that would align us with something approaching Earth-worship, not so fine.
I think the Pope's stance is a rational reaction to the decline of the Church in the West. The Church is now relegated to Africa, South America, and other third-world places. That is fine, but it explains his desire to see first-world wealth transferred to the third-world en masse.
Maybe this goal can be accomplished via a global political body overseeing our obedience to climate science.
I neither need nor want a "global political body" directing my conscience regarding the fundamental duty of the more fortunate to help the less fortunate.
In the past, the very success of the Church in areas such as Third World development and aid has rested on it NOT being a secular, political entity and NOT being concerned with the shifting political fads and whims of the day.
Baptized, confirmed, and led the Saturday morning altar boy training drills when the Mass was in Latin, pre Vatican ll.
Been here a while.
This is the biggest load of BS to ever roll down an aisle, and this church is in deep sh*t if it thinks this is the number one priority.
Once again, lefty parasitic worms have burrowed into an organization and destroyed it.
Y'know it might be a good idea to wait for the formal document before unleashing the hounds, and doing the schism dance.
I can tolerate the Pope's intrusion into political matters more easily than into scientific matters. Political matters at least often involve moral choices--abortion being a good example. As a scientific authority, however, the Pope is a fine religious leader.
look at this manifesto from those dope smoking commie bastards:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in ...
-- Matt 23:35, Orange Catholic Bible
how dare they demand this so-called Social Justice?
if I am ever tasketh with rewriting your Bible, the Donnie James Version (Authorized) is yanking out this verse, no shi'ite about it.
"For I was a corrupt third world country run by socialists, thieves and the scum of the earth, and ye poured even more of the worlds resources down the rat hole that the poor would never see."
Hey, Pope Frank:
Wanna' start the ball rolling towards addressing the poor of the entire world? Show some good faith?
You've got the keys.
Begin with an auction of the vast treasures of priceless art in the Vatican Museum. Not the stuff we tourists see. You could start with the stuff in the basement, you know, the things no one's ever even seen. I mean, for a guy who left only a seamless garment behind which his executioners rolled dice for, you guys have done pretty well building on top of that, no? You could let loose with a little?
Wonder what He'd say about all that stuff you guys have accumulated in the two thousand years since He left.
Oh yeah, I forgot. You're all about the poor. Got it.
Maybe sell off some of the holdings of the largest land owner on the Island of Manhattan: Yeah, that would be you too, The Archdiocese of New York. ( BTW, Does the boss over there really need to live in a mansion on Madison Avenue?)
Just a couple thoughts from the pews.
I agree, you Christians should fearlessly preach what you allege to believe, IRS tax exemptions be damned.
that goes from Rome, Canterbury, Orthodoxy all the way down to the Little White Protestantly Protestant Chapel of the 'Burbs.
Scullman, has your church sold all of its property yet or are you waiting for senior leadership to instruct? that's not a rhetorical question. pews have a fair market value that might feed the homeless.
this christian infighting is fascinating. no wonder you can't get your crusades in order.
Nah, haven't auctioned off the pews yet, Donny. Probably gonna' wait to see how the market does with your gold encrusted Torah holders and the some of those mighty fine stained glass sanctuary windows.
That's the smart move.
you don't need a Jew to explain your version of Christian values to you.
the issue isn't Jewish moral obligations, but the Christian ones that you're better at talking about than actually doing.
explain why your church owns any property.
Correct. I don't need a Jew to explain Christian values, moral or otherwise, to me.
But evidently, I've got one.
Maybe you'd like to join the ranks and straighten out the whole misunderstood mess?. So far though, it seems you just like stirring the pot and quoting your vast knowledge of what Jesus and the early Christians were really all about.
You would know, Donny.
it is a fact that I know more about the meaning of the Matthew verse than you do.
don't take it personally, but you'll learn a lot more if you just read the debate rather than clutter up the thread.
That's a pretty funny "fact", as it's quite clear you've been living according to the teachings of Jesus Christ for quite some time now, eh Don?
You don't know the first thing, brother, but you do love to argue.
Kind of like the Sanhedrin. Nothing to learn but the letter of the law.
I'm altering my name for you, because I'm triggering some kind of panic, and that's just wrong.
It's truly heartening Don, to know that your interested and rooting for the Christian church to continue its great work around the world, and to become even more effective and pure through the doing of it.
And I guarantee we'll continue to do the best job possible, according to the precepts and teachings as best we can, of the Word made flesh on earth, Jesus Christ, The Son of God, Our Lord. In the meantime, how's about you stick to your Testament, and we'll stick to ours.
After all, I have no opinion about whatever it is your teaching guides you to do, nor do I care how well you are truly subscribing to it, or not.
So, why don't you calm down about our faith and take care of whatever it is yours gives you light to do?
Apparently little Donnie can't help himself, scullman - his needy confirmation bias extends to baiting and projection and then usually stops just shy of namecalling the victim.
Kudos for throwing that partisan divisiveness and egotism right back.
(I do like his ubiquitous "you people", though, and the moniker's conjuring of baseball bats to skulls. I'm surprised he doesn't end his posts like Dan rather used to end his broadcasts.)
remind me again how many divisions the Pope has?
as I understand things, and correct me if I'm wrong, christian moral duty to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc., are both personal and corporate (meaning community).
Donny, social justice is a choice.
Nowhere in the Bible, any Bible anywhere, does it say "God commanded some men to force other men to be good and provide food, comfort, and clothing to the poor and social justice to minorities."
It's not so much that we oppose these things, we just recognize that the choice MUST be made by the individual. The Church actually recognizes this, too - despite it's implicit acceptance of Communist and Socialist political agendas.
Force is not how social justice is achieved. It is achieved through human progress and development. The fact that today we live far better than we did 200 years ago - and in a much more egalitarian fashion than they did 200 years ago - is testimony to the benefits of the free market and capitalism.
A recent question posed by an economist is one I feel is worth asking. Would you prefer to earn $50,000 a year today or $100,000 a year 30 years ago?
What is the price you're willing to accept to forego the comforts and blessings of today's world? Can you live without your iPhone, your fast laptop, your 30mpg car, your central A/C home, and a host of other items just so you can double your salary?
We live better today, and for less in real terms, than we did 30 years ago. That is social justice at work.
Even the poor today are better off than the poor of 30/40/50/60 years ago, and not because of government programs (which has made their poverty institutionalized).
The Church has much to do to redeem itself to me, and I agree with some Protestants (and most Catholics) who have called for the Church to sell off some of its goods to show a truly caring face to the world, and act in a manner more befitting its position.
I took a tour of the Vatican, and in 3 hours saw a mere FRACTION of its art holdings.
Not all can be sold off, the market would collapse and its value diminished. But small parts can be. And you can't exactly sell the Sistine Chapel, can you? Well, maybe you can rent it out to Arby's or something, once they stop saying Mass and electing Popes in there.
Either way, the point is - let people be themselves. Let them make the choice to be good or not. Don't force them, that doesn't make them good, it just makes you feel good that you forced them to do something you feel is 'right'. Hardly beneficial in the grand scheme since that kind of force creates enemies.
social obligations to feed the hungry appearing in Matthew echo Old Testament injunctions to do acts of social justice, see e.g., Deuteronomy. these are requirements of individuals and the community, whether is a tribe or a kingdom. as a first century Jew, Jesus' statements to his disciples carried the same meaning in context, there's no other way it could be understood. it is both a personal and a corporate obligation. this is key to the identity of Jews as well as Christians.
that some laws, from the ten commandments to the UCC, whether divinely revealed, of natural law origin or passed by a legislature, are coercive is neither here nor there. in fact, they're really only coercive when you don't voluntarily adhere to them.
I don't know what to make of a demand to turn the sistine chapel into a taco stand. it seems more of a anti-catholic shot than something that needs a serious response.
but let me ask you something that's always puzzled me. the secular world is unquestionably hostile to almost all christian values, even the watered down versions. yet worldly hatred of christianity is only fractionally greater than the invective that christians heap on each other. why do you suppose that is?
last question, has your church sold off all of its worldly possessions to give to the poor?
Donny, I will take a stab at that but will await AVI's definitive comments if he chooses to make some.
Christianity as I understand it has nothing to do with worldly power or, God knows, with government. Christians are asked to be " in the world but not of it."
The Kingdom of God, as we see it (at least in my Protestant church) is a spiritual and transcendent life not a secular or material life. A vertical universe. Reborn Christians are not asked to be "good" or "nice." Reborn Christians can sometimes feel God's caring flow through them - not from them.
Christianity is for sinners, not saints.
the guitarist in my jazz trio is an orthodox priest and I've got a bene gesserit jesuit education, and we debate theology a lot, so ...
the kingdom of God is not of this world, I agree with you on that point.
but a debate focus on obligation as a legality sort of misses the point because its easy to take it out of context. I invite you to check out the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, a statement of the RCC and the Lutheran Federation where the churches agree on "a common understanding of our justification by God's grace through faith in Christ." that should put an end to the superficial debate over faith v works contention.
Reborn Christians are not asked to be "good" or "nice."
at the transfiguration (Mat. 17) God commands Christians to be "Christlike" (He who fed the hungry and cured the sick), later they are commanded by Jesus to feed the hungry and care for the sick, etc. in Matt. 25. note that it is the already justified who are asking when did they did those things. they didn't do them with the intention of finding salvation. they did them because that's part of the job description of living a Christian life.
so it doesn't matter whether or not the would-be Christian understands the fullness of justification theology, it is, however, imperative that he or she does what Jesus commands.
all men and women, whether saints or not, are sinners. in orthodoxy, a saint is someone whose life can be an example to follow.
I'll stand by my earlier position. in the 1st century, a Christian hearing Jesus would understand a command to feed the hungry as both a personal and a community obligation.
Don The Bear Jew Donowitz- Perhaps you ought to ask that priest friend of yours for baptism. I've never in my freakin' life seen a non-Christian so enthralled and consumed with the meaning of a Christian life and what it was exactly that Jesus meant.
I was taught by the Irish Christian brothers for 12 years, they ain't got nuthin' on you and your interpretations of Matthew.
C'mon. Give it up, you know you're ready. Just. Do. It.
theology is one of my hobbies.
Christianity, as a late writer has pointed out in words well chosen, is the only system of socialism which commends it self as having a rational basis, and its founder the most practical teacher of it that the world has ever seen. " The aim of all socialism is the securing of equality in the social condition of mankind, and if equality is to be secured at all it will be secured only by changing the hearts of men, and never by setting to work, in the first instance, upon the conditions." But the present impulse of socialism is not Christian, but rather one willing to put an end to Christianity. And it is a system of machinery, like the kingdom of a tyrant, not of souls, like that of Christ. Now the Christian system did not rest on force at all. It was communistic, but not socialistic, as the word is properly used; for its very essence was the freedom of the individual will.
Socialism and Legislation, Westminster Review, January, 1886.
Work to change men's hearts can be respected. Seek to impose it by the sword, die by the sword.
No thorough examination of both the nature and historical trajectory of government -- it being an instrument of force -- and of the life of Christ can but conclude that Jesus is an anarchist. He was born purposefully outside the prevailing law and died by torture as a direct manifestation of the prevailing law, both secular and religious.
Any comprehension then as to meaning -- as opposed to projection -- expressed in Christ's example inexorably runs up against these realities. At the same time, any appeal to collective altruism (by force, for it is not altruistic at all) runs into them too, and is exposed as an emotional appeal and becomes irrational and fallacious.
For references, see the democides of the 20th Century and the lengthy exposition of Jesus in the context of dictionary anarchism, both available with a simple search.
If Rome gets silly or dangerous (as it has done in years past) look not to spiritual struggle but to the demands of a vast bureaucracy and a longing to be in charge. Francis being from South America is truly influenced by liberation theology but sees the true threat in the ongoing loss of parishioners to envangelical protestant sects. He also wants to attract western, urban non-churchgoers. What better than to get the green guilt type to support a large welfare transfer to the poorer countries! He'll show them that only an institutional state religion can deliver on redistribution. Those protestant preachers want you to do it all your self!
No, I don't think the Pope smokes dope, but he is a dope when it comes to things outside of his area of expertise, even if he claims to be speaking ex cathedra as head of the Church. He plainly doesn't know what he's talking about. Not uncommon with world leaders and other politicians. Most popes have, in the past 200 years at least, refrained from "stepping in it" by pontificating out of their area of expertise.