Nun at Catholic hospital does the right thing

… and gets shit on for it:

Sister Margaret McBride was on an ethics committee that included doctors that consulted with a young woman who was 11 weeks pregnant late last year, The Arizona Republic newspaper reported on its website Saturday. The woman was suffering from a life-threatening condition that likely would have caused her death if she hadn’t had the abortion at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Hospital officials defended McBride’s actions but confirmed that she has been reassigned from her job as vice president of mission integration at the hospital. They said in a statement that saving the mother required that the fetus be aborted. [...]

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix Diocese, indicated in a statement that the Roman Catholic involved was “automatically excommunicated” because of the action.

Automatically excommunicated!  Well, lucky her, eh?  Funny how the church has yet to excommunicate anyone for the child rape so many of the pope’s minions seem to indulge in. But abortion… stand back!

From Brazil to Mexico to Nicaragua to everywhere else, stories of catholic church’s destructive influence on womens’ health (not to mention childrens’) surface with depressing regularity.   Another day, another tale of this cult of creepy old castrati in velvet robes and fancy hats passing judgement on anyone who dares to consider a real life more valuable than a potential one.

I sometimes wonder what becomes of the “excommunicated” — do they bow and scrape and roll over and piss themselves and beg forgiveness or do they bitterly break free from the yoke of the tyrannical dingbats at the Vatican?

There might be good money to be made in de-programming these people.

104 Responses to “Nun at Catholic hospital does the right thing”


  1. 1 Shade Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Save a life and get booted from the Church. You know I get the fact they don’t like abortion, but ultimately when the option is good chance of death for both the woman and the fetus, there is no argument against performing such a procedure.

    Of course, cue some “pro-lifer” arguing that they should have saved both. In an ideal world that would’ve been possible, but we don’t live in one and sometimes tough choices have to be made.

    I feel sorry for Sister McBride, she did the right thing and the Church she dedicated her life to decided to treat her like trash. Compared to most of them she’s a fricking saint.

    I also feel sorry for the young woman, I got the impression from the article she wanted the child. Then again it says little about her.

    Just shows how messed up the Church is, they’ll shelter priests who do the wrong thing which has no defense and they punish a nun who did the wrong thing (from the Church’s perspective) for the right reason.

  2. 2 Damir Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 4:12 am

    What about forgiveness that the church preaches…

  3. 3 Dr. Prole Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Damir that forgiveness is only for stepfathers who rape their 9yr old daughters and get them pregnant, and of course pedophile priests. Nuns who help save actual adult women’s lives are unforgivable.

  4. 4 JJ Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Shade – I got the impression from the article that it was probably an ectopic pregnancy, when the embryo attaches somewhere other than the uterus. The fetuses in such pregnancies are rarely viable anyway, and it can be a death sentence (a very painful one) for the woman.

    I also got the impression that this was a wanted pregnancy, so really a tragedy. Too bad the church has to stick its nose in and make things even worse than they already were for this poor woman.

    As for their treatment of the nun, it’s disgusting, but business as usual for this gang of medieval pricks.

  5. 5 JJ Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Damir – Good luck with that.

  6. 6 JJ Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Dr.Prole – That’s the Vatican’s Standard Operating Procedure!

  7. 7 Luna Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Forgiveness is only given of people who ask for it. The nun did nothing wrong, and knows it. If she won’t ask forgiveness, they won’t grant it.

    That they would excommunicate her at all just for being on the ethics committee is frakking appalling. What assholes. There’s a reason I left that church. Well, okay, a million reasons. But this sort of shit is at the top of the list.

  8. 8 JJ Monday, May 17, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Luna – This kind of BS is the reason there’s been a mass exodus from the RC church for the last decade. Last year’s story about the 9-year-old girl in Brazil was the last straw for a lot of reasonable Catholics.

    One of my other commenters, toujoursdan, is a practicing Anglican. He reports that a friend of his became Anglican because the Catholic church’s culture of misogyny was so intolerable. There’s only so much that even the faithful can take.

    My ex is staying here for awhile and he’s a devout Catholic, hates abortion (but OK with contraception), but even he is starting to change the subject when discussion turns to his church’s insane views. (And I turn it that way a LOT :P )

  9. 9 Scotian Monday, May 17, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    JJ:

    My mother is nearing 70, old school Irish RC, and the actions of the Church over the past two decades on the pedophile priest business is pushing her out of the Church too, we discuss this on a regular basis, and the fact it is doing so to someone like her tells me a lot about just how damaging this is to core believers in our society, especially the older generations.

    As to the topic in question, my second great love was an ectopic pregnancy that the mother carried to term knowing it would likely kill her and yet both survived. Yet neither of them would ever advocate that someone in the same situation should be compelled to take that risk because it really is as dangerous to the mother nor is the viability of the child high even if the mother survives. I can say this because it was something we discussed way back when she and I were still a couple because I was curious and has a good relationship with her mother as well as her. This is the sort of thing where the description of a one in a million chance is not overstatement but if anything understatement. This nun did the right thing and paid for it, but then she was a woman and we all know how the RC structure sees women judging by their actions as opposed to their words (not that their words are a whole lot better though).

  10. 10 Jasper Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    First, the abortion is not akin to pressing a reset button for the pulmonary hypertension. There is no immediate (in minutes) rebound to pre-pregnancy physiologic status.
    The medical staff following the mother in a Catholic hospital need to stress that their goal is to try and save both the mother’s and the baby’s lives. Therapy will be targeted to keeping the PHT manageable with a view of delivering the baby via C-section at the earliest opportunity (~25 weeks), if at all possible. If the parents are that risk averse, then they need to be informed that they cannot be aided at the Catholic hospital in aborting the child.

    Catholic moral teaching is perfectly clear: the ends never justify the means, no matter how good or noble the ends. We must employ just means toward just ends. The direct, intentional killing of a baby is always immoral and impermissible.

  11. 11 Brian Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    [Roman] Catholic moral teaching is perfectly clear: the ends never justify the means…

    Jasper,

      If this is to be taken to mean that abortion cannot be an option when it is near to certain that the pregnancy will kill the mother, or severely harm her, then it is just wrong.   (Please note Scotian that I said “an option,” not a requirement.   I am very glad your second great love got to live so that that love you had could blossom.)

      Consider: the Roman Catholic Church accurately teaches that homicide is a sin.   But they do not excommunicate police officers who are required to kill someone in the line of duty.   Not being a Roman Catholic, I’m not sure what they teach on using deadly force in self defense, but I would presume that while they would see a defensive killing as tragic, it would not be an offense leading to excommunication.   In exactly the same measure, if the child growing in the woman’s womb will kill her if it is allowed to continue to grow, it is tragic, but not sinful.

      And of course ends can justify means.   Ends cannot justify and and all means, but an action that is not allowed under some circumstances is often acceptable under others.   I cannot steal my neighbor’s car to go get a pack of smokes. But if the neighbor is away, no other means are available, and I need to get my wife to the hospital or she’ll die, then it is deemed acceptable to steal that car to get her there.   I cannot kick in my neighbor’s door to see if they have a cup of sugar I can borrow, but I can kick it down if the house is on fire, to see if anyone is trapped.   It is an assault for me to grab someone by their hair, and forcefully pull them off their feet.   If they’re in danger of being hit by a car they’ve failed to notice while crossing the street, and I happen to do that to pull them out of the car’s path, it is not an assault.

  12. 12 Scotian Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Brian:

    Please note I don’t disagree with anything you said, and that my love and her mother both agreed that abortion needed to be an available choice for someone facing the same situation as the mother did because it is so high risk. Just because it worked out for them does not mean it will for everyone, indeed in my love’s case it was as much because she was a very small pregnancy and even as an adult didn’t quite make 5 feet in height and a very petite frame that both survived.

    You also do an excellent job of pointing our the fallacy in Jasper’s argument. I was raised RC and you are quite correct, there are circumstances where things that are normally sins (venial or mortal) are not because they serve a higher purpose, which can create a very slippery slope all on its own. Well done.

  13. 13 Jasper Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 11:33 am

    “but I can kick it down if the house is on fire, to see if anyone is trapped.”
    “I cannot steal my neighbor’s car to go get a pack of smokes. But if the neighbor is away, no other means are available, and I need to get my wife to the hospital or she’ll die, then it is deemed acceptable to steal that car to get her there. ”

    The means are acceptable in this example you give. You are not killing one to save the other.

  14. 14 Scotian Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Jasper:

    You said the ends never justify the means, Brian refuted it. I notice you ignored this from him: ” Consider: the Roman Catholic Church accurately teaches that homicide is a sin. But they do not excommunicate police officers who are required to kill someone in the line of duty. … In exactly the same measure, if the child growing in the woman’s womb will kill her if it is allowed to continue to grow, it is tragic, but not sinful.” Perhaps you might try addressing this aspect of his argument instead of ignoring it. BTW, I was raised RC, spent nearly 10 years as an altar boy, and throughout my teens seriously considered whether I had a calling to the priesthood before my crisis of faith caused me to pull away from the faith, so I not unfamiliar with the doctrines of the Church and it’s hypocrisies. Indeed, it was those hypocrisies that were in no small part what forced me to leave in the first place.

  15. 15 Brian Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Scotian has already said this, but I am going to say it also. Jasper, please consider what I say herein.

    The means are acceptable in this example you give.

    Quite so. But this modifies your statement, “Catholic moral teaching is perfectly clear: the ends never justify the means, no matter how good or noble the ends” [emphasis added]. That is a universal, a universal which I was striving to show did not hold up to scrutiny. The means that are acceptable can change in response to the ends involved.

     

    You are not killing one to save the other.

    You are killing one to save the other in the case of a justified police shooting. You are killing one to save the other (most likely) in defending your home against intrusion with a fire arm.

    Self defense is never a sin, and that holds in the case of an abortion to save the life of the mother. There is not one word in the Bible indicating that anyone — believer or otherwise — must stoically accept being killed.

  16. 16 Jasper Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    “Self defense is never a sin, and that holds in the case of an abortion to save the life of the mother.”

    No it absolutely does not. The unborn baby is not an intruder or criminal.

  17. 17 Brian Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I didn’t say that the baby was anything at all. Not a criminal, not an intruder, nothing. I said people are free to protect themselves without incurring guilt, even if that results in the death of another.

    But if that baby’s growth will kill the woman, then that baby is a threat, and the woman can protect herself against that threat, even if that means killing the baby. This is so apparent in the case where the mother dying means both the mother &the baby will die, so you can take action to cut the number of deaths in half, that there ought not be anyone who doesn’t see that.

    Being dogmatic is an honorable thing when you have your dogma straight. Jesus is the Savior of the world, period, for instance. But on this little piece if the debate you don’t have your dogma straight, so being dogmatic in this case is wrong.

    The situations where taking the baby’s life is guiltless-if-tragic are the same cases where you could take the life of an adult person guiltlessly: When you will die otherwise, or where you will suffer grievous bodily harm otherwise.

    If a truck is coming at you head-on at 50MPH+, and you’ll die if he hits you, but you can move onto an occupied sidewalk to save your life while taking the lives of some of the pedestrians, you have committed no sin if you choose to do that. Of course, you can choose to die also, which would be honorable. The pedestrians are not criminals nor intruders, they are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Taking the sidewalk to save your life is the fault of the truck. If the truck is there due to an unforeseeable equipment malfunction then there is no blame anywhere.

    Potentially lethal pregnancies happen. Do you think it is God’s preference that the mother carry through with the termination of her life in those cases?

  18. 18 JJ Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    :lol: Well isn’t this special, a couple of anti-choicers going at it! Popcorn please!!!

  19. 19 Brian Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Popcorn & a halfsack? ;-]

  20. 20 Jasper Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

    “Well isn’t this special, a couple of anti-choicers going at it! Popcorn please!!!”

    JJ, first of all, Brian is pro-choice, not pro-life, as proven by his comments above.

    “But if that baby’s growth will kill the woman, then that baby is a threat, and the woman can protect herself against that threat, even if that means killing the baby.”

    Deliberate killing of an innocent unborn child is not an option. the baby is not going to kill her, her medical may threathen her life, but should be treated accordingly.

  21. 21 Janus Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Brian is right; Jasper is wrong. And I got that from one of the horse’s mouths — a Catholic priest.

    In the case where the fetus endangers the life of the woman, the church will always come down on saving the life of the woman.

    Always.

  22. 22 Brian Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Brian is pro-choice, not pro-life, as proven by his comments above.

    That is a complete mis-characterization.   You would need to equally assert that anyone who takes the life of another — another of any character — to save their own is “not pro-life.”   I believe, in fact, that I am more thoroughly pro-life than you are, as your misunderstanding of Christianity and the obligations it places on us believers (I am going to presume that you are a believer in Christ as your Savior, rather than that you merely believe in the RCC) brings you to advocate the unnecessary death of some.

     

     

    Deliberate killing of an innocent unborn child is not an option. the baby is not going to kill her…

    In this one statement you show that you do not understand what human beings are through the image of God we bear and that you do not understand medicine.

    Let me ask you 2 specific things, Jasper:

    Why is the innocent life of the child more important that the innocent life of the mother?

    Why is it more important to follow dogma and have 2 deaths than to intervene and have only one.  (Presume for this question that carrying to term, or even to viability, will kill both the mother and the child.)   Consider, if you would, in formulating your answer to this question that David & his men ate the show bread from the tabernacle (1 Sam. 21:1 ff), something that was explicitly forbidden, and Jesus made it clear that this was not a sin, though it violated that actual writings of Moses (Mt 12:3 ff, Mk 2:25 ff and Luke 6:3 ff).

  23. 23 Reality.Bites Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Speaking of pushed out of the Church, a posting on Huffington the other day was very poorly worded:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wires/2010/05/18/the-rising-religious-tide_ws_579831.html

    Everyone knows the proverb about a woman scorned but there is another lesser known proverb about the scorn of the devout. This is the story of Michael Sabatino, Jr. and Robert Voorheis devout Catholics who sang for their church choir until they married in Canada and then were asked to leave the choir. Well, they left the church and took Michael’s equally devout late mother along with them to the nearest Episcopal Church where they sing in the choir to this day.

    I think the writer meant to let us know that Michael’s mother has died in the years since this happened.

    If, on the other hand, Michael and Robert insisted on having their late mother in the choir with them, probably the Church was just using their marriage as an excuse to get rid of them.

  24. 24 Jasper Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Janus,

    The preist you consulted does not know what he’s talking about and is advocating a grave sin, he should be defrocked.

    CC:

    2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

    You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75
    God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76

    2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,”77 “by the very commission of the offense,”78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

  25. 25 Reality.Bites Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Jasper, you’re an idiot. There was no opportunity here even for saving the life of the foetus at the expense of the woman’s life.

    It was two deaths or one. That you actually believe two deaths are better demonstrates rather conclusively what a disgusting, immoral, loathsome piece of shit you really are.

    Pray there’s no god, slime. Because if there’s a hell, you’re going to be burning there.

  26. 26 Jasper Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    “That is a complete mis-characterization. ”

    No, it’s not, you are for this women’s right to choose to terminate her unborn child. That is pro-choice. Period.

    I’m a Catholic. The Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior. He is God.

    “Why is the innocent life of the child more important that the innocent life of the mother?”

    I didn’t say that, both the Mother and Child are equally important.

    “(Presume for this question that carrying to term, or even to viability, will kill both the mother and the child.) ”

    I’ve had many medical professionasl tell me the delibrately killing the unborn child is not necessary to save the life of the Mother. Treat the Mother for her medical issue, as I pointed out earlier, killing the baby is not going to cure her condition, at least not right away.

    “what a disgusting, immoral, loathsome piece of shit you really are. Pray there’s no god, slime. Because if there’s a hell, you’re going to be burning there.”

    God Bless you Reality Bites, hope you’re doing well.

  27. 27 Frank Frink Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I’m a Catholic

    Yes, I guess you are but let me add the appropriate qualifier. You’re a Catholic Fundamentalist.

  28. 28 Brian Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves.

    contradicts

    Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception…

    in cases where the life of the mother is forfeit in a manner that kills the baby too. That is carrying out the 1st quote in a manner that us unworthy of men (by which I mean humans, men & women alike).

     

    The catechism of the Roman Catholic Church certainly can be helpful in understanding the Roman Catholic church, but in looking for the context in which your selected quotations can be found, I found this:

    2262 In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord recalls the commandment, “You shall not kill,”62 [a translational error; the commandment is that “You shall not murder”] and adds to it the proscription of anger, hatred, and vengeance.  Going further, Christ asks his disciples to turn the other cheek, to love their enemies.63  He did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath.

    This is selective, and heretical teaching (heresy being “any opinions or doctrines at variance with the orthodox position”). It puts false words into the mouth of both Jesus and Moses, and ignores the following to make the point: Jesus later told the disciples to buy swords. There is no reason to carry a sword if there is no allowance to use it. Jesus did not defend Himself not because defending yourself is a sin, but because He came to die for our sins. Defending Himself would have been to depart from His mission.

     

     

    I found:

    2268 The 5th commandment forbids direct & intentional killing as gravely sinful. The murderer & those who cooperate voluntarily in murder commit a sin…

    Since the Vatican does not oppose the military, the Vatican and the Catechism are in contradiction on that viz CC 2268.

     

     

    If you want to make a point of the Christian position on something, anything, you are going to have to make it from the Bible. The CC is contradictory, and misrepresents our Lord, Jesus. I found this in a mere few paragraphs…

  29. 29 Brian Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Would you please stop being so stupid?

    Your insistence that I am not pro-life but am rather pro-choice is as reasonable (actually less reasonable) than me saying that you are not pro-life (since you are willing to let the mother die), but are anti-choice, whereas I am pro-life, since I recognize that tragic actions are sometimes necessary to save life.

    Your position is the kind of cowardly position that would allow a murderous person to carry out their murders to avoid killing the murderer (whether at the scope of a Charles Manson, or a Pol Pot). You merely appear to lack the courage to do the right thing because it is saddening.

     

     

    I’ve had many medical professionals tell me the deliberately killing the unborn child is not necessary to save the life of the Mother.

    I was pretty sure you would shirk the question, but I owed you the opportunity to prove my suspicion unfounded.

    I didn’t give any details of the cause, I merely set up a situation for you to address. You changed the question instead.

     

     

    God Bless you Reality Bites, hope you’re doing well.

    Baiting is sinful; even if it weren’t, it is still counter-productive. If your goal is to change minds to save lives, working at counter-purposes just to make yourself feel good is to fail to save lives merely for your own enjoyment.

    Passive aggression is still aggression, and is a sin.

  30. 30 Jasper Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    “Passive aggression is still aggression, and is a sin.”

    Abortion is a grave sin Brian. Anybody who supports abortion rights should not call himself a Christian.

    Get well soon.

  31. 31 Jasper Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    “If you want to make a point of the Christian position on something, anything, you are going to have to make it from the Bible. The CC is contradictory, and misrepresents our Lord, Jesus.”

    You’d think the Bible fell out of the sky one day, leather-bound with a concordance, and landed in Luther’s or Calvin’s hands and prior to that, nobody had heard the word of God before. You’d think that Christian churches simply sprang up out of thin air in the year 1500 or so, and prior to that Christianity was waiting in limbo to be shared with the world. Catholics are not the red-headed stepchild of Christianity. We are not pagans, heathens, or idolaters. This kind of petty, ignorant, and pig-headed crap has to stop. I have never in my life presumed to tell a Protestant they don’t know Jesus, or they’re not saved.

  32. 32 Janus Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    “The preist you consulted does not know what he’s talking about and is advocating a grave sin, he should be defrocked.”

    Why don’t you take that up with his cardinal, then — Ouellet is his name.

    In a contest between you and him, guess which one I think is credible?

  33. 33 Janus Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    “Abortion is a grave sin Brian.”

    LOL! And for those who believe in this thing you call “sin,” that’s probably an important point…

    “Anybody who supports abortion rights should not call himself a Christian.”

    So…now you’re the arbiter of all things Christian? Including the qualification one needs in order to be considered such? Do you ever say this shit out loud so you can hear yourself?

  34. 34 Scotian Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Jasper:

    You may be a RC, but you most certainly are not a mainstream one. Janus is correct, it has been traditional Catholic doctrine to choose the life of the mother over the loss of both lies whenever this situation occurs. That you are unaware of this speaks volumes to how well you know the history of your own faith Jasper, and your claims to authority about it is particularly offensive. While I may have left the Church a long time back, the rest of my family did not and we have stayed on very good terms and discussed religious policy issues ever since. You see, when I left I did not do so angry, nor was I one of these folks that felt a need to be negative about a faith that was not suited for me unlike some former Catholics I have encountered. You ever hear of the term Irish Catholic? That is the kind of Catholics I grew up around I and I KNOW that even with that group the prevailing opinion always has been that when both lives are in serious risk of mortality then the loss of one is the morally correct choice over the loss of both, that *IS* the proper pro-life position, just as Janus and Brian have pointed out to you.

    You clearly are not only dogmatically rigid, you are also poorly informed while claiming to be some sort of expert authority about the tents of the RC Faith, otherwise you would not be calling for the defrocking of a priest whose opinion disagreed with yours even though it did agree with the traditional stance taken by the Church historically. You have revealed yourself to be an uninformed pro-birth fanatic using claims to authority which do not actually exist as you portray them to claim absolute victory and morality and in the process show yourself not only to be a fanatic but intellectually dishonest and clearly incapable of rational conversation on this topic even with those whose POVs is near to yours on such an issue. There is no point in trying to continue to discuss this with you, not only is your mind closed it is welded shut with dishonest nonsense showing to all that there is no further point in trying to talk to you about this or indeed any issue. You have blown any credibility you had here, not because you are pro-birth, but because you are a narrow minded intolerant know-it-all whose basic facts do not mesh with reality while claiming to be expert authority on a religion/faith centuries old.

    Brian: Sorry to have gotten this far into this, I know you and I tend to be on different sides of most political issues, but on this I have to back you up completely, you do understand the reality of how Catholics and Catholic priests have typically viewed this issue and what Church doctrine generally has been (things may have changed under Benedict he is far harsher and radically right wing than the typical Pope, and he was the enforcer for the prior Pope within the Church for many years so he has had a lot of influence in repositioning the Church’s dogma from its more traditional stands over the past 20 years now) when two lives come into conflict in the hypothetical you posed. That Jasper chooses to mislead you with his proclamations means you are not going to get an honest argument out of him, you are wasting your time. Nice try though, and at least you appear to be a Christian that gets the core of Christ’s message, something I find lacking in far too many self described Christians these days, especially those that are also politically active and like to wear their faith proudly on their sleeve in said political discourse. I really find hypocrites hard to take and have no patience with them, especially religious ones, thanks for not disappointing in this thread that way, I appreciate it. Just wanted to say that before I finished in this thread, we can go back to disagreeing soon enough…:)

  35. 35 Jasper Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Scotian,

    Yes, I know your type, I’m from Boston after all. You’re the typical Irish ex catholic who votes for pro-abortion politicians. You’re a dime a dozen, you cafeteria catholics are dying out. Take the Kennedys with you.

    “You may be a RC, but you most certainly are not a mainstream one.”

    Thank God.

    “That you are unaware of this speaks volumes to how well you know the history of your own faith Jasper, and your claims to authority about it is particularly offensive.”

    Apostasy, heresy, and schism are all offences which incur a sentence of excommunication automatically. Heresy is the obstinate denial of any truth of the Catholic faith, on a matter of faith or morals, which has been definitively taught by the Magisterium. The Magisterium has repeatedly and definitively taught that abortion is always gravely immoral. (CCC 2270 to 2275)

    Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, n. 57: “Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”

  36. 36 JJ Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Good grief, Jasper, Brian is about as anti-abortion as they come, but even he recognizes that when the choice is between the fetus dying or the woman dying (in which case the fetus would die anyway!), abortion is an acceptable option. At least save one life if possible.

    This kind of intractable dumbness is why people are leaving the church in droves.

    Yes, I know your type, I’m from Boston after all. You’re the typical Irish ex catholic who votes for pro-abortion politicians. You’re a dime a dozen, you cafeteria catholics are dying out

    :lol: That’s why so many of them helped elect Obama.

  37. 37 Brian Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Anybody who supports abortion rights should not call himself a Christian.
    I have never in my life presumed to tell a Protestant they don’t know Jesus, or they’re not saved.

    Congratulations, you just did.

     

     

    I had written more, but recognized that a Protestant/Catholic debate here would offend many, and for nothing, since you don’t listen.

    Heresy is not departure from Roman Catholic teaching, it is departure from biblical teaching.

     

     

    Scotian,

       I was a really earnest atheist for the first 35 years of my life.  When I became a believer to the astonishment of my friends and family, no one was more astounded than I.  Inasmuch as I found myself squarely in the camp of the [former] enemy, I needed to learn the guts what it was I now found myself to be.  That involved learning about more than just the Bible, but also how it has been addressed and treated by various groups throughout the centuries.

       I am very glad to have gotten to know you better through the interplay on this thread.  That has been a bright spot in my life this week.  (Jasper?  Not so much.  He leads me to sorrow.)

       My wife was admitted to an ICU in critical condition while visiting her parents 200 mi. away, spending 4 days intubated and on a respirator.  After they felt safe pulling the breathing tube, they felt they needed to perform an in depth EEG, because she wasn’t attaining lucidity as rapidly as they expected.  Bright spots shine more brightly under such circumstances.

       She apparently is a heretofore undiagnosed diabetic, and had a blood sugar of 516.  She was moved form the ICU to the hospital yesterday, and is scheduled to be released tomorrow.

  38. 38 Brian Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Testing:
    Test
    Test

  39. 40 Brian Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Man! I can’t do any of the formatting I want to do… JJ, how do you add the color you add to text at times?!?

     

    [all caps indicates OT quotation]36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
        37 And [Jesus] said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’  38 This is the great and foremost commandment.
        39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’  40 “On these two commandments depend the whole of the Law and the Prophets.”

                                              — Matthew 22

    Jasper [of Scotian]: “You’re the typical Irish ex catholic who votes for pro-abortion politicians.  You’re a dime a dozen…

    Jasper,

       Calling others “typical” with an implied sneer is the antithesis of loving your neighbor as yourself.  Saying about any who bear God’s image that they are “a dime a dozen” shows anything but love for them, and certainly harms your credibility as one who values other humans for their intrinsic worth, as the pro-life position ought to be.

       While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He prayed for those who hung Him there, who were mocking Him. Do you think you are suffering more greatly at Scotian’s hands than Jesus suffered at the hands of the Roman guards, that you are free to savage him in this way?  Take stock of yourself.

  40. 41 Scotian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Jasper:

    Nice judging there, btw I never said *I* was Irish Catholic in my beliefs, that I grew up around them and that my parents, still practicing Catholics of that type heading into their 70s still are. Your actions are what show you to be less of a real Christian than I, someone that no longer belongs to that faith/religion. Sad really, especially the way you so blithely make assumptions of such negative character about not just me but the way you are so comfortable smearing an entire group all that you can pretend to be holier than thou. You represent what so many despise about those that claim the mantle of true faithholders and an excellent example of why it is so imperative to leave religion out of the political context because it is those like yourself that so many secularists truly fear.

    Brian:

    I never stopped being a man of faith, just that my faith is not narrowly defined by a single religion. I don’t tend to discuss it because it is to me a private matter not for public discussion, at least not lightly. The values that my faith compels of me sure, but the faith itself not so much. I am also a very avowed secularist where government is concerned because unlike a lot of people I was a big student of history growing up and the history of human society whenever one looked at religion playing a large to dominant role in politics and government was not pretty. I also never developed any hatred or and towards the Christian faith, as I said in another thread here I really liked Christ’s message, what killed me was how poorly so many self proclaimed Christians seemed unable to actually practice what he preached consistently.

    I am glad if this gave you some additional insight into where I am coming from, that is never a bad thing. One of the most frustrating thing for me is how many so called self described political Christians think I have it in for religion and faith. Just because I am an avowed secularist where church and State are concerned does not mean I lack faith nor that I despise those with it. This is why I was pleased to see that you actually have thought about the implications of yours in this issue and apply the more traditional Christian ethics I grew up around where having to balance serious issues like your hypothetical was concerned than I have come to expect from most strong believers. That was why I mentioned it. Well, I have to go and take my wife to the hospital for tests, have a good day.

  41. 42 Reality.Bites Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Brian, Christianity is just a convenient place for Jasper to hang his hatred. There isn’t the slightest doubt in my mind he’d be one of the ones standing there mocking Jesus, because he’d never recognize him.

  42. 43 Jasper Friday, May 21, 2010 at 3:50 am

    “I am also a very avowed secularist where government is concerned”

    That’s because you’re a Marxist. You want to shut down free speech and free exercize of religion. You’re from Canada correct?

  43. 44 Shade Friday, May 21, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Or maybe it’s because Scotian realises you can’t have one religion dictating the rules for everyone else. So the Government handles the basics without religious interference and you’re free to tack on whatever belief system you find preferable as long as you don’t hinder anyone elses rights.

    And Jasper really, lay off the insults it’s just silly. You wonder why no one takes you seriously here.

  44. 45 Scotian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Jasper:

    You are clearly spouting words you do not understand the meaning of at someone whose economic philosophy you have no knowledge of because you don’t understand any better. This is why I said you are intellectually dishonest on top of everything else. It is becoming more and more obvious that you are someone with bumper-stickers for political thoughts in his head, not substance. Yes, I am Canadian (proud of it too, with family roots that predate Confederation), this is after all a Canadian’s political blog who blogs about Canadian issues and politics as well as about international (and like most Canadians the international focus of most interest is the giant that is to our south) issues of interest, and your point about it is clearly to use the smears so many right wing Talibangelist and right wing (and your words in this thread have clearly identified you as a Talibangelist American or other) Americans have about Canada and Canadians.

    I am not a Marxist, I am so far from that concept reading it made me laugh with pity for your inability to understand just how far out to lunch you truly are with that accusation. What I am is someone of deep faith who believes that it is not proper to use the tools of the State to enforce religious beliefs upon the public at large. Real religions of Faith convert not through the use of State force but through example of personal piety/conduct and faith by their leaders and their membership. They preach to convert via persuasion not by coercion, and when you start using the tools of the State to advance religious doctrine (whatever it is about and whoever the religion involved is) that is blatantly coercion. It has a very bad history, try reading up on what happened to the Germanies during the 1600s, the Hundred Years war to see where mixing Christianity and politics can get you for example.

    This is after the Middle Ages, this is during the beginning of the Industrial Age, and was what led the American Founding Fathers to explicitly create a State with no official Religion and explicit separation of Church and State (and no, contrary to what so many American right wingers think, this was not done to protect the Church from the State, it was done to protect both from each other but especially the State from the corrupting influence of religion). Those that held strong religious views among that community understood that whenever you mix the two you get disaster eventually, they had the lat 200 years of European history to show that to them. They understood the need to protect the right of religious free expression between all forms/sects of Christianity AND other religions and that to have a society where one could openly worship in public as one believed in private then NO religion, NO faith could be allowed to impose it’s particular doctrinal beliefs into government/public life.

    Now while I am a Canadian and come from a bit of a different perspective/tradition than that I too believe that the separation of Church and State is one of the greatest advances in the evolution of human self governance since recorded history began. It removes the inherent differences between various religions (and sects within those respective religions, of which there tend to be many) and the conflict between them over it from the tools of government and make it something that each side must do by the power of their words and deeds alone, no coercion by the powers of the State.

    Your ignorance has shown itself yet again, your willingness to smear and make false accusations when you cannot actually win an argument with facts and reasoning show you to be unworthy of further response. There is an old lawyers expression which fits your conduct, first you pound on the fact, when the facts are against you then you pound on the law, and when that too is against you then you pound on the table because there is nothing else left to you. You have been pounding on the table with these smears of yours, and everyone has seen you for what you are, even those that might in other circumstances been on the same side of an argument with you.

    Shade:

    You clearly got it right about me as this reply to Jasper underscores.

    Reality Bites:

    I would agree completely with your assessment of Jasper, the anger, contempt bile and hatred that comes roiling off of his writings would tend to make that point blatantly obvious. He tries to use Christianity as a sword instead of a shield and worse he does so in an incredibly clumsy manner showing he lacks any real understanding of what being a Christian is all about. One of the things my mother finds sad these days is that I am a better Christian in how I live my life than most of these self righteous Christians she sees in the political and media worlds. Looking at those like Jasper and I can see her point.

  45. 46 Reality.Bites Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Scotian, it’s hard NOT to be a better Christian than those people. In their view, being a Christian is having a “Get out of having to be a decent person free” card. Since (in their view) Christ died for our sins, as long as you accept Christ and “repent” it doesn’t matter what you do. Raping children? No problem. Having a loving, monogamous, adult relationship you’re not willing to pretend is sinful? Well then, you’re going to Hell.

    Their Christianity is all crocodile tears.

  46. 47 Cornelius T. Zen Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Question: What do all the following people have in common?
    Abraham, Moses, the Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Joan of Arc, Columbus, Copernicus, Galileo, Voltaire,
    Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Wolfe Tone, Charles Darwin, Margaret
    Sanger, Michael Collins, Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ghandi, Martin Luther
    King, Jr.
    Answer: They were all heretics. They were also all instrumental in the advancement of the human race.
    Jasper: You are the heretic in our midst. History may be much kinder to you than any of us.
    Let that comfort you, that you are in such excellent company. Just not here. – CTZen

  47. 48 Jasper Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8:25 am

    “Jasper, the anger, contempt bile and hatred that comes roiling off of his writings”

    look in the mirror.

    You act tough insulting my inteligence behind a keyboard, I like to meet you face to face one day and see you run your mouth in front of me. Rememeber this you fascist bum, Catholics like you are dying out, which is good, you almost ruined our church completely with your liberal ideas.

    Of course Canada does not have free speech, if you dare to criticize a faggot like Scotian, you could get arrested.

  48. 49 JJ Friday, May 21, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Jasper

    That’s because you’re a Marxist. You want to shut down free speech and free exercize of religion. You’re from Canada correct?

    Yes, all Canadians are “Marxists” who want to shut down free speech and the right to worship. It’s just how we roll :roll:

    You’ve been listening to Rush too much, buddy. Turn that radio off!

  49. 50 JJ Friday, May 21, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Jasper – That last comment of yours was pure asshole. Give your head a shake.

  50. 51 JJ Friday, May 21, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Brian

    JJ, how do you add the color you add to text at times?!?

    Let’s see…
    RED

    ETA – okay, that worked. What you do is put “font color=”#insert html colour code” and put it within the tags, of course . Then after the text you want colourized, you type /font (also within tags).

    ETA again – Brian, I just read your comment about your wife. I hope all is well and she makes an excellent recovery. Best wishes.

  51. 52 Brian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Jasper, where in the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church is there any allowance for threatening to do physical violence to those you disagree with, or even those who insult and taunt you?

    And since we all are behind keyboards, it is equally as meaningful to say to you, “you act real tough behind a keyboard, but …”, by which I mean to say, it is literally pointless to even say such a thing.

     

    CTZen,

    I don’t think your point is very well taken. Though it is a virtual certainty that they were all a heretic to someone, that is something that is true of everyone, without exception, making it no real distinction.

    Jesus never violated the Scripture that existed at that time (more was to be written later, of course).

    It is very common in the culture of the Jews to make points by asking questions, something that was true as far back as the time of Jesus. That actually dates back to the time of the book of Job (around the time of Abraham), which was written before there were any Jews yet. This can be seen when God says to Job, “”Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me!” in Job 38:3.

    In this tradition, when Jesus was twelve He questioned the religious leaders at the Temple. In Luke 2:46 & 47 it says:

       [A]fter 3 days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both
       listening to them and asking them questions.  And all who heard Him
       were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

    This rhetorical mechanism is called a chi (after the Gk letter), where you have essentially “A” … “B” … “b” … “a”, where if you place them on top of each other, and draw lines between related terms, the lines form a “chi” (or “X”).

    He listened [A]    …   asked [B]

      understanding [b] … answers [a]

    They did not find Him heretical.

    Abraham was not recorded as being found heretical by anyone that I can think of.

    Moses was not found heretical by anyone I can think of. Meddlesome, yes (by the Jews in slavery). Criminal, yes (by the Egyptians). Inept, yes (such as when they hit the Red Sea with the Egyptians pursuing them). Pharaoh didn’t declare him heretical, he merely said that he did not know Moses’ God.

    Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist, who had as part of her motivation for promoting birth control and abortion the elimination of inferior races and gene stock.

    Columbus’ purposes in come to the Americas was in large measure to brin Christianity to this area. (Not his sole reason, but an important-to-him one.)

    Martin Luther King, Jr.’s contribution was motivated by Christianity, but was a secular undertaking. Still, by many it would have been characterized as pushing his religious views onto others, mixing religion and politics.

    Also, any heresy attached to those in the list other than those I have addressed above was largely aside from religion.

    RB,

    Regarding “In their view, being a Christian is having a ‘Get out of having to be a decent person free’ card. Since (in their view) Christ died for our sins, as long as you accept Christ and ‘repent’ it doesn’t matter what you do,” I really don’t know any Christians who view salvation as OKing licentiousness. I know several non-Christians who charge that that is all that Christianity is, but I don’t know any Christians who feel that way. On an aside, Ted Bundy got from his philosophy classes in college that it does not matter what your actions are, only that you actualize yourself by taking some action. He is recorded on tape explaining this to one of the women he killed. But that doesn’t mean that all philosophy students are psychopathic killers.

    But that notwithstanding, wouldn’t this be a much better world if no one but Christians were hypocrites (though not all are)?
    Wouldn’t this be a better world if no one but Christians were elitists (though not all are)?
    Wouldn’t this be a better world if no one but Christians made political missteps (though not all political steps by Christians are missteps)?

    As with all other groups, Christians are a mixed bag.

  52. 53 Brian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I tried (without spaces:

    but got no success.

    Maybe I misxtyp[ed; let me try again: Color red ON! (hello?

    Looking at the source of your post, it is the hexadecimal number in RGB format that is in the posting )#ff0000). Let’s try that:

    Color red ON! (hello?

  53. 54 Brian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 9:54 am

    That should have been:

        I tried:

        <font color=”red”> … </font>

        but got no success.

  54. 55 JJ Friday, May 21, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Brian – Did you remember to use the HTML tags? You have to type exactly: font color=”#ff0000″ within the tags, then type your text, then type /font in tags again. Also, there’s a space between “font” and “color”, but no other spaces. Like this

    RED!

    ETA – Use the html codes

  55. 56 Brian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Typing this <font color=”#ff0000″>RED!</font> (cpied right out of the HTML for this page you & I are looking at through “view source”) verbatim gets me:

    RED!

  56. 57 Reality.Bites Friday, May 21, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Brian, note that my post was a direct reply to Scotian’s “than most of these self righteous Christians she sees in the political and media worlds.”

    Nevertheless, while it’s true that like all people, Christians are a mixed bag, at its very core, fundamentalism (whether cloaked as Christianity or another religion) is pure evil. While some Evangelical Christians are, in many ways, decent people, their religion is evil and they are contributing to the spread of evil. They might not kill or rape someone, but they devote their lives to deliberately harming others who want nothing to do with them.

    Stay the fuck out of other people’s lives. Do whatever the fuck you want with your own. If you can’t bring yourselves to do that, expect decent people to do whatever it takes to protect themselves from you.

  57. 58 Brian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I used “& lt;” and “& gt;” (without the spaces) to create the text of what it is that I put in the previous post as a literal sample, and used the actual brackets in the attempt to get a red “RED!”.

    Are those angle brackets what you are referring to by “Did you remember to use the HTML tags?”?

  58. 59 JJ Friday, May 21, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Brian – The html tags are the things that look like arrowheads pointing left and right — on my keyboard they’re on the comma and period keys.

    In the code you’re using it looks like you might have the wrong ” marks? They have to be the same at both ends.

    Try copy/pasting this, and remember to add the tag at the end.
    font color=”#ff0000″>red</font
    oops, never mind — add the tag at both ends

  59. 60 JJ Friday, May 21, 2010 at 11:58 am

    RB

    Stay the fuck out of other people’s lives. Do whatever the fuck you want with your own. If you can’t bring yourselves to do that, expect decent people to do whatever it takes to protect themselves from you.

    That sums it up!

  60. 61 Jasper Friday, May 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    “fundamentalism (whether cloaked as Christianity or another religion) is pure evil. While some Evangelical Christians are, in many ways, decent people, their religion is evil and they are contributing to the spread of evil. They might not kill or rape someone, but they devote their lives to deliberately harming others who want nothing to do with them.”

    You’re the one advocating abortion and you’re calling me evil.

    Edjucate yourself:
    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/05/dwelling-in-the-possibilities-of-a-ldquowin-winrdquo

  61. 62 Jasper Friday, May 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    “Stay the fuck out of other people’s lives.”

    Stop killing unborn children and we will.

  62. 63 Janus Friday, May 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    “Stop killing unborn children and we will.”

    Oh, please. If you stop pretending that anything unborn can be called a child, you might actually get someone to listen to you long enough to get one of your points across. And who’s this “we?”

  63. 64 Scotian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Well Jasper, you have outed yourself (btw, I am just as opinionated face to face as I am online, what you see here is *EXACTLY* the same person you see in real life). I may be on the long winded side but I do not feel the need to threaten violence on those that I am in disagreement with. I also practice what I preach, and I suspect that if you were face to face with me you would either back down or act in a manner that would get you arrested for assault, either way showing yourself to be a hypocrite when it comes to actually practicing what Christ taught and what the RCC faith stands for. (note to JJ and company, I said faith, not Church, what the Church currently stands for is indefensible, but the faith of so many of the millions of believers is something genuine and positive and should not be denied nor dismissed because the structure of the Church that faith comes from is so corrupt these days) Your last comment to me reveals you to be anything but a real Christian, you show me where Christ thought it was appropriate to use violence against those that disagreed with his teachings, somehow I think turn the other cheek means something very different in your mindset than it does from His.

    It is also revealing that you are attacking me the person in your last few “rebuttals” to me while I have been attacking your concepts, reasoning style, and ideas, not you the individual person, only you have been doing that. Your last comment was such a perfect example of what I was referring to about pounding on the table when you have nothing else, not facts nor principles. You also take it upon yourself to judge me and whether I have any place in the RCC, something that is not your right by the teaching of that Church, outing yourself to be less of a real Catholic than I, someone that left the faith over 25 years ago now, indeed Christianity itself (for the record I am one of those that does not believe there is any one single road to God/the Truth, what matters is not the form but the essence, a concept you by your actions clearly do not understand and appear to see as something to hold in contempt, so I cannot in good faith be a Christian even though I cherish and value the message Christ brought that so many of his “followers” like yourself clearly ignore while playing holier than thou at the same time).

    I pity you and pray for your soul because of the two of us you are more likely the one looking at a bad judgment in the next life with the anger and hatred you are exhibiting (not to mention trying to project onto me, I don’t think anyone else here would concur with your claims that my writings are filled with anger, that has rarely been my style) while claiming to know the mind of God better than others. So far you have displayed Pride and Wrath, two of the seven deadly sins, and worse you have been taking pride in them. According to the teachings of the Faith you claim to represent better than I your actions as well as your words show you to be in serious risk of not only not making it into Heaven but not even into Purgatory. I have no fears about how I will be judged in the next life, I have faith that a loving God cares more for the substance of what He asks of us than the form, which you certainly have a hang-up about. I have faith in the message Christ brought us about what awaits us and what will be expected of us, and I am confident that I have done well in trying to live up to those expectations in substance no matter what the name I have done it in is. If I am wrong well then I will face that as it comes, because if God is as petty and vindictive a tyrant as your brand of Christianity would have Him have to be then I could not respect Him anyway, but then such a narrow minded Diety would never have sent His Son to us with the message Christ had in the first place.

    PS:

    `

  64. 65 Scotian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    PS:

    Calling me a faggot? Saying you would be arrested for criticizing me in this country? Wow, you have some serious delusions there about both myself and my country. My wife would be very surprised to learn I was a “faggot” as you claim, and to be honest even if I was a person’s character is not defined by who they sleep with and love, but how they love that person and by what ethical standards they maintain their relationships with. That you think this is an insult with any bite to it panders as well as reveals only your own prejudices, hatreds, and immorality, not mine or anyone elses’.

    Your hatred, bigotry and hypocrisy stands revealed for all to see, you are anything but a real Christian let alone Catholic, you are as much a real Christian/Catholic as all those RC priests that thought it was acceptable to have sex with children in their care. And yes, this last *IS* a direct attack on your person, unlike my prior comments, and it is based on the totality of your conduct towards myself and others over time and what it has revealed about yourself. I prefer to form my opinions based on actual experience and observations not on assumptions without any such. Try it some time, it would do you a world of good.

    General:

    On that note I am off for the night, have to take the wife and head up to the folk’s place to look after it for the weekend while they are away.

  65. 67 Brian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    If you stop pretending that anything unborn can be called a child, …

    As I went to great lengths to illustrate, the crux of this contention is the status of what is in the woman’s womb.  If it is a human being who is merely at an early stage of development, then the other points are virtually insignificant.  If it is a not-yet-human, then it is an entirely different issue.

    This impasse is the crux of the issue.

     

    … you might actually get someone to listen to you long enough to get one of your points across.

    I don’t know about that; this is Jasper we’re talking about here, and I am inclined by his behavior that he still would not be able to pull that off. But maybe…

  66. 68 Brian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Your last comment to me reveals you to be anything but a real Christian…

    People do not become Christians, nor maintain their status as Christians based on their behavior. They become Christians by placing their hope for salvation on the work Jesus did on the cross.

    But that leads to behavior that is associated with Christianity.  Absent that behavior, it is hard to take someone’s word that they are a Christian.  But then, the presence of Christian behavior is not the sine qua non — one can act like others would expect a Christian to act, and, if they have not trusted Jesus’ sacrifice on their behalf, they are not Christians.

    But I agree, Jasper’s behavior is the type that Christian commandments are opposed to:

        Love your neighbor as yourself
        Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another.

    and so on.

  67. 69 Jasper Friday, May 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    “My wife would be very surprised to learn I was a “faggot” as you claim, and to be honest even if I was a person’s character is not defined by who they sleep with and love”

    Scotian,

    That’s what I thought about you. How many children have you loved and molested? How many children have you sodomized? and don’t blame your boyfriend Brian!

  68. 70 Jasper Friday, May 21, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Look at Scotian, off with his boyfriend to look after mommy and daddy’s home, that’s the responsibilty this sodomite has, child-less. I wonder how many babies this bum has killed.

  69. 71 Brian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    HA HA HA!

    Ahhh HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

    HA! HA HA HA HA HAaaahh!

    Ouch! My stomach hurts!

  70. 72 Brian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Jasper,

    How does one become a Christian, in your understanding?
    What are the implications of going from being not a Christian, to being a Christian?
    Does becoming a Christian, in your understanding, put obligations on a person?
    Assuming God wants people to be Christians (whether His desire includes only some or all), what is His motivation for that desire?

    This is not a test, I just want to understand you better in this particular area.

  71. 73 Cornelius T. Zen Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Good morrow, all!
    Jasper: You know you’re alone when the new resident redneck laughs at your attempts at infantile homophobia.
    Brian: Sir, you and I will always have our differences, but, we do agree: laughter IS the best medicine. Goodness! You’ve grown up alluva sudden!
    It must be a terribly sad existence, to always live in such fear. But, every village needs its idiot.
    Two rednecks walk into a bar – CTZen

  72. 74 Scotian Friday, May 21, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Jasper, Jasper, Jasper, all the name calling and assumptions/accusations of serious crimes against both man’s and God’s laws that you are proclaiming of me does nothing to harm me and only reveals your own ugliness, pettiness, and lack of anything remotely resembling a Christian (of any type by this point let alone RCC) nature in actual practice as opposed to your self-description as such. As Brian noted before being a Christian is more than simply declaring yourself one, just as it is more than simply following Christ’s teachings in your day to day life. After all, I practice most of his Teachings in my day to day life and I would not call myself a Christian because to do so would be deceitful, something I try not to be. That it results in my appearing to be a better Christian than someone like yourself in practice does not make me one, it simply points out that I follow the guidelines Christ laid out in my day to day life better than say someone like yourself.

    It is only now that you have resorted to such vulgarity, name calling and accusations not just of homosexuality (which I find not to be offensive, simply revealing of your nature) and now abuse of children sexually (which I do find offensive as I am someone that is a caring ethical human being who finds the very notion of such behaviour with children utterly disgusting, degrading, and soul destroying) you claim of me without any evidence save your own intuition and willingness to assume the worst of anyone that does not share your own prejudices and dogmatic narrowness of vision/beliefs that reveals you for the lying hypocrite you clearly are when you claim to be any sort of Christian. You are wasting your time with these attempts to get me to sink down anywhere near your level with such insults, I am secure in the knowledge that I am no such thing, that all those that have read my comments over the years know I am not (even those like Brian who normally I am in sharp political disagreement with, this thread’s agreement between us is unusual and further underscores just how far out from mainstream you are in your views that he and I are actually closer together despite our core differences than you and he are given you to are theoretically both practicing Christians with “pro-life” positions (Brian I will buy is real pro-life and Christian based on his conduct and reasoning, you are clearly pro-birth, there is a difference).

    I would also add this with observing that to try and provoke wrath in others is bad enough, to do so with the degree of disgusting in nature claims you have made of me without any foundation for such is even worse and inherently anti-Christian in nature. I would also point out that I said God cares about the ethics of relationships more than whether the partners are of the same or opposite genders. I said nothing about age, you did that all on your own which is yet further evidence of your lack of Christian charity that you would not only make assumptions without any facts/evidence to support them but that you would go for as bad/negative as you could think of, all in the hopes that I would respond in kind allowing you to take satisfaction that I was unable to maintain the moral high ground I clearly have held throughout our exchanges. There is an old adage whose advice you need to follow at this point, when you are in a deep hole it is time to stop digging unless you want to have it cave in on your and smother you.

    Really Jasper this has been one of the worst cases of fighting a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent I have engaged in for I don’t know how long (many months at the minimum and I include in real life as well as online) though. Stop embarrassing yourself with this, declare victory for yourself and let it go, you have already shown your contempt for reality and honesty so such a declaration would be entirely consistent from your behaviour, would allow yourself to stop digging that hole any deeper, and would finally let me stop feeling like I am beating on an infant, because honestly that is where your level of response has been the last few replies you have addressed to me.

    Not that I will stop, exposing someone like yourself as the false Christian you clearly are is never a bad thing in my books, it allows others to see what you truly are and not waste their time down the road. I got into this with you because you claimed expertise on the positions of the Roman Catholic Church with a pro life protestant, I as someone that actually does know a lot about the doctrines and positions of the RCC historically was not willing to allow you to make such misrepresentations to someone that was dealing in good faith and honesty. While I may disagree with Brian even on this issue, at least I can see him being consistent in his position on abortion and pro life, he has not resorted to base insults, and he has been intellectually honest in this discussion throughout. That is an opponent I can respect, you are so far beneath respect it is hard to even maintain contempt at this point you are so far down in that hole at this point.

    I said it before and I say it again, I pray for your soul, it clearly needs all the help it can get given the staining you so cheerfully have been willing to do to it in your treatment of myself and what that treatment reveals about your own actual beliefs as opposed to what you pretend to be. BTW, you need a lot more sophistication to be able to provoke a reaction than the methods you have been using, and it has been so easy to get one out of you as witnessed by your most recent comment to me after my prior comment which was intended to get some rise out of you in it’s last part. This is why I say it is like an adult beating on an infant, the imbalance is way too extreme and one sided for one side to possibly lose and the other to win. Unlike some I prefer to have opponents who can actually put up a fair/decent fight, you sir have failed utterly in such. You have though provided a wonderful example and object lesson for others to see how to deal with someone like yourself in getting them to reveal their ugliness as clearly as you have without having to resort to any such ugliness on one’s own part. At least in that one respect you have contributed something useful to this discussion and thread, aside from that though you have provided no value, not even entertainment value as the rest of us do not take pleasure in the kinds of negativity and beating on an unarmed person as you clearly would in such a position going by your behaviour to date.

    I can keep this up forever, one of the few advantages of my circumstances is that I have the available time to take with miscreants like yourself if the situation warrants, in in your case your extremism clearly does when you make someone that is clearly pro-life into an opponent and pair him up with me someone who is ardently pro-choice politically in his views. You are the type of hypocritical Christian sensible people want nowhere near them and especially not near the levers of power in a society, not only are those like yourself extremists, you are hypocrites who clearly are not motivated by any principle save lust for power itself.

    At least an honest fundamentalist has principles they follow even when it is not comfortable for them, one can still oppose them and want them nowhere near power but still respect them for their honest convictions. Those like you though have nothing to respect at all, and even contempt starts to be too good for one like you. As I said before, sad, very sad. On reflection, you are not just at the level of an infant against an adult but a handicapped on at that, pitiful doesn’t begin to do just to how extreme this mismatch has shown itself to be. Feel free to continue to lash out the way you have, even if I wanted to you wouldn’t be worth the effort of trying to sue for defamation, you lack any credibility to do harm to my reputation and good name no matter what you say about me. Truly, you are pitiable indeed.

    Brian:

    This has gotten pretty pathetic with Jasper and the way he has lumped us together in his insults. If you want to continue to try to get a sense of his true “convictions” by all means. I though am convinced he doesn’t really have much of any, just a need to vent his bile, anger, and hatred in ways that he can rationalize as positive for the sake of his self esteem, as I find to be the case in too many self described true Christians who on examination are clearly anything but (I find fanatics tend to be some of the worst hypocrites where the actual principles of what they are fanatical about are involved, especially in religious cases but far from limited to them) in when push comes to shove do as he has done and revealed. If you do continue, good luck, I’ll be watching.

  73. 75 Jasper Friday, May 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    wow Scotian, you have some long rants…

    Scotian. Brian,
    I’m sorry for all the insults I threw around.

  74. 76 Janus Friday, May 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    “Two rednecks walk into a bar – CTZen”

    You’d expect it from one of them. But how come the second one didn’t see it and duck?

  75. 77 Reality.Bites Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Because the duck was at the drugstore buying Chapstick. When asked if she wanted to pay cash she said, “Just put it on my bill.”

  76. 78 Brian Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Thank you Jasper. I forgive you.

    If you are willing, I still would like to hear your answers to the questions I posed. I would appreciate it if you could answer them.

    Also, did you grow up in a Catholic home, or did you become a Catholic at some point in your life for reasons other than family traditions?

  77. 79 Scotian Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Jasper:

    Brian may forgive you, I don’t. You seriously crossed the line when you brought children and your musings about how many I have damaged and sexually molested, there is no place for that sort of thing in civil society. Making false smears about me being gay wasn’t something I minded, you would hardly be the first person to disagree with me that did that. Sexually molesting children though, that is something else entirely, and that you felt that was appropriate and that you felt the need to try to provoke rage and/or inflict such pain upon me all because you weren’t getting what you wanted speaks to your fundamental character and in my judgment the lack of seriousness in your apology.

    I don’t think you are sorry where I am concerned, I think you finally realized just how bad you made yourself look with that disgusting display of bigotry, bile, and hatred, especially since you had no basis whatsoever for any of, especially the children aspect and that is what you are sorry for… how you look. Don’t bother trying again either now that I’ve explained to Brian where you failed with me, if you need it spelled out then it is not sincere, this is something so blatantly obvious given the offence that being told how and then doing it also undercuts any sincerity to it. So, you get no acceptance of your perfunctory apology from me for that reason. Oh and for the record, I am childless because I love children, I have a genetic blood disorder which has a one in four chance of being a dominant in any child I might have, and since it is a potentially lethal disorder I felt those odds were too high. That same disorder has done so much damage to me since my late teens that I am physically unable to handle the stresses of looking after a child in any responsible manner. Just so you know.

    Oh and yes, my comments and posts do tend to be lengthy, this is well known in the blogosphere, I have never claimed otherwise. It is how I thin, write, and speak.

    Brian:

    I understand forgiveness is necessary for a real Christian and I do not hold it against you for doing so. However, as I said before I am not a practicing Christian and I take being accused of abusing children sexually very seriously indeed (I also note he aimed that one only at me). Especially when there was no need for it, no basis for it, and done clearly and purely out of rage and intent to provoke and wound. As I said to Jasper, I don’t believe his apology is sincere and I refuse to accept it on that basis. He could have mocked me for my lengthy posts, that I could have forgiven. He could have left it at trying to brand me gay, that I could have forgiven. Going where he did on sexual molestation of children and speculating how many children I have so damaged? Sorry, that is going beyond a line I can easily forgive someone just because they were losing a discussion.

    I realize you probably disagree, and if I am right about that I suspect I understand why and it is because you need to be consistent with what your faith and principles tell you is right. I can respect that. I just hope that while you may not agree with my lack of forgiveness you can understand why I am unwilling to forgive in this specific case. I have dealt with real abused (all three types, but unfortunately sexually was the most common) children most of my life, grown up around them and as an adult have been friends and even lovers with many. That someone could cheapen their pain and suffering so by their willingness to use it the way Jasper did is something I simply cannot accept a simple oh I’m sorry for afterward. Ii don’t ask for your agreement, just your understanding.

    Understand something else too, I also believe in the power of forgiveness and its importance not just to the forgiven but the forgiver as well. I just cannot give it in this case because the offence was as serious as it was and I do not believe it was made in good faith. If he really had been sorry he would have been a bit more detailed about what he said where the sex abuse of children was concerned, you simply don’t accuse someone of that without some real evidence/proof and if in anger you do then when you apologize you are specific about it. There is a world of difference between having your own sexual identity attacked and claiming you are a monster that destroys childrens souls (which is how I view what a pedophile does, as I believe most people do including I thought Christians). That is why I don’t believe in the sincerity of his apology, and why I am not willing to let it slide with a perfunctory “forgiven, forgotten” in this case (which I have many other times when things got too heated and name calling was done, including the gay attacks), the offence was simply too serious.

    I may (almost certainly will for that matter) forgive him eventually for it, but not for his sake or because I believe he deserves it, but only for the sake of my own soul, but that time is not yet. There are just some things you do not smear people with regardless of how much you disagree with their politics, and this I though was a bright red line for most human beings of all partisan flavours and faiths.

  78. 80 Brian Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Well, of course you’re right. Jesus was asked how many times one ought to frgive their brother. In the question, there was a deliberate exageration, as if the number were unthinkable: “As many as seven times?!?” Of course, Jesus’ reply was either “Yes, even seventy times” or “Yes, even seventy times seven times.”

    Now Jasper might or might not be my brother. I can have no way to answer this question about anyone with certainty. But I am pretty clear that Jesus’ intent was to forgive, not only to forgive those whom you are sure are your brothers. God has forgiven me worse than anything Jasper has done here.

    I would encourage you to consider two things. It appears that Jasper’s intent was to rile you, and you are riled. This seems less than what you might want as an outcome.

    Second, I don’t see that he cheapened child molestation; he really didn’t say anything about the subject of child molestation, rather he attempted to say something about you. To whatever degree child molestation is bad, that is the degree to which he intended to insult you. The severity of child molestation is a scale of measurement. In the same way, had he tried to say that you were only 2 feet tall, this says nothing about feet, but is an attempt to apply feet as a measure of you.

    As to your willingness to forgive or not, I cannot judge you on that. You yourself have said you are not a Christian; how could I insist that you follow the tenets of a religion you do not hold? I don’t think you harm anyone but yourself by holding onto your feeling in this matter, but that is your responsibility of course, not mine.

    Let’s assume for the sake of the following point that Jasper was not sincere. (I am not saying you were not, Jasper, I am merely contemplating the ramifications that would ensue were that the case.) There is the outside chance that being forgiven when he had not apologized sincerely would become a burr under his saddle, leading to improvement of his character at some future point. You just can never know what one kind word — or harsh word, for that matter — will result in later.

    Plus, there is Romans 12:20 (a New Testament quotation of Prov. 25:21, 22) to consider: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,”

    But you should not infer from my forgiving him the offense that I have forgotten it. Having forgiven the offense, Jasper no longer owes me any debt stemming from the offense, and I most likely will not bring it up myself, unless it is squarely germane to a point — and even then that would not be to bring about feelings of guilt, but to think or talk about what that showed, or whatever.

    But if that kind of behavior were to continue, the past forgiven events would still be used (most likely) to assess the meanings or implications of those kinds of events. “Forgive” & “forget” aren’t joined at the hip in the Bible as they so often are in most people’s world view or personal philosophy. They are’nt joined in mine. Each is independently chosen. I do believe if someone is excused for having done something (indicating that it was outside their control, or was an inescapable choice) that such a thing as that should be forgotten.

    Regarding “but that time is not yet,” if you put much stock in the biblical teaching (or any similar idea) that even idle words will be measured in the balance, you wouldn’t want to have a fatal annurism while you’re holding out… It is good to keep short, short accounts… (But again, solely your call.)

    Everyone places their “bright red lines” in different locations. If I were to hear that Jasper had said to a child, “Scotian wants nothing more than to … you,” then he would have been harming that child in an attempt to insult you. To say to you, “You probably wants nothing more than to … the first child you see,” I see that as not harming any children, though it is a despicable thing to say (except in cases where that is true, though it is not true, of course, for you).

    Anyway, those are just my thoughts. I don’t really have a horse in the race of your relationship or interactions with Jasper, naturally.

  79. 81 Scotian Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Brian:

    Oh I understood where you were coming from all along, don’t sweat it. And you are correct, it did rile me. However, I disagree with you about your point regarding whether he cheapened child molestation. He used that solely for the purposes of trying to inflame and provoke a reaction and to hurt someone he was unable to in a disagreement. The kind of thinking that can do so diminishes what that offence is about when they do that, much like saying that anything that is critical of say Israel is anti-Semitism weakens the meaning of that word, or when anything critical about gays is always homophobia, same thing in my eyes/books. As to different people having different bright lines, seriously Brian, how can anyone regardless of backgrounds not consider sexual abuse of children one of the worst acts one human being can do to another and therefore the accusation of such to be one of the worst to every lay against another, especially when it is false and you have no reason to believe it to be true? I might well agree with your different bright lines if we were talking about just about anything else (rape being about the only other one I would think is a universal disgust point and that is directly related to this one, indeed sexual child abuse is just about the worst form of rape) like whether someone is gay or not, but not on this one. The only people that can defend such behaviour are those that commit it, I know of no-one else that would.

    As to your religious arguments about forgiveness, as I said before I understood them before you listed them, and I understand that for you they are what you need to follow. Me, I am not bound by those considerations and in this case I choose to withhold forgiveness for a time because this was in my eyes an exceptionally egregious offence. Understand Brian I have been called many things by those disagreeing with me and I let it slide as simply those people showing their inability to win the argument on merit, which is where I was going with Jasper until that last. However, there are some acts, some sins, which cannot and should not be forgiven easily (aside by a priest) without evidence of real contrition in my books, eventually yes, but not immediately. (Indeed, according to the RC traditions forgiveness from a priest does not come without serving penance, and while I am not a priest I think some penance is warranted in this case) This was one of them.

    I expect God to forgive, and Jesus to forgive, but I alas am neither, I am but a flawed man. Jasper comes close to forfeiting his right to being called a fellow human being when he goes to that extreme by the ethical standards by which I live, and I do not believe such should be able to be forgiven without more serious evidence of contrition than I saw immediately afterward. If he had shown it once he cooled down then I could have done so, but he didn’t. He had no way of knowing whether I was someone that was molested as a child for example, and how much such an accusation could really hurt and cause reliving of such a trauma for someone with such a history. That is in part why I find his offence as serious as I do, he choose to lash out to provoke and to hurt, and when he apologized for it he did so in the most perfunctory and limited manner possible. The one does not equate the other for me.

    As you have noted, I am not bound to follow the same standards you are. I would also point out that one of the things that most infuriates me about so many so called Christians (not you, this is in no way meant to describe you going by all I have seen from you please understand that) is their belief that they can be forgiven whatever evil they do so long as they repent afterward and therefore they don’t worry about doing that evil especially if they think it is in a “good cause”, and Jasper feels to me a lot like one of those. I will add I am not going to be letting this person’s offence dominate my thinking/awareness, indeed outside of this thread it hasn’t as it is. However, I have to call things as I see them, and I have to follow the ethical standards which my faith and beliefs requires of me as much as you do yours, which is what I have done.

    Don’t worry, I don’t mind what you have tried to do with your comment, nor do I believe you have a horse in this issue between Jasper and myself. I only included you because for me this all started when I supported your understanding of an ethical dilemma and how Catholic doctrine has traditionally decided it when you were being misinformed by someone claiming to know better. I expect you and I will continue to go on disagreeing on many political points, as we have before, but at least you are a type of Christian I can understand and respect even while opposing, and these days that counts for no small amount in political dialogue and confrontations in my books.

  80. 82 Jasper Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    “Thank you Jasper. I forgive you.”

    Thanks Brian, you’re a true Christian

    “How does one become a Christian, in your understanding?”

    Accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savoir.

    “What are the implications of going from being not a Christian, to being a Christian?”

    One will be in Heaven for eternity with Jesus.

    “Does becoming a Christian, in your understanding, put obligations on a person?”

    Yes, absolutely.

    “Assuming God wants people to be Christians (whether His desire includes only some or all), what is His motivation for that desire?”

    God wants people to choose Him out of free will, and spend eternity in His presense. I don’t what else His motivation may be, but it’s good.

    “Also, did you grow up in a Catholic home”

    We were Catholics but not really practicing Catholics, sadly.

    “or did you become a Catholic at some point in your life for reasons other than family traditions?”

    I became a practicing Catholic when I met my wife. But, as you can see, I still have a lot of work to do!

    “That is in part why I find his offence as serious as I do, he choose to lash out to provoke and to hurt, and when he apologized for it he did so in the most perfunctory and limited manner possible.”

    Scotian,

    My apoligy was sincere. I don’t believe that you are a child molester or any of that nonsense I said.

  81. 83 Reality.Bites Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Brian and Jasper are both giving us shining examples of how “Christians” can forgive absolutely anything, as long as a “Christian” does it and pretends to be sorry.

    One of them is smarter than the other, but morally, they’re both absolute scum. Sadly, that’s pretty much the definition of a Christian today. The decent ones should probably come up with a new name for themselves like “Followers of Christ” so as to not be lumped in with these dregs of society who call themselves Christians.

  82. 84 Cornelius T. Zen Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Good morrow, all!
    I would venture that both Brian and Jasper use their religion as a means to feel superior to other people.
    What makes Christians superior, and why should they be? The finest Christians of my acquaintance are genuinely modest, personable and delightful in company, some with a better sense of humor than most. They would never raise hand or voice against another person, and they forgive slights and insults without condition, or as much as a second thought, They set a great example – which is what Christians are supposed to do.
    Jasper and Brian are not typical of the real message of Christianity.
    Thank God for that, eh? – CTZen

  83. 85 Brian Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Scotian,

    seriously Brian, how can anyone regardless of background not consider sexual abuse of children one of the worst acts one human being can do to another…

    I don’t know how, I only know that some do.  NAMBLA, for instance, is unapologetic.

    Also, there have been cases where an act by someone was sexual abuse of a child if they were aroused, but not abuse if they were inert, emotionally.  No lie!

    It seems to me, abuse is what the child goes through.  A given act is exactly as traumatic for a child if the perpetrator enjoyed it or not.

     

    As to your religious arguments about forgiveness, as I said before I understood them before you listed them, and I understand that for you they are what you need to follow.  

    Not true.  I don’t need to follow these tenets, I want to.  (I certainly ought to, true enough.)

     

    Me, I am not bound by those considerations and in this case I choose to withhold forgiveness for a time because this was in my eyes an exceptionally egregious offence.

    I only brought it up with you, because you said you try to follow Jesus’ example, and what He taught.

     

    … aside [from] by a priest …

    Well, naturally, being a Protestant I don’t think that a priest can forgive someone (except forgiving an offense against the priest himself, of course!), any more than I can.  A Priest can explain how forgiveness is obtained, and can announce to a person that they have forgiveness if they have trusted Jesus, but these are things that anyone can do, believer or not.  (Truth is true, irrespective of who annunciates it.)

     

    … forgiveness … does not come without serving penance, and … I think some penance is warranted in this case …

    See, there are 2 things about this that prevent me from going along, despite my natural, human desire that there be payback.

    1) There is not one word in the Bible (following Jesus’ crucifixion) that lends any support to that.  The part of the Bible that covers the Church era says nothing about either penance or purgatory.

    2) Item one makes sense to me, because my understanding is that we owe all to God, and so can never obtain the extra necessary to make such a payment as penance.

    There is indication in the Bible that denying yourself the things that you might want, but which would distract you, can produce a better character, but that is not payment for sin (or really any kind of payment).

     

    Jasper comes close to forfeiting his right to being called a fellow human being …

    Careful there.  Being a human is a property, not a right.  (I understand there is a difference between being a human, and being called a fellow human being; I followed what you were saying.  Hold on — more to follow…)  When one goes down the road where some — any — can be denied status as a fellow human being, the door to extermination programs is open far too wide for my comfort.  You can feel as you will, of course, but I offer unsolicited advice to exercise caution along this vector.

     

    RB,

    Brian & Jasper are both giving us shining examples of how “Christians” can forgive absolutely anything, as long as a “Christian” does it and pretends to be sorry.

    What could you possibly have read that makes you think I forgave Jasper because he is a Christian?  I certainly didn’t say that…

     

    [They] should probably come up with a new name for themselves like …

    That’s been tried a lot.  Every time Christians come up with a name for themselves, it gets co-opted.  So we have gone from Christians, to born again Christians (though no one who has not been born again is a Christian, in the Bible’s use of that term), believers, disciples, evangelicals, etc.

     

    CTZen,

    I would venture that both Brian and Jasper use their religion as a means to feel superior to other people.

    That can only be because you have less than stellar ability to read others from text.  (I do, too, so don’t think I am saying that because I think I read others from text in a more superior fashion to you.)  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  I experience relief and gratitude that I am a Christian, not pride.  And I don’t mean “Thanks God for making me a Christian even though you didn’t make them Christians,” but thanks to God that it is even possible for anyone to be a Christian.

     

    What makes Christians superior, and why should they be?

    Nothing does, and there is no reason that they should be.

    Regarding the rest of your post, I am really starting to wonder what is the matter with you, Ct-zen.  There are times that you seem really out of touch in an alarming fashion.  I mean, I read what you write, and I wonder what on earth you could be thinking!  I mean, I’m just gobsmacked.

    This is embarrassing to say, but I feel it is (unfortunately) important, so as to show you what I mean.
    I forgave Jasper with no strings attached whatsoever.  I didn’t ask him whether he was really a Christian first, whether he promised not to do it again, or anything.

    At one point I did ask him to stop being so stupid.  But I would never dream of asking someone I truly think is stupid to stop being so, because they would, of course, be unable to do so; it would be like asking a smart person to stop being smart, or someone with a sense of humor to stop noting the amusing aspects of what’s going on around them.  So I hope my meaning was clear, that I meant to stop acting in a stupid manner.
    Aside from that “slap,” I have been sincere (rather than sarcastic, or hyperbolic, or anything like that).

    I feel strongly about the things I post here about, and so I stand my ground, make my case, etc.  But I don’t “go after” the persons I am disagreeing with.

    Could it be that you find people you agree with personable and delightful to be around, but if you are diametrically opposed to their positions on things that you, yourself, feel strongly about, you feel that they then are poor examples of Christians?

  84. 86 Janus Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I like how Ambrose Bierce described a Christian: “One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.”

    And GB Shaw said that Christianity is possibly a good idea, if somebody tried it.

    Napoleon considered religion in general to be “excellent stuff for keeping common folk quiet.”

    And Freud thoght that religion was something comparable to a childhood neurosis.

    And forgiveness? Back to Bierce: “A stratagem to throw an offender off his guard and catch him red-handed in his next offense.”

    Boy! am I ever glad I’m not burdened with any of that stuff!

  85. 87 Cornelius T. Zen Monday, May 24, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Brian: When Jasper lashed out at all and sundry with his puerile innuendo and outright insults, that was in character with all that has gone heretofore. When he said he was sorry, THAT was out of character, and thus suspicious.
    Am I out of touch? In whose estimation, and by what standard of measurement?
    I have been a Catholic longer than you’ve been alive, my son. I have never, in all my born days (and that’s saying something) met or heard of or from a Catholic with so much bile and hatred in his heart and pen as Jasper. He claims to be in his forties, and married. My word, he kisses his wife with that mouth? And yet, when someone calls him on his bile and spleen, he says he’s sorry. Excuse me? He couldn’t, like, spend thirty seconds thinking about what he was about to say? That’s like the Taliban throwing acid in the faces of Afghani schoolgirls, and then apologizing, because the Quran didn’t exactly say one should do that.
    The New Testament says you should forgive your enemies, in order to heap coals on their heads. Whoa right there, Nelly! That is as vindictive a concept as setting fire to their homes. You should forgive your “enemies” because it’s good for YOUR soul, and just might be good for theirs in the bargain.
    You see, whatever love one may express for God is absolutely pointless if it is not reflected in one’s love for one’s fellow human being. The love of God IS the love for one’s fellow man, and vice versa. They are both equivalent to and consistent with one another. Love your neighbor, that God may love you AND your neighbor.
    Jasper: God loves homosexuals. They’ve been around much longer than Christianity itself, and I believe that He has both a great deal of love in His heart for them, and plans for their continued existence. Love them or hate them, as you will, but it is is His Will that will be done. If you don’t trust Him, you don’t love Him, and you can’t love anyone else. Which, I’m sure, bodes well for your wife.
    How much simpler can I make it? – CTZen

  86. 88 Brian Monday, May 24, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Janus,

    A Christian:    One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.    One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

    This is the description of a hypocrite, not a Christian, notwithstanding that some Christians are indeed hypocrites.
    So are solipsists, who will pound the “non-existent” table in the coffee shop to make the point that all reality is an illusion, then will carefully look both ways before crossing the street when leaving.
    So are the Buddhist monks who kill Christians from time to time in the far east.
    Christians as a group do not have the corner on the market of hypocrisy.

    Those who “try Christianity” on a daily basis you rarely hear about, so it would be hard to really assess that group.  When my wife went to Somalia to set up feeding stations, and made many life-long friends, did you hear about that? Was it in the papers? Did Christopher Hitchens, et al., find out about it so as to incorporate that kind of thing in their poison-penned diatribes? No.

    Napoleon?!? You mean the megalomaniac who wanted to be God?
    Not only that, but non-believers for centuries have trotted out this falsehood that religion is designed by men who would oppress, to oppress the masses. What men? Who is it who is doing this controlling?  I mean, sure, some men may have found religion well suited for exerting control, given how many over the years who have tried to dominate (Alexander, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Idi Amin, Mussolini, Rothschild, Woodrow Wilson, Hirohito, Genghis Khan, and all the hundreds more).

    These would be dominators have used both religion, and the ridicule of religion (Hitler and Stalin both did the latter).

    But this comic book caricature of religion is really unsophisticated; it is essentially on a par with bumper stickers.

    Freud?!?  Listen, he was a great thinker, and got the ball rolling on a lot of useful stuff.  But so many of his pronouncements have been abandoned that it is really something that you want to cite him as a source.  I mean, he also ruined the sexual enjoyment of thousands upon thousands of women with his completely erroneous distinction between vaginal and clitoral orgasms, labeling one of them immature.  He cried out in exasperation, “What do women want?!?” while still (apparently) being trotted out as a significant source.

    Since Ambrose Bierce was clearly hostile toward Christianity, I would say that what he has to say about Christianity ought to be thoroughly verified under separate means before they are embraced.

    Ever heard the saying, “ ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ leaves the whole world toothless and blind?”
    But now you want to laud someone who lampoons forgiveness?  Brilliant.

    Boy! am I ever glad I’m not burdened with any of that stuff!
    Yeah, you’re much better off alright…  Anyone can see that.

    But I think I read about you already:

    The kings of the earth take their stand
    And the rulers take counsel together
    Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
    “Let us tear their fetters apart
     And cast away their cords from us!”
    He who sits in the heavens laughs,
    The Lord scoffs at them.

    (Psalm 2:2—4)

    But who knows? Maybe things will go better for you, eh?   I don’t quote the Bible much unless it happens to be the focus, but in this one case I just didn’t want you tho think you had arrived at some new, unheard-of-before pinnacle.

  87. 89 Brian Monday, May 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I have been a Catholic longer than you’ve been alive, my son.

    Yeah, yeah, you’re old; I got that, given how often you brag about it.  It seems that in all that vast time you would have learned that it is impossible to make a comparison when you have only one element.  You know your age (though I don’t), yet you do not know mine.  Seems like less that the requisite number of elements with which to make a comparison…

    Still and all, let’s allow that you used to play chess with Abraham Lincoln: The time during this span that you used to learn to pat people on the head and call them “sonny” seems time wasted to me.

    I have been a Catholic longer than you’ve been alive, my son. I have never, in all my born days (and that’s saying something) met or heard of or from a Catholic with so much bile and hatred in his heart and pen as Jasper.

    Apparently you never had the honor of meeting “Beverly from Burien,” a woman who called all the local talk radio stations in Seattle, both religion-format oriented and politics-formatted.

    The local Christian (predominantly non-Roman-Catholic) decided to invite her and me as guests at the same time for a one hour “lay-Catholic & lay-protestant” segment, to take calls together, moderated by the host of that hour.  We bot agreed, but she said that she wanted to come borrow some of the books I would be citing, so that she knew what she would be up against. I thought that that was a great idea!  I figured she might learn something valuable, and I knew I would never have a chance to say to her, “I think you need to read this,” and hand her anything, since she was so hostile toward me.

    Well, she came over, and she harangued me, interrupted me, maligned me and so on standing in my kitchen with me for about an hour and a half, while my wife literally hid in the bedroom under the covers!  Her approach closely resembled Jasper’s.  To her credit, when Beverly mentioned her husband, there was clear tenderness in her demeanor — I was quite surprised at that, and was glad to have gone though that gauntlet to have been afforded the opportunity to see that in her.

    That’s like the Taliban throwing acid in the faces of Afghani schoolgirls, and then apologizing …

    Come on…  No it’s not.  No one was disfigured by Jasper, and all involved were adults.  Sufficient unto the actions are the demerit therein…  (To paraphrase a well known saying, somewhat.)

    The New Testament says you should forgive your enemies, in order to heap coals on their heads. Whoa right there, Nelly! That is as vindictive a concept as setting fire to their homes.

    No it’s not, really.  The verse is clearly metaphoric (as anyone who recognizes metaphor, and simile would know) since words have no physical substance.  When you burn someone’s house down, the physical house is physically gone.  The implication of this verse is that you will possibly have such an embarrassing effect on the person, they will be too ashamed to do anything like that again — they won’t be able to get it out of their head.  That doesn’t work on everyone, but it works on some.

    But even if you forgave one in a vindictive manner, it still obligates you to mean it and really forgive them — and who knows, maybe it will become a habit, once you see good come of that for both yourself and the one being forgiven.

    Some people need to do the right thing for the wrong reasons for a little while to have a chance to witness the rightness of the outcomes.  This was even true for Corrie ten Boom.  One of her German tormentors came to her, and asked her for her forgiveness.  She says that every fiber of her being wanted to deny this man who had been such a horror to her.  But, with his hand extended toward her, waiting, she took his hand and forgave him because she knew she should.  She says that it was one of the more liberating experiences of her life, and that it was like she could feel something wonderful and physical travel the length of her arm as she grasped his hand.  She had to do what she knew was right — only because she knew it was right — to have that experience that taught her about the rightness of forgiveness.

    You should forgive your “enemies” because it’s good for YOUR soul …

    I’m not sure I agree. (I am also not sure I disagree, to be honest.)  At first blush, this seems too tilted toward selfishness.  The Bible tells us that we should forgive others because God has forgiven us.  It also talks about sins being offenses against God, and that if He has forgiven them, we are arrogating to ourselves something we ought not to if we refuse to forgive what God has already forgiven.  It is good for our soul and theirs, but it does not seem that this should be the primary motivation, given the points immediately above.  I’ll have to think about that some.

     

     

    I recognize full well, CTZen, that you are addressing Jasper in the following.  Still & all, I felt that you missed the mark a couple of times, and wanted to address those points.  I would say that I hope you don’t mind, though I am sure that you will.  Rather I hope you won’t mind to the point that it is unbearable, and I hope you can tolerate it.

    Jasper: God loves homosexuals. They’ve been around much longer than Christianity itself, and I believe that He has both a great deal of love in His heart for them.

    Of course this is true, and is good cause for why Jasper and Fred Phelps (among others) should not savage nor insult them.

    It is also true that the previous truth does not establish the case that “[God] plans for their continued existence.”  He certainly plans on it (meaning He expects it), but that’s not the same as desiring it, if that is your meaning.

    The following does not refute that either, but only shows that the point you made cannot be used to show that God approves of homosexuality (meaning it is not sufficient to the task).  Please don’t try to read more than that into it.

    You can substitute virtually any class of action in this sentence, and it will be true:  “God loves those who _______. They’ve been around much longer than Christianity itself, and I believe that He has a great deal of love in His heart for them.”

    You can put grocers alongside thieves in that sentence, and it will be true.  But, while God almost certainly desires that there still be grocers, He would also desire that no one ever steal again.

    People who know better than to steal should encourage people they know who steal to stop stealing.  That is butting into the thieves business, but they should butt in nonetheless.

    Now, I doubt you agree, but my opinion is that God desires that no one ever again participate in homosexual acts.  I believe that those who know this should encourage those who are inclined to do those sorts of things to do them no longer.

    But just as I ought to love those I might know who regularly steal while encouraging them to stop, I ought to love those who engage in homosexual acts while encouraging them to stop.

    This is not license to insult them, sneer at them in action or deed, to “write them off” as “one of those,” or any other unloving behaviors.  So I agree that Jasper’s use of homosexual slurs in an attempt to insult someone was wrong.  He says he knows it was wrong, too, so at least we are all in agreement about that one point, irrespective of how strongly we feel it was wrong.

  88. 90 Scotian Monday, May 24, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Brian:

    Re your NAMBLA point, I guess you missed at the end of that same paragraph the sentence you quoted came from where I dealt with your point before you made it, you know where I said, “The only people that can defend such behaviour are those that commit it, I know of no-one else that would.” That certainly would characterize NAMBLA now wouldn’t it, hmmm?

    “I only brought it up with you, because you said you try to follow Jesus’ example, and what He taught.”

    Actually, that isn’t what I said, I said I live a life in practice that follows what he taught better than many that claim to be followers of Christ. There is a difference. I respect the message of Christ, I agree with the humanist values within those teachings, but I do not define my ethics and values by what Jesus said nor do I use them as the standard by which I live my life, I think you misunderstood me there.

    As to your objection to my comment regarding Jasper coming close to losing consideration as a human being, you would have been more honest to quote the entire sentence, you know this: “Jasper comes close to forfeiting his right to being called a fellow human being when he goes to that extreme by the ethical standards by which I live, and I do not believe such should be able to be forgiven without more serious evidence of contrition than I saw immediately afterward.” I was very careful with the words I chose, and for you to cut it where you did and then lecture me about it smacks a bit of intellectual dishonesty there Brian. I said what I said to underscore just how serious I view the offence and the fact that a perfunctory apology is inadequate to show contrition and repentance for the wrong committed in my standard/eyes, not to actually claim I have the right to cast someone from literally being a human being something the context should have made obvious.

    Indeed, you do not actually know the ethical standards I use so you have no basis for determining whether I was pushing it or not, and besides, I did not say he went beyond them, just that his conduct came close to that line in my books. Thing is, you don’t know what it would take to actually cross that line or even whether I think it can be done, you made an assumption you needed to be more careful of there. Not to mention whether I meant someone can lose the right to be considered a fellow human being in the moral/ethical sense of the description versus the actual sense of the description which is another matter entirely and I don’t know how anyone could be excluded from that.

    As to your semantics about need versus want to follow Christ’s teachings, that seems to be essentially empty/meaningless hairsplitting to me, as to be a good Christian by your lights you need to follow his teachings don’t you? You need to follow his teachings about forgiveness as you understand them to fulfill your want to be a good Christian. That you want to is important, I’ll agree with that, but you want to do something that you need to do to be a good Christian which is what you want to be, so I really think this point was one without any real point to it, sorry.

    As to the point about a priest, remember Jasper is not a protestant, he is a self proclaimed Catholic, so I was applying Catholic standards to him. I have to wonder why you left out in your edited quote the bit in the middle where I pointed out that this was in the RC tradition I was talking about regarding forgiveness and penance, because with the removed words in place then your argument makes far less if any sense. I also have a problem with the way you equate penance with payback, one is to show that you recognize the seriousness of what you have done wrong and your sincerity in asking forgiveness for it, the other has a much more vindictive overtone to its meaning than that and does not automatically link to forgiveness unlike penance. I also notice that you focused exclusively on this to make your point and completely overlooked the part about where I was talking about the importance of contrition.

    For forgiveness to be meaningful there must be repentance of that which you are wishing to be forgiven, otherwise it is an empty gesture devoid of meaning. I saw no sign of repentance from Jasper when he asked to be forgiven for calling me a child molester, so I withheld it. I see no reason to change that point of view, as I am not bound by the religious requirements you are on this matter.

    BTW, going back to your original question to Jasper which I joined in on which started all of this, I couldn’t recall the proper name (I knew there was one, just couldn’t recall it) for the RC principle which deals with the ethical question about whether the life of a mother is placed ahead that of a fetus when carrying to term will kill both. My mother thinks she recalled its name when I discussed this thread with her earlier today, she thinks it it is called the double effect principle and that sounds right to me. Just in case you wanted to explore the concept a bit more on your own time.

    PS: I think we have wrung this out just about as far as it can go, so don’t be surprised if I decide this is as far as I am taking this discussion/thread (although that is not firmly decided, depending on activity in this thread following this comment I may see reason to continue, just saying that this may be my last submission as fair warning).

  89. 91 Scotian Monday, May 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Brian:

    I had intended on closing this thread but I saw you had posted a comment while I was composing my last comment, and I read it and there was one element to it I felt a need to ask about.

    “Now, I doubt you agree, but my opinion is that God desires that no one ever again participate in homosexual acts. I believe that those who know this should encourage those who are inclined to do those sorts of things to do them no longer.”

    The problem I see here is that you are assuming this to be true based on what the old testament said, you know the old testament that Christ said he came to correct the understanding of, and that Christ himself never said anything I’ve ever seen about God having problems with homosexuality and its practice. Aren’t you placing words in Jesus’ mouth when you as a good Christian claim that God believes otherwise? This is a problem I have had with the Christian claim that God is against homosexuals and/or homosexual acts. Everything I recall from the Bible that expressly condemned it came from the Old Testament and none of it came from anything Jesus himself is said to have said.

    So aren’t you arrogating to yourself something that belongs to God with this belief? Isn’t that something you are supposed to avoid doing?

  90. 92 Cornelius T. Zen Monday, May 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Good morrow, Brian!
    Correct me if I’m wrong:
    Somewhere in one of your submissions, you mentioned that you became a Christian at 35. You also mentioned in another submission that you were currently forty-two. Doing the math, I would guess (since I may not conclude, being too old to do so) that you have been a Christian for, let’s see, borrow the one, carry the four…where’s that calculator???…oh. right. of course. Seven years.
    On the other hand, I have been a Catholic for approximately, let me see…x integrated to the power of e, times pi, regress to the mean…somewhat longer…
    And you are trying to school me on what it takes to be a Christian. Thank you, I can always use all the help I can get.
    I have lived through six Popes, before Benny the Jet took over. I have studied the history of Christianity, and have several versions of the Bible upon which to draw.
    Brian, you are not here to make friends, that much is obvious. So what does Jesus say what to do when nobody accepts your message? To paraphrase: Walk to the edge of town, and knock the dust of the town off your sandals.
    “Yeah, yeah, you’re old.” So good of you, so very…Christian…that you should acknowledge that with such respect. If Christianity has improved you as a person, you must have made Hannibal Lector look like the Dalai Lama, when you were an atheist. To his credit, Hannibal could at least be charming.
    But, I digress…
    You are born again. Good for you. Find it in your heart to forgive the rest of us for getting it right the first time.
    God loves you. That does not mean He loves you best. That only means that God is fair, and kind, and that is why I am older than you, and will always be your elder, my son.
    Pray for us sinners. I’m sure He is looking forward to hearing from you.
    Good night, and may your God go with you – CTZen

  91. 93 JJ Monday, May 24, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Scotian

    Actually, that isn’t what I said, I said I live a life in practice that follows what he taught better than many that claim to be followers of Christ. There is a difference.

    Nuance: conservatives are sometimes unclear on the concept ;)

    (And a note of thanks for your contributions: I am truly in awe of the articulateness of some of the commenters here.)

  92. 94 JJ Monday, May 24, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    CTZen

    You also mentioned in another submission that you were currently forty-two.

    I think that might have been Jasper — for sure he said he was 42 in another thread recently.

  93. 95 Brian Monday, May 24, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Re your NAMBLA point, I guess you missed at the end of that same paragraph the sentence you quoted came from where I dealt with your point before you made it, you know where I said, ‘The only people that can defend such behaviour are those that commit it, I know of no-one else that would.’

    I did miss that,you’re right. sorry.

  94. 96 Brian Monday, May 24, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    I was very careful with the words I chose, and for you to cut it where you did and then lecture me about it smacks a bit of intellectual dishonesty there Brian.

    I was only noting that that can be dangerous territory. I didn’t mean it as a lecture.

    I have re-read what you said several times now, and still feel the same. You had not said that jasper was not a human being, and I didn’t mean to imply that you had said he had. But you hold out the possibility of someone forfeiting their right to being called a fellow human being. If “Jasper comes close to forfeiting his right to being called a fellow human being,” then the implication is that one can go that far even if Jasper didn’t.

    I was only trying to point out that that is someplace that is probably better not approached.

    Thing is, you don’t know what it would take to actually cross that line or even whether I think it can be done…

    Well, alright: sure. None of us here know everything about the others here. I mean, that is really almost mot necessary to state, it being something that so saturates this kind of forum. Therefore we all do our best with the clues that are accessible. I would have to say that no one can ever forfeit their property of being a fellow human being, and you certainly implied that that status can be reached. Had you said, “Jasper comes close … (though, of course that line could never be actually crossed) …” the I would have to see it differently. But pointing out that someone almost did this or that implies that this or that can be actually done. That just seems like normal communication to me. If you think I took you too literally, I am glad that that is the case.

     

    As to your semantics about need versus want to follow Christ’s teachings, that seems to be essentially empty/meaningless hairsplitting to me, as to be a good Christian by your lights you need to follow his teachings don’t you?

    This comes close to being the most important thing about Christianity, actually.

    The Law of Moses was a set of commands. That resulted in rebellion, as this is human beings we’re talking about.

    In Christianity, having been saved by grace through faith alone, as a gift, Christians want to know what they can do, and so the tenets of the New Testament become instructions, learning as it were, rather than orders. It really makes all the difference in how it is received by human beings, they being naturally rebellious.

    This distinction goes to the very heart of what makes Christianity different.

    As to the point about a priest, remember Jasper is not a protestant, he is a self proclaimed Catholic, so I was applying Catholic standards to him. I have to wonder why you left out in your edited quote the bit in the middle where I pointed out that this was in the RC tradition I was talking about regarding forgiveness and penance, because with the removed words in place then your argument makes far less if any sense.

    Well, it was not an attempt to misquote you. It just seemed an opportune moment to insert my understanding of the teaching of the Bible. Kind of casting seeds, I guess, because Jasper is a RC.

    I also have a problem with the way you equate penance with payback…

    Well, in part because people say things like “God is punishing me,” and “Because of my sin, I owe this to God,” and other similar statements.

    Forgiveness is something that is given, not earned. When a convict gets out of prison, he can say without conditions, “I have paid my debt to society.” Society can ask nothing of him for his crime, and ha has no need for society to forgive him. Society established the price through the legislative and judicial process, and he has paid that price.

    But in Roman Catholicism there is a heavy emphasis on the merit of suffering. Some Catholics have stated that Mary is a co-redmptrix with Jesus because God supernaturally allowed her to suffer while Jesus was being crucified, therefore she partially pays our sin debt. To those who hold suffering in such high regard, the suffering of penance pays part of what is owed for sin. To some, when that part has been “paid,” then the remainder can be forgiven. But that is partially purchasing forgiveness in my view, and purchased forgiveness is not forgiveness at all.

    Much of the theology around forgiveness and related topics is forensic. The issue is very much like the roles in a theoretically perfect courtroom. The crime, and the crime alone is considered (not whether the offender is usually such a nice person), and if there was a crime, payment must be paid. The judge, being merciful is willing to let the offender go free as long as the payment is made for the outstanding debt that the offense generated.

    In Catholicism (at least in some circles of it), penance can make partial payment, since it involves suffering.

    For forgiveness to be meaningful there must be repentance of that which you are wishing to be forgiven, otherwise it is an empty gesture devoid of meaning.

    This does not seem to jibe with Jesus’ asking that His Father forgive those who hung Him there.

    I am, though, pro repentance, and I believe the Christian life to be fraught through with repentance.

     

    The problem I see here is that you are assuming this to be true based on what the old testament said, you know the old testament that Christ said he came to correct the understanding of, and that Christ himself never said anything I’ve ever seen about God having problems with homosexuality and its practice. Aren’t you placing words in Jesus’ mouth when you as a good Christian claim that God believes otherwise?

    Thank you for the tone of your question, rather than going to a flamethrower as your tool of first choice. This definitely sets you higher on the measure of civility.

    Actually, I am not basing that on the OT. Jesus did not say that He came to correct the understanding of the OT. He called the OT an old wine skin that would not successfully hold the new thing He brought, and called it an Old Garment that would only tear if it were spliced together with this new thing He brought.

    There are lessons that can be learned from the OT, but its obligations do not rest upon believers of this day and age.

    Jesus preached against immorality, but did not mention every form of it. He had much to do, but there was more to do than He could accomplish in the scant few years of His ministry. That is, in part, why He appointed apostles, and tasked them with fleshing out more of the details. For instance, the book of Hebrews is rich with explanations of doctrinal considerations of moving from the Mosaic Law to the dispensation of the Church. It is a long book, but at one point the writer says “I wanted to give you meat, but you are still babes, and I must give you only milk,” and near the end he says, “And now, having written to you briefly…” There just is not room in the Gospels to describe Jesus’ life, while including all else as well.

    Romans, of course talks of men degrading themselves with other men, and abandoning the natural function of the woman.

    In 1 Cor. Paul gives a long list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God: the unrighteous, fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, the effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, the covetous, drunkards, revilers and swindlers. This is not an exhaustive list, either. In 1 Tim. there is another list which includes homosexuals: the lawless and rebellious, the ungodly and sinners, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching…

    I know some want to reject what Paul wrote, but Peter called Paul’s writing Scripture, and it has been recognized as such for virtually all of Christian history.

    Luke says that Jesus told Paul that Paul was going to carry His message to the Gentiles.

    So there is a solid enough chain to not believe that attributing to God what Paul attributes to God is putting words into God’s mouth, even if in the person of the Son, so I do not believe that I am arrogating to myself something that belongs to God with this belief.

  95. 97 Brian Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Good morrow, Brian!
    And to you, CTZen!

    Correct me if I’m wrong:   Somewhere in one of your submissions, you mentioned that you became a Christian at 35. You also mentioned in another submission that you were currently forty-two. Doing the math, I would guess (since I may not conclude, being too old to do so) that you have been a Christian for, let’s see, borrow the one, carry the four…where’s that calculator???…oh. right. of course. Seven years.

    It was actually when I was 33; I rounded.  I am now 54, so I have been a Christian for 21 years, which, while probably not as long as you have been a Catholic still puts a fair amount of time passed as a Christian. And unlike (unfortunately) most Christians, I have been pretty diligent about studying what it means to be a Christian, and what the Bible says.  I (too) have taken university courses in the early and medieval history of the Christian Church, I am certified by Precepts Ministries as a Bible teacher, and I have spent more time in debates with non-believers, cultists and individuals from other branches of Christianity in those 21 years than most Christians engage in in their whole life.

    And you are trying to school me on what it takes to be a Christian.
    We are to make disciples, no?

    Thank you, I can always use all the help I can get.
    Glad to lend what assistance I can, of course.

    So what does Jesus say what to do when nobody accepts your message?  To paraphrase: Walk to the edge of town, and knock the dust of the town off your sandals.

    Studying the Bible (rather than church history) will reveal that Jesus told His disciples to do this only with respect to the Jewish towns they went to, on that one mission.

    These 12 Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel… And whatever city or village you enter, … … … Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.” [emphasis added]

    (Do you think those against whom they shook off the dust said “What makes you think you’re spo much better than me?” and/or “All you disciples just think you’re better than the rest of us!”?)

    Charles Ryrie’s comment on this is “An act indicating rejection of that Jewish city as if it were an unclean Gentile city.” [emphasis added]

    This is not intended as an example for us to follow today, but is one of the steps in Jesus’ ministry to the Jews, which in turn is the fulfilling of what was necessary in establishing the New Man, the body of believers including Jews, Gentiles and Samaritans.

    You are born again. Good for you. Find it in your heart to forgive the rest of us for getting it right the first time.

    It is not for me to forgive you in your relationship with God.

    But apparently your disagreement is with Jesus: Jesus said, “Amen, amen, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God…
    “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ ” (BTW:the “Amen, amen,” or, as otherwise translated “Truly, truly, I say to you,” is the equivalent in the Gospels of “Thus says the Lord” in the OT.)

    But then, He was in his early thirties when He said that, and you’ve been a catholic longer than that, so I guess that’s not so surprising.

    ‘Yeah, yeah, you’re old.’ So good of you, so very…Christian…that you should acknowledge that with such respect.

    So what then? You want me to pat you on the head, say there there old timer, and put that act of yours down to just that which old folks do? Where is the respect in writing someone off like that? Hardly seems as loving as mentioning it to the person.

    You don’t get a free pass on just whatever, by virtue of being old. I have treated you with substantially more respect than you have treated me with, but I don’t upbraid you for not acting Christian. That just seems an attempt to beat me into silence through generating uncertainty in within me, kind of like getting someone to make no response by saying, “Oh, sure: get in the last word…”

    It is pretty rare for someone to get respect just for demanding it. Stop being so snide and dismissive, and your responses from me will be quite different. As it is, I would say I put up with the tone of your posts pretty well.

  96. 98 JJ Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Brian

    You don’t get a free pass on just whatever, by virtue of being old.

    I don’t think CTZ (or anyone else for that matter) is asking for an “Age Pass” ;) I think he’s just saying that he knows as much about being a Christian as you do, so maybe the level of discourse should reflect that? Just guessing.

    You’ve contributed to a pretty articulate discussion here, though, and thanks for that.

    Although, I have to take issue with

    Now, I doubt you agree, but my opinion is that God desires that no one ever again participate in homosexual acts.

    The key word there is “opinion”. I’ve also heard it said that “God doesn’t make mistakes” — in which case, “homosexual acts” are part of God’s Plan like everything else.

  97. 99 deBeauxOs Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Brian said: “Now, I doubt you agree, but my opinion is that God desires that no one ever again participate in homosexual acts.”

    Christians believe that God made human beings in His image, no?

    You’ve got that order mixed up, Brian. God does not “desire” something simply because you do. Stop projecting your fears and hatred unto Him.

  98. 100 Reality.Bites Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    If God didn’t make mistakes, bigoted scum like Jasper and Brian would never have been born.

  99. 101 Brian Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I don’t think CTZ (or anyone else for that matter) is asking for an “Age Pass.”

    I believe he was calling me on the instruction to honor your elders with the “So good of you, so very… Christian… that you should acknowledge that with such respect.” If he was, then that was seeking deferential treatment due to his age.

     

     

    True enough, I did say it was my opinion, and I knew as I wrote that there would be note taken of that word choice.

    The thing is, everything we say is our opinion; but the questions are: “is it merely our opinion?”, and “for what reasons do we hold that opinion?”

    So many people take the idea that something is someone’s opinion, and parlay that into it being <merely their opinion, as exemplified by the snappy retort, “That’s YOUR opinion!”

    It is my opinion that the US Constitution recognizes my right to criticize my government.  But that is not merely my opinion.  It rests on commentary on the Constitution, the words contained in the Constitution, the outcome of Supreme Court rulings, and so much more.  The fact that it is my opinion means nothing in that case, so pointing out that that is my opinion wouldn’t mean anything either.  If I were to say blue is a nicer color than red (an opinion I do hold), that would be merely my opinion.

     

    Your reference to the saying that God doesn’t make mistakes, and observing from that the homosexual acts are part of His plan doesn’t really work out, if taken as a universal.  That would make all manner of horrid things into things we could not oppose.  (I’m sure you can easily imagine a long list of particulars, as anyone could.)

    If that is the standard, then all is permissible.

    It is true that God does not make mistakes.  (Crap!  I wrote that sentence, and immediately about 2 pages of essay to explore the topic present itself in my mind.  As you might expect, a topic like this cannot be even laid out adequately in a forum like this…)  But there is this passage in Romans 8 to consider in understanding how things currently stand:

    For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

    The meaning is that all of creation is in a different state now than it was as created, a change that was brought about by the entry of sin into the world.  Also, the word “hope” in the Bible rarely means an intense wish (“Ooooh, I hope, I hope, I hope!”), but rather refers to a certainty not yet obtained, such as an inheritance would be.

    So the creation is different right now from what it was initially because of the entry of sin into the world, and the creation will be set free from its current state at a future date.

    Finally, “the children of God” here is not all people, but believers.  It is popular in our day and age to say that “we are all children of God,” but that term is not used in that way in the Bible.  (To interpret texts, you must first read the text using the meanings of the words within the passage that they had at the time the passage was written, and as the writer would have meant them.)  Rather, the Bible says in the 1st chapter of John, regarding Jesus (with amplification added in brackets), “[Jesus] came to that which was His own [the Jewish nation], but His own did not receive Him.  Yet to all who received Him, [that is] to those who believed [trusted] in His name [that is, His reputation, His renown, not the “name” Jesus; as in “Johnny made a good name for himself.””], He gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent [not physical birth as humans], nor of human decision or a husband’s will [not becoming such through cultural nor familial customs as in “I am a Christian because my family is Christian”], but born of God.”

    The reason I bring this particular passage up is to point out through a question, “How would it be possible to become that which already are?” you see.  That and that the Romans passage uses the term “children of God” as a technical term, therefore.

  100. 102 Brian Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    deBeauxOs, please stop: you’re scaring me. I’m afraid! And I hate that!

     

    Really, there are some things I hate (lane changes without signaling, rap, disco, the Westboro Baptist Church, and more), but homosexuals are not in the list.

    There are some things I fear (tyrannical government, muggers, backstabbers at work or among my friends, male pattern baldness, and more) but homosexuals are not in the list.

    Convenient as it might be to label those who opposes a certain behavior as one who either fears the behavior or hates the persons behaving that way, it is just “poisoning all the wells,” not really making an argument.

    Exactly the same attempt is made regarding people who oppose anything Obama is doing, labeling all such a racists. But that’s just childish thinking (if it can be called thinking at all). It is quite possible to vehemently disagree with him for reasons other than race, and it is possible to see homosexuality in a bad light for reasons other than fear or hatred.

    You have it in your mind that anytime you come across the evidence item that someone opposes homosexuality, that you have all the evidence necessary to irrefutably accuse the person of hatred and fear. You appear to have no room for any other conclusion. That sure seems to me to be pretty thin evidence to make such a damning judgment.

    But if it makes you feel justified, safe, or if it reduces the chaos in your life to cling to such simplistic answers, then I know nothing I say can trump that kind of comfort seeking. But you simply are completely mistaken, at least with regard to me.

  101. 103 Brian Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

         If God not making mistakes meant no one without flaws would ever be born (a flaw is a mistake, after all), then those like Jasper & me would never have been born.   No truer statement has ever been made.  I am deeply flawed — vastly more so than you are aware of.

         It also, however, is true that no one but Jesus would ever have been born — not Jasper, not me, not Ghandi, not the person who writes as Reality.Bites, not FDR, not Mussolini, not Mother Teresa.   It actually goes farther than that though, because Mary, who identified Jesus as her Savior (and only sinners need a Savior in the context in which she was speaking) would never have been born so as to be Jesus’ mother, either.


  1. 1 JABbering Stooge :: I thought the Catholic Church was “Pro-Life” :: May :: 2010 Trackback on Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 11:10 am

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