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jamesAMDG

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  1. Hi, since coming back a few weeks ago, I have noticed that a few of my posts wouldn't let me post unless I reduced the number of quote tags. Two quick questions, how many quotes are allowed per post? and why is the limit new (I never seemed to run into before, with the exception of a post about Karen Armstrong)? thanks.
  2. As usual, the apology, sorry for my absence. I'll do my best to answer questions in the order they were raised. Bobd Sorry you've decided that you don't want to talk to me anymore. I don't think I was demoninzing (unless you think that being described as a non-Christian is demonisation.... and then I'm unsure how I was supposed to understand you saying I worshipped the Beast of Revelation or your sacreligious remarks about YHWH) I'll admit I was a bit snarky/sarcastic but I'm pretty sure we're a pot and kettle in this one. McKenna As I've explained in other places, and MOW inadequately explains, I'm on this board because a.) progresive Christianity is fascinating to me b.)I enjoy the opportunity to discuss philosophy, theology etc. with people of differing viewpoints in a way where I can temper my gut reaction, do the proper research and reply - like writing a living paper. c.) I'm bound by the Great Commission and I would be pleased to one day learn that my, poor, attempts at bearing witness as a Christian bore some fruit in someone's soul. I've written long, more detailed explanations before and I'm sure if you want to dig through my logs you could find them. October's Autumn While I would agree that both man's perception of God, and God's self-revelation have developed and expanded over time. Bobd, and other Gnostics, claim that God in the OT is a defective, disabled half-god known as the DemiUrge. The DemiUrge created all of the physical universe and imprisoned the freeness of spirit created by the true god. So, the only valid edition of Holy Writ as far as you are concerned are the original Hebrew autographs? Sorry, the experience of the Jews and early Christians doesn't bear this out as a concept within the Judaic-Christian understanding of the Scriptures. Unless you are rpeapred to offer me some proof for this statement, I can't accept it. This is the fourth penetential psalms. David confesses his sin to God and asks forgiveness. He prays and responds to the work of God's grace in his heart. If I have misunderstood it (providing it can be understood in english), please explain to me the meaning that neither Jews or Christians have found in this. Demons are the angels that fell with Lucifer when Saint Michael the Arcangel threw them out. Demons have therefore exited since before the Garden of Eden because Satan was no longer Lucifer when he tempted Eve, and by proxy, Adam. If I'm always being pilloried for my own sarcasm, could you please eliminate it from your posts as well? I don't understand, in the same thread where people trash me for being sarcastic (and even then not that much) I get replies like this. Under what possible authority do you claim I worship the head god of the pagan, Greek pantheon? The King of gods who lives on Olympus, who was the youngest of his parents children and married Hera, had mistresses (and at least one semi-pedophilica homosexual relathionship)? Which part of the Holy Trinity, makes you think I worship a man-###### of a God, driven by human passions (lust, revenge, etc.)? I've never said it wasn't. In fact, earlier in this thread I noted that Christianity comes from Judaism like a flower on a stem. I get it from the threads where, many people who self-identify as progressives, make ad hominem attacks against people they don;t agree with. Or, conversely, rant and rave about who terrible or dangerous someone is. All this while complaining that so-called conservatives, are judgemental and intolerant. For another example, look at how responses go when I write something. Or look at the threads I mentioned, Pope Benedict XVI thread started by BeachofEden (my one foray outside this forum - excluding the tech questions forum) or the thread about Ann Coulter. What's happening throughout the US and the world? Firstly, I don't live in the US and so, necessarily, try not to get too involved in domestic US politics. But I think that the progressive Christians system, comes from the attempt by socialists and marxists to adapt a religion to their own political worldview ... If progressive Christianity is growing, they need to get better advertising for this board, because it has lost most of its major posters in the last few years... how much time does it take to grow faith? I wasn't confirmed at 8 or 13. I was confirmed when I was 21. How odl shoudl I have been and how much suffering would be appropriate for me to speak about a person who was not born into the Faith? MOW Thanks, I think. But its another example fo the way some posters complain about my attitude etc. but feel perfectly comfortably making off-hand insults about me in conversations with others. If you don;t know much about Jungian psychology, you might want to avoid making a diagnosis of someone you've never actually met outside of a few posts in an internet forum. Not to be insulting, it just seems more reasonable.
  3. As usual, the apology, sorry for my absence. I'll do my best to answer questions in the order they were raised. Bobd Sorry you've decided that you don't want to talk to me anymore. I don't think I was demoninzing (unless you think that being described as a non-Christian is demonisation.... and then I'm unsure how I was supposed to understand you saying I worshipped the Beast of Revelation or your sacreligious remarks about YHWH) I'll admit I was a bit snarky/sarcastic but I'm pretty sure we're a pot and kettle in this one. McKenna As I've explained in other places, and MOW inadequately explains, I'm on this board because a.) progresive Christianity is fascinating to me b.)I enjoy the opportunity to discuss philosophy, theology etc. with people of differing viewpoints in a way where I can temper my gut reaction, do the proper research and reply - like writing a living paper. c.) I'm bound by the Great Commission and I would be pleased to one day learn that my, poor, attempts at bearing witness as a Christian bore some fruit in someone's soul. I've written long, more detailed explanations before and I'm sure if you want to dig through my logs you could find them. October's Autumn While I would agree that both man's perception of God, and God's self-revelation have developed and expanded over time. Bobd, and other Gnostics, claim that God in the OT is a defective, disabled half-god known as the DemiUrge. The DemiUrge created all of the physical universe and imprisoned the freeness of spirit created by the true god. So, the only valid edition of Holy Writ as far as you are concerned are the original Hebrew autographs? Sorry, the experience of the Jews and early Christians doesn't bear this out as a concept within the Judaic-Christian understanding of the Scriptures. Unless you are rpeapred to offer me some proof for this statement, I can't accept it. This is the fourth penetential psalms. David confesses his sin to God and asks forgiveness. He prays and responds to the work of God's grace in his heart. If I have misunderstood it (providing it can be understood in english), please explain to me the meaning that neither Jews or Christians have found in this. Demons are the angels that fell with Lucifer when Saint Michael the Arcangel threw them out. Demons have therefore exited since before the Garden of Eden because Satan was no longer Lucifer when he tempted Eve, and by proxy, Adam. If I'm always being pilloried for my own sarcasm, could you please eliminate it from your posts as well? I don't understand, in the same thread where people trash me for being sarcastic (and even then not that much) I get replies like this. Under what possible authority do you claim I worship the head god of the pagan, Greek pantheon? The King of gods who lives on Olympus, who was the youngest of his parents children and married Hera, had mistresses (and at least one semi-pedophilica homosexual relathionship)? Which part of the Holy Trinity, makes you think I worship a man-###### of a God, driven by human passions (lust, revenge, etc.)? I've never said it wasn't. In fact, earlier in this thread I noted that Christianity comes from Judaism like a flower on a stem. I get it from the threads where, many people who self-identify as progressives, make ad hominem attacks against people they don;t agree with. Or, conversely, rant and rave about who terrible or dangerous someone is. All this while complaining that so-called conservatives, are judgemental and intolerant. For another example, look at how responses go when I write something. Or look at the threads I mentioned, Pope Benedict XVI thread started by BeachofEden (my one foray outside this forum - excluding the tech questions forum) or the thread about Ann Coulter. What's happening throughout the US and the world? Firstly, I don't live in the US and so, necessarily, try not to get too involved in domestic US politics. But I think that the progressive Christians system, comes from the attempt by socialists and marxists to adapt a religion to their own political worldview ... If progressive Christianity is growing, they need to get better advertising for this board, because it has lost most of its major posters in the last few years... how much time does it take to grow faith? I wasn't confirmed at 8 or 13. I was confirmed when I was 21. How odl shoudl I have been and how much suffering would be appropriate for me to speak about a person who was not born into the Faith? MOW Thanks, I think. But its another example fo the way some posters complain about my attitude etc. but feel perfectly comfortably making off-hand insults about me in conversations with others. If you don;t know much about Jungian psychology, you might want to avoid making a diagnosis of someone you've never actually met outside of a few posts in an internet forum. Not to be insulting, it just seems more reasonable.
  4. Bobd: This is fairly non-explanatory. You tell me I'm incorrect (and so is, well, nearly everyone [sidebar: gnosticism always struck as being incredibly elitist, you aren't exactly helping your case here]) without defining or explaining your terms. Can I assume that what you mean by elohim are the aeons? Tom Harpur denies the divinity of Christ and His salvific unicity, Christianity as the fulfillment of the Judaic faith, etc. As far as I'm concerned that excludes him from what Christian means. Besides, if he couldn't even stick it out in a theological and institutional basketcase like the Anglican Church it helps understand how far out of Christianity he is. Mr. Kuhn, whether you want to qualify his theosophical ramblings as Christian is your own business, but I'm perfectly able to recognize when one thing is not like another. Well, I suppose I could do your research for you, but I assumed that you might have a working knowledge of the system you were putting forward. Perhaps it's a bit much to expect people who take Holy Writ so lightly to not take Saint Peter's advice to heart, (1st Letter of Saint Peter, 3.15) "But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you." I called them non-Christians because I'm a little familiar with Tom Harpur (and a quick peruse fo his website confirmed what I had already understood), and if you are calling A. B. Kuhn a gnostic, well I don't think gnosticism is Christian, plus his involvement with theosophy. Why do you assume that I would defend "the Evangical literalist position"? While I do accept most evangelicals as Christians (providing they're Trinitarian, have a solid Christology, believe in the salvific unicity of Christ, etc.) I have no use for Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. If, however, you had done even the most basic research about me (by going to my blog) you would have found out that I am a Papist. You aren;t countering my point because you have apparently missed it completely. My point was that the pagans understood that Christianity was not an outgrowth of paganism. They understood that it was something new, different and could not co-exist with them. Two opposing, exclusive faiths cannot tiptoe through the tulips together. Unfortuantely, for so many "progressives" doublethink is already a conditioned response and they don't even notice. Charater assassination is one of the main things that "Progressive" Christianity is all about. Look at threads about the election of Pope Benedict XVI, protestant fundamentalists, Ann Coulter, ad naseum. "Progressives" LOVE saying that traditional Christianity is wrong, and they LOVE tossing around words like sin when its someone notes that homsexual behaviour is disordered, but get all kissy face when facists like Hamas rail against Israel. Essentially, it's a psuedo-religious expression of a failed ideology that finds itself, justifiably, on the ash-heap of history. Of course, and you have one too, though you seem loathe to admit it. You wouldn't say I'm wrong if you weren't measuring ti against some standard or other. And, I never said that a man could not be mistaken about morality. Simply that his mistakeness does not change the fact that there is an objective moral standard in the universe. For example, just because someone thinks that sticking a pointy vaccuum into a baby's head and sucking his brain is ok, does not in fact make it so. You are confusing a moral opinion with morality itself. Wrong, moral truth (or any truth for that matter) is not established by a majority vote. But if it were, the very small minority of progressive Christians would find themselves sorely outvoted. Right, and harmony can only exist in a world where Truth reigns supreme, but until the Second Coming, we're left with the Great Commission to preach the Gospel to everyone, at all times. That's why we disuss and debate, to seek the Truth, and here possible, to know it. I'm going to assume that this was some sort of atempt a joke, because you can't possibly be so obtuse as to not recognize I'm speaking about moral relativism here. My point was that moral relativists get their panties all in a twist when you disagree with them, and then set out to prove that moral absolutism is wrong. Like they are really right, and moral absolutism is really wrong. You know, i a worldview where NOTHING is absolutely right or wrong. Seems a little self-contradictory to me. I'm sure that when you stand before God in the Final Judgement, He'll be happy to play this semantic game with you. Wrong again I'm afraid, sin is a transgression of moral law, an offense against God and His goodness; it is a moral evil. To quote the Catholic Encyclopedia, "in is nothing else than a morally bad act (St. Thomas, "De malo", 7:3), an act not in accord with reason informed by the Divine law." This isn't really an explanation of why you think that the One, True God, of Abraham, Jacob and Moses. The same God who is co-eternal in the Most Blessed Trinity is the Beast of Saint John's Apocalypse. Further, God is and always was God, so there isn't a different God of the OT and the NT. But your mis-characterizations (someone once said that charaterizing was charater assassination) of God are not exactly surprising but they lay your own ignorance bare. Let's look at what is actually in Holy Scripture shall we... 1 Kings 15.22 (in some bible listed as 1 Samuel 15.22) "And Samuel said: Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat of rams." Psalm 50.18-19 (Douay-Rheims Translation) "18 For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it: with burnt offerings thou wilt not be delighted. 19 A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." That is one blood-thirsty God, He just can't get enough. Unforgiving? The same God who was Incarnate in the Virgin's womb, healed people, forgave sins and died on the cross to make the forgiveness fo sins possible? Unforgiving? That one? Seriously? And here I was always under the assumption that the Church beleived that when I make a confession I'm forgiven. Sheesh, good thing you cleared that up for me. But as far as the OT goes, you wouldn't mean that the sin offerings weren't about forgiveness, and certainly forgiveness has nothing to do with Yom Kippur. Ethnic cleanser? Because the people who had squatted in the Promised land spent their time worshipping demons and sacrificing their children to Moloch were killed? Thats not ethnic cleansing, thats called justice. It's a very good thing that Christians live under grace and not under the law, because surely the post-Christian West rival the evil of the Canaanites. Homophobic? Because He clearly says that homosexual acts are wrong? (I'll ignore the etymological difficulties of this stupid, made-up word). I guess God is an adulterophobe too, and a thetophobe, and a lie-ophobe, etc. For the record though, I don't worship Jehovah. Jehovah is an incorrect transliteration, into English from Hebrew, of the Tetragramaton, YHWH. This the utterably holy Name of God. YHWH actually comes from the root of "I AM WHO AM". Tyndale used Jehovah in his bible in 1530 and when King James decided that he better get his own version of the bible made for the apostate Church, founded by Henry VIII so he could overturn his binding marriage to Catherine of Aragon, he let his translators use it. Jehovah is a nonsense word. ps. - Please forgive the lateness of my reply.
  5. Please forgive the lateness of my reply, but I was writing exams and "the interests of [my] narrow, intolerant, and little mind" were focused on using my skills as "word twister par excellance" to earn some good marks, and in case you were wondering, I succeeded. [flow: Which part of making personal insults against me was supposed to prove me wrong?] BobD, I return to your first post that I was commenting from. I stand by my original statement. Next you responded to what I wrote by writing, As interested as I am in reading what some modern non-Christians have to say about Christianity, you have completely failed to address my point about the Pagans recognizing that Christianity was not built on paganism. It's why they tortured, butchered and fed the martyrs to the beasts. I'm sorry you are insulted, doesn't change my opinion though. Feeling insulted isn't a fact. The very fact that you are engaging in a discussion of right or wrong and defending a particular viewpoint means you accept the idea of something being better, or preferable. Trying to have harmony over chaos, means that harmony has some sort of value over chaos, if it doesn't then why are you even bothering? It's funny how relativists try to argue for relativism, liek they think its true or something You don't think that making a judgement has anything to do with morality? What is judgement then? My God, a fair recognition as we don't worship the same God, commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they did, that was Original Sin and the consequences for humanity was that we die. What does this have to do with discussing morality?? Lastly, how exactly do you figure that Saint John is calling the God of Abraham the Beast of the Apocalypse?
  6. JosephM is back, Jutan came back, I'm back out of retirement, it's like a whole reunion or something. Bobd, You are arguing from tenous ground at best. To say that the Old Testament explicitly refers to a plurality of Gods ignores the experience of the Jews who received that revelation. That's the problem with Gnosticism. It used Greek Pagan forms of religion and substituted a few Christian terms while changing the concept. Christianity is connected to Judaism like a flower is connected to the stem. To state that Christianity is built on Paganism is to accuse the Early Fathers of doing something that even the early PAgans didn't do! Doesn't it seem reasonable that if your argument was such a knock-em-down-drag-em-out argument that maybe someone before the last few centuries might have been employing it? Even the real Gnostics (of which there many flavours) never tried to say that the Trinity was a Pagan concept, they simply rejected it and replaced with their, varied, systems of eons and urges, etc. Secondly, to go back a little bit in this thread to where it was actually about morality. You say that we shoudl abjure the concepts of right and wrong but at the same time you argue that it would "better" to do any number of things. The fact that you understand and can use moral language, unconvincingly in this case, is a proof that moral language and morality has meaning. It's true that man has argued about morality, meaning and responsibiltty for most of history (I wasn't there, but it seems reasonable) but the solution is not to junk the concept and idea of morality, Neitzche tried that and its not possible in practice. By employing a recognizable moral language based on improvement, you show the meaninglessness of your own argument, how can argue for the rightness fo something while denying that rightness exists?
  7. This hasn't been touched on yet by anyone but Jesus did self-identify with God the Father (ie: God as the Jews understood Him through the OT), He referred to His fulfilling of OT prophecies about the Messiah (this is a theme which Paul develops quite well) and His crucifixion took place during the Passover, when the Jews traditionally offered a lamb in sacrifice to God and thanked Him for their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. After all, this is why Jesus is called "The Lamb of God" by Saint John the Baptist. And of course, all the earliest converts were Jews who saw the fulfillment of the OT covenants in Jesus. Surely the historical writings, and backgrounds, of the earliest Christians are necessary in considering this question.
  8. (mystic, I will get back into the Karen Armstrong thread and the Islam stuff soon enough, please be patient) I was curious about what role the Communion of Saints plays in the life and worship of those who post here. For me as a Catholic the Saints play an important role in my prayer life and my models of behaviour. I particularly love the BLessed Virgin, Saint Pio, Saint Jean-Marie Vianney and Saint Benedict. Do any of you ever invoke the Saints or see them as examples of Christian life? (this might be one of my first ever Dialogue posts, well maybe the Freedom thread counts too)
  9. mystic, Thanks for the response, I was wondering if you were ever going to come back (haha). I appreciate ven more that you are trying to find out whether what I have written is true, seek and ye shall find. Unfortuantely, you have made the same mistake that so many other posters here ahve been making in this thread. The simple fact that Christians, Jews (Buddhists, Hindus, etc.) have committed violent acts to spread their religions (or for any other reason) is not equivalent to the command in the Koran and the Hadith of Mohammed to violent subdue the non-Muslim world. Jesus did not command his disciples to give conquered peoples (He actually never said to conquer physically either) the choice between second-call citizenship with special taxes and distinctive clothing (gee, what does that remind us of?), conversion or death. Mohammed did. I too hope that many Muslims will either abandon their religion or become "moderates" (ie: they will follow its commands less strictly) but I don't confuse their poor practice with the actual tenets of Islam. This last bit is intended to be somewhat rhetorical (but some answers to it would be great). Why is that so many progressives cannot/will not see the difference that exists between comitting violence because your religion commands it and committing violence despite what your religion commands? Is it just an excessive focus on the ends and not the means/reasons? Aren't you the root cause people?
  10. Yes and no, they were both sex scandals. One however involved the president perjuring himself, asking others to perjure themselves and lying directly to the American people and world at large. This same fellow was also married at the time. Those things are different. One was with an adult, the other was with at least one minor. There are plenty of differences. I also don't remember Foley trying to start any wars/bombing anyone to divert the public's attention. As a total sidenote, if a person believes there are such a thing as sexual sins, why are they off limits for discussion simply because they deal with sex? I mean we don't say you should stay out of someones finances if they are a thief, or drug dealer, etc. Firstly, only God has absolute power, and He is hardly corrupt. Seriously though, do you really think that the current US administration are really "corrupt beyond anything that is ever happend in American history"? Because I can think of things that were more corrupt, and I'm not even an American. The Gulf of Tonkin incident seems to be a bit more depraved if you ask me, sending draftees to fight is not on par with sending volunteers. US dealings in the softwood lumber trade talks are worse, lose in every possible court (not based in the States, and still slap huge duties on Canadian lumber). Prohibition was basically designed for graft and corruption. These are all examples from the last century. Manifest Destiny seems to have been a bit off the mark. How about the political candidates who are "pro-life" but won't "tell anyone what to do"? If killing is wrong, it's wrong no equivicating. Those things are all terribly corrupt and most are products of the left. I can appreciate some good histrionics and hyperbole, but it seems like you actually mean it.
  11. I appreciate what everyone is saying of course, and agree with most of it. The decision to commit violent acts, go to war, blow up children on a bus etc. are all moral acts which a person makes. They are not and cannot be FORCED to do so. However, these decisions are made with various backgrounds (theological, emotional, etc.) my point was (in my original post, an attempted fisking of Karen Armstrong) that Islam contains within its scriptures and the example of its prophet create an environment more conducive to violence as it lends a divine backing/command to fighting the infidel. I hope and pray that more muslims will abandon these scriptures and prophet so as to make it easier for them to choose peaceful lives and combinations with those around them. And one last little thing, and I'll once say this one more time, violence in the Bible (particularly OT) is geared towards specific targets at specific times. Nothing in the OT authorizes or encourages open-ended fighting against non-Jews. Further and more specifically, the OT law has been superceded by the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross so all the bits in the law about killing and stoning etc. are moot for Christians. Finally, the Jesus the Christ never advocates fighting, as I have noted repeatedly, Christians in war find themselves making certain compromises (although sometimes for good reason, defending the poor and weak for example).
  12. ***my quote tages didn't work, sorry, I hope it's still readable*** Well, apparently mystictrek doesn't believe that Islam sanctions violence. Let's start with the koranic verses and then move onto the example of Mohammed. Let's examine a few of the quotes often used by Muslims and their apologists (Muslim or dhimmi) to show that Islam is peaceful. A quick refresher of my point, the Koran and the example of Mohammed allow an open-ended military struggle against non-Muslims. First things first, it is important to note the order in which the suras of the Koran were received by Mohammed, the later the revelation, the more important in understanding the whole Koran. Thus, the latter suras are seen as either key to understanding contradictory passages and/or abrogate earlier passages. One of the most violent suras in the entire Koran is sura 9, The Ultimatum or Repentance. It was the second to last of all the suras which were given to Mohammed as such it is to be taken as more definitive in the instructions to the ummah in the teachings on war. I'll spare everyone the tedium of reproducing all 127 verses as they are easy enough to find on your own. In verse 4 Muslims are forbidden for fighting against those who have completly submitted to the authority of the Muslim rulers. Their status as protects their life, but not their rights. Otherwise, according to verse 5, well, I don't think any explanation is needed. Could this be clearer? What context can I provide, read through them yourselves, as difficult as they are as narrative, it is incredibly clear what is being authorized here. I wouldn't expect anyone to take my word for it though, after all I'm a liar because the Koran says so. Muslims are commanded to fight, if they don't fight they will be punished with "greivous woe". Let's look at a few of the verses which are used to make Islam look all kittens and rainbows. You will notice there is a certain useful exception written into all the forbidding of killing. The problem of course, is that jihadi groups claim that the are fighting those who are committing injustice. How is injustice defined? Anything which prevents the establishment and supremacy of Islam is seen as an injustice. Let's look at some of the collected sayings of Mohammed, these are also very important as they are necessary for understanding certain parts of the Koran (and are normative as Mohammed is the perfect model of a human being) But why should jihad be waged for the propagation of the faith? Wow, if that's what my religion taught, I wouldn't want to waste any time. But perhaps after all of this I am being unfair, maybe Mohammed didn't only give the choice fo conversion or death. I couldn't find any concrete category for this one, but thought it worth including. If I have still not provided the context you deem necessary to understand these quotations from the Koran and the Hadith, please to insert them so I don't keep making a fool of myself.
  13. des: des, how could you tell? But seriously, there are things that you can't call other than what they are, no matter how much we wish they would smell like roses. His Holiness isn't a politician or just a "public figure" his role is to be the Vicar of Christ, the Head of the Visible Church (whether you agree or not about the Pope's importance, you must recognize that Catholics see him this way and given that he is primarily addressing us, this is the most important view). It isn't his job to speak in sound bites, it's his job to defend the Faith and inform the Faithful. If you are saying I misquoted the Qu'ran (which you seem to be) than feel free to re-insert the context you think I'm missing. The fact of the matter is that the Koran authorizes open-ended war against non-Muslims because allah has made Muslims the rulers of the Earth. Again, I haven't denied that Christians have fought, killed, massacred etc. But the important distinction is that the book that Muslims hold to be the literal, uncreated word of allah (a perfect book existing eternally in Heaven which can only be rightly expressed in Arabic) not only allows in certain cases (like in the Bible, the Jews made war in specific cases, with clearly limited targets), but in all cases, an unceasing war against non-Muslims (unless they choose to become Muslims or give up their human rights, namely dhimmitude). Jesus specifically warned Christians about making war and committing violence. Christians who do so live in tension between many earthly needs (peace, security, defence of the poor and weak) and the words of their God, Muslims live no such tension. Islam does not corner the history on bloodshed, but their god and prophet corner the scriptures and example on authorizing it. des, no disrespect (or personal attack) in mostly responding to you, but you're the only one who will respond to me, no point in pretending to talk to anyone else (DCJ excepted). DCJ: As Kathy Shaidle might say, it's the 54284th riot-free day in Lourdes... This seems to be an unduly harsh criticism of what was essentially a series of defensive wars. So I guess what I'm trying to say nicely is that I for one, represent a theoogical persuasion which doesn't roundly condemn the Crusades, you would find that the Catholic Church, as an institution, is also fairly ambivalent about them.
  14. Karen Armstrong is worse than a fool, she's a fool with a megaphone. Anyone interested in beig reasonable in this whole thing should actually read what Pope Benedict XVI actually said. The text of the speech can be found here. The whole article and situation which has arisen since Pope Benedict XVI spoke at Regensburng University on September 12 would be laughable if it weren't for the physical violence, death threats and murder coming from the Muslims. After all, does anyone really expect the Pope to say that a religion which necessarily demands the denial of the central Christian doctrine, the Divinity of Christ, is fine with him? Come on. To begin with, Karen Armstrong tells a few blatant lies in her article, Whether or it not it would be terrible for him to say that Islam was a religion founded on the sword is irrelevant. The fact is that His Holiness did in fact qualify it, and has qualified many times since. From his address Strike one for Karen Armstrong. Let's take a look at one of her little fibs about the Crusades The Crusades actually ended when the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem fell in 1291 with the capture of Acre by the armies under Khalil of the Malmuk Sultanate. The final battles were joined after the Sultan had declared war on the Christians, despite a Peace Treaty he had signed. Some of the Chrsitians escaped to Cyprus, the rest were murdered. Oh yeah, those poor Muslims, the Christian Empire of Byzantium just decided to go Muslim. No fighting or aggression there. I can't imagine why we arent begging their forgiveness. One of her few true statements. Of course it so decontextualized by her dhimmitude that it lacks all meaning. While Christian war has and will be controversial, an unfortuante compromise with the world. Muslim war has is sanctioned by the Qu'ran and Mohammed. Surah 47.4 Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. Surah 2.216-217 Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not. hey question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel His people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can. And whoso becometh a renegade and dieth in his disbelief: such are they whose works have fallen both in the world and the Hereafter. Such are rightful owners of the Fire: they will abide therein. Surah 9.5 Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Besides all this of course there is the example of Mohammed himself, a military commander who led his armies into battle, defensive and offensive, and raided cravans and other arabic tribes. But back to Karen Armstrong, I've already acknowledged that the Church has participated in fighting, but that when She does it is a compromise with the world, not something commanded by God. Unfortuantely, Karen Armstrong is so illitterate about history she thinks that Pope Pius XII "tacitly" supported Hitler. She is obviously ignorant of the Pope's radio address in January 1940 in which he decried, "The horror and inexcusable excesses committed on a helpless and a homeless people have been established by the unimpeachable testimony of eye-witnesses." which were being committed in Poland. Or his Christmas radio address in 1942 where he commented on, "all who during the war have lost their Fatherland and who, although personally blameless, have simply on account of their nationality and origin, been killed or reduced to utter destitution." Further, she ignores that during the war His Holiness Pope Pius XII attempted to set up immigratio programs for Jews to flee to Brazil (and eventually to 13 other Latin American countries), he protested vigorously to the members of governments deporting Jews and passing restrictive statutes on them. He was prepared to lend gold for a ransom to the Jews of Rome and later hid 477 Jews in the Vatican proper and another 4,238 in various monasteries and convents. In recognition of the Pope's work in helping European Jewry, the World Jewish Council, gave money to the Pope, "in recognition of the work of the Holy See in rescuing Jews from Fascist and Nazi persecutions." But of course, no one has to take my word for it, as I would naturally defend a Pope. How about the Chief Rabbi of Rome during the war, Israel Zolli, was so moved by the example of Pope Pius XII that he converted to Catholicism and took the baptismal name Pius in tribute. Karen Armstrong continues, You mean that one where some people in Denmark drew pictures of Mohammed (some caricatures, other simply pictures of a man in the desert)? and embassies were burnt down and people killed? Ooops, my mistake... religion of peace... religion of peace. How can those Danes even sleep for being so intolerant and provocative? Which are those Ms, Armstrong? Some were actively discouraged because the Sultans needed the jizya tax to keep royal coffers full. Of course, they also had to fully accept their roles as dhimmis, with fewer rights than Muslims politically and religously (no building of churches or synagogues, no repairing of these already existing buildings, no proselytizing, no public displays of worship, no public displays of anything non-Muslim, wearing distinctive clothing, etc.) That's right, ignore those imams and fatwas. Those terrorists holding qu'rans and chating "Takfir!". Nothing religous here, it's all whitey's fault. Bad whitey!
  15. Flat: I'm sorry you were treated that way. Such uncharity demeans its targets and its user. Alas, if only Christians would stop dishonouring Christ, but until the Second Coming it looks unlikely. Perhaps it is because of this expereince that you limit welcome to being physically allowed in this or that building at a given time. For me it is not the physical welcome which matters (or is primary, anyone who wants to pray can go into a Church so long as they don't disrupt other or commit a sacrilege - which would both be sins against charity towards other people and so are different from what we are discussing) Churches aren't (or shouldn't) be an excuse for social clubs were we just hang out and leave everyone to their own devices. Churches should be the place where we meet for the specific purpose of worshipping the Lord and growing in Him. For these reasons I think that your stated understanding of "welcome" and your implied understanding of the function of the Church is incorrect and shallow. canajan, eh?: I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins on the Cross. That by his atoning sacrifice my debt is paid if I accept that salvation and live in His way, that is to say if I live a faithful Christian live, confessing my sisn and pariticipating in the sacraments and life of the Church. BUT if I refuse I will have to suffer the consequences of my sins because I will have refused Jesus' free offer. As far as I can this explain lacks the understanding that the free acceptance of forgiveness is necessary for its efficaciousness in Christianity. If this were not true there would be no need for conversion, no need to amend our lives, preach the Gospel and certainly no necessity for the martyrs to shed their blood. Just to be sure I understand. Is frogiveness a one-time act? Like the progressive version of the protestant "once saved, always saved" doctrine? Christianity has always taught that forgiveness is an on-going, oft-repeated act required for those who ask it, as much in as much as they ask. The Lord Jesus Christ is infintely and perfectly merciful, He loves us and forgives us as many times as we need, but we need to ask for that forgiveness and accept it with the intention to not sin again. When we fail, we go to Him again and ask forgiveness, which He mercifully grants provided we have a right intention. To take forgiveness as a balm which alleviates our need for improvement isn't maturity, it's the epitome of selfishness (ie: I am "forgiven" but can do whatever I want because I'm "broken") des: I know you do, and even though I usually disagree with you too, I can respect that fact that you draw lines about rightness and wrongness. I know and I think that your patience is pretty exceptional. I frustrate myself by my own sinfulness all the time, heck, given the choice I wish I could take some time our from me too, no offense taken. Of couse, if I become so bothersome to you you could always ignore me, I probably wouldn't like it, but I can understand it. I've given up on all sorts of things, school, flaky liberalism, all kinds of crap. I didn't attack anyone, personal or otherwise, I've statated and believe that homosexuality, as a behaviour, is sinful. So is stealing, so is adultery, so is viewing pronography, so is rape, so is rudeness, so is driving over the speed limit, so is smoking pot and so on and so on. I'm sorry if there are either gays or lesbians on the board who have taken what I have said as a personal attack. I have always tried to behave within the mandates of the Catechism of the Catholic Church If I have failed in this, and it's possible, wouldn't be the first time I've been uncharitable, I'm sorry for the manner in which I expressed myself. As a side note, just to be clear, your tolerance can only react in an intolerant way when I disagree? This always confused me about the left. Besides the queastion begging assumption that tolerance is, in fact, a virtue. They never seem able to the ridiculousness of being using tolerance to be intolerant of someone else's intolerance. ALL: Experience shows that the corruption of Original Sin still exercises a hold on humanity. But of course this is the crux of what I have been trying to say. There has been, and still is, an impression on this board (and amongst progressives I know) that a rejection of someone's behaviour is also a rejection of them as people. Of course this is not the case. I've never met anyone who didn't struggle with a few vices. Lord knows I have my own. Chrisitianity has always taught that man can be better. That with the aid of Christ's grace we can rise above our selfish desires and all the impediments between us and He who died for our sakes, who didn't let anything on Earth impede His love for us. That has always been one of Christianity's greatest strengths, we are not their to celebrate how good we are (someone might have once said something about a Pharisee who did that) but rather we are there to accept responsability for our sinful actions and do better with God's help.
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