71 comments

  1. Sorry, Mr Pope—If some unborn kills me I’m damned if I’m going to defend him. I refuse to take that lying down~!

  2. @Captain Catholic

    Would you direct me to the post where your comments are irrational and hateful? Obviously, I missed it.

    When I find them, I’ll cite them.

    I’d be interested in hearing your reaction to my idea that other people’s beliefs actually kind of are my business since the way other folks treat me is a function of what they believe.

    This proposition seems to fit under the category of “right to swing fists, ends with someone else’s nose”.

    My outrageous idea is that too much liberality with respect to other people’s beliefs might leave me prey to some really destructive behavior.

    I’m not sure if too much liberality is the problem. One of the nice platonic ideals is the notion of the marketplace of ideas, where everyone can get speak their mind and people can judge the assertions critically and decide on their own what is good and is bad.

    Unfortunately, certain ideas such as religious beliefs do not enter into this market place. They offer “truth” as to how things work and are not open to criticism or change. Thus, in this free market place of ideas, we have these rotten dogmatic edifices exerting their retrograde influences on society and debate while claiming venerated status because….’god says so’.

    When (if) we get to a time when we don’t need these man-made crutches that shield us from reality, and have the courage to face what our existence actually is (without magic and superstition), that will be an epoch worth marking in our history.

    I would venture that rather than too much liberality, we have too many archaic belief systems that defy rationality and modernity, yet stolidly demand a place in our culture.

    • Well, thanks for the response.

      The beliefs I worry about are beliefs such as, “The world is going to end very soon so let’s hasten Armageddon so we call all see Jesus; and, by the way, there’s no need to worry about pollution or planetary climate change cause it’s all going up in a ball of fire at God’s command.” or “Let’s punish and torment people about something that’s actually out of their control — such as their sexual orientation.” or “God hates people who don’t go to the same church I do so it’s ok for me to hate them too.”

      If your interested in reading more of my comments referring to that last example, click here:

      http://reflectionsofacatholicchristian.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/the-way-the-truth-the-life/

      Peace,

      Paul

  3. I suppose that only time will tell whether or not I’ve been led here by the Holy Ghost. This much I do know, however: I’ve been led here by the guy with the eye.

    You know, Chris, I was kind of hoping that, since you recommended it, this ‘site was going to be a lot more fun than it is. There’s an awful lot of tedium being generated by these “arguments” (old and stale as they are). It was painful to read through all the comments. I mean, I feel as if I’ve already “paid my dues” by spending (wasting?) hours/days/months of time defending Pro-Life beliefs on Pro-Choice websites. (I think I posted a thousand comments on RHReality Check before they finally kicked me off for “trolling”. Not that I got due process while my “crime” was being prosecuted.)

    Tell me if you think anyone has ever jumped from one side of this issue to the other as a result of logical argument. I just don’t see that happening. It’s not as if anyone judges the value of the various arguments and then makes up his/her mind whether to be Pro-Choice or Pro-Life. In fact, it’s the other way around entirely. Once you find yourself in one camp or the other, you start generating arguments to justify the position you’ve already taken. But what put you in that particular camp in the first place? Can’t be logical argument. Viewpoint creates the argument, not the other way around. So, how do any of us arrive at our viewpoint?

    Same thing with the Bible. The Bible didn’t teach me to be Pro-Life. Again, it’s the other way around. Once I took a Pro-Life position I started to notice scripture passages which elucidated my Pro-Life beliefs; but I’d already taken my position. Bible quotes are just “icing on the cake”.

    Same thing with my Catholic religion. It certainly isn’t the catechism or the writings of the saints or any of the encyclicals that convinced me to be Pro-Life. Pro-Life is a stance I take because of my concept of justice. It’s a comfort to me, as a Catholic, to know that the Church is on the right side of this one; but if the Pope announced tomorrow that women now have the right to choose abortion I wouldn’t change my mind. I know that the Church claims to have been consistent on this point for 2,000 years; but I’m not buying it. There have been eras in the Church where it seemed that popes and theologians were ready to give a pass to folks with Pro-Choice views.

    Anyway, I’m Pro-Life if the Church is Pro-Life and I’m Pro-Life if the Church is Pro-Choice. I’m not Pro-Life BECAUSE I’m a Catholic. I’m Pro-Life, I’m a Catholic; but I can’t say which is the horse and which is the carriage.

    To sum up, I’m skeptical that anyone takes his position on the abortion debate BECAUSE of logical argument or BECAUSE of the Bible or BECAUSE the Church says so (well, maybe some do — lots of folks like to let other people do their thinking for them). At any rate, none of those caused ME to be Pro-Life.

    I’m still trying to put my finger on how I got to the place I’m at….

    Peace,

    Paul Bradford, Pro Life Catholic Male

    • I can’t speak for you Paul, but tell me if this says it.

      Did you get to where you are because you simply know it is right. In your gut, you just know it. And where did that truth come from, but from God.

      We have the truth implanted in us. We ALL know that certain things are good. Bravery, justice, generosity, love, truthfulness, the protection of the weak. We all know that certain things are wrong. Murder, selfishness, stealing, using others, cowardess, violence, lying, slavery, gluttony.

      We can, and often do, try to convince ourselves otherwise when it is difficult to do the right thing or if it asks more than we are willing to give at a given time. But we know.

      To answer your question, “do people ever change their minds on these matters?” Not often, but I don’t think we can quit trying when the stakes are so high.

      Surveys do show that the people who identify themselves as Pro-Life is growing and those that identify themselves and Pro-Choice is declining. Something is changing peoples minds.

      Of course, sometimes you know you hit a brick wall, then you just pray and leave it to God.

      Peace.
      Karen

      • Hi Karen,

        Nice to talk to you. Deep down feelings. I don’t know about that. I remember — what was it? twenty years ago, maybe — I was having lunch with this fellow when all of a sudden he comes out with this:

        “Can’t you just tell, Paul, I mean deep down in your heart, that n*****s are really more like monkeys than (as he put it) human beings?”

        I literally got sick to my stomach. I couldn’t say a thing, except to excuse myself. You can be sure we never had lunch together after that.

        So, what’s the lesson? The lesson is that I believe the guy was 100% honest. I believe he was speaking from “deep down in his heart” and I believe that feelings are not what you want to use for your moral compass.
        For example, I’m certain that Pro-Choice women, deep deep down, are convinced that they have carte blanche to do as they please with their own reproductive systems. In fact, I think that there are folks on the Choice side who are willing to be as heroic as Pope Francis wants us to be. How many people have been more heroic in their martyrdom than George Tiller? Deep deep deep deep down George Tiller was willing to die for what he believed was the truth.

        No, Karen, I’m going to need mor than feelings.

        God Bless,

        Paul

      • I wasn’t suggesting it was “feelings”, but a “knowing” of what is the truth that is implanted in you by God. That is a far different thing than feelings. But of course, I know I can’t speak for you, I was just throwing that out there as a possibility.

        But if you say it isn’t that, and it isn’t reason, and it isn’t your Catholic faith, what is it?

        I maintain that most mentally healthy people really do know the truth on some level and they know the difference between right and wrong. I think that many, if not most, of the pro-choice crowd, really know and that is why they need to be so militant about it. I think they are trying to convince themselves.

        I also believe that there is true evil in the world. People who kill abortion doctors are being influenced by evil. The guy you mentioned above who made the ugly comment about black people, that was just plain evil.

        I think there are a lot of people who are pro-choice who are far from evil and are good people. But they either don’t understand the ramifications of what they are doing, or they do on some level and are lying to themselves. Most women who have had an abortion suffer terribly for the rest of their lives because of what they have done and have a hard time forgiving themselves. I feel for them. I am pretty sympathetic to the the woman who has had an abortion. Very often, they are pressured into it, or they are in abusive situations, or they are young and afraid and don’t have the support they need. I get angry over this issue, but the anger is rarely directed at the woman.

        We appreciate all of our readers, whether you agree with us or not, and have found the dialog stimulating.

      • “Knowing” is feeling, Karen. Not understanding this is what makes faith so gosh darn dangerous. Let me illustrate with a simple example:

        “It’s blades are dull. It will not rust in the rain, but it will die from too much.”

        What is it?

        It ssarg … which is spelled backwards.

        Now, read the sentence again knowing what I’m referring to. Notice how it feels different to know something?

        Just look at the word ssarg. Once you read it backwards and know what I’m referring to, the word feels different.

        The green ssarg grows the healthiest with just the right amount of water.

      • The kind of “knowing” I am talking about is decidedly NOT the same as feelings. I absolutely don’t mean this as a put-down in any way, but you can’t know what I am talking about without faith in God. We aren’t talking the same language.

        In order to have a real debate with someone on any subject, you have to have some common ground from which to start. For example, on the Pro-life issue, if we can’t agree on one of several things, we are probably not going to really be able to discuss it and get anywhere.

        Those things that could be a possible common ground would be
        1. Life begins at conception
        2. All life is of equal value
        3. Only God has the right to end a life
        4. My life is no more valuable than the life of my child
        5. We all have the right to life

        You and I don’t agree on at least one of these things, particularly the first one and without any common ground, we can’t really get anywhere. If you could convince me that that wasn’t a human person, or if I could convince you it was, we might be able to move on this subject. Putting God in the equation is not a guarantee that we will feel the same on this. There are plenty of people of faith who disagree on the issue of abortion. Talking science isn’t a guarantee that we can find common ground either. Even science takes an element of faith. (science points strongly to the big bang theory, but neither of us were there to see it, so we have to have faith in what the scientists tell us) I believe science has proven that is a human person at the moment of conception, you don’t believe that. Neither of us is going to move on our respective “faith” in the science we chose to accept.

        But if I am discussing this issue, say with a fellow Christian, who has sympathy for the poverty stricken mother with an abusive husband who gets pregnant with her 5th child and if she believes an abortion is the more compassionate choice, and if I can get her to see that that is an innocent, helpless human being who has just as much right to live as anyone else, and that abortion is the killing of a person, I might be able to have a discussion that goes somewhere. Or if someone could miraculously convince me that it wasn’t a human being, maybe I could be convinced that abortion is ok. (But honestly dear sir, you cannot convince me of that no matter what you say so there is no use trying)

        But back to your last comment, without the common ground of a belief in God, we can’t discuss the kind of knowing I am talking about, because what I am talking about is objective truth, and that comes from God.

        You are speaking one language and I am speaking another and there is probably no way we can understand the others perspective.

  4. The Arbourist doesn’t sound ugly or angry to me … more like: alarmed by the ideas which you and your husband are propagating. If you could truly defend these ideas, you wouldn’t need to tell other people they are being ugly or angry.

  5. Pingback: taking life seriously | violetwisp

  6. I can’t help but be horrified by that message. It grates somewhat with your observation: “A human being is a human being. Location doesn’t make a difference.” Are we to understand that allowing ourselves to be killed for a cause, because we are not personally in the womb, means our location is of secondary importance?

      • By isolating just these words in a meme, do you not see this message being misinterpreted or taken literally? I can see this being a screensaver on someone’s laptop while they polish the rifle they intend to murder a doctor with … motivation to not fear the death penalty to save an embryo.

      • That’s an interesting take. I guess I don’t see it that way, nor do practicing Catholics, nor any sane pro lifer, regardless of faith background. Why? Because we’re pro life. I think the Pope calls us to martyrdom, in other words to sacrifice our comfort, on behalf of the needy. The preborn are among the needy. Thanks for your perspective.

      • Oh, I agree that’s what he’s suggesting. He’s not suggesting anyone go psycho. But, I think that isolating this little quote on a meme like this is dangerous — some depressed person looking for meaning could read this as a call to give his/her life, fear not the death penalty, for the unborn.

      • A human being is a human being, I agree. And a potential human being is a potential human being. Putting the rights of a potential human being above (as is increasingly becoming the case in the pro-‘life’ movement) a fully formed adult isn’t supported anywhere in your holy book.

      • The pro life doesn’t put the preborn above the postborn, the movement simply calls for them to be recognized as persons and protected by the 14th amendment.

      • A life form in the womb is not yet a person. It’s a potential person. Should it reach term, should it be developed enough to be viable outside the womb, there is some argument for limiting the accessibility of abortion. Removing a safe and legal option for the termination of unwanted pregnancies only leads women to an uglier, more dangerous option that inevitably costs more lives. The best way to cut the number of abortions happening in the world is to provide universal, non-judgmental, unbiased sex education combined with access to affordable or free contraception.

      • I respectfully demur on principle, political, and practical grounds, which I have written on extensively on this blog. Thank-you for writing. Please come again.

    • Are you a mother Violet? If not, is there anyone you would give your life for? Supposing your child, or spouse, or mother, or dearest friend was in danger, and if you tried to save them, you might die. That is called martyrdom and is a virtue of the highest order. That is what the Pope is talking about.

      Nowhere in the Popes statement does he hint at violence towards others or towards ourselves, but only at protecting the littlest among us.

      If I can give my life for another, whether it means physical death or simply death of my own needs and desires, I would consider my life a success.

      • Sorry, I just saw this reply. I don’t subscribe to religion-based concepts such as ‘martyrdom’ and ‘virtue’. I use logic and my naturally evolved empathy to guide my decision making. My actions in any situation depend on my logical assessment of the potential outcomes. If you give your life to close down an abortion clinic, you may consider yourself a martyr. My logic would tell me that all of the women who would have used that clinic will find another way to terminate their pregnancy. You would have wasted your life and caused your family grief for nothing. You would be putting more lives at risk by removing a safe and legal option for desperate women who would undoubtedly seek another, often deadly, way to end their pregnancy. Your action would make no sense and would ultimately only cause more death and more grief. Is that the kind of ‘martyrdom’ you’re talking about?

  7. I thought it was more interesting when the Pope chose his first Sunday address as an opportunity to talk about forgiveness. You know, with the Argentinian dictatorship and collaboration rumours flying around…

  8. So says the man who’s only reference material includes such scientific gems like:

    “All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you.” (Leviticus 11:20)

      • Sir, to reduce the majestic sweep of Christianity down to a sentence from Leviticus suggests you’re not interested in a real conversation. Thanks for writing.

      • Incorrect. Atheists and the faithful agree that it is illegal to take a human life. Liberals and conservatives agree on this point. Even more, the 14th amendment protects the rights of each American citizen. Since human life begins at conception, the premise of the pro life movement is each human being is entitled to these legal protections at the instant of conception. If you’re interested in talking theology, that is fine. But it is not necessary on this issue. You used the phrase “a woman’s right to choose.” A choice always has an object. What is the object of that choice? To end the life of a human being, which was considered illegal until Roe v Wade. The author of that decision, Harry Blackmun, said that if it is determined that a fetus is a person, “all bets are off.” Everything, for the pro human abortion crowd, hangs on the shaky, and easily refutable philosophy known as “functionalism” in defining personhood.

      • Are you not alarmed that the world population has increased from 2 billion to 7 billion in the span of 90 years?

        What is your position on contraception? If you’ve already blogged about it, please cut and paste a link.

      • No, I am not alarmed. The replacement birth rate is defined as 2.1 children per woman. Less than that and the population begins to decline. That is where we’re at with 80 countries who represent over half the world’s population. The United Nation’s “low variant projection” says the world population will grow from 7 billion to 8 billion by 2040 and then begin to decline. 35 states in the United States have replacement birth rates below replacement level, including my home state, Iowa. Europe’s declining birthrate is alarming. I oppose contraception on theological, philosophical, and scientific grounds, with one exception. There is one system that has the highest success rate, is safest to the woman’s health, and reduces the divorce rate to practically zero. That would be Natural Family Planning (NFP). You can read a post on NFP at Quiner’s Diner here: https://quinersdiner.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=9256&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2. You can read more about population growth (or lack thereof) here: https://quinersdiner.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=9256&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2 Thanks for writing.

      • Seems your entire premise comes down to this line: “Since human life begins at conception.” That’s your opinion, you’re entitled to it, but I categorically disagree. An argument can be made for life beginning at the Quickening at which point the fetus is able to react to external stimuli: 14-16 weeks. Another argument can be made that it begins at week 20-25, the moment when it can actually die. One cannot have a defined ‘life’ without that life being able to ‘die.’ The definition of death is not disputed: when electroencephalography (EEG) activity ceases. Therefore, by this rule the onset of life would be the time when fetal brain activity begins to exhibit regular wave patterns, which occurs fairly consistently around week 25. If we’re to argue Judeo religious explanation then the Talmud resolutely asserts life begins at birth.

        As i see it you’re merely making a statement, life begins at conception, then demanding everyone bend to your particular world view. For me, the woman’s rights must be considered first. It’s her body. I’d honestly be interested to hear what makes you think you have any right to tell her what she can and cannot do with her body?

      • I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist, in other words, to believe that existence came into being out of non-existence without a First Cause. So let us consider the pro life position through the lens of an atheist. Atheists believe we have one shot at life. When our body dies, there is no afterlife. Fair enough. With such a view, the moral position would naturally follow that at the instant of conception, the instant when life begins according to scientists, all of the human potential for the person is in place. To destroy him or her deprives the person of their one opportunity to fulfill their life, since there is no life after death. According to the law of biogenesis, human beings can only produce human beings, so at the instant of conception, a growing, evolving human being has been created. What is the difference between the parent and the offspring at conception? It is primarily one of functionality. The essence, or nature, of the newly created human is the same as the adult parent. This person retains his or identity from conception to death because of his/her human nature. A humane society, regardless of religious conviction, does not allow the disposability of a human being for the benefit of another. For one human being to treat another as the equivalent of a gall bladder gone bad is indecent for a civilized society.

      • You don’t have enough faith to be an atheist? I beg to differ. You’re an atheist already. You dash tens of thousands of gods to the obscurity of human imagination every day. Do you believe in Veles, the Slavic god of musicians, wealth and trickery? If you answered no, which I’m almost certain you did, then you’re an atheist. In fact, you’re a militant atheist. Most atheists only say with 99% certainty that there are no gods. Absolutes are irrational. Theists, like yourself, say with 100% certainty that your particular god exists. There is no room for doubt. Your god exists and every other god is bunk. Therefore, you are an atheist… you just didn’t recognize it until this moment.

        Now, it seems you just ignored my definition of what life is. Life can only be defined as ‘life’ once there can be death… and we know what death is. Until 25 weeks a fetus cannot “die.” I think if you’re going to advance your argument you’d have to demonstrate how “life” can be considered life without the possibility of “death.”

        Now you also didn’t answer what makes you think you have the right to dictate to a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. Believe me, I’m not being aggressive here, I’d honestly like to hear your reasoning. It’s important so as to understand where you’re coming from.

      • I believe in God as an act of reason and as an act of faith. Even more, I believe in the Catholic view of the Holy Trinity. God has revealed Himself through nature, revelation, and philosophy. Although many people have encountered God in mystical ways, most believers do so with a faith grounded in reason. Of course there is room for doubt. Some of the greatest Christians in history have had doubts. As I marvel at the intelligent design of creation, the logical conclusion to me is that there had to be an Intelligent Designer. Even more, something had to come from a First Mover, so to speak. Again, I don’t have your faith that this intelligently designed universe could have just kind of popped into existence out of a void.

        Regarding life, life is characterized by cell replication. I like this quote from Maureen Condic: “The critical difference between a collection of cells and a living organism is the ability of an organism to act in a coordinated manner for the continued health and maintenance of the body as a whole. It is precisely this ability that breaks down at the moment of death, however death might occur. Dead bodies may have plenty of live cells, but their cells no longer function together in a coordinated manner.”

        Regarding what a woman can and can’t do to her body, of course we can establish boundaries on her body. We do it all the time by passing laws that restrict the use of drugs and tobacco. We force her to wear a seatbelt in her car. And when she conceives a new life, we are now talking about two distinct human beings. She has no right to cause violence to another human being, just because this person lives inside of her, just as she can’t harm someone who lives outside her body. A human being is a human being. Location doesn’t make a difference.

      • Well, we’re drifting here, but the First Cause Argument is a failed argument. Simply because you can’t count to infinity doesn’t mean you have to stop the count and simply say “god did it.” To advance the cosmological argument for a god you’d first have to demonstrate why there can’t be an infinite chain of cause and effect… and no one in 2,500 years has been able to do that. Also, there was no ‘void,’ as you suggested. There was a quantum vacuum which we’ve discovered in the last few years is an astonishingly busy field with particles popping in and out of existence on whim. Sorry to say, but your god has run out of places to hide.

        Now, back to the topic.

        “When she conceives a new life, we are now talking about two distinct human beings”… No, we’re not. You are. See the difference? Again, you’re simply trying to impose your world view on others, and do so without any logical or scientific justification. Certain drugs are illegal because we know the science of the danger. Seatbelts are mandatory also because of the known dangers of not wearing them. You appear smart enough so even you should know using these as examples is quite silly.

        So, in the end, you still haven’t answered why you think you have a right to dictate what a woman can and cannot do with her own body. As there is no scientific justification for your position (“death” can only occur after 25 weeks, when abortion is deemed illegal) it appears more and more likely your objections are religious, and religious only. Would this be correct?

      • No, it is not correct. Regarding the life issue, I have not invoked a religious reason because it is not necessary. We differ on one single issue, as I explained previously: we are dealing with 2 human beings at conception, not one. You are unwilling to grant a being with human DNA which is a growing, living organism legal protection. I am.

      • But that growth can’t die. You can’t have “life” without death being its dance partner. For your position to be advanced you’d have to demonstrate that life is something other than continuous brain activity. Here we’re drifting into the realm of spirit, and no indication has ever been garnered for such a thing. As such, we arrive at religious “belief”

      • I find it interesting, John, that you are insistent that this is a religious issue, when I have not mentioned religion in this context. Why is that? Are you trying to rationalize your own position? You see, if you’re wrong, you are supporting intrinsic evil. You seem to get hung up on the definition of death. When a living organism, marked by cell duplication, is terminated, that sounds kind of like death to me, whether it happens at one minute or 25 weeks.

      • I’m not trying to rationalize anything. I’m perfectly comfortable in my position, and the science backs me up. I feel it might be you who’s trying to rationalize your desire to impose your will on women. I don’t mean that in a harsh way, but that’s the way it appears. It was you, after all, who tried to define an “atheists” perspective on this, not me. I was merely asking you on what grounds [be they legal, scientific or religious] you were basing your position on. So far you haven’t given me any rational reason to take away a women’s rights, which leaves just a religious justification. So, is it religion, or have you some evidence to back up your belief that “death” can occur before 25 weeks, which is the legal cut-off date for all abortions?

      • Tom, if I may clarify… it’s ok if your position is solely based on religious grounds. Just knowing that, though, would help me greatly in understanding where you’re coming from.

      • John, this has been an interesting exchange. I will try to respond more fully in a future post, hopefully in the next day or two. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint.

      • So I’m to take that as being it is religious, and religious only. You do know, i hope, that that’s not grounds to meddle in other peoples “personal” affairs.

        Thanks for the exchange, though. Take care.

    • Unbelievers love to pull phrases out of context from the Bible to try to make the faithful look like fools. Nice try.

      The Bible has to be taken as a whole, and it is telling deep truths. The individual facts are not what matters and many of us don’t take them literally. I do believe it is the Word of God and you have to read it with an ear to what is God trying to tell us in this story.

      The point of Genesis is not that the world was created in 7 days, but that God is the Author of the creation.

      The Bible is the Word of God. It is the story of our Creation, of Gods love for us, of our fall from grace, Gods covenant, of our constant turning away from Him, of His constant forgiveness, and of Him loving us so much that He sent His own Son to live among us and save us from ourselves.

      He loves us all. Me no more than you. He loves you passionately and will never give up on trying to get your love.

      • Unbelievers love to pull phrases out of context from the Bible to try to make the faithful look like fools.

        They (unbelievers) try and succeed often because bronze age mythology is pretty goofy to begin with. Because you happen to endorse this goofy magic book, does not, in anyway make it less risible.

        The Bible has to be taken as a whole, and it is telling deep truths.

        This is the usual opening the deluded make when trying to defend how atrocious the bible actually is. Putting god sanctioned genocide, infanticide and slavery in a “positive light” doesn’t work, no matter how much interpretation (read confabulation) you’d like to apply to the topics.

        I do believe it is the Word of God

        My condolences, the rational world misses you.

        read it with an ear to what is God trying to tell us in this story.

        Funny how the “word of GOD” sounds like the pastoral ramblings of scared, ignorant people.

        that God is the Author of the creation.

        Citation needed. Keep in mind, if you base you citations on magic, so can I, and will vehemently defend Odin the All Father’s claim to creation because that is a story I can get into.

        The Bible is the Word of God.

        Wow, say it enough times and it must be true.

        He loves us all.

        I’ll have to call BS on that statement, because sending people to burn for eternity is not really in the realm of “love”. I happen to be one of them as I regularly call the holy spirit a poopy-head.

        Funny how all sins (rape, murder, genocide) can be forgiven but disbelief get you going to straight to hell.

        He loves you passionately and will never give up on trying to get your love.

        Kinda sounds like sketchy-creepy stalker “love”. I’ll take a pass thanks and not subscribe to the celestial dictatorship.

        And I haven’t even gotten onto the repugnant forced-birth papal nonsense…

      • You clearly don’t know much about this Book or this faith. God sanctions none of the things you claim He sanctions.

        Who said the disbelievers go straight to hell? I am guessing we probably choose hell by refusing God’s love even at the end.

        Yowsa, you have an awful lot of anger Arbourist. One has to wonder where that comes from. Whether you know it or not, God does love you and will never quit. If you think that is a creepy thing to hear, I am very sorry for you.

        sketchy-creepy stalker? Celestial dictator? God never takes away our free will and will always be there waiting for you but will never impose himself on you. Someday, you may want it and he will not hold your hatred against you.

        I am curious, did you grow up in a household with any faith? One does have to wonder about your anger. We have a regular contributor who is an atheist able to be rational and unhateful in his posts. Why is it necessary to be so ugly?

      • @ Karen Quiner

        You clearly don’t know much about this Book or this faith.

        Oh indeed. I must be misunderstanding the idea behind such bon mots as these.

        On Rape: “Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)”

        On Murder: “From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on his way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. “Go up baldhead,” they shouted, “go up baldhead!” The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two shebears came out of the woods and tore forty two of the children to pieces. (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)”

        On Slavery: “However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)”

        Clearly, I do not have clue about what your particular magic book endorses or the odious actions it condones. (for more examples go here, as no one likes to read copypasta)

        Who said the disbelievers go straight to hell?

        It must be my not knowing the bible or the faith, but do go see Matthew 12:30, 12:31, 12:32, for what I’m talking about. It is the place where us non believers get the forever fire treatment, from a just and kind eternal dictator though, just to fair.

        I am guessing we probably choose hell by refusing God’s love even at the end.

        So I have chosen eternal torment because I don’t believe the inane ramblings of mostly illiterate shepherds who made up spooky stories up to explain how the world works? Seems rational to me (?).

        Is burning for eternity a just punishment for not believing in magical spirits? Tell me again about god’s ‘love’.

        Yowsa, you have an awful lot of anger Arbourist.

        When people try and tell me that I should run my life based on mythology I tend to get a bit miffed.

        One has to wonder where that comes from.

        My motivations are my own, thankyouverymuch, and when arguing do try and stick to the argument rather than opine on the nature of the person making the argument.

        It gives the (correct) impression that your position cannot stand on its own merits.

        sketchy-creepy stalker? Celestial dictator?

        Don’t forget spiritual North Korea – That should be on the list, yet I always forget to add it.

        but will never impose himself on you.

        Oh, except for that nasty pit of fire, gotcha. Please check that quote from Matthew as to the lengths of the lord’s non-imposition status. No coercion present there at all.

        I am curious, did you grow up in a household with any faith? One does have to wonder about your anger.

        Not particularly relevant to the arguments presented. 🙂

        We have a regular contributor who is an atheist able to be rational and unhateful in his posts.

        I have not made any claims that have been irrational, if I have please cite them and we can discuss. And by hateful do you mean showing no particular reverence when dealing with the mythology you endorse?

        I have no hatred for you personally, please don’t take my arguments as such.

        But, belief in magic and mythology though has no serious place in a modern rational society. Should we take people who read Tarot seriously, or divine the future via chicken entrails? Why should anyone offer any reverence to your particular set of beliefs and magical rituals?

        Does that help with knowing my intentions regarding why I, to you, sound angry?

        Thus, arguments based on said mythology must be treated with the utmost skepticism because they are based on Humanity’s ignorant, fear filled past and not the knowledge we have accumulated since that time.

      • @Arbourist

        Am I understanding this correctly? This ‘site gets visits from two atheists: one is able to be rational and unhateful, the other one — not so much. You’re the guy who’s irrational and hateful. Would you direct me to the post where your comments are irrational and hateful? Obviously, I missed it.

        Clearly you’ve hoodwinked me, because I’m expecting us to be able to get into a mutually respectful discussion about faith. Boy, am I naive!!

        Well, to start, since I don’t know any particulars about the folks who are taking part in this discussion I don’t know who, besides me, is from the USA. Here there’s a lot of talk about “First Amendment Rights”, “Freedom of Religion” and “The Separation of Church and State”. My observation is that we Americans are socialized to be very liberal about other people’s beliefs. It’s assumed that “other people’s beliefs are none of my business, everyone’s free to believe whatever he likes.”

        It’s un-American of me, but I’m starting to doubt the wisdom of giving everyone carte blanche to embrace any idea they like. My life’s experience, observing other people’s behavior and reflecting upon my own, leads me to the conviction that actions are always motivated by thoughts and that thoughts are invariably the outgrowth of beliefs. Obviously it’s not possible to always understand why somebody does what s/he does; but if you had access to all the information you’d be able to identify that person’s underlying thoughts, and — more importantly — his/her core beliefs. Really, really awful actions (say, flying a jet into the World Trade Center) are triggered by really, really awful beliefs.

        I’d be interested in hearing your reaction to my idea that other people’s beliefs actually kind of are my business since the way other folks treat me is a function of what they believe. It seems to me that if other people believe that God will inflict terrible punishments on anyone who insists that reason has to overrule superstition, I’m going to have a rough go of things.

        My outrageous idea is that too much liberality with respect to other people’s beliefs might leave me prey to some really destructive behavior. How crazy is that????

        Peace,

        Paul Bradford, Pro-Life Catholic Male

    • Where in the world did you get that idea? The pro life crowd devotes lavish time, resources, and love on behalf of babies after they’re born, when they’re kids, when they become adults. They devote lavish time, resources, and love on behalf of the mothers, too. Please, don’t buy into the lie perpetuated by the media that pro lifers don’t do anything after the baby is born. These pro lifers are the missionaries saving the world.

  9. Our generation may not be thrown to the lions in our sports temples, I mean, stadiums. However, just because the Roman persecutors of Catholicism are gone doesn’t mean that their descendants aren’t gearing up at this moment for some ominous mischief.

      • He was implying that some sort of violent persecution is heading Christians’ way. I called it a vivid imagination because there isn’t any evidence of such a thing, anywhere.

      • It is already happening in the Mid East, in China, in Africa, in parts of Asia. The 20th century had more Christian martyrdom than any other combined. The 21st century is off to a bad start, so no imagination is involved. It doesn’t garner much media attention, so your lack of awareness is understandable. In the U.S., economic martyrdom is the most likely scenario, as witnessed by the Chic-fil-A incident last year.

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