The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

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The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:02 pm

Ryan,

I thought that if this is going to continue, then it should have its own thread.

ryguy wrote:Ray - you implied that my beliefs on these matters are from "blind faith"...as though I'm not capable of doing the appropriate scholarly research into the historical evidence to make an appropriate decision. The comment was a last-resort kind of comment that I didn't expect from someone who usually displays maturity and scholarly eptitude.


That may have been what you inferred, but I assure you that I was not implying it. Let me state outright what I was implying: I was not implying you are "not capable" of doing the research, for clearly I know that you are. What I *was* implying was that you are selective in what data you address and what data you ignore, especially as it comes to question human (fallible) motives in what is well-known to be every bit a political organization as it is a spiritual one.

I have often spoken that we live in the Age of Information and that we are evolving towards the Age of Intention. This, to me, gives another perfect example of what I am talking about. It seems to me (I do not know it for a fact, only my conjecture) that you may acknowledge the failings of humans within the Catholic Church as INFORMATION, but it seems to me this is where your consideration of it ceases. In other words, what I perceive is that you admit "yes, people are fallible, and yes, people have failed and done bad things in the history of the Catholic Church", but that is where you leave it... at the level of information. It does not seem you are willing to explore those failures, and perhaps begin to piece together the motivations (intentions) behind those failures. Especially as they relate to a group of people attempting to achieve some goal, rather than just individuals failing.

I have pointed to some of the more obvious and public failings of the Catholic Church through the ages... Crusades, Inquisition, and the more recent failings of CHURCH HIERARCHY in dealing with the molestation scandals. Have you ever thought to question WHY the Church hierachy acted as they did in all of these cases? What was their motiviation? And were those potential motivations in line with Christ's teachings? Or could it be that there were political motivations as well?

Regardless of what Dan Brown writes about, the historical record of what happened between the Papacy and the monarch of France during the time of the Knights Templar is pretty clear. It is even more crystal clear that the Pope (a fairly weak person, Clement V) acted POLITICALLY to appease King Philip of France (let us not forget during this time, the King of France was the host of the popes who lived in Avignon) in cracking down on the Templars.

While it is just as likely that there were "human failures" within the organization of the Knights Templars, it is also accepted that up until the time of Clement V they were (according to the Catholic Church) doing "God's work". Clement and Philip drove the Templars underground. To believe that there is absolutely no connection between the fall of the Templars and the increasing power of the Masons would be to ignore pertinent data that shows correlations.

My own research shows that the Templars were holders of "mystical knowledge" that was some of the highest science of their day. This knowledge was also clearly known by the Masons as it was continually reflected in their skill as builders. The Templars were also shown to have done a LOT of excavations in and around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Again, without lending credence to anything Dan Brown says, is it not POSSIBLE that some of what they found may relate to mystical knowledge of the sciences? My research tells me that a good bit of this knowledge is directly relative to the Tree Of Life as a "systems technology". The use of the Tree Of Life and "sacred geometry" precepts within Masony, while not openly discussed, is something I am more than satisifed with as being true. The form of the US government is DIRECTLY based upon the 3x3 matrix of the Tree Of Life.

It is my belief that there were motivations beneath the overt failures of the Catholic Church down through the ages. And those motivations were to keep certain knowledge OUT of the publics hands, for clearly it would weaken the political and control aspects of the Church. And I do believe that this can also be traced to the squashing of a great deal of Gnostic knowledge which was available not only during the days of the Canon formulation, but certainly was available to MANY "initiates" at and before the time of Christ. In fact, this knowledge stretches all the way back to Moses, and even predates him! Is it really just a coincidence that there are 10 Commandments and also 10 Sephira on the Tree Of Life?

Ray
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ryguy » Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:04 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote: In other words, what I perceive is that you admit "yes, people are fallible, and yes, people have failed and done bad things in the history of the Catholic Church", but that is where you leave it... at the level of information. It does not seem you are willing to explore those failures, and perhaps begin to piece together the motivations (intentions) behind those failures. Especially as they relate to a group of people attempting to achieve some goal, rather than just individuals failing.


Very well stated, and your perception is accurate. I admit that yes, people are fallible and people have done bad things in the history of humanity (not only the Catholic Church) - and that is, in fact, where I leave it. To explore those failures in order to tie them into a group motivation means that you must do the same for every group of humans in the world, under the same rules, equally and fairly. That's an area which every single one of us (and the human-groups we each associate with) would fail. If you think there is a single group out there that is sin-less, that has not a single member who has done something terribly wrong - please point that group out. I can't - not a single one.

Not Catholics, not Gnostics, not Educators, not the U.S. Government (or any government), not Engineers, nurses, scientists..... Knights Templar?

I have pointed to some of the more obvious and public failings of the Catholic Church through the ages... Crusades, Inquisition, and the more recent failings of CHURCH HIERARCHY in dealing with the molestation scandals.


My own research shows that the Templars were holders of "mystical knowledge" that was some of the highest science of their day. This knowledge was also clearly known by the Masons as it was continually reflected in their skill as builders. The Templars were also shown to have done a LOT of excavations in and around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Again, without lending credence to anything Dan Brown says, is it not POSSIBLE that some of what they found may relate to mystical knowledge of the sciences?


Before we continue on, I'm not sure I understand this. In one paragraph you condemn the Crusades as a human "failing", then in the next paragraph you place one of the most elite, deadly, and dangerous Crusader forces of the times on a pedestal as the holders of "mystical knowledge"?

-Ry
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Postby ryguy » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:23 pm

Interesting review of Peter Partner's The Murdered Magicians - The Templars and their Myth Here

The library of the occult gets fatter every day. Here in the belly of the New Age, the average bookstore carries "ancient secrets" and "hidden wisdom" by the metric ton. But literature ABOUT the occult, of the history of occult ideas and their influence on important people, is skimpy and often unreliable. It's hard to find an honest scholar among the mystagogues and Fundamentalists. We have Dame Francis Yates, a gem of a historian who cares about things that would make most academics turn up their noses. And now we have Dr. Peter Partner. As we bow three times in the direction of Dame Frances, it must be said that Dr. Partner is a better writer. An alchemist would envy his ability to turn the junk of history into gold.

THE MURDERED MAGICIANS starts off on familiar ground. We meet the historical Templars themselves, fresh from the Crusades, returning to France, getting rich in the Church market and drawing the wrath of the odious Philip the Fair. There is the famous midnight arrest and the subsequent "trial". There are the usual confessions of heresy and sodomy extracted under torture. Then there is the stake, where most accounts of the Templars end. In Dr. Partner's history of ideas, though, the stake was just the beginning.

Jacques de Molay and his cohorts did not rest easily in their graves. As the years passed, Templar stories and rumors became grander with each telling. Finally, these illiterate Crusaders from the lowest ranks of the aristocracy emerged as powerful sorcerers who used ancient magical secrets for their own mysterious ends. At least that's what everybody thought.

There had been charges of black magic from the start. In the "trial" itself, the Templars were accused of worshipping an idol called "Baphomet" -- a French corruption of "Muhammad" -- which they supposedly picked up from the Muslim conquerors of the Holy Land. (Of course, the idea that ANY Muslim would worship an image of Muhammad says more about the parochial mentality of the European Church than anything else.)

In the 1500's, the magical fame of the Templars spread from the pen of Henry Cornelius Agrippa, a sort of Renaissance Shirley McClaine whose works were highly popular and influential. In DE OCCULTA PHILOSOPHIA, Agrippa set about classifying the "good" and "bad" schools of magic. He placed the Templars in the latter category, along with the Gnostics and folk witches.

The Templar myth did not attain its full potency until the eighteenth century. If it seems odd that occult gossip would thrive in the Age of Enlightenment, it must be remembered that Reason was just one part of the Enlightenment hodge-podge. Alchemy and Cabala seemed just as important to the educated minds of the day. Also, the new liberal climate produced a lot of nostalgia for the good old days of noble status and "chivalry". Thus we see Elias Ashmole, chemist, bibliographer, and one of the founders of the Royal Society of London, writing sentimentally of the Templars.

At this stage, the Templar myth gets mixed up with Freemasonry. Masons of the period traced their heritage back to the Crusaders who, they supposed, were privy to the mystical knowledge of Egypt and Greece. It seems inevitable that they would bring in de Molay and company.

According to Dr. Partner, "The birthplace of Templarism was Germany, where the egalitarian and rationalist thrust of Freemasonry was resisted by an old-fashioned and rank-dominated society, and there was a demand for a version of the Masonic craft acceptable to conservative doctrine and Gothic taste."

Under the tutelage of such Masters as Samuel Rosa and George Frederick Johnson, "Provost-General of the Templar Order of the Scottish Lords", Templarism went far beyond the relatively simple edifice of traditional Masonry. "The invention of the Templar myths amounted to a patent to create new noble titles. ... Johnson and Rosa, as 'Heads' of their Orders, created elaborate hierarchies with hundreds of such knightly titles." And, incidentally, earned a tidy living in the process. By the last decades of the century, Europe was dotted with competing Templar lodges, each claiming to possess the True Secret.

The end came with both a bang and a whimper. For one thing, the Templarist Masons were afflicted by the stagnancy that is the hallmark of the occult: "The successively unveiled mysteries of the Order had yielded nothing but boring ritual; the alchemists had made no discoveries; the Templar lands would never be returned. No one expected to identify the long-concealed Unknown Superiors. The thirst for mystical illumination remained, but hope of quenching it at the Templar spring was over."

Furthermore, there was the spectacular scandal of the "Bavarian Illuminati", the pet conspiracy of that Jesuit-haunted secular humanist, Adam Weishaupt. Dr. Partner dispels any notions of co-fraternity between the Illuminati and the Templarists. True, Weishaupt had recruited some members from the crumbling Templar lodges, but otherwise the two groups had opposing styles and aims. "There was no direct continuity between the Strict Templar Observance and the Bavarian Illuminati at all. The aristocratic mumbo-jumbo of the Templar lodges pandered to the confused conservatism of the German nobles and had a great deal in common with the mumbo-jumbo of the Rosicrucians, to whose ideas the Illuminati were absolutely opposed."

Such nit-picking hardly mattered, though, especially after the French Revolution when all secret societies seemed to be part of a single gargantuan evil. Those days saw the beginning of modern conspiracy theory. Pamphleteers such as Friedreich Nicolai and Augustine de Barruel offered lurid exposes of the secret societies. For these zealots, "it all connects": Templars, Illuminati, Masons, Gnostics, Cathars, Manicheans, and the other enemies of normalcy and the status quo. The gaps in logic never seemed important; it was all grist for the mill as one pamphleteer reprinted the wooly ideas of another. The tradition continues to this day with the intellectual descendants of Nicolai and Barruel advertising in THE SPOTLIGHT and other right-wing tabloids.

With the suppression of the Illuminati, German Templarism slumbered for a hundred years. There was a flurry of Templar activity in France under Napoleon and in the United States with the Civil War general Albert Pike. But, for the most part, nineteenth century Templarism thrived in its rightful soil: the land of literature and myth.

The Templar myth could have been made for the Romantic period. It had everything a Romantic could want: the middle ages, chivalry, pre-Christian wisdom, wicked clergymen, sex, and plenty of Gothic shudders. Indeed, the list of nineteenth century artists who contributed to the Templar myth or were influenced by it reads like a "Who's Who": Balzac, Walter Scott, Disraeli, Wagner, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and Gabriel Rosetti, of whom Partner says "He knew hardly anything of the heresies which had in fact existed in the middle ages, but he made up for this by inventing new ones on a generous scale." When Templarism revived in Germany at the end of the century it had come a long way from the humble actuality of Jacques de Molay.

The modern Templar revival was largely the work of a journalist named Theodore Reuss and, later on, the British occultist Aleister Crowley. Their Order of the Temple of the Orient (O.T.O.) continues to this day with chapters in most of the United States and several European countries. O.T.O. literature claims a connection with the medieval Order of de Molay and it emphasizes the "sexual magic" that the Templars supposedly picked up from the Gnostics or Indian Yogis or whomever. In any case, the popularity of the O.T.O. seems to be growing, which demonstrates once again the hardiness of this remarkable myth.

Aside from its durability, the Templar myth has been astonishingly adaptable. Where one group hates and fears the Templars for their purported demonology and unusual sexual practices, another group rallies to their defense for the same reasons. (Of course, few people question whether demonology and unusual sexual practices ever happened.) To quote Dr. Partner: "The shifting history of Templarism, with its movements from one interpretation of the Templar story to another, reflects the original Masonic confusion between the parable and the truth the parable was supposed to represent. But it also reveals the way in which men fulfill their spiritual needs in a way which broadly corresponds to an earlier pattern, but which is nevertheless made in their own image. Nothing is more misleading than the claim that there is an immemorial esoteric tradition which places antique and prehistoric wisdom at the disposal of the adept. It is true that some esoteric principles derive from a philosophical tradition of great antiquity. But students of the supposed hidden truths are also men of their times, and they have employed esoteric ideas in the service of interests and concepts which have changed from one generation to another. The tradition as applied to the Templar myth has proved to be Protean in its mutability. The Templars have been benign, rational sages for one generation, demonic Satanists for another, wise, wealthy technocrats for a third."

In other words, a Rorschach blot.

Does it matter if the Templar myth is true or false, profound or silly? Apparently not. What matters is that people believe. And the Templar myth has attracted some very influential believers, often with unpleasant results. "Secret society myths are usually concerned to suggest the influence of small, powerful groups which work invisibly. But the political importance of such myths is their effect on the general currents and atmosphere of public opinion. It can be shown from the history of Templarism that small, private groups of people who profess esoteric doctrines with a political flavour, and sometimes practice eccentric rituals, do from time to time exist. So far as Templarism is concerned, the political and social effect of such groups has been negligible. What matters to society is the vague, disquieting effects either of propagandists who spread alarming reports of secret society conspiracies, or of esoteric publicists who diffuse ideas of the miraculous and the marvelous, and give the impression that social change can easily be accomplished by the workers of wonders."

The fate of the original Templars may be history's best argument against secrecy. On the other side of the myth, those "who spread alarming reports of secret society conspiracies" seem doomed to their own sad fate. The moral might be "Choose well your myths."

In all the hub-bub, it's easy to misplace the historical Knights of the Temple. When he returns to Jacques de Molay and company, Dr. Partner is as eloquent as he is sane: "The unromantic truth is that the Templars of the Middle Ages made not the slightest attempt to build the Temple of Wisdom, unless that Temple is defined as that of the Catholic Church. The end of the Templars arose not from the operation of demonic forces but as a result of their own mediocrity and lack of nerve. A handful of them measured up to the terrible challenge which confronted them, but most, including their leaders, at the moment of trial proved to have nothing much to say. In the Holy Land the Templars had been brave soldiers but rather short-sighted politicians, who in no way conformed to the high standards which their nineteenth-century admirers ascribed to them. The most striking characteristic of the medieval Templars was their ordinariness; they represented the common man, and not the uncommon visionary. Mozart's noble Masonic opera, THE MAGIC FLUTE, holds out the vision of a Temple of Reason and Nature presided over by a ruler- seer, Serastro. If the Temple of Serastro is ever to be built, and if man is to live in some state of Mozartian harmony, it may be on principles in which the Freemason ideal has had a part, but it will not be based on the ideals of the medieval Templars."



Cheers,

Grand Master Ry
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:20 am

Ry,
ryguy wrote:Very well stated, and your perception is accurate. I admit that yes, people are fallible and people have done bad things in the history of humanity (not only the Catholic Church) - and that is, in fact, where I leave it. To explore those failures in order to tie them into a group motivation means that you must do the same for every group of humans in the world, under the same rules, equally and fairly.


No, and this again gets at the crux of my point, which I have been totally consistent about. The rules cannot and should not be the same for ALL groups of people, as I will explain in response to this next bit you wrote:

Not Catholics, not Gnostics, not Educators, not the U.S. Government (or any government), not Engineers, nurses, scientists.....


There is a major difference, and it must be acknowledged for it impacts the very heart of my point. Gnostics, Educators, the US Government (can't say this for all governments, but most), Engineers, Nurses, and Scientists are NOT telling people "here is how you must live your life in order to gain eternal, spiritual salvation." This is THE supreme difference between such groups and ALL groups that deign to decree how we must live our lives to achieve the blessings of God. No, it is not ONLY the Catholic Church. It includes any and all Churches that are arrogant enough to think they can make demands for God.

But in my view, the Catholic Church has been one of the bigger offenders in this area. The Catholic Church does not deny that it sees itself as the messenger of God. Guess what? So do the imams of Islam. So do a LOT of spiritual organizations. Gnostics do NOT do this, and I have already explained that it is for a very specific reason. For the Catholic Church to claim the highest moral ground that can be claimed (that it speaks for the Creator), then it must be above reproach and it must NOT engage in politically-motivated actions. We do not expect this level of righteousness from a democratic government, and no such government claims that its actions are sanctioned by God.

Ryan, there is simply no way that you can deny the fact that the Catholic Church has certainly engaged in politically-motivated decisions and actions. I bring up the Crusades and the Templars because this is even an area where the Catholic Church has even admitted as much. The Crusades were sanctioned killings allegedly in the name of God. And it was certainly for a political motivation... to gain and hold a land which it deemed "holy". And yet this is in direct contrast to the teaching of Jesus himself:

John 18:36
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."

Matthew 12:25
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.


The Vatican also has secret archives. Would or does God approve of His Church keeping secrets from His flock? And how many of these secrets are kept secret because it would exhibit the failings of the organization of the Church? In secular government, we demand that the truth and the whole truth be told as part of the judicial process. My consistent point here has always been that the Catholic Church (like any other spiritually-oriented body governed by man) has taken actions based on its own political motives.


Before we continue on, I'm not sure I understand this. In one paragraph you condemn the Crusades as a human "failing", then in the next paragraph you place one of the most elite, deadly, and dangerous Crusader forces of the times on a pedestal as the holders of "mystical knowledge"?


Show me where I have put them on a pedestal? I have done no such thing. I treat the Templars in the same manner I do the Church. They are a body which had stated spiritual, righteous goals. But because they were run by mankind, they committed sins against mankind and against God. I do NOT put them on a pedestal. What I do claim is that they came across ancient knowledge relating to the process of Creation (essentially, scientific knowledge) that they kept secret from the common man. My conjecture is that the Church proper also had/has access to this knowledge, but they have also kept it from their congregation. We need only look to how the Church dealt with the science of Galileo and Copernicus to see that the Church has a history of trying to keep science separate from religion... THEIR religion. It threatens THEIR authority. But nothing can threaten God's authority.

And here we get to the crux of my point: The Catholic Church has, in its actions that were and are politically motivated, held mankind back by continuing to forcefully keep science and spirituality separate. You already know that I have stated my opinion (and I believe you have agreed on more than one occasion) that as a species we must reconcile science with spirituality in order to evolve within both of these disciplines. I also believe that it is for this reason that the Catholic Church will, as prophesied by Saint Malachy, eventually come to an end because of its failings in these matters.

I hold the same opinion of the Templars, and the Masons, and any/all the organizations that keep such secrets (sacred geometry is but one example) from the whole of mankind and rather keep them as their own secrets, to maintain their advantage, their edge, over others.

Now that we live in the time of the internet, it is my opinion that it is time for these old, tired, closed organizations constructed and maintained by (fallible) man to finally give up their secrets. The Catholic Church has plenty of them, and they hold onto them not because of any deference to God or mankind. They hold onto them because they know it will mean the end of their organization as they know it.

Humans, all of us, resist change. But without change, we cannot evolve. And evolution is one of the inalienable gifts from our Creator.

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ryguy » Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:35 pm

Deleted this post - I don't know why I let myself respond to this thread, but as I said before - I'm not interested in debating a debate that has no final possible solution to it. I just don't have the time at the moment.

Good post Ray. I just disagree, but I figure either of us can be right in different respects, and wrong in others. Who knows.

Right now there's just too much going on to get deeply into this kind of debate.

**Edit to add: my beliefs aren't based on the Catholic Church btw...they're based on the gospels which are supported, at least in part, by authentic material evidence. I do not subscribe to conspiracy theories that aren't - such as MJ12, illuminati, the "cabal", masonic mystical secrets, or Knights templar mystical secrets. But that's just me - everyone is entitled to believe whatever they like.

Cheers,
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:31 pm

Ry,

ryguy wrote:Deleted this post - I don't know why I let myself respond to this thread, but as I said before - I'm not interested in debating a debate that has no final possible solution to it. I just don't have the time at the moment.

Good post Ray. I just disagree, but I figure either of us can be right in different respects, and wrong in others. Who knows.

Right now there's just too much going on to get deeply into this kind of debate.


No problem, I understand. And I again wish to make it clear that I am NOT attacking your beliefs and what you accept. I am attacking the Church (which I believe is wholly different from the teachings of Christ as a result of ages of human failures).

**Edit to add: my beliefs aren't based on the Catholic Church btw...they're based on the gospels which are supported, at least in part, by authentic material evidence. I do not subscribe to conspiracy theories that aren't - such as MJ12, illuminati, the "cabal", masonic mystical secrets, or Knights templar mystical secrets. But that's just me - everyone is entitled to believe whatever they like.


And it is no "conspiracy theory", but rather visible fact, that we have lived through ages where forms of "religious control" have actively worked to keep spirituality and science separate. This is most often achieved by keeping knowledge of how the physical world works (and integrates with the aphysical world) away from the public... and keeping it "only to initiates".

And this is the answer to the question you had previously posted in your reply: I have the same disdain for the Templars and Masons that I do for the Catholic Church, and that is: hiding knowledge of the universe (that has been around longer than at least the Church and Templars), and thereby artificially holding us back from our evolution. I revere the KNOWLEDGE ITSELF, not the organizations that hold that knowledge. This is why I am a Gnostic at heart. It is the knowledge that will advance humanity, not the social structure within which it is held or taught.

I am speaking, as always, from a platform that endlessly is promoting the full integration of science and spirituality. Of physics and metaphysics. It is that aspect of humanist philosophy that I share with Dan Smith... even if our tactics and some of our beliefs differ. We humans shall not advance until the artificial rift between these two disciplines is healed. And of that I believe there is more than ample evidence scattered throughout history, but even more evidence in our current time and our current troubles.

I will pick up on this topic and (hopefully) link it to the main subject in the Tree Of Life and Angels and Demons thread. :)

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby oba » Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:53 pm

hi- I'm sort of new to this forum.
I'm also new at the OMF so I feel like this is a double treat.

my impression of the RC is that it's mainly a business.

cheers. :)
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby Zep Tepi » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:21 pm

I wonder who it could be.... :?:
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby Shawnna » Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:32 pm

I am hopeful that the effort Ray put into his admitted attack on one religious institution will be applied across the board at some point.

Or is your religious ax to grind limited to the RC's, Ray?

:wink:
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:45 pm

Shawnna wrote:I am hopeful that the effort Ray put into his admitted attack on one religious institution will be applied across the board at some point.


Have no fear, Shawnna. While we may disagree on some points, I am fully in yours and Steve's (& Chorlton's) camp when it comes to all religions. Like you, I believe spirituality is the more idealistic goal to aim for, and any religion is always going to be imperfect.

Or is your religious ax to grind limited to the RC's, Ray?

:wink:


Well, they ARE my "favorite" just because I was so well schooled in the Catholic faith that I was able to identify the more silly aspects of their Church Law very early on. Of course, all the other religions have their warts too... damned if the more radical Muslim elements can't seem to kick the "convert or we will kill you" meme! Christianity went through that whole thing and finally came out of it. Being the youngest of the major religions, I guess we should expect the Muslims to take a bit longer to come around. What is truly telling is how much the Shias and the Sunnis seem to hate each other as much, or perhaps more, than they hate "infidels". The various Christian faiths also went thru a time (Reformation) of wanting to kill each other...then they grew up. I only wonder how the Shia/Sunni mess is going to finally play out...hopefully not with nukes! :shock:

OTOH, in some recent posts in the Chit-Chat forum, I have made it known that I acknowledge that there is often elements of "good" in any religious tradition. The one place I will NEVER chastise the Catholics is their focus on education. My Catholic high school trained me very well for college. So well that I kept up a 4.0 GPA for my entire freshman year, and it felt no more difficult than my high school courses.

Church Laws (and all religions seem to need them as crutches) is where I have an ax to grind! ;)
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ryguy » Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:39 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Well, they ARE my "favorite" just because I was so well schooled in the Catholic faith that I was able to identify the more silly aspects of their Church Law very early on. Of course, all the other religions have their warts too...


You know...I think I pretty much agree with you (and others here) regarding the inherent flaws of traditional religion. However, I think the one point I always tend to get a chuckle over is the tendency of some people to focus on belief in God/Christ when attacking religious beliefs, even grouping people into that category who don't share the same views as institutional religion.

However those same people then go on to express their own viewpoints that are no less "religious", or indoctrinated (a common belief shared by a group of people - from tens to thousands). And because of that, many of the flaws those folks point at when they attack mainstream religions are flaws that are apparent within their own belief system. I might be understanding it wrong, but I think this is the contradiction that Shawnna's referring to.

Where Shawnna and I probably part ways is that I see many of the flaws of traditional religion within the newer movements, such as "New Age" as well.

-Ry
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:43 pm

ryguy wrote: However, I think the one point I always tend to get a chuckle over is the tendency of some people to focus on belief in God/Christ when attacking religious beliefs, even grouping people into that category who don't share the same views as institutional religion.


I agree. And I do not attack anyone's wish to believe in a God, or that Christ was His son (I may QUESTION their beliefs, but they are free to have them!). I have my own beliefs about God. I think I am pretty consistent in attacking all the "Church Law" that deigns to tell their flock how they have to live, in specific terms on specifics issues, in order to be in accordance with "what God says". It has an underlying presumption that the common man is much too mired by sin (or some other weak reason) that God would not talk directly to such common men. (or women Shawnna!) ;)

I think it is travesty to tell people that the Word of God only comes through and can be properly vetted by a bunch of men who have never had to keep a nuclear family together. (and some who have done questionable things to young people!) :x

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:36 am

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/ ... ml?cnn=yes

This, in turn, undermines one of the strongest literary arguments employed by Christians over centuries to support the historicity of the Resurrection (in which they believe on faith): the specificity and novelty of the idea that the Messiah would die on a Friday and rise on a Sunday. Who could make such stuff up? But, as Knohl told TIME, maybe the Christians had a model to work from. The idea of a "dying and rising messiah appears in some Jewish texts, but until now, everyone thought that was the impact of Christianity on Judaism," he says. "But for the first time, we have proof that it was the other way around. The concept was there before Jesus." If so, he goes on, "this should shake our basic view of Christianity. ... What happens in the New Testament [could have been] adopted by Jesus and his followers based on an earlier messiah story."


As I have pointed out before the concept of "being born of a virgin" was around WELL before the time of Jesus... and the fact that it was adopted in the stories (not facts) of Christianity is just one bit of evidence that should cause a reasonable person to question the facts. Here we now see more potential evidence that would say the "die and rise in 3 days" may have also been a theme that was embodied in stories before the time of Christ. Other evidence of a "compendium of stories put together to achieve a specific goal" is given in the New Testament itself, when it purposefully points out that Jesus rode through the gates of Jerusalem on an ass, in accordance with prophecy. Since Christ was clearly a learned man, it is not beyond reason to suggest that he may have purposefully taken such actions to bolster his claim of who he said he was.

One thing I often think of, which would be a sad ending to the good INTENTIONS of the message of Christ, would be if it turned out that he was the biggest hoaxer of all.

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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby Chorlton » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:21 am

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:One thing I often think of, which would be a sad ending to the good INTENTIONS of the message of Christ, would be if it turned out that he was the biggest hoaxer of all.

Ray


Ahhh But then he'd be on ATS !!
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Re: The Imperfections & Failings of The Catholic Church

Postby ryguy » Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:11 am

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Since Christ was clearly a learned man, it is not beyond reason to suggest that he may have purposefully taken such actions to bolster his claim of who he said he was.

One thing I often think of, which would be a sad ending to the good INTENTIONS of the message of Christ, would be if it turned out that he was the biggest hoaxer of all.

Ray


Okay...lemme get this straight. You're saying the man got on a donkey, rode into town to give himself up simply so that he could be tortured, crucified and murdered (all in front of large crowds of people) simply in order to play out the prophecies and "pretend" to be the messiah?

What's the motivation? Mental illness? Money? A "messiah" complex? lol...

Sorry - I agree with you about the Catholic Church Ray, but your theory that events surrounding Jesus and the apostles was staged for some larger far-reaching "hoax" or conspiracy goes a bit over the edge...

You left out the best parts of the article!

However, such a contentious reading of the 87-line tablet depends on creative interpretation of a smudged passage, making it the latest entry in the woulda/coulda/shoulda category of possible New Testament artifacts; they are useful to prove less-spectacular points and to stir discussion on the big ones, but probably not to settle them nor shake anyone's faith.


Witherington also points out that gospel texts are far less reliant on the observed fact of the Resurrection (there is no angelic command in them like the line in the Gabriel stone) than on the testimony of eyewitnesses to Jesus' post-Resurrection self. Finally, Witherington notes that if he is wrong and Knohl's reading is right, it at least sets to rest the notion that the various gospel quotes attributed to Christ foreshadowing his death and Resurrection were textual retrojections put in his mouth by later believers — Jesus the Messianic Jew, as Knohl sees him, would have been familiar with the vocabulary for his own fate.


-Ry
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