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Old 11-14-2008, 06:16 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
If people don't believe in the values of the church they should just leave. That's what most people do. Religion is a club.
This is beside the point. Even if you are an atheist, if over half of your country is being ordered how to vote and they see nothing wrong with not thinking for themselves, what do you get? Iraq.

Churches are not supposed to be in the business of choosing political parties, candidates, and voter intimidation, etc. as a condition for their tax exempt statuses. Perhaps it is time for the IRS to start enforcing these laws properly. If churches want to start endorsing candidates, then they had best start paying taxes, at the very least.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:38 PM   #32
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I'm not so sure if I am Catholic anymore. Sometimes I think myself as just plain Christian. Like many here, I disagree with what the Vatican says about a lot of issues.

Sometimes I think about leaving the Catholic Church, but I also think I would miss the cultural side of Catholicism. Meaning, getting your ashes on Ash Wednesday, giving up something for Lent, etc. Those sorts of things seem to stay with you, no matter how close you are to the Church.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:39 PM   #33
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Yeah, I've never gotten that bit myself. I know there are certain groups of Protestants that don't believe Catholics aren't real Christians (sounds a lot like "those aren't real Americans" to me), and from what I've read and heard it seems a case of "they don't do things the way we do" more than anything. Always seemed bizarre to me for people to focus on the fairly minor differences instead of the much more intense similarities.
That's so ironic when you consider how the current pope and other bishops and cardinals like to mention that the Catholic Church is the only real church, and all other denominations are only sects, not real churches.
Then you come here and people say Catholics are another kind of Christian.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:46 PM   #34
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I had 'The Picture Bible' when I was a kid(this despite the fact that I wasn't raised in any church or any religion whatsoever). The Picture Bible was a bible in comic-book form. I always thought the material was well-suited to that format.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:58 PM   #35
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That's so ironic when you consider how the current pope and other bishops and cardinals like to mention that the Catholic Church is the only real church, and all other denominations are only sects, not real churches.
Then you come here and people say Catholics are another kind of Christian.
The difference is that, for many fundamentalist Protestants, when they say "Catholics aren't real Christians" they specifically mean that Catholics are going to burn in hell just like atheists, Jews, Buddhists etc. Which, at least as I understand it, is not an implication of the Catholic 'one true church' doctrine; I've never personally heard a Catholic say or suggest that only Catholics are 'saved' and everyone else is going to hell.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:10 PM   #36
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The difference is that, for many fundamentalist Protestants, when they say "Catholics aren't real Christians" they specifically mean that Catholics are going to burn in hell just like atheists, Jews, Buddhists etc. Which, at least as I understand it, is not an implication of the Catholic 'one true church' doctrine; I've never personally heard a Catholic say or suggest that only Catholics are 'saved' and everyone else is going to hell.
Why does anyone have to burn in hell?

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Old 11-14-2008, 07:26 PM   #37
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The I've never personally heard a Catholic say or suggest that only Catholics are 'saved' and everyone else is going to hell.
I have. Maybe it's regional. I live in a heavily Catholic area (I grew up Protestant). We heard it all the time. Of course, Protestants said the same thing about Catholics. Within the past four or five years, my niece's Catholic school teacher implied to her that my sister (who stayed Protestant while
marrying into a Catholic family) wasn't going to heaven.

Since I don't believe in that stuff, didn't bother me any. But it worried my niece and pissed off my sister.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:32 PM   #38
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Why does anyone have to burn in hell?

No one is burning in hell. No one is going to heaven. Neither place exists.

The closest to hell are Arkansas, Fresno and Utah.

The closest to Heaven is the Rasa Sayang on Batu Ferringhi beach
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:34 PM   #39
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I think the irony is that both, in a way, question the other's overall Christianity and try all the best to claim superiority over the other.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:40 PM   #40
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Why does anyone have to burn in hell?

Because the one true God rewards people and saves them, if everybody got into heaven there would be no point in spreading the faith or even living a virtuous life.

There is the other possibility that the threat of damnation provides incentive for people to stick with their religion of birth and try to spread it around, that the most successful religions are the ones which spread and wipe out those which came before.

Also don't forget the dead babies that were stuck in limbo, and the suffering that thought caused, until the Church did away with that nasty policy. It is good that there is no truth in it.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:54 PM   #41
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I'm not so sure if I am Catholic anymore. Sometimes I think myself as just plain Christian. Like many here, I disagree with what the Vatican says about a lot of issues.

Sometimes I think about leaving the Catholic Church, but I also think I would miss the cultural side of Catholicism. Meaning, getting your ashes on Ash Wednesday, giving up something for Lent, etc. Those sorts of things seem to stay with you, no matter how close you are to the Church.
I feel the same way. Between the child sex abuse scandals, women not being allowed to be priests, the anti-birth control and anti-gay stance, and now demonizing parishioners who voted for Obama, I have a harder and harder time every day justifying remaining a practicing Catholic. I have thought about joining the Episcopalian church here in town (they have a female pastor and she's awesome), but I just can't seem to give up the cultural part of being a Catholic. It's like getting a divorce from your family or something. Also, it's not like my parish priest gets all political during homilies. He will mention being pro-life sometimes, but he also makes it clear he's talking about all life - including on death row. I could never imagine him saying parishioners who voted for Obama can't take communion.
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:05 AM   #42
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Well if you rationalize it, the Catholic churches stance must be anti-abortion and anti-contraception so that there are more Catholic children around. It's no secret that Catholics tend to have massive families (I'm one of 6 children in my Catholic family, and I'm a 'born again' atheist). So by banning condoms and abortion combined with the unavoidable human need for sex, you get Catholics who have alot of Catholic children which gives the Catholic church more and more money/power. So as to whether you think these are actually 'Gods' laws and you should adhere to them 100%, remember that regardless of whether God exists and Catholicism is the true form of Christianity, these rules would be put in place to ensure the success of the Church.

Another example of a silly rule that some might think are sacred. Priests can't marry only so they don't get wives/children whom in the event of death, all property would be transferred to. This way all property gets transerred to the Church. I know if I was running the Catholic Church I'd make the same mandates that the Catholic church makes, it works very well to secure members/power.

So by all means believe in God, but if I was Catholic, I really wouldn't take their stances on anything seriously. Think for yourself as there's something sinister in most of the Churches laws.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:41 AM   #43
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Another example of a silly rule that some might think are sacred. Priests can't marry only so they don't get wives/children whom in the event of death, all property would be transferred to. This way all property gets transerred to the Church. I know if I was running the Catholic Church I'd make the same mandates that the Catholic church makes, it works very well to secure members/power.
As an aside, I've heard this being used as the reasoning as to why priests are celibate, but, frankly, I think it is a made-up reason to cover up an even more embarrassing, but still highly relevant theology that dominated medieval Christian philosophy.

At the same time that priests were forbidden to marry, a wave of highly anti-sex theology swept through the Catholic Church. It was so extreme that it extended to making married couples guilty for enjoying sex at all, thus they created fairly arcane rituals that allowed for the banal function of sex--procreation--but ensured that not even husband and wife felt any lust or physical attraction for each other. Such feelings--and, in fact, all feelings--were declared Satanic by the Christian stoics (not to be confused with the ancient Greek stoics; these medieval stoics highly admired ancient Greek knowledge, but, in keeping with the idea of Christian supremacism over paganism, they made their "improvements" while keeping the name).

As such, the fact that priests were banned from marrying and required to be celibate at the moment of history that it happened is likely related to the fact that the "messengers of God" would never have sex, because sex, in all of its forms, was Satanic. Likewise, this era is also the origin of all the sexual hangups the Catholic Church and even Protestantism (as the Reformation happened 400-500 years later) have today.
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Old 11-15-2008, 12:42 PM   #44
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As Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, let me state with clarity that Father Newman’s statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church’s teachings. Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions." The Catechism goes on to state: "In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path; we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church."

Christ gives us freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith. Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion.

The pulpit is reserved for the Word of God. Sometimes God’s truth, as is the Church’s teaching on abortion, is unpopular. All Catholics must be aware of and follow the teachings of the Church.

We should all come together to support the President-elect and all elected officials with a view to influencing policy in favor of the protection of the unborn child. Let us pray for them and ask God to guide them as they take the mantle of leadership on January 20, 2009.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:14 PM   #45
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So do you feel guilty taking communion? How do you rationalize it?
Not at all. I don't feel like I'm committing sin by eating blessed bread. I don't really feel the need to rationalize it.

The bottom line is that if I left the Church, I would break my mother's heart. She's said to me before that there's only two things she really hopes for me: that I keep going to church and that I don't become a politician.

It's not that I've lost faith in God, per se. It's more that I've lost faith in organized religion. But I don't feel I'm doing any harm to myself or others by attending masses with my family, accepting communion. And I don't feel like if I left I'd be making some big statement or anything.

When I go to college, I'll stop attending masses.
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