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Old 11-30-2001, 10:39 AM   #46
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Originally posted by Anthony:
Let me start off by saying that you're a man after my own heart.
We really do think quite a bit alike. It's only funny that it took you being on this board five months for me to realize this.

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Not only do your views epitomise what I have been feeling ever since I was old enough to realise that the Holy blood of Christ was in actual fact wine of very bad vintage, but at the age of fourteen, after somethign terrible occurred, I actually renounced God. No, not just the Roman Catholic CHurch, but its entirety including God.
I was fifteen when I think I became atheist, and it's only ironic that it happened out of my sophomore year religion class. Basically, too much rationalism was thrown at me, coupled with my weak understanding of why I believed things. I was used to being told what to believe, and I didn't have the resources to find out why. I reconciled to agnosticism when I was 16 until 18. Then came the internet, and I was finally able to get all the information I had clamored for for years, and, honestly, I'm mostly at peace as a result. Perhaps it is my personality, but I'm never contented with just accepting what people tell me.

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It took me less than a month to realise how arrogant such a motion was, and I did everything in my power to express how sorry I felt (I did not, however, go to confession, I still think the idea of talking to a complete stranger about your darkest and deepest secrets is a bit creepy, I'd much sooner talk to Hannibal Lecter about them). Four years on, I would like to think that God teaches and speaks to me through my everyday life; I am not a God-fearing, no, I'm a God-loving man. I have a very complicated system of belief, though, if you look at it from my point of view its dead simple.

I have no religion, I gave it all up in the name of logic, and I think that logic is taking me to God. I do pray, but I would rather call it meditation (though they are essentially the same thing). I do celebrate Christmas because it celebrates the life of a Great man who changed the world with his love, however, to me its not some excuse to feed an age-old religion. However, I don't fast (unless there is something unjust happening in MY life that I can change .ie - when one of my exes refused to talk to me, I fasted to the point I really couldn't walk. Sounds ludicrous, but it WAS a complicated situation). AS for the Pope, there is simply no one I disagree with more on the face of this planet, with the exception of Margaret Thatcher. The pope is, and always has been if you look back since the very beginning of Popery, a man who looks after the interests of the church, and nothing more. I always hated it how established religion always told the individual that THEY were God. That THEIR path was THE path of God. How THEY were the only ones capable of saving the world.

Unfortunately, as history tells us, this is nonsense. More often than not, the Catholic Church has destroyed the world, or, when it suited them, merely stayed on the fence and reaped in the benefits. This can be seen from its early stages in its passion for taking over new lands (The New World and its conquest was not merely motivated by Kings and Queens), indifference to the suffering during the Holocaust, support of Franco and other fascist regimes during the Spanish Civil War and its very VERY fascist views. Not only do they think contraception is morally wrong, they condem everyone who practices it. Not only is homosexuality wrong, but homosexuals are doomed to the pits of the sixth Hell, little knowing that Michaelangelo, the very man who painted the Sixteenth Chapel, was in fact a homosexual. And could I be as cynical as to point out that many and MANY priests of the Catholic Church are probably homosexual (not mere speculation, its just that there's been so many cases).

With such a bad record and such contrived policies, the hypocrisy of the church only matches the hypocrisy of politics; where do we go from here? Well, I'll tell you where I went - away from it.

I couldn't believe in a religion that dictated terms to me, that told me that God is this and God is that. To everyone who ever tells me what God is upto, I answer back; how do YOU know the will of God, are YOU God?

The moment people start thinking that they exclusively know the will of God, they should learn humility. And thats exactly what the Catholic Church (or any religious establishment, but particularly the CC)should learn, humility; the God I want to know will not be tainted by the dirt of politics, but be free of all that. I am sorry, but to me, the Catholic Church does not represent God, it represents itself, and all of the worst (and best) attributes that Mankind has to offer.

Melon, my advice to you is the same advice I read in Bernard Shaw's play 'Major Barbara'; 'if your religion is destroyed by the truth, no matter! Build another one tomorrow!'

Religions and faith can be rebuild, as History has proven. To tell you frankly, they are so flimsy and whimsy that the only thing that matters is the core of your existence; love. AS long as you have love, you won't need the other baggage.
And, really, I couldn't agree more. I really don't know what name to give what I believe, but I really don't feel compelled to either ("Melonism" anyone? ). And, yes, Thatcherism was a disaster.

I could go on and on about the various anecdotes about hierarchical hypocrisy, because I know about them. Most of the Catholic clergy is probably gay, and this has been the case for well over 1200 years. Out of jealousy, I think, the stoic movement arose, which was anti-emotional, anti-sex, anti-woman, anti-gay, etc. (which is also the father of most of Catholic tradition). There were female priests for the first 500 years of the Church, but were banned because they thought female priests were "pagan" (the Pope, conveniently, is silent about this, because he knows this). Priests could marry for the first 1100 years of the Church, but the stoics did away with that too. You only need to look at the Eastern Orthodox Church, which split in 1054, with one of the contentious points being that the Western Church was demanding priest celibacy. Orthodox priests can still marry, and I don't think there are worries about them neglecting their duties.

One day, I'd love to hang their dirty laundry out to dry...

But very good posts, Ant. Did I mention that you're in the illustrious list of Melon forum favorites now?

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 11-30-2001, 11:07 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama:


Melon:

Might I suggest you explore the Episcopal Church? ...

~U2Alabama
Yes, yes, this is what I've been thinking all along as I've read this thread.
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Old 12-01-2001, 12:13 AM   #48
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Originally posted by Gina Marie:
Melon, as a Roman Catholic myself, I do understand your anger and frustration.

Add to that being a female, and all that entails, w/ some of the Church's and The Pope's, views.

But just speaking for myself, NONE of this can shake the foundations of my faith, as it is the most important thing in my life.

I sincerely hope you do not 'leave' the faith. In my experience, it is the nature of life in the faith to constantly question and struggle w/ these issues. Leaving is 'giving up', isn't it? I say this only because of my struggles, both w/ The Church in general, and w/ the church I attend.

We need people like you who think so deeply about these issues. I commend you for your honesty.

I'm not reading this whole thread, so my apologies if this has already been stated.

IMO, leaving the church is not the same as leaving one's faith. I was raised a Catholic, but haven't practiced for years, despite being rather involved with the church in my youth. What worked for me then doesn't work for me now - hence why I do not practice the Catholic religion. However, my faith in God is as strong ever - maybe even more so than when I was younger.
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Old 12-01-2001, 12:32 AM   #49
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:

I agree that on some issues, "evolving with the times" is okay - as in music and things like that. Also, cultural mores, like how long women should grow their hair - Laws concerning restrictions like hair growth were based on cultural values and not on God's edicts.
However, to say that the church needs to evolve with the times when it comes to moral values, I must disagree. That fact is that on many many issues, it was God who decided what is morally acceptable and unacceptable, so if the church were to change its stance on these issues just because the world has changed its stance, that would be wrong. God doesn't change. His view of what is right and wrong doesn't change. In fact, if we do change our moral values in an effort to "be with the times", I would suggest that we are selling Christianity out - we are watering it down.
Uhm... Ok, then how do you view what Jesus says about new wineskins and old wineskins?

Just curious, 80s... that's all.


[This message has been edited by theSoulfulMofo (edited 11-30-2001).]
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Old 12-02-2001, 01:59 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony:
Erm, 80sU2isBest, when I asked for God's message I meant Jesus specifically... not the ten commandments. It might just be me, but I find most (if not the entirety) of the Old Testament quite humourous; it won't do.
...

The Commandments may be set in stone, but I don't consider them as such. I want the DIRECT words of God, not something that was past down the line.

Ant.
The Ten Commandments ARE the direct word of God; Moses, God's prophet, is the only one who heard it. He wrote it down for the rest of us to know.

So 80s, want me to try answering the above? This is really a big question, the complete answer is found by reading the New Testament. Besides being the Word of God, Jesus is talking throughout it. I can only give a few examples, I am certainly no expert.

Jesus spends very little time discussing moral issues. He came up against the legalism of his day that made works above obeying God. He introduces a relationship with God based on the first comandment that we love God with all our heart, mind and strength. Jesus's basic message is "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt 4:17b) He uses many parables to describe what heaven is and how we get there. He tells his followers to not be anxious about necessities but "Instead, seek his kingdom and, and these things shall be yours as well." (Luke 12:31) He declared that "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6b) So the things that Jesus tell us we learn mostly by looking to his example, and having faith that he is the Son of God. It's not about doing the right or wrong thing, because we all sin, but allowing Jesus into our lives so he can heal those areas we have problems with. Course you have to admit you've done something wrong. (And when you have a relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit will let you know!)

However, Jesus does spend some time giving specifics in a section of the bible called the Sermon on the Mount (Matt.5-7). These you may have heard. Here's some examples:

From the beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-11):
"Blessed are the meek (humble)...
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...
"Blessed are the merciful...

"You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgement. But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgement." (Matt.5:21-22)

"You have heard that it was said "You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt.5:27-28)

"But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matt. 5:32)

"But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you." (Matt. 5:38-42)

"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matt. 6:14-15)

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where theives don ot break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matt. 6:19-21)

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon(money)." (Matt.6:24)

"Judge not, that you be not judged." (Matt.7:1)

One more that fits here comes from Luke 6:31, it's the golden rule "And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."

So Anthony, does that help at all ? I didn't have space to put down everything, and anyway that would be a whole course in Christianity! Christ is living! When you accept Christ, he is constantly talking to you, whether through prayer or daily life, and leading you by his will in what is right.
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Old 12-02-2001, 09:24 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by DebbieSG:
"But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matt. 5:32)
This is one of the most aggregious mistranslations in the New Testament, and is what separates the Protestant Bibles from the Catholic Bibles.

The Catholic Matthew 5:32:

"But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

The contentious word is "porneia," which refers to "incest," not "unchastity," so the Catholic interpretation, in this instance, is the correct interpretation on the basis of the original word. Matthew, you must remember, was written for a Jewish-minded audience, and, unlike the Gentile-minded gospels, required full adherence to the Mosaic Law (hence, "unlawful" in this passage). What this passage is referring to is Leviticus 18:6-18, which tells one which family members one cannot have sex with.

Once again, if you take the KJV literally, Jesus contradicts Himself. Jesus is opposed to divorce in all circumstances, except for this one passage in Matthew. However, with correct translation, you will see that Jesus doesn't contradict Himself on divorce; He's opposed to it 100%.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 12-03-2001, 08:54 PM   #52
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'The Ten Commandments ARE the direct word of God; Moses, God's prophet, is the only one who heard it. He wrote it down for the rest of us to know.'

That's nice. I suppose you believe that the world was also flooded in its entirety and God really didsend all those plagues down and killed all those first-born of Egypt? THe rest of EXODUS is so improbable that it has to be taken purely on a symbolic note, any other way and I find it completely laughable. So I'm sorry, but I can not acccept the TEN COMMANDMENTS of God as direct words from It, if they are, then It is guilty of breaking It's very own Commandments, and what does that make God? A fascist with double-standards.

I repudiate the sentiment that the Ten Commandments are the direct commandments of God.

Ant.

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Old 12-03-2001, 09:20 PM   #53
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Originally posted by melon:
...I'm considering leaving my religion, Roman Catholicism, permanently, after 21 years of being a part of it. The Pope has made one too many blitheringly narrow-minded and offensive homophobic statements finally, and I'm looking into other, more open-minded Christian sects. Roman Catholicism simply has so many lies and "misinformations" piled on top of each other that I am questioning whether I can even stay in it with good conscience.

I've lost all confidence that my native faith can change any longer. I was brought up in it to believe it was a fairly liberal and tolerant sect, and it has proven this in regards to social justice for the unfortunate and in reaching out to leaders of other religions, both Protestant and non-Christian.

However, the Vatican has simply proven over the last few years that it values faulty tradition over people. And now that the Pope has openly encouraged discrimination at the secular level against anyone who supposedly "threatens the traditional family," I am just angered beyond belief, particularly since the Pope also alluded to atrociously flawed "natural law" arguments, which find their root at the "Adam and Eve" garbage--which they discourage belief in anyway! I hope the old @#$% is very pleased with himself that I, once one of the most ardent supporters of the Catholic Church in public and on this forum, simply cannot stand to even think about the faith anymore without seething with internal revulsion and betrayal.

Maybe my emotions will change tomorrow, and I will take back what I have written, but, in the meantime, I am interested in knowing the other facets of Christianity. Just so you know, don't even suggest faiths that are either fundamentalist or homophobic, because I will not be interested.

It's only ironic yesterday that I mentioned that I would likely start my own denomination, had it not been for my Catholic background, which, generally, means that we are more reluctant to break off if we are unhappy. Perhaps this is the sign I was waiting for. Had it not been for Martin Luther, for instance, the Church would likely never have changed during Vatican II. What do you think?

And no smart ass comments, okay? I'm being both sincere and dead serious here. If this seems arrogant, so be it, and drop it.

Melon

I will say this to your point.. A Roman catholic i am as well.. and though sometimes I also get mad at them for their various statements on issues.. Most recently the Disgusting 'Apology to Jews' for the holocaust.. complete bullsh@t if you ask me.. and I haven't read or heard about the latest homophobic statements.. But, Please , though you may not always ever agree with them.. and say.. take this recent issue that's giving you grief.. Though you may not always agree.. At least you always know where you stand, where teh church stands.. They've been teh same for some two thousand years.. and there's a comfort in that.. I dno't know a catholic who would even think that you'd be heading to heaven if you ever were to convert.. or for calling the pope a dumb ##$#.. Take solice in your religion.. Some other religious sects. have sweeping revolutions every year or two.. recently i've heard of a pentecostal revolution.. i mean.. is taht what you want?.. You'll hear the saying 'change is teh only constant'.. Well, when religion is the issue.. I say f#ck that statement.. Tradition and almost refusal to change is the greatest. I'll light a candle at the grotto here at nd for you.

Cheers,
The Second eye of Mullah Omar
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Old 12-03-2001, 09:24 PM   #54
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Originally posted by melon:
So what do you believe in that differs from the official stances, if you don't mind me asking? And, if you do have these differences, how do you reconcile it to the degree that you remain a practicing Catholic?

Melon

Ah.. I would say as a practicing catholic.. all holy days.. all sundays.. The only thing i've disagreed with vigor on was the holocaust apology.. I'm not going to condemn the pope or the church for their views on homosexuality.. I do think it's wrong, i do think it's a sin, I do think it's morally disgusting, yet, as long as you keep it to yourself, I don't much have a problem with it because i don't have to see it... And in this instance i cannot condemn the pope or the church.. and I'm extremely almost sick at reading all the posts from 'nonpracticing' catholics.. How can you call teh pope an 'old fool'..?/?? Have you no respect?.. Would the catholic church even recognize you if you were to walk to the gates?.. Again.. more grotto candles...
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Old 12-03-2001, 09:34 PM   #55
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Originally posted by melon:
Perhaps I am prodding here, but why remain Catholic knowing this? Why not, for instance, convert to a different Christian sect? Just curious...

Melon

Because even a non practicing catholic knows the great great sin in turning from their religion.. and would be deathly afraid of the consequences come the afterlife...
Ah. Yes.. I just scrolled down and read a recommendation about the episcopal (spelling?) church.. They have the reps as being 'good time catholics'.. very similar to us, just not as stringent.. So close.. yet so far when you look at moving to them.. melon.. I guarantee you can find your solace in the catholic church.. Ya just may need to look a little further...
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Old 12-03-2001, 10:22 PM   #56
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Do I sense a bit of bitterness and sarcasm in your writing, my dear Lemonite...or should I say, "the second eye of Mullah Omar"?

Would you like to share the source of your bitterness if this is true?

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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