Dog Gone It Pope, We Have Laws Here, Absolutes.

The new Pope’s washing the feet of two women has caused a stir among Catholic traditionalists.  Traditionalists are absolutely certain they know what the faith means and how to practice it.  The Pope is absolutely sure he does as well.  They differ.

I read somewhere when the new Pope was offered the SuperPope red cape for his first appearance he said, “This is not Las Vegas anymore.”  In Argentina, he made no efforts to reinstate Latin Mass as traditionalists have been obsessed with.

All of this is not news.  It is merely the repeat of what have been happening in all parts of Christianity since day one, adjusting when popular culture changes.  When asked if the Pope was violating a Catholic tenet by washing the feet of women, the spokesman said, “No.  The Pope was ignoring it.”  Ignoring some aspects of the faith and focusing on others is in the operational manual of Christianity.

While different branches of the faith change different policies at different times, nearly all say the same thing about change:  The faith doesn’t change, it’s the same, now and forever.   Then, the faith changes.

The places we have seen change, among others, is alcohol use, divorce, swearing, working on Sunday and the latest, gay marriage.  Some say gay marriage is a new low.  That is, it’s the last straw, or, a plateau we the faith can’t go below.

But, it’s not.  As the new Pope demonstrates, reinterpreting the faith is on going, now and forever.

105 Responses

  1. Brad

    “Some say gay marriage is a new low. That is, it’s the last straw, or, a plateau we the faith can’t go below.”

    Yep, and yet most of these same people are staunch advocates of supply side trickle down economics which shift wealth from the poor to the rich. There is plenty in the scriptures that condemns this, but it is official Republican policy.

    Focusing on things like gay marriage is a way for right wing people to condone the real evil being committed. Causing a child to starve or a soldier to die in a war so that some corporation can cut a profit selling weapons is far more evil than two gays spending their life together.

    1. Wolfy32

      I want to know something.

      Where does the bible state that marriage is between a man and woman? I don’t care about Church policy, doctrines, or thoughts. I want to know biblicly where it says this? Or that gay marriage is evil?

      I want to know where it states man and woman should marry? Where does marriage come from? I don’t know of anywhere it’s even stated as a law or requirement? Yet, churches past down from generation to generation that sex outside of marriage is evil? Is this even remotely biblical. I know that drinking and dancing are not listed as sins in the bible other than maybe in excess? Even that’s probably not sinful, just not healthy for one… 🙂

      If none of these things are biblicly listed as sins or wrong to do, then why do we perpetuate the belief that they are wrong? I’ve never understood where that comes from? Other than people’s own insecurities around sex. They need to feel better about their choices to stay married forever so they perpetuate the belief that it’s wrong to divorce, or wrong to be gay, or wrong to not be married. If it’s not biblical, how can we just make up all these sins? And why would a God of the universe care if people were married or not, why would it care whether people are gay or not. If it cares I would guess it would care about whether we’re healthy as a society and as a species.

  2. Brad

    Sorry, I need to clarify my last post. Two gays spending their life together is not evil in any way as far as I’m concerned.

    1. Henry

      Sin is sin. If war is not a just war, it is sin. If a man steals bread from the bread store to feed his family, it is still sin. If a man fools around on his wife, it is sin…..I’ll leave the gays out this time. They are a little sensitive and need a break.

      Sin is sin.

      1. Michael Ross

        I’ll step in for you Henry. Change with society is OK within certain parameters. I can’t see anything wrong with washing the feet of women. Clergy are to be servants of all the faithful. Gay “marriage”, however, is going outside of biblical parameters.

        1. entech

          Perhaps they could have non-biblical marriage; although there are enough varieties of biblical marriage we could easily sneak in another.

          Polygynous Marriage
          Probably the most common form of marriage in the bible, it is where a man has more than one wife. David and Solomon are good examples

          Levirate Marriage
          When a woman was widowed without a son, it became the responsibility of the brother-in-law or a close male relative to take her in and impregnate her. If the resulting child was a son, he would be considered the heir of her late husband. See Ruth, and the story of Onan (Gen. 38:6-10).

          A man, a woman and her property — a female slave
          The famous “handmaiden” sketch, as preformed by Abraham (Gen. 16:1-6) and Jacob (Gen. 30:4-5).

          A man, one or more wives, and some concubines
          The definition of a concubine varies from culture to culture, but they tended to be live-in mistresses. Concubines were tied to their “husband,” but had a lower status than a wife. Their children were not usually heirs, so they were safe outlets for sex without risking the line of succession. To see how badly a concubine could be treated, see the famous story of the Levite and his concubine (Judges 19:1-30).

          A male soldier and a female prisoner of war
          Women could be taken as booty from a successful campaign and forced to become wives or concubines. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 describes the process.

          A male rapist and his victim
          Deuteronomy 22:28-29 describes how an unmarried woman who had been raped must marry her attacker.

          A male and female slave
          A female slave could be married to a male slave without consent, presumably to produce more slaves.
          and of course …

          Monogamous, heterosexual marriage
          What you might think of as the standard form of marriage, provided you think of arranged marriages as the standard. Also remember that inter-faith or cross-ethnic marriage were forbidden for large chunks of biblical history.

          None of these are described as better or worse than any other, so if you accept all of these it would be pretty hypocritical to put a homosexual marriage, two consenting adults, below rapists, forced marriage, including the wife’s slave, prisoner of war (abduction?)

          1. Stanta

            Both David and Somon experienced a lot of grief because of the many wives with faction within their family fighting and murdering. At least that is one of the lessons I learned for them. I guess if you need it specifically spelled out for you, I could just barely understand how you missed that. But then I am just a poor uneducated, superstitious, fanatic.

          2. entech

            1 Kings Chapter 9
            1 When Solomon had finished building the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do,
            2 the LORD appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon.
            3 The LORD said to him: “I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
            4 “As for you, if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws,
            5 I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.

            Yet for all of the rape, adultery, fornication and murder he was still the beloved of God and ancestor to Jesus, still an upright man of integrity of heart.

            You are right, I do need someone to explain all the strangeness, how you could commit practically every sin in the book and as you infer be punished for it and still be the beloved … .

          3. Stanta

            Rape 3000 years ago. Intersting situation. What to do with the rapist? Put him
            In jail? No jails were for holding you long enough to try you and then you were punished. Not for long term incarceration, besides that was a death sentence anyway, why waste the time.

            A fine? Who had the money then, the rich mainly and they could afford to rape and pay anytime they wanted.

            How about a rapist without the funds? What if she becomes pregnant? Child support payments through county social services? Food stamps? None of those were around at that time. Even now with today’s technology and organizations many men get away without providing for their children.

            In those times, who is going to marry a woman who has been raped and carried the rapists child to term? How does she feed and house herself and the child, again no social services of welfare.

            We don’t know what the terms of the marriage was between a rapist and his victim at that time. Maybe she had the tacit approval for a “burning bed” conclusion if he attempted to hurt her again. The marriage could have been just a financial situation and she never had to live or see him again. A contract for support.

            We don’t really know, history never recorded it, mainly because everyone then knew the rules anyway.

          4. entech

            Stan @2:32
            Thank you Stan, we simply do not know the conditions at the time, we do not know who wrote the laws and with what intent. We certainly do not know anything about any god that may you may have not punished offenders depending on a whim, or the result of a discussion with one of his prophets. We have nothing but the scriptures themselves to tell us anything about the scriptures.

            I thought for a moment that your post was a defense of David.

          5. Stanta

            David did some unbelievably stupid things. David paid for those stupid things, like his own son trying to murder him. David came back to God and asked for forgiveness. That is the moral of the story, not that he sinned but that he was forgiven. He then seemed to live a long life, looks like old age took him.

        2. Michael Ross

          In the Old Testament God seemingly tolerated things He didn’t approve of. Homosexual behavior wasn’t one of them.

          1. entech

            You do all seem to know so much about the mind of God, he forgives some for the most heinous of crimes, punishes others on a whim, this is not tolerance. But you say he is consistent on one point alone, the point that some of you are vehemently against.

      2. If sin is sin, then when Christians sin, knowing that sin will be forgiven, is it better or worse than if that sin is committed by someone with no expectation of being forgiven for that sinful act? If sin is forgiven, then in situations when a greater good exists, is it really a sin to, let’s use your example, steal food to feed starving children? It’s semantics, is it not? How would Jean Valjean feel about that?

        1. entech

          That is a bit heavy, you are asking them to think instead of mindlessly burbling words copied from an old collection of writings. On a similar theme though, if God and Jesus are one and the same and God is omnipotent and omniscient then it would be known in advance that there would be a resurrection, if it was known that it was not permanent death then how can it be said that he sacrificed his life.

          I would imagine Valjean would have been pretty miserable about it all 😳 🙄

        2. Stanta

          Realist, you seem to think that confession is painless. I would guess many leave the church not because they don’t believe they sinned but because they couldn’t go through with confession.

          I am not talking Catholic with a priest confession but laying out your sins before Christ, who was sinless, and accepting his forgiveness.

          I have never met someone who has been a believer who has ever committed sins just because they know they will be forgiven. Even before I committed myself to Christ I avoided Him thinking that my punishment would’ve less if he did exist if I could plead ignorance. Now I can’t.

  3. Jon, a while back I asked you who you thought the new ‘other’ might be in regard to focus sinners once the gay thing is behind us, and you thought it may have something to do with poor people.

    I’m wondering if the new pope will be some type of catalyst for going toward humility and modesty and moderation, which the fundies will interpret as being pious and very VERY publicly thankful for all the wealth God has bestowed on them (probably in relation to their sin-free lives) and the backlash will be against the poor people who refuse to embrace ‘God helps those who help themselves’.

    Stranger things have happened . . . 100 years ago no one would have imagined conservative politics and religion would be obsessed with gay sex and the men who have it.

    1. Stanta

      Pope and fundies in the same sentence? You realize that to fundies the Pope has no authority at all but you think that what the Pope dies makes any difference to them? Here is where an understanding of the history of the church would come in handy, can you say Reformation?

      100 years ago gay people rarely admitted they were gay, more history lessons.

      Thirdly, try Googling God helps those who help themselves, it’s not in either the Old or New Testament.

        1. Stanta

          No, you claimed the fundies would be encouraged by the Popes action in support of their own, sorry to many fundies the Pope is the Anti-Christ and the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon. Like I said, a better understanding of what you are talking about would be helpful. Goodness, I have had Lutheran ladies refuse today to date me when they found out I we Catholic.

          I see you are ignoring the Biblical truth on God helps those who help themselves. And I will expand your comment on homosexuals 100 years ago to name ten prominent outed homosexuals who weren’t being persecuted at that time by either side of the political aisle.

    1. Wanna B Sure

      Matt; I Think you may want to explore your ;”…the Catholic Church was given authority to make changes by Jesus Christ Himself”. Then you reffer to the binding and loosing. The binding and loosing reffers to “The Office of the Keys and Confession”. Consult with your preist .

          1. Wanna B Sure

            Matt; May I respectfully submit that what you appear to believe and what the Catholic Church teaches regarding the “binding and loosing” vs …”The Catholic Church was given authority to make changes by Jesus Christ himself” are at odds. At least in the context you present. Ask your priest. Thank you.

          2. Matt

            i think i understand what you mean here…it just clicked…”binding and loosing” specifically refers to absolution of sin….authority to change is given elsewhere…sorry bout that….

          3. Wanna B Sure

            Matt; Thank you. Now you are on track. For further refference see the New Catechism of the Catholic Church; Article VI -The Sacrement of Penance and Reconcilliation-#’s 1440, Reconciliation with the Church #’s 1443, 1444, and 1445. Pages 401, 402, and 403. Glad I could be of help. Peace.

          4. Wanna B Sure

            Matt; The elsewhere you mention would be the Magesterium on any number of issues. Some issues of which have proven to be in error over the centuries, up to the point of the need for abrogation at a later date. Those of which I choose not to get into here.

    2. entech

      Matt, the Catholic Church did not exist in the time of Christ, not for a few hundred years actually, so no authority could have been given.
      All churches arrogate some kind of divine mandate or authority to themselves, for their own purposes, it never ceases to amaze that revelation can be so selective. You would expect that if there is but one true God he would reveal his truth in a way that is the same to all recipients.
      That there are so many claims to so many different revelations, that some of them are contradictory and some actually inimical, demonstrates that they cannot all be true, some must be invented – another possibility is that there is no one true god.

        1. entech

          You were right far too much to type, almost too much to read, while I accept that the Catholics (uppercase C) were the first, the councils took the basis of the doctrine as that which was accepted by the congregations of the Bishops in attendance, the ideas most commonly accepted (vox populi, vox dei?) I still can’t accept the basis as being valid, doubtful God, impossible trinity.

          The last paragraph sums up my major fear:
          Spread your Catholic faith.
          Jesus Christ wants us to bring the whole world into captivity to the truth, and the truth …
          You see it seems to me it is simply captivity, not to the truth but to the church and its hierarchy.

          1. Matt

            ah so we agree on something…you see, if you understand who God is as a christian does this does not mean to imply captivity for the purpose of power at all! God loves all of his children so much and he want all of us to come to him and spend eternity with him in heaven. he desires that we come to him and remain captive in his embrace and the most sure fire way of this is through his own establishment-the Catholic Church. i could only imagine how much it breaks his heart to unconditionally love us only to have some deny his very existence.

          2. entech

            I love you, you will love me back or perish in the pits of hell is NOT unconditional.
            But these are just descriptions, there is no reason to believe such a petty and spiteful entity as your testaments describe actually exists, if he does he will be most upset at being badmouthed all these centuries.
            Sorry, I think if we get right down to it we agree on very little.

          3. Matt

            “Sorry, I think if we get right down to it we agree on very little.” haaha i guess that makes two things we agree on 😉

            so here we are…right back at how little you know about christianity…or at least what i believe it to be as a catholic. things at this point get kinda complicated but the long and short of it is that God does not send poeple to hell…people choose to go there…. sounds crazy that anyone would choose that but they do. to realy understand this you need to have a much more in deapth understanding of who God is and how He works…and it doesnt seem like you are willing to open up to learning anything about that.

          4. entech

            Let me try and be perfectly clear.
            I have extreme doubts about the existence of your God, some would say atheist, but there again some have there own definition of the word, what I say is that it is not possible to say that there is no god, there there is no reason to believe that there is one. I would go further and say that if there were a god I am absolutely convinced that it would not be your three one Christian version.

            So as a non believer you are quite right to say that I know little about something that (IMHO) has no valid basis. I do know as much as I remember from school and occasional fits of interest leading to reading about modern thinking, all I really learned about Catholics at my boarding school was that they were the small group that went to a different church while we (the majority) went to the village church (of England).

          5. Matt

            as i have told jon the facts are there…the reasons are there…you choose to avoid them…to stay in the dark. i guess some day we will find out. Lord have mercy.
            God Bless

      1. Wolfy32

        Entech, one could go with the fact that “There are and will be many FALSE Gods”.

        I know this is an advent like saying “terrorists” could be anyone anywhere, is a false God. If it doesn’t align with a particular way of thinking or group. At the same time, this can explain why there’s so many different interpretations. And it is quite commonly known that evil forces will use the bible to support their own side to deceive those that are willing, lemming followers.

        The bible indicates that those that know the truth will know the truth. Which again empowers well, everyone to think they know the truth. Again, I think it’s more than just reading words.

        Wanting to know God as well, GOD, and reading the words with the prespective that there may be a God out there overseeing us. Just makes the words come alive and seem so simple to understand. It’s not a question of who or what to believe, but, a question of first believe and want to touch God, and if one does that, then read the words to begin to learn about him. Even then, the Bible doesn’t bring one close enough to know his heart.

        One wants more of his presence, to bask in his power and simply to be with him. There’s nothing on earth that compares to his magnificence. Revelations has some powerful descriptions of God’s kingdom, but they are from ancient untrained eyes. They are insufficient to understand the power God possesses, yet, it is phenominal!

        1. Wolfy32 “It’s not a question of who or what to believe, but, a question of first believe and want to touch God…then read the words to begin to learn about him.”

          That seems like a good summary of what many believers here try to express. It is also why it’s impossible for a believer to be objective in determining the existance of the god, or, in doing critical thinking about what the Bible contains.

          Believers use one standard when they hear advertising claims in the secular world. They use another standard when hearing advertising claims in the god world.

          1. entech

            Believers use one standard …
            And would do well to take them both with a very large dose of skepticism.

    3. Wolfy32

      Exactly, That’s why Demons by the hordes are invading heaven right now as we speak. The angels are fighting them off for us, but at what cost. We’ve released situational ethics, relative circumstance, a church full of corrupted priests and even worse lemmings for followers ignorant and naive to the abuse / misuse that church’s have led them on. What has be unleashed on earth? Some of the greatest evils known to mankind. Global deceit by governments, news agencies, and corrupt churches all viing for global popularity. Tell whatever lie you want to, as long as it isn’t proven to be a lie. The church is no less guilty than politicians or dictatorships.

      We live in a time that cannot be sustained long term both spiritually and physically/ financially. What we have unleashed in heaven, will most likely lead to God’s objective judgement, both saint and sinner will have the same judgements upon them. For all contributed to the problem just the same.

      There’s a lot of good in this world, very little of it is done by organizations, but by individuals that truly passionately care! Those are the people that don’t make the news, those are the actions and the events we never hear about because, it would most of us to shame for caring about what little we have vs. getting off the pew or out of the church building or out of the government office, etc, and actually helping people help themselves.

      I saw one Fargo Church’s motto was “We build people”. They have a huge church, go on nice retreats, and do lots of nice churchy things… Until we learn to tear down our million dollar church buildings and start caring about people… Church’ss are corrupt in my view. Imagine if all the money spent on defending priests from sexual abuse cases, was spent on building up communities, support centers for abused adults and children, financing and boosting mental health professionals and facilities so more people could be treated and become useful members of society? Billions are more than many state’s entire budgets. Imagine how strong we could build people if we followed the bible’s tenets that each person should give up everything to help build the community. Not selective community, or only community members, but to build up human society?

      O.k. I’ll get off my soap box.

  4. entech

    Interesting comment in the article Jon is referencing:
    The head of the society for South America, the Rev. Christian Bouchacourt, was less than generous in his assessment of Francis.
    “He cultivates a militant humility, … ”

    Militant humility indeed, almost as ludicrous as talking about militant atheism, you might just as well speak about resting furiously.

    1. I believe Francis makes many Catholics uncomfortable with his open show of humility. Suddenly, the acquisition of wealth seems out of style. I am neither rich nor Catholic, so I welcome what might come of a Pope who actually seems to realize poor people are not deserving of their fate.

      1. Stanta

        I AM Catholic and poor. I have seen more personal face to face charity from church members then I have seen anywhere else but not just from the wealthy. It those who have more, even if just a bit, help those more in need.

        Have a car that is on it’s last legs? Instead of scrapping it, donate it to someone who needs one only once a week and let them scrap it when it dies for whatever they can get.

        Work gave you a 12 pound turkey for Christmas and you live alone? Donate it to the people across the hall with two tiny kids.

        There is probably a lot more charity that never hits the tax returns then you would ever believe, but you have to live in the community to see it.

        1. Too often Christian charity comes along with an upturned nose. The idea that the poor are equals in every way, even superior, is what is remarkable here.

        2. Michael Ross

          “I have seen more personal face to face charity from church members then I have seen anywhere else but not just from the wealthy.”

          And just think if the theive’n government would let us keep what we earn how much better we could care for each other through family, church, charities, friends and neighbors, and other voluntary associations. The institutions that God intended to meet needs.

      2. Matt

        have you ever read any of the writings of pope john paul II? or even pope benedict? do you know anything about their level of humility….or what they believed about poor people…i mean come on you are just spraying ignorant dribble that is completely false…. and if catholics are uncomfortable about the way pope francis lives his life then they are not living their catholic faith according to its teachings.

        1. Hey, I can read the papers. Don’t tell me that Catholics are not shocked at some of the actions of the new Pope. The Vatican hierarchy is abuzz with all of this so if you call knowing about that and writing about it “ignorant dribble”, then you are ignoring facts on the ground

  5. Mark

    The Pope didn’t change our faith, he made a change in tradition. There’s a big difference. This Pope may change some of the traditions of the church, but, I guarantee you, he will never change the church’s stance on divorce, abortion or same sex marriage. Remember Jon, he is Peter, and upon this Rock He will build His church, and the gates of will won’t prevail against it.

        1. Michael Ross

          When this country was founded government had nothing to do with marriage. I wasn’t until sometime in the 19th century(I believe, correct me if I’m wrong) that government began to issue marriage licences. There was, however, no question as to the definition of that institution.

          1. Michael 7:58 “When this country was founded government had nothing to do with marriage…19th century government began to issue marriage licenses.”

            While you are probably right about issuing marriage licenses, for most of human history, the leadership of the tribe, clan or extended family was the government. These units arranged the marriages.

            When organized religion came along, it was blended seamlessly into the government, so they were one and the same. I would generalize to say for most of history, government has regulated marriage.

          2. Stanta

            Yes Jon, for the elite marriage was recognized as a state function. For Mr Cowherder and Miss Milkmaid not to much. Only the church was concerned there. Of course the real concern was that Mr. Cowherder protected and supported Miss Milkmaid after impregnating her. So marriage was a social concern, not just a legal.

    1. Wanna B Sure

      It would be helpfull in talking with/about Catholics if “Tradition” (Sacred Tradition/deposit of the faith,) ((in conjunction of the pope and the Magesterium)) AKA dogma, was clearly seperated from “tradition”, (small t). One way to be more clear would be to use “custom” instead of tradition, (small t). Many disagreements of tradition, ( custom) have ocurred over banannas in the red jellow or Cool Whip on top for funerals. Celebacy is another similar custom which CAN be changed. (Probably won’t though as some customs are deep), Many people including Catholics fail to make the seperation, causing unnecessary conflict. It is far too easy for the Roman Church to use “custom” in the guise of “Tradition” in the application of absolute authority.

      1. Stanta

        Having entered the Catholic Church from the Lutheran I have to agree. But the information is there, but too many in ALL Christian Churches never bother to look it up, preferring to fight instead. (I include Catholic vs Catholic).

  6. Stanta

    Catholic, as in universal Christian Church, direct from the first bishop of Rome, St Peter and connected since the establishment of the church. Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.

    1. entech

      When you think about it it was the early established church that was the Catholic Church and they decided what was to be included in the canon. Could they also have made sure those bits were included in the scriptures? Quite logical for the first to make the rules so that they could stay the first.

      1. Stanta

        I stated catholic/universal, even the Luthrens say it in the creed. Very few Christian churches will deny the importance of the Church in Rome as the final authority outside conclaves in the early years. Especially after Peter became the Bishop of Rome. The Church in Jerusalem until the time of the distruction was also headed by Peter. So I would presume his successors would have been Leading THE church.

        1. entech

          We said it in the CofE as well, at least once a day during my schools something like, “I believe in the father and the son and the holy ghost, the holy catholic church (small c) the resurrection of the body, the communion of saints and life everlasting”.
          Nothing do do with the church of Rome. When you start to claim on this rock I will build my church you are claiming an exclusive right that is not universal but arrogates to the Catholic Church the status of the one and only true church, it is often affirmed that all the others may be close (and that is a recent concession) but there is only one truth and we have it.

          1. Wanna B Sure

            Entech; Actually———-well said.
            The only thing I would add to the last sentence is…”but there is only one truth” (((and one authority)))”and we have it”.

          2. Stanta

            Which does not necissarily mean that other believers are wrong. I have worked with many people of other Christian church’s and believe them to have been personally called by Christ. It isn’t outside of Catholic teaching to believe that also.

      1. Brad

        Only those who “believe” are able to “see” this. It’s like an LSD trip. Only those who take the LSD can experience the trip.

  7. Stanta

    Have you seen the latest news? The Shroud of Turin carbon 14 dating flawed. New scientific evidense shows a date of 250bc to 400 ad. Not that it matters for those of faith.

    1. entech

      Quite right Stan, if anything it is verification of the idea of freewill, those that want to believe it is genuine will freely and willingly do so, those that think it is fake will freely and willingly do so.

      I guess we will have to wait for Brown to write “The DaVinci Shroud” to find the real truth, he will have his team of researcher sift through all the results of all the tests and all the theories that have risen (sorry, couldn’t resist) from them.

        1. Stanta

          But if you take into consideration the other facts of the Shroud, much of the evidence points to an origin in the time of Christ and so far modern science has not been able to explain how the markings got there or been close to duplicating them.

          I have more of an interest in it that it drives the militant atheists batty.

          1. entech

            I think you will find that most atheists, probably Christians too, have forgotten about it until the recent resurrection of the piece of rag.

  8. Wanna B Sure

    I haven’t seen Jon or anyone comment on one of the lead articles in today’s Forum, Re. Poet Murphy, a gay revert into the Catholic Church. Interesting when one considers some of the recent comments on this site.

    1. Stanta

      Or the Christian ministry Moms in Touch for female inmates in jail. Of course Brad will kindly point out where it is just a scam for power and money.

    2. Stanta

      Thank you so much, the words he says God spoke to him are so much like my experience. Totally in conflict with the thoughts and emotions I was feeling. The words he wrote after his experience are hauntingly familiar also.

    3. Wanna B Sure

      Most will never experience the kind of “voice” reported here, nor is it necessary. “The still small voice may be just as effective. Some may just need something more dramatic to get their attention, (just speculating). I don’t believe the vast majority of Christians “hear” a voice. The Holy Spirit is not limited to methods.

      1. Wanna B Sure

        On the other hand, if I was in a situation where someone said; ” God told me to tell you—“, “Last night God spoke to me to preach on building a bigger church building”, etc, or something similar, I would run like hell.

        1. Stanta

          St Francis of Assissi, heal My Church. Why the Pope chose his name.

          I have been called to the governing board of our retreat group, talk about wanting to run away. I am not sure if I fear failure or success.

          1. Wanna B Sure

            Consider the prayer of St. Francis; Starting with the first line; “Lord make me an instrument of His peace”, and following through to the end
            With that in mind, I’m sure you will be a blessing, and blessed in your calling.

    4. entech

      Being the furthest away from Fargo let me be the first, the most interesting part was were he said After his conversion, Murphy became what he calls “a nut-job, evangelistic Catholic revert.”.
      This has nothing to do with reversion to the church or even an original conversion, this is simply common zealotry that is found in many newcomers or returnees. Something that came out of the London bombings was that the perpetrators were second generation, parents had emigrated to Britain, tried to settle in and start a new life, the children often not finding the acceptance they expected as native born or the opportunities they deserved fell victim to a deadly form of Islam and as new/re converts were easily brainwashed.

      But I diverge, back to the main point. I can’t speak for Jon but I would suggest that if you want to pick the topics you could consider writing your own blog. Consider further the number of possibilities from which to choose and try to a variety while sticking to the common theme of thoughts of a freethinker. And continue doing it in face of many respondents that seem to have no interest in the topics just telling the blog writer what they think of him personally.

      1. Wanna B Sure

        It was in line with some of the recent comments here, and thus relevent. Freethinkers should not be afraid of thinking freely. Thank you very much.

      2. Stanta

        I am sorry if you are butt hurt because a few of us may use the forum for expanding the scope of the blog a bit. Would you rather have it become an echo chamber where you all agree how smart you are? Most over what we present would never be brought up and this is a forum to discuss free thinking, or are we chained by YOUR dogma?

        I tell people that I am the man I made fun of 10 years ago. I smiled at Murphy’s description because I have used it myself.

      3. entech

        Not what I said Stan, I said use it as vehicle for a personal attack on Jon.
        Personally I don’t think the topics are stretched far enough. I don’t expect to convince anyone that I am right just offer an alternative viewpoint, in return I would like to have my imagination stretched my thoughts expanded.

        On a lighter note I never knew you were gay 10 years ago. (Sorry being hyperliteral, I think that is what it is called?)

        1. Stanta

          I love how you twist, I was commenting on your quote from the article on him being “a nut job, evangelical Catholic convert.” if I was to subtle I am sorry. You seem to be trying to belittle but it’s not working. I am confident in my belief.

          1. entech

            I would have thought that my comment about “sorry and hyperliteral” would have indicated an attempt at humour.

            And you accused me of being “butt hurt”, I presume you mean over sensitive

          2. Stanta

            The fact you drew it entirely from the article, not your post may have been the problem. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Murphy, next paycheck I will down load one of his books and I rarely read poetry.

        2. Stanta

          Attack on Jon? Not in these recent posts. I usually save that for counter attacks and I tell you I hold back on the heavy artillery in deference of him being the host.

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