It seemed these things were popping up in multiple discussions as people like @Suzanne chased me about, so rather than continue the multiple hijacks, maybe putting them here will be more entertaining for everybody. All I ask is that people be kind, and perhaps answer questions in turn. These questions come from http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/mad-at-the-outcome-thought...
1. Why did you choose catholicism over all other religions?
Because it made the most sense to me on several levels. I of course can't rule out cultural bias, since obviously I'm a westerner and Roman Christianity is culturally pervasive. For me it was a conscious choice at some point, though I am not a convert. Interestingly, if I were not Catholic I'd be more inclined to Judaism than the Protestant faiths. Perhaps the shared intellectual depth of Judaism and Catholicism is a contributing factor.
2. Do you follow the decrees made by the Vatican?
The Vatican does not make "decrees". The Holy See serves as the administrative center of the worldwide Catholic community, and we do have some administrative rules like any community (our technical term for these is "merely ecclesiastical laws"). For the rest, all we do is teach.
3. Do you agree or disagree with contraception being available to those who would choose to use contraception, if they had access?
I'm not sure why I should care. Now sometimes when people say "being available" they mean that I should pay for it. I think that's a different sort of question that belongs more in the realm of public policy.
4. How do you choose which parts of the bible to follow, and not follow.
We don't "follow" the Bible, we read it and refer to it, the way anyone does with a favorite book or reference text. We try to "follow" God, perhaps, or the example of Jesus or other holy men or women, but not the Bible. In teaching things or exploring religious ideas, we refer to a wide range of writings and experiences, including long oral tradition, writings of various scholars, journal articles, encyclicals, consensus documents, conciliar writings, etc., much like any intellectual community.
5. Is purgatory in or out, these days.
It's a theory that had moderate but not universal acceptance some centuries ago. It's still referred to, but not anywhere near as widely as in its heyday. So it never quite rose to the level of Newtonian Mechanics in physics in terms of acceptance as a theory, and it's perhaps fading faster, but like Newtonian Mechanics it's still referred to in some contexts.
I don't know but having relatives that were young victims of pedophilia I can tell you the psychological impact is debilitating and lifelong. It is at least on an equal footing w/ the mind phuck of religion.
After rereading my last post it sounds callous, which it's not meant to be, I have known both adults and children who have been the victims of child sexual abuse, it's effects are devastating.
@Bob - What have I learned from the lovely Bubble Bob so far.
1. The religion that Bob is propping up will not end celibacy in the ranks.
2. The religion that Bob is propping up will not ordain women into the priesthood
3. That rampant pedophilia will continue into 3rd world countries, now that western countries know the extent of rape and pillage.
So, my question to Bob, now that you know the extent of the destruction, of the sacrifice of children on the alter of catholicism, how do you think celibacy in the ranks of priests in these countries, is going to effect the peoples, and the exploitation of the innocent and poor.
Just in case you don't know, or don't want to acknowledge, there will be much swapping of priests. They are very practiced at this. The priests that will be caught raping and pillaging both male and female, will be shunted off to countries where priest numbers are dwindling.
The priests from these third world countries, that will escape into western countries, will not be successful, as catholics will not put up with arrogant patriarchal and tribal behaviors that they can get away with in their own countries - the chasm will widen.
Keeping in mind, that celibacy didn’t become a universally observed rule until the Lateran Councils of the 1100s.
Celibacy was enshrined, as the catholic church didn't want to 'lose' property through inheritance, which is a furphy.
That is a huge part of "The Company" - acquisition of property.
The Vatican is marching proudly into extinction. I am well pleased.
REMEMBER - RELIGION IS A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION - Michael G. Olson