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. 

Tags: Bob, Catholic, Dr., Professor, Robert, Vatican, bible, purgatory, questions

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Suz, I don't think he recognizes the part about snakes as coming from the New Testament, an actual quotation of Yeshua, if I'm not mistaken - maybe you should quote him chapter and verse --

Mark 16:18 KJV    She did.

@archy - I was laughing so hard, I forgot to put in the rest of it = good thing catholics dropped this out, they would have been dropping lies flies -

Even the fabulous group that do play with snakes etc don't buy into the poison bit - funny that :)

This is in the new testament, and it was said by Jesus - well. supposedly :)

Mark 16:14-20 - King James -
 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

Actually ladies, "A" for effort, but my precognition can tell you what Roberto is going to say - his church, as well as many other Biblical authorities, feel that the last several verses of Mark, controversially known as "the long version," was added to the Markan Gospel years later, by an overzealous scribe.

Not trying to help Bob shore up his lame argument, but the verse is counterfeit. Imagine that, a counterfeit verse in a BS book, who'dathunkit?

I'm not sure either of us care, all that much - grin

@Strega - Thanks - but it doesn't matter what I actually put in as reference, the lovely Bobb won't do any research - Klonk.

@Gregg R - So many babies, not enough recipes :)

Don't you just luv Hugh Lawrie, and when you say Bob, you have to say it the Blackadder way.

What the fabulous Bobb has done,is show us how evil the catholic church is, and why, with people like him propping up and making excuses for the evil that permeates the catholic church. We have to thank him for that :)

@Gregg - Bobb gets an A for trying - but an F for the failed tactic of Obfuscation.

@Strega - I gave up caring about the likes of Bob thirty years ago :) loads of Bob's around, that is what the hierarchy relies on.

@arch - the whole bible is fake, so what determines in or out - those pesky scribes -

Biblical authorities - I am surprised this made the cut - it is still in the King James version. How come, if biblical authorities, whatever that means, don't take it out - it is all personal opinion and attitudes - differences of opinion rule the religions, that is why there are so many xian versions from the same bible.

'You must go around the rock, clockwise, and sing halleluya.'

"No, I want to go anti-clockwise, and sing 'Another one bites the dust - so I will start my own religion'.

Who culled the 600 odd commandments down to ten.

Hey, y'all quit picking on my buddy Bobby, he's my goto guy for silly shit and he's coming loose at the seams. :D

Bobby has it not occurred to you yet that you are in a den of intelligent people who have vetted the silly shit many times already?

@H3xx - AAnnnddd - all parishes systematically shredded documents about the priests and pedophilia - after ten years. How anything actually gets to court is sheer perseverance.

Who else, my friend Bob, can protect the criminals in their midst, like the catholic church does, legally, from the vatican, Name one other business, group, whatever, like the vatican. How about criminal activities like the laundering of money - http://www.ibtimes.com/vatican-bank-trouble-again-after-top-officia...

@Gregg - Yep, mistake in putting that link up - tacky people, tacky site.

@Gregg - My friend Bob is going down, but breathing through a straw - I can just see it popping up.

@Bob - I am not bitter, but, yes I am angry at the injustice towards the most vulnerable in society, children, and in this case catholic children. Anger puts a fire in the belly, and fire burns off crapp. Suits me, Sir.

@Bob - It does raise an interesting question if individuals do protest a bit too much.

What interesting question?

Children of Catholic parents. Children under the age of around 15 aren't really mentally mature enough to know what religion actually is, much less whether or not they believe it. If they were, then either Santa Clause and the Easter bunny would have their own temples all over the place, or there wouldn't be so much strife at all because religion wouldn't last long. I think I would prefer the First Church of Santa, though. Would be pretty fun.

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