Catholics teach that the fear of god is a gift from the holy spirit.

Fear = Wisdom? Really?

I used to fear GOD. It was real to me and a constant source of stress. Perhaps when atheists speak of new found freedom, some of it is really the shedding of fear. Did you ever "FEAR the LORD? and if so, how did it feel to ditch that fear?

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I think the problem in part, @Gallup, is that I'm not here to debate.  I'm just here to occasionally offer a perspective from a different viewpoint.

You are of course free to reject me as unethical, dishonest or any other ad hominem that you like.  I don't mind.  I think most bright people see through that sort of thing.

I would gently suggest that if you really want to make a claim that any group of people, as a community or a class, is more unethical than another, that the burden of proof lies with you to demonstrate conclusively that no other groups have done anything similar, or at least not at the same rates in some statistically measurable manner.

From my perspective, I don't believe you can on this issue.

For public schools, here's a decent article from Slate :

Multiple Seattle Times reports on sexual abuse by sports coaches, and how they continued abusing:

One of the many L.A. Times exposes on abuse and cover-ups by the Boy Scouts:

The Florida Sun-Sentinel on sexual abuse at summer camps:

This stuff is just an easy Google away for anyone wanting to build a genuine understanding of this problem.

Being abused seems to have become such a rite of passage that I wonder how I escaped it. I guess I was just not a very sexy child. ;)

@Gallup, your stuff is too funny!

What you are writing is your imaginary view of what you think my "imaginary" God or religion actually says.  I agree with you, your imaginary vision of religion or God is preposterous.  Nobody should believe that!  In fact, almost nobody does.

I suppose the equivalent would be if some creationist started commenting on my belief in prehistoric dinosaurs by talking about Barney.  Your imaginary dinosaur is purple and fluffy!  Your imaginary dinosaur says you have to sing songs and teach children trite sayings!   Your imaginary dinosaur is a mind numbing fable, and that means dinosaurs never existed.

It's amusing, but it's not an argument.  It's just an absurd statement of personal prejudice.

I grew up Catholic, in a Catholic elementary school taught by nuns in full habits.

I was never afraid.  I was never taught about "the fires of hell" or any such drivel.  Nor were any friends of mine, nor anyone I know.

Does it happen?  I'm sure.  In some dysfunctional families where parents have an inappropriate need to exercise "control" over their children, all sorts of nonsense or even abuse can happen. 

Just out of curiosity I googled "Fear of the Lord Catholic meaning" and the first thing that came up was this blog from the Archdiocese of Washington:

It sounds sort of like that Dr. Bob fellow. ;-)

How can you suffer from a depredation of something you've lived without all your life?  And I'm happy without a god.  Is this one supposed to make me feel unhappy where I'm normally happy?

How many times does one have to whitewash crap, before it stops being crap?

Exactly....Need a lot of paint for all this.....

55 references to hell in the KJV

Matthew 13:42: "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

Matt 25:41: "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." This passage relates to Jesus' judgment of all the world.

Mark 9:43-48: And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched." The reference to fire is repeated three more times in the passage for emphasis.

Luke 16:24: "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." This is a plea described as coming from an inhabitant of Hell.

Revelation 20:13-15: "...hell delivered up the dead which were in them...And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

Revelation 21:8: "But the fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." Brimstone is sulphur. In order for sulphur to form a lake, it must be molten. Thus, its temperature must be at or below 444.6 °C or 832 °F.

Hell is a place of instability. It is described as a lake of fire. Hell is a place where every moment is lived in uncertainty (Matthew 5:21-23; Revelation 20:15)

Hell is a pit of darkness; totally devoid of light. It is pitch black in hell; there's nothing to distract people from their suffering, sorrow, fears, insecurities, and instability. (2 Peter 3-5)

Hell is a place of dissatisfaction. Yeshua described it as a fire; a fiery furnace. It may be a literal fire that creates a physical sensation of burning or just an overwhelming yearning for God, for love, for joy, for peace, for life that will never be. (Matthew 5:22; Matt 13:42 and 50; Matt 18:8-9; Matt 25:41; Mark 9:43, 47-48)

Hell is a place of eternal separation from God. Each person who goes to hell will be separated forever from the source of life, the heart of love, the very One for Whom they were created. Hell is a place where your soul will be destroyed (Matthew 7:23 and 10:27-29).

Where is Hell?

The truth is, no one can really say. Most likely it is in another dimension (as is heaven), but the Bible seems to indicate it is in the bowels of our own Earth. Here is what the Bible tells us about hell:

Matthew 11:23 - "Hades" - Strong's Concordance #86

(NIV) - "you will go down to [the depths]"
(KJV) - "shalt be brought down to [Hell]"
(NLT) - "you will be brought down to [the place of the dead]"
Luke 16:23 - "Hades" - Strong's Concordance #86

(NIV) - "In [Hell], where he was in torment, he looked up..."
(KJV) - "And in [Hell] he lift up his eyes, being in torments,"
(NLT) - "And his soul went to [the place of the dead],"
II Peter 2:4 - "Tartaros" - Strong's Concordance #5020

(NIV) - "but sent them to [Hell], putting them in gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;"
(KJV) - "but cast them down into [Hell],"
(NLT) - "He threw them into [Hell], in gloomy caves and darkness until judgment day"
Amos 9:2 - "Sheol" - Strong's Concordance #7585

(NIV) - "Though they dig down to the depths of [the grave],"
(KJV) - "Though they dig into [Hell],"
(NLT) - "Even if they dig down to [the place of the dead], I will reach down and pull them up."
Numbers 16:31-33 - "Sheol" - Strong's Concordance #7585

(NIV) - "the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, ...They went down alive into [the grave],"

(KJV) - "the ground clave asunder that was under them. And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, ...They, ...went down alive into the [pit],"

(NLT) - "the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened up and swallowed the men, ...So they went down alive into [the grave],"


Why would you think you've lived without God all your life, @Strega?

Just because someone doesn't believe in dinosaurs just because they think all dinosaurs mean Barney doesn't mean that dinosaurs weren't real.  Just because they don't believe in climate change doesn't mean they aren't experiencing the effects of drought.

Just because you don't believe in God does not mean that God isn't present in your life, in your community, in your friendships, in the world.

Now, if you willingly, with malice of intent and no mitigating mental health issues choose to kidnap 3 women and chain them in your basement as sex slaves for ten years, then perhaps you will have deprived yourself of any relationship with God.  If as a man of the cloth you used your position to molest children, then perhaps you have destroyed any relationship with God within your self.  I'd think so, anyways.

That doesn't sound like you.  So probably no worries about flames and pitchforks. ;-)  It's just fine to be happy.

Just because you don't believe in God does not mean that God isn't present in your life, in your community, in your friendships, in the world.

Just because you believe in God does not mean that God is present in your life, in your community, in your friendships, in the world.

See, we can play that game too, Professor.

Just because you don't believe in God does not mean that God isn't present in your life, in your community, in your friendships, in the world.

But one could apply the same argument about Shiva, Odin, Ahura Mazda, Zeus, or any of the other gods. 

Don't worry Professor! I got this one for you... What was that brilliant piece of enlightenment you dropped on me earlier?

Oh! I remember!


No, each of those gods had different characteristics and the respective religions made different claims.   Consider them different hypotheses, perhaps.  Some have been rejected.

And that prevents them from being "in your life, in your community, in your friendships, in the world"?


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