Is your trust in science based on faith or based on science?

What I mean is this: how much do you actually know about the science most atheists parrot? Most atheists know as little science as most Christians know as little theology. Just as a Christian trusts his priest to tell him what he believes, an atheist trusts scientists with a Ph.D. tacked to their name to tell them what they believe. But how many times have the scientists turned out to be wrong? I only ask this because it seems this is central to the problem that most atheists have. They are repulsed by the phrase “believe” – they are addicted instead to the phrase “know”. But honestly, do you really know, or are you just believing what you’re told? I would like to remind you that in the 1970′s the scientists of the day were seriously concerned that we were about to enter an ice age, and less than 30 years later they are now convinced Earth is about to turn into a desert.

Unless you’ve observed something yourself, or observed and interpreted the evidence yourself and drew your own conclusions, you are just as guilty as faith as any religious person.

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See, Robert, you pointed out before where you were furious over the scandals in Boston.

But what you have yet to do (and that is why so many have hammered you relentlessly on this subject--not because we imagine you approve of pedophilia yourself) is to condemn the church for its systemic policy of coverup.

Any large organization has some really bad apples in it.  That's the law of averages.  I won't condemn (say) the Boy Scouts or the Catholic Church because a scoutmaster or priest buggered some of his charges.  It's what the organization does in response that says things about the organization.  And the Catholic Church gives shelter to the pedophile priests as a matter of course.  And it is NOT just a matter of a few bad apples getting to high enough rank to shelter pedophiles in their own parts of the organization.  The Vatican ITSELF gives shelter to Cardinal Law.

Will you here and now condemn the Vatican for continuing to give shelter to Cardinal Law?  If not, you are approving of the church's conduct in this matter.  Duck or dodge?  We will assume you are too ashamed to admit the church is doing wrong here.

@SteveInCO, I've said several times that I would like to see Cardinal Law in prison.  I find it disgusting that he sits in a relatively lavish form of house arrest (or, more accurately, has been "promoted up and out of the way").  That was the wrong call.

However,  no charges have been filed against Bernard Law.  No request for extradition has been made.   The Attorney General of Massachusetts decided that under the laws of the Commonwealth in force at the time, there was no case to be made.  So nobody is sheltering him from civil justice.   The civil justice system failed.   I'm angry about that, too.  That doesn't excuse the man; breaking the laws of decency and of God still count even when the laws of the State do not adequately protect children. 

The Catholic Church does not give shelter to pedophile priests "as a matter of course." Some prelates in a few places did.   That was not the norm, but it did happen far too often.

There's no such thing as an organization that "does" something.  We use that linguistic shorthand in American English, but it's no more real than what you think God is.  Organizations don't make decisions.  People do.   Judge the individual people if you wish.  Certainly, judge their actions.  Judging organizations as though they were somehow magical separate entities with wills of their own is a bit silly, and only speaks to our own biases.

Why in the HELL is the Vatican--the actual city-state (more of a neighborhood state) giving this guy a place to live?

You say organziations don't do things, people do.  You say it's a few rogue prelates giving shelter.

NO SIR.  This is the TOP of the Catholic church hierarchy, which is effectively a monarchy with the pope defining what the organization is all about, giving Law--a person you rightly find disgusting--shelter.

The rot goes all the way to the top.

Quit trying to ignore that.  Don't try to distract me talking about how bad Law is, we know that.  Don't try to distract me talking about how Boston wouldn't prosecute him, we know that too.  How about YOU discuss how the current pope--the head, the monarch, of the organization, and the previous two popes gave him shelter IN THE VATICAN, practically in their own house, certainly in territory they have unconditional control over. 

Every year, every month, every day, every hour, every minute, every second that Law continues to be welcome in the Vatican is a gigantic shit-colored stain on the papacy.  Not on some lower-level toadie, but the man in charge, it's his bailiwick.  Why do you give him your loyalty?

The Catholic Church is not a monarchy, though I can understand how outsiders might come to have that impression.

Bernard Law of course was not housed in the Vatican.  He was made the pastor of the Major Basilica of St. Mary in Rome.  That's in Italy, not Vatican City.  It was a "promotion up and out of the way" - an easy way to remove him from his position in Boston without a lot of furor.   You see, under Canon Law (and by extension Massachusetts law governing the Corporation Sole), the pope cannot remove a bishop very easily.  It requires due process, and can be contested.  It is typically a process that takes a great deal of time. 

However, the Vatican can make changes in assignment more easily.  So by assigning Law to an old tourist church in Rome, he could be removed as Archbishop.   The essence was that he was fired, politely.

This is common practice in most U.S. businesses, where non-performers or those who have made poor judgments are given various types of exit packages.  I don't approve of the practice, but it does have the advantage of avoiding litigation and being relatively expedient.

All Christianity is a monarchy, right? God is The Lord, Jesus is the Prince of Peace, etc. The Pope is God's Regent.

They're making Pope John Paul II a saint!  Apparently he performed miracles - I hardly know where to stop laughing and start crying.

Well, gee. He did miracles? Why didn't he do them out in the open so that we could know God actually exists?

Does it never end?

The madness?  no...

I smell a pious, pigeon trainer.

We do use that language, which is a carry over from the Middle Ages.  Mostly, the Church struggled against the abuses of monarchy, which is why it kept trying to one-up the monarchs.  Philip is the King, but Christ is the King of Kings.  The king wears a crown, but the pope wears a tiara of three crowns.  That sort of thing.  The Church used the language of the day to address the people of the day.



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