Okay, folks on both sides. It's time to move on. Angela, close the thread.
Pope no pope life will go on. There will be pedo priests, there will be non female priests, they will still demonize homosexuality, they haven't changed their stand on contraception and for a young pope as he is, he probably has no plans to change any of these. So to hell with the pope and cheers to all good men and women who fight everyday for a secular world, with secular laws.
Viva to Humanism!
@ Prof Robert - But it is the adding up of all this millions of dollars - the catholic church is the wealthiest of all religions, with obscene opulence. It costs millions to run, and the new pope is now talking of reform for the Vatican bank. Why did Robert Calvi commit suicide? in 2011 showed it had 68 percent of then members of the clergy, and 8.2 billion of assets. Why was Eettore Gotti Tedeschi removed from his post.
The Italian Central Bank suspended bank card payments in the Vatican because of failure to fully implement anti-money laundering legislation. So, you can't really talk about austerity in the catholic church, What happened to a rich man can't go to heaven, you can't fudge it by saying the money is not theirs, where does all these billions come from? Either working class sheep or criminals. How many catholic babies could be saved from starvation, how many humpys could be built for said homeless people with children, not save the world, but millions certainly could help, and people are saying isn't it wonderful, this latest pope used to cook his own meals. I feel very sad that a well educated man doesn't see the irony in this. Money, I thought, was supposed to help the poor, that is what I was taught as a child, instead I see opulence of the highest order.
RE: "What happened to a rich man can't go to heaven?" - "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."
I suspect the Catholic clergy feel they can skate because technically, the money isn't theirs, it belongs to the church, but what pays for their lifestyles? - bullet-proof cars?
"Well, that's for the Pope's safety --"
Well tell him to quit pissing people off!
What could a Pope do or not do that wouldn't piss SOMEONE off?
Speaking of Professor Robert, first let me say that I have no serious problem with the man - he's intelligent, articulate, he's a theist who makes no bones about it, nor makes any attempt to convert anyone, and consequently, for what it worth, he has my vote of welcome here to say anything he likes, as long as he can accept our taking exception with those parts with which we disagree, and so far, it would seem he can do that as well. The perfect guest.
My only question - and this is no deal-breaker - is why is it necessary to announce to the board, Robert, that you're a professor? You may well be, and I applaud you for that, but wouldn't simply, "Bob" remove all aspects of pretentiousness?
I mean, I could say, "Grand Poobah of the World Archaeopteryx," but regardless of how true I may feel that is when I'm doing the thousand-yard stare, I'm really the only one who needs to know it. And of course my shrink.
@ThomasPickett, how's this for better clarity:
Molestation: Bad, horrible, awful, despicable, craven, evil.
Molestation by trusted people like parents, teachers, or ministers: Even worse.
Covering up of molestation or enabling it by being an incompetent leader: Criminal. Infuriating. Mortally sinful. A betrayal of trust.
Blaming an entire class of people for the despicable acts of a few people: Biased. Unfair. Unjust. At least until you can present evidence of proximal causation or intent by the group (like the KKK).
Believing that a certain class of people commits certain types of crimes because they belong to that class of people, even though there is a correlation (like African Americans and robbery): Prejudiced, misguided, poorly reasoned, hurtful.
Does that help a bit?
"If you don't believe what's written in the Bible, how do you justify your belief in a Christian God?"
It seems to me that the objection of yourself and most of the people in this community is to fundamentalist Protestant Christianity (and probably to fundamentalist approaches to Islam or Judaism as well, but those don't seem to come up). Catholics like myself would share your objection. We do not take a literal view of what is written in the Bible, and we think taking a literal view is foolish. It is an aberrant form of Christianity which arose from the Reformation, when the reformers rejected a long tradition of learning and teaching in favor of sola scriptura - "only the Bible". There were sociopolitical reasons for them to do that, but they sort of threw the baby out with the bathwater. We try to be tolerant of our brothers and sisters with that approach, but it does make us roll our eyes quite a bit.
In my Church as an intellectual community, we'd think of the Bible as a compilation of important documents. A bit like if you were to pick up a text on the history of physics. It includes stuff from Archimedes and Aristotle in the "Old Testament", and stuff from Newton and Maxwell and Einstein and Bohr and such in the "New." Is everything that Archimedes wrote to be taken literally? Of course not. Are some of the concepts he wrote valid, and does that way of thinking still contribute to our understanding? Absolutely. Is everything that's important to know about physics written down in the textbook? No way. Is it useful sometimes to look something up and refer to it? Sure.
Like you, we don't really understand the fundamentalists, and we find them a bit exasperating. All I would suggest to you, as a parting thought, is that not all approaches to religion are the same, and it would be more fair and reasonable to address each individually.
As I said somewhere else, Professor Robert, there is no requirement for you to flee. Hang around a bit if you like, just be aware that some of our members are more aggressive as posters than others.
I have a question for you. You are a practicing Catholic, and I am a practicing lesbian, married to my wife. How do you see my position? I feel according to the assertions of the Catholic faithful (you have seen some of the disputes here about text interpretations) that my wife and I are 'abominations', headed for the pits of hell.
Listen to this:
"In my Church as an intellectual community, we'd think of the Bible as a compilation of important documents. A bit like if you were to pick up a text on the history of physics. It includes stuff from Archimedes and Aristotle in the 'Old Testament', and stuff from Newton and Maxwell and Einstein and Bohr and such in the 'New.' Is everything that Archimedes wrote to be taken literally? Of course not. Are some of the concepts he wrote valid, and does that way of thinking still contribute to our understanding? Absolutely. Is everything that's important to know about physics written down in the textbook? No way. Is it useful sometimes to look something up and refer to it? Sure."
Bob, are you really going to make an intelligent, insightful comment like that, then run away? I don't recall ever asking a theist to stay and I certainly would never presume to control the actions of another human being, but I believe it would be our loss if you didn't.
"not all approaches to religion are the same, and it would be more fair and reasonable to address each individually. "
But it remains, doesn't it, that all flavours of religion - including Catholics, though you want to set yourself apart, require this giant leap of irrationality called "Faith". Further it remains, doesn't it, that, without the Bible there would be no Christianity - including Catholicism. Yet even a cursory examination of the Bible reveals itself to be so full of holes as to be useless as the reference you claim it to be.
Being that (and advertising that :-) you are a Professor, would some specific questions be in order?
"Body of Christ" - literal or allegorical?
"Virgin Birth" - (what's the clerical word for "requirement of faith")? or opinion?
Don't these tenets require that science be suspended? How, as a scientist, do you reconcile what you KNOW to be true with silly myths like these?
I can't speak for Doc Bob, Mike, but since we don't know if he's coming back, I can at least respond to one of those, and he can add to it or correct me if he chooses, the matter of the "virgin birth."
Christianity, as we know it, in the first century CE, was matter of "majority rules" - there was a group who believed that Yeshua was born naturally, of the union of Joseph and a non-virgin Mary, and that he didn't become the "Christ," or the anointed one, until his baptism. The surviving translation was, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased" but other translations that didn't survive, included, "This is my beloved son, whom I have begotten this day." These were known as "adoptionists," and they believed god adopted Yeshua because of the sinless life he had lived, but because they were in the minority, their writings were destroyed by those in the majority. The only way we know of them, is through the writings of others of the time, stating the beliefs of the adoptionists and cautioning early Christians not to believe them.