Before I get to the questions I would like to suggest that one of the biggest predictors of a person’s religion is geography. A person born and raised in Alabama is most likely to become a Christian while a person born and raised in Riyadh is most likely to become a Muslim and in India a 95% chance of being a Hindu.

I recently spoke with a Hindu who has very little knowledge of Christianity and even less of Catholicism. We were discussing religious beliefs and I was asked to explain what Catholics believed.

She then asked me the following questions because it all sounded rather strange to her:

Is it possible to be a vegetarian and teetotal as a Catholic? The question was not asked in a superficial way. If Catholics really do believe that they are receiving the body and blood of Jesus when they receive the bread at communion then they cannot claim to be vegetarian. Catholic dogma says that bread and wine are transformed by the priest and become  "His body and blood".

The second question was one I had never thought of before. If Catholics are constantly eating the flesh of Jesus does he have special powers of regeneration as he would have to constantly regenerate every few minutes, given the number of Catholics that eat him each day?

If there are any ex-Catholics or Catholic apologists reading this maybe they help answer these two questions?

Views: 125

Comment by Sagacious Hawk on December 7, 2016 at 5:09pm

I suppose that is predicated on whether or not you believe it really become flesh and blood. If one believes that it is a symbolic act despite what the church says, then there should be no problem partaking in communion. I don't know how true it is generally, but when I was growing up, it was always made to seem like the wine was optional, so even if one doesn't drink, then there is nothing to worry about. If you do believe that it is real flesh... then maybe if you believe it that strongly, you are willing to make an exception to your otherwise vegetarian diet?

Of course the also comes from someone who is Hindu, some Hindus believing that they should be a vegetarian. If that person were to convert and had been a vegetarian for religious reasons, then maybe they are willing to now eat meat since those religious reasons no longer exist. The same goes for not drinking alcohol.

It's an interesting set of questions. I don't know how to approach the second. I mean, he is supposed to be bodily in heaven, right? I guess the question is can the communion wafer be thought of as having a magical bit of Jesus sliced off and inserted into the wafer? Again, I suppose it depends on whether one considers it to be more than symbolic. Assuming that it is not symbolic, I suppose it's like each wafer is a bud on a tree and each one that is eaten is the bud being pruned off? I think that makes it even more unappetizing. It reminds me of one of the Halloween stories that Seth Andrews read on his show where the wafer turned into a hand and each person had to take a finger.

To be honest, I find the whole thought process behind communion to be kind of horrific. It's hard to believe that I thought that was true at one point!

Comment by Jake LaFort on December 7, 2016 at 6:36pm

Transubstantiation in the Catholic comic book is literal. So no, it is not possible unless it is considered a god that is being consumed. And a god is probably not made of meat. Then again i have read both things as to jesus...god and not-god so idk. 

As to your second question it is one of a host of problems with the mythology. There are thousands of such issues. 

Comment by Jake LaFort on December 7, 2016 at 6:42pm

Teetotaler, yeah cuz that is blood not wine. And this is consonant with evaluating life from the perspective of delusion of a psychotic person.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on December 7, 2016 at 7:38pm

I have had people who claim to be Catholics get very angry at me when I explain to them that they are wrong about the symbolism suggestion. “No true Catholic” can say that it is symbolic. They must believe it is the body and blood of their god. It is a central part of their faith and many of them do not know this. Don’t eat the fruit but flesh is ok?

There is something primal about it. Would vampire and zombie movies be so popular without the drinking of blood and eating of flesh? They can live forever if they keep doing it.

I once heard it said that the Twilight movie was about a young girl’s choice between necrophilia and bestiality. Ha!

Comment by Jake LaFort on December 7, 2016 at 7:45pm

Yes, I quite agree it is primal. And a symbolic representation would have lacked the "bite" of a true flesh and blood magic meal.

Comment by Sagacious Hawk on December 7, 2016 at 7:54pm

Yeah, I ended up thinking of it not as physically flesh and blood, but as the spiritual equivalent; essentially, spiritual food needed to nourish the spirit. To say that a rice cracker really was human flesh, but it just looks, tastes, smells, and feels like a tiny rice cracker was just way too much for me to rationalize. I don't know how the traditionalists do it.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on December 7, 2016 at 8:03pm

Hmm.....all this talk is making me hungry. Time for a Ghost Burger!

Comment by Gregg RThomas on December 8, 2016 at 4:05am

I wonder if someone will extract doG's DNA from his "blood" and then we will be able to truly "know" doG. :)

I grew up in this crazy religion, glad it's out of my system.

Comment by TJ on December 8, 2016 at 7:08am

I believe they claim that the wafer/wine magically turns into the flesh/blood of Jesus.

So, it would not be using up any real flesh or blood, as it turns into it, essentially providing the mass balance at the Mass.

Of course, this also means that Jesus's flesh is consumed, digested, and crapped out, flushed down the toilet, and sent to water processing plants/back into the waterways, depending upon where its occurring. 

The plankton and algea, fish, crabs, etc, then also eat the flesh and drink the blood, and, are then also similarly participating in the communion.

As the water cycles and assorted cross digestive system cycles distribute this across the entire planet, Jesus's flesh and blood is consumed by every living creature on the planet....including by Hindus. 

Vegans are therefore cannibals.

Thank you Jesus!

:)

Comment by Daniel W. on December 15, 2016 at 11:29pm

This is an interesting question, which has some similarities to identity politics.  I did some research on this topic on other websites, like the Friendly Atheist, a Catholic website, and a Humanist website, but found the response unsatisfying. 

I'm a long term ovo-lacto vegetarian, and I also avoid trans-substantiated god/man crackers and blood.  But that's just me, and I was raised Baptist, which meant we believed the literal truth of every word in the bible, without interpretation, and drank grape juice for communion because when Jesus said "wine" that was just the Jewish way of saying "Welch's".

I long ago thought that if I could kill it myself, I would consider occasional fish, but I'm such a poor fisherman that has not been an issue yet.  Recently I decided to transition to fronko-vegetarian, if I can find the victuals in this neck of the woods.  As far as I know, however, no such creatures have escaped to the Pacific Northwest, where they might have competition with the native tree octopus.  N.B.   Plural is tree octupi, not tree octopussies, which are something else entirely.

People are pretty good at morphing labels into almost anything.  So we have Vegans, ovo-lacto vegetarians, and pesco-vegetarians.  I've even known someone who claimed to be a carno-vegetarian, explaining that she disapproved of eating of meat but like it too much to stop.

So there really isn't any issue with someone being a eucharo-vegetarian.  It's just another identity among many others.  Problem solved.

One might ask, however, can one be a eucharo-vegan?

I think yes, one can be a eucharo-vegan.  It sounds like a miracle, and I think it is.  Eucharist is in the spiritual realm.  Dietary proclivities are in the carnal realm.  As long as one is good at compartmentalization  (for example there are those who claim that a serial adulterer, megarich grabber of vaginal orifices and and hire-er of Mexican workers, who imports Chinese steel, can be especially chosen by God, is a supporter of women's rights, and is a defender of working class Americans and US Steel workers), and can compartmentalize their magesteria conveniently, then they actually can be a diophage (one who eats gods), and/or a homophage (one who eats man) in the spiritual realm, while simultaneously remaining purely vegan in the carnal realm.  It's all in how you frame it.  So the response to the question not asked, but implied in the original topic, is that the apparent paradox is an error in magisterial perception, and not a paradox at all.

I do have a question for those of the Catholic faith, or formerly Catholic, which is this.  Does the Eucharist cracker taste meaty?  And does the Eucharist wine taste bloody?  Again, as a Baptist, we were not taught those are anything but symbolic, so the crackers were just kind of bland and foul-tasting, like an unsalted saltine, and the grape juice tasted the same as the Welch's that my mother used to buy at Kroger's.  Which, since I had to wash utensils in the church kitchen, I knew it actually was that bland.

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