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Pope Calls For ‘World Political Authority’

From a joyous Reuters:

Pope Benedict XVI signs his encyclical "Charity in Truth" at the Vatican July 6, 2009.

Papal message seeks "global authority" for economy

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict on Tuesday called for a "world political authority" to manage the global economy and for more government regulation of national economies to pull the world out of the current crisis and avoid a repeat.

The pope’s call for a re-think of the way the world economy is run came in new encyclical which touched on a number of social issues but whose main connecting thread was how the current crisis has affected both rich and poor nations.

Called "Charity in Truth," parts of the encyclical appeared bound to upset conservatives because of its underlying rejection of unbridled capitalism and unregulated market forces, which he said had led to "thoroughly destructive" abuse of the system.

The pope said every economic decision has a moral consequence and called for "forms of redistribution" of wealth overseen by governments to help those most affected by crises.

Benedict said "there is an urgent need of a true world political authority" whose task would be "to manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result."

Such an authority would have to be "regulated by law" and "would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights."

"Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums," he said.

The United Nations, economic institutions and international finance all had to be reformed "even in the midst of a global recession," he said in the encyclical, a booklet of 141 pages.

An encyclical is the highest form of papal writing and gives the clearest indication to the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics as well as non-Catholics of what the pope and the Vatican think about specific social and moral issues.

It was addressed to all Catholics as well as "all people of good will" and was released on the eve of the start of the G8 Summit in Italy and three days before the pope is due to discuss the global downturn with U.S. President Barack Obama.

In several sections of the encyclical, Benedict made it clear he had great reservations about a totally free market.

"The conviction that the economy must be autonomous, that it must be shielded from ‘influences’ of a moral character, has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way," he said.

"In the long term, these convictions have led to economic, social and political systems that trample upon personal and social freedom, and are therefore unable to deliver the justice that they promise," he added.

Profit was useful only if it served as a means to a brighter future for all humanity.

"Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the risks destroying wealth and creating poverty," he said.

He said the current economic crisis was "clear proof" of what he branded as "pernicious effects of sin" in the economy

In other sections of the encyclical, his first on social issues since his 2005 election, he addressed topics such as development, migration, union rights, terrorism, sexual tourism, population issues, the environment, bioethics, and energy.

The encyclical’s release was delayed by nearly a year so the pope could address aspects of the current economic crisis.

The Pope should perhaps stick to apologizing to the Muslims.

He said the current economic crisis was "clear proof" of what he branded as "pernicious effects of sin" in the economy…

Indeed, his take on the financial crisis has a lot in common with that of the Mohammadan clerics.

Called "Charity in Truth," parts of the encyclical appeared bound to upset conservatives because of its underlying rejection of unbridled capitalism and unregulated market forces…

Where in the world does there exist unbridled capitalism and unregulated markets?

A large portion of the blame for the current ‘financial crisis’ can be laid at the feet of those who made banks give loans to people who could not afford them.

And it has been exacerbated by the subsequent government interference.

Just like in the 1930s, today’s radical socialists (including, alas, the Pope) are doing their damnedest to turn a temporary recession into a ‘Great Depression.’

And they might just pull it off if we let them.

To think that once upon a time the Catholic church was the most powerful force for good in our naughty world.

(You can read the full Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI here.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 7th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

106 Responses to “Pope Calls For ‘World Political Authority’”

  1. tgar says:

    we are living in the last days for sure. Look up folks! Your redemption draws near!! it is very exciting to see prophesy fortold thousands of years ago, coming to fruition in our life time! Remember that God has not given us the spirit of fear! But please make your election sure! Choose eternal life! PTL!

  2. proreason says:

    The facist’s relentless propaganda is so overwhelming that it even captures religious leaders who should know better, or at least should know enough to stick to their own areas of expertise.

    Well, at least the Catholic Church was never taken in by the Nazis.

    Oh, wait a minute.

    • Barbie says:

      The Pope and the Church does believe economic inequality and poverty worldwide is their area of expertise. The Church’s main consideration is to help the poor, and there’s no doubt there is extreme poverty worldwide.

      I don’t know what you mean by ‘never taken in by the Nazis’, but if you’re implying the Church cooperated with the Nazi belief system, you are very, very wrong. Please stop. I’m asking you this respectfully. If you want to discuss this issue via email, I would be more than happy to take it to another forum. Thank you. SG has my email address. Thank you.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Yes the perception of friendliness between the church and Naziism is still wide-spread indeed thanks to those ‘defenders of the faith’ in the MSM.

      Here’s my favorite resource for quick facts on the church at that time. http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mischedj/ct_churchandnazis.html

      Regarding this issue – it’s the area of expertise of the church to always and fervently defend liberty over all else. Freedom is how I as a Cathloic define my relationship with God and Christ. Jesus being a human and choosing his path is what – above the miracles, above the infinite empathy and wisdom – solidified my belief that He was God and He conquered death.

      Freedom is at stake worldwide, it’s being traded for security. The fact that the man whom we Catholics look to be steward of the everlasting voice and presence of the Holy Spirit (truth) just said something that is clearly factually wrong and misguided is disconcerting to say the least. I hope it is just that Pope Benedict has been blinded and lead astray by his compassion for those suffering, rather than by any hidden motive or coordination with the False Prophet or the AntiChrist group in the current chairs of the secular powers.

    • proreason says:

      Barbie, you are certainly entitled to your opinion which is usually spot on, but many observors believe and have written that the Catholic Church was far too tolerant of the Nazis. That view is not a fringe perspective.

      And I support churches helping the poor, but that is far far different from calling for a ” “world political authority” to manage the global economy and for more government regulation of national economies to pull the world out of the current crisis and avoid a repeat.”.

      My view is that churches should stay out of politics. Western civilization tried that already, and the outcomes were not good.

      If the quote in the article had read “Pope Benedict called for global cooperation to address the economic crisis and care for the poor during this time of economic uncertainty” we wouldn’t be discussing the article because the request would have been appropriate for any church to make.

    • Barbie says:

      Pro, sorry I ran off. Had to go to work.

      My comment is not just ‘an opinion’. I’m not an historian – but I have read enough to know there is also plenty of writing showing Pope Pius was far from being uncaring. He did stand up to the Nazis.

      It is true – there are many who write and believe the Church was tolerant of the Nazis. Do you think they have the best of motives? The Church has been (until recently with the social justice – in my opinion) the bastion of conservatism. Certainly you can agree it would make plenty of people’s hearts sing to discredit the Church’s moral stance and these allegations against Pope Pius is just another way to do so?

      I didn’t live through it (which is good because that would make me very, very old). But there are credible and legitimate writings out there that refute these things said about Pope Pius. Since I did NOT live through it, I have to base it on what the writers of books say (or write, to be accurate).

    • artboyusa says:

      For what its worth my view is that you could make a strong case for the Church being too close to Mussolini and his Fascists and a much less strong case for the position that Pope Pius was pro-Nazi. Most of the force for that point of view still comes from a play called “The Deputy” which was written bya German Communist called Rolf Hochnuth and very widely performed and praised back in the 60s. Hochnuth’s play was propaganda and historically unsound but as part of the Left’s never ending effort to “capture the culture” it was a big success.

      Hochnuth followed up with another play that tried to blame Churchill for the plane crash death of General Sikorski, who led the Polish forces in exile. Sikorski was probably killed on Stalin’s orders). That one flopped because it just stretched the truth too far but apparently there’s no defamation you can throw at the Catholic Church that won’t stick – can you believe they made a sequel to that “DaVinci Code” piece of crap?

  3. Barbie says:

    When I was a kid in Catholic school, we were taught about the EVILS of communism. Now it’s the evils of capitalism?

    Does Pope Benedict realize he’s advocating a one-world-body that would be totally corrupt and enslave even more people in poverty? It would be little more than communistic. I’m all for the Pope saying people should individually work to help others. But I’m really shocked. I’m disappointed.

    Finally, Pope B, wish you’d issued an encyclical against the evils of the UNREGULATED ABORTIONIST Obama.

    • catie says:

      Barbie, what about all those stupid “Catholics for Obama & for Choice”. Those clowns march up to Communion every Sunday while I sit in the pew because I married someone who had been previously married and we’ve been working for almost 9 years on this stupid annulment which has cost a lot of money out of our pocket.
      I just don’t know what to think. I was pleased that he gave Pelosi the bums rush and hopes he does the same for the Messiah.

    • Celina says:

      I am very sorry for your situation Catie. It sounds infuriating. I commend your dedication to your faith.

      I understand there there is an encyclical forthcoming about the evils of usury. I look forward to reading it.

      I have a hard time swallowing this coming from the Pope. Usually I like him but he has got to see what a bad idea this is.

    • Barbie says:

      catie, I also want to say I’m sorry for what’s happening to you. I certainly don’t understand it. How frustrating for you. I just think you’re wonderfully strong and devout. Again, for what it’s worth, I’m sorry for what’s happening to you and your spouse.

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      Catie,

      I have written words of support and then erased them a few times, because I am so angry to hear that you’re prevented from taking communion. All I can say is, it’s terrible, but remember that Christ knows what is really in our hearts, and by your fruits — good fruits, from what I can see — you will be known. Don’t let earthly distinctions dampen your spirit.

      Best of love,
      Bobby

    • catie says:

      Celina, Barbie & Bobby, thank you all for your kind words and prayers. It’s infuriating. I called the idiotic “Diocese of the Military” today and asked what was the status. The status is there is no status. So I called my church and we have an appt. with the Deacon who runs this stuff at our Parrish (well pushes it along to the Diocese) and he said on the phone that he thought it would be no problem because my husband was never married in a Catholic ceremony. His Panamanian wife was not a Catholic but a Methodist and that is where the religious ceremony was held. I will be so po’d if the DOM has been yanking our chain and getting almost 5K for “investigations” for nearly 9 years. The Deacon said to bring our forms and a $25 check. He’s a retired 3 Star JAG and he said the biggest mistake people make is going through the DOM. So maybe there is hope after all.

    • Howard Roark says:

      Good luck, Catie.

  4. tranquil.night says:

    I will be having a long discussion with my Mom (devout) about this.

    I have never really liked or agreed with Benedicts thinking on a lot of the issues he’s written about.

    But this just makes me think of Angels & Demons (which I shunned after seeing).

    P.S. Barbie, “Finally, Pope B, wish you’d issued an encyclical against the evils of the UNREGULATED ABORTIONIST Obama.” WHOA! Snap! Great point!
    Maybe the illuminati really have captured the Holy See. There’s more unbelievable things happening right now than that idea.

  5. rfitz says:

    Easy, folks. You rightly note Reuters is”overjoyed”. As a faithful Catholic over 50 years of age, I have noticed that the mainstream media NEVER get it right when reporting on Catholic issues. Their biases inevitably drag them into wishful thinking or hostility. Reuters is doubtless cherry-picking quotes (notice there are no complete sentences quoted in the article) to make the Pope sound like, oh, John Kerry or somebody. Wait until the encylclical is published, and read what it has to say in context. I’m sure it won’t be the one-world cheerleading delineated here.

    • proreason says:

      Good point. I was going to say that I was taking the article at face value, but it got lost before written.

      We should always remember that most msm articles are really propaganda pieces.

  6. Baron Korf says:

    I have not once seen the MSM get the Catholic Church right. Not once. Papa Benedict’s writing style is easily taken out of context because he is very precise. He starts often with a question, gives a broad answer, then refines it over a few paragraphs and then recaps at the end. He is at heart a proffessor (which is what he wanted to do in retirement, not be pope).

    I just downloaded the encyclical myself. It is a 54-page, at 12 point, document chock full of theology. Also Pope Benedict has a gift for seeing root causes. The sin of greed does not just point to profit, but also political gain. Politicians that force bad policy so that they may gain greater support and power are just as bad if not worse than robber barons that grind a man to dust for low pay.

    In the end, the economy and the governement is there to serve man who is there to serve God. If we get that out of order, then we cause our own problems.

    P.S. Barbie, go read a few documents that this pope has put out on life issues both as the Holy Father and a Cardinal and you’ll see he doesn’t have to rehash abortion again. It cannot be condemned any stronger than it already is. If you do not know that, then you do not know Benedict.

    • tranquil.night says:

      B.K. you bring up a few good points which has made me realize some of the folly of my own hyperbolic statements. From here on out I will refrain from passing judgment on the Pope’s essay until I’ve read it.

      That being said, I have a couple of thoughts on the matter which perhaps you might be able to help me with:

      – By the sounds of it, this is an ideological piece. I worry when one makes sweeping ideological arguments in regards to such a broad and complex issue such as this current world economic crisis. Obama talks ideology pretty much exclusively; the advantage is that he can essentially say anything and it sounds correct. The problem is that the words may have little to do with the facts of the matter.

      For example, these quotes (if they are indeed in context):

      “The conviction that the economy must be autonomous, that it must be shielded from ‘influences’ of a moral character, has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way,” he said.

      “In the long term, these convictions have led to economic, social and political systems that trample upon personal and social freedom, and are therefore unable to deliver the justice that they promise,” he added.

      This is almost the same words coming from Obama’s playbook back at the beginning of the year. There is some truth to them, but only in the fact that it was Goldman Sachs and the Left that abused the rules and caused this downturn – not ‘unbridled capitalism’ (Noted: the APs term, not his) and its inherent greed. The answer would be further regulation for the financial industry so that this type of unholy wedding with politicians and money can’t happen – but not further regulation of the economy and ‘man’ as a whole.

      But to call for a world authority with the power and mandate he’s asking – I must vehemently attest that it is my belief that such IS the original purpose of the Catholic (universal) Church! The church is supposed to be that entity working for that good (helping the poor, defending justice and life, promoting equality for opportunity) since such a miracle could only be accomplished through the institution of God – not man – and probably for the very reasons he lists in his paper!

      But what the faith has realized (if at times not the church) is that you cannot force anything or control the circumstances in which you pursue that goal – you can only simply try to inspire the individual to want to work for it themselves and stand your ground on the issues of truth which men distort. This is done hopefully by trying to teach people the nature of their purpose here on this world, and the special relationship they have in God and Jesus Christ to be there when they want to give up in the face of evil.

      Again, you’re right, we’re not exactly sure WHAT he’s saying in all this, but just from the quotes the AP cited the context of this whole message is very worrisome to me.

      One more thing – “He is at heart a proffessor (which is what he wanted to do in retirement, not be pope).” He is pope, which is supposed to be a supremely high calling. These men are supposed to be individuals of nearly perfect minds, bodies, and spirits (or at least the best a human can hope to achieve).

      Comparing Benedict to John Paul II for me is like trying to distinguish the intellectual conservatives from the values conservatives. Which one is more important – the clearer words or the clearer actions?

      (Hopefully this response was somewhat cohesive, sorry for my poor grammar and convoluted thinking)

    • Barbie says:

      Baron (if you’re still around) I’m sure you’re right about the Pope’s condemnation against abortion. However, I heard very little in church before the election that reminded people that one of Obama’s chief signature policies was his pro abortion stance. I find it frustrating the Church did not speak out against him. Now I am being somewhat facetious about the Pope issuing an encyclical, but the reality is no one in the Church said much against Obama before the election. And a lot of Catholics (at least alledged Catholics) voted for him. That’s really the root of my frustration on this.

    • Baron Korf says:

      Depends I guess on the circles you travel in. I recall before the election that Archbishop Burke, who is effectively the supreme judge for the Church, condemned the Democrat Party as ‘swiftly becoming the party of death.’ I’ll agree that it was more silent than I’d like, but there were some very strong voices that were heard before the election. Sadly the didn’t get much news coverage.

    • Howard Roark says:

      Depends I guess on the circles you travel in. I recall before the election that Archbishop Burke, who is effectively the supreme judge for the Church, condemned the Democrat Party as ’swiftly becoming the party of death.’ I’ll agree that it was more silent than I’d like, but there were some very strong voices that were heard before the election. Sadly the didn’t get much news coverage.

      You sure do speak with a forked tongue, BK. You say a lot, but you say nothing at all. Just what kind of formal condemnation occured because of Archbishop Burke’s “words”? Can you put some names and doctrine to these “very strong voices”? Anyone can say there were “some very strong voices” about anything. Are your glib responses such as “Depends I guess on the circles you travel in.” bought from life experiences that left you so unaffected that you have no soul for the consequences of their results?

      Again, it must be nice to be so above it all. Some of us have had to live a life full of more consequences for what we say.

    • Baron Korf says:

      What gives? I was not trying to be glib, but to point out that there was some strong condemnation of the Democrat party platform leading up to the election by bishops, including Archbishop Burke who holds one of the highest offices in the Catholic Church.

      Do you want an ecumenical council every time there is an election? Some bishops responded forcefully, others more obtusely, and Burke was the loudest even though it was close to a year since he was elevated to Prefect of the A.S. In many catholic news circles this was a big deal, but I heard nothing of it in the mainstream news. Archbishop Chaput of Denver, the Bishop of Scranton, my own Cardinal Archbishop DiNardo of Houston and a handful of others made strong public statements. There was also the Pelosi debacle where she tried quoting St Augustine about abortion and about 30 bishops made press statements correcting her.

      If you want doctrinal condemnations you can look to Gaudium et Spes, Evangelium Vitae, Humane Vitae, and Crd Ratzinger’s clarification he sent to the American bishops about voting for pro-abortion politicians, just to name a few. Of course the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is the authoritative book of church teaching, calls abortion an intrinsic evil. This means it can never be justified. Gaudium calls it an abomination. The doctrines are out there and so are the voices proclaiming them, but we are often ignored so as to be silenced.

  7. Right of the People says:

    Barry O = Nicolai Carpathia? Is there a 666 on his scalp?

    • BatK says:

      No, but he’ll be the first one on TV encouraging all American’s it’s their “patriotic duty” to take the mark

  8. Baron Korf says:

    Haha, I knew it. Quoted out of context. The ‘world political authority” is actually Benedict quoting Bl. John XXIII. His Blessed predecessor wrote in Pacem in Terris (A.D. 1963) about the rise of globalism and interdepency and the need to protect the poorer and weaker countries from exploitation. The crisis he was refering to then was the aftermath of the World Wars and the rise of the Iron Curtain.

    “responsibility to protect and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority” (Bl John XXIII)

    Benedict goes on to say “Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish the common good”. For those unfamiliar with Catholic principles, subsidarity is the concept that any political action should happen at the lowest level of government capable of doing something. He goes on to remind the UN that it’s primary purpose was to promote good will between nations and help the poorer nations rather than trample them. And then to finish that section out he tells them that the civil order should conform to the moral order. Basically that the relationship between people and nations should go beyond the legalistic but include the moral as well.

    This is paragraph 67 of Caritas in Veritate.

    Truly arguements that a conservative would anathemize. BTW, I’m not going to hold my breath for you to apologize for not doing your due diligence to see what he was actually talking about before going on a tirade. Take this as a teaching moment. This pope cannot be easily reduced to sound bites and any effort to do so will make you look like a fool.

    • Steve says:

      “Truly arguements that a conservative would anathemize.”

      Glad we agree, Baron!

    • tranquil.night says:

      I don’t think anything of what Bl. John XXIII said there really conflicts with with conservatism, in fact it’s quite cohesive.

      Going back to ’63, we were smack in the middle of the Cold War and fighting a very determined and very clearly evil enemy. Of course as time would go on the United States would become this world entity. Every single goal that was outlined in that quote was advanced by the American people in the 40+ years following it. In the absence of a true world political authority for good, we became it. Yes, we by association of certain elements of our population did our bad, but such is the consequence of freedom.

      The problem with the political world right now is that they can’t seem to agree on anything but Socialism/Communism. Asking the men in charge now to form a world institution dedicated to morality, equality, and justice is like asking the MSM to fulfill its role as a watchdog.

      “He goes on to remind the UN that it’s primary purpose was to promote good will between nations and help the poorer nations rather than trample them”

      Exactly, and the UN should be evidence enough to why this is a folly idea. The problem with any institution of man is that it’s powers can be abused by men, no matter what is supposed to be their moral edict or dedication to solidarity.

      I do believe in the utopic idea of a 1WO, but it is something humanity must earn, not be forced into, or it will fail – and with dire consequences for all.

  9. Baron Korf says:

    You don’t think that conservatives would agree that there should be recourse in international trade that should be managed at the lowest level of government possible? Nor should people hold themselves to more than what is just ‘legal’ but what is ‘right’? Either that or my sarcasm meter is broken.

    • Steve says:

      You need a dictionary, Baron. (And perhaps a course in reading comprehension, as well.)

      “Anathemize” (actually “anathematize”) means the opposite of what you seem to think it does.

      From the OED:

      anathematize, v.

      1. trans. To pronounce an anathema against, to consign to Satan, to curse. Properly of formal cursing by ecclesiastics, whence extended to imprecation or malediction generally.

      2. absol. To utter anathemas, to curse.

      For the record I did read the Encyclical Letter. (Which I linked to in the article.)

      And it is far worse than the Reuters article makes it sound.

  10. Fascinating.. There is truly value to the liberty seeking community here.. An amazing thing happens when respect is used during communications. Kinda cool.

    My take on the Catholics.. I Was One.. primary education first few years. Better than average basic education, and entered public schools 3 years advanced. Never did much of the Church thing (tried to avoid) beyond 16 yrs.. At 19 got drank under the table by a priest who could handle his booze better. Determined that Catholics are the best partying, best primary educating Christians around.. hands down.

    But.. I have some time in my past developed the idea that the Catholic Church is pretty close to the socialist platforms from a point of attitude. Perhaps it has been the brotherly love thing transformed into “societal” responsibilities.. Just the same, if the church advocates the taking of one man’s liberties to supplant the failings of another, it has lost a great deal of moral support from this former acolyte and seemingly unrepentant sinner..

    IF this is what Benedict says, perhaps he does not see that the unanswerable governments, or one overseeing government might not have the slightest interest in the Catholic or even Christian faith with regard to disbursement of whatever goodwill we charge them with.

    We have a house of hope here, I donate. We have the “Father Fred” Foundation, which is likely larger in its REAL help to those in need locally than the government on ANY level, I give. Several womens shelters received clothing and cash from my wife and myself over the years, and I still have a few bucks for my own family and friends.

    All of these have some answer ability. All of these operations have a goal which they state, and often meet. And those who are close to me otherwise, are accountable to their own actions, and hopefully are not enabled to make repeated mistakes which expose them to further despair or need.

    A government cannot do this. And even if one were run by the church, it would have failings of control, and accountability as it has in other areas of recent memory.

    This pope seemingly has a closed mind about the benefits of capitalism and its ability to bring up all ships with a great tide of wealth and success. With all due respect, self flagellation of the worlds population by embracing socialist ideals is hardly appropriate.

    • Steve says:

      The Catholic church has long since had socialist tendencies. But this Letter takes the biscuit.

      For example:

      The processes of globalization, suitably understood and directed, open up the unprecedented possibility of large-scale redistribution of wealth on a world-wide scale; if badly directed, however, they can lead to an increase in poverty and inequality, and could even trigger a global crisis. It is necessary to correct the malfunctions, some of them serious, that cause new divisions between peoples and within peoples, and also to ensure that the redistribution of wealth does not come about through the redistribution or increase of poverty: a real danger if the present situation were to be badly managed. For a long time it was thought that poor peoples should remain at a fixed stage of development, and should be content to receive assistance from the philanthropy of developed peoples. Paul VI strongly opposed this mentality in Populorum Progressio. Today the material resources available for rescuing these peoples from poverty are potentially greater than before, but they have ended up largely in the hands of people from developed countries, who have benefited more from the liberalization that has occurred in the mobility of capital and labour. The world-wide diffusion of forms of prosperity should not therefore be held up by projects that are self-centred, protectionist or at the service of private interests. Indeed the involvement of emerging or developing countries allows us to manage the crisis better today. The transition inherent in the process of globalization presents great difficulties and dangers that can only be overcome if we are able to appropriate the underlying anthropological and ethical spirit that drives globalization towards the humanizing goal of solidarity. Unfortunately this spirit is often overwhelmed or suppressed by ethical and cultural considerations of an individualistic and utilitarian nature. Globalization is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon which must be grasped in the diversity and unity of all its different dimensions, including the theological dimension. In this way it will be possible to experience and to steer the globalization of humanity in relational terms, in terms of communion and the sharing of goods.

    • Steve says:

      And the globally controlled socialist redistribution doesn’t stop there:

      The international community has an urgent duty to find institutional means of regulating the exploitation of non-renewable resources, involving poor countries in the process, in order to plan together for the future.

      On this front too, there is a pressing moral need for renewed solidarity, especially in relationships between developing countries and those that are highly industrialized[118]. The technologically advanced societies can and must lower their domestic energy consumption, either through an evolution in manufacturing methods or through greater ecological sensitivity among their citizens. It should be added that at present it is possible to achieve improved energy efficiency while at the same time encouraging research into alternative forms of energy. What is also needed, though, is a worldwide redistribution of energy resources, so that countries lacking those resources can have access to them. The fate of those countries cannot be left in the hands of whoever is first to claim the spoils, or whoever is able to prevail over the rest. Here we are dealing with major issues; if they are to be faced adequately, then everyone must responsibly recognize the impact they will have on future generations, particularly on the many young people in the poorer nations, who “ask to assume their active part in the construction of a better world”[119].

      50. This responsibility is a global one, for it is concerned not just with energy but with the whole of creation, which must not be bequeathed to future generations depleted of its resources.

    • Steve says:

      And this how the long-sought millennium is to be achieved:

      67. In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect[146] and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish the common good[147], and to make a commitment to securing authentic integral human development inspired by the values of charity in truth. Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights[148]. Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums. Without this, despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among the strongest nations. The integral development of peoples and international cooperation require the establishment of a greater degree of international ordering, marked by subsidiarity, for the management of globalization[149]. They also require the construction of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the link between politics and the economic and civil spheres, as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations.

    • proreason says:

      “To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority”

      Did OSoros write this?

      Can they not see that the bigger governments get the more dangerous they become? You don’t even need to go all the way to the Nazi regime or the USSR. Drooling Barney’s little foible with the mortgage lending system is plenty bad enough. Now here comes Cap and Tax and Universal Health Scare.

      These policies have already depressed world standards of living significantly, and will certainly do moreso in the future. Even if the Moron and his fellow-traveleres were well-intentioned instead of bent on total power, the impact would be horrible.

      But it will be much worse than that, since all of history tells us that power corrupts absolutely.

      I doubt the Pope has a malovent intent, but the enactment of his suggestions will be a greater evil than the world has yet seen. When standards of living fall, wars happen.

      His words will be used as tools by people whose intent is as evil as his intent is good. As I said earlier, churches should stay out of politics. The combination makes for dangerous kindling.

    • Howard Roark says:

      This is infuriating.

      I know that just a couple of months ago I praised this pope for clashing with Pelosi on her meeting with him in Feb over the abortion issue, but after reading these excerpts from his encyclical, I am prepared to ammend my great praise of him.

      And PR, you were indeed right about the shameful association of Naziism and the Catholic church in the 30’s. When viewed in the light of their chronic prescription of Socialism as a cure for mankind’s ill, it becomes more understandable that the movement of National Socialism would appeal to them–then AND now. With this kind of an edict, one has to wonder if this pope is ushering in another form of cancerous, corrupt, power structure that, by definition, can only be accomplished by a totalitarian dictator like Hitler.

      Thank-you, Pope Benedict. You give hope and cover to the darkest of evils mankind has ever known.

      With all of the gold and insane riches said to be locked away beneath the Vatican’s imperial castle, I say that we have this “Global Authority” first seize the selfish riches belonging to the Catholic Church to be divided up to the world’s poor to see where and how this new world order works.

      Next, we start taxing the churches in this nation.

      And after we have this “Global Authority” rip every dime and nickel from their accounts, we micromanage every donation that comes their way to help provide for the very cures to Third World poverty, starting with family planning to prevent overpopulation.

  11. wardmama4 says:

    Barry O = Nicolai Carpathia? Is there a 666 on his scalp?

    No, but he’ll be the first one on TV encouraging all American’s it’s their “patriotic duty” to take the mark

    Not at the moment – but if Barry O signs (or gets signed) a 7 year peace treaty in Israel – all bets are off.

    If the Catholic Church has swung over to the ‘social justice’ side – I can now understand why Father Pfleger is still in a parish.

    All I can say is wow. and oh yes, God Help America.

  12. VMAN says:

    It’s real simple the bible is written at about a high school level so it’s not real hard. Read it for yourself and forget the “Holy Dudes”. Jesus came that we might have life and that more abundantly. He came to set the captives free. He told us to take care of the orphans and the widows (who are widows indeed). This stuff is not hard folks and you don’t need some old man in a tall white hat to tell you that. Sorry if I’m not being intellectual enough for some of you. I gotta tell you I tried to read the Holy Guys writing but frankly it made my head hurt. Man’s wisdom is foolishness to God and what I read is certainly a bunch of foolishness. Now if I offended some of you all I can say is get over it, get a Bible, a good Greek and Hebrew dictionary maybe a concordance, get as far away from any Holy Dude as you can and ask God through the Holy Spirit to show you the truth. Like I said before it’s real simple.

  13. Baron Korf says:

    Steve you make the basic mistake most newsers make when they make stories about papal writings and theology: you force American buzz words into the mix. Where you see political buzz words there often aren’t and where they are theological references you probably miss. There are 9 pages worth of citations for a reason.

    Prime example: Redistribution of wealth is understood in the American context to mean the government takes money and gives it out as it sees fit. This idea has been condemned repeatedly by the Catholic Church. Another form of redistribution is embodied by Henry Ford. He paid his workers well and priced his cars low so they could by them. This made him a lot of money but also enriched the workers in the process.

    Government enforced redistribution is tantamount to stealing, the Church recognizes this. What the Pope is exhorting here is that the developed nations take the initiative to help distribute their vast resources in the same way that an employer distributes wealth to an employee. To sit there and ignore the poverty of our neighbors is unchristian and to simply throw money at them is to dehumanize them.

    Also the concept of money and property are different in Catholic theology than in American thought. While the Church recognizes private property as something sovereign, ultimately it all belongs to God. As such we are responsible to Him on what we do with it. If we play by the rules of ‘he who has the most toys at the end wins’ we lose. So the Pope is telling us that we shouldn’t just sit comfortably and wait for the problem to solve itself. Worse still is when we buy labor and resources on the cheap simply because they will settle for it. Intentionally shorting someone what they are due is a grave sin.

    However he does not once in the whole piece use the word Capitalism. Nor will you find the words socialism or communism. Why? Because this is not an economic paper, but a moral and theological treatise on economics. He talks about redistributing, but does not say how. This is directed at the morality that drives economics. Any system can be used or abused, but ultimately it comes down to the people within it. Like I said above, there are many different ways to improve the state of the poor in the world. He does not speak to governments themselves, the letter is not addressed to them, but he tells us that our governments should be held accountable for their actions, especially in the international dealings. How is it surprising or appalling that a moral leader should demand that countries learn to regulate their interactions and hold each other to their standards.

    Lastly I’d point out that while neither capitalism, nor socialism, nor communism show up anywhere in the document, there is one governmental word that shows up repeatedly: subsidiarity. As I defined in an earlier post, the concept of subsidiarity is basically that of limited government. The feds shouldn’t do what the state can handle. The states shouldn’t take on what the counties can. The counties shouldn’t do what the cities can do. Nothing should happen at a higher level than it needs to. This word shows up 12 times in the paper.

    Remember this is primarily a moral and theological work.

    • proreason says:

      Aaah. It’s a translation problem. If you have the secret decoder ring, the socialist rhetoric turns into soothing words about justice and even small government. Very nuanced work by the translator.

      Obamy is good at this as well. Everything he says means something different to each reader, depending on what that reader want to hear.

    • Steve says:

      Baron, I suspect my understanding of Catholic theology is at least on a plane with yours, having been raised Catholic and having studied the history of the church. (And having studied both Ancient Greek and Latin.)

      Your arguments simply do not pass muster.

    • VMAN says:

      Hi Baron it’s me the unintellectual guy please don’t take offense but all I can say is Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Popes is da craziest peoples and they write da craziest things.

    • Steve says:

      “As I defined in an earlier post, the concept of subsidiarity is basically that of limited government.”

      I fully understand the doctrine of subsidiarity, as developed in various papal encyclicals. It claims that social problems should be dealt with at the most immediate (or local) level consistent with their solution.

      But the point of this current Encyclical Letter is precisely that local or state governments cannot deal adequately with the ‘globalization’ crisis. Which is why there needs to be a “world authority.”

      And no amount of obfuscation on your part can disguise that clear message.

    • Baron Korf says:

      It came out this morning and you posted the article by 8 am. You expect me to believe you really and fully understand the Pope’s writing of over 50 pages in a morning? Let alone that the Pope devoted much of his precious time to writing a letter of this magnitude to convey a political concept upon which much of the world already operates? It doesn’t make much sense to me.

      Yes proreason, translation does matter because it isn’t written by an American, nor was it originally in English. Ergo colloquialisms and buzz words don’t translate properly. It is also good to be familiar with his previous works to get it. By contrast Obama was raised (partly) in America, speaks the language fluently, and is up on the buzz words. I would say that is something worth noting.

    • proreason says:

      Baron, I’ve probably been more flip than I should on this topic, since it’s clearly one for which people have some deeply held beliefs.

      Your posts have been interesting and informative. There’s always another side, and you have revealed this one. I’m not persuaded, but am glad to hear an educated perspective. (and despite my flippancy, I don’t hold the Pope in contempt. He is hardly equivalent to our boy king.)

    • Howard Roark says:

      PR, your take on this is genuine and very understandable, and, frankly, I’m right there with you. How dare a world leader on the level of a pope issue something so diabolical in its repercussions, only to be shielded from people who trip over themselves to say, “you’re not reading it right!”.

      BULLSHIT!

      Not reading it right???? You can’t obfuscate evil, Baron, no matter how hard you try. If you can’t understand how this kind of doublespeak and semantics is paving the way to totalitarianism, I almost wonder who you are and what side you’re on.

      Where you see political buzz words there often aren’t and where they are theological references you probably miss.
      What a load of nonsense. The pope wrote this knowing that it would have to be interpreted by men of all cultures/languages, and if he is going to suddenly hide behind “original meanings” as we’re all under the boot of some “global authority”, WHAT GOOD IS ALL OF THIS SHIT???

      Where is the acknowledgement that America has donated more money, charity, and technology than ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD??? Has the pope and his church sent Vatican men to their deaths to liberate the people of this world anytime recently? Has ANY nation been as good to the world as America has???

      Never has there ever been a nation that gave more of itself in the quest for liberty and social justice as America, and so far, not ONCE has the pope mentioned us in his decree for solutions to the world’s malaise. Indeed, because he has written this encyclical in the language of the left, he has given more in one document to the cause of ruination of the last best hope for mankind.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Well, I’ll begin by remarking that out of all of it (I’ve read up to chapter 6, skipping the enviroment chapter) I liked the beginning:

      The Church does not have technical solutions to offer[10] and does not claim “to interfere in any way in the politics of States.”[11] She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish, in every time and circumstance, for a society that is attuned to man, to his dignity, to his vocation. Without truth, it is easy to fall into an empiricist and sceptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack of interest in grasping the values — sometimes even the meanings — with which to judge and direct it. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (cf. Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce. Her social doctrine [charity] is a particular dimension of this proclamation: it is a service to the truth which sets us free. Open to the truth, from whichever branch of knowledge it comes, the Church’s social doctrine receives it, assembles into a unity the fragments in which it is often found, and mediates it within the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations.”

      She [the Church] has a public role over and above her charitable and educational activities: all the energy she brings to the advancement of humanity and of universal fraternity is manifested when she is able to operate in a climate of freedom. In not a few cases, that freedom is impeded by prohibitions and persecutions, or it is limited when the Church’s public presence is reduced to her charitable activities alone.

      Benedict has a good grasp over individual purpose and he makes a compelling moral argument for the concept of giving, but when it comes to world events he draws what are in my opinion incorrect conclusions. Above all I think this is because he simply just doesn’t have command of the facts and thus falls into the trap of generalizations, such as when he says:

      Through the combination of social and economic change, trade union organizations experience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests of workers, partly because Governments, for reasons of economic utility, often limit the freedom or the negotiating capacity of labour unions.

      I also cite chapter 3.40 where he gravely generalizes and mischaracterizes many aspects of modern economics and business.

      Overall, while I agree with the premise that charity should be at the forefront of the individual’s action, I’m lost when he seems to want to suggest that it’s somehow the fault of the system that this isn’t presently the case on the grand scale, especially given the history of the United States in (forget the past 40 years) just the past 8 years. His calls for increased regulation, increased inclusion and aid for the poor, and increased roles for unions are all grasping in a small way the very political language that sets off ideological firestorms.

      So while he says this is not a political piece, the solutions he’s actually offering are nothing less than political (thinly veiled in an attempt to inspire the individual). My conclusion is that this would’ve been a great work if it had shown more depth in it’s understanding of the current scenario, or if he had simply refrained from commenting in any sort of detail on the broader elements altogether and stuck with his expertise: morality and theology, because those parts are very intelligent.

    • Baron Korf says:

      Howard, I read this kind of stuff as a hobby. After a while you get used to how Popes write and think. As a bit of trivia that you might not know, all official documents of the Catholic Church are in Latin. This is because it is a ‘dead language’. As such it does not change. The word gaudium still means joy/joyful even though it’s English cognates of gay and gaudy have other connotations.

      It might help you to see the title block of the letter: Encyclical Letter CARITAS IN VERITATE of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious, the Lay Faithful, and All People of Good Will on Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth.

      That is the subject of the letter “Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth”. It is much broader than the immediate crisis. He uses that as a teaching tool. It also might hurt your ego to hear this, but USA is really a small player in the history of the Catholic Church. 90% of the Church’s history (literally) doesn’t even have us on the radar. So we probably aren’t a continuing concern of his. However, when he visited the US, he spoke glowingly of the things we have done right, so don’t feel too put off. Also it might interest you that he really doesn’t follow US politics that closely so he is generally unaware of the buzz words we use. So saying he’s using the language of the left is inaccurate because it would require him to pay attention to the political left. Also English is not his strongest language.

      The phrase “global political authority” was not his, it was Bl John XXIII, he merely quoted him. You confuse it with a world government. This is contrary to subsidiarity which he refers to often. John was calling for something to regulate the interactions between governments, not something that will interfere with the governments themselves. True this is something that is ripe for abuse (as we have seen with the UN); however so is the Supreme Court of the United States, but that doesn’t make it a bad idea. You have to keep all of the concepts active at the same time, you can’t just cherry pick what he says and then base your whole argument off of that. If you really want to understand that, you will have to go back and read Pacem in Terris and look up the condition of the world in 1963 when Bl John XXIII wrote it.

      Like I said, the pope is primarily concerned with the moral and theological implications. Any supposed political suggestions would need to be seen in light of that and in the light of the fact that he is not just referring to Europe/USA/China/India but the world as a whole. There are many countries that are far more oppressive that he has his eyes on.

    • Howard Roark says:

      Baron, you may read church doctrine as a hobby, but that doesn’t mean all of this happens in a vacuum. Wonderful that you realize that his treatise is written in Latin. I took three years of Latin and am not persuaded by your academic conclusions. After all, his dead language will be used by live leaders to justify their evil ends.

      The pope is not ignorant of the dramatic times in which we find ourselves. The language he choses here has dire consequences for those of us who have been nothing but good soldiers of the faith. And whether I am Catholic or not doesn’t preclude me from the results of his words. I, too, am allowed to read his words and draw conclusions that differ from your own antiseptic take on the meanings behind it all.

      Acting as if this document can only be interpreted and acted upon with benign results is your folly, Baron. I appreciate your cool, scholarly take on this man who uses a dead language to address global resources, equality of outcomes, and disarmament, but if you aren’t too persuaded that “my ego” is doing the talking, here, I offer my words as a cautionary tale against what the pope has just done.

      But there are legions of intellectuals who considered the words of common men as reactionary babble, and rest secure in their ivory towers as millions of men perish. It must be comforting to be so removed from these simpleminded reactions.

    • proreason says:

      As Howard notes, and I previously stated, the issue we see is that the words will be interpretted by the Left, in this country at least, as a red flag for a charging facist bull.

      Perhaps Baron is right, and there is a deeper and more benevolent meaning for people intimate with papal pronouncements, but I’m afraid that if people on this website don’t get it, Jesse, the McDonald’s bus boy who complained about working 3 years without a better job certainly isn’t going to get it.

      And that seems to me to be a problem.

      Father Pfleger comes to mind for some reason.

    • Baron Korf says:

      And you think Jesse at McDonald’s even know what a papal encyclical is, let alone cares what he says. If these documents had the wide reaching possibilities that you give them, abortion, IVF, and all other forms of embryonic abuse would’ve stopped with Evangelium Vitae under Pope John Paul II. Or what about the document that came out 2 years ago on end of life issues referring to food and water for the terminally ill as a basic human right?

      No, this will not have vast implications for most people because most people don’t even read it. And if you want to talk about misunderstanding things, we should ban the Constitution because so many people think that it includes the words “separation of church and state”. People will twist anything to suit their own needs. Should the pope not write anything? Or should he only write things so bland and empty that no one could misuse them? I read the pope as he tells me to read him, in light of the Magisterium of the Church. This includes the sovereignty of nations as a right and a sacred paternal duty.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      O Baron, for the love of Pete, wealth is neither distributed nor redistributed – it is earned and/or created. Stop with the socialist semantics, please…

      And ‘subsidiarity’? Geo. Orwell, please pick up the house phone, stat(us)!

    • Howard Roark says:

      O Baron, for the love of Pete, wealth is neither distributed nor redistributed – it is earned and/or created. Stop with the socialist semantics, please…

      Right on, Colonel. Alas, it looks as if Baron is full of smug self-assurance as he tries to educate us about the real meaning of the pope’s words. It doesn’t enter his radar that even common folk can see a train coming from miles away. The wisdom of those of us who know history and its ramifications is without merit to people of his ilk.

      Hell, all Steve did was post this story early in the morning, and you could see the squeals and fainting spell that it caused poor Baron: It came out this morning and you posted the article by 8 am. You expect me to believe you really and fully understand the Pope’s writing of over 50 pages in a morning?

      Can you feel the superiority from this guy? It’s as if no one else can read words the way he can. He doesn’t give any credit for the fact that Steve has been a student of politics for a long time, now, as many of us have, and he can see things in the pope’s document that portend with greater ramifications than even the learned Baron can himself.

      As PR said, Baron must have the “special decoder ring” that it takes to properly decipher the coded meaning that mere commoners aren’t equiped to attempt. Listen to the way his estimation of anyone having to work a menial job in this world is regarded: And you think Jesse at McDonald’s even know what a papal encyclical is?

      He lives the smug life of someone who’s never been surprised by what a “Jesse” may indeed know. I’ve been in enough different jobs in my life to know that you can never assume too much about a man just because he’s poor and working with his hands for a living. I found a higher average intelligence in soldiers from my infantry platoon back at Bragg than the average intelligence of classmates in my college experience.

      And if you try to suggest that a real-world example of how to uplift a people and bring them into a longer life expectancy, higher literacy rate, and better overall quality of life…that is, give some credit in your encyclical of the best model ever created for uplifting the world’s people–the USA–then the Baron’s reaction is to condescend and try to hide behind 2000 years of questionable outcomes in the face of a 200 year experiment called America that pulled the Catholic Church in Europe safely out of a fire that she couldn’t have done for herself: It also might hurt your ego to hear this, but USA is really a small player in the history of the Catholic Church. 90% of the Church’s history (literally) doesn’t even have us on the radar. So we probably aren’t a continuing concern of his.

      And that’s the problem! The Baron’s limp-wristed insult about my “ego” in mentioning that the USA deserves to be used as a real-life model for the things the pope wishes for in his encyclical, is contradicted by the fact that this pope’s “radar” freely mentions an even younger entity than America–the UN!

      So let’s see: Baron thinks it’s egotistical to wish for the pope to give more credit in his encyclical to the best nation that ever existed in the history of mankind, but perfectly understandable to mention a feckless group of sisters (UN) who sure do cry, bitch and Jew-hate year after year, but never can muster up enough brave soldiers to put down the tyrants in their midst.

      I’m sorry, but this kind of insular reasoning is the obvious product of someone who hasn’t been outside in the real world enough. And judging from the bit of news that Steve followed up with on this thread at 8:54pm, the very worries that PR, me, you and a few others warn about are definitely shown to be valid and prudent. But perhaps the scales from the Baron’s eyes still haven’t fallen.

    • Dangerous says:

      A point of order, if I may?

      I realize that a great many people here are not Catholic, and are rightly angry about the way the Pope’s recent words can be used by such as Obama to further their agenda of crushing what liberty is left in your nation. I might suggest, though, that calling the Pope evil or crazy detracts from the validity of your arguments, inspiring only an emotional response that does no one any good, least of all those Catholics who then have to separate out an attack on ideas from an attack on an icon of their faith before responding.

      A lot of what Baron is saying regarding the meanings of words used in the original language is news to me. It is a mistake, however, to discard it out of hand. I’m not saying I agree with his take, but I know that Obama will use the words of anyone from the Pope to Elvis to what he read in the newspaper crossword to justify himself anyway, so Obama gets the lion’s share of my blame. We must be interested in the original intent and meaning or we can not claim to be interested in truth. Everything will then become “just words” and your constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Secret decoder rings aren’t necessary, but an open mind would be nice.

      And if the interpretation of the media is correct, and the Pope is calling for a super-government, then condemn that call. You don’t need to insult the man in the process.

      Just my $0.02.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      Dangerous, I’ve been translating Latin since I was eleven years old. Rident stolidi verba Latina (Ovid). That being said, I require no ad hominen attacks, as the substance of his call for ‘Global Authority’, i.e., more power to those undeserving, is, prima facie, vulgar.

    • Dangerous says:

      Ok, Colonel. You can read latin, I can’t. I’m arguing from ignorance (a position I do not enjoy), and thus relying on those around me to guide and teach so that I can learn, think and judge for myself.

      You’re arguing against the ideas presented, but dismissing them on their own merits (or lack therof), thus I think we’re in agreement on that point. The Baron has presented his ideas in a calmer fashion than a few others in this thread, and you’ll have to pardon my tastes if that sways me more easily than “…blah, blah, blah. Popes is da craziest peoples…” Yes this example is unfair, and no Baron has not been above reproach either. That said, I assigned no blame in my first post. I was simply trying to remind people here that part of the reason our community is so useful is that we have dissenting ideas and rational debate, neither of which is served by insulting the top man in an organization that has been a force for good for the last 2000 years and that many people have very strong emotions about.

      Regarding personal attacks instead of or in addition to reasoned argument, again we seem to be in agreement. I wasn’t calling you on it because you haven’t done it, however not everyone here has held themselves to that standard recently. That said, Proreason specifically apologized, and I thank him for it.

    • Howard Roark says:

      I’m with the Colonel on this one. Perhaps, Dangerous, if your intent is to condemn a specific insult to the pope that you perceive, you should actually have the integrity to mention the name of the person who upset you and be done with it, instead of using vague phrases like, “You don’t need to insult the man in the process.”, or “not everyone here has held themselves to that standard recently.”

      And for what it’s worth, I think PR’s use of the phrase “decoder ring” in the context he did could only be upsetting for someone who is looking to be offended.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      Dangerous, there is no issue with me, as I did not think it was directed my way. I was trying to provide a synopsis of my distaste, free from the irrational. Pax. (Peace)

    • Dangerous says:

      Sorry, Colonel. I mistook your brusqueness for some small degree of hostility, and for that I apologize.

      Howard, I was going out of my way not to call anyone out due to civility, not cowardice. I don’t see it as lacking integrity to want not to offend others. Especially seeing as this is a charged topic and I very much dislike offending people by accident.

      But, since you insist, Proreason’s sarcasm, VMAN’s mockery and your general hostility all didn’t sit well with me.

      Baron complains that you’re not interpreting correctly a document written in another language, in a specific style, and aimed at “The Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious, the Lay Faithful, and all people of good will.” That is to say, it’s mostly aimed at those sharing in a Catholic worldview, with all the symbolism and jargon to go along with it. You could acknowledge that interpretation from within the context of the culture matters, both the culture of the language written in and the shared culture of those written to. Or you could argue in favour of a living document, made up of “just words” that mean nothing except what the reader desires to hear. I’m not saying Baron is right in his interpretation, I’m saying that the source matters and needs to be taken into account in any translated work. It’s not that “mere commoners aren’t equiped[sic] to attempt” to decipher this document, but that there are factors you don’t seem to be taking into account. I did not and can not read the original, so I can’t say that the interpretation is correct. But you just cry “Bull” when someone says there is an alternate viewpoint.

      “Has the pope and his church sent Vatican men to their deaths to liberate the people of this world anytime recently?”
      Christians of all stripes, Catholics included, are dying in the middle east. Now. It’s a death sentence to both the convert and the priest to baptize a muslim into Christianity. This does not stop them and when muslims find out it hasn’t they ensure that the same priest can not do so again. So yes, they are being sent to liberate, and yes they are dying, they’re just not doing it with guns in hand. It’s ironic, in that they have no government overseer telling them not to talk to muslims about Christ while American soldiers don’t have the same freedom despite being far more able to protect themselves from the consequences.

      “Has ANY nation been as good to the world as America has???”
      The British Empire could be argued to have done as much, and both it and the States are based on a Judeo-Christian ethic that grew within the entity that later became known as the Catholic Church. It is the largest private charitable organization in the world (~1,000,000,000 or so members strong) and the church puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to helping people. So, while I’m not putting down what the US has done, Baron is right in that it’s a relative newcomer and not the only big kid on the block. As such, your suggestion that the Vatican is just sitting on a pile of gold while the US is doing all the work of helping the poor is doing just what you accuse the Pope of doing: ignoring the contributions of a large, powerful force for helping those in need. But he’s the bad guy here?

      And the most interesting for last, “You can’t obfuscate evil, Baron, no matter how hard you try.” Would you care to clarify that one for me? The Pope’s writings, the Pope, the Church… your attitude throughout the other comments makes it a little difficult to tell how specifically you’re aiming those words.

      So, it seems to me that you’ve called the Pope evil, the Church he leads lazy and greedy and the people that die peaceably for its ideals inconsequential. If I’m just being thin-skinned and wrong, tell me how I’ve erred and I’ll gladly apologize. If I’m right, I’m curious how that is simply attacking ideals and not character.

    • Howard Roark says:

      So finally you’ve identified whom you were labeling as insulting! Good. Up until then, your open-ended charges were left for everyone here to wonder about, which isn’t very kind. That’s what I meant by having the integrity to name names and be done with it.

      Especially seeing as this is a charged topic and I very much dislike offending people by accident. If you “very much dislike offending people by accident”, then leaving everyone here to wonder who you actually mean isn’t a good way to avoid such things.

      your general hostility all didn’t sit well with me. Oh well. If you’re expecting some act of contrition for my well-chosen words, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

      there are factors you don’t seem to be taking into account. Or maybe I did take them into account, and still came to the conclusion I expressed. You seem awfully certain that your vantage point of confusion about this document must be mine, as well. We can agree to disagree.

      Christians of all stripes, Catholics included, are dying in the middle east. Now. It’s a death sentence to both the convert and the priest to baptize a muslim into Christianity. This does not stop them and when muslims[sic] find out it hasn’t they ensure that the same priest can not do so again. So yes, they are being sent to liberate, and yes they are dying, they’re just not doing it with guns in hand.

      You’ve said a bunch, here, but none of it takes away from what I said originally. When I say “Has the pope and his church sent Vatican men to their deaths to liberate the people of this world anytime recently?”, I mean it. I’m talking as a man who has come back from war as an infantry soldier, and I know exactly what it means to be “sent to war”. I’m not addressing that question from the distance to actual combat that you obviously operate from. Don’t try your convoluted idea of what it is to be “sent to war” with someone who was actually “sent to war”.

      It’s a death sentence to both the convert and the priest to baptize a muslim into Christianity. That has no comparison to the way that grown ups in combat get “sent to war”, Dangerous. Do you understand that? For you to actually compare people like me who wear a uniform, undergo years of intense, life-threatening training, and then get ordered where to go, and what mission to die for…with a priest who tries to convert a Muslim and may or may not suffer a “death sentence” for it…well, not only is it a pretty flacid attempt at a comparison, but it is also insulting to me, my brothers in combat, and the millions of Americans who actually died in combat for this nation. Don’t play stupid word games with me on this one.

      The British Empire could be argued to have done as much, and both it and the States are based on a Judeo-Christian ethic that grew within the entity that later became known as the Catholic Church. Yes, the British Empire has done much, but not as much. What was their record when they were only 200 years old? Do you really think these things through, or are you just reacting emotionally? I mean, the British Empire also burned witches, massacred Burmese for their opium trade not once, but three times, colonized India, much of Asia, Africa and the Americas, also. How wonderful was that, Dangerous? How great was it that they were among the first European powers to enslave Africans for their labor needs in the New World and beyond? They conducted these monstrosities for hundreds of years, but America sent brother to kill brother in a civil war that stopped our worst offense a LOT earlier than the British stopped their attrocities.

      So, while I’m not putting down what the US has done, Baron is right in that it’s a relative newcomer and not the only big kid on the block. Yeah, I can tell that you’re not putting America down by the way you put us on the same level as one of the biggest offenders the world has known, who never corrected their ways within their first century of existance. Brilliant reasoning, here.

      it’s a relative newcomer and not the only big kid on the block. That “it” you speak of means enough to me to sing its praises against enemies foreign and domestic, and I guess you can’t understand where I’m coming from on that sentiment. Again, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. And as far as us being a relative newcomer, I still believe that our great Americans who went to a European war twice in recent history deserve to be more top-of-mind for the sacrafice that kept the Catholic Church in Europe free, safe, and even able to forget how profound that was a mere 60 years later. But, then again, I’m someone who thinks that gratitude is important. I have never forgotten where I came from, and I also haven’t forgotten an uncle who was captured as a POW in the Battle Of The Bulge, a grandfather who was regular Army infantry for 31 years, serving during WW II, Korea, and Vietnam, along with my father who served in the Air Force during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs.

      And if it’s too much of a stretch to think that it’s worth mentioning the USA because we’re such a novice in the eyes of the Church, it sure is perfectly fine to mention an entity that has been around less than even half the time we have–the U.N. And I stand behind everything I said about it, also.

      your suggestion that the Vatican is just sitting on a pile of gold while the US is doing all the work of helping the poor is doing just what you accuse the Pope of doing Yeah, we are doing all of the work. We’ve got more gravestones at Arlington than the Vatican does to prove it, too. And as far as the gold and riches go, it must keep them warm at night as all of the poor, wretched, starving souls in the world die from lack of help from it.

      “You can’t obfuscate evil, Baron, no matter how hard you try.” Would you care to clarify that one for me? Yes, I will help you out on that one, Dangerous: Leftist dogma and apologists result in evil around the world. I know you want to assume that I called the pope evil, but in your rush to be offended, I ask you to avoid putting words in my mouth–it’s very unsanitary. I meant what I said, and said what I meant.

      If I’m just being thin-skinned and wrong, tell me how I’ve erred and I’ll gladly apologize. I just did.

    • Dangerous says:

      I’ll start this comment off with an apology. I will not apologize for all that I’ve said, because I’m not going to back down where I’ve not been wrong, nor where I’ve been misrepresented and then attacked.

      I’m sorry, Howard. When I put in my comment at (displayed time) 12:46am, I was feeling too hot-headed still and didn’t respond as I should have. I had not taken the time to separate out and digest all the comments separately. I have since read through the thread a couple more times, I was thin-skinned and easily offended, and I was wrong. You did not attack the Pope as I thought you did and some of my comments were out of line.

      That being said, I will not apologize for my first comment and my second comment was just between me and Colonel1961.

      In my first comment, you had issues with my “vague phrases,” but of the two people who responded, both were correct about where I stood on their comments. I guess it was clear enough, despite not naming names. I will not apologize for considering civility and discretion virtues. That said, there is a time and place for plain talk, and this is it. If you think that it is without integrity to ask people to be personally responsible to their own moral compasses and not call them out by name to do so, then we’ll have to agree to disagree.

      Now, on to the third comment, but we’ll start with this line: “So, it seems to me that you’ve called the Pope evil,”
      This one was out of line. I apologize for it.

      continuing on “the Church he leads lazy and greedy,”
      I don’t see how this part is, though. You called (maybe sarcastically?) for the Church to be looted, or in your words “seize the selfish riches belonging to the Catholic Church to be divided up to the world’s poor.” You also said that “as far as the gold and riches go, it must keep them warm at night as all of the poor, wretched, starving souls in the world die from lack of help from it.” Do you have any idea how many Catholic charities there are out there? That they run schools and hospitals across the world? That the schools they run in the US don’t run on government money? That they teach and feed and shelter and help find adoptive homes for children? That the group “Catholic Charities,” actually a collection of more than 1,400 different agencies, sees 90 cents on the dollar going to programs and services? That they foster education and growth and have done so for 2000 years? That the Church is growing faster in starving Africa than anywhere else in the world? That the Catholic population in Asia doubled from 1975 to 2000, despite the oppressive communist government there wanting them all gone? I could go on but, to be honest, if an anti-Catholic bias on your part doesn’t let you be curious enough to look into the Church’s record as the oldest and largest charitable organization in the world, I don’t know if there’s any point.

      and finishing with “and the people that die peaceably for its ideals inconsequential.”
      First, I need to make clear that I see being taught about and brought into a personal relationship with Jesus the Christ a liberating experience. In that light, my comment that Catholics and Christians in general are being “sent to liberate, and yes they are dying” is wholly accurate and, thus you will get no apology. Before you tear into me again, saying that I don’t know anything about combat or being “sent to war,” you could read through your posts and notice the first time you say “sent to war” is in your 1:49am response to my 12:46am comment. I never said that missionaries are being “sent to war.” I said they were being sent to “liberate” and that they were dying. Both these things are true. They’re even true in countries where American troops aren’t fighting. I respect a man like yourself, willing to put his life on the line for his country, his compatriots and their freedoms. I did not compare people like you “who wear a uniform, undergo years of intense, life-threatening training, and then get ordered where to go, and what mission to die for…with a priest who tries to convert a Muslim” because I never said a word about war. And neither did you, until after my comment. Your attacks in those two paragraphs are therefore baseless.

      Now, back to your question, because a lot hinges on it. “Has the pope and his church sent Vatican men to their deaths to liberate the people of this world anytime recently?”
      As written, either the answer is yes or you are calling missionaries’ deaths inconsequential. If it’s the latter, sir, I’d like to know why.

      You mentioned the atrocities committed under the British Empire, and that the US abolished slavery while it was a younger nation.
      I could go into detail on the slavery issue and mention that the British, however, did it first in an absolute time scale. I could talk about how members of the British Commonwealth have done pretty well for themselves, arguably because of the British influence on their culture. Instead, that’s all I will say, because the USA has done plenty, and the Pope is willing to mention the UN but not America. That is where I’ll concede that point, and apologize. Not because the Pope did not raise the USA, but rather because he did not raise the USA up but still raised the UN.

      there are factors you don’t seem to be taking into account. Or maybe I did take them into account, and still came to the conclusion I expressed. You seem awfully certain that your vantage point of confusion about this document must be mine, as well. We can agree to disagree.”
      Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. I don’t know what’s going on in your head, but if that is the case then that is fine. I said “seem” for a reason.

      Which brings us to your general hostility all didn’t sit well with me. Oh well. If you’re expecting some act of contrition for my well-chosen words, you’re barking up the wrong tree.”
      I’m not looking for an act of contrition over your “well-chosen words.” I’m letting you know a piece of what I’m thinking, to give you perspective for my words.

      And that brings us full circle. Reading through what you’ve said again, my biggest issue would have to be that you sound like you think that your way of looking at things is the only way of looking at things. In religion of all places, semantics matter. Perspectives can differ. One true meaning is there, and you are far more likely correct than is the interpretation of Baron up above. Still, if someone brings up a differing perspective judge it fairly. If you think you did, then that’s fine with me.

      There. You’ve had my apologies, and you’ve seen where I don’t intend to bow. Hopefully this one comes across as a little more reasoned.

  14. Hmm.

    The Catholic Church with enormous political and economic power.

    Gee. Imagine how much war, persecution and suffering could have been avoided on the European continent if only that had been tried during the middle ages….

  15. VMAN says:

    Gee is there a skip in the record or something?

  16. bronzeprofessor says:

    All I can say is, don’t look at me, I’m a Southern Baptist!

    I was Catholic for over 30 years, and I was a huge fan of Pope JP II. I did a pilgrimage to the Vatican in ’05 and had second thoughts…. felt uncomfortable with the lavishness and crowds of tourists who didn’t really believe in the faith. And I never quite trusted Benedict….

    Part of what I love about being a Baptist is you get to argue about this stuff in church every Sunday for 90 minutes with other adults who carry around their Bibles. There are no encyclicals to get entangled over.

    So I’ll defer to the resilient Catholics on the site and say, “God bless you all, you are our brothers and sisters!” Help the rest of us understand what the heck the Pope is saying! :)

  17. BigOil says:

    By calling for a ‘global political authority’, the pope is advocating for the ultimate in big government. History teaches us government control is directly proportional to oppression. As Thomas Jefferson stated so well “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have”.

    If the pope is going to advocate a political position, he needs to understand the consequences. His predecessor certainly understood the dangers of government oppression – living under the thumb of communism in Poland – and actively working against it.

    Focusing on good intentions alone is what liberals do ad nauseam. Disasterous results do not matter (see the failed 12 trillion dollar war on poverty in America).

    • Howard Roark says:

      Right on, BigOil.

    • Baron Korf says:

      This Pope too knows all about living under an oppressive regime. His family belonged to a Bavarian nationalist movement that opposed the Nazi regime. As such his dad lost his job, his family was impoverished, and under the eugenicists of the Third Reich, his first cousin was killed for having Down’s Syndrome.

    • Howard Roark says:

      This Pope too knows all about living under an oppressive regime.

      Yeah, you can tell that this pope really knows about oppression by his phraseology such as this:

      67. In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect[146] and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity.

      Give me a break.

  18. Steve says:

    Here is another report apropos to this thread, from Fox News:

    Obama: Social Justice in Catholic Church Has Had ‘Profound Influence’ on Me

    Just days before he is to meet with Pope Benedict XVI on his first trip to Italy, President Obama told FOX News that the Catholic Church’s long tradition of social justice has had a “profound influence” on him.

    Tuesday, July 07, 2009

    President Obama said the Catholic Church’s long tradition of social justice has had a “profound influence” on him — just days before he is to meet with Pope Benedict XVI on his first trip to Italy.

    Obama told FOX News that he looks forward to reading the encyclical, a “circular letter” titled “Charity in Truth,” published by the Vatican…

    http://tinyurl.com/lv62cp

    • tranquil.night says:

      I try to be a tranquil knight, but to even hear the False Prophet speak about the ‘profound influence’ my faith has had on him – after all he’s done to piss on it – it just grinds my gears.

      I’ve remained pacing outside the gate of being a devout church-going Catholic since I was 14 and baptized/eucharized/confirmed at once (now I mostly just attend Eucharistic Adoration monthly) and it’s for this very reason essentially. The Vatican is just it’s own bubble and there’s so many smart and good people there but sometimes – often since the rise of Benedict – they just act dumb and weak-spined. The faithful want to believe our leaders are the beacon of love and truth, but especially spiritual strength, and it crushes a piece of my spirit to even think of the Holy Leader indulging in even three seconds with the False Prophet.

      As for the debate on the encyclical: it was very enlightening and thank you to all.

    • Barbie says:

      Obama: Social Justice in Catholic Church Has Had ‘Profound Influence’ on Me

      This makes me SICK. Obama is just plain evil – that’s all there is to it (a simple answer, I know, but so appropriate).

      t_n, I’m with you. The debate on the encylcical has been very enlightening (and overwhelming to me – there’s so much to know). I would also like to say thank you to all.

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      Oh for Heaven’s sake, he likes Urdu poetry, Russian writers, Islamic chanting, the idea of people speaking Spanish, and now Catholicism too? Next thing you know he’ll go to India and talk about how the Bhagavad Gita transformed him.

  19. Colonel1961 says:

    The catholic church is a paragon of hypocrisy. Sorry – recovering catholic here, hence the minuscule ‘c’. How can an organization so remote of understanding life, pontificate (no pun intended) about something they know even less about – economics!

    Ugh…

  20. Colonel1961 says:

    ‘Intentionally shorting someone what they are due is a grave sin.’ My arse. You say exploitation, I say opportunity.

    Again, ugh…

  21. canary says:

    I’ll give my objective opinion, after reading the first few posts.
    But, the Pope’s idea on global economy is a sign before a third of the earth is destroyed. The sign that we will all carry the sign of the beast, in order to pay for food and all. And the 666 has prior been intrepeted in earlier versions to possibly be 616 or 618. I’m sure everyone read about the Pope’s right hand man, saying there was no Holocaust and refused to apologize. The Pope’s last trip to the Holy City, he further insulted the Jews by condemning Israel. And the last most worst sign of the tribulation, is the nation that trys to take Israel from the Jews. I am not saying the Pope is the anti-Christ, (surely, though he’d like to destroy Israel, but he does not have that authority or power).
    I was raised Old World catholic, private school. And taught that the Catholic
    Church was the only true church and everyone that wasn’t a Catholic was going to hell. Period. Especially the Jews. I was taught that the Jews deserved the Holocaust because they did not believe in Jesus. Then my parents decided the church had become to liberal, and took me out 5th grade. I read the bible, and could see alot of stuff the Catholic church teaches is wrong. In Mexico there are areas the Catholic Mexicans are not allowed to read the bible. Go to the Priest.
    Only catholicism is what you learn. Very superstitous, and Jesus warned against it. Paul warned against the division. And there is not to be division as there is among Christians. Peter started the church, but there was much pagen comprimising not to be killed. The steeple on the churches were to worship the son God. So, I respect denominations, the Jehovah’s, Catholics, etc. But, the bible said you don’t call a man Father, for God is your Father. This telling your sins to the Priest, is not what the bible says you have to do.
    I do appreciate my upbringing of guilt and going to hell, and learning what was a venial sin, what was a mortal sin, and worrying about going to hell all the time.
    I can find fault with every religion out there. But, Jews do believe in the coming of Christ. And I won’t judge them, nor anyone as to going to hell, except I think it’s okay to say Hitler went to Hell. :)
    And many believe in the rapture, but I’m not sure I do, based on a few scriptures. It would be nice. But, is it just another lure from so many Christian denominations such as Catholics (we are the true church) or mormons (not the
    sect mormons) if you join our church, your entire family is gauranteed to go to heaven, and there are many who join, because that is a church that hands out money left and right. Not for me. And then the Assembly’s of God that your not truely a Christan unless you speak in tongues, when that is not in the bible.
    But, the bible is clear, that God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit will save Israel. And so many Jews will believe. And I’m not even going to judge someone that doesn’t believe in God, or muslims, though the original Koran is bad, and all the sects from it are bad, there are still some good muslims. As for me, I will not deny Christ. I was taught that if someone has a gun to your head and asks you to deny Christ, you don’t do it, and I’ll stick to that. So, I don’t respect any man made church. I have never read a Christian book, or author that I agree with everything they say. I know there are phropets, but none that won’t get it wrong, and it is so we do not worship man. The bible is confusing. There is good advice in the old testiment, and alot that points to the end times. I think the ten commandments were good. Catholic is very old testiment, and legalistic. It’s all this stuff you have to do to get to heaven. And if you miss telling the priest one of your sins in confession, you walk out of the booth with worse sin. I can tell the Lord straight my sins, and ask for forgiveness. Jesus was the perfect One.
    None of us can be perfect, no matter how hard we try. That was his purpose. Before, people had to kill a goat, and do all this stuff to make right with God. God is the judge of our heart. He knows the heart of man. I don’t anyone, any man, preacher, that I totally agree with when it comes to anything, yet alone what things in the bible mean. Over 20 years ago, in my town, some muslims wanted to build a mosque, and had to get city permit, open to town meetings. So, the town Catholic priest at the time, comes to every meeting defending the muslim’s right to build it. I didn’t get it, since they weren’t Christians. At the same time, some of his parish were going trying to stop it. Then there were conservatives that felt it could be used as a haven to store guns, and funnel to the middle-east. Reagan era. So, we have freedom of religion in this country. So, the way some of us approached it was that they had planned for in the center, a worship place outside to say their chanting and praying (face towards Mecca thingy) and that it would be noisy for the neighborhood, and people shouldn’t have to listen to a church outside yelling allah etc. And the mosque won out, but never built it. Course alot of college dorms where they have housing was on one side of the area. But, go figure. Course we had another fight where they tried to make a church get rid of their big cross. Some battles lost on the cross, some won. Anyways, I am just giving my opinion. And I do believe that what the Pope is asking for is bad. And so many people on Fox and all with their books, all agreeing Russia because before they were Russians they were the mogs and gogs? The anti-Christ will come from the area that God says is the 1/3 that will be destroyed near Israel home of Jersulem (NE I believe of there) That would be Russia Africa the Middle East, alot of Asia China, N. Korea, axis of Evil. The country that does is very rich and a major importer to the world. And since I don’t think America is rich right now, know one knows, but we are to keep watch. And I think the Pope was really wrong going to the Holy City, and telling Israel what to do. And so then, the people I get angry at that say the Pope is the anti-Christ, well, I mean it could be some muslim president with muslim ancestors. Anyways, I know I don’t write well, and believe it or not I used to. So sorry if hard on the eyes, and if I offended anyone. Because I truly see good in all beliefs. And I have found evil too. It’s just the way it is.
    And when I was a kid, I was up to 200 Hail Mary’s a night. When my dog went missing it was 100. It was 50 for my goldfish that died and I wanted it to go to heaven. And I dreaded confession, and never understood why the priest would just tell me I had to say 1 Our Father and 3 Hail Mary’s. So when I read the bible, and when someone came up to Jesus and worshipped his mother He said not to. That all were his mother, sister and brother. Now, as far as those that do Hail Mary’s, I believe the Lord is listening
    and will bless that person. And when the Catholic church quit the candles you light, my grandmother was devastated. She immigrated from Chechz to NYC. At St. Patrick’s cathedral, they have so many saints. So, she moved here, and the church quit buying candles to save money and build a gym. And she was devasted. So, I have the beautiful angel candle holder after she passed. But, I don’t burn candles, but I have it to remember, and I know the Lord loves my Grandma because she burned candles faithfully every Sunday. And I know God, honored her doing this. But, I don’t feel I have to do it. And on my dog tags, I was still a bit scared, and said I was a Catholic. They put Roman Catholic. Because I was taught that if you didn’t have the last right
    said to you as you die, by a Priest etc. And so while I appreciate the morals, and fear of the Lord it taught me, I do not like religious beatings, and being
    told I was going to Hell all the time. I won’t forget my humilation of church ever
    morning, and forgot my beanie, and a nun made me stick a kleenix on my head.
    I was so ashamed.
    Catie, so when I got divorced and had all that guilt, though not a Catholic anymore, my mom’s Priest told me that since it was in a Baptist Church, it was
    not recognized by God, and that I was free to remarry. And I told him, I felt like I was really married, and meant my vows. It’s not easy to get rid of the guilt. But, Jesus told the woman at the well, to sin no more. So, I think you should not
    go through such beatings on yourself. Jesus loves you. Make your peace, and
    know that forgiveness is already done. We have consequences often. But, in my
    opinion do not let that kind of legalism keep you distanced from Christ. Peace to all of you. God Bless America.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Canary what a story. You certainly come from the Catholic Old School. I share your sentiments on individuals of all faiths, yes even Islam as well.

      You made an interesting point about the Anti-Christ maybe coming from the NE (Russia). It seems atypical to me to say that history would ever direct the bloc’s interest to Jerusalem (I don’t know the history of Russia’s interest in the Holy Land too well), but now we’re considering the fact that the Norks and Iran are allied and Putin directs them both and would probably be willing to give the go ahead on wiping Israel out.

      Putin also just topped Ortega’s rant at the South American Summit by lecturing the False Prophet for an hour on the Cold War.

      I’d love to sit quietly and listen to your stories, Canary. lol And may tranquility be upon you as well!

    • proreason says:

      When I get around to publishing Artboy, I think I’m going to devote half of the book to Canary.

      Her style is completely different, but what a mind!

  22. canary says:

    Speaking of global economy, and Obama’s homeland Indonesia, where his mother lived for at least 20 plus years, in which Obama would visit her, and recall how if someone referred to Americans she would yell “those are not my people”, in dreams, and in hope he’s angry because the native women can’t sell their homemade baskets do to Nike and all. I read an interview of a friend in Indonesia of his mother who said that she made baskets. So, the basket business is a personal issue with him.
    So, when selling baskets went under, when Obama was young and lived there

    In the audacity of hope 274 barack obama says
    “My mother might scowl at the attitudes she heard from other Americans in Jakarta, ….
    ..– but given the exchange rate, she was glad to be getting paid in dollars rather than the rupiahs her Indonesian colleagues at the embassy were paid..”

    is that significant? Would American money be better tender than rupiahs in Indonesia? Because, I’m not sure about all the postal International mailing laws, but as far as mailing to the troops, it is absolutely “against the law” to mail any American money or tender to the troops in the middle-east.

  23. canary says:

    Well, I hope the Pope gives him a taste of what he gave Pelosi. But, the Pope meddling into Israel’s affairs and siding with the Hamas, the bad publicity in NY visit in allowing that cardinal bishop dude, that there was no Holocaust, is bad. So, at least the Pope and Obama will have a few things in common. The Pope could take out some of the enormous amount of gold in the vatican and feed the poor. I guess as a tourist attraction it brings in money. Kind of like the King and Queen, but lot’s more gold. The Catholic Church has had to pay alot of money for scandles, and I think they should allow priest and nuns to get married.

    As far as a profound influence on Obama everything he has to say about the Catholic Church is very negative, and Obama is a full of it.

    dreams/ Obama blames the Catholic church and Evangelistic Christians as Democratic’s worse enemies . In hope he makes fun of his attending a Catholic school his first year in Indonesia, before switching to his muslim school in his hopes. He would not close his eyes and pray and would upset the nuns.

    hope/ Alan Keyes, a Catholic he ran against, publically and repeatedly pointing out Obama was not a Christian, Obama admits he became so angry he poked Keyes in the chest.

    dreams/ he complains the Catholic community workers were not radical enough for him, and he left them, his boss, and fellow workers, for more militant community workers such as Rev Wright, and Malcome X lovers admirers.

  24. Confucius says:

    Let’s start with nationalizing the Catholic Church. Think of the riches to be had by taxing all that gold . . . .

    • BatK says:

      Isn’t that what Constantine did in 325 AD at the Council of Nicea? He forged “Christianity” with the current pagan trappings (thus creating Christmas, Easter, etc) in order to create a state run religion that took gatherings out of people’s homes and forced them into state sanctioned buildings with state sanctioned leaders.

      How is this different from state sanctioned Islam? Or state sanctioned humanism (ie: public school)? Either way, it’s an attempt by a few (deigning themselves as elite and “above” the rest) to control the masses.

    • Confucius says:

      That’s great news, BatK! So, what are we waiting for?

  25. Flession says:

    There is a reason why us Catholics believe the Pope is infallible when it comes to matters of RELIGIOUS doctrine.

    When it comes to Economics and other things of a political nature, His Holiness should probably consider keeping his mouth shut.

  26. VMAN says:

    Hello it’s me over here, jumping up and down and waiving my arms. I know you think my words don’t matter. Frankly WHO CARES what a Papal encyclical is!!!! If you think that this Pope dude is somehow closer to God than you are I must pity you. You really don’t know Jesus or God and the Holy Spirit must totally escape you. The Catholic Church has been involved with and influencing government since it’s beginning and you all know it. It’s been a tyrannical force as well and I’m not going to lay it all on the Catholic Church because all Churches have been. When it comes to true Christianity there is only you and God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)

    • canary says:

      VMAN I agree and with your earlier post. There is good to be had from being raised Catholic. Once I finally read a real bible, instead of the book showing
      a kid walking into the confession booth with several boxes, leaving one out, then shows the kid walk out with all the boxes and a bigger one. I guess that’s a way for the Priest to learn everything bad. You don’t tell the good things you’ve done. But, it lead me to getting the Greek translation, a concordance, and dig and dig for the truth. Freedom from oppression.
      When my mom started taking us to another church the Priest ran off with a married woman who left her 4 children. And the biggest worry of everyone is that the communion bread was tainted and we’d been taking tainted communion into our temples. The new one drank and smoked but we loved him.
      I let my kids go with their friends to any church they might be invited to. A couple of years ago, my son, was mom! mom! I drank wine. Out of the same glass. This man had on all these robes like a King and sat in this chair like for a King. And it was weird. And the man talked alot in a language and he couldn’t understand him.
      And they passed this big glass around, and after I drank it my friend said that I didn’t have to drink it, it was wine. I wasn’t too happy about the germ thing, but found out the new change in the town church is the goblet everyone shares. Growing up, we never had even those little cup trays with juice like most churches. But, the Priests move about alot. My mom said this is so they don’t get to close to a church. And a friend of mine was invited recently, and she told me it was really unpleasant, and changed.

  27. Howard Roark says:

    Canary, I enjoy your reflections on your experiences. And VMAN, I respect your take on organized religion, and am glad to see that you can separate the wheat from the chaff without ridiculing anyone who has a personal relationship with God. Having read some of your previous posts on religious matters here (months ago), I think I had a mistaken understanding of your stance on all things spiritual, and I’m glad to see that you’re a lot more reasonable about such things than I originally perceived.

    I, too, have had disappointment with organized religion (but I still seek out a church that speaks to me). Not long ago, when I was still living back home in Appalachia Virginia, I experienced a very low point in my life for which I started attending my local United Methodist Church for solace and comfort. My relationship of six years had just ended in an ugly episode of me catching her in bed with another man, my 4-year business of painting cars was failing, and…I just felt like I needed some help, ya’ know?

    Not one for attending the monologue experience of the sermon alone at church, I asked the deacons of this Methodist church if there was a meaty, scholarly, bible class each Sunday that I could attend. They all pointed me to the class that was led by the second in charge of this large church. The pastor of this class was a full time, tenured professor at nearby Radford University during the week.

    After the first class, he came up to me and shook my hand, and put me through a few questions, which I readily enjoyed. We ended up talking often during and after Sunday classes thereafter. One Sunday, I began to reveal to him my private pain from the rough experience with my former girlfriend. We were walking through the halls of the church on the way to his office, much as I liked to do with professors I had in college. I find that much wisdom is gained after class.

    When I broached the subject of my deep pain, he quickly nodded and acted as if this was something he’d seen before, and avoided any attemp to offer an ear, or even a few Bible passages that might be of help.

    He said, "You know, Howard, I’ve never had one of those moments where I felt that God spoke to me. It just has never happened for me." I don’t know why he felt a need to say such a thing, and it left me a little stunned, inside. I continued with our talk, but there wasn’t anything there for me to gain in a spiritual way from this man. I came back repeatedly to the same class and kept a pleasant relationship with him, but I couldn’t get over how a grey-haired man could be so blase’ about reaching out to God.

    I mean, his classes were good, as he entertained a lot of deeper discussions about Biblical passages and faith, but I began to hear his words a little differently after that revelation of his. He would come into class sometimes and start off the greetings with a lament about how little the church was taking in each week by way of donations. It made me feel guilty for the few dollars I could afford to stuff into one of the class envelopes each week.

    I remember that the only things he ever spoke decisively about were doing good deeds. He always painted the fundamentalist Christian faiths in a very bad light, and that irked me a little, as well. Even though I’ve never endorsed the Oral Roberts who claimed that if they didn’t get 2 million dollars soon (or was it 3 million? I can’t remember), that they were going to be "called home to Jesus", or the Jim and Tammy Baker’s, I was astounded at myself as I sat in his class one Sunday, after having heard his latest insult against all fundamentalists, and said, "You know, even though I think that those preachers are way too focused on money, I can still listen to them from time to time on the radio or the inspirational tv channels and gleen a germ or two of truth concerning right behavior, sin, and love of Jesus Christ." The silence after I said that was defeaning.

    It was the 2004 election season, and I remember vivdly his distrought reaction when it looked like George W. Bush was going to win re-election that year. Again, I began to see that I was in the wrong class, probably, and even the wrong church. The class was academically fun, but I wasn’t challenged, comforted, or inspired by it. After all, I thought, this pastor is allergic to talking about right behavior in the eyes of God, and I was at a place in my life where I was surrounded by sin, living life on the fringes, and I was wanting to see at least a signpost pointing me in a better direction. Here he was a man of 60 or more, and he apparently had no experience for the way that women my age (37 at the time) and younger aren’t holding up the idea of "lady" as a goal, anymore, and both men and women were finding it all too easy to live without a conscience.

    Like I said, it was just a disappointing experience. I came away from that with a jaundiced view of the "new way" some churches are focused on avoiding the notion of "sin" altogether, in hopes, it seems, for the flock to not be scared away with such talk so that they’ll keep coming back with their donations. Just keep focusing on doing good deeds for the poor. No need for the enrichment of the soul, apparently.

    Having said all of this, I must say that I REALLY enjoy listening to Father Corapi (http://www.fathercorapi.com/) whenever I can on EWTN.

    • jobeth says:

      Howard, thanks so much for sharing such a deeply moving story. I have run into the same kind of situation with organized religion. Thankfully, I have been grounded in God’s Word for years so I can overlook the fallibilities of those of us in the church.

      I don’t want to use this forum to for a long discussion on my own faith views but I have only this comment to offer you.

      Remember that the members of a church are usually there because they are also searching just like you. But just because they “teach” a class does not always mean they have reached that point of a deep personal relationship with Christ.

      If you don’t do anything else…read the Word. Check everything against the word. Take NO ONE’s word for what God says. Check it out yourself. You WILL receive that personal contact with God through his Word.

      Its not the denomination that “gets you there”. It’s your will to hear and ACCEPT HIM, and what HE says through His Word.

      Doing good deeds are a good thing…but simply doing good deeds won’t do a thing for you if your relationship with God doesn’t come first. The good deed thing will come on its own when you see how God is leading you.

      God Bless you! You are a good man and I can see a man who wants that personal relationship with Christ. I will keep you in my prayers.

    • Howard Roark says:

      Jobeth, your kind words move me. Thank-you so much for your fellowship and your prayers. God bless you, too. :-)

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      Jobeth, I was thinking the same thing as I was reading HRoark’s testimonial. As a Southern Baptist I go to adult bible study each Sunday, and it lasts about 75 minutes. Our church approaches it a bit differently from Howard’s church. There’s a class leader but he mostly provides different interepretations of the verses we cover that day. Everyone looks upon each other as equals, so we’re all throwing out ideas and intellectualizing but nobody presumes to be in the position to preach to anyone else. We walk away each Sunday having thought about the verses but not necessarily claiming to have reached a clear understanding yet.

      When politics comes up in our Baptist bible study, which isn’t actually very often, we tend not to dwell long on it. Most in my group are conservative but there are a few liberal Obama supporters and we do our best not to make them feel alienated.

      Howard, for the deeper insights that it sounds like you are seeking, my congregation usually provides for 1-on-1 meetings with one of the deacons; in those private settings we try to get very deep and personal, and we work with deacons that we trust most. For bible study we approach it less personally and look more at the scripture itself. I read ancient Greek so I am often helping the other adults through the original language, at least of the New Testament. I tend to like focusing on the language during Bible study and only occasionally sharing my life experiences. I’m not sure which approach would be best for you, but maybe God has his own plans about which faith community he wants you to set up shop in. You seem like the kind of person who would like the Southern Baptist structure… I say it not to proselytize but just to share a bit. The Baptist setup fits your intellectual side but it is democratic enough that you would feel less frustrated with people in authority positions who you see as disappointing because they haven’t found close relationships with Christ yet.

      Blessings and best of luck!

    • Howard Roark says:

      Thank-you for those words, bp. I appreciate your insight.

      I was raised as a Baptist until the age of 13. I stopped going at that time. I became too large for my mother to force anymore, lol.

      When I was there at the first Bible class I mentioned in the above passage, one of the things the Methodist pastor asked me about was my past. It went like this:

      PASTOR: What’s your background? [I had just mentioned some uber-specific Old Testament passages from memory and had quickly recited the timeline of Abraham down to King David that buttressed my point during class, and the pastor’s first question after class was if I was a pastor myself, lol. I had actually learned those quotes and Old Testament history not from any church, but from one of my philosophy classes at Ohio University ten years before. Hadn’t had a need for them until that first Bible class, but it came in handy, lol]
      ME: Uh, well, I was Army for 5 years, college grad, radio career…
      PASTOR: No, no…what is your denominational background?
      ME: Oh…well, uh…[I was flustered because I’d been studying Zen Buddhism for the twenty years since I was a Baptist, lol]…I was raised Baptist right down the road at Mainstreet Baptist.
      PASTOR: Oh.

      And you could just feel that he had just locked me up in a box with a label, lol. I was flatfooted, and didn’t know what to say. After all, my Baptist identity really means little when you consider that I was too immature to know what I was ingesting at that age.

      I do like the sound of your church and Bible class, bp. I may indeed give one of our local Baptist churches here in Fla a chance, soon. Believe it or not, I was honestly considering investigating the four Catholic churches down here, after finding the terrific Father Corapi a few years ago. Of course I know that he is different from all other Catholic priests, but I kinda hope to find one that drinks from the same well that he does, ya’ know?

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      HR, Let me know how your search works out. Being Baptist in California is a little unusual, and I am always curious to know what Southern Baptists in the actual South do on Sundays. I have never been to a Baptist service in any of the Southern states. In California and New York, when I am traveling on Sunday and want a Baptist service, I usually find one in an African American neighborhood. My Baptist congregation is actually mostly Chinese, thought it has an English service that I attend, which was designed mostly for Chinese American children of Chinese Baptist immigrants.

      What always bugs me about Baptist churches outside of the South is their tendency to segregate racially; for instance, I have met very few white Baptists. I hear that in the South the Baptist services tend not to divide along racial lines so much.

      Best,Bobby

    • jobeth says:

      HR & BP

      Let me try to answer a few of your questions. I am a Southern Baptist who now lives in the south and my family on both sides are from the south. One from the Low Country in SC who were “pentecostal” and my mother’s family who were Baptists from WV.

      BP you wanted to know what Southern Baptists do in the south. The usual is Sunday – Sunday school hour that is sex and age grouped. We also have couples glasses if that is what you want and for the adults the age thing is optional…I enjoy the class of women who are about 10 younger than myself and that is ok. Then we have the worship hour in the sanctuary.

      Some churches also have a early morning worship hour before SS and some churches use that service as “contemporary” worship service to appeal to young people who enjoy Christian Rock etc. Basically the idea is, like Jesus, you meet the public where THEY are and from there you may be able to expose them to the love of Christ and draw them closer to their saviour.

      Baptist churches usually have a Sunday evening service and sometimes a Bible study class just before that service and We usually have a Wednesday evening Service.

      Between the regular services and classes there are usually Bible study classes during the week. Some in the mornings and some at night. We also usually have stuff for the kids on various days etc such as a basket ball league and other “classes’ like a police led gun handling classes for the older young people with their parents as well as adults themselves. We live in a hunting area.

      Now a days, most Baptists are casual in dress although it is still preferable to at least dress in honor of Christ. But no one would look down on you if you came in a Tee and jeans.

      HR….I might take the time here to let you know not all Baptists churches are the same. “Baptist” can be claimed by most any church that immerses at Baptism and that claims that the ONLY source of God’s Word is the Bible and it is the INSPIRED WORD. You can not cherry pick it or add or take away anything in it. The other thing is of course the acceptance of the trinity and the understanding that you must accept Christ as your saviour due to his dying for all our sins on the cross. Baptists believe that in obedience you should be immersed in water for your Baptism. Baptism does not “save” you. It will not get you to, nor leave you out of heaven if you are or are not baptized. Its an act of obedience only and a public statement of faith in Christ. It demonstrates the death, burial and resurrections of Christ.

      I’m sure there are a few other things I have left out but that’s a fair description of the Southern Baptists. Oh…Baptist churches are always independent entities. They answer to no hierarchy. The members of the local church “own” their own church and hire and fire their own pastors and elect their own deacons etc. They decide how their money is spent. They make their own statements of faith as a church and create their own bylaws. But everything MUST be in agreement with what the Bible says. Nothing can drift away from the Bible.

      Having said that, usually Southern Baptists voluntarily belong to a national convention where they gather and SUGGEST actions to their member churches. As in the controversial one a few years ago that encouraged women to submit to the authority of their husbands. I understand the full meaning of that and agree with it, however I am not here to further that action. Some other time perhaps. Even so, if I disagreed with it, or if our local church disagreed with it, nothing would happen if we did not adhere to it.

      You also need to understand there are MANY MANY Baptists denominations. I personally went to a fundamental “independent” right after I accepted Christ. This is where I got the best grounding I could have ever gotten in understanding Christ and being able to discern what the difference was between what GOD wants through his Word vs what MAN wants to impose on church members.

      Personally this is very important to me. I finally stopped going to these Baptist churches because I felt they saw sin under every leaf. Women MUST wear dresses all the time. Long hair on a boy is sinful. etc etc. I feel God doesn’t give a flip about that stuff. But that’s my belief.

      There are churches that claim to be Baptists that handle snakes….I think that is stupid.
      There are churches that claim to be Baptists that show up at soldiers funeral and create a real ruckus and say hateful things…THEY need to get back into the word.

      There are many more. Sooooo said all that to say. Baptist, like anything else can mean many things to many people. I went with the Southern Baptist church because it welcomes everyone.
      However having said that, the congregation will reflect the attitude of the community it comes from. Some are more loving than other communities. That has to be considered as well.

      As a whole, if a homosexual came in our pastor would do his best to welcome this person into our group. Would he approve of this person’s actions? No. Would he attempt to explain why we don’t accept his actions as ok? Yes. But this guy may be sinning by being a homosexual. The other church members may just as well be sinning by being mean or hateful to them.

      Here is where Christ sat with the sinful and then told them to go and sin no more. That should be our behavior as well. We have to love the sinful. How else can they know the love of God at first. Remember, we are the fishers of men.

      In the end…READ the Word. Double check everything that anyone tells you about God with the Bible. Read only solid authors who know the Word. And as BP said, double check our later versions of the Bible with the old text. Wine is one of the words that can mean either an alcoholic drink or grape juice. When it was translated into English it used wine for both.

      Just do your homework. Once you decide on a church..don’t expect it to be perfect. It won’t be. I can promise that. It will be full people in all stages of their walk with Christ. Where better should they be? Just pray, study and love.

      You two are a blessing to this blog. And Steve, thanks so much for allowing us all to get a little personal about our beliefs. With 100+ posts it apparently strikes an important cord in all of us.

      BTW BP It drives me crazy when I hear the northerners always claiming that the south is so discriminatory. If you go to a chuch here that has a community with blacks and whites…..that is what you will see reflected in the congregation. We happen to live in the country and have only a few blacks here, but we also have a few that come to our church and we don’t ever have a bit of problem. Everyone is treated with respect. Its about Jesus…not race. Its good to see you feel the same way.

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      Jobeth, Thanks for those details. My congregation is part of the Southern Baptist convention and it sounds like we fit the same pattern as yours; maybe the SBC affiliates all have some common structural basis. The only difference is we do not separate study groups by sex, only by age. I think ours is also probably too small to have the double services on Sunday; we have only two services on Sunday, one at 9:45 in English and one at 11:00 in Chinese. We also have Wednesday prayer meetings and Friday youth activities, but I do not make it to those.

      I was brought to Southern Baptist religion by a friend who grew up Baptist in Hawaii and Texas. I don’t know if Texas counts as “Southern” but it was mostly through this friend that I heard the stories about the Baptist churches in the South. He said in the South whites and blacks and other races tend to meet in the same congregations, since they go with the most appropriate location, rather than pick their church based on cultural grounds. In California and apparently in Hawaii and other states outside of the South, Baptists often pick their church based on ideology (i.e., is it a “liberal” Baptist church or a “conservative” Baptist church?) or based on ethnicity (i.e., is it a black Baptist church, an Asian Baptist church, or a Latino Baptist church?) I have found that outside of the South there are very few white Baptists, so if you travel to blue states like California you might be highly surprised to be the only white person in church! Most Christian whites here in Los Angeles go for mainline Protestant denominations (Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian), evangelical sects other than Baptist (i.e., Church on the Way, Shepherd of the Hills, Pentecostal, etc.), or Catholicism. In Los Angeles Baptist churches are more often than not ethnically defined (one of the results of the vigorous overseas missions the SBC has undertaken over the decades, with funding from Southern contributors in places like MIssissippi and Arkansas).

      Generally, however, if you are in a deep blue state like California, middle-class white Christians are rare. Most educated white people tend to be agnostic or overwhelmingly secular in their lifestyle. Minorities usually appear much more fanatically religious by contrast, which is why, I think, I meet so few white Baptists out here. The white Protestants I know tend to attend church about once or twice a year, if that much, or for weddings and funerals. They tend to be wary of black, Latino, and Asian Protestants, who often strike them as dangerously primitive in their beliefs. All of this is part and parcel of California’s strange racial tensions. That’s why my friend from Texas said he liked Baptist churches in the South, because there wasn’t a sense of racial stigma attached to the Southern Baptist label.

    • jobeth says:

      BP I am really sorry to hear how things have changed so in LA. Back when I was a girl, (’56-57) we lived in Reseda for about a year and a half…White Oak Ave, just east of the “LA River”.

      We went to a Large Baptist church there. I believe it was in Van Nuys. (I was 12) It was growing and working on enlarging the building at the time. A nice church as much as I remember of it.

      I haven’t been back but my son went out there amd wemt to see the old house where I lived and thanks to Google Earth was able to see a picture of it. It surely has changed since I was a kid. And not for the better. Oh well. It was a great place back then I loved it. But I would never move back now, mostly due to the political flavor of the people there and the crime etc. I still have family that keep wanting me to move back. Sometimes you “just can’t go ‘home’. Things change.

  28. Colonel1961 says:

    OK, this is perhaps a bit puerile, but is the Pope writing with a Mont Blanc, i.e., neither charitable nor balanced?

    What would Jesus write with?

    • Howard Roark says:

      LOL…
      I love Mont Blanc pens. The closest to one I’ve ever had is the Waterman I received for a graduation present.

      You know, I’ve always said that one of the most profound things (I find) about Christ is that he didn’t write down anything. It is either wonderful or tragic, depending on your viewpoint, I guess.

  29. Wamp says:

    Pro,

    May I respond to your statement that “churches (or religion) should stay out of politics?”

    My response is based on a thoughtful Letter to the Editor of the Stars and Stripes newspaper by a Jeneen Nance from Vilseck, Germany. I do not have the date of the letter, nor do I know the writer.

    In discussing athiesm and the Founding Fathers she wrote, “The were careful to provide for a separation between church and the government (remembering the misuse of religion b the state in the Old World), not to limit or eliminate the influence of religion from political discourse, but to insure that it was an independent voice to monitor the government and to mold the moral climate of society.”

    A paragraph further on, Mrs Nance wrote, “So, the Founding Father’s establishment of the separation of church and state was to ensure the free flow of religious ideas and practices for the betterment of the state and its citizens…..as more and more protests are made against the public practices of those who do believe, religion becomes singled out as the one unaccepted voice in public life, which was not the intent of the Founding Fathers. let us all believe and not believe together, but that means that we must not go underground.”

    I am not advocating that the Church (the lead elements of any sect or name) should mandate the actual voting by their adherents, or base membership, salvation, or ordinances on that activism or political beliefs. However, certainly the teachings, words, insights, and examples of those who do lead spiritual lives should be at least studied, and contemplated, and used for those aims, attitudes, and moral courage that they may provide discerning and seeking believers.

    I am curious about yet another ‘world leader’ and one who certainly understands the Scriptures as well as human behavior, and history and who has certainly seen or is aware of the many failed (and astounding simple and easy to remember number of successes = 0 ) who is advocating some kind of single world authority for anything. First, redundantly, it has NEVER worked before! Mankind is not able to create, manage or maintain any such endeavor. The 2,467th iteration is not going to be any different! Anyone familiar with Christ’s teachings should understand that He was pretty clear (He or His prophets – Ref Amos3:7) about the world and humanity being at each other’s throats until such time as He comes to rule, and the events that will lead up to that time. Yes, charity as He taught is the best means to peace and personal improvement, and organized religions are often leaders in philanthropic initiatives, doing a much better job of hands-on work with the poor, poverty-stricken and undeveloped peoples of the world. However, Christ taught that the poor will always be with us (physically, economically, and spiritually) which to my mind means no amount of money, aid, programs or whatever are going to make some people healthy, happy, productive, or less-sinful. Poverty will never go away, and the heart-on-their-sleeve Liberals will always be looking to coercively dip into someone else’s pocket to ease their lack of true understanding.

    Yes, we should each try, be compassionate, sacrifice of ourselves, time and resources to help our fellow man, whether tied to any religious sentiment or not. However, it is undoubtedly foolish to propose, from on high, this kind of worldwide, top-down, inefficient, and always controversy- and politic-ridden form of control. It is irresponsible. I know Obama’s evil intents and perverse, self-serving motivation to laud this kind of abject foolishness. I am disappointed that the head of the Catholic Church is apparently signing on to this kind of soft-headed ideology.

    I take it as a sign of the times and that we need to be circumspect about those who come among us in sheep’s clothing; that there are those who are blind to the evil influences they accept or advocate, in unwitting naiivete or delusions of doing good. Anyone who does not believe and see satanic forces are at work, twisting minds, words, laws and people to blithely do or even accept through complacency the satanic bidding, to slowly and subtely deceive, bind, and drag humankind into their camp is surely not aware of anything beyond their t.v. set.

    As I sometimes encounter a poster here in Iraq that shares a favorite theme of mine – All it takes for evil to win is for good men is to sit idle and doing nothing- my objection, or re-wording of your statement, Pro, is YES, I believe those with religious convictions should be of themselves very involved in politics, in word and deed, in our homes, communities, councils and legislatures.

  30. Wamp says:

    Pro, Sorry, I cannot get the edit function to load up over here, so let me just add this postscript – I agree in the end that a/the Church should not necessarily get involved like this, but that churches do need continue to actively be doing what they do as moral warning lights. I do think there are indeed times that the Church/churches should stand and call a spade a spade when it is so readily apparent. Otherwise, I think they lose their place. This is not one of those times or issues appropriately met with this kind of involvement.

    I think were in agreement, but I just felt to explore it a bit further. I wish I knew how to do it like some of the real talents here – short, concise, and bitingly funny.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Wamp,

      What you say is all well and good as still, to this day, this nation was founded on the Judeo-Christian ideal. After all, what else did they have to go on?

      I am pretty much of the mind that for those who find strength in religion….fine. I personally do not. I neither applaud nor condemn it. For me, it’s all wrong.

      But with that said, I have to also admit to a hypocritical side in that I do believe our system of laws to be just and I say that simply based on the fact that I was raised surrounded by the same ethic as mentioned above and believe that the ten commandments are a good place to start.

      However, in today’s uber-liberal society…I DO NOT WANT relativism to creep into our system and also for it to have ANY muslim influence such as is happening in European nations.

      There are those who come here and expect the United States to be “all things to all peoples” and it simply cannot be. This nation has limits. And inasmuch as the ideal is pretty lucrative for 99.9%, the founding fathers, I don’t believe, ever expected the muslims to want to usurp this nation and pummel its system.

      Up until recently, I am fairly certain that were it possible, Thomas Jefferson would have been able to step out of a 1790 courtroom and into a 2009 courtroom and recognize the proceedings. But if the US adopts this BS of circumventing state and federal law by even allowing the muslims their own system, then we have lost for all time

    • proreason says:

      ” I am disappointed that the head of the Catholic Church is apparently signing on to this kind of soft-headed ideology.”

      Wamp, thanks for your thoughtful and interesting posts.

      We seem to be in close agreement, but you said it more eloquently than I did. Morality is the area where churches need to lead…..not politics. Unless, of course, the political system itself is manifestly immoral.

  31. Wamp says:

    I read your response several times, Rusty, and I am assuming you are understanding me to be including Islamic ‘morals’ in my support of religious-minded people involving themselves in U.S. politics? No, I am not advocating watering- or dumbing down our laws to allow for Shari’a – I do not advocate any stoning or other of their ‘laws’ or practices which conflict with or contravene the 220+yr old US Constitution being upheld here, I don’t believe any stone-age mentality laws should be on our books, or that we need to absorb them into our statutes. I did not mean to leave either that meaning or loophole in my comments.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Ah, my mistake.

      (When we “ASSUME” and all that, eh?)

      But nonetheless, there are those in this nation that would think it a “peachy idea”. And, dare I say it, it’s gonna come to the fore someday all under the guise of “fair and equal”; A notion that gets so warped out of shape these days.

      Hopefully, I will be long gone by then.

      Thanks for the response. I kinda figured you meant it as you explained but I had to throw my (mis)perception in there if for no other reason than I’m crabby today.

  32. Wamp says:

    You are right to be on alert, Rusty, as I wish more Americans were. We pay attention to national politics, most only take any note every 4th year, and there is little attention paid to the sneaky lawyers, twisting words and easing greasily through loopholes, laying groundwork in local levels and non-interesting gov’t agencies that overtakes us incrementally, or with force and weight to which it is difficult to muster resistance. My comments certainly left loopholes (I resisted the lure of law school and that kind of methodical thought training) so it is easy to see the formulation of your response, to your credit.

    So, that is why this blog, thank you SG, is so fantastic and important in alerting us to coming menaces and current issues and twisted realities, and providing insightful input to the weaker of us (me) into insidious workings of others, while hopefully educating and spurring some to action.

    I dare to think too that I can compete in the run-on sentence derby!

  33. GetBackJack says:

    Pointless to get into arguments over a religion.


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