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Vatican: Muslims Are Bringing Back God

From those defenders of the faith (Islam) at Reuters:

Vatican thanks Muslims for returning God to Europe

Fri Nov 28, 2008

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) – A senior Vatican cardinal has thanked Muslims for bringing God back into the public sphere in Europe and said believers of different faiths had no option but to engage in interreligious dialogue.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Catholic Church’s department for interfaith contacts, said religion was now talked and written about more than ever before in today’s Europe.

“It’s thanks to the Muslims,” he said in a speech printed in Friday’s L’Osservatore Romano, the official daily of the Vatican. “Muslims, having become a significant minority in Europe, were the ones who demanded space for God in society.”

Vatican officials have long bemoaned the secularisation of Europe, where church attendance has dwindled dramatically in recent decades, and urged a return to its historically Christian roots. But Tauran said no society had only one faith.

“We live in multicultural and multireligious societies, that’s obvious,” he told a meeting of Catholic theologians in Naples. “There is no civilisation that is religiously pure.” …

The “return of God” is clearly seen in Tauran’s native France, where Europe’s largest Muslim minority has brought faith questions such as women’s headscarves into the political debate after decades when they were considered strictly private issues.

Tauran said religions were “condemned to dialogue,” a practice he called “the search for understanding between two subjects, with the help of reason, in view of a common interpretation of their agreement and disagreement.” …

Dialogue participants could not give up their religious convictions, Tauran said, but should be open to learning about the positive aspects of each others’ faith.

“Every religion has its own identity, but I agree to consider that God is at work in all, in the souls of those who search for him sincerely,” he said. “Interreligious dialogue rallies all who are on the path to God or to the Absolute.” ..

An Indian prelate, speaking after the Mumbai attacks began, said in Rome that a lack of courage to meet across faith lines was often behind religious violence in his country.

Archbishop Felix Machado of Nashik diocese, just east of Mumbai, told Italian priests the violence was caused by “inequality, a lack of justice and understanding and, above all, a lack of courage to dialogue,” the Vatican daily reported.

Yes, it is the “lack of courage to dialogue” that causes terrorism like Mumbai.


But Tauran said no society had only one faith.

Really? Is Cardinal Tauran saying that Saudi Arabia is not a society?

It sounds like he is asking for some head-separating dialogue.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, November 28th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

25 Responses to “Vatican: Muslims Are Bringing Back God”

  1. VMAN says:

    “There is no civilisation that is religiously pure.” What is this maniac talking about? Just give these Muslims an inch and they will take your head off. Literally!!! They would very much like to have a “religiously pure.” civilization. I have some Catholic friends somewhere on these pages that need to read this. This is the kind of people you follow blindly. This is how dialogue goes with Muslims. The Catholics say “Oh thank you for bringing God back into our society. Thank you so much.” To which the Muslims reply “SILENCE!!! I KILL YOU!!!” A little thanks to Jeff Dunham and Achmed the dead terrorist.

  2. bobbys says:

    I was getting a 3 piece chicken at KFC when the Pope hiself pulled up in the popemobile. I asked his holyness whasup but i saw he had Cat Stevens playing peace train on his 8 track. Well right then and there i suspected the pope had gotten out of touch.

  3. VMAN says:

    That’s a good one bobbys. Didn’t Cat Stevens change his name to Abdul Babba Dabba rama lama ding dong or something.

  4. You here are really going to take this story at face value? Really? From Reuters? Remember, people, it was this same theologically sound “reporting” that said the Pope (and priests) wear greennn vestments to show solidarity with environmentalism…except that green, in most Christian religions, is the liturgical color for Ordinary Time…a significant portion of the religious calendar year. For 30-plus Sundays, clergy wear green, and have for centuries. This is the same media that, come March/April and Easter, will trot out some hackneyed story that’s supposed to completely alter how Christians view their religion (i.e., that Christ never rose from the dead, the stupid “Gospel of Judas”, Pope Joan stories, etc.).

    There’s more to this than what Reuters is reporting. And the Vatican, in no way, condones the violence spread by a significant portion of Islam.

    You all should be smart enough to know now that the media has no use for Catholicism or the Vatican (or any conservative Christian denomination) unless they can twist the Church’s teachings into something that fits with their worldview. Try getting a rational story out of them about the Church’s teaching on sexuality or contraception, and then come back and tell me the media gives a sh*t what the Church *really* teaches.

  5. VMAN says:

    englishqueen01 I don’t mean to tick you off (yes I do) but I don’t think that language is very Christian. Ah the Catholic religion that gave us “Liberation Theology” , Father Pleger and a whole host of priests doing (well let’s not talk about that) and were NOT supposed to believe this?

  6. VMAN:

    For someone who claims to be a follower of Christ (but who adamantly denies pretty much everything Christ founded during His earthly ministry) YOU’RE the one who’s not acting exactly Christian. (See the “I don’t mean to tick you off (yes I do)” smart alec comment).

    I’ll be the first to admit the people who make up the Church – even the Pope – are not perfect. However, the TEACHINGS of the Church, including when the Pope teaches on matters of faith and doctrine, are. Give me any teaching you have a quibble with, and I’ll have no problem explaining why and how the teaching is not only the Truth, but wholly valid and WITH a basis in sacred Scripture.

    “Liberation theology” is completely and totally against orthodox Catholic doctrine. The ONLY source and parameters of the Church’s teaching are in the Catechism. That’s it. If it’s not in there, it’s not an official teaching. P-E-R-I-O-D. That includes the crap known as “liberation theology” – that was a term, and an ideology, cooked up by people from the 60s and 70s who were more into free love and the hippie revolution than they were being faithful Catholics. We’ve had to deal with the repercussions of that stupidity for 30-40 years. But you know what, VMAN – that “liberation theology” crap is just that…CRAP and it’s on the way out.

    And no doubt you’re talking about the sexual abuse scandal. As a Catholic, it is a source of shame, but here’s some sobering information for you: the priests that did the abuse were 1) often homosexual and 2) engaged not in pedophilia, but EPHEBOPHILIA, that is, an inappropriate sexual relationship with teenaged/adolescent boys…much in the way most gay men who are abusers abuse. I want to clarify that this isn’t to say – in the population at large – gays are more abusive than straights, but that in the abuse scandal, the priests who committed the abuse WERE. The priests and bishops involved make up about .0013% of all the world’s Catholics – a significant minority. Additionally, public school teachers, non-Catholic clergy, and other people are far more likely to commit acts of abuse than priests.

    The problem with the sexual abuse scandal goes back to the “liberation theology” of the 60s and 70s. Theologically liberal persons infiltrated the seminaries and Catholic institutions and sought to remake Catholicism in their own image. They often blacklisted or expelled men from the priesthood who WERE faithful and orthodox, preferring instead to let openly gay, sexually promiscuous, and hostile men be ordained instead. The goal of such behavior was to do away with not only the all-male, celibate priesthood, but to revamp the Church’s teachings on contraception, sexuality, and marriage.

    Read Goodbye, Good Men by Michael S. Rose to get an idea of what REALLY caused the problems. Here’s a hint: It wasn’t the teachings of the Church, but individuals (and evil, sick ones at that) who HATE and HATED everything about the Church. As a Catholic, I am ashamed of what the MINORITY of priests and bishops did, want healing and reconciliation for the victims, punishment for the offenders (including a loss of faculties and defrocking), and stricter scrutiny of any man entering the priesthood. I want the ranks cleared of unorthodox individuals and those positions filled with faithful men and laity.

    Priest, religious orders, and parishes that ARE orthodox are thriving and have none of the abuse problems liberal churches have. In fact, I could show you some parishes and religious orders that are flourishing so greatly they literally don’t have enough room to accomodate all the people and novitiate.

    So, no, you’re not supposed to believe what the media reports. As I said above – wait until Easter and watch the media trumpet some stupid, inaccurate, and biased story about Christianity in an attempt to undermine the faith. Or read how the media reports on Christian teaching regarding marriage, sexuality, or contraception. You’d have to be deaf, dumb, and blind NOT to see the bias. News reports are rife with it, because they ultimately do not care for nor understand Christian teaching and especially Catholic teaching.

    The Church has something called “just war criteria”, clearly outlining the parameters for engaging in war. Before war, dialogue is necessary because war should be avoided whenever necessary.

    What the Vatican official was trying to say, and what was poorly reported, is that Christians need to stop rolling over and allowing an increasingly hostile secular culture to override our rights. We need to stop being pacifists and start vocally proclaiming our faith and spreading the truth of Christ. I am no fan of Islam, but they would NEVER let atheists and secular humanists piss on them the way Christians allow our rights and freedoms to be trampled in Canada or the US.

    The Vatican is not advocating violence, and we openly condemn the violence and persecution that takes place in the Muslim world, but we have a duty to be peaceful to a fault…which is why dialogue comes before fighting.

    Being conservative, I judge how worthy a position or person is by the level of hatred and anger that position/person generates from the left and the MSM. For example – Sarah Palin made the left and MSM go absolutely batsh*t crazy…something that indicates, to me, she’s got something going for her that they perceive as a threat.

    Same thing for Catholicism. We not only get hammered from the left, but are hated from certain circles on the right as well. Believe me – I’ve been called every name in the book, and seen HORRIBLE things done to my fellow Catholics, because of our faith. Only something wholly accurate and truthful can generate as much vitriol as the Catholic faith…which is why I am unashamed to say I am Catholic, unashamed to proclaim my faith, and will unabashedly defend it.

  7. VMAN says:

    So Christ came to earth to found the Catholic church? I was under the impression that He came to earth to reconcile us to God the Father by His sacrifice on the cross. To wash away our sins by His blood. To set the captives free. To overcome this world. Can we agree that religion stinks and that these words pretty much sum thing up (sorry this is Lutheran not Catholic and I’m not Lutheran but I do think this works)

    We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.

    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
    he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
    and was made man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the Scriptures;
    he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.

    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
    He has spoken through the Prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.

    If you need a priest to help you through that well OK I don’t

  8. So Christ came to earth to found the Catholic church? I was under the impression that He came to earth to reconcile us to God the Father by His sacrifice on the cross.

    He did come to save and reconcile us. But – in order to carry on His teachings and keep them consistent throughout the millenia – Christ also founded the Church. See specifically Matthew 16:13-19:

    When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi 9 he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
    They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, 10 others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
    He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
    11 Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
    Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood 12 has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
    And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
    I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven
    . 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    If that’s not a Scriptural basis for the Church – nothing is. And, with respect to my fellow non-Catholic Christians, the teachings of the Church have been around for 2,000 years and remained consistent all that time. Occassionally, the need has arose for the Church to CLARIFY those teachings, and there are break-away sects that don’t adhere to one (or more) of the doctrines…but the parishes that are in full communion with Rome (be they in Wisconsin or Africa) has the EXACT same set of doctrinal beliefs and always had. There are many Protestant denominations (Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist) each with its own interpretation and doctrine, and new ones appearing all the time.

    Catholics say the words of the Nicene creed at every Mass because it’s the central belief of our faith. It sums up everything we believe, and if that’s what you believe, too…you have more in common with Catholics (and other Christians who use the Nicene Creed) than you think or care to acknowledge. I’ve no problem standing shoulder to shoulder with my fellow Christians to defeat the evils of Mammon, but I’m never going to admit religion stinks, because it doesn’t. Without organized religion – which is founded on the Gospel – you don’t get “nothing”…you get anything.

  9. Anonymoose says:

    Whoa kids, time out! Let’s not start another civil war amongst each other, that’s what they want. You think the Rainbow Coalition would hold together for five minutes if they didn’t have the right as a common enemy? We need to take the same approach and stay united.

  10. VMAN says:

    Of course there is a church. Doesn’t it say that in the Nicene creed? The word catholic simply means universal. So we’re talking about the universal church be it Pentecostal, Baptist, Church of Christ, Weslyan, Methodist, Lutheran or even Catholic. When the disciples heard another group using Jesus name He (Jesus) said if they are not against us then they are for us. Let’s leave it at that. I am not against you. I do have my opinions though and of course we all know what opinions are like.
    NOSES OF COURSE!!! Everybody has one. Please forgive me for offending you.

  11. VMAN:

    You haven’t offended me. I just guess I have a hard time reconciling your “you don’t need a priest/pastor” sentiments with your approval of the Nicene Creed. However, I can’t, in good faith, sit by and allow misconceptions and misunderstandings about my faith be perpetuated.

    No doubt everyone has opinions and everyone is entitled to them – for better or for worse. As I said above, and elsewhere, I’m all for standing beside my fellow Christians (and even the Mormons, who are the target of the hateful left) – regardless of the differences in doctrine – to defeat our common enemy.

  12. U NO HOO says:

    The question I read once upon a time was, “What would Jesus say about capital punishment?”

    I suspect, based on scripture and the good and bad thief, Jesus would say of capital punishment, give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s.

    And another thing, what has happened to Massachusetts since the Puritans arrived.

  13. Dangerous says:

    Englishqueen: It’s always wonderful to see another believer who is willing and able to defend their beliefs and deal with common misconceptions about their faith. You’ve saved me a fair bit of time here.

    VMAN: I find it a bit odd that you use the Nicene Creed to say all organized religions are unnecessary. It’s just that the creed was drafted by the heads of the Catholic Church, coming together in response to a schism within the Catholic Church. The creed was created to bind the Church together as one and protect it from heresies.

    Now, on to the point of this comment.

    Ultimately, while unpleasant, a muslim presence in Europe can do nothing but good for the Church. They will attack it on as many grounds as they think they can win and it will grow. They will kill its adherents and members, and it will grow. They will tax it, punish it, try to break it, and it will grow.

    Historically, Christianity (and for the first 1500ish years that means the Catholic Church) has grown very quickly under oppression. According to Roman belief, the Church was made up of incestuous cannibals who were going to destroy Rome by angering the gods, spirits and other such creatures who supposedly protected it by not sacrificing to them what they deserved. They made a national sport of killing us. Despite this, the rate at which the Church grew in the Roman empire could only be described as explosive. One of the most zealous prosecutors of Christianity, Saul, converted after God knocked him off his horse and blinded him. With a new name to reflect his new outlook he wrote a good portion of what would become the new testament. Through him, God converted a great many people, and his words still help us today.

    It is a death sentence to convert from Islam to Christianity. It is at risk of rape and slavery that Christian girls walk openly in public in areas of the Middle East. It is illegal to build new church buildings, or to try to convert muslims. And yet, today, the Church grows in the Middle East. If the muslims take Europe, the church will grow in response. While life is easy, people think they don’t need God. When life gets hard, people search for answers, and there’s one author out there who knows them all because He made them. As the good Cardinal said in the speech Reuters chopped up above,”God is at work in all, in the souls of those who search for him sincerely” and as the muslim population increases in Europe so will the number of those who search for God. If you don’t believe me regarding the growth, I urge you to pick up and take a read through a book called Secret Believers, authored by Brother Andrew and Al Janssen. It will scare you and infuriate you and kindle hope all at the same time.

    Now, I’d much prefer we just kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity, but hey, I’m not perfect and I’m not in charge, so for now I’ll trust in the creator of everything.

  14. heather08 says:

    The secular left is happy when conservative Catholics, Protestants and Mormons fight amongst themselves. We should be joining together because we are all on the same page on social issues. Also, I am not Catholic, but I agree with Englishqueen that negative articles about Catholics–and evangelicals and Mormons–in the mainstream press should be taken with a grain of salt.

  15. DEZ says:

    We have more dangerous beasts to fight.

  16. 11ten1775 says:

    Not exactly Thomas Aquinas, is he? Whatever variety a religious leader comes from, if he’s cool with any “sincere” path you take to find God or “the Absolute,” then he’s a fraud. Of course, our Evangelical president said something similar not too long ago… Sigh. Why do I feel the need to blame some of this on Oprah? Is her show on in Vatican City?

  17. Liberals Demise says:

    Wonder how the Vatican feels about the terrorist killing humans with the forethought of 72 virgins waiting for them in heaven……..willing to give up their chastity….in Gods realm?
    If it was me…I’d want a slut thrown in somewhere.

  18. Chinnubie says:

    I was brought up through 12 years of Catholic Schools and it’s teachings. I also had a father that was an athiest or agnostic, whatever but he basically would explain to me the scientific side of things. I know to believe in God you must have faith but I have to admit I can find no way to see how there is some entity looking down deciding what is best for everybody. For one thing if God really existed BHO would not have been able to achieve the status as POTUS because we all here know in our hearts he is not at all good for this country.

    I know the Gospels are written from word-of-mouth 2-300 years after the events took place and I have a hard time believing hear-say as absolute truth. Do you guys really think Adam & Eve existed? I know that is Old Testament but those are good stories to help people on how to have better morality in their day to day living. This is the same thing with Jesus Christ I think he was an excellent prophet with some really good teaching but a Demi-God or half-human half-god, I simply do not buy it.

    Organized religion has killed how many people in the name of whatever God? All I see in organized religion is a good excuse to make some people very rich. Inherently people are good and it is out of nature that we are this way not religion. I read Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason” and I think he has nailed it in terms of religious belief and what or who God may be.

    I am conservative because it is the right way to think for the betterment of my country and my children. I am greatful that religion helps people to understand conservatism and what befuddles me is that liberals go to church and are unable to understand what it is that is being taught to them in terms of morality.

  19. U NO HOO says:

    I’m a Christian until someone produces The Body.

  20. U NO HOO says:

    Stop the blogs, the beltway boys are discussing Obama’s you tube view about college football championships.

    Whew, finally, Obama has solved something important.

  21. cjokry says:

    Chinnubie, I understand the desire to dismiss religion as a crutch, especially after experiencing first hand some of the half-hearted teaching and catechesis the catholic schools have been dishing up over the last several decades. However, science does not refute catholic doctrine. Yes, a species can descend entirely from a common pair of ancestors. No, the universe could not have banged itself into existence of it’s own accord. And as for Jesus, either he was the Son of God, or he was a fraud/lunatic; you can’t say he was good, but not Divine.

    The BHO election doesn’t disprove God either. After all, if catholics had followed the Vatican as blindly as VMAN suggested way up at the top of this strain, he wouldn’t have gotten elected. They voted exactly like the rest of the population, disregarding life issues in favor of ‘hope & change.’ Yes, liberals go to church, too. Some of them even go to my church, apparently. But God gave them the free will to act, speak and vote that way. Myself and other like-minded catholics, including the Pope and most church officials, failed to compel them to the properly formed point of view. After all, we can’t just pray for the Almighty to commit ballot fraud for us (that’s for the liberals); we have to get out and talk to people and make it happen, and we just didn’t pull it off. (We were relying too much on our evangelical brothers and sisters to win it for us again.)

    As for the article itself, guys, what do you think the “head for the Catholic Church’s department of interfaith contacts” was going to say? It just wouldn’t be very politic to say “I’m cutting off all interfaith contact with the muslims. I’m tired of making up these limp excuses for them, and they just keep blowing things and people up in the name of their polygamist pedophile violent catholic heretic warlord of a prophet. I’m done with this sh*t. G’night.”

    Okay, that totally would’ve been better.

  22. Icarus says:

    Chinnubie, with all due respect, it has been awhile since I’ve come across such irrational gibberish. Right of the top…
    “I was brought up through 12 years of Catholic Schools and it’s teachings. I also had a father that was an atheist …”
    Expecting 12 years of Catholic “schooling” to bring you closer to our Lord Jesus Christ is inane.
    Also…Your father did you no favour… Why would he send you to catholic School and then assert his viewpoint of atheism to you? I don’t know specifically what Neurosis you’ve developed… but don’t give up. On the surface, common sense does not appear to have run in your family! You can change that!

    Chinnubie … All the questions you’ve posed in your discourse have simple, uncomplicated answers… problem is your not looking for truth; one reason could be that it may convict you, or inconvenient to you lifestyle… better to live by a flexible (ever changing) personal morality, rather than God’s!……. right buddy?

    Chinnubie why do you believe (I get the feeling you do) whole heartedly in cruel and cold Science… that say’s your family and children that you love are just part of a larger accident (just chance)… and at anytime you will all cease to be!
    Why would you believe in something like that?
    Something so empty, so unproven, so hypothetical with more holes than a pasta strainer!

    Listen I still have Questions but many have been answered.
    Who are you (or me… or anybody) that God should reveal himself instantly?
    What Faith I required in that?
    I recognize God from without and within and through his word. Try starting here.
    Do you ask as many questions (of doubt) to science?
    I bet you don’t! Yet you seem to have faith in the word of the science book.
    Your no scientist.. You have to go on what your told.
    Watch the Film “Contact” you’ll find it interesting.
    It will better explain this point I’m trying to make… and it’s a very entertaining movie as well.

    Chinnubie, My Journey has been one of slow revelations, slowly the Lord has and is answering my questions, but it always had to come from “me” – my freewill, my desire to seek him out and fight (spiritually) to know him.

  23. U NO HOO says:

    “I was brought up through 12 years of Catholic Schools”

    I know someone like that, 12 years of Catholic school and he was surprised that his priest acted sternly when my acquaintance showed up one day with a Protestant wife he married in a Lutheran church and their baby. They wanted to baptise their baby. The “Catholic” had no idea he should have been married in a CATHOLIKC church if he is CATHOLIC.

    Catholicism is perfect, but not Catholics.

  24. Dangerous says:

    cjokry: +1. I wish he had said something more along those lines.

    Chinnubie: I went through 12 years of Catholic schools, but the majority of what I’ve learned about religion started with my parents and expanded into the reading I’ve done on the subject. As such, I can actually clear up a couple misconceptions you’ve got.

    First, science and religion.
    Science and religion are not at odds; they mesh very well. Some of the best evidences for something bigger than time, space and the rest of the universe come from modern astrophysics (I’ve got a degree in this, so trust me on this one.) Modern science is based on the idea that, rather than a random occurrence, the universe was created according to some order and design by a powerful intelligence. Therefore, there are rules that are discoverable and reliable. Einstein, Newton, Galileo, Kepler… these men were not atheists. I’m going to pull out a couple Einstein quotes because they work so well to show what I’m saying. Einstein, while searching for what could be called the theory of everything, said “I want to know all God’s thoughts; all the rest are just details.” Science doesn’t search for the random chance, it looks for laws and rules and it finds them. When Einstein was working with other scientists to create quantum mechanics, he complained about the way that it’s based on probabilities with the phrase “God does not play dice,” and his peer Niels Bohr responded with something along the lines of ‘Who are you to tell God what to do?’ So, if religion was good enough for some of the greatest minds in science in the last century, and required by the greatest minds in the centuries before that, I’ll keep it as a viable option.

    Second, gospels as word-of-mouth only being written a couple centuries after Jesus’ death.
    Courtesy of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we have evidence that the Gospel of John, thought to be the last of the Gospels written, may have been the first, whole and complete before AD100. That means that while this would have been written and spread, there still would have been people alive who could refute it, but no Roman or Jewish writings that say “No, this guy was there and that’s not what he heard/saw” have surfaced. The new testament also has far more surviving physical copies than any other historical text of that era. This allows them to confirm phrasing and meaning by cross-referencing each other. So, we know that people wrote what they saw, or wrote what they were told, firsthand, what someone saw, and no one else disagreed with the facts, only the meanings. No eyewitness disagreed that Jesus healed this person or performed that miracle, and they would very much have liked to throw evidence at the freak cult that seemed to be popping up in His wake.

    Third, Jesus as God, or Jesus as very nice guy.
    Jesus claimed to be God. This leaves us with three possibilities. 1 – He was God. 2 – He was lying. 3 – He was crazy. He had a dozen men follow Him around everywhere. He spoke with them, taught them and had them around for years. They died. Horribly. And they held to their convictions. People will die for a lie they think is truth, but they will not die for a lie they know is a lie. If Jesus was just crazy, these men would have known it. If He had been lying, they would have caught it. In neither case would they have done what they did – help create a community that has lasted for two millenia, and die in the doing.

    Organized religion as killing people and making money.
    The biggest culprits for the church killing people are the spanish inquisition and the crusades. The crusades were largely in reaction to expansion of muslim rule even up into Spain. A lot of bad things happened on both sides of this series of wars, but I’ve never heard of any nice wars from medieval times. The Inquisition lasted for around 350 years, and estimates range around in the tens of thousands for people killed. 32,000-40,000 seem like popular numbers, although some estimates range up to above 125,000 and below 8,000. Atheism (through Hitler’s fascism) saw 11-17 (depending who you count) killed; through Stalin atheism knocked off anywhere between 20 and 60 million. Documentation is spotty and people did their best to rewrite history there, so the exact figure’s a bit tough to determine. Mao had more than 70 million killed in peacetime. I’ll go with organized religion during peacetime. (As long as infidels exist on earth, Islam doesn’t have peacetime, if anyone’s wondering.)
    Making Money? The Catholic Church has created and is associated with a ridiculous number of charitable organizations which do a lot of very good things for very unfortunate people.

    I am glad that you are grateful for church teaching the basis for conservative values (ie. personal responsibility before God and man) to any who attend.

    Now, to put a little bit of this post on topic: Looking at the Vatican’s reaction to muslim aggression I just wish they’d act a bit more like Jesus. See, I remember the gospels mentioning one time where Jesus came into the temple, and saw vendors and moneychangers making it into a marketplace. He trashed their little market, used some cords as a whip and chased them out for defiling a holy place. There are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed. I’m curious where that line is today. I’m reminded of an anecdote, where a professional boxer, after retiring, became a Christian. Now, a jerk in the area where he lived discovered this and soundly mocked him for it. Finally, the day came when this jerk hit the boxer in the face. The boxer said “Turn the other cheek” and did, returning no further aggression. Emboldened by this, the jerk struck out once more. At that point the boxer said “The Lord gave me no further instructions” and beat the guy half to death. I think right now the Church is being antagonized, and there’s a couple real blows to be had before the Vatican will change its tune. Still, God is in charge of everything, and in the long run everything will work out according to His plan. That doesn’t mean I’ll like His plan or that I don’t want to be a good shot, though.

  25. VMAN says:

    Icarus and Dangerous both well said. I can tell you are both much smarter that I am. Science is absolutely not at odds with the Bible. As to Chinnubie faith is a very personal thing. If you want God to reveal Himself to you and are sincere He will. But do pay attention. If you don’t OH WELL. Paul told us to be all things to all people that we might save SOME. It’s not really our job anyway. We’re just gardeners but God brings the increase. It’s like this if we are as high as it goes and there no one or nothing greater than us then we are in big trouble.

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