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BS: Another View of Religion

Joe Offer 31 Mar 11 - 09:07 PM
Amos 30 Mar 11 - 08:20 PM
Little Hawk 26 Mar 11 - 01:01 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 11 - 04:23 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Mar 11 - 09:23 PM
Ed T 25 Mar 11 - 06:04 PM
Crowhugger 25 Mar 11 - 05:41 PM
Ed T 25 Mar 11 - 05:40 PM
Dave MacKenzie 25 Mar 11 - 04:53 PM
Little Hawk 25 Mar 11 - 04:48 PM
Ebbie 25 Mar 11 - 02:59 PM
Joe Offer 25 Mar 11 - 04:21 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 11 - 04:07 AM
Joe Offer 25 Mar 11 - 01:27 AM
Little Hawk 24 Mar 11 - 08:22 PM
The Fooles Troupe 24 Mar 11 - 08:19 PM
Little Hawk 24 Mar 11 - 06:18 PM
Wesley S 24 Mar 11 - 05:17 PM
Little Hawk 24 Mar 11 - 04:34 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 11 - 04:03 PM
Little Hawk 24 Mar 11 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,Patsy 24 Mar 11 - 07:14 AM
Joe Offer 24 Mar 11 - 01:53 AM
Little Hawk 23 Mar 11 - 07:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 11 - 06:35 PM
Greg F. 23 Mar 11 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,Eliza 23 Mar 11 - 05:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 11 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Eliza 23 Mar 11 - 02:57 PM
Bill D 23 Mar 11 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,Patsy 23 Mar 11 - 09:00 AM
Joe Offer 23 Mar 11 - 02:29 AM
Little Hawk 23 Mar 11 - 01:24 AM
DMcG 22 Mar 11 - 07:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Mar 11 - 06:11 PM
Ed T 22 Mar 11 - 03:57 PM
freda underhill 22 Mar 11 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 22 Mar 11 - 07:36 AM
Joe Offer 22 Mar 11 - 04:30 AM
freda underhill 21 Mar 11 - 06:52 PM
Little Hawk 21 Mar 11 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 21 Mar 11 - 12:11 PM
freda underhill 21 Mar 11 - 10:42 AM
freda underhill 21 Mar 11 - 10:30 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Mar 11 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Patsy 21 Mar 11 - 09:11 AM
Dave MacKenzie 21 Mar 11 - 05:56 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Mar 11 - 05:02 AM
Little Hawk 21 Mar 11 - 01:31 AM
Janie 21 Mar 11 - 01:20 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 09:07 PM

Jim Carroll says:

    Hi Joe,
    I apologise if I have over-reacted - (not uncommon nowadays).
    At the time of the Ryan report being issued, an organisation was set up here in Ireland (L.O.V.E.?) the aim of which was transparently to debunk or at least, to call into question the findings of the tribunals. It attempted to place a question mark over all the cases coming to light, giving the overall impression that it was a plot against the church. I can no longer find a reference to it so I assume it died the death it deserved.


Hi, Jim-
Yes, I've heard the people who try to say the whole sexual abuse thing is an attempt to discredit the Catholic Church, or that it's a "homosexual conspiracy," or any number of things that try to turn the tables. It's all garbage, and most Catholics I know pay little heed to it. I encountered one of those "deniers" yesterday, and ruffled her feathers a bit. A crusty (and very humorous) Irish-born nun spoke to support me. Yes, there are a few ornery Catholics who attempt to deny the impact of the sexual abuse scandal, but that number is very small.

Most of the Catholics I know, think the exposure of the sexual abuse scandal provided a much-needed catharsis for the Catholic Church. My biggest concern is that some bishops still don't "get" it; and seem to blame the problem on disobedience to their long-lost authority, instead of on their own irresponsibility.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 08:20 PM

A discussion with Dawkins and his counterpoint, of interest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 01:01 PM

I'm relieved to hear that, Steve. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 04:23 AM

Hi Joe,
I apologise if I have over-reacted - (not uncommon nowadays).
At the time of the Ryan report being issued, an organisation was set up here in Ireland (L.O.V.E.?) the aim of which was transparently to debunk or at least, to call into question the findings of the tribunals. It attempted to place a question mark over all the cases coming to light, giving the overall impression that it was a plot against the church. I can no longer find a reference to it so I assume it died the death it deserved.
I'm sure you are right that there will be the occasional ghoul who will attempt to profit from the affair; we can only hope that those dealing with the cases can sort them out.
But this should not stand in the way of uncovering the very many cases that have not yet come to light - not in order to extract 'revenge', but to recognise that a great wrong has been done to a great number of people (children) who have had both their bodies and their faith violated.
In this way, perhaps we can make sure that it doesn't happen again.
Best,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 09:23 PM

People who are bent on being put off can be put off by practically anything.

Very good. You're not as bad as I thought. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Ed T
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 06:04 PM

"and things based on information from reputable 3rd parties"

Unfortunately for many abused children, really good sexual abusers make sure there is no third party around at the time of the abuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Crowhugger
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 05:41 PM

There might be exceptions but I think it's fair to say that I tend to believe a great variety of things, including those that seem to be true on the balance of probabilities and things based on information from reputable 3rd parties. I believe things I have verified directly for myself. Rightly or wrongly, it's in that light that I understood Joe's remark.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Ed T
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 05:40 PM

"I tend to believe most of the allegations"
Unfortunitely, some RC's even disbelieve (d) cases that were proven to the satisfaction of the courts...but fortunately, due to a significant number of cases in many world locals, that number is decreasing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 04:53 PM

I think Joe said exactly what he meant. Anything else would have been waffle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 04:48 PM

People who are bent on being put off can be put off by practically anything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 02:59 PM

"I tend to believe most of the allegations" Joe Offer

I suspect that the sentence itself is what is offputting to some. Had you said, "I believe most of the allegations", it would be a more accurate statement of your stance, I think. You then could add: "I tend to DISbelieve some of the allegations", no one could find fault with it. imo


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 04:21 AM

Jim, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree. I believe all the allegations published in the official reports from Ireland, but I don't believe all allegations from all claimants. A small number of the stories just don't hold up to scrutiny, and appear to come from greedy people seeking a fat settlement. That's what I meant when I said "I tend to believe most of the allegations" - and I believe them even without proof. Certainly, there's no condescending tone in such a statement. Give me at least a little credit. Why would I have any reason to be condescending?

This is what I was talking about in the first message of this thread. When we assume what others think and don't accept what they have to say for themselves, we do each other a disservice and make true discussion impossible. If you continue to tell me what I think, how can I have a chance at fair discussion with you? Doesn't my own expression of my own opinion count for anything?

Respectfully,
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 04:07 AM

"I "tend to believe most of the allegations against priests"
Sorry Joe, but the whole phrase oozes condescention, to me at least.
Your 'tending to believe' suggests that there might be some lingering doubt.
There is no doubt at all that these crimes were committed.
There is no doubt at all that the church - from top to bottom - facilitated these crimes and colluded in hiding them so the criminals might continue their abusive behaviour - for decades, in some cases, and, when they finally were discovered, remain unpunished.
There is no doubt at all that the the church as a body is continuing to hinder further investigations into the crimes, as they have done from the very beginning.
There is no doubt at all that little more than lip-service has been paid to the part played by the church as a organisation in the whole sordid affair, and this being the case, those victims continue to suffer by being treated as 'a problem to be solved' rather than the victims of a horrendous crime.
The only remaining doubt is the enormity of the crimes and how long they have been going on.
These are not the crimes of individuals; they are crimes committed by the church as a body - the only thing that is in doubt is how much more remains to be discovered.
There is little, if any "recycling of old stories", (another phrase which casts doubt on the seriousness and the extent of these crimes); you make it sound as if the media are scraping the bottom of the sensation barrel to keep the affair alive. We still know very little about the cases that have been uncovered so far - the Brendan Smyth affair, recently aired here on television, only hit the fan because of the depths of the man's depravity and the lengths to which the church as an organisation went in covering up his crimes - he actually caused the fall of an Irish government. He never once showed anything but contempt for his victims and died in prison after serving only two years of his sentence.
What should happen now?
The church must throw open its books to the world in order that we know who these people are, what they did and to what extent the church knowingly allowed it to happen - the holocaust victims of the Nazis were granted at least that - eventually (I have heard the abuses being referred to as 'Ireland's second holocaust - the Great Famine being the first).
Whether the victims of the atrocities are paid compensation and how much, should be decided openly and include full consulation with those victims and anybody else effected adversely by the affair; a full recognition of the events would at least restore some dignity to their lives.
And finally - something that is starting to happen slowly - the church must play no part, certainly no compulory part, in the education of children, and be no more than spiritual guides to those who voluntarily seek them out for advice - which is what they should always have been.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 01:27 AM

I love you, you love me......click for Gargoyle's most popular threads.

Jim, how can you tell I'm condescending when I say I "tend to believe most of the allegations against priests"? I suppose it's an endless battle - how much investigation is enough? How much retribution is enough? How long after a crime is committed, is it worthwhile to pursue it? Everyone who breathes Irish air has ancillary responsibility for what happened - who do you blame, and how much do you make them pay?

You can pursue crimes forever and still not have justice satisfied. You can consume a nation with an ever-broadening witch hunt. But at what point does retribution begin to destroy the very thing it seeks to heal?

There is absolutely no doubt in my my mind that these were horrible crimes, and that they were widespread. But what can and should be done about them now?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 08:22 PM

Anything but that!!! (crossing myself nervously...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 08:19 PM

Wesley!

Say not his name three times, lest he appear!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 06:18 PM

Ah!!! Yes, I did. Major oversight. ;-D I am definitely in favour of liberating children from Barney's baleful influence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 05:17 PM

Little Hawk - Good list. But you left out Barney the Purple Dinosaur.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 04:34 PM

Great, Jim. ;-) Now if we could just do something about the government, the military, the marketing industries, the mass media, the fashion industry, and the drug companies wheedling their way into the minds of our children...

All of them doing it, you may note, for either money (in most cases)...or power...or both of those put together.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 04:03 PM

"As a result, this gives a disproportionately negative view of the Catholic Church,"
Which is greatly outbalanced by the fact that the two reports on clericl abuse were greatly limited by the period covered in time and the areas investigated.
Not only are there numbers of areas calling for enquiries to be held in their diocese, but whole institutions have been deliberately omitted because of the can of worms they would open up - The Magdelene Laundries, for instance. It appears that abuses have been going on nationwide and possibly for centuries. It is quite possible that Northern Ireland will hold its own enquiry this year and European countries such as Malta and Belgium are now becoming aware that widespread abuse was happening on a large enough scale to merit their own enquiries.   
You may, rather condescendingly IMO, "tend to believe most of the allegations against priests", but I don't think you begin to understand either the extent nor the depth to which these events have effected Irish life.
I was in on a conversation between two volunteer workers who have devoted much of their spare time to working with children, one on sport, the other on music. They were describing how it was now forbidden to associate with four children or less unchaperoned - sad but inevitable.
I used to think that non-denominational education, where catholicism was taught as a philosophy alongside other world religions, was a pipe-dream on my part; now I believe I was being unduely passimistic.
One thing is certain, the church will never again be allowed to wheedle its way into the minds and lives of children in the way it has up to now - thank..... er!!!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 01:36 PM

Patsy - Yeah, I bet. ;-D Subtle prejudice of that sort is found quite commonly among both the religious and the non-religious, and they dutifully attempt to pass it on to their children. I can relate to your frustration and annoyance regarding that.

Those forms which ask if you're "religious" or "non-religious" are annoying too....because they force a person to choose between 2 simplistic answers, 2 opposites, either one of which may be a misleadind answer!

They should have a 3rd box to tick that says: "I think you just asked me a stupid question, and I'm not going to answer it."


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 07:14 AM

Little Hawk I was interested to read the forth paragraph down, one thing they bequeathed to me, nasty subtle predudices .........this was how my parents were only the other way around as C of E Christians. They have always had such a fixed opinionated attitude about everything regarding other forms of religion, orientation, morality etc. over the years especially in my teens it drove me to distraction. They have always been good caring parents despite all of that but now that they are elderly I would rather let whatever they say ride over rather than confront it or make an issue of it but it still has me ticking the (non-religious) box on a any form.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 01:53 AM

Joe says: "Catholics still excommunicate members, but they're much more polite about it nowadays."

Bill says: sorry, Joe... but that makes me alternately giggle and sigh.


Joe responds: I think my usual response is grinding my teeth, but sometimes I'm able to muster up some gallows humor.

Luckily, the political machinations in Rome and in bishops' offices have very little effect on my life in the Catholic Church. I belong to a congregation of nice people who hold me in high regard (with the occasional exception of the pastor, with whom I have a love-hate relationship). I work at a women's center where people think I can do no wrong, and I'm an associate member of a community of Mercy nuns who treat me like a prince. And I'm on my way home from a Los Angeles gathering of 40,000 Catholics that gave me some solid intellectual and spiritual stimulation - and a lot of fun and good music.

So, all in all, my experience as a Catholic is very positive.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 07:48 PM

I think it does have "mostly to do with parential or family influences", Patsy. Just as you surmised.

In my case, I started out life as an atheist. Why? Well, because my parents were, of course, and that was a viewpoint I was very familiar with and comfortable with at the age when you imagine that your parents know everything. ;-) Later on you find out that they don't!

When that grim and stunning realization hits at around the onset of puberty usually, you may still go on basically playing out the same set of beliefs your parents passed on to you...or you may rebel against some of those beliefs and reject them. I did carry on a good deal of what my parents bequeathed me, and I rejected a good deal of it, depending on various different factors...mainly I rejected what I felt was irrational or of no use to me.

One thing they bequeathed me was a subtle but nasty form of prejudice and amused contempt toward anyone who belonged to a religion. I became aware of that in my 20s, took a long look at it, and decided to dump that attitude. I still have a certain suspicion of churches and mainline religion, admittedly, but I don't leap to the kneejerk assumption that people with religious or spiritual beliefs must be ignorant or stupid, because I've met far too many who are anything but.

I became very interested in spirituality as it relates to:

- ethics
- self-awareness
- relating to others
- relating to society
- relating to a sense of one's own identity and purpose
- managing consciousness
- achieving self-discipline, compassion, fairness, love, etc.

I have little or no interest in:

- religious rules
- religious power structures
- religious authorities
- religious labelling
- religious ceremonies and rituals

It's the inner person that interests me, not the outer trappings, rituals, labels or credentials. And that's why I pursue spirituality on a personal basis, but I do not belong to a religion.

I regard atheism as a faithb-based doctrine of its own. It is, quite simply, the faith that something other people believe in does NOT exist! ....without any corroborative evidence one way or the other... The firm atheist, like the firm religious fundamentalist, thinks he already knows what is real and what isn't. He doesn't, though. He knows about enough to fill one teacup, and he's standing in front of an ocean.

As a wise man once said: "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

People should admit how little they know! Most are absolutely unwilling to do that, but they'll tell you all day long how they KNOW there is "no God"...or else they KNOW that their favorite version of God is the ONLY true God out there.

I call that extreme vanity, in both cases.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 06:35 PM

No, they weren't - but other parents who failed their children were. Sadly parents can do that, whatever their religious, political, social or ethnic affiliation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 05:52 PM

They could have been atheists, Jews, Muslims or Methodists...

But they weren't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 05:31 PM

I see what you mean, McGrath of Harlow, any parental cruelty or repression puts a child off whatever the parents stand for. And conversely, one tends to choose similar paths to those of a much-loved parent. It isn't a religious matter but could apply to any opinion or viewpoint. When it concerns a faith, does it come under 'indoctrination' if one bases ones beliefs on childhood influences? I've often wondered if I would have been a C of E adherent if my parents had been, say, atheists? The true test would be a person who has a Damascus moment after being totally anti-religion into adulthood, and becomes a Christian or whatever afterwards. I admit I had many influences on me during my formative years, including a lovely Protestant nun, Sister Vernon, and a sweet old lady who taught Sunday School, Mrs Francis. You could say I was 'programmed' by these women, and my mother, to become a Christian. Their influence was so marked that I still think of them today with affection and gratitude.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 05:14 PM

I doubt if the experience of Eliza's friend really had too much to do with the fact that her parents were Catholics, rather than with the fact that they were her parents, with their own particular hangups. They could have been atheists, Jews, Muslims or Methodists and the outcome might have been very similar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 02:57 PM

Patsy, I think it depends on how the family religion was presented to the offspring. I had a colleague whose parents were so cruelly and repressively Roman Catholic that he spent a very unhappy childhood. Consequently he loathes anything to do with religion in general and Rome in particular! On the other hand, I have lovely memories of going to Church (C of E) with my mother for Evensong and snuggling up to her during the Sermon. I used to love the old words of the prayers, "We have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep..." and "Oh Lord open thou our lips, and our mouths shall show forth thy praise." I was only about five, but I adored all that and knew the responses by heart. Naturally, this must have played a part in my faith throughout my life. I still go to church every week and my mother's example is always before me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 01:08 PM

"Catholics still excommunicate members, but they're much more polite about it nowadays. "

sorry, Joe... but that makes me alternately giggle and sigh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 09:00 AM

I wonder sometimes if it is possible to go against a religious or non-religious point of view or belief because it is one that your parents held, like a rebellion of a kind. For example, an old heavy metal rocker who might have grown children now might not necessarily want to follow that path in lifestyle dress or anything else like that behaving quite conservative in style or alternatively against everything that the church stands for because it might be equated by strong parental views rather than the church itself. I am not criticising one side or another just wondering if it mostly to do with parential or family influences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 02:29 AM

I think that most of the "mainline" religions have gone beyond the "mindless sheep" paradigm in the last fifty years or more. Certainly, there are still people in every religion who want to be sheep; and there are leaders seeking followers who are sheep - but for the most part, the Catholics and "mainline" religions have gotten beyond that.
Even the recent Catholic documents on abortion and birth control are quite balanced. They are written in a rational fashion that invites discussion. Catholics still excommunicate members, but they're much more polite about it nowadays. Usually, the stiffest punishment the Catholic Church administers nowadays, is revoking a theologian's license to teach.

Many of the evangelical pastors still use "harangue" as a technique, and seem to demand far greater adherence to their preaching.

I think it's fair to say that some people have always been sheep, and they always will be sheep. They're afraid to think for themselves, and there will always be some leader eager to lead them.

But - and this is important - people who have the capacity to think for themselves, have always thought for themselves. St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), child of Spanish Jewish parents who converted to Christianity, was an intellectual giant who combined Jewish and Christian mysticism. She was threatened by the Spanish Inquisition, but she prevailed. In the process, she and St. John of the Cross reformed the Carmelite Order, which had become rich, lazy, and corrupt.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 01:24 AM

Yes, virtually ALL big organizations find things easier if their members are 'mindless sheep'. The military want that. Big business wants that. Governments want that. Almost every human organization that exists on a large scale works hard to produce conformity, obedience, predictability in its members...mindless sheep, in other words.

If someone accuses religion of doing it, but seems to forget that governments, business, and the military all do it too, then he's just making it quite clear that he has a major chip on his shoulder in regards to religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 07:00 PM

I think it slightly more accurate to say religion is often content or even find things easier if its members are 'mindless sheep' than that it particularly encourages that situation. But that is true of a huge number of organizations: whatever they say about empowerment most big businesses prefer that only a small percentage of their staff think for themselves. If someone does want to think religious tenets through more deeply, though, my personal experience is that most clergy (since Vatican II anyway) have encouraged debate and discussion rather than tried to suppress it. I can think of one priest I had who didn't (who was already in his 70s when VII came), but all the rest did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 06:11 PM

"I would contend that to be true to your faith, it would be difficult to be anything other than the mindless obedient sheep you disdain.

It's not supposed to be easy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 03:57 PM

""Wait! I'm not like that at all.""

It would be odd for anyone here to feel that other members would know what they are "like" or what their "viewpoints" or lives are from posts? I suppose we all have some internal idea what a person may be like? But, I suspect it would be wrong on many counts, if people met (which some have done so)?

We only see small snapshots of what others post. We read what they post and what we interpret they are saying (or, intending to say) on topics (threads) that we have an interest in entering. We get to see some of their posting logic, (or lack of it) a glimpse of their temperment and respect for others (or lack of it).

Unless a Mudcat relationship goes beyond that, I suspect we don't know what most people are like at all? When I meet people I have communicated with over the phone or internet, I have mostly had them pegged very different than what they are in real life. But, is that surprising?

At a minimum, I expect few here "know it all" yet? I would be surprised if most at Mudcat have gone beyond learning new things from others and are open to new concepts and ideas? I have personally found cases where my perspective has changed on a topic by quite a bit after doing some research on my own, because of a thread topic.

So, Joe, but I have no idea what you "are like" in real life, beyond what you have posted, that is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: freda underhill
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 08:00 AM

We all think we see the world objectively, as it is. If others don't agree we think that either they have not been exposed to the relevant facts or else they are blinded by their belief or philosophy. In other words, "everyone else is prejudiced, except me, I see things as they are". That view then allows some to point the finger.

It's a pain dealing with other people's judgements and prejudices and only the most noble or patient can be unaffected. But fingerpointers have to live with themselves all the time - that's their own punishment!

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 07:36 AM

Ah, but how much does a religion wish you to be independent Joe?

You see, the problem is that the mainstream religions are mainstream because of long history, corporate structures and integration in originally feudal societies.

the role of religion was to tame the masses and keep them obedient. Jam tomorrow and all that. (Or specifically, "Blessed are the meek" "easier for a camel ..." and other ways of keeping you in your place.)

The view of your faith as you articulate it, (and do it well I may add) is your adaptation, picking the parts that are relevant and ignoring the reasons for its survival over the last couple of thousand years.

Seriously, I would contend that to be true to your faith, it would be difficult to be anything other than the mindless obedient sheep you disdain.

Sadly, the paedophiles who choose the cloth know this and have exploited it throughout the ages.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 04:30 AM

Hi, Jim Carroll-
I tend to believe most of the allegations against priests who molest and bishops who cover up molestation, and other allegations of misconduct in the Catholic Church. This is the stuff that gets in the press, and the press seems to be recycling old stories when they don't get new ones. As a result, this gives a disproportionately negative view of the Catholic Church, and that's what's unfair. When the misdeeds are discussed directly instead of as generalizations, the discussion moves much closer to fairness.
The general tenor of discussion at Mudcat tends to classify all religious people as mindlessly obedient sheep, and that's just not the case. Many of us are quite independent.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: freda underhill
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 06:52 PM

thanks LH, and Joe for this interesting thread. nothing like a good ramble through people's minds to while away the evening!

(Pastafarian seems a good philosophy to get your teeth into!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 01:02 PM

Excellent posts, Freda! I went through a process quite similar to yours. There was certainly an Anti-Christian undercurrent in my parents and in my upbringing...not that it was very overt...but it was there in the form of a sort of humorous (if tolerant) contempt for church people and religious people. It took me until my middle 20s to become aware of this kneejerk form of judgement I was applying to people just because they belonged to a religion, and I've been working to get rid of carrying that prejudice ever since, because, like any other prejudice, it's an ugly thing.

I am well aware of the bad things done by religious people over the ages. And the good things too. And I am well aware of the bad things done by anti-religious people over the ages. And the good things too.

But I have no basis for making automatic negative judgements upon other individuals because they are or are not "religious". Nor do I have to take sides in some sort of crusade to either promote religion or stamp it out.

People have to look at their own grudges that they've been carrying around for most of their lives, and question them stringently. Most people don't do that. They just go on carrying the same old grudges until the day they die and inflicting them on whoever crosses their path. That's not thinking behaviour, and it doesn't help resolve anything. It just repeats the negativity of the past and produces more negativity in the future. It's an indulgence that the indulger would be wise to let go of. If he did, he'd be a lot more enjoyable to be around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 12:11 PM

mm A few interesting posts since I last looked in, and a reply from Joe O. to my earlier points.

Also interesting to note that Eliza reckons this has been a grown up debate rather than from the nursery. I suppose Joe's original post was to invite honest debate rather than crucifixes at ten paces.

However.....

There is a whiff of people not happy that they are being judged by association. if you are a member of a religion, you don't like to be seen in terms of the more odious fringe of that particular cult. i can see your point, really can. I am an ex miner, a football fan and drive round in a flash car c/w Oakley shades covering my ugly mush. All these invite stereotyping, and I don't personally identify with being a pit moggy, hooligan or yuppie. I do accept though that people may sometimes judge me as such and (hopefully) be pleasantly pleased when I behave in polite company.

Same with religion. I am (I have said before) somewhat jealous of people who can, through ignorance or deep thought, believe that there is a dude with a big white beard looking out for them. I don't have that and have no more than the big zero to look forward to.

But... Most people with religious conviction seem, (to me at any rate) to be very precious about their belief and have problems with other people dismissing their viewpoint. Many wish that we all shared their belief, as of course, their teaching is that the God dude exists therefore he affects you whether you believe in him or not.

That is unfair if you ask me. He only affects me in that

1. My wife's mother and brother think I am evil because their daughter no longer goes to church.

2. Certain products cannot be purchased at certain times on a Sunday.

Neither are positive effects, so no wonder I reject the idea of religion having more influence. I donated to the secular society recently, not because I want to join a crusade as such, but to help in their quest to ensure the upcoming census reflects the overwhelming apathy that the bishops construe as being active Christian, and strengthen their role in society.

Anyway, if I hear anybody being labelled as "pious" I can't help thinking they mean "sanctimonious"

If you want to know about the TRUE belief, read up on we pastafarians. I don't know what we are supposed to believe, but I joined the church anyway so I could put it on forms that ask for religion. If you do read up, can you tell me what I am supposed to believe?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: freda underhill
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 10:42 AM

Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

(Tao Te Ching)


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: freda underhill
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 10:30 AM

I grew up in an athiest family, and was quite intolerant of Christians and Christianity. My father was a Catholic who was "cast out" by his Irish Australian family when he gave up his faith. He was a rational, intelligent and very humane man who I adored, and I I thought all Christians were like those who had hurt my father.

It wasn't til my late 30s that I recognised that I was anti-Christian. Meeting people who didn't fit my stereotyped views helped me realise I was looking through a funnel. And people who made a significant impact challenged my prejudices.

The Sisters of Mercy here do fantastic work wioth prisoners. Catholics here were working with people with Aids, the homeless and refugees. I have met some very brave and outstanding Catholics working in these fields. What is a philosophy worth? It's what you do with it, and Christians have been at the forefront of social change, including the union movement, which developed out of a bunch of troublemaking Methodists in Tolpuddle.

My own experience has been through meditation and the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism. Buddhism in particular I find fascinating. No focus on deity, more on understanding and insight into managing life, as in the Tao Te Ching. I appreciate these philosophies, but I know that Western religious people have led the way with social service.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 10:12 AM

""Surely, if we are the summit of his creation, he could have designed us a hell of a lot better ~~ not having this peculiarly inconvenient necessity for constantly pissing & shitting, for instance.""

Summit of creation?   A purely human conceit, and based on what?

Certainly not on evidence.

Every shred of scientific evidence points to our eventual destruction, if not by our own efforts, then by natural changes to which we finally fail to adapt.

Far from being the summit of creation, I'd say we were summat about halfway to the peak.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 09:11 AM

The reason that I would have preferred my son to have gone to a nearby Catholic school a little bit further away it had a good reputation for education and discipline and it also had a subsidised little mini bus pick-up service for school children which I thought was great especially as there had been spates of child snatching at that time in the area. But my son ended up going to the local crumbling village C.E church school instead against my better judgement, I wish I had stuck to my guns on that one whether I was a believer or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 05:56 AM

One of the principles of the Reformed tradition is 'ecclesia reformata semper reformandaque' (the reformed church, always in need of reformation). I note a Roman Catholic cardinal also used it not too long ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 05:02 AM

Joe,
You appear to be missing the point.
I have worked with Christians, mostly Catholics , all my musical life.
Some of those peaople have been the kindest, gentlest, most wonderful people I have ever met, and this goes for members of my own family - also Catholics.
I have no doubt that (especially with the older generation), their religion played a major part in making them the people they are/were.
On the other hand, I have a great problem in equating these people with the behaviour of, say, Father Brendan Smyth, the serial paedophile rapist priest, who, to me, doesn't deserve to be counted as being from the same species, let alone the same faith.
Perhaps it's time you took a closer look at the damage that has been, and is still being done to religion by your own church instead of reiterating that YOU ARE NOT LIKE THAT.
Whatever my own personal views on religion might be, I know that you are not like that, but there are many of those who are the public face of your church WHO ARE EXACTLY LIKE THAT.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 01:31 AM

I was brought up somewhat similarly, I think, ooliamh, at least in the respect that my parents were atheists or agnostics (really they were atheists as far as I can see), but they never really even thought about religion and hardly ever spoke of it. We didn't belong to any religion and we didn't go to churches nor were we affected by any religion.

What my parents' attention was on was things like: civil laws, money, property, normal social morality, acquiring possessions, family, marriage, business, and all that everyday practical and social stuff that everyone deals with.

So I was also free to choose. I eventually chose to study spirituality but not to join any specific religion. I study spirituality a great deal, and I see no need to belong to any specific religion, as it would put me inside a little box if I did.

I deny nothing that I have no way of disproving. I "believe" nothing that I have no way of knowing for certain. I consider all possibilities as fairly as I can, and I keep investigating them as best I can.

I am no enemy of religion, I just don't belong to it, that's all. And I am no enemy of science either. I respect both science and spirituality. I respect religions whenever they do good, but not when they do harm. They mostly do some of both, so it's a mixed picture.

The religious/philosophical traditions that interest me the most are Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Native American religions. I feel more kinship to them than I do to the Judeo-Christian-Muslim triumvirate...and to a variety of other world religions. I do think they all have some good points, though, and it is the good points of them which mostly interest me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another View of Religion
From: Janie
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 01:20 AM

Lovely and thoughtful.


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