I Wanna See a Miracle!

An interesting story has popped up about miracles taking place in India. I’ve heard church workers report that the growth of the church in Africa is also attributed to a rush of miracles happening there. So why no miracles here?

First of all, to see a miracle you have to believe in miracles. C.S.Lewis said he had only ever met one person who had seen a ghost and she didn’t believe in ghosts afterwards either. I also remember the story of the famous atheist A.J.Ayer who had a near death experience and visited what sounds to me like hell. He had a few second thoughts, but he soon bounced back and reverted to his usual atheist mindset. The person who has ruled out the possibility of miracles will always find another answer or will simply leave the data on one side and remain agnostic.

Why then, are there not more miracles reported amongst those who believe? Read more.

  • http://www.capitalcatholic.blogspot.com Melinda

    I am very close to an alleged miracle. My former roommate and co worker delivered a baby still born. After pleading with Archbishop Fulton Sheen the baby came to life at the hospital 61 minutes later. It was investigated by a tribunal and now with Sheen venerable is officially the miracle in review for his beatification. It’s so sad to read the negative comments in the news reports. People with their harden hearts can say awful things about a newborn just because of their distaste for the Church! Please pray for the Fulton Sheen cause.

    • http://quamangustaporta.blogspot.co.uk/ Malvenu

      Wow!

      But why only an ‘alleged’ miracle? Surely, this is up there with Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter?

  • http://learningtobeanewlywed.blogspot.com Bonnie

    I have seen a miracle, and the interesting thing for me is that as I shared the story I was told many other stories of what seems to be miracles. It’s made me think that perhaps we in the US are just less likely to proclaim our miracles.

    • Dad Of Eight

      I have experienced this too: When you talk to others of the miracles experienced, they seem to open up too about theirs. on another point Fr. makes, of course our hearts are much more open to see them (miracles) when we are down and out or greatly suffering. And perhaps we pray more fervently too. Ah…the gifts of the Spirit!

  • http://servusfidelis.wordpress.com Dave

    There are miracles you can see and miracles you can hear and miracles you witness in your heart. The saddest thing is that many Catholics don’t recognize the miracle of the altar and are missing the biggest miracle of all.

  • Louis

    A priest friend was given the stigmata in the late 1980s. A reporter from the Washington Post was sent to interview him. Said the reporter,
    “People say that statues of the Virgin will weep in your presence. Is there any truth to this?”
    “Yes. In fact, that one there is weeping right now.”
    The reporter said he went over to the statue, picked it up, examined it carefully, and found that, yes, it was an ordinary plaster statue and that it was weeping. Then he wrote “This is a case of not believing your own eyes.”
    Just so. If a person is not given faith (never forget it is a pure gift), then he will not believe, even if it means denying incontrovertible first-hand experience.
    On the other hand, we should remember that a miracle is always given for a purpose, and not just a natural one. In the case of this imposition of the stigmata, it essentially kept a parish from going right over the modernist edge. If there is no supernatural good worked from the miracle, then we can suspect that if it is a miracle, it is a diabolical one.
    I have seen and talked to angels, I have witnessed and experienced miracles. But they were (still are) everyday people and events that came in answer to prayer. My faith tells me the true source of them. Myself, I want never to see a miracle that is cleanly contrary to the natural order. I would take it as an indictment of my faith that I had to be bashed over the head like that.

  • StanB

    I give a talk on miracles for our retreats. But I don’t focus on the big ones. I like to tell of those tiny ones which say”Hi, remember me? I am still with you.” How he can do that along with the BIG miracles I expect a BIG GOD to perform is the true miracle.

  • Ramanie

    I was healed from a back injury at a catholic healing service which I claim as a miracle. I have had to lie flat on my back most of the times and be on strong pain killers. I still wonder at the miracle specially when I am able to do all the work I was not able to do before. All I can do is to give myself completely to my God and have Him as my Savior. He is my everything and I thank my blessed Mother for her intercession.

  • Mike

    So if I don’t see miricles it is not that I am rational, just that I am not enough of a believer?
    If you folks just used different nouns, you would be committed. I had a back injury that just healed by itself, without the benefit of ” a catholic healing service”. If you are seeing and talking to angels, you need a vacation and some nice people to talk to. If your priest has “stigmata” he needs to speak to a therapist about harming himself.
    Reality is really enough people. You do not need to make stuff up. Read a real science book, and try to understand this very real world.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      Reality is far more elastic than you think

    • http://servusfidelis.wordpress.com Dave

      “It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists. “–Mohandas Gandhi

      • Korou

        Proof that even Gandhi was not exempt from making mistakes. If you’re talking about atheists, we know we’re not “fighting” against God, we’re fighting against the harmful things people do in His name and because of their erroneous beliefs.

        • http://servusfidelis.wordpress.com Dave

          Such as caring for the poor, sick and the dying? Such as giving hope and peace to souls who are feel abandoned? Or is it that we resist the slaughter of million of babies in the womb (infanticide) and would certainly pass laws against it if we could? It seems to me that no-one can compete with atheists when it comes to doing “harmful things” to people: think if you will of Mao, Stalin and the Marxist Doctrines that fueled the likes of Hitler, Chavez and Castro — and the list could go on and on. The slaughter of believers at their hands is the worst that human history has to offer. Believers are sinners too, but their atrocities seem to pale in comparison to the above examples. I think you need a better motive than “fighting against the harmful things people do in His name because of erroneous beliefs” without a single example of the harmful or erroneous beliefs which you despise. These are apparently your own subjective truths arrived at in some manner known only to you.

          • Notjustanybody

            What is really sad Dave is that you ignore the real history to continue your delusion of God. Hitler was not an Atheist period, end of story. Mao, Stalin did not kill under the name of atheism, but under the name of communism. The atrocities of the Religious continue to this day. You “resist the slaughter of millions of babies in the womb”, but how much of that could be stopped with the usage of birth control (which most Catholics use anyways – hence a negative population growth in Italy)? In an overpopulated Earth with politics preventing food from getting to the poorest of citizens on planet Earth, maybe your resistance to birth control is just another atrocitity by making millions and millions starve to DEATH. Dave, these aren’t subjective truths, but real facts.

            Why do all cultures that claim miracles, see them? In India many Hindu Gods account for the miracles. But if there is only one true God then where do these miracles come from?

            I’m not fighting against God as I was never raised in ANY religion or religious tradition. The things that we (society and scientists) do not have an answer for does not make God.

          • Korou

            Well, Dave, I’ll be happy to discuss the particulars of that little speech of yours – there seem to be such a lot there that needs correcting – but before we do go off on to a new topic (I seem to remember a discussion here recently about how certain people make the mistake of introducing red herrings to derail arguments) perhaps you could show that you understood what I was saying and acknowledge the point?
            Once you’ve done that, I’ll be happy to discuss your other assertions.

          • flyingvic

            @Korou
            The point that, in your opinion, theists have a belief system that is mistaken and that can sometimes lead them to do what are, in your opinion, harmful things to others? No problem. Point accepted. Are you now able to give us your view on atheistic belief systems that are, in our opinion, mistaken and how followers of those systems can sometimes do what are, in our opinion, harmful things to others?

          • http://servusfidelis.wordpress.com Dave

            @Korou
            It is empirically apparent to all that you brought the ‘red herring’ into the discussion. It was you who left the realm of speaking about miracles or the reason for Mike to find the beliefs of believers so out of touch with reality that he just couldn’t help but attack the notion. You obviously think your statement: ‘fighting against the harmful things people do in His (God’s) name and because of their erroneous beliefs (in a God)’ a logical extension of the conversation rather than the ‘red herring’ you accused me of throwing into the discussion. Don’t you think that I have a right as a believer to call you on your notion of the harmful things and the erroneous beliefs? Do I not also have a duty to show that one is more likely to hold a utilitarian view of man when he has no standard to live up to other than his own or the laws of his countrymen? Is that not germane to your comment? If not, I’m sorry to have brought it up. God’s peace be with you.

          • http://servusfidelis.wordpress.com Dave

            @Notjustanybody
            Hitler was a Catholic on his mother’s side who adopted Himler’s new pagan religion for the Arians at the insistence of Hitler. I know more believe that he believed in the new state religion than he did in God. It was a utilitarian calcualtion to control the people, to give them pride in their Arian heritage etc. Am I wrong when I posit that a strict scientific notion of man as no more than another animal or the accumulation of cosmic dust, strips the human person of what we would call divine dignity? Doesn’t that make a utilitarian view not only easy to adopt but taking the idea to its logical end, as it was by the other Communists etc. that I mentioned. The individual is expendable for the welfare of the masses. And is it not in the same spirit of utilitarianism that would compel you you and others to make the statements you do about abortion and contraception? We must be controlled, monitored, and cajoled to do those things that will benefit us all (in some elite realm of reality: where some scientific theory is revered as infallible). If that isn’t a utilitarian outlook, I don’t know what else it can be called. Had we stuck a scissor in your brain before you had exited the birth canal I presume that you would agree that it was the proper respect being given you as just another creature who would crowd the world and cause others to starve. How altruistic of us to think that when we are not the human person murdered.

          • Korou

            Catholics caring for the poor, sick and the dying? Full credit to them. Good for them. Keep up the good work. Just because a group of people who I disagree with, and feel do harm to society, do many good things, that doesn’t mean I stop disagreeing with them, not should it. In summary, keep doing the good things, stop doing the bad things.
            Giving hope and peace? Hmmm – a bit more tricky, this one. First of all, I don’t think there is a God. Therefore, the hope that Catholics give, if based on their religion, is false hope. Well, sometimes false hope is a good thing, but lying – or telling untruths that you believe – is not a thing I can wholeheartedly support. I’m sure you see what I mean.
            The “slaughter of millions” – surely, Dave, you must be aware that there are many people who would disagree with you there; people who would say that legalized abortion is one of the great social and medical advanced of mankind. No, no, I know, you don’t think that it is – but you must admit that there are plenty of people who disagree with you. So yes, Catholic opposition to abortion is something I object to.
            The things you said about Hitler, Stalin, Chavez, Castro, and others: completely irrelevant. We are talking – I’ll remind you again not to bring red herrings into the discussion – about whether or not there are reasons to object to Christianity and Catholicism.
            By the way, I love the last thing you said – “I think you need a better motive than “fighting against the harmful things people do in His name because of erroneous beliefs” without a single example of the harmful or erroneous beliefs which you despise. These are apparently your own subjective truths arrived at in some manner known only to you.”
            Dave, that was just hilarious. I didn’t mention the specifics of the disagreements I have with your religion because I didn’t need to, at that point. It was enough to say that I did have them and that I was not – as your quotation of Ghandi seemed to imply – just wasting my time in pointless arguments.
            The main objection I have to Christianity, and the one I’d like to talk about the most, is this: I don’t think there is any convincing evidence for God; as such, I don’t think people should believe in Him. I’ve often seen people giving fallacious arguments for believing in God, and I feel these should be addressed, and not go unchallenged.
            Now, if you’d like to go farther than that, that’s fine with me. If not, then I hope at least you’ll realize why you should stop using that quote – or, if you do carry on using it, preface it by saying, “by the way, truth is not something I consider to be important.”

          • http://servusfidelis.wordpress.com Dave

            @Korou
            My mistake. Your un-contestable truths leave me in awe. Maybe I shall return to the arrogant thoughts of my misspent agnostic past. It was impossible to convince me then as it would be impossible to convince you now. The conversion of souls (yes we have lots of ex-atheists who were as adamant as you) comes when the heart is moved by God. I pray that yours may reach out one day as well.

          • Notjustanybody

            Hitler died a Catholic, was he ever Excommunicated? “Am I wrong when I posit that a strict scientific notion of man as no more than another animal or the accumulation of cosmic dust, strips the human person of what we would call divine dignity?”, well Dave the easy answer is Yes, yes you are wrong. The only divine dignity is in your head (along with other believers). Where is your divine dignity if the God you presume exists does not exist? Now the proper answer is that all humans should have dignity, but that can only be given to yourself and others around you by the indivdual who respects others.
            Regarding the communist ideal that the individual is expendable, that’s easy, but that’s a communist idea, not an atheist idea.
            Lastly, the whole, “Had we stuck a scissor in your brain before you had exited the birth canal” thingy that you are stating. What the heck does that have to do with birth control, you seem to be stating that you don’t like the idea of abortions (i.e. sticking scissors in brains as they exit the birth canal), but your religion doesn’t like the idea of preventing the need for abortions. You conflate the ideas and seem to be twisting them so as to get a point that doesn’t exist.
            What I really have gathered from this conversation is that we both agree that the atrocities committed under Communisim are not the same as if they were committed by atheists, but that you utilize this false notion to degrade atheists. We both agree that birth control is the best way to prevent the need for abortions, but that you have convuluted the idea of birth control as if it were abortion in order to be against it. And lastly, since you (not your fault, really as no one has) have not proven God’s existence, humans are no more than any other animals on this planet. The whole Hitler thingy, who really cares, he was Catholic, but that no more made him inclined to kill than having brown hair did (but the same goes for all of the others [i.e. Stalin, etc.]).

          • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

            Thank you for visiting this blog and taking time to comment. Allow me to correct a few misconceptions about the Catholic faith and history.

            1. Hitler may have been baptized as a Catholic and never formally excommunicated. However, there is no evidence that he was either confirmed as a Catholic or ever practiced his faith. Indeed, all the evidence (apart from his heinous crimes themselves) were that he was a believer in the dark arts of the occult, and that he had clear plans to exterminate Catholics after he was finished with the Jews.
            2. You theorize that artificial birth control reduces the number of abortions, but statistics prove otherwise. Wherever the availability of artificial birth control increases abortion numbers skyrocket. The explanation for this is that artificial birth control creates the false impression that one can have sexual intercourse ‘safely’ as much as one wants without the conception of a child. This creates behaviors in society which then cause more unwanted pregnancies to occur which are then terminated through abortion.
            3. Catholics therefore say the best way to avoid unwanted pregnancies is for men and women to not have sexual intercourse. This would seem to be common sense.
            4. You say that all human beings have dignity and that they have it when you respect others. But what is your philosophical basis for this assertion? Why should anyone necessarily respect another person, and why should any other human necessarily have ‘dignity’?
            5. Communism in China and the Russian bloc was an intentionally atheistic economic and political ideology. The genocide was a consequence of their atheism. To deny this is to deny both history and reason.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            Hitler was Catholic? How so? Because his mother was? Because he went to Sunday School? Does that mean that everybody with a Chrisian mother or who attended Sunday School is thereby a “Christian” for the rest of their life? Or are you suggesting that there has to be a public excommunication from the Church or an equally public renunciation from the individual in order for that person not to be a Christian any more? Ridiculous! Judge a person by their words and actions, see what fruit those words and actions bear – and then decide whether that person is a Christian or not.

            “Atrocities committed under Communism are not the same as if they were committed by atheists”? So we can blame religion for the evils of WWII because “Hitler was a Catholic” but we can’t blame Communist atrocities on atheism even though Communism cheerfully persecuted religion, treated it with scorn and gloried in its absence?

            Well, I’m glad we’ve got THAT sorted out!

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            I really wish you would have READ, not just skimmed over, I stated “The whole Hitler thingy, who really cares, he was Catholic, but that no more made him inclined to kill than having brown hair did (but the same goes for all of the others [i.e. Stalin, etc.]).”

            @Fr Dwight Longnecker
            1. So even if we posit that Hitler was a strong believer in the occult, that did not make him an atheist (Typically atheist do not believe in the occult or ANYTHING supernatural). But, your idea that Hitler planned to wipe out the Catholics is just not true, his ally was Italy a predominantly Catholic country.
            2. The only stories that state abortion rate increases with the usage of birth control are from pro-life sites. Try this http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/20/us-usa-pregnancies-study-idUSBRE85J06820120620 This comes from a Government report, not a pro-life site.
            3. The Cochrane folks studied 13 abstinence-only education programs – they could not find one that showed an “enduring effect” on teen’s sexual behavior. Abstinence only education time and time has failed.
            4. Absolutly right, people don’t respect each other and don’t give dignty to each other, but with a majority christian and Catholic country you would think this different. Further, this plays not one bit on the idea of the original argument of divine dignity (whatever that may be).
            5. We agree, that communism is intentionally atheistic. History has shown that the heads of all countries were, previous to communism, ruled by the Church and the State. I wouldn’t state that communist dictators were ridding themselves of religion, but rather of the competition of the church that might destroy thier new rule.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Fr. Dwight Longenecker
            Thanks for the reply
            1. I might tend to agree with you regarding Hitler being a believer in the dark arts of the occult. Do we both agree that the occult delves into the supernatural? Most (I don’t want to paint with too broad of a brush) atheists do not believe in anything supernatural, thus my original point to @Dave of Hitler not being an atheist holds true, and this we can both agree on. Thus Atheism was not Hitler’s motivation to commit the atrocities. I am uncertain if I believe your claim that Hitler’s plans to exterminate the Catholics are true as the Germans ally was Italy, a mostly Catholic nation.
            2. I found an article from Lifenews.com which backs up your claim regarding birth control and abortion rates, however, As the founder and Editor of LifeNews.com’s bio states, “Steven Ertelt has provided the pro-life community with news via the Internet since 1993. He also serves on the board of directors as Vice President of Colorado Citizens for Life”, this is obviously biased, maybe even untrustworthy. I found this “Pregnancy rates for U.S. women in their early 20s fell nearly 18 percent from 1990 to 2008 and their abortion rate dropped by 32 percent, as those women delayed the decision to have a baby and used more effective birth control, said a government report released on Wednesday.” Reference – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/20/us-usa-pregnancies-study-idUSBRE85J06820120620 (June 20, 2012).
            3. From Think Progress, which states, “is a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization” comes this “And in 2007, a federal report showed that abstinence-only programs had ‘no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence.”
            Reference – http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/04/10/461402/teen-pregnancy-sex-education/
            4. You are absolutely right, not all humans respect and give dignity to others, which says something for a country that is mostly Christian and Catholic; however @Dave was stating that we were above the animals because we have divine dignity and that is where our dignity comes from. Until you have proof (and not faith) in God, there is no such thing as divine dignity, that’s just something @Dave made up.
            5. I agree with you on the atheistic aspect of Communism, but would counter that the reason that the genocidal behavior of [insert communist leader] was due to the fact that prior to Communism’s uprising in the early 20th century the world was ruled by the church and the Communist leaders wanted to rid themselves of any uprising caused by church leaders and their followers. They were not genocidal BECAUSE of their atheism, but due to their political motivations.
            @flyingvic
            Next time read what I wrote,
            “The whole Hitler thingy, who really cares, he was Catholic, but that no more made him inclined to kill than having brown hair did (but the same goes for all of the others [i.e. Stalin, etc.]).”
            I will take your comments as nonsensical and without merit.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            Once in this thread you declared that Hitler was not an atheist, three times now you have stated that he was a Catholic – and then you shrug your shoulders and ask, “Who cares?” Presumably you do, or else you wouldn’t keep going on about him.

            And I’m sorry, by the way, that the intended irony in my post went right over your head.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            Heyho! And then I clicked through to read that story you made reference to from Reuters, with all its detail and fascinating array of statistics. Did you see the bit that said it was all in a report entitled “Estimated . . .”? You couldn’t make it up, could you?

          • Notjustanybody

            @flyingvic
            In reference to the “Who cares” bit;
            The original reference from @Dave was that Hitler, due to his Atheism committed atrocities. I stated that Hitler was a Catholic and even (greatly) consider the reference by @Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s of Hitler being into the Occult as a possibility. I meant “who cares” as to what religion Hitler is regarding his religion as a driving force for his actions. You changed that attribution in your comment as who cares what religion Hitler was, but I sure do talk about it a lot. The comments I made are to ensure that the false idea that Atheism (as well as Catholicism) being incorrectly attributed for Hitler’s actions, as a mode of operandi for demonizing people, possibly an innocent act (caused by upbringing and societal norms), due to their lack of belief in a God, are known as inherently wrong.
            You are right, I did not get the irony in your post, and still don’t. Please spell it out for me (tactfully/respectfully), thanks.
            The “Estimated” part of the report was “estimated pregnancies” and was a good faith estimate by the author as getting an exact number is unlikely/improbable. This does not invalidate the report or the numbers.
            When Carl Sagan asked the Dalai Lama if a fundamental tenet of his religion (reincarnation) were definitively disproved by science, the Dalai Lama replied, “if science can disprove reincarnation, Tibetan Buddhism would abandon reincarnation.” i.e. @Flyingvic do not utilize other’s writing to twist them for your own purpose, accept facts as they are.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            And what was it that Dave ACTUALLY wrote? “It seems to me that no-one can compete with atheists when it comes to doing “harmful things” to people: think if you will of Mao, Stalin and the Marxist Doctrines that fueled the likes of Hitler, Chavez and Castro — and the list could go on and on.” That is simply saying that these people were atheists, not that atheism was necessarily the driving force for their actions. And you tell me not to twist other people’s writing!
            In some circles “Religion causes wars!” is chanted like a mantra. “Look what happens when religion is absent!” is, I think, a fair reply. You don’t accept that Hitler was an atheist; we don’t accept that he was any kind of Christian – indeed, that he had any religion worthy of the name; looking at his words, his deeds, the regime that he led and his oppression of religion leads me to believe that “atheist” is a fairer description of Hitler than “religious”.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            Wow! You proceed with what @Dave wrote, “It seems to me that no-one can compete with atheists when it comes to doing ‘harmful things’ to people” and then you state, “That is simply saying that these people were atheists, not that atheism was necessarily the driving force for their actions.” You contradict yourself, and thus this paragraph is laughable at best.
            Then you proceed that Hitler was not a Christian so “ ‘atheist’ is a fairer description of Hitler than ‘religious’ “. Here is where you are mistaken, in-fact, if Hitler was a Catholic or a believer in the supernatural he is more religious than Atheist, as most atheists have no believe in the supernatural and ALL Christians and Catholics have a belief in the supernatural.
            I do, of course, believe that you are purposefully attempting to repeat the aforementioned just to be a “troll”, as no other explanation is feasible after giving detailed information of the FACTS as they were previously stated.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            You really do have a genius for missing the point of a post. Is English not your first language? To put Dave’s and my point together: “Here is a list of atheists who did harmful things when they were in power. Their atheism was not necessarily their prime motive for doing so.” This is in no sense a contradiction. It comes in counterpoint to those who claim that religion, or religious people, do harmful things.
            There is then a denial that Hitler was Catholic or any kind of Christian or indeed a follower of any religion worthy of the name – I’m sorry, ‘the occult’ and Hitler is a speculation, not a fact and not, I would say, a religion – thus my suggestion, based on the historical facts of his years of leadership, that ‘atheist’ is a fairer description of him than ‘religious’. Of course you’re entitled to disagree; but your credibility depends on addressing what people actually write rather than the twisted versions you put in your replies.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            Then your point is moot regarding the religion of people who commit atrocities, why not just bring up that they all had noses? Then the Hitler part, he was most certainly Religious (as opposed to Atheist), that is a fact, a profound fact, given Hitler’s own words in Meim Kampf, “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” Your insistence on denying his Religiousness, does not make him an Atheist. Just because you cannot accept the truth does not mean that my credibility is twisted.
            And lastly, it would appear that English is my first language, I just don’t see the imaginary man in the sky and belief that I have to do everything in my power (lying for Jesus) to defend him (if he exists he can defend himself).

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            So you don’t see the imaginary man in the sky (neither do I, by the way) but you do see Mein Kampf as evidence of deep religiosity rather than as self-serving nonsense? Are you really able to make any logical connection between “defending myself against the Jew” and “Arbeit macht frei”? My contention that Hitler was not by any normal or reasonable definition ‘religious’ is based purely upon the evidence of his words and deeds in his pursuit and execution of power. As was noted by Pastor Niemoller and others at the time who tried to maintain their religious faith under the Nazis, there was in Germany’s government during that period of its history such an absence of religion that ‘atheistic’ seems to most people an entirely appropriate description. And that is no word of a lie, whatever you say.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            So, he put “Work sets you free” over a concentration camp of people he didn’t believe would go to heaven or let continue living. The Nazi “constitution” states Christianity, Hitler’s speeches referenced Christianity, Hitler references Christianity in Meim Kampf, Military personnel had “God with Us” on thier belt buckles, but by golly you say he wasn’t religious…Oh, that’s right he wasn’t a “True” Christian. Do you say that about the terrorists of 9/11 regarding Islam, or the killers of abortion doctors. My B.S. Senses are tingling.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            To build a series of concentration and extermination camps might appear to some to be a rather extreme form of ‘self-defence’ against the Jewish people; “Gott mit uns” was a link with Germanic and Teutonic military history going back the best part of a thousand years, the military and historical connections being far more important in practice than any religious connotation there might have been in former times; whatever the Nazi ‘constitution’ might have said, the reality is that Christianity and Judaism, the major religions of Germany between the Wars, were mercilessly persecuted; Mein Kampf was, as I said earlier, self-serving nonsense; and any of his speeches that talked about Christianity will have done so in exactly the same way that some speakers attached ‘Catholic’ and ‘Protestant’ labels to the two sides of the Ulster troubles, when everyone knew that the real issue was about political power – nothing but a cynical attempt to bring religious people onside. So was Hitler a devout Catholic trying to build a religious state or an irreligious megalomaniac setting out to create a dictatorship? I’ll leave you to answer that one.

          • Notjustanybody

            Or was Hitler trying to exterminate the Jews to help the Catholic church do something it had been trying for 1,500 years to accomplish.

            What about a devout Catholic trying to create a dictatorship? That is most likely the answer.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            You missed a great career in stand-up comedy.

          • Notjustanybody

            @flyingvic
            Yeah, I didn’t miss anything at all. Actually @flyingvic, to tell it to you, prior to our conversations I would have thought that Hitler was committing atrocities due to some other (non-religious) reason, but ultimatley did not care what his reasoning was. But, the more conversation we have had the more you have proven to me without any doubt what-so-ever that Hitler’s actions were because of a causal reaction to his religion and religious upbringing. Further, those who try to associate Hitler’s actions on Atheists are just projecting and trying to vilify (incorrectly) what they have been taught were evil people. Thank you very much for the history lesson.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            The history lesson? My pleasure. I just wish that you’d learned it properly.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            Let’s say for purposes of arguement that we are both Flat Earthers. Further, let say that you were raised with other Flat Earthers and every Monday went to the Flat Earth Convention, contrarily I wasn’t. Let’s pretend for a moment, if you will, that you had a heavy emotional investment into the Flat Earth ideology, but I don’t (I never went to the Flat Earth Conventions). Perhaps all of the other children you hung around with were in your Flat Earth School, your Flat Earth upbringing is now a part of you. When NASA shows me a picture of the Earth as a globe, I have no emotional investment, it really doesn’t matter to me if the Earth is a globe or flat, but can accept it as a globe. But, what’s if everyone around you states that if you are not a Flat Earther, you are evil, when you see the picture of the Earth as a globe, do you risk being called evil? Do you risk being an outcast? Do you risk the emotional investment of your friends and family? Do you accept that everything you were taught was wrong? The point is that I learned the history lesson properly and can accept the facts as they are, it does me no harm. I have pointed out, time and time again, Hitler’s associations with the Catholic church, but you still say he had atheistic tendencies. Can you accept the truth?

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            Flat? Your whole ‘argument’ falls flat. You see only the ‘facts’ you want to see. You allege various associations that Hitler had with the Catholic Church – they may or may not have existed, but that is hardly the point. If they had indeed been part of his earlier life it is patently obvious that they played no part whatsoever in his rise to power or his life as dictator. “By their fruits you shall know them.” There was nothing at all Christ-like in what he did, in what he said, in his philosophy of power, in his philosophy of race or in the legacy that he left. There was nothing at all of Christianity – or indeed of any recognised religion – in Nazism: that is why I and so many others refer to it as ‘atheistic’. You, my friend, are the one who will not accept the truth.

          • Notjustanybody

            Until you can accept the my “allegations” are completely true, it is you who denies Hitler associations with the Church, but Historians have sided with me on that.
            I agree with you that his religious life had no play on his rise to power. But, his life as a dictator? Surely we agree that Religion play in all parts of a person’s life, good or bad, when they were raised in reglion. I can’t speak of what is Christ-like or what isn’t, but first we must determine if Christ even existed. Saying Christ-like is kind of like saying Hitler wasn’t unicorn-like because he didn’t fart magical fairy dust (probably went with the fairy cakes). But, atheistic only means not believing in God and has no philosophy attached, indeed after looking at prison statistics, one might say that atheistic is a more virtuious philosophy.

        • flyingvic

          @Nootjustanybody
          The Devil has associations with the Church, but that doesn’t make him ‘religious’. And to suggest that someone raised in religion is subject to it for the rest of his life – especially when you cheerfully admit that religion played no part in Hitler’s rise to power, for goodness’ sake – is plainly preposterous. Further, if you really can’t say what ‘Christ-like’ is, or even whether you accept the undoubted facts of Christ’s existence, then (a) what are you doing laying the law down about who was or was not a Christian and (b) why will you not accept a Christian’s working and commonsense definition that a Christian is someone who tries to imitate/emulate/be like Christ?

          And atheism is more virtuous? I’ll tell you something – I have no wish ever to play chess against you, because you don’t know that black is black and white is white.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            Actually, the Devil is only a religious entity. Doesn’t he know of God?
            Actually Christ’s existence is not “undoubted”, try looking up various other Gods that the Christ-myth was formed from.
            What is actually sad is that your God gave you the greatest gift ever, free-will, and you choose to ignore facts on purpose (i.e. Hitler’s Religious ideologies, Birth Control lowers abortion rates).
            “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mahatma Gandhi

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            Show me. Show me clear and incontrovertible evidence that Hitler’s ‘Religious ideologies’ informed his oppression of Judaism and Christianity, his war in western Europe, his war in eastern Europe and his initiation of the Holocaust, and I promise not to ignore it. I don’t take any such assertion into account at the moment because I don’t believe the evidence is there to be found.
            Show me clear and incontrovertible evidence that birth control lowers abortion rates and, while you’re at it, helps to prevent Aids, and I promise not to ignore it. Otherwise my attitude stays the same.
            And by the way, NOTHING of what you have said so far in this thread leads me to believe that you are capable of rising to the challenge.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            I realize that you are asking for 3 different things,
            1. Show me clear and incontrovertible evidence that Hitler’s ‘Religious ideologies’ informed his oppression of Judaism …
            2. Show me clear and incontrovertible evidence that birth control lowers abortion rates …
            3. and, while you’re at it, helps to prevent Aids. Read as: Show me clear and incontrovertible evidence that birth control helps to prevent Aids.

            So, let’s see if we can just come to an agreement of just one of these. I’m going to start with #3 and we can see where we stand on that before tackling the other two.

            First, can we agree that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention would be an expert in their field? That is important, because whom do we both agree on, whom is an expert in this particular field?
            Second, can we agree that studies must estimate certain parameters, i.e. estimating the number of AIDS cases and the like might be necessary as not everyone a particular area are being tested for diseases like AIDS.
            Third, do we agree that NOT ALL birth control stops the spread of AIDS, i.e. Birth Control Pills will only prevent pregnancy in women, not stop the spread of STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases [including AIDS {and HIV}]), in particular AIDS/HIV prevention MUST use Barrier protection (i.e. Condoms).
            Fourth, do we agree that NOT ALL AIDS/HIV cases can be stopped utilizing Barrier Protection Birth Control? i.e. Blood transfusions, Doctor accidently gets stuck with a needle of an infected drug users. In other words, Barrier Protection Birth Control can only prevent AIDS/HIV for certain types of transmissions in which the birth control is utilized.
            Fifth, do we agree that in order for Birth Control to be used as a Barrier Protection it MUST be utilized correctly and consistently? i.e. If one person has AIDS and another does not, using a condom incorrectly or “every-so-often” would not prevent AIDS during the time it is used incorrectly or not utilized.

            When I utilize the word AIDS in your mind does that mean HIV and/or AIDS, because it does in my mind. i.e. they are synonymous.

          • flyingvic

            1. There will be a number of experts in any field – I would be more impressed if you suggested figures from at least two such on opposite sides of the argument. 2. I would expect studies to be carried out nation by nation, (though not necessarily all of them) as each country will need to formulate its own health policy in response. 3. Condoms, I believe, are widely held to be effective against the spread of STDs. 4. We are talking about sexual behaviour/misbehaviour. 5. We are talking about the wide availability of e.g. condoms. It would be impossible to say how widely or correctly such measures are used in individual cases. 6. Certainly, HIV/Aids.

          • Notjustanybody
          • flyingvic

            Thank you – and (my first attempt at looking) here’s one for you without a picture of the Pope!

            http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/clo/clo_03condomresource1.html

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            Well, I’ve got to give it to you for trying. I would not expect the Catholic church be for Pro-Choice and I would not expect Planned Parenthood to be Anti-Abortion.
            A cursory glance at who owns http://www.lifeissues.net shows the Administrative Contact as Jerome Novotny ( http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/lifeissues.net ). So, who is Jerome Novotny, none other than Father Jerry Novotny, “a Catholic priest working in Japan and who is a member of the Congregation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate” ( http://aggreen.net/pro-life/pro-life.html ).
            Further, the study you cited shows an 8% overall failure rate of condoms. If I presumed that only 5% of all non protective sexual contacts had transmission of the HIV (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/factsheets/transmission.htm), then only point 4 percent (four tenths of one percent) would have transmission when utilizing condoms, that figure of 8% failure rate comes from your citation which is questionable as it has an inherent “sidedness” to it.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            So do you have an alternative explanation for the comparative figures from Thailand and the Philippines? Or would you simply reject them out of hand because you think they have an inherent ‘sidedness’?

            The page I offered you is dated, I believe, some time after at least some of the pages you offered me – perhaps long enough for the ‘let’s-splash-condoms-everywhere’ policy to be revealed as not quite the answer-to-everything that ‘commonsense’ suggested it would be. I can only speculate about why this should be; but going beyond the fact that no ‘protection’ is 100% guaranteed against either infection or pregnancy (as the case may be), perhaps there are two pointers as to why condoms are not the answer.
            1. In a country where “Safe Sex” is a mantra and condoms are by government policy as available as chewing-gum, so that whenever two people come together, so to speak, they should be protected, the underlying message might well be understood instead as being, “You can have sex wherever, whenever, however and with whomsoever you want – it’s OK, just carry on!” The growing culture is, then, that “I’m OK to have sex” becomes more important than “I must have proper protection”, because “Sex is Safe” isn’t it?
            2. A condom is, in any case, only as effective as it is allowed to be by a guy who’s meant to be concentrating on using it, and using it correctly, when in fact, as we know, the operative part of his brain is already concentrating (if indeed it is being used at all) on something else entirely . . .

            Contrast this approach with the “not condoms but education and abstinence” policy advocated in catholic Uganda and Philippines and you may have a clue to understanding the lower incidence of infection in those countries by comparison with others.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            “Show me clear and incontrovertible evidence that birth control lowers abortion rates and, while you’re at it, helps to prevent Aids, and I promise not to ignore it.” Your promise seems to lack conviction and clarity.
            “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
            So, do I have an explanation of Thailand and the Philippines, well, Thailand is 95% Buddhist (http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_buddhist.html/) and they are also the largest producers of Condoms in the world (3 Billion pieces manufactured).
            Philippines: “Condoms also are a protection against unwanted pregnancies while abortion remains illegal in the Philippines. Women are left with little choice other than back-alley clinics, where an estimated 560,000 of them seek abortions involving crude and painful methods every year, according to a report by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights.
            About 90,000 women in the Philippines suffer from abortion complications and an estimated 1,000 die each year, said the report, published last year.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/18/condoms-vs-catholicism-in_n_863587.html)
            1. So essentially your saying that a person who has sex (out of wedlock) sins and should feel guilty as well as be held accountable for their actions. B.S. Sex is not a sin, teaching people that sex is a sin and they should feel guilty about it is just emotional abuse, teaching people to not use condoms so that they have a repercussion is just cruel. A young lady should not be burden with a child when she hasn’t even started her own life.
            2. Teaching abstinence is a complete failure and States that have the highest teen birth rates have abstinence only education programs. http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/04/10/461402/teen-pregnancy-sex-education/?mobile=nc Education is a great idea, let’s reduce the rate of failure in condoms by teaching people how to utilize them correctly and teach them to use them all of the time until they are in a monogamous relationship and each has had blood tests to ensure there are no transmissions of disease. Let’s teach how to prevent pregnancies.

            Uganda is another story. “U.S.-funded “abstinence-only” programs are jeopardizing Uganda’s successful fight against HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Abstinence-only programs deny young people information about any method of HIV prevention other than sexual abstinence until marriage. ” http://www.hrw.org/news/2005/03/29/uganda-abstinence-only-programs-hijack-aids-success-story
            What I’m learning about abstinence only education is that sex is happening anyways you just prefer if young, uneducated women have children, damning themselves to a life of poverty and if anyone who has sex outside of marriage and contracts HIV/AIDS, that they deserved it for their “sins”. And you do all of this under the guise of higher moral values. Now that’s just sick.

          • flyingvic

            It’s a shame that you think that you can no longer trust my word, and I’m not at all sure why. Is there anybody out there producing figures from a totally disinterested standpoint? Interestingly, quite a number of the links that you keep offering to me are quite elderly – possibly to the point of being out-of-date. For example, on the Uganda aspect you quote a story saying “today” – but that story is dated 2005! Perhaps YOU are not being quite as trustworthy as you would like to appear! In it we read: “Abstinence-only programs are a triumph of ideology over public health,” said Cohen. “Americans should demand that HIV-prevention programs worldwide stick to science.” But he’s not talking “science”, is he? He’s talking the “this-seems-to-me-to-be-common-sense” language of those who think that our imperfect understanding of science will nevertheless make a perfect world – the triumph of ideology over moral health, perhaps?

            You make a big thing out of “deserves” and call the Church’s attitude “sick”. If you told your neighbour’s kids time and time and time again NOT to play football on the freeway, because there is a serious risk that they will get knocked over, and then they do; if a child rapist continues with their crimes in the full knowledge that they are wrong, is caught, incarcerated and beaten to a pulp in jail; yes, there will be some who will say, “they got what they deserved.” But some will say it with satisfaction, which is sick; and some with sorrow, that the very best advice we could give them has been ignored.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            “Abstinence-only programs are a triumph of ideology over public health,” said Cohen. “Americans should demand that HIV-prevention programs worldwide stick to science.”
            Actually, that’s exactly what I’ve been saying the whole time. We (You included) should DEMAND HIV-prevention programs worlwide that stick to science, and quite letting ideology triumph over public health.

            But the Catholic church has been saying that playing football is wrong and immoral, but insists that those who play football only play on the freeway. But, football seems to be the national sport and the Catholic church just pretends, makes bogus websites and falsely ignores the injuries that are occurring. If the Catholic church cared, they would tell the players to play at a park and wear protection so as to avoid injury.

            “if a child rapist continues with their crimes in the full knowledge that they are wrong”. With the Catholic church’s history of child abuse and covering it up, I know that you’re just trolling.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            You are one silly person, deliberately avoiding the point of what is written, taking an analogy and twisting it for your own purposes beyond recognition and, in making accusations about trolling, as surely as anything revealing your own purpose in being on this blog. You are a buffoon.

          • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

            I had reached that conclusion some time ago…:-)

          • flyingvic

            But a persistent one, Father, as I’m sure you’ll agree; like an angry wasp that has lost its sting and flies round and round in ever-decreasing circles looking up its own backside to see where it’s gone to . . .

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            Trying to discredit things I have said by stating “like an angry wasp” (i.e. I am angry at God) does not discredit anything I have stated nor the history. I have presented the facts without the obscurity of religious overtones clouding my view of the real world nor my cognative abilities.

            Lastly, “Buffoon” you say. When you resort to name calling, you have no arguement left and have run out of options. Check and Mate.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            Oh dear. Here we go again. I did not say that you were angry with God. What discredits the things you have said is the partial and unbalanced way you have said them. You have presented opinions, not facts. No, there has been no obscurity of religious overtones, just the obscurity of non-religious overtones. You call me a troll and then say that I have run out of arguement (sic) and options because I resorted to name-calling. Have you absolutely no self-awareness at all? (That was a rhetorical question, by the way, which requires no answer from you because the answer is already plain for all to see.) Thank you and goodbye.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            So, I’ve referenced Harvard, The European Commission of Research, The Food and Drug Administration, The Center for Disease Control, and lastly the Vatican themselves. But, I “have presented opinions, not facts.”
            You presented a website run by a Catholic Father as your proof and then state, “there has been no obscurity of religious overtones”.
            You deny that homosexuals are married, “Two homosexual people cannot, by definition, get married.” Even though at this very moment throughout the WORLD homosexual couples have marriage certificates.
            You stated that Hitler had Atheist morals, yet Atheism ONLY describes the lack of belief in God(s). Atheism implies no morality, religion does (and no Atheism is not a religion, bald is not a hair color, the turned off TV is not a channel).
            Yet, you imply that mine are opinions and you have facts.
            “Argument”, sorry about the misspelling (keyboard needs new batteries – wireless)
            “Thank you and goodbye”. You are quite welcome and no matter what do not forget God gave you a gift of free-will, please do not throw the greatest gift away on ideologies, as the truth is what God has made.

    • savvy

      What happens when therapists and experts can’t explain something? The church has a comprehensive system of studying miracles, that have to include expert testimonies. A lot of saints were given a hard time by the church, because they wanted to make sure their claims were credible.

      Another thing I find strange is that atheists claim to be objective, but yet buy wholesale into anti-matter dualism, such as abortion, and many other things.

    • Thomas R

      I do worry a bit of the “just be more open”, if taken too far, could lead people to believe in frauds and charlatans.

      However I’m quite aware of science. If we’re talking about repeatable natural phenomenon that’s what I go with more or less. I’m somewhat skeptical in my way and don’t just believe every story I hear. However I think that “natural repeatable phenomenon” really aren’t enough and that not everything is a natural repeatable phenomenon. To be honest I think our skepticism is in some ways good helping us sift the real miracles from things that may lead astray or whatever. But I do think there are real miracles. There’s just way too many things that can’t be explained naturally, even in the modern West.

    • Thomas R

      As for the Hitler thing excommunication is ideally to get the erring person to see the error of their ways. Hitler helped found the Protestant-Reich-Church, rejected the Old Testament, and lived with his mistress. Excommunicating him was not likely to shock him into returning to the Church.

      • Notjustanybody

        But after learning of the atrocities, shouldn’t they (the Catholic Church) excommunicated Hitler? Why not do it post-mortem, to ensure that everyone knows that the Catholics did not agree with Hitler in anyway, or, given the history of the Catholics and Jews…

        • flyingvic

          The Catholic Church only excommunicates Catholics.

          • Notjustanybody

            Yeah, and….Hitler was baptized a Catholic. Therefore, since he never denounced his faith or was excommunicated, my question is still valid.

          • flyingvic

            To excommunicate is to forbid or expel from the community of the church. If Hitler was not part of a worshipping community there would have been neither call nor need to excommunicate him. The fact that he was simply baptised catholic – if indeed he was baptised – is supremely irrelevant in this context. Your question is so much hot air.

          • Notjustanybody

            You don’t appear to know that Hitler went to a Monastery, took part in the choir, wanted to become a priest. The Swastika was carved into the wood and stone at the Monastery he went to. Hitler would say the solemn pageantry of the high mass and other Catholic ceremonies. I mean anyone who would content what you have contended would know that, right. So, I think my question is extremely relevant.

          • Notjustanybody

            “Content” should read “Contend”

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            I think you missed the bit where Hitler once attended a Mothers’ Union tea-party and – according to some impeccable historical sources – went round offering a plate of fairy-cakes. Or, if you prefer, look at the way he came to power and consolidated his position, look at the way his regime acted under his direction, look at the way he dealt with all those who opposed him or who didn’t fit in with his chosen racial stereotype: there is no evidence that any of the Christian virtues played any part in determining his actions, no evidence that he claimed to be on any kind of 20th century crusade in Christ’s name, no evidence at all that anything he did was in accordance with the Ten Commandments, the Baptismal Promises, our Lord’s Summary of the Law or in any way in imitation of the life of Christ. Hitler was a Catholic? Listen carefully for the sound of hollow laughter.

          • Notjustanybody

            Au Contraire my good person, “look at the way he dealt with all those who opposed him or who didn’t fit in with his chosen racial stereotype”, that alone is evidence that he was utilizing Christian virtues. You know like American’s in the Civil War utilized religion and the Bible to try and continue slavery. How Christians (specifically the Catholic and Mormons) spent millions to outlaw Gay Marriage. How the Mormons wouldn’t let Black people rise up in the church. You know the typical things Christians have done throughout history.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            Hitler didn’t utilize Christian virtues at all – but he may have appeared to copy some of the Christian vices that you mention. I really do recommend that you study the difference between virtue and vice.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            I finally got it, you think only good comes from Christians and that all bad is explained away with something else (evil caused by the Devil). Actually, after re-reading what I wrote before, nope, I actually meant virtue, NOT vice. Right this very instant there are those who are against Homosexuals because it is in the bible and believe that they are virtuous in doing so, they however didn’t read the part where they were supposed to virtuous by stoning thier neighbor because (s)he was working on the Sabbath. I don’t believe that any virtue is in discrimination of anyone for any reason, but the Christians sure do.

            “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            So I post mentioning Christian vices and you reply saying that I believe only good comes from Christians? You’re not making very much sense here.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            I totaly get where you would think that, however, your ability to espouse Christian vices does not make me inclined to believe that you think that they exist. After showing you Hitler’s connections to Christianity and Catholisism as an apparent reason for his atrocities, you mearly excuse them away, as if no bad can come from Christian/Catholic ways. More importantly is the comment that I am stating, which is that what you call vices are actually virtues in Christianity, i.e. Treating someone different because of sexual preferences, amount of melanin in thier skin, religious or non-religious preferences. You yourself have done exactly that, you state that Hitler’s actions are more atheistic due to thier incideous nature, without any proof. I show proof that Hitler was inclined to commit the atrocities, due to, and because of religious motivations, you deny these motivations, thus placing yourself on the virtuous side and extending the thought that there are no vices in Christianity.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            “I totaly get where you would think that . . ” Good. We make progress.
            “. . however, your ability to espouse Christian vices does not make me inclined to believe that you think that they exist.” Wrong. Progress reversed. I mentioned the fact that they exist. That does not mean either that I ‘espouse’ them or that I really think that they are virtues.
            “After showing you Hitler’s connections to Christianity . .” I didn’t excuse them, I demolished them.
            “I show proof . . ” You flatter yourself.
            If you think that what I call vices are actually virtues in Christianity, you really do need (a) to understand better the meaning of vice and virtue and (b) to learn more about Christianity.
            Come back when you’ve done your homework.

          • Notjustanybody

            So, although I’ve proven to you Hitler’s background, reasoning that it may have had an influence on his extermination of the Jews and others, you insist on calling them Atheistic ideologies, if you will. The only problem with your insistence is that Atheism ONLY means a lack of belief in a God. So maybe I’ve gotten it wrong the whole time, maybe Hitler was an Atheist Christian (these are not mutually exclusive as it might appear). Christians are Atheistic regarding Zeus or Posiedon. My counter is that Atheism just mean lack of belief in a God and in no way, shape or form denotes any characteristics of moral values.
            So, what is the difference in a Christian Vice or Christian Virtue? Like I’ve stated, Christians regard the ability to deny Homosexual the right to marry and you seem to state that this is a Vice, but most Christians would call this a virtue. Immoral behaviour is a vice, thus Christian think that Homosexuals are committing a vice, thus they are virtuous by not engaging in this “behavior”, am I not correct? Denying someone the freedom that they are afforded (i.e. ending slavery) would be a vice, wouldn’t it?

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            You have a twisted mind and a twisted ‘logic’, and yes, very probably you have “gotten it wrong the whole time”. Run away and play your games. But before you go, let me nail this lie of yours, that Christians, you say, deny homosexuals the right to marry. This is plainly and demonstrably untrue. Everybody has the right to marry, whatever their sexuality, and that has always been the case: one man, one woman, one marriage.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            Now, that’s the funniest thing I have ever heard. Actually, marriage existed well before Christianity, and you are denying everybody the right to marry, whatever their sexuality, your version just happens to deny persons of different sexual preferences the right to marry the person whom they love. The worse part is that you don’t see that your Christian Virtues are really Vices. Bigot Much?

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            I don’t know where you’ve been all these years that you should find this funny. Throughout history marriage has been one man and one woman (whatever their sexual orientation) joining together for purposes of property, procreation and personal fulfilment – not necessarily in that order. Why should you or anyone else regard it as a vice that the Church continues to uphold what has always been the case?

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            “Joining together for purposes of property, procreation and personal fulfilment”
            Purposes of property – so a homosexual couple is together for 3o years, but thier property goes to thier next of kin, not the person whom they lived and loved thier whole life.
            Procreation – I call B.S. on this as my wife and I have no children and never procreated. What about the people who can’t have children, we allow them to get married. Old people, women who have had hysterectomies, etc.
            Personal fulfilment – So, you opinion that only Hetrosexual couples are entitled to personal fulfilment.

            “Why should you or anyone else regard it as a vice that the Church continues to uphold what has always been the case?”
            Two things -Thing One – Slaves were always the case before the end of slavery, with this thinking we never progress as a society. Thing Two – I don’t go to your Church, yours has a say in your life, but it does not have a say in my life.

          • flyingvic

            “Property, procreation and personal fulfilment.” Yes – all three, together. Whether a man and a woman have much property or very little, all is held together. Sometimes a man and a woman are unable to have children (for a variety of reasons) and sometimes they choose not to; but the fact remains that the vast majority of marriages are entered into with the possibility of creating another living being, and the exceptions noted are too few to overturn this requirement for marriage. Personal fulfilment is the third necessary intention for a man and a woman in marriage – and despite your attempted and inaccurate spin, one man, one woman, one marriage was the subject of my post.
            Slavery? The end of slavery was heralded by the Christian Church.
            Marriage? I have described the institution as it has always been since well before the time of Christ. The Church has added to the understanding of marriage but has always supported it. Two homosexual people cannot, by definition, get married.

          • Notjustanybody

            @Flyingvic
            The first problem with your argument is that you state “Property, Pro-Creation and Personnel Fulfillment”, but this falls flat because you just made up those reasons to get married. I got married only for ONE reason I LOVE MY SPOUSE, period, end of story. Just because you want to make up reasons for marriage to limit (read: discriminate) it to one man and one woman means nothing. A more accurate religious view of marriage should be One Man, One Woman, One Time, because that’s what the Bible really states.
            “Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons…. It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given.”
            - June 20, 1866 proclamation of the Holy Office (Sacred congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) Heralded by the Church you say, well, pay attention to the date, two years AFTER the Civil War.
            “Two homosexual people cannot, by definition, get married.” Tell that to the 18,000 homosexual couples that are legally married in California.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            Actually what I wrote was “Property, procreation and personal fulfilment” – you need to read and type more carefully! And I didn’t “just make them up” – they have been the foundation of the almost universal understanding of marriage for as far back in time as we are able to see, certainly from before the time of the Bible. If marriage only ever depended upon two people loving each other, then judging by the rate at which many people fall in and out of love until they decide to settle down (which, of course, some never do!) the whole question of who owns what and who is responsible for which debt and who is going to raise which child is a minefield from which only the lawyers will emerge rich and unscathed. I hope your mutual love with your spouse lasts a lifetime; if it doesn’t, one or both of you will be very glad that society in general and the law in particular regards Property with sufficient importance to ensure that by law there is a fair division of it between you.

            Slavery? There was movement, I believe, in the Catholic Church against the notion of slavery; and there was most certainly with William Wilberforce in England from the Christian perspective against the slave trade. Without that Christian opposition there might never have been a Civil War in America.

          • Notjustanybody

            @flyingvic
            So if homosexual couples live together and aquire property and marriage is only for hetrosexual couples how do they divide thier property? How about we just give everyone, regardless of sexual preference, the same abilities?
            “There was a movement, I believe, in the Catholic Church against the notion of slavery” Well, I’ve given you the June 20, 1866 proclamation of the Holy Office that says different. I can’t do any better than that, but isn’t it time you put on your big boy pants and accept truths as they are, and take off your religious colored glasses. Remeber that proclamation is DIRECTLY FROM THE VATICAN.

          • flyingvic

            @Notjustanybody
            Also directly from the Vatican: “Therefore, We…noting that the Indians themselves indeed are true men…by our Apostolic Authority decree and declare by these present letters that the same Indians and all other peoples—eventhough they are outside the faith…should not be deprived of their liberty or their other possessions…and are not to be reduced to slavery, and that whatever happens to the contrary is to be considered null and void.” This from a Bull of Pope Paul III over three hundred years before the piece that you quote.
            William Wilberforce was an evangelical Christian who led the anti-slavery movement in Britain for twenty-six years until the passing of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, nearly sixty years before the piece that you quote. Are you even old enough to wear big boy pants?

            One man, one woman, one marriage. Whatever legal arrangements other couples might come to over the disposition of common property is up to them – and I would believe almost anything coming out nof California! – but it isn’t marriage.

  • Mark D

    Mike,
    Do guys like you just hunt all over the Internet for articles like these? Why do you care? If we are crazy, as you obviously believe, then how can you possibly talk us out of crazy? Therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists have been trying to talk people out of crazy for years and years with very little success. But you obviously believe that you can do it in a few sentences, which makes me think that you are as crazy as we are.

    • Bernard Burlew

      Very sad Mike, I feel sorry for you.

      • Ramanie

        Mike,
        So you want real facts. I too feel sorry for you. You don’t seem to have much faith. May be more prayer and faith in the great power of God our Father will be of help to you.

    • Korou

      It’s not at all unknown for people to change their minds, even for Christians to decide that they were wrong about God existing. Maybe you will one day too.

  • http://www.hsjonline.com Carlos Ramalhete

    Dear Father Longenecker:
    Pax Christi!
    I really enjoy reading your blog, but as I have a very bad internet connection (I live in the Brazilian countryside, and I wish I could have something as fast as a regular 90s dial-up connection!), it is very difficult to access them. I subscribe to your rss feed, and it brings just the few first lines of text. When I click on it, a new window appears (this one), and some 10 minutes later, another chunk of text appears, where I have to click on “read more” so that it will take another lifetime downloading the full text.
    Would it be possible to put the full text in the rss feed, as Fr. Z does? If it happened, I would certainly be able to read much more of your writings!
    Thanks in advance,
    your brother in Christ,
    Prof. Carlos Ramalhete
    Carmo de Minas, MG, Brazil

  • DJ

    Sanal Edamaruku recently saw one of those catholic “miracles” in Mumbai, India, and exposed it as bunk. He is now facing arrest for “deliberately hurting the religious feelings” of those silly, deluded believers.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/07/05/indian-rationalist-still-in-hiding-after-debunking-miracle/
    There are no miracles, just random chance and an overactive imagination.

  • Korou

    @flyingvic,

    Thank you, flyingvic. That was indeed all I wanted; just to point out that there is a reason why atheists spend time debating with Christians.
    I would be happy now to discuss with you anything you’d like to bring up about your belief systems or mine. There’s no particular topic I wanted to introduce; I just felt that Dave’s comment needed correcting. But if you like I’d be happy to discuss totalitarianism with you?

  • Korou

    Dave,
    You’re quite right, the topic was originally on miracles. But it was you who quoted Ghandi to make a point; all I was doing was rebutting that point. Upon seeing my answer, your reply had nothing to do with the point I was arguing against; which means it was a red hrring.
    It would be nice if you were to either admit that you were mistaken, or tell me how I was; but, after reading flyingvic’s reply, I won’t insist on it.
    Well, now that you have introduced some new topics of conversation, I’d be happy to address them.

    • SteveD

      You and several others asked for proof of miracles in comments on an earlier entry. I offered a link several times – no-one denying the possibility of miracles replied or commented. The situation of atheists denying the possibility of miracles and demanding proof and then refusing to consider proof offered is common and understandable but hardly intellectually honest. There are literally thousands of attested miracles but no proof is sufficient for people like yourself and any offered is ignored.

      • Korou

        I missed that link. Can you repost it?
        I have seen some examples of things which have not been explained; I have seen plenty of things posing as miracles which have been exposed; and I have seen plenty of things claimed to be miracles which look much more like people scraping for reasons to believe.

      • Korou

        Thank you, I’ve read it now.
        So: the man had sever injuries, none of which were incapable of natural recovery.
        Now you tell me this, Steve D. If you were told a similar story by a Muslim, would you convert to Islam?

  • Korou

    @Dave
    Perhaps we’ll get further another time.
    Bye then!

    • http://servusfidelis.wordpress.com Dave

      That would be fine, Korou, for you don’t seem as contentious as most though I have had only a limited experience with atheist – so maybe I only read the more angry variety. I have a post on my site dated July 1 that may give you a bit more about how I feel on this subject. As you say, there are Catholics that come to atheism and I’ve met many who fell away from the faith. Now that would be an interesting debate: an ex-Catholic and a former ex-atheist/agnostic turned Catholic. Bye! and God bless.

      • Korou

        No, Julie, I didn’t. If you read my comment again you will see that, in response to legalized abortion being called “the slaughter of millions” I said that there were people – which I shouldn’t think is news to you – who would say that it is a great medical and social advance.
        It is true that my sympathies lean towards what is called “pro-choice” whereas yours obviously lean toward what is called “pro-life.”
        If you don’t like reading my posts perhaps you can just keep an eye out for my name and skip any comments that I make. Unfortunately these comments don’t seem to have an ignore function like some forums do.

        • Korou

          Hm – sorry, got those two comments mixed up.

      • Korou

        Well, Dave, I’m glad this has ended civilly. People on both sides can get overexcited on emotional topics like these.
        See you next time!

        • Korou

          I read your article on communicating with atheists and I’d like to suggest an atheist for you to read – Dale McGowan, a very friendly atheist who blogs at The Meming of Life: http://parentingbeyondbelief.com/blog/ He’s great at communicating the values of wonder, purpose and reasoning and explaining why we value these so much.

  • Julie

    Korou,

    Did you seriously call abortion one of the great social and medical advancements of mankind? I have news for you, Korou, abortion is nothing but the murder of an unloved and unwanted human being in our society, just as surely as if you waited for the baby to be delivered and shot it with a gun. Should we do that with unloved and unwanted adults, as well? I commend people like Father Longenecker who have the patience and tolerance to deal with people like you. Maybe I am not as good a person as Father, because, quite frankly, I cannot stand to read your ignorant posts that whine on and on and on.

    • Korou

      And incidentally, I commend Fr. Longenecker as well, for keeping this open to dissenting views.

  • Julie

    Korou,

    I apologize if I incorrectly assumed that was your belief, as well. Getting back on the topic of Father’s post, if you are looking for proof of a miracle, you should have been at my house this evening as we ate dinner, a dinner cooked by my 23 year old daughter. Korou, when I was pregnant with my daughter, all of my doctors advised me to terminate the pregnancy. They said she had medical problems that would seriously hinder her quality of life and ours. Obviously, I did not listen to them. Our daughter is now finishing up her nursing degree and those medical problems have only made her a more compassionate person. She is one of the miracles that I have witnessed.

  • Notjustanybody

    Let me apologize for the double post, the computer crashed and I thought the first one was lost forever. After restarting the computer and coming back to the post it still wasn’t there, so I rewrote (sort of) and reposted. My sincerest apologies.

  • savvy

    Notjustanybody,

    Obama makes references to Christianity too, so do all politicians. Hitler called himself the Father, the Ayrans, his children, and the state the Holy Spirit. For most Christians this is blasphemy. The crucifix was replaced with the swastika, a hindu/buddhist symbol.

    The conclusion I have come to is that he was just stone mad.

    • Notjustanybody

      @Savvy
      We can both agree that anyone who kills millions upon millions is mad. But, I almost died laughing at the “Obama makes references to Christianity”. Am I correctly inferring that you do not think Obama a Christian? If so, I wonder why the GOP (God’s Own Party) was trying, prior to the election, to use Reverend Wright’s anti-U.S. statements in his (Wright’s) speeches against Obama prior to Obama being elected (P.S. Obama went to Rev. Wright’s church for the 20 years prior). Please tell me you’re the 12 percent who think he’s a Muslim. LMFAO.

      • Oregon Catholic

        Do you think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that a community organizer might attend a church for political rather than religious reasons? I wonder how many times he has attended church in DC.

        • Notjustanybody

          @Oregon Catholic
          Where I live the CEO of the local corporation was Baptist and everyone went to the Baptist church. When he got fired, the new CEO was Morman and everyone went to the Mormon church. He retired in a few years and the next CEO was Catholic, funny how everyone was going to Sunday Mass at the Catholic church.
          This is a devout, fundamentalist area, but I wonder if in reality only a very small percentage actually believe in God and it is ALL political, rather than religious.

  • Korou

    (three months later)

    I must say, it’s funny reading these comments after you’ve had time to forget what you’d written. Look at us all, snipping at each other like cats in a basket!


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