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Old 04-13-2005, 07:23 PM   #91
Saxifrage
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Here's a thought. With the pope passing on recently my attention has been turned toward Catholicism. My question is "are catholics Idolators?" This is posed to the christian element of the board. I believe the christian god said:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:*Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;*And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:4-6)

It seems to me that Catholics worship Idols; the virgin Mary, God's son Jesus, a multitude of saints, isn't this idolatry?*

*No venom intended, simply pepping things up a bit.
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Old 04-13-2005, 08:01 PM   #92
craig johnston
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catholicism is seriously weird and perverse. i mean, talk about
sado-masochism!
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:08 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxifrage
Here's a thought. With the pope passing on recently my attention has been turned toward Catholicism. My question is "are catholics Idolators?" This is posed to the christian element of the board. I believe the christian god said:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:*Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;*And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:4-6)

It seems to me that Catholics worship Idols; the virgin Mary, God's son Jesus, a multitude of saints, isn't this idolatry?*


*No venom intended, simply pepping things up a bit.

This is why I am a Christian, but not a Catholic. No venom here either, just a statement.
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:43 AM   #94
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Dangit. I had some pretty good stuff written down...it all dissapeared with a click of my finger. (*cries*) Let's see if I can try this again.

[disclaimer:] I am not Catholic, but I do have a few theories on the Catholic theology.

As far as Icons are concerned (those are the paintings and statues of Jesus, Mary, and the Saints), I think they were always supposed to serve as a reminder moreso than to be worshiped. For example, a statue of Aphrodite was not worshiped, Aphrodite was worshiped, except when her worshipers gave her a form to come and inhabit, then her worshipers would have been worshiping an idol. The Icons of Catholics serve as reminders of the saints and their lives, they're like touchstones or strings around your finger. You don't worship them, you learn from them and their mistakes and successes.

With the situation of Mary, I can understand why it would be a common misgiving that the Catholics worship Mary. I used to have this belief also...until I finally sat down with a Catholic friend of mine and hashed it out. Sometimes we forget that Mary was there through the entire history of Jesus. She gave birth to him, raised him until he was ready to leave home, put him in the tomb, and was the first to see him risen from the dead. She's a big part of the story. Also in the story of Jesus turning the water into wine (John 2), Catholics found cause to pray to Mary because at the wedding, Mary beseeched Jesus on behalf of the partygoers to get them some more bubbly. I agree, with Catholics it teeters on the verge of worship, but if they have their wits about them, they remember that it's not Mary that is the answer, it's Jesus.

I'd have to say the saints aren't being worshiped, I'd say they were being revered (there's a difference). Just like I'm a crazy-ass fan of Franklin for discovering electricity, I've learned not to fly a kite in a lightening storm with a key attatched to it. It's all about intention.

With Jesus, the deal is completely different. Jesus is part of the Trinity, the Three-In-One, he's God in the Flesh. So this worship is completely appropriate from a Christian standpoint because Jesus is God. Just as God is God and the Holy Spirit is God. Worshiping Jesus isn't puting another god before you because this Jesus is the same as God.

And as far as the pope is concerned, I realize it seems a little much, but even Jesus had to go off by himself to grieve when John the Baptist was beheaded (John 14). The Mecca that the Vatican has become is a little odd. But hey, when you respect someone so much and they've had an effect on how you've lived your life, taking the time out to remember them, it's not an abomination.

So, I'd have to answer honestly. Are Catholics idolaters? Depends on the Catholic. I hope this answers your question.

Last edited by beckstra : 04-14-2005 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:57 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartypants
Believes religion is evil and pointless; reads the New Yorker and McSweeneys; bears a French name for fruit... I'm a fan! Welcome!
If you're serious, I'm flattered. If you're sarcastic, you will burn in hell.

craig johnston: You should stop by sometime for some literature. You can learn about the times we meet, our dogma, the proper attire for worship, fellow believers in your area, a directory of highly influential (*wink*) lobbying organizations, and our holy book.
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Old 04-14-2005, 07:49 AM   #96
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don't worry, my family are catholic. my gran cleaned mullingar
cathedral every day for 30 years.
i like the bit about lighting a candle for someone, but the rest
of it is paganism mixed with sexual deviancy. just calling it as
i see it.
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Old 04-14-2005, 03:53 PM   #97
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So, I'd have to answer honestly. Are Catholics idolaters? Depends on the Catholic. I hope this answers your question.
Not really a question, more of a topic for discussion. I'm not really concerned myself, they can worship chipmunks if they like as far as I am concerned. What mainly brought this to mind was listening to a religious fundamentalist telling me the evils of the "Papacy" and how they really worship the devil in secret and so on and so forth. I am looking to see if anyone else feels that way or is willing to admit such.

You make some good points in your post and I appreciate the effort
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Old 04-17-2005, 01:40 AM   #98
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I was raised Catholic, but am no longer for the simple fact that I do not agree with the dogmatic practices nor the idea of Jesus being God's son (OK, so I reject the faith as a whole, for the most part).

Recently I've found myself on this Christian fundamentalist-esque forum where I challenge their views to see the response I get, along with defending my own views. It's quite interesting. Through there I've heard similar to what Saxifrage has heard, and I really would like to know where on earth these folk are getting that information?

As a recovering Catholic, I can tell you that no, Catholics do not worship the devil in secret or otherwise. The last pope was one of the bst ones the RCC had in a long time on account of how much of a humanitarian he was. He did wonderful things and was a good guy. So when these people come along saying things like, "oh, popes are evil!" I really wonder if they're looking back in eras past when the RCC was quite corrupt (popes who were soldiers..popes who had illegitimate children..popes who were greedy sob's) or if they're basing these claims on today.

Anywho, here's what I believe:
1. I believe in a "God". I don't believe God to be "he" or "she". I capitalize the "g" on account of my respect for God.

2. I do not believe in anyone being "saved" on account of their beliefs in God or a certain religion.

3. I do believe that there is some sort of afterlife..another plain of existance. Whether it's something you immediately achieve after death or something to be worked for (reincarnation, perhaps...or a sort of limbo...whatever), I'm not sure. I'd just like to think that our lives in this world aren't it, since finity scares me. XD

4. I view the Bible as being literature. Stories passed down through the ages. Things have been ost in translation..tweaked, embellished, and forgotten along the way, as most of it was originally passed orally.

5. I believe we are responsible for our lives. Albeit a supreme being would be omnicient that doesn't mean there is a "divine plan". I believe in free will, so my saying, "Everything happens for a reason" or "He moves in mysterious ways" would be my confirming my belief in being a tool.

So when someone at that forum I was at said to me, "You're here because God brought you here," my only response was, "God didn't bring me here. I brought me here. He just knows about it."

So, I feel God is all knowing simply because God does not exist in space and time, which we are confined to and that's why we think in terms, obviously, of past, present and future.

I also believe in a thing called love..just listen to the rhythm of my heart...there's a chance we can make it now..we can make it until the sun goes down..
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Last edited by Mary : 04-17-2005 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 04-17-2005, 02:43 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Mary
I also believe in a thing called love..just listen to the rhythm of my heart...there's a chance we can make it now..we can make it until the sun goes down..
Tee-hee!
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Old 04-18-2005, 12:33 AM   #100
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Haven't really heard from anyone of my ilk here yet as I've been lurking around. I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about these things here.

I'm a post-modern, Social Justice Christian. I'm a devout believer in the divinity of Jesus as the physical manifestation of God sent to earth to show us how to relate to Him and to each other, freely without fear, liberated from the conformities and compulsions of an imperfect world.

That being said, it is none of my business who gets into heaven. I believe that free will is a sacred gift from God, and how we exercise it is between the individual and God.

I believe I was created for a purpose, and that my main purpose above all else is to worship God in various ways with my entire mind, heart, strength and soul. How well I or anyone else does that is between God and me.

I am against violence of all kinds - the death penalty, the NRA, pre-emptive war, the violence women commit against themselves with abortion, the violence of abortion clinic bombers, of men against women, of corporations against global populations and against the environment, and most importantly, the violence of poverty against the human spirit.

I believe in equal rights for every single human, regardless of age, nationality,
political/spiritual beliefs or sexual orientation. I believe that all truth and justice springs from God, the Keeper of the Big Picture.

There is another kind of casual violence perpetrated against people: that of intolerance and judgmentalism, which arises out of fear. I am not ignorant, misinformed or unscientific because I believe that Jesus paid with his life for all the wrongs that all of humanity has ever committed. And because of that, I am freed to choose not to be offended, and free to choose to forgive anything. Whether I actually choose to do that or not is an ongoing argument/dialogue between my soul and the Holy Spirit, and other believers I confide in.

My core belief comes from intense, direct, personal supernatural experience. I came to Christianity later in life, and I have to admit, at the time, the last thing I ever wanted to become was a Christian. Hard evidence of a powerful, living God in my life overcame all intellectual objections I'd had after years of half-hearted dabbling in various world religions. Boy, was I surprised. Objections to Christianity? Heard 'em all, made 'em myself.

The Belief-O-Matic survey rates me as a 100% Orthodox Quaker, which also greatly shocks me, given my extreme fondness for Stoli martinis with two giant jalapeno-stuffed olives.
Thanks very much, Saxi. Not often anyone asks what I believe. Sorry, I don't do "pithy" very well, unfortunately. Take care, and many travelling mercies on your journey.
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Old 04-27-2005, 03:05 PM   #101
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The Belief-O-Matic survey rates me as a 100% Orthodox Quaker, which also greatly shocks me, given my extreme fondness for Stoli martinis with two giant jalapeno-stuffed olives.
Thanks very much, Saxi. Not often anyone asks what I believe. Sorry, I don't do "pithy" very well, unfortunately. Take care, and many travelling mercies on your journey.
The belief-o-matic kept giving me the Quaker thing as well. I appreciate the thought out reply. Don't worry about "pithy" that's just icing on the cake, cream in the coffee, worchestershire sauce on your london broil.
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Old 04-28-2005, 05:00 PM   #102
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I went to the website out of curiosity - I've always had this stereotypical idea, (against all logic of course) that in my mind confused all Quakers with the Amish. I was surprised to see how ideas varied from group to group, which I guess answers the Richard Nixon conumdrum. Or, in the case of evangelicals, who vary quite a bit in their politicalization - despite media depictions to the contrary - the George Bush problem, for that matter.
I think it's always interesting how various religions are judged by their followers rather than by the basic tenents or the example set by the founders of each religion. For that reason, I think a lot of Christians would just like Jerry Falwell to shut the * up! It's so much easier to focus on the follower rather than on who he thinks he's following.
What do you think - should we look only at pitiful, fallible human attempts to follow a particular faith before we decide for ourselves whether it's a valid worldview, or see it instead as an "impossible" ideal worth devoting our entire lives to, requiring a process of increasing intimacy with a supernatural/divine force that helps us to grow incrementally?
I know the question sounds a bit loaded, but the question in my mind is, outside of an intense, direct, life-shaking gateway experience with the supernatural, what do we have that's available and meaningful to examine if not the good/bad behavior of the followers? Does a terrorist attack in the name of Mohammed, or an abortion clinic bombing in the name of Christ completely invalidate an entire belief system?
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:37 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynn
I know the question sounds a bit loaded...
LOL!!

I don't see how one can separate a religion from its followers for the sake of judging its merits. But let's say you can, and moderate Christians and Moslems are upset by the black eyes they perceive fundamentalists to be giving their religions' public image. I don't think the fundamentalists are to blame; rather, I believe it's the moderates who want to believe that the religions to which they subscribe are more rational, more compassionate, and have a greater capacity for good than they really do. After all, it's the fundamentalist and extremist practitioners of these religions who really know their scripture, and the violence and intolerance they preach are actually a reflection of their better grasp of the subject matter.

Moderates who wish to pick through their Christian and Islamic Cracker Jacks for the peanuts while pretending that the popcorn has nothing to do with the product are hardly legitimate spokespeople. It just makes them feel better to disassociate themselves from the more revolting dogma of their faiths.
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Old 04-29-2005, 02:08 AM   #104
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Whew! Let me get this straight - the moderates are to blame for believing in love, tolerance, generosity, acceptance because the religion that inspires them to behave nicely and gave them these beliefs to begin with is - what was the phrase? "revolting dogma" - and their sincere efforts to be loving, tolerant, generous and accepting amount to little more than picking out the good bits in order to disassociate themselves from an inherently evil paradigm. Therefore they are to blame for all evil done in the name of religion.

And furthermore - (just trying to figure out your logic here)
the moderates are to blame for extremist evil acts simply because their tolerant, non-violent interpretation of the same scripture isn't as accurate the extremists, and they are therefore responsible for how others interpret scripture differently?
A few awfully big assumptions you got going there, but okay, sure, let's go with that and take it one step further.

Let's just widen the circle a little, to look at the behavior of all human beings. By this logic, we are all culpable then, simply by virtue of belonging to the human race. The idea that we are radically different based on superficial affilliations to different "clubs" (Christian, Muslim, Atheist) is nothing but an illusion to begin with. "Evil extremists" are human beings. You're a human being. I'm a human being. Anyone who objects to or supports them is a human being. To say you are any different/superior to them and their/my revolting dogma (and by judging me/them, you are in fact saying that you are) is really just so much peanut-picking of your own out of the Giant Cracker Jack Box O' Life, my friend.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," the Good Book says. And I certainly won't argue with you about that. That's why Christ said "Judge not, lest ye be judged in like measure." But what do I know about scripture? I'm just a self-deluded moderate.
Your word-picture made me so hungry for Cracker Jacks.
I wish I had some right now.
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Old 04-29-2005, 02:23 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynn
Whew! Let me get this straight - the moderates are to blame for believing in love, tolerance, generosity, acceptance because the religion that inspires them to behave nicely and gave them these beliefs to begin with is - what was the phrase? "revolting dogma" - and their sincere efforts to be loving, tolerant, generous and accepting amount to little more than picking out the good bits in order to disassociate themselves from an inherently evil paradigm. Therefore they are to blame for all evil done in the name of religion.
I didn't say that moderates are to blame for all the evil done in the name of religion (did I?), but I believe that moderates either turn a blind eye to scripture's call for violence and intolerance, or they deny it, or they're ignorant of it. (And I didn't say that anyone was to blame for believing in love, etc., although I don't recommend the bible or the koran as the best place to find examples or role models.)

Quote:
And furthermore - (just trying to figure out your logic here)
the moderates are to blame for extremist evil acts simply because their tolerant, non-violent interpretation of the same scripture isn't as accurate the extremists, and they are therefore responsible for how others interpret scripture differently?
Nope. Didn't say this. What I meant was that if you ever need to find a religious scholar who really knows his scripture, ask a fundamentalist nutcase. Moderates who only see the good in their church's dogma, ain't been readin' their Good Books carefully.

Quote:
The idea that we are radically different based on superficial affilliations to different "clubs" (Christian, Muslim, Atheist) is nothing but an illusion to begin with. "Evil extremists" are human beings. You're a human being. I'm a human being. Anyone who objects to or supports them is a human being. To say you are any different/superior to them and their/my revolting dogma (and by judging me/them, you are in fact saying that you are) is really just so much peanut-picking of your own out of the Giant Cracker Jack Box O' Life, my friend.
For simplicity sake (because it's early in the morning and I am not at my verbal-sparring best) let's just divide the humans into "Religious (them/you)" and "Secular (us/me)" Clubs, and examine the fine print on our membership cards. The difference I see is that the secular clubs aren't out there trying to deny equal rights or demonize (or annihilate) groups of people who don't share their beliefs. (Unless you call it demonizing to point out the intolerance perpetuated by the world's major religions.)
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