Finally, in the face of overwhelming evidence, the Catholic Church in Australia is finally fessing up to their appalling crimes against children. Some however like Cardinal Pell seem to be wanting to make excuses.
“This ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy … The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! … Read more »
Mary Eberstadt explores why religion is waning in favour of secularisation and explores the difficulty a new Pope will have with the wandering flock:
So what’s a Pope to do? He can start by understanding one critical truth that has not been well understood so far: the puzzle of secularization is not only his to solve. Secular sociology has written the intellectual script about how godlessness happens but has gotten it wrong.
Secularization is not, for example, the inevitable result of affluence, as many have said; statistically, men and women who are better-off in the United States today, for example, are more likely to believe and practice faith than are those further down the economic ladder. The same was true of Victorian England, as the British historian Hugh McLeod has painstakingly shown. Mammon alone does not necessarily drive out God. Read more »
An interesting question considering how many ultra-conservatives think they know what Jesus thinks on a whole range of issues, including homosexuality. Derek Flood thinks he knows the answer:
Is homosexuality a sin? It’s an age-old question, and there are people on both sides of the debate, each quoting their Bibles. How do we know who’s right? What would Jesus do if he were here with us today? Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, so can we really say?
I’d like to propose that we can. Perhaps we wont be able to settle the debate over what the Bible says about homosexuality (least of all from one little blog post!) but I think there is one thing we can be sure of — Jesus loves every one of us. In fact Jesus was especially known for loving the very people that the religious people of his time had condemned and cast out.
Now for the facts:
As their voices have begun to be heard, we have seen story after story of how gay and transgender kids have felt hated, at times even hating themselves. We have heard how life for them can be a living hell, so bad that it makes some of them want to end their lives.
That really should be a wakeup call for us as Christians. Regardless of where we stand on the rightness or the wrongness of being gay, none of that matters much when people are dying. We can argue over what the Bible says about homosexuality, but one thing is utterly clear: Jesus clearly teaches us to love people, not to hate them, not to make them feel hated, and not to stand by while that is happening. From the perspective of the New Testament there simply is no room for doubt on this. We know exactly where Jesus stands. He stands on the side of the least, the condemned, the vulnerable. Read more »
Penn Jillette is a well known atheist and he says we should end religion, but if that happened what would Andrei and Lucia use for a crutch then?
Religion cannot and should not be replaced by atheism. Religion needs to go away and not be replaced by anything. Atheism is not a religion. It’s the absence of religion, and that’s a wonderful thing.
Religion is not morality. Theists ask me, “If there’s no god, what would stop me from raping and killing everyone I want to.” My answer is always: “I, myself, have raped and killed everyone I want to … and the number for both is zero.” Behaving morally because of a hope of reward or a fear of punishment is not morality. Morality is not bribery or threats. Religion is bribery and threats. Humans have morality. We don’t need religion.
Interesting concept…let’s look further Read more »
David Clark is an outlier in the modern Labour party, where the aggressive secular elite dismiss Christianity as something only the ignorant practice as no thinking person like them could ever believe in christianity. Non christian religions are acceptable. As long as they are not Jewish…or the Exclusive Brethren
Name one of your heroes outside politics.
I guess this sounds a bit cheesy but ultimately the Biblical Jesus is something of a hero to me, unsurprising given that I’ve got a background as a minister of religion. He was someone who stood up for the poor and vulnerable and was concerned about social justice issues and not afraid to take on the authorities of the day to ensure fairer outcomes for those who were struggling. Read more »
hat tip Keeping Stock
I must go through all the tweets by Trevor Mallard and others about John Banks and his belief in creationism.
I don;t doubt that Labour won’t be so forthright in likewise dissing Shearer over his believe in myths.
Dan Savage, creator of the It Gets Better Project, was invited to speak as a keynote speaker at NSPA/ JEA’s annual High School Journalism convention, Journalism on the Edge.
During a speech at a high school journalism convention, Dan Savage attacked anti-gay Biblical literalism, which caused some Christian students to walk out.
Perhaps they should have stayed. As Dan Savage explains after the predictable outrage ensued:
I was not attacking the faith in which I was raised. I was attacking the argument that gay people must be discriminated against—and anti-bullying programs that address anti-gay bullying should be blocked (or exceptions should be made for bullying “motivated by faith”)—because it says right there in the Bible that being gay is wrong. Yet the same people who make that claim choose to ignore what the Bible has to say about a great deal else. I did not attack Christianity. I attacked hypocrisy. My remarks can only be read as an attack on all Christians if you believe that all Christians are hypocrites. Which I don’t believe.
The Catholic Church is cracking down on uppity nuns who dare to voice an opinion:
For the past three years, Mother Mary Clare Millea has been scouring convents, on the lookout for deviant nuns. The matronly American, who has a doctorate in canon law from Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University, was given this mandate as part of a Vatican-ordered investigation called Apostolic Visitation. She has had no trouble finding sisters on the edge, but the nuns’ main infractions weren’t sins of the flesh or succumbing to vices. Instead, the offending nuns were simply speaking their minds.
Based on a summary of her findings, which she submitted to Cardinal William Levada, head of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for a final, yet-unpublished, report approved by Pope Benedict XVI, the vast majority of American nuns are pushing “radical-feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.” But rather than preaching against church doctrine, the sisters are often just staying silent on the hot-button issues of abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, and the ordination of women. Their silence is interpreted as endorsement, so by not speaking out against such “evils,” the report says the sisters are effectively showing their approval.
One Nun explains why it is they are speaking out:
Many American nuns also live independently and reach high education levels—all while still serving the church. Rindler says she believes that the hierarchy in Rome is really worried that the American nuns will influence other sisters around the world. “That’s why the men in the Vatican want control, what they see as influence, we see as enlightenment,” she says, adding that some nuns are brainwashed into thinking they are lesser beings than their male counterparts. “What woman truly believes she is not equal to a man?”
Indeed, in fact sometimes women are better, especially as they don’t bugger little boys in the confessional.