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On Letter: Unchanging God

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grimpeur 1 year, 8 months ago

Actually, it's Harvey I argue with. To the same end.

But please, by all means, continue to absolve those who would use their god as an excuse for their own words and actions: "The devil/god/bible made me do it." Sure, we've all heard it.

Free will. Do you have it?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

"it is God you argue with, not men."

That's an article of faith, and the facts and history of the Catholic Church say otherwise.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

There is but one Universe. It is mortal man who has begun to uncover the unimaginably rich complexity of the tapestry of that universe, from the quantum levels of the subatomic realm that underpins everything; to the incredible diversity of life that ranges from the immortal worlds of single cell organisms to the myriad evolving, interdependent multicellular plant and animal kingdoms; to the uncountable stars with their near infinite planetary companions strewn throughout their stellar bubbles; to the hundreds of billions of galaxies strewn like sand across the reaches of the universe.

Our feeble human institutions are frail and fleeting in comparison. And yet the Universe in its constancy and inconstancy, is infinitely patient and fleeting at once, ready to lift its skirts to all who will look at its sources of everything, including the purest love and terror beyond terror, from unscrutinizable subtlety to in-your-face blatancy and everything else in between.

Our relationship with the universe is never done, as we have always been a part of it and always will be. Welcome Home.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

"There is but one Universe."

Are you sure? The latest in physics and astronomy indicates that only about 4% of the material and energy that exists is composed of molecules and energy that we can see and measure. The rest is composed of dark matter and dark energy, for which we have no explanation at all.

So, to say that there is only one universe is simplistic at best. True, it appears that is the case, but it certainly appears that the earth is flat also.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

The dark matter/energy is contained in our universe too, though. Of course there may be multiple "universes," and they may even interact, but if the most encompassing definition of "uni-verse" is used, they would all be included.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 8 months ago

Well if that is the case, WristTwister, then this god dude has not done a very good job communicating with his "children." Perhaps family counseling is in order.

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SnakeFist 1 year, 8 months ago

So when we argue against the Catholic Church, we argue against God - because the Catholic Church is God? When priests raped thousands of children, and the church facilitated it by protecting those priests, was it God doing the raping and facilitating? When the church was silent while millions died, especially during the twentieth century, was it God who was silent? The church is run by fallible men who make mistakes like everyone else. In fact, the Catholic hierarchy seems to make more mistakes than most.

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ThePilgrim 1 year, 8 months ago

"God is unchanging". The Catholic church - "changing".

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

please remember, in faith and morals, it is God you argue with, not men.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

"He gave us only Ten Commandments"

Actually, there are 613 mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah (the pentateuch, the five books of Moses), of which only 10 were selected in the New Testament age, for simplicity. Of course, many of the dietary laws are no longer followed by many, same with the planting of fields, the restrictions on garments are followed by only the orthodox, and many others have no meaning at all now that the Temple is no longer standing.

What I find bothersome about this letter is that people who believe that they have found G-d in ways other than the Catholic church can find little meaning in it. Do our methods of finding G-d have no validity?

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jonas_opines 1 year, 8 months ago

Alternatively, it's quite possible that it was men who created morals, and then created gods to keep people from arguing with their morals.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 8 months ago

How does the massive catholic church cover up of priests sexually abusing young boys and girls square with this vision of the catholic church?

Catholic leaders and followers should argue with god about this.

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verity 1 year, 8 months ago

I find it deeply disturbing that people actually believe what the letter writer claims to believe. If there is a God/god (which I don't ascribe to) I certainly would hope that the Catholic Church is not it's representative. The Catholic Church has been responsible for a lot of evil acts---just a brief study of history attests to that. That same study would show that the Catholic Church has definitely not been unchanging.

This kind of magical thinking would goes a long way toward explaining the rise of Sam Brownback.

Scary that people will go this far to delude themselves.

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deec 1 year, 8 months ago

One less-known example of Church-sanctioned evil is the Magdalene laundries in Ireland. This is recent history; the last slave-labor nun-run facility closed in 1996. The Irish government sanctioned them.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Irish-leader-Enda-Kenny-promises-apology-to-survivors-of-the-Magdalene-Laundries-191059321.html

They also operated in the U.S.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/heart-without-compromise-children-and-children-wit/2013/feb/9/magdalene-laundries-american-survivor-speaks-out/

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verity 1 year, 8 months ago

I read the articles, deec, and hardly know how to react.

Shameful and sadistic to say the least.

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Katara 1 year, 8 months ago

I think it would be wonderful if everyone just worried about their own relationship with whichever deity they believe in and stop worrying about others' relationships with their deities of choice.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 8 months ago

".... the Catholic Church has never changed its stand with regard to faith and morals."

So is the writer suggesting that the Catholic church has been covering up priestly pedophilic abuse for centuries? Now that is disturbing.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

I think you're pointing at the wrong religious group. Aside from the South American Natives, North American Natives, and Asian religions to name just a few examples, Aisha was the prophet Muhammad's favorite, out of his 9 wives. As a general rule, Jews were faithful to their one wife in Biblical times, that is, about 0 AD. But with the passage of time, who knows what was really going on.

According to traditional sources, Aisha was 6 or 7 years old when she was betrothed to Muhammad and 9 years old when the marriage was consummated. (about 700 AD) But, with the passage of time, this may be impossible to verify. They were married for only ten years, according to some, meaning that when Muhammad died, Aisha was the 19 year old widow of a 62 year old man.

But, it was a totally different culture then, and without Aisha's fabulous memory, the Qur'an as we know it today would be very different, as the nomadic tribes had very few members that could read and write outside of the cities. So almost all of it had to be memorized, until someone who could write it down could be found.

From our vantage point today, it's very easy to make the terrific mistake of thinking things used to be like they are today. No, people thought differently, and thus everything was very different in many ways.

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jonas_opines 1 year, 8 months ago

Agreed. It's far too easy to broad brush the past with the same standards that we hold today, but you can't ultimately expect people to behave or think, to any great degree, beyond the confines of their times.

One of the main reasons as to why religion and gods need to evolve, as our society evolves.

You're welcome to call that "our understanding of god needs to evolve", if it makes you feel more comfortable.

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Abdu Omar 1 year, 8 months ago

In my reading of the sayings and actions of Muhammad, we find that Aisha was about 12-13 years old when her father betrothed her to Muhammad. The reasoning was that she was young enough to listen and learn from him and teach those who came after. Most girls in the 7th Century were married and had children by the age of 12, even Christians and Jews. The revelations given to Muhammad were written right after he received them by scribes, not by Aisha. The scribes wrote down everything Muhammad told them to write and Othman, the 3rd Caliph after the death of Muhammad arranged them as Muhammad had commanded him before Muhammad died. The arrangemnt of the verses and chapter are the same today as Muhammad commanded. Therefore the Quran has never been lost or out of the hands of Muhammad's companions and was a written document before his death but not arranged as he was told to arrange them.

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verity 1 year, 8 months ago

Do we know that Aisha wasn't the author rather than having a fabulous memory?

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

This hardly started with the Israelites. They probably got the idea from the Egyptians or Babylonians, and it was probably old hat even before then. Those civilizations go back 8,000 years or so, and less complex cultures easily go back 40,000 years, with a case to be made much further back than that.

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jimmyjms 1 year, 8 months ago

Apparently, Ms. Butler worships a pedophile.

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Doninks 1 year, 8 months ago

I think someone needs to read some theology, history of the development of theology and church history. the Catholic Church has changed her teachings time after time over the centuries. there was a time when the church taught it not possible for soldiers to receive the sacraments because they had blood on their hands, that all changed in time. just look at the Crusades, the warmongering that goes on to this very day and the church's teachings that the death penalty is ok in some circumstances. another example. it used to taught that charging interest on money was a big sin, one you could even be excommunicated for. now the Vatican is one of the biggest "money changers" in the world. try getting an annulment without paying out the nose for it. even the church's teaching on sexuality have changed. back in the good ole days the only legit reason for having sex was for procreation. some theologians even considered loving one's spouse too much could be considered sinful. people were also required to give up sex with their spouses during Lent and other penitential times and before receiving communion. when was the last time you heard a priest preach about that from the pulpit? there has even been changes on when the church said life began in the womb. Augustine didn't believe the fetus was fully human until after the 40th day, that is about the time it begins to move around. Aquinas believed the same thing. There are so many other examples I could give you. Oh and I learned all of this studying theology at a Catholic University. :-)

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

It's always good to read and study the teachings of many different churches, as well as Judaism, I think. It gives you a well rounded perspective, as well as sometimes it can get you into big arguments.

For instance, I got into a big argument once with a woman who insisted that baptism was a Christian thing. NO, it is not! It's a Jewish mikvah, a Jewish cleansing ritual, that's all it is, and they call it a Christian thing. I had to read her scripture and verse before she would believe me. Even then it took a while.

Not long ago, I mentioned to a Christian minister that you can't really understand the Gospels completely unless you understand something about Judaism. Because, I noticed a lot of things that I had never understood before my Judaic studies.

Even though he admitted he knows nothing about Judaism, he agreed with me.

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Enlightenment 1 year, 8 months ago

Nice to see your former leader actually say what many non-Catholics believe. The former Pope in his last mass condemned “religious hypocrisy” and urged an end to “individualism and rivalry.”

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tomatogrower 1 year, 8 months ago

Ms. Butler, you can believe anything you want; I don't want to take that away from you. You just need to respect my right to believe differently than you do.

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jack22 1 year, 8 months ago

The Catholic church has indeed changed their minds on many issues over the years about things such as the earth being the center of the universe, the earth being flat, etc. and Catholic priests being able to marry and have children among other things.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

"Catholic priests being able to marry and have children among other things."

I think you're confusing the Catholics with the Episcopalians.

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jack22 1 year, 8 months ago

Ron, it wasn't really an issue for the church early on until they soon realized that the more children a priest had the more property they would have to divide with those children through inheritance. It wasn't until the Fourth Century that the Council of Elvira (306) wrote a decree outlawing sexual intercourse for members of the clergy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerical...

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

Oh, I thought you meant recently. There has been some discussion about changing that within the Catholic Church in recent years, which I think would be good, but it hasn't been done yet. I think part of it was inspired by Paul's letter (RSV) 1 Corinthians Chapter 7, verse 8:

"To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do."

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Abdu Omar 1 year, 8 months ago

There was a time that a Catholic could not eat meat on Friday and that changed in my lifetime. Also, confession was instigated after the middle ages because the church needed money and when a confessant came to the church they had to make donations to the church to be forgiven. This, too, is an invention of the church.

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hujiko 1 year, 8 months ago

"What I appreciate most about God is He is not like us."

Wait a minute, didn't G-d create us in his own image? All of our flaws would then be directly attributed to an imperfect creator. Unless child rape is the ultimate form of perfection, of course.

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oldexbeat 1 year, 8 months ago

Catholic Church is a cult within a cult -- first taking a dead rabbi and making him God, then taking another man and making him inerrant in judgement. Really. Wow. And of course the rape of Mary by a God is the start of a lot of rapes in that church. And this after the hundreds of wives that David and Solomon and others had. Great examples -- and we worry about 9 wives of the Prophet. Hmmm. Throw that first stone.... fun reading, never-the-less but really not important to humans.

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bearded_gnome 1 year, 8 months ago

Print cartoons, write articles, editorialize, sermonize, rail against the Catholic Church and its changeless ways, but please remember, in faith and morals, it is God you argue with, not men.

---except it is the Bible itself that argues against the catholic church. in the example a few posts up, RE priests marrying, if readers look at the book of I Timothy, and elsewhere works by Paul, they'll see that the pastor of each local church is commanded to be "the husband of one wife." the catholic church violates this systematically, along with a long list of others ranging from: the worship of Mary, the meaning of salvation, the purchase of indulgeances, (see Luther's original theses) but the previous pope still sld indulgeances. the addition of tradition to water down Scripture, ad many more.
the Bible speaks well for itself if you actually read it in context, that is, you read poetic books of the Bible as poetic and historic books as historic, and doctrinal as doctrinal.

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bearded_gnome 1 year, 8 months ago

Ron Holzwarth

18 hours ago

...

For instance, I got into a big argument once with a woman who insisted that baptism was a Christian thing. NO, it is not! It's a Jewish mikvah, a Jewish cleansing ritual, that's all it is, and they call it a Christian thing. I had to read her scripture and verse before she would believe me. Even then it took a while.

Not long ago, I mentioned to a Christian minister that you can't really understand the Gospels completely unless you understand something about Judaism. Because, I noticed a lot of things that I had never understood before my Judaic studies.

Even though he admitted he knows nothing about Judaism, he agreed with me.

---absolutely right. many reform/conservative christian believers/theologians call John the Baptist actually the last Old Testament prophet.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 8 months ago

I am always puzzled by those find it proper to proclaim their religious beliefs publicly. Perhaps they are mere sycophants seeking a pat on the head from church bureaucrats. Or maybe they believe they are earning a few more "brownie points" towards their ticket to heaven.

Regardless, they are obviously ignorant of the fact that religious proselytizing has been perhaps the most destructive force in human history.

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

And you have a source for that from where?

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deec 1 year, 8 months ago

The Crusades and the Inquisition come immediately to mind. Not to mention the sanctioning of the slaughter of Indigenous Peoples all over the world during the Colonial period.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

Those were definitely misinterpretations. And if religion hadn't been used for a handy excuse, some other ethnocentric excuse would have been found, I'm sure.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

Matthew Chapter 10, verse 27:

"What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops."

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Bob Forer 1 year, 8 months ago

Matthew 6:5-6

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 8 months ago

How does anyone know anything about God?
Because you read it in a book? And whoever wrote the book was surely infallible; because they told you they were. Because it was passed down in an oral tradition? We all know that stories that get retold never change in the telling.

Please feel free to believe whatever makes the most sense to you, but don't claim to others that you know what is in the black box.

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