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  1.  (8121.161)
    Yeah but politicians do that even now, mostly because both are establishments dedicated to control and maintainance of society with them at the top.
    • CommentAuthorTwist
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.162)
    I said they did sponsor it, not that they were any good at it...

    And the Vatican is specifically Catholic. There are quite a few denominations and its not entirely fair to throw them all under Catholic especially given the current Pope.

    Aaaaand finally, I totally agree. The Catholic faith is both poorly represented by its upper hierarchy and poorly guided in my opinion. Unfortunately the history of greed and corruption goes back so far I don't think a lot of people within the faith really see it. My bible studies are somewhat off but they pretty much suck at practicing the basics of their own religions teachings a whole fuck load of the time, and that's just talking about the stuff that it does make sense to follow, not the BS they use as an excuse to be intolerant bastards.

    I'm not really fond of the big Catholic/Christian branches. Individual Catholics and Christians are, IME, more often than not lovely people, but the organisations themselves are horrid, corrupt and thrive on others distress.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.163)
    Right, it's not about the individual followers of the religion but the institutions, I know that Christians are no better or worse than any other people.

    Still, it would be a good thing if those followers were more aware of what it is exactly they are paying allegiance to.

    Sorry this has drifted so off-topic, I know this thread wasn't really about the pros and cons of religious institutions and their history, but more about spiritual ideas in general.
    • CommentAuthorTwist
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.164)
    I kind of wonder if you can have one conversation without the other really. Spiritualism has ended up so badly tied up in religion.

    but yes, to everyone else. I'm also sorry for the thread hijacking.
  2.  (8121.165)
    "I thought poverty was a Christian virtue."

    The Pope's wealth is necessary to sustain his status as a Head of State with diplomatic immunity. He'd be rotting in ten different jails for aiding and abetting sexual predators if he was a pauper.

    Like my chriopractor says (who's so religious he's certifiably crazy):

    "I love the Lord. I CAN'T STAND the Church!"
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.166)
    I'm kind of amazed by the vitriol directed at the Catholic Church. (I mean, it's understandable, given what we know but ...)

    Yes, they were historically VERY corrupt. Yes, they buggered altar boys (and girls, too). Yes, they told people they were bad and going to Hell and such. But ... if you started railing against, say, Judaism is such a manner, they'd rightly call you an anti-Semite.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.167)
    Add to that all the wars they started and/or encouraged, and the people they killed for their heretic beliefs. There's nothing wrong about hating the Catholic Church, or many other Christian denominations for that matter. Other beliefs I feel a little less qualified to condemn...

    And I'm not counting their insane beliefs, if people want to believe that God sent his only Son to die for the sins of mankind, and that He'll come back one day and then He'll make war with the Beast and then the whole show is over, then fine. It's their bloodlust which concerns me more.

    Yeah I seem to keep coming back to this thread. I'll try to stay away now...
    •  
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.168)
    I'm kind of amazed by the vitriol directed at the Catholic Church. (I mean, it's understandable, given what we know but ...)

    Yes, they were historically VERY corrupt. Yes, they buggered altar boys (and girls, too). Yes, they told people they were bad and going to Hell and such. But ... if you started railing against, say, Judaism is such a manner, they'd rightly call you an anti-Semite.

    Yah, nice try, but we've already been there.
    One of the pope's lackeys recently offered the very same observation.
    Predictably, he was forced to recant immediately because, as analogies go, it is a poisonously false one that doesn't have a leg to stand on.
    Is this really what passes as a coherent argument in religious circles? Equating criticism of the Vatican with the persecution of an ethnic group?
    I guess if you can wholeheartedly believe in one nonsensical, irrational assertion then you really can believe anything at all.
    • CommentAuthorTwist
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.169)
    Mister Hex its just ongoing with the Catholics.

    Its the way they work to protect their own rather than hand them over. There's something I heard once, on a bad tv cop show, that sort of sums it up. Its a cop talking to a priest who was covering up the abuse of minors in the his church by the senior priest (techinical terms, I have them):

    "God protects the Church, the Church protects the brothers, and the brothers protect each other. Who's protecting the flock?"

    Every time I hear someone talking about the Church moving priests about so that they don't have to face their victims, that's the line that pops into my head. Who protects the flock? Who tends to the congregation? Pagan circles are rife with people abusing their so-called knowledge and power to the detriment of others, but we can at least acknowledge it and do attempt to educate people to keep them safe. The powers that be in the Catholic Church are willfully protecting the very people they should condemn.
    • CommentAuthorIsaacSher
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010 edited
     (8121.170)
    Aside from the Jews-as-ethnicity example, there's also another reason why criticism of the Catholics isn't quite the same as criticism of the Jews.

    The Catholic Church is VERY much in a position of power. Jews are not. And before someone brings up Israel, I'll point out that Israel does not hold authority over Jews worldwide. The Pope and the Vatican DO hold authority over Catholics worldwide, and the Pope has considerable influence on the international stage. Jews as a collective entity do not, and let's not get into the "Elders of Zion" thing, that's just been debunked all to hell already.

    It's rather like when white folks claim to be oppressed within the United States -- when they're the ones clearly in a position of power. It comes off a little oddly.
  3.  (8121.171)
    I'll throw my two cents in, based on my previous comment about Catholicism, and some of the replies... American Catholics (most of them) discard the bits they don't like, and are following a religion that isn't the same one that the Pope is preaching. Being that one of the basic tenets of the Catholic faith is that the Pope himself is holy, and has infallibility in his decision making with regards to the Church as a whole (not his personal life, so I wonder where the grey area lies with the current pedophelia hooplah), to feel free to say "pssssh, no birth control? Hah!" means you don't have faith in the Pope as a messenger of the Holy Spirit, and are NOT Catholic. At best, perhaps you'd be a new faction of pro-papal-reform Catholic - but you can't both revere the Pope as your spiritual leader while going against his holy word.

    There really isn't much wiggle room in Catholicism. They lay out specific rules and laws about just about everything. The whole point of the Catholic church is that they have interpreted everything FOR YOU and you are expected to comply. It's not like Evangelical Christians, or Muslims, where there are different factions of extremists and moderates all interpreting in their own ways. There are committees of bishops and cardinals who vote and discuss and come to defined decisions about doctrine, and the Pope is supreme ruler of his flock.

    I've found this really wonderfully entertaining website called askacatholic.com, and there's a whole host of different topics where people just ask questions about what the official stance of the church is on different issues. 98% of the time, specific Catholic documents are referenced to answer. The Church does allow for a certain degree of cultural and situational interpretation, but not to the point that it totally defies catholic doctrine.

    The only parts of Religulous I really liked:




    (which might totally refute my notions of what it means to be a Catholic, i'm not sure)


    But as far as a more on-topic statement....

    I guess my starting this thread all boils down to: An atheist can still have a sense of "spirituality" (for lack of a better term), yes? Certain modern interpretations of Buddhism seem to be able to fit into this category, no? Or even the writings and lectures of Carl Sagan? Is there a lexicon that would better fit this perspective without getting muddled and confused with the religious language of the old world?
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.172)
    Far be it from me to defend the Catholic Church. (If it's even possible to do so.) What they've done is an abomination, to use one of their own words. And I didn't mean to equate/compare Catholics and Jews. It was a poorly thought out analogy.

    That said, I do not for a minute believe that every bad thing that's ever happened can be laid at the feet of the Catholic Church and I was kind of reacting to the level of vitriol reserved for them. It seems, at times, to me, anyway, somewhat irrational, as anti-semitism is.

    A personal anecdote - my great-great-great grandmother (Irish Catholic) jumped off a table to induce labor because her due date was a Liiittle too close to July 12. HER grandmother gave birth on the lawn of her house, as it was being burned to the ground by Protestants, who were shouting that "the Papist bitch is whelping."

    So, y'know, Catholics aren't "all-powerful" or something and it may shock you to learn that sometimes? They were oppressed, too. (Not least of which by their OWN FUCKING CHURCH.)
    • CommentAuthorTwist
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.173)
    An atheist can still have a sense of "spirituality" (for lack of a better term), yes?


    Yes, in my opinion. It can. Being a spiritual person does not need to be tied into a belief in deity or mix you into a religious group.

    Certain modern interpretations of Buddhism seem to be able to fit into this category, no? Or even the writings and lectures of Carl Sagan?


    I am, sadly, relatively unfamiliar with Carl Sagan. He' on my VERY LONG reading list, but yes with Buddhism. Even traditional interpretations. Among the schools of Buddhism there has always been those that believed that the Buddha was either just a very wise man or someone thought up by a very wise man to teach others.

    Heh, all the study on Buddhism last semester pays off.

    Is there a lexicon that would better fit this perspective without getting muddled and confused with the religious language of the old world?


    Given my extremely technical language I'm going with the "fucked if i know." answer to this one ^_^ I'm sure someone somewhat better with language than I am will have an idea.
    • CommentAuthorTwist
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010 edited
     (8121.174)
    Mister Hex: I think maybe you're sort of missing something in the conversation. We're talking about the institution, the Church, not the people/followers. The people can be bloody nut jobs yes, but the institution is what the conversation, as I've read it and definitely as I've been writing it, is about.


    Edit: HAH! Speaking of predators in Pagan circles. I pop over to a forum I'm on to find some one posting about an ancient, highly secret form of Occult Western Tantra that quite a few very dead historical figures (including Da Vinci) were part of... *head desk*
    • CommentAuthorIsaacSher
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.175)
    I'll confess to some ignorance here... what's the significance of July 12?
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.176)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_boyne
    • CommentAuthorIsaacSher
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.177)
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, gotcha. Thanks, Hex!
    •  
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.178)
    @mister hex - The town I live in is the Twelfth's second city and the murder capital of Europe. The two things are not unrelated. Can you blame a fellow for being sick of the whole kit & kaboodle, whichever specific brand it is?
    Undoubtedly, ordinary Catholics have been and still are persecuted for their faith and that's just as ugly as any other kind of persecution - wherever, whenever and to whoever it's happening.

    It was a poorly thought out analogy.

    It might not mean much to you, but this has earned you the proper respect of at least one hellbound infidel. Well met sir.
    I apologise if I have been unnecessarily blunt at times, I have a little too much bitter in my sweet.
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.179)
    @citruscreed - No worries, mate. I'm the KING of the poorly thought out analogy and as such, have no problem admitting I'm wronger than something that's very, very wrong.

    To get back to Rachael's original point ... why COULDN'T an atheist be "spiritual"? Everything's interconnected, innit? I mislike New-Agey jargon but doesn't certain branches of science emphasize this? Just because you don't believe in God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or something doesn't mean you don't believe that people deserve respect and like that.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2010
     (8121.180)
    @mr Hex: Yeah it's really just about the leadership of the catholic church, there's not some collective guilt thing for all the abuses going on

    @rachel

    An atheist can still have a sense of "spirituality" (for lack of a better term), yes?


    I think so yeah, there's no contradiction there. I'm a naturalist myself, and I don't believe there is anything supernatural or anything that transcends the natural universe, but that doesn't mean I think human nature is mundane, it's still magical.

    Strictly speaking most Buddhist sects are atheist, but it can be argued that the majority of Buddhists in traditionally Buddhist countries believe in supernatural concepts like reincarnation, "supernatural powers", and other dimensions filled with beings such as dragons, goblins, orcs, giants, fairies and what-have-you. It's all very colorful! Some Western Buddhist will defend such notions saying they aren't to be taken literally, but I'm sure that the majority of traditional Buddhists do see these phenomena as truly existing.

    There's a lot of different varieties of Buddhism, and a lot of them are also present in Western countries. Since there's not a lot of regulation - everybody can start a Buddhist community - there's some that are very good, with well-educated, and dedicated people leading the sangha; and some that are not very good and which should be labelled as cults.