Bishops in Denial About Denying Communion?

In case you haven’t noticed, Catholic bishops have stopped denying communion to politicians in this 2008 political campaign. The new … Continued

In case you haven’t noticed, Catholic bishops have stopped denying communion to politicians in this 2008 political campaign. The new approach is to invoke spiritual counseling and then publish a press release.

Such was the path chosen by Cardinal Egan in New York, who counseled former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani not to take communion; and by Archbishop Naumann, of Kansas City who did the same to Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

Why is this indirect spiritual counseling invoked instead of canon law’s provision? I suspect that the U.S. Bishops and the Vatican have decided that the harshness of the former approach was counterproductive. I also note that St. Louis Archbishop Burke, the architect of the ban-John-Kerry-from-Communion edict of 2004, has been “kicked upstairs” to a Vatican Commission in far away Rome.

I don’t think bishops are any less concerned about legalized abortion, but it seems to me they want to avoid a hodge-podge approach wherein some prelates issue bans and others do not, thus confusing the faithful about how to vote. I think the new approach is the right one, although it presents some questions.

For instance, Cardinal Egan indicated in his public statement that the reason that Giuliani should refrain from communion is the former mayor’s opinion about pro-choice legislation. There are many more Catholics who have been counseled to refrain from communion because of a divorce and remarriage like that of Giuliani. Moreover, the mayor scandalized the City of New York – not easy to do! – by his flagrant affair while still married. So it is strange that he would be publicly criticized for his pro-choice politics, especially since he is neither holding or running for office.

Archbishop Naumann published a similar missive, indicating that his counsel to Governor Sibelius was long-standing. Here was a Catholic governor whose social programs had been intentionally and successfully targeted upon reducing the need for abortion by providing services, education and counseling. Her approach has been consonant with the bishops’ teaching in Faithful Citizenship. This archbishop, however, denied the Governor credit for having reduced abortions in Kansas and published the conditions he imposed upon her before return to the sacrament. These include acknowledging her error, Confession, and “a public repudiation of her previous efforts and actions in support of laws and policies sanctioning abortion.”

I have no problem with such requirements for a public sinner, but I’m not convinced that Governor Sibelius deserves this categorization. And even if she did, it seems to me that publishing the list of her obligations is one sure way of making sure she doesn’t follow them. An office holder can scarcely be seen as substituting public duty to the people for obedience to a Catholic bishop. Such an act would return Catholics to the days of Al Smith who was trounced in the presidential election because the public supposed he would abandon the constitution to kowtow to ecclesiastical dictates.

I am not against Catholics in office following the moral teachings of the Church: but I question the wisdom of a bishop publishing his “spiritual” advice. There are better ways of counseling Catholics than issuing press releases. Is the Archbishop so focused on Catholic values that he has misunderstood politics? Or is he so focused on politics that he has misunderstood Catholic values? Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between.

Catholic prelates offering spiritual counseling to politicians, I think, should forestall being seen as politicians themselves. Archbishop Naumann, for instance, is a registered Republican, and has given invocations at public events designed to feature speeches by (only) Republican politicians. For the sake of the purity of the Catholic message, I think all bishops should register only as “independents” and avoid giving invocations at events such as power breakfasts for groups like Catholics for McCain or for Obama. Simply put, I don’t believe that spiritual counseling should be sullied by a political twist.

About

Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo is Professor Emeritus of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College and Distinguished Scholar of the City University of New York.
  • Ryan Haber

    A reasonable enough post, Prof. Stevens-Arroyo. While I was a seminarian (at the arch-conservative Mt. St. Mary’s, lolol. My tongue is in my cheek) the rector sternly advised us to, at all times, avoid the appearance of favoritism.One of the most prominent reason for the collapse of religion in Catholic Europe was the counterproductive formation of Catholic political parties, or the local hierarchs’ throwing their considerable moral weight in favor of a particular party over another one. When scandals surfaced within these parties – and they do within all political parties – the Church’s reputation was sullied alongside the parties.Interestingly enough, in the US we have a somewhat different situation. With one party not only supporting legalized abortion, but also vigorously squelching dissent on the issue within its ranks, many rank-and-file voters have either: (1) left the Democratic party; (2) subordinated their view on abortion in favor of other issues.As Christians, we are called to be salt in whatever place we happen to find ourselves. Staying within the Democratic party would seem to be the missionary/apostolic approach, then. But oddly enough, it is the loss or near-loss of the party’s solid grip on some traditionally unionized-and-pro-life states that has caused the party to rethink its position. Michigan was the first state, for instance, whose Democratic party began to allow a Pro-Life Caucus within the party. Florida and Pennsylvania were also considering the idea, and may have followed suit by now. Those states are obviously important in any national election and thus have the capacity to set trends for the entire DNC.Once there is a legitimate space for pro-Life voters within the Democratic party, it becomes a lot easier for pro-Life people to consider joining that party. The whole issue then begins to transcend the merely political, and can open up to a genuine national discussion, rather than a war of soundbites. In such an atmosphere it would be much easier for the bishops to make a solid contribution without seeming to oppose one party in favor of another on merely political grounds.Voters like me, for whom, because of the sheer numbers of lives at stake, abortion must be the number one priority, will then find ourselves freed to vote with for a party we otherwise find ourselves avoiding because of the complexities involved.

  • Janet

    Again, one wonders when the Romans will get it. They have no business interfering in national politics, no business in government. NONE.

  • paul c

    Janet:CCNL:Prof. Stevens-Arroyo,

  • holy cow

    Catholicism speak against abortion and yet the statistics show that it is the religion in which most abortionists belong to. WHAT BLINDNESS!! WHAT LACK OF UNDERSTANDING !! WHAT HYPOCRICY!!

  • paul c

    CCNL:Next thing we’ll know, Holy Cow/ spiderman2 will tell us that he Caught a glimpse of World Youth Day on TV and that maybe the Pope isn’t the Anti-Christ afterall..

  • Arminius

    Spidey is back, trying to hide under the handle of ‘Holy Cow’. Welcome back, blasphemer.

  • holy cow

    Arminius wrote “Welcome back, blasphemer”The accuser of blasphemy who claim he doesn’t believe the Bible. How ironic .He supports sex between man and man which the Bible strongly oppose to and yet he accuses of blasphemy. How ironic.FOOL!!

  • Arminius

    Yup, Holy Cow is Spidey. And Spidey is a coward, as well as a bigot.

  • holy cow

    In time, those who oppose sex with animals will also be called bigots. Twisted minds. The clock is ticking fast to doomsday.

  • spiderman2

    Paul C. wrote “Next thing we’ll know, Holy Cow/ spiderman2 will tell us that he Caught a glimpse of World Youth Day on TV and that maybe the Pope isn’t the Anti-Christ afterall.. “My stand against catholicism is based on Biblical facts and first hand observations. It’s not gonna happen Paul. Unlike CCNL, Im 100% sure catholicism is a false religion. There’s a higher possibility you’ll take my side rather than me taking yours.

  • Arminius

    Spidey spewed,Wow! If you believe that, boy, have I got a deal for you! Beach front property in Nebraska! Cash only, no checks please…By the way, this thread is about communion. Will you spew your profanity about the Holy Eucharist once again?

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Paul C,I am not ridiculing Jesus. He was by most contemporary historic Jesus exegetes, a simple preacher man. When you say or write “New Testament” again, think of it as The Optimized/Embellished Story of One Simple Preacher Man by Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John (Note: Very little is known about the latter four authors as per Father Raymond Brown, the Catholic Church’s approved NT exegete) and things will start making sense to you.

  • shallyv

    I’ve asked priests and rabbis the following question and am yet to receive a satisfactory answer. Instead I’m asked to have faith and believe, accepting what is written in the Holy Books. I posit that faith, without reason, is madness! Perhaps you could provide an answer that is unarguable :So, accepting that God made the world and everything and everyone in it (John 1:3), before any act of creation God had to be alone. For if there was anything or anyone besides God, God, as the Creator, would have made it or them. Therefore, before God created anyone or anything, God had to be alone. Therefore, as there was, before any act of creation, nothing and no one but God, the only materials with which God could have made anyone or anything would be God Himself. Therefore, if God made every thing and everyone out of Himself, by Himself (no one to help), for whatever reason God had, whence comes the idea of punishment? If God punished anyone, God would be punishing himself. Is God then a sadist…or…a masochist? If you were God would you punish yourself? How, then, should you be addressed? As, “Oh, my God, ….the idiot!”????

  • Charles

    May I just point out really quick that it is also for the politician’s sake that he/she not receive the Eucharist (body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ) when not in a state of grace (not attempting to stop abortion, relations outside of marriage, etc.). We must always examine ourselves before receiving communion. St. Paul points this out in 1 Corinthians 11.It is perfectly fine to deny communion to those in public office who deny respect and dignity to all of God’s children. It is not out of revenge but love for both Jesus Christ and the person so that he/she may repent this sin.Also, with respect to Dr. Stevens-Arroyo, the dignity of human life in every stage is of utmost importance. The straight out denying of communion confused the public, then explanation might be a better choice. Even though issues like the sanctity of marriage is a grave issue, as you pointed out and is certainly true, the Church has every right to defend life in the manner that is most productive. Keep in mind we are talking about killing and devaluing human life, I think that something to be concerned about. Wouldn’t you agree?

  • spiderman2

    There’s the idiot arminius again. A person can talk all year to a fool and you would not see any mental improvement from him. A dog or a parrot could learn but a fool won’t. Arminius, try eating dog food or parrot feeds. It might help. Arminius, sometimes, use your brain. What did the priest do to make that biscuit holy? Why not make themselves holy rather than biscuits?I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Not for you coz you’re a fool but to others who’s reading this blog.The bread is a representation of life like the manna in the old testament. The TRUE life is NOT the bread or the biscuit BUT the WORD of God or the words of Jesus Christ. HE IS THE BREAD OF LIFE and the biscuits is just a representation of the WORD coming from him.He is using a metaphor just as he illustrates water as the HOLY SPIRIT. The water itself has no power but the real power of CLEANSING comes from the Holy Spirit. I repeat, there is NO HOLY WATER. The water is just a representation and so is the BISCUIT.

  • Mr Mark

    I beginning to believe that Spidey’s posts are some kind of divine retribution for something very bad that someone on this blog has done, perhaps Spidey himself.That, or Spidey has a very bad case of gas.

  • TJ

    I don’t believe politics should be sullied by spiritual counseling.It’s almost like we agree.

  • TJ

    Mr Mark writes: “I beginning to believe that Spidey’s posts are some kind of divine retribution for something very bad that someone on this blog has done, perhaps Spidey himself.”As my grandma used to say, “If you don’t believe that there is a hell and that we are in it right now, then why don’t you come to the laundromat with me every week for a month.”

  • Roy

    Catholics can do what they want and politicians can be Catholic. But before you vote for a Catholic politician again, remember the political agenda of the Church to control her/him with the threat of eternal damnation and her/his voluntary submission to these threats instead of the democratic process.

  • paul c

    ShallyV:

  • paul c

    CCNL:

  • paul c

    Spiderman 2:

  • paul c

    Roy:

  • R.S.Newark

    The real question isn’t “what would Jesus do” it’s ‘what would Sally do?

  • R.S.Newark

    The Post’s description of acceptable comments states that personal attacks are…inappropriate and will be removed. This statement it is clear does not appy to the columnist…so too bad.

  • spiderman2

    Paul C. wrote “Remember, your favorite Apostle, the great St. Paul, attacked the Catholic Church vigorously,”This is why catholicism is a false religion. It thrives in LIES. Catholicism was started by Constantine in the 4th century, long after the death of Paul.Salvation by grace thru faith is the teaching of Jesus Christ, Peter, and Paul. Never in the history of Catholicism was this doctrine practiced and it was the main reason why Martin Luther was excommunicated and led to the deaths of those who followed that holy doctrine.Catholicism is the devil’s religion. Half-truths and half-lies.The bread and water has become “holy” whereas they were supposed to be just symbols of life and cleansing. But Catholicism twisted it to be REAL “holy” objects. “WHAT BLINDNESS!! WHAT LACK OF UNDERSTANDING”, Jose Rizal exclaimed referring to catholicism.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Paul C, Paul C, Paul C,Au Contraire!! Tis orthodox Christians to include orthodox Catholics who are trapped, trapped in guilt trips set by a group of old, European, “celibate” in the case of the Catholic leadership, white guys. An historical review, common sense and rational thinking will quickly unlock the jaws of said trap. Actually repeating the following will be a good start for opening these trap doors:There was no physical resurrection of the simple preacher man.There is/was no original sin since biblical Adam and Eve did not exist. The simple preacher man did not die for our sins. He viololed Roman law and they quickly nailed him to a tree. Nothing more, nothing less.There is no limbo and there is significant doubt about purgatory. The Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopalian Eurcharist is a symbol of the simple preacher man’s life to include his parables and few authentic sayings and acts. Scientifically, it is a low-calorie, sometimes stale wafer and/or a sip of inexpensive sometimes sour wine.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Make that “he violated Roman law”.

  • paul c

    ccnl:Would it hurt you to instead focus on what you do believe in (other than JD. Crossan)? There must be something that keeps you going to mass. What is it?

  • paul c

    Spiderman:Can you recreate where you or your ancestors broke from the Catholic church? Do you know the reasons? And let me pre-empt the charge that it is the church of Satan. You can’t back that up with any rational data.And by the way, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is clear when he says in Matthew 7:21:Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” This is consistent with St James statement that ” Faith without works is dead”. So it is clear that there is salvation through faith in Jesus, it is equally true that you need to demonstrate your faith through Good works. Its not enough to acknowledge that Jesus is the son of God. After all, even Satan would acknowledge that. Also, in the last supper narratives, do you not acknowledge that Jesus said (matthew 26:26-28):While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, 16 and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins”. Aren’t you the leading advocate of literal interpretation of the Bible. How can you then deny the “real presence” if that’s how Jesus described it?

  • Enemy Of The State

    It is inappropriate for a Bishop or any other religious leader to subvert the democratic process by pressuring a surrogate, like a governor, to impose religious sanctions on the rest of society. The arrogance is astounding. Do we need any other proof that strict separation of church and state should be enforced?

  • Ryan Haber

    CCNL,You surprise me here. Through “an historical review, common sense and rational thinking” you believe that you have “unlock[ed] the jaws of said trap,” and come to the beliefs that you listed off.- Denial of bodily resurrectionYou said that coming to believe these things has lifted the burden of guilt that you experienced all that time. I can see how a rebellion against the Church would lead to sense of liberation from the “rules” that She holds, but I can’t see how a denial of these particular doctrines does anything to lift guilt, except that they happen to be some of the core tenants of the Church, and thus a way to rebell against Her.- Denial of original sinIt is the doctrine of original sin that eases the burden of guilt. If we were all truly tabulae rasae, as Rousseau thought, we should expect somewhat less evil in the world; but we would also never be able to say, “I couldn’t help it. I’m sorry.” If we had a completely free choice, and chose knowingly wrongly, there would be no fitting recourse to mercy – only strict justice would be appropriate. Mercy only makes sense in the face of weakness. It is because we are frail creatures that God takes pity on us.- Denial of the redemptive value of Christ’s death The standard formula that Christ died for our sins so that we don’t have to, that he is essentially a scapegoat, is only one way to explain the power of Christ’s death.- Denial of bodily resurrection It is precisely upon the bodily Resurrection of our Lord that all else hinges. If Jesus Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, then to hell with Him. Who needs another blowhard loudmouth yapping a bunch of rules and platitudes at them? Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, could not be held prisoner by death. It is the glorification of not only his soul, but of his body – the whole man – that we remember and await for ourselves. It is what proves that sin and death, which almost always seem to win here and now, don’t have the final say. It is the answer to our deepest desires, CCNL – transcendence without loss of any part of ourselves.- Denial of purgatory (the Church agrees with you on Limbo) Purgatory is my hope for perfection because Lord knows I sure am not making much progress now. If there isn’t purgatory, than there isn’t much chance of many of us getting to heaven, because we sure don’t fit in as we are. If there is some kind of cheap legalistic acquittal for our sins, like “Jesus died so we don’t have to,” or “the Father looks at us and sees Jesus’ innocent blood,” (neither one of which is Catholic theology) then heaven will be just like earth, only worse. There would be a lot of sinners there, but with the Just Judge voluntarily blindfolding Himself to that reality. How’s that an improvement.- Denial of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species The Eucharist is the engine that makes it all happen. We share in it, Christ’s flesh, and thence in Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. It further develops and unfolds the graces of Baptism – namely, the escape from original sin and the transformation of our human nature “from glory to glory.”—CCNL, you know the only thing that has ever helped me overcome guilt that threatens to bog me down?A hearty, well prepared confession. I don’t know how long it’s been for you, but the humbling and gratitude that come out of it are amazing and refreshing like nothing else.

  • paul c

    Enemy of the State:

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    test

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Paul C,See the current commentary under the On Faith panelist, Starhawk observations about the paranormal, made July 20, 2008 11:14 PM. There are many belief items so view them there to save time and space.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ryan,You might want to reread the popes comments about limbo. He did not delete it. Had he, he would have had to delete original sin, the reason limbo exists. Deleting original sin would mean deleting the sacrament of Baptism, the Immaculate Conception, , Adam and Eve, and all the baggage thatr comes with said sin i.e. “The state of sin that has captured human beings since the Fall. The idea that we have plenty to be ashamed about simply through being alive is one of the less appealing of ethical doctrines, but is also one of the main components of any variety of Christianity, since without it the doctrine of the atonement loses its rationale.”And what sins am I guilty of, now that your are referring me to a confessional???

  • Anonymous

    when is cardinal law going to face a prison sentence for hiding all those child molesters?and the current and former pope helped hid them too.pretty darn hypocritical of them to deny communion to others, when they ought to be sending themselves into prison

  • spiderman2

    Paul C.,Read this : “and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:” (Rev. 2:2)The catholic church is one who claims that its bishops or priests are “apostles” of Christ thru their “Apostolic Succession” doctrine. But if you test every single one of their doctrines, you would realize that they are all LIARS.Rizal have tested it; I have tested it; Luther have tested it and millions more who opened the Bible and saw the truth. No wonder Catholicsim disallowed its members to read the Bible for much of its existence. They are afraid people would find the truth. It is only now that they are “allowed” to read when they can’t stop them anymore. But still many Catholic are not voracious readers and so they continue to be lost.Catholicism is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That is what makes it MORE DANGEROUS. It is not true that the difference between our belief is not that WIDE. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf. It is even more dangerous than an undisguised wolf.Lastly, the Bible is NOT literal most of the time especially when it comes from Jesus Christ Himself. That is where Catholicism can’t seem to grasp it. Where it is literal, they don’t follow it and where it is NOT literal, they follow it. The end result is a VERY FALSE DOCTRINE.

  • Mark In Irvine

    “holy cow: In time, those who oppose sex with animals will also be called bigots. Twisted minds. The clock is ticking fast to doomsday.”I suppose, bein’ a cow, ‘n’ all, you have an interest in this …

  • Mac

    I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM-BUT SURE AS H—- KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING—————-

  • helen troy

    Confusing the followers on how to vote? Really? Have catholics decided to drink the kool aid and toss their ability to use free will and think (what a concept when discussing religion)for themselves? Here’s my solution for religious leaders who are involved in politics to the extent that they are influencing their flock…they lose their tax free exemptions. That will stop them in their tracks believe me. LOL

  • Mark R.

    The Archibishop of Kansas City is one of the new breed of Republo-Catholic midgets appointed by the last two popes. He has closed down the Kansas City archdiocese’s peace and justice office and taken other harsh moves. Apparently, to this type of prelate, the only moral issues that matter are abotion and gay marriage. You won’t see him chastising any pro-war Republican politicians.

  • paul c

    CCNL:2) You believe that because God created free will, he can not do anything to interfere with it. That eliminate the possibility of miracles of all types. In thinking this way you have made God the creator into God the passive observer, who no longer has the power to do anything, not even overcome evil.3) You believe that the story of adam and Eve is a myth so that therefore, original sin doesn’t exist. This means that you can’t believe in baptism, confirmation, the immaculate conception, etc. I am happy that you can innumerate your beliefs and not just what you believe to be false. I respect your passion and your thirst to understand the truth, although I can’t agree with your conclusions. First of all, I don’t believe that John Paul II actually said that there is no resurrection of the body, since that would contradict the Apostle’s Creed and of course, as you have extended, would deny the resurrection of Jesus, which is of course, core to the faith. Can you provide documentation of JPII’s statement.Secondly, I think you are way overplaying the free will point in relation to God. He did not give us unlimited choices, as you know from your own life, but free will within certain limits. (i.e, you can’t have everything you want, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to choose good or evil within your personal constraints.) An entity powerful enough to create the universe, would certainly be able to figure out how to let his creatures have some freedom of action with rendering himself irrelevant as you suggest.Finally, whether or not the actual story of Adam and Eve is mythical or not, doesn’t rule out the possibility of original sin. In fact, doesn’t it make sense that rather than being a literal story, the creation story is an allegory to highlight theology. Afterall, the essence of the original sin wasn’t eating an apple, but disobeying God.

  • Anonymous

    Spiderman2 and Holy Cow are the same.Arminius finally solved the mystery of his/her church affiliation (Under God David Water’s essay on GWB Library) – late Rev Jerry Falwell!

  • Paul C.

    Point well taken. If Catholic politicians represent the views of the church under threat of separation from Communion, then we need to ask if they represent the views of the rest of us and not just those of the church.

  • Roy

    oops sorry,

  • Anonymous

    Holy Cow/Spiderman2 always comes to the “rescue” of Catholic bashers, no matter who they are, even non-Christians.

  • paul c

    spiderman :As for your continued view that Catholics don’t know the bible. This is unsubstantiated. You know that in every Sunday mass, they read an old testament reading, a new testament reading , a psalm, and a reading from the Gospel. There’s bible study just like in your church and we buy bibles for every child in the 6th grade in our church. What Catholic Doctrines have you tested and what did you use for a criteria that made you think they were lies? Frankly, I don’t understand how you decide which scripture passages are worth following either. You believe Revelations which clearly is allegory, but you don’t believe the Gospels. You ignore it when I point you to where the Sermon on the Mount contradicts your point and then you say the Catholics are inconsistent in their use of the bible.

  • paul c

    CCNL:As for Angels and Demons, they are not central to my faith but it is not hard to believe that God created spiritual creatures we can’t see. I know there are lots of things that exist that I haven’t seen personally.

  • Janet

    I am not against Catholics in office following the moral teachings of the Church: but I question the wisdom of a bishop publishing his “spiritual” advice. There are better ways of counseling Catholics than issuing press releases. Is the Archbishop so focused on Catholic values that he has misunderstood politics? Or is he so focused on politics that he has misunderstood Catholic values? Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between. “Catholic prelates offering spiritual counseling to politicians, I think, should forestall being seen as politicians themselves. Archbishop Naumann, for instance, is a registered Republican, and has given invocations at public events designed to feature speeches by (only) Republican politicians. For the sake of the purity of the Catholic message, I think all bishops should register only as “independents” and avoid giving invocations at events such as power breakfasts for groups like Catholics for McCain or for Obama. Simply put, I don’t believe that spiritual counseling should be sullied by a political twist.”Well said, and herein lies only one of the one billion and one problems with the Roman Catholic Church. What business does it have interfering in the politics of an independent nation? Of any nation? And it interferes everywhere. Message to Rome: The days of empire are over.Give or don’t give communion to whomever you want, but keep it out of politics, and out of the faces of nonCatholics. The Church does not win friends the way its proceeding. Those who whine against discrimination should consider this. It’s unfair, of course. Discrimination is wrong, of course, but it’s not incomprehensible. The church sticking its big nose into everything from abortion to stem cell research aggravates not only some Catholics, but many, many who are not, and for damned good reason.

  • Anonymous

    Janet, Catholicism is not an empire. It is a two thousand year old religion with 1.1 billion followers worldwide. All its members are free to leave if they wanted to – without punishment. Religions do advocate morality, it always has. Governments are concerned with laws and science is neutral.

  • Anonymous

    Janet, Catholicism merely seeks to inform politics about human rights, including rights of the unborn child, about equality, about upliftment of the poor, help for the disadvantaged etc etc. Catholicism was the state religion of continental Europe for many centuries. It understands politics and it hasn’t done too badly when one sees that Europe is not so bad off. Much European culture bloomed when Christianity flourished. Secularism arose and flourishes in a culture built for many centuries by the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian churches in the past five centuries.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Paul C,From the course notes of a large Catholic university’s graduate theology class: (you might want to take such a course in your pursuit of new Catholic thinking)”Heaven is a Spirit state (as per JPII and Aquinas-no physical bodies abide so where is the resurrected, ascended body????)Christ’s and Mary’s bodies are not in Heaven. For one thing, Paul in 1 Cor 15 speaks of the body of the dead as transformed into a “spiritual body.” No one knows exactly what he meant by this term.Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church. Only Luke’s Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus’ mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus’ followers The Assumption hasAmazing how this agrees with Professor Crossan and many other contemporary NT exegetes’ conclusions based on attestations and stratums. As per Professor Crossan’s analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus very possibly would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones. Some added notes:According to Reimarus as referenced in R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, “Reimarus (1774-1779) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God’s hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus’ failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing.”From: K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998. p.55″Stories circulated to the effect that Alexander of Macedonia was not only the son of Philip II, but also of the god Zeus-Ammon (Plutarch, Parallel Lives, “Alexander” 2.1-3.2); Plato was the son of Ariston and the god Apollo (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers 3.1-2), and Augustus was the son of Octavius as well as the god Apollo (Suetonius, Lives o f the Caesars 2.4.1-7). The extraordinary character of these elites reputedly stemmed from both their divine origins and their kingroups. Their kin-groups provided one form of legitimation-political right to the throne and/or social status (thus the importance of Joseph in Matthew’s genealogy). Their divine procreation provided another: their honor was divinely ascribed, and their greatness as leaders derived from divine paternity.”

  • paul c

    CCNL:

  • paul c

    CCNL:

  • Pontificator

    Peace be with you.

  • paul c

    Janet:> You can abdicate your role as shepherd of the flock and say nothing more.Now, What would you have the bishop do?

  • Joseph

    If the Catholic hierarchy is so “pro-life”, why doesn’t it condemn George Bush & Company for lying the U. S. into an unnecessary war?

  • Anonymous

    The official Catholic Church in Vatican State did object to the war.

  • candide

    Anyone who takes these prissy sissies in skirts seriously is a fool.

  • Ipanema

    The moral standing of the apostate Roman Catholic church is zero, nil, zilch, nada, neca de catubiriba, zip ….

  • Buckwheat

    This is Protestant America, not catholic. Europe is catholic. We answer to God not rome here. We do not need someone telling us what our rights are or what is right and wrong. Please, no roads lead to Rome HERE!!!!!

  • Janet

    Buckwheat, Paul C., Anon,First, Buckwheat, I disagree that this is Protestant AMerica. This is America, a secular society in which no form of Christianity, no religion, has any POLITICAL business whatsoever.That really is the beginning and end of the discussion. Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, etc., politicians are free to follow the teachings of their religions in any way they see fit in keeping with this nation’s provision for freedom of religion.That’s where it begins and ends. Lobbyists, public displays have nothing to do with freedom of religion. The world is not a religious empire. Self-congratulatory Catholics tend to overlook the numbers of dead bodies, notably indigenous peoples, Jews, Muslims, “apostates” that the RomanThis is not a country for dueling relgious political interests. There are ethical issues for and against both abortion and stem cell research. They have nothing to do with Catholicism. No nonCatholic is interested in what political ventriloquests, i.e., Catholic politicians have to say on behalf of the Church and whatever it has offered them.As I said before, discrimination is abominable. It is abominable when it is done to Catholics and it is abominable when Catholics do it. And they do it. But no one, not Catholics, not Jews, not Muslims, no one likes a bully.

  • paul c

    spiderman 2:And what does that Quote from Rizal really say? Does is say that Catholicism is the church of Satan like you maintain? If so, why didn’t Rizal leave the church?Buckwheat: This is Protestant America? I don’t think so. America has freedom of religion as one of its basic tenets. And who speaks for Protestant America, anyway? There’s literally thousands of denominations… Catholics out number any one of them.

  • Viejita del oeste

    Am I the only one who sees echoes of Maoist criticism-self criticism sessions in the following: “..the conditions [Archb. Naumann] imposed upon [Gov. Sibelius] before return to the sacrament. These include acknowledging her error, Confession, and ‘a public repudiation of her previous efforts and actions in support of laws and policies sanctioning abortion.’”

  • Arminius

    To those of you who still try to claim that America is a Christian nation, of whatever flavor:The Treaty of Tripoli, unanimously ratified by the Senate and signed by President John Adams, said ( Art. 11): “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries”

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Paul C,You noted: “The problem I have with all this is that Jesus was very clear in stating that he was the son of God in all 4 Gospels”. He did? Please provide references.And as per Karen Armstrong, an On Faith panelist, “We are all Sons and Daughters of God!!”And the graduate theology classes you seek are being taught by a number of Catholic professors. Might want to try Catholic U and Notre Dame as starting points. And don’t forget the mortal sin of filicide if you want to continue your belief that God sent his only Son to be killed.

  • paul c

    CCNL:Matthew 7:21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heavenMatthew 9:6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” –he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” Matthew 10:32-33: Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly FatherMatthew 11: 25-27: At that time Jesus said in reply, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.

  • paul c

    CCNL:

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Paul C,Hmmm, let us see what some of the experts (NT, historical Jesus exegetes and at least three members of the On Faith panel) have to say about your “Son of God/the Father references):Matt 7:21 – not said by the historical Jesus, see wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/111_Invocation_without_Obedience for Professor Crossan’s rating and also those of the Jesus Seminarians. Matt 9:6 Passage notes “Son of Man” not Son of God. wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/127_Sickness_and_SinMatt 10:32-33,”Ludemann [Jesus, 344] states ” this is a prophetic admonition from the post-Easter community. For it, Jesus and the Son of man were ‘identical in the future: Jesus will return in the near future as the Son of man with the clouds of heaven. In his earthly life he was not yet the Son of man, since he will come to judgment only with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7.13f) at the end of days’ (Haenchen).” Matt 11:25-27 wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/045_Father_and_Son and wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/066_Wise_and_Understanding”Lüdemann [Jesus, 330f] invokes the classic description from K. Hase of this passage as a “thunderbolt from the Johannine heavens.” He notes the typically Johannine reference to mutual knowledge between Father and Son, and the absolute use of “Son” as a designation for Jesus. In dismissing the saying’s authenticity, Luedemann also notes the similarity to ideas in the post-Easter commissioning scene at Matt 28:18, “All authority has been given to me …”

  • Paganplace

    Well, to try to be a bit neutral on this, it’s always been the Church’s problem that it treats itself as a sovereign power one minute, and a number of individuals the next.

  • paul c

    CCNL:

  • Arminius

    Paul C,Don’t waste your time with CCNL. Many of us have done so, and no one got anywhere with him. He just comes back with the same nonsense every time. He is a real mystery – he is obviously intelligent, but will not learn or even rationally discuss anything.

  • spiderman2

    “consider what is behind the masses, novenas, rosaries, scapularies, images, miracles, candles, belts, etc., etc.; which they daily keep before your minds; ears and eyes; jostling, shouting, and coaxing, INVESTIGATE whence they came and WHETHER THEY GO and then compare that religion with the pure religion of Christ and SEE whether the PRETENDED OBSERVANCE of the life of Christ does not remind of the fat milk cow or the fattened pig, which is encouraged to grow fat not through love of the animal, but for grossly mercenary motives. ” (Jose Rizal)Paul C., why don’t you try doing Jose Rizals’s advice so you could see SATAN himself. Follow his advice truthfully.

  • Arminius

    Paul C,Oh, yes – don’t waste your time with Spidey either. He makes CCNL look like a saint.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Paul C,Added “food for thought”. “The true meaning of Jesus: a matter of faith, not of historyRecent scholarship on the New Testament puts virtually every fact in doubt concerning the life of Jesus. Where once “gospel truth” was the highest warrant for fact, the Gospels are now seen by many scholars as constructions rather than history, and the versions given us by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John only a few among many competing texts. Does the historicity of Jesus matter, or can belief find a different ground?In 1906, the great philosopher, organist and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer wrote his monumental The Quest of the Historical Jesus (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998, $19.95). Schweitzer spent hundreds of pages demonstrating how the historicity of Jesus was laboriously constructed by generations of 19th-century French and German scholars. At the end, however, Schweitzer depicts a mystic vision of Christ that shows as dramatically as possible how belief may have little to do with history or historical scholarship.Schweitzer has served as a model for our time, as scholars have generally relied not on historical scholarship to craft a model of Jesus but on belief. What is different in this age is that today new historical texts make that choice perhaps even more personal than it was a hundred years ago.With the publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls – see The Dead Sea Scriptures, with introduction and notes by Theodor H. Gaster (Anchor, 1976, $12) and the Gnostic Nag Hammadi Codices (The Nag Hammadi Library in English, HarperCollins, 1990, $21) – which both first appeared in the 1940s, two vast new sources of literature were made available to scholars. Particularly, the Nag Hammadi Codices pose serious questions about the reliability of the Gospel sources, and have sparked a renewed interest in the historicity of Christ.The Gnostic texts, some of which are even earlier than the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, which were written decades after Jesus’ death, offer an entirely different version of what Jesus said and consequently suggest a religion vastly different from that of the emerging Catholic Church.Where the Church, particularly in the officially endorsed Gospel of John, preached that only Jesus was from God, and that access to God could only be achieved through him, Gnostics, such as Thomas, said that each individual had God within himself or herself. Self-knowledge or enlightenment would then be considered knowledge of the divine. Finally, where the Church offered the guarantee of salvation through the sacraments administered by its clergy, the Gnostics saw salvation as an individual quest and achievable only by the enlightened.These huge differences are brilliantly depicted by the biblical scholar Elaine Pagels (ed. an On Faith panelist) in The Gnostic Gospels (Vintage, 1981, $12) and, most recently, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (Random House, $24.95).As Pagels explains, the Gnostic texts were burned, the Gnostics excommunicated, and, when the Church acquired the secular arm during the fourth century, they were killed as heretics. Today, their clear differences with the official Gospels, including the actual words that they attribute to Jesus, question the very foundations of the historical Jesus and his message.Another challenge comes from the Biblical scholar Geza Vermes, who points out that phrases about Jesus would have had vastly different meanings in Aramaic or Hebrew, the language he used, than in Greek or Latin, the language of the New Testament. (See his The Changing Faces of Jesus, Viking, 2001, $25.95.) Vermes points out, for example, “In Hebrew or Aramaic ‘son of God’ is always employed figuratively as a metaphor for a child of God, where in Greek addressed to Gentile Christians, grown up in a religious culture [the Hellenistic world] filled with gods, sons of gods, and demigods, the New Testament expressions tended to be understood literally as ‘Son of God,’ spelled as it were with a capital letter: that is to say, as someone of the same nature as God.”Vermes points out that “virgin” in Isaiah meant a young woman, not technically a virgin, and that “Lord” carried the idea of “master” or “sir” when addressed to a human being, rather than indicating a deity.With new scholarship have come radically new interpretations of the meaning of Jesus’ life. For example, John Dominic Crossan (ed. an On Faith panelist), in his Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (HarperCollins, 1995, $14), emphasizes Jesus’ attack on the class system of his time, particularly through his use of communal meals at which elements of society from aristocrats to thieves might be invited. In Russell Shorto’s summary and bibliography, Gospel Truth: The New Image of Jesus Emerging From Science and History, and Why It Matters (Riverhead, 1997, $14) we have a good introduction to the work of dozens of scholars working in this area.What emerges from these studies is that scholars have virtually no reliable information on the historical Jesus, and conflicting accounts from writers, none of whom were present at the time of his life. While there is some evidence that we may have some of Jesus’ words, in what is called the “Q” source, even this cannot be proven. As for his life, hardly any incident can be verified: his birth and baptism, the wedding at Cana, his curing of the sick, his entry into Jerusalem and meeting with Pontius Pilate, or even his crucifixion, much less the resurrection.The question for our age, as it was for Schweitzer’s, is, does it matter? As opposed to Schweitzer’s time, today we have a different doctrine of history, given to us by the postmodernists or deconstructionists. Modernist history used exhaustive methods of historical research to reconstruct events in historical time, and to infer by diaries, contemporary accounts and other evidence the actual experience of people in the past. Postmodernists propose it is our task not to construct history but to write it according to what it might mean for us. Rather than look backward, we, the “signifiers,” should look forward and construct our own meanings.If this is done, history becomes not vastly different from historical fiction. Consider the case of Mark Anthony. In Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, we are given the unforgettable portrait of an idealistic young man filled with civic virtue. In modernist history, we know that Mark Anthony was a mafia thug who was responsible for killing Cicero, one of the most impressive political figures of his age. Does it matter that Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony is not “accurate”?If we are seeking models for our lives, which is more important, history or the poignancy or deeper meaning of the image? For the most part, the churches have ignored the battles around the historicity of Jesus, and have opted for what they believe is the deeper meaning of the story, however it is constructed. To be sure, some of this is self-protective, but belief for many religious people rests not on fact but on the deepest meanings they can derive from their lives and from human experience.If Jesus can no longer be thought of as a figure with a provable past, he can and will still exist in people’s hearts as a model and vehicle for faith.”Craig Eisendrath is the author of At War with Time: The Wisdom of Western Thought, From the Sages to a New Activism for Our Age, which will be published this October by Allworth Press. His The End of Diplomacy, written with Melvin A. Goodman, will be published spring 2004 by Prometheus Press.

  • Farnaz

    Well, CCNL, I’m impressed. Pasting the Eisendrath text adds for me yet another fragment of hope for you. It is quite true that in the Hebrew Bible when the phrase “son of God” is used, it is used figuratively with “son” in lower case. On several levels, much of what is in the NT is radically inconsistent with what is in the OT and with history.Setting aside that which most scholars now view as myth, e.g., the judgement of the Sanhedrin (which never met during Passover), we have the problem of the Pharisees, who in Jesus’ time, were attempting to eliminate temple culture, the priestly caste. It was the Sadducees, not the Pharisees who supported that caste, as biblical scholars very well know.As for translations, no matter how you look at it, they are always a problem not only since they must make compromises in order to be readable but also since they are culturally situated and allow for cultural/political bias. It is true that “son of god” is used figuratively, lower case, in the Hebrew Bible. Your author presents a theory on why its status changes in the NT. Then, in the “OT” we see such constructions as “God was walking in the garden,” rather than the more accurate “The presence of God was felt in the garden.”But the final question is what implications some of this scholarship has for religion, how “factual” we ought to be, or, better stated, when and where it is desirable, ethical to be concerned with facts, where and when it is the spiritual to which we should give precedence.

  • Farnaz

    CCNL:RE: Son of GodThat the Hebrew Bible uses “son of God” figuratively, doesn’t, in and of itsels, mitigate against its use or interpretation literally in the NT, I would think. One would need to look to other evidence to which the article refers. One would need corroboration.

  • Farnaz

    Whoops! Typo: Meant to write “itself.”

  • paul c

    CCNL:What emerges from these studies is that scholars have virtually no reliable information on the historical Jesus, and conflicting accounts from writers, none of whom were present at the time of his life. While there is some evidence that we may have some of Jesus’ words, in what is called the “Q” source, even this cannot be proven. As for his life, hardly any incident can be verified: his birth and baptism, the wedding at Cana, his curing of the sick, his entry into Jerusalem and meeting with Pontius Pilate, or even his crucifixion, much less the resurrection.When you read this, you Say ” Since the gospels can’t be proven, they must be false.” You then believe all kinds of utter speculation on the parts of JD Crossan and others that make the life of Christ ordinary. I look at the above and say, “Its not surprising that you can’t corroborate the Gospels with secular writings once you eliminate any source that actually talks about Jesus’ life.” Furthermore, the paragraph is damning to those that speculate all kinds of alternative life paths for Jesus because there is no data to support any of that either.The difference between you and I on this subject is that in the absence of outside proof of the Gospels, you are inclined to believe they are false, where I am inclined to believe they are true. The reasons I believe they are fundamentally true are: > I see no motivation for Christ’s immediate followers to give up their lives for the faith if it wasn’t true. (And I don’t think there is a substantive debate that denies the martyrdom of the Apostles, other than St. John, who was exiled). For Money? Hardly, these men were sent out without money sacks.. > The entire picture of Church history (including the old testament) fits together too well for it to be all a fabrication. Its hard to explain how a small, persecuted group of people from a backwater area of the Roman Empire could grow to 2B adherents 2000 years later without some divine inspiration. Why Jesus? Why not someone else as the Messiah if he was just one of many simple preachermen as you describe? > I see 2000 years of witnessing to the faith since those events. I see the healings at Lourdes, I see the miracle of the Sun at Fatima, The Stigmata of Padre Pio and I believe.

  • Ryan Haber

    Well said, Paul C.I am inclined to believe that they are true precisely because I can see no sense in the argument first articulated by Reimarus in the 18th c., and that you have summarized. I quote:”Reimarus (1774-1779) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God’s hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus’ failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing.”The only problem is that the apostles were all murdered, except for John who was merely exiled, for their declared belief in the resurrection of our Blessed Lord. If they had lied for financial gain, one would think they would back out, or at least try, once the going got tough. They did the opposite, however – which makes little sense except they were convinced of:(1) the truth of what they said;Precisely because they were willing to die for their beliefs, I take their beliefs seriously – it is not proof that they were correct, but strong evidence that they were very sincere, and very clear about what they believed.CCNL, you have a lot of ideas that make you feel very big and smart, and that’s great. I couldn’t guess and wouldn’t dream of guessing what your particular sins are. Only I imagine that it’s been a very long time since you’ve humbled yourself in the confessional, and you also strike me as very, very unhappy. I urge you to confess because the path to happiness is, as Alice discovered in Wonderland, through a very small door, and we must stoop to enter.

  • paul c

    Arminius: CCNL is obviously well read and you can tell from the amount of time he/she posts here that he/she is a seeker. A month or two ago, all we got out of CCNL were long lists of “FEMS” or “Reality 101″. However, in the last week alone, we learned what CCNL believes ( a list of 20 items or so) and also found out that he/she still attends Catholic mass weekly, despite the diatribes against the core beliefs of the Catholic Church. That means CCNL is still looking and hasn’t abandonned faith altogether. Those that seek will find… its just a matter of time.As for Spiderman, he clearly is a passionate evangelical. Passion can be very useful if pointed in the right direction. It worked for St. Paul. My main goal with Spiderman is to make him see that his passion has turned to hate and that that is not consistent with Christian beliefs, regardless of denomination. Unfortunately, it is hard to walk away from the hate, when people are responding to him with hate as well.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Paul C. and Ryan,The better line is: “Recent scholarship on the New Testament puts virtually every fact in doubt concerning the life of Jesus. Where once “gospel truth” was the highest warrant for fact, the Gospels are now seen by many scholars as constructions rather than history, and the versions given us by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John only a few among many competing texts.”And the “murder” of the Apostles save John and Judas? Lack of attestaions leads to historical problems as with the OT and NT. So we have then the issue of embellishments, legends, and in some cases apostles simply violating Roman law just like the simple preacher man did. And “miracles” also gets into the realm of attestations e.g. all of Jesus’ “miracles” fail proper historic attestations to include the resurrection.Then there are Lourdes and Fatima. Lots of “reported miracles” and a thousands of crutches displayed in the grottos but only a few “substantiated” by Vatican “officials” and no reports since the advent of MRI and body scans. And the “reports” are limited in scope i.e. no regeneration of limbs or organs. Faking a disease? It happens every day. And one wonders why only young, impressionable, uneducated peasants saw the “virgin? Hmmm, big money in hallucinations of the “virgin”? And having the Fatima “youngins” stare into the Sun. Very dangerous, very ungodlike, and a very poor example for our youth!!! And Pio’s supposedly stigmata is questionable since he would not allow anyone to include church authorities to evaluate his hands. Big money though in Pio trinkets and the Capuchins know a good thing when they see it. And do indeed list my “sins” so I might confess them to a sinning priest!!!May both of you some day be “Crossanized”!!!!

  • paul c

    CCNL:Don’t you see yourself piling assumption upon assumption to debunk the faith. You say or imply: Only a ” few’ miracles. Not of the quality you want. Lack of attestment to the death of the Apostles (unless you count, of course, the writings of those that knew them). Only the unimpressionable see God. It would be much more believable if it happened to an adult.. ” To the faithless, any proof would be insufficient. I don’t think that applies to you yet, but you are headed down that slippery slope.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Paul C,I will go along with the contemporary NT and historical Jesus exegetes. They have exhaustively reviewed the documents and found them to be historically flawed. No problem in believing in such flaws, so continue on in the brainwash of Catholicism. No one is being hurt by believing in “pretty/ugly wingie thingies, mythical resurrections/ assumptions/ ascensions/ miracles, atonement theology and daily blood sacrifices. And such beliefs do have some economic benefits as they provide for a lot of jobs and charitable donations but so does Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.

  • paul c

    CCNL:

  • Neal:

    With apologies to Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo for these off-topic questions:Assuming that the Genesis story of the fall of man is allegorical, can anyone explain the concept of original sin in terms of what we know about the evolution of our species? When haven’t pain, suffering, death and the capacity to do bad things been part of the hominan condition? Thanks in advance.

  • Anonymous

    Paul C. writes: “Unfortunately, it is hard to walk away from the hate, when people are responding to him with hate as well.”Yes.

  • Anonymous

    Paul C. writes: “Unfortunately, it is hard to walk away from the hate, when people are responding to him with hate as well.”Yes.

  • You Goober

    Anthony,

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