The New Muslim-Catholic Coalition

The political experts will decide if President Obama’s speech at the University of Cairo on June 4 was a factor … Continued

The political experts will decide if President Obama’s speech at the University of Cairo on June 4 was a factor in the unexpected electoral defeat of Hezbollah in Lebanon’s elections on June 7. But while the international effects may be murky, a clear and immediate result of the Cairo speech is its impact on Muslims living in the U.S. Pride about praise of one’s religious traditions from political leaders often adds votes and voices within U.S. society. Catholic America should know: this was part of our past journey to inclusion.

But more than a touchy-feely sort of thing is the likelihood that the Cairo speech will produce greater support for socialized health care and an end to Israeli settlements. Those Catholics in America who agree with the bishops and the pope have long supported a universal health care plan and a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel. With the President’s speech, Muslims in the U.S. have been invited to make an alliance with Catholics.

Obama’s speech aligned the U.S. treatment of Muslims and the Muslim world with the vision of Pope Benedict XVI. That’s not my opinion, but one found in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano and echoed by Archbishop Wilton Gregory who speaks for the U.S. bishops: “Both the pope and president concur that a dialogue of civilizations must supplant the specter of a clash of civilizations … All Catholic Americans who hope for a more secure world, and peace among the religions, can feel grateful that the president underscored the indispensable role of religion in advancing educational, economic, and scientific goals.”

I laud here the wisdom of Church leaders in seeing how domestic political effects are joined to international ones. In fact, just as Obama “spoke Catholic” at Notre Dame in May (E.J. Dionne’s expression), he “spoke Muslim” in June. This is an insider’s observation. For instance, Obama said not just “the Qur’an” but “the Holy Qur’an,” which is more or less akin to saying “the Holy Father” instead of “the pope.” He quoted from the hadith about “when Moses, Jesus and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.” Adding “peace be upon them,” I think, is akin to how Catholics bow their head at the name of Jesus. Recalling his life in Indonesia, Obama used the Arabic word, “azaan,” for the repeated call to prayer much like a Catholic insider might cite “the bells of the Angelus” three times a day recalling the Incarnation. Praising Islam for the tradition of charitable giving called “zakat” is similar to citing papal social encyclicals and using a Latin title like Rerum Novarum. Perhaps more important than his words was the president’s promise to make Muslims a part of his revised faith-based initiative for community social services. Obama plans a shift away from Bush’s plan to fund a single player – often an Evangelical congregation. The strategy now is the one employed by the Campaign for Human Development (CHD). It was the Catholic-funded CHD grant to a Chicago neighborhood, after all, that brought Obama to Chicago and gave him a room in a Catholic rectory. Coming out of the Obama White House, this new faith-based initiative brings together players as varied as Catholic parishes, Jewish, Protestant and Evangelical congregations, the YMCA, the Salvation Army and now — Muslim mosques.

I expect the most difficult issue for both Catholics and Muslims in responding to the Cairo speech will be the two-state solution in Israel. Clearly, any resolution depends upon actors in the Holy Land, but public opinion in the U.S. affects how Washington reacts. Some critics, like Charles Krauthammer have sharpened the knives, claiming Obama is “dishonorable” and is betraying Israel. Krauthammer does not speak for America’s Jews, nor all Israelis, but using cute legalisms like “natural growth” to expand illegal settlements in occupied lands directly attacks the pope’s position, takes on the Catholic bishops, dismisses most Muslims, and undercuts the Obama Administration’s team led by Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. (Few have ever accused Dr. Krauthammer of lacking chutzpah!) Whatever the final outcome, an emerging Muslim-Catholic coalition on these matters may ultimately outweigh the vociferous Evangelical-Catholic coalition that dominated in the Bush years.

  • Paganplace

    Well, Professor, I’m glad to see promising signs of detente between Catholics and Muslims, …just, at least on this board, try not to forget who stood between the both of youse taking attacks from all sides in the process. :)You know, if you’re looking to credit yourself for it all already. Just… Don’t forget there’s others in the world, OK? If you haven’t already.

  • ccnl1

    What should we call a coalition of Muslims and Catholics?? Hmmm, two very flawed religions with respect to history and theology can only be called, “Double Flawed” !!!!

  • Garak

    Krauthammer says Obama is betraying Israel? Since when is Obama President of Israel? Since when are any interests of than those of the US sacrosanct? Or must American Presidents bow2Israel and put the interests of a hostile foreign power ahead of those of the USA?Today is the 42d anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. See

  • Garak

    The second line of the first paragraph of my post should read “Since when are any interests of ANY NATION OTHER than those of the US sacrosanct?”

  • thebobbob

    And the Rationalists, the agnostics and the atheists? The joining of two, largely irrational forces is not a comfort to them. What about the Pastafarians? When will Obama speak of dressing His Noodley Appendages with Divine sauces?

  • 10emlet

    Glad that these 2 organized religions are getting along. Now, about the largest of all religions – that of the non-religious. We should be seeking their opinions and ideas as they seem to be the most lucid and still untainted by myths and legends that have persevered from the days of the cavemen who were worshipping the sun, moon, winds, ocean, thunder, lightning, etc, etc, etc. to the modern cave people of today who still haven’t stepped out of that world of mythical super-human forces.

  • Christopher3

    What an foolish article. Dialogue with Muslims has been going on for centuries and the the hate stemming from Islam has spread across the world. The author does not even have guts to acknowledge that Christians are oppressed across the Islamic world. Where is the Muslim movement against this? It is because of head in the sand liberals like this that the problem continues.

  • marcedward1

    Seemed to me like the Evangelicals had little in common with Catholics. In truth, many of the evangelicals had no respect for Catholics and openly mocked Catholic dogma, especially here in the South. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Southern Baptists saying things like ‘You know, Mary was just a womin’ or ‘The Catholics are idle worshipers!’ (while I’m a bad speller, the last two bad spelling were on purpose)

  • chatard

    Yes! Yes! We have Politically Correct Catholics joining with politically incorrect Muslims and Politically Amoral Wiccans to form a huge Obama Coalition that will silence Traditional Christians once and for all, making Quinn and Meacham very, very happy.

  • jdsher00

    As a Reform Jew, I’m interested in joining this coalition, too. When will people notice that Reform Judaism has supported a two-state solution and national health care for many years, and includes a majority of American Jews, for whom Krauthammer does not speak? I think Obama has created a center-left religious coalition. It’s great that it now includes Catholics and Muslims. Let’s not forget that a strong majority of American Jews have long supported these common-sense policies as well, even though much of the self-styled Jewish community leadership doesn’t represent their views. Hardly anyone in the American Jewish community agrees with Krauthammer.

  • jakesfriend1

    Call me confused, but ‘Moses, Jesus and Mohammed’ joined in prayer. Wow, to think I always thought they lived at different times in history. That answers alot of questions.And, the Catholics bow their head at the name of Jesus. I can see that. But, ‘the Holy Father’ instead of ‘the pope’ denotes they are one and the same? That means Jesus must have been the son of a Pope? I can see clearly now…………

  • hsnkhwj

    Kudos to jdsher00 for posting a rational comment.I do not understand why commentators pay more attention to the identity (religion, sect, race etc) of a writer or commentator than what that person wrote or said.Farnaz, I was beginning to like you. But it seems you get carried away too. Don’t you think rationality demands that we pay attention to what is being said than who is saying it. Otherwise, how non-Jews or gentiles will be expected to condemn the Holocaust or humans who are not from Rwanda condemn genocide in Rwanda? I am not a Jew but I condemn the Nazi ideology and the Holocaust. The latter was a crime against humanity.Uri Avneri, the Israeli peace activist has written some of the most eloquent pieces defending Muslims. And he is not a Muslim.

  • 10emlet

    “When will people notice that Reform Judaism has supported a two-state solution and national health care for many years, and includes a majority of American Jews, for whom Krauthammer does not speak?”When they speak up and stop voting in right-wing people who seem to be in the majority in Israel.

  • birs1987

    His Catholic Excellency, Father Stevens-Arroyo made an extremely important astute observation:Already in his inauguration speech the Great Obama said: “We’re a nation of Christians and Muslims.” That reflects a new power structure based on the Holy Union between the Islamists and Papists.Numerous articles in the Washington Post and Newsweek also point out on the growing religious influence of 3 billion Muslims and Catholics.In his famous Cairo Manifesto the Magnificent Obama emphasized that America and Islam Together Forever. We have in this country already 7 million Muslims with 12 000 mosques.And after 8 years of Obama’s rule we’ll have 70 million Muslims and 120 000 mosques.Naturally, Vatican and Saudi Arabia are natural allies of Barak Obama and great help in placing Charles Krauthammer and his allies into free cells of Gitmo.If elections of 2008 Obama won with the help of Jewish money and advisors, the elections of 2012 will be won with the help of Arab oil money and Catholic priests and nuns.The Vatican and Saudi Arabia share also many cultural affinities such as Inquisition, Pedophilia, and hatred of non-believers.Obama also supports the gay marriages and Vatican and Saudi Arabia should join him in this struggle against fighting the injustice and discrimination.

  • mharwick

    The Islamofascists being the Hamas, Hezbollah and the rest of the barbarians will never allow Israelis to live in peace. Iran runs the show and they will continue to fund bombings and rocket attacks. Israel has already had the world tell them they must do this and that but no one tells the Islamist fanatics to give up their quest for Jewish blood.

  • likovid

    Is Krauthamer an American?

  • jtc2006

    Bravo for the mention of the USS Liberty and the disgraceful coverup that followed the attack on that ship and it’s crew.

  • tbarksdl

    Let’s hope against hope that there is positive good in greater unity between the two religions that remain most locked in a medieval mentality. Serious commentators, for example, have raised the alarm that Muslim pressure and threats of violence have already caused the Western media to engage in self-censorship about Islamic issues, weakening and undermining one of our most precious legacies, freedom of expression. If either Catholics or Muslims gained dominance over the political system in the United States, how much freedom would there be to even discuss abortion or use of contraceptives?And if I were a woman, I would not feel reassured that the two religions that openly discriminate against women are beginning to show a united front. Then there was Pope Benedict’s ringing reaffirmation of the Catholic doctrine that only Catholics are going to heaven. Not Christians, mind you. Just Catholics. With that settled, he says, let’s discuss the universal brotherhood of man. The Islamic religion, of course, is based at its core on the idea that Jews and Christians got God’s message wrong, and God chose Muslims alone to get it right. Greater unity between these two? Chilling.

  • furtdw

    Mr. Stevens – Arroyo writes:”With the President’s speech, Muslims in the U.S. have been invited to make an alliance with Catholics.”He conveniently forgot to mention the one issue right minded Catholics and right minded Muslims have been in alliance for quite some time …… abortion.And, this pro-life/anti abortion Catholic welcomes that alliance.

  • furtdw

    tbarksdale wrote:”Then there was Pope Benedict’s ringing reaffirmation of the Catholic doctrine that only Catholics are going to heaven. Not Christians, mind you. Just Catholics.”*****************************************This Catholic never heard (or read) the Pope say that.Kindly produce an authoritative document which cites the Pope saying only Catholics go to heaven. I avidly anticipate reading the reference you post.(NAH! Say it ain’t so …… another lib shootin’ from the hip? Makin’ it up as he goes along? Nah ….. couldn’t be).

  • furtdw

    BIRS1987 wrote: We have in this country already 7 million Muslims with 12 000 mosques.****************************************Not true.The Muslim population of the USA is

    only the 38th largest Muslim population of all nations.

  • furtdw

    Marcedward1 wrote: “Seemed to me like the Evangelicals had little in common with Catholics. In truth, many of the evangelicals had no respect for Catholics and openly mocked Catholic dogma, especially here in the South. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Southern Baptists saying things like ‘You know, Mary was just a womin’ or ‘The Catholics are idle worshipers!’ (while I’m a bad speller, the last two bad spelling were on purpose)”*****************************************Odd?Same way Catholics feel about the concept of “sola scriptura.”1Tim tells us:” …. the *CHURCH* (not sola scriptura), the pillar and foundation of the truth.”Odd? The man made (Luther) invention of sola scriptura refuted by scripture itself.

  • coloradodog

    “Right minded Catholics and right minded Muslims have been in alliance for quite some time” – abuse of the weaker. Muslim abuse of women and Catholic abuse of little boys.

  • coloradodog

    Evangelical and Catholics have at least one thing in common – their belief in the Randall Terry Republican propaganda on RNC Fox News.

  • beforegod

    “… My Eyes has seen the comming & the Glory of the Lord … so TRUTH keeps marching on…” Nice Christian (non Catholic) Song. But is there such a Islamic (non Jewish) Song that can be sung together in a Mosque?MR. ARROYO, the Vatican’s “Situational cunning & denying Mouth Peace” is again at it attempting to reconcile (divert/hide) via Current [Modern] Events, the Atrocities committed or condoned by his [Ancient] Catholic’s Brothers & Sisters by their Churches (Vatican Embassy’s or Safe Houses) by proxy? during World War I & W.W. II & Post Wars.Fact: Not to mention today’s Holocaust Denyer Bishop WILLIAMS that, Hitler was a POPE FEARING mass murdering Catholic; So was exJew “SAUL” of Tarsus, aka PAUL (founder of their Catholic Church as an Institution via exjew JOSEPHUS founder of the New Testament book) AndNot One of the American Mass PEDIOPHILE Homosexual Priests/Fathers/Revrend-Perp’s went to Prison; Includes thrown into the Vaticans own Prison System? AndToday Catholics (Vatican) are attempting to reconcile (Word Merchantdize thier way again out of what Catholic Church sowed & reaped via the giving shelter to OBAMA via “Catholic Funded CHD”?) Pre-Mature Murder, by Proxy, of a great visionary mind and father of the Modern telescope named GALALIO.Now the VATICAN , in Nevada or New Mexico has a “Giant Bonocular” and Large arrays of Telesopes but are still in denial! [About Galalio and Others Victims unjustifiably Silenced by Cardinals, Bishops & the See). They even Erected a Statute (as if Mr. Galaleo Knows now) of Him in the Vatican City.Not Long ago Mr. ARROYO attempted to “Catholicize” our (not his) Fist-President George WASHINGTON as if he died a Catholic with ‘last Rights’ therefrom, thus making him a Catholic & not a DIEST?Suddenly, pretending that it’s always been the practice of the Pope/Vatican/Church, to study the [un] Holy Quran that Mr. ARROYO & the Vatican Popoe are studying and citing therefrom SURA/HADITHs of the Quran/Koran. This trying to make the Catholic Church look good is not “NATURAL GROWTH” but “NEUTRAL-GROWTH”? Satan & Jinn alike takes Both Sides of religions & Nations by cunningly being Neutral. As if not competing.Is it TRUE that “SATAN” is the True Brother of JESUS? Is Satan his Blood Brother via Father & not Mother?

  • TomfromNJ1

    Reacting to chatard who seemed to think that this inclusion of Catholics will “silence Traditional Christians once and for all.” I question what he or she thinks Catholics are. Historically they were the Christians that Protestants “protested” against to get their very name which seems to make them far more of a tradition than any other Christians. In addition, their very belief systems refers to both scripture and TRADITION. Many critics find fault with them for being too traditional so I find it hard to understand how they are distinguished from “traditional Christians.” They are not fundamentalists to be sure, but traditional, they certainly are.

  • beforegod

    Letter; to EVIL PATEL by Proxy:Dear Eboo Patel; Unlike the ‘Prodigal Son” You sound like a youngin YOUTHfull Fool.Did You know that it is a “Federal Crime” to discriminate against “Seniors” Job Wise & or Religious Wise? You are telling US, in U.S. that you are openly [maybe not non-Straight] an “AGE DISCRIMINATOR”! Your openly Competing & Discriminating against the [Like the Elder's Of Zion?] so called “SENIOR Theologian’s? Sir: You said, “”Indeed, faith should [ABRAHAMICS but not VEDICS?] bring us together. That is why WE? are forging service projects in America … so bridges between [Religious but not Secular?] peoples lead to action – whether it is combating malaria in Africa, or providing relief after a natural disaster.”That is Audacious!You said; “My own inspiration came from faith heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr [pbuh], Mahatma Gandhi[pbuh], the Dalai Lama[?] and Jane Addams[?].” Note: Today’s Dali Lama – who has Blood on His hands via his international Monks Army of Tibet and others) – is No Muhatma Ghandi; Nor Like Prez hopefull Dan Quale in his public debate once attempted to portray, is no “Jack” Kennedy” [pbuh], so don’t even try! Also,Here you Freudiantly Slipped and [selfishly] forgot to ad Last, but not Least; You make Your “IFIC” sound as if it’s a New “MOVEMENT” of some kind. Did YoU and your peers, ever hear of the “PANTHEON” (OF RELIGIONs, not Only Holywood Pantheon of Actors)?You are Wrong to cherish the though of reconciling man-made Religion SYSTEMs with the “PLURALITY” of Religions” instead of “SINGULARITY” of All Religions via a genuine g-d loving (not Fearing) ONE-BIBLE, created for that [Prophetic] Purpose (Vision/Goal)via the United Nations. “Tolerence” of [Competing for a name for their god INSTEAD OF OUR G-D] Religions is an Illusion & wrong headed!Think: ONE-EARTH, ONE-G-D, ONE RELIGION, 1-BOOK. Not Pre-Apocalyptic Chumash/Bibles sickness, not Quran/Korans sickness, not Geeta/Kangyurs, Not Sruti/Tripitakas sickness..!So, Overnight You’ve become a Millionaire! And so did Rick Warren & the Dali Lama & his Monks army, Desmond Tutu…! Includes OBAMA & CO.!

  • mwells144

    I understand speaking to your audience is effective in winning them over and creating bridges of understanding but….why did our President avoid the Muslim topic and stess the Christian heritage and religious convictions during the presidential race? Looks like he is much more comfortabe speaking about it now and calling it like it is. Another flip-flop.

  • ravitchn

    Muslims regard Christians and Jews with the same contempt that Christians traditionally had for Jews. They think they have the truth and as the Koran says the rabbis and monks have distorted it and Mohammed restored it. With this emphasis there is no possibility of a Christian-Muslim alliance. They may have some common beliefs but the exodus of Christians massively from Muslim lands, as with the expulsion and expropriation of Jews in Muslim lands, gives no basis for cooperation.

  • ravitchn

    Why did O’Bama refer to the ‘Holy Koran’? when that book is a farago of lies and deceits?

  • jclark3

    From a previous contributor:Why did O’Bama refer to the ‘Holy Koran’? when that book is a farago of lies and deceits?Answer: probably for the same reason he referenced the holy Bible, which is also a farago of lies: it’s an important book to millions of people.

  • deshimiah

    For anyone of any faith to ‘claim’ holier than thou, regardless of all that bad

  • Montedoro

    One little problem in the alliance between Catholics and Moslems. It is standard Islamic doctrine that Catholics (and all Christians) are the most monstrous of blasphemers, and therefore the most wicked of people, because they say that God has a Son. This is considered the greatest sin in Islam — greater than rape, murder or even genocide. This is the only sin that Allah will never forgive.

  • ThishowIseeit

    While the Pope or a Vatican Concil has the authority to change catholic policies, NO ONE in the religion of Islam has that authority. What is written in the Koran is final. So, how can ever be any change?

  • ThomasBaum

    deshimiahYou wrote, “For anyone of any faith to ‘claim’ holier than thou, regardless of all that bad Kind of the “He who is without sin, cast the first stone” thing.As for anyone calling themself “Christian” to ‘claim’ “holier than thou”, “above everyone else” status is simply to not be a “Christian”.You also wrote, ” Remember one of the world’s biggest organized killers of people claimed to be Christians of the highest order…the Nazis.”Claiming to be a “Christian” does not make one a “Christian”, knowing God’s Name does not make one a “Christian”. There are many that are “Christian” in the true sense of the word that don’t know God’s Name and/or don’t even believe that God Is Real.As I have said: God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof and it is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.If one knows/believes that Jesus is God-Incarnate, which He Is, then it is their choice whether or not they even attempt to accept His invitation to “Come follow Me.Since we are all individuals, following Jesus is a journey that an individual must make, that is why Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide us. No one can tell another, exactly how that person is to follow Jesus.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    MontedoroYou wrote, “One little problem in the alliance between Catholics and Moslems. It is standard Islamic doctrine that Catholics (and all Christians) are the most monstrous of blasphemers, and therefore the most wicked of people, because they say that God has a Son. This is considered the greatest sin in Islam — greater than rape, murder or even genocide. This is the only sin that Allah will never forgive.”Since Jesus is God-Incarnate and Jesus became the Son of God and the Son of Man when Mary said YES, this should give people an idea who the god of islam is.Allah, by the way, is a generic Arabic word, at least I think it is Arabic, which means God. I would think that it is equivalent to the English word, God. Allah is used by both Christians and Muslims and maybe others also but as the god of islam himself pointed out the Christian God and the Muslim god are not the same, even tho there is only One God and God is not only a Trinity but is a Being of Pure Love as opposed to love being an attribute of God.God’s Plan, which is unfolding before our very eys, will come to Fruition and God’s Plan is for ALL to be in God’s Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth.God becoming One of Us is just part of God’s Plan.Do you think that when Jesus directed us to call God, Our Father, when we prayed to Him, that this may have upset the god of islam also?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • tbarksdl

    furtdw on June 9, 2009 6:13 AM wrote in response to my post:“This Catholic never heard (or read) the Pope say that. Kindly produce an authoritative document which cites the Pope saying only Catholics go to heaven. I avidly anticipate reading the reference you post. (NAH! Say it ain’t so …… another lib shootin’ from the hip? Makin’ it up as he goes along? Nah ….. couldn’t be).”Well, furtdw, here it is:“Pope reasserts salvation comes from one churchLORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy — Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released yesterday that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.”You can read the whole article at:But why in the world, furtdw, would you play this game? You must know full well that Benedict only restated the core doctrine of the Catholic Church. Here it is again, from a leading Catholic web page:“ ‘Outside the Church there is no salvation’ is a doctrine of the Catholic Faith that was taught By Jesus Christ to His Apostles, preached by the Fathers, defined by popes and councils and piously believed by the faithful in every age of the Church.”Rather than rub it in your face how blind you were, may I make a humble suggestion? Now that your ignorance and arrogance have been revealed for all to see, why not seize the opportunity to subject your most cherished beliefs to re-examination? Maybe there are other things you believe, not because they are believable, but because you just don’t know no better. May I suggest a start? Read Christopher Hitchens’ book “Why God Is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.” And go from there. Did you know, for example, that that whole Virgin Mary thing is just a man-made myth?Meanwhile, don’t be throwing down gauntlets on blogs without getting your facts straight.

  • TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2

    IN REPLY TO (IRT)IRT:“This Catholic never heard (or read) the Pope say that. Kindly produce an authoritative document which cites the Pope saying only Catholics go to heaven. I avidly anticipate reading the reference you post. (NAH! Say it ain’t so …… another lib shooting’ from the hip? Makin’ it up as he goes along? Nah ….. couldn’t be).”Well, furtdw, here it is:“Pope reasserts salvation comes from one churchThe Boston GlobeLORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy — Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released yesterday that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.”ANS:CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:“Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, can be saved even if they have not been baptized (cf. LG 16)—THE OFFICIAL TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.” Never let someone uninformed tell you what the Church says, the majority of time they don’t know what they are saying and they get one thing screwed up with another and make such incredulous statements as that no one can get to Heaven but Catholics.Christ only established one true Church. Therefore, everyone must, to enter into Heaven’s gate, enter through His Church but that doesn’t proscribe those who are not Catholics. No person ever created is denied access to God, His Love, and His Kingdom. Only the individual has the power to chose or not chose God’s benevolence. If one goes to Hell it is of his own choosing.The Good thief, before he died on the cross, cursed Jesus on his left. Before death, he asked Jesus, “Lord when you enter your Kingdom may I be with you?” Jesus replied, “This very day you will be in Paradise.”GK Chesterton said it perfectly. “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.

  • ThomasBaum

    TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2You wrote, “Therefore, everyone must, to enter into Heaven’s gate, enter through His Church”Seems to me, Jesus said, “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one come to the Father except thru Me”.He never said someone must come thru “His Church”, did He?Jesus is God-Incarnate, the Catholic Church isn’t.You also wrote, “If one goes to Hell it is of his own choosing.”Yes, we have free will and it is our choice but if one goes to hell, they will find out that they built it themself.Hell is not some kind of monolithic place created by God but is of our own making yet Jesus won the keys to both hell and death and He will use them in due time, God’s Time.God’s Plan is for ALL, if it wasn’t then it would not be much of a Plan, the seventh day, the new heavens and the new earth, will arrive in due time, God’s Time.Something to ponder: Do you think that God asked us to be more merciful, more forgiving, more loving, more… than God?There are many that underestimate God and the really sad part is that some wish for it to be a tie as long as they go to the “good place”, as I have said, mighty “Christian” of them.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2

    IN REPLY TO (IRT)”The Church” is the People that God gathers in the whole world. She exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical, above all a Eucharistic, assembly. She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ’s Body.”The Church is, accordingly, a sheepfold, the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ. It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave his life for his sheep (Ezek 34:11-31; Jn 10:11; 1 Pet 5:4; Jn 10:11-16.)Often, too, the Church is called the building of God. The Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the corner-stone. On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity and unity.God created the world for the sake of communion with his divine life, a communion brought about by the “convocation” of men in Christ, and this “convocation” is the Church.The word “Church” means “convocation.” It designates the assembly of those whom God’s Word “convokes,” i.e., gathers together to form the People of God, and who themselves, nourished with the Body of Christ, become the Body of Christ. The Church is both the means and the goal of God’s plan: prefigured in creation, prepared for in the Old Covenant, founded by the words and actions of Jesus Christ The Church is both visible and spiritual, a hierarchical society and the Mystical Body of Christ. She is one, yet formed of two components, human and divine. That is her mystery, which only faith can accept. The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men.

  • coloradodog

    You spend an awful lot of time posting here, TTWSY. Don’t you have some pedophile priests you need to go hide?

  • ThomasBaum

    TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ2You wrote, ” The Church is both the means and the goal of God’s plan:”The “Church” is part of God’s Plan.The “goal” of “God’s Plan” is the reconciliation of the entire human race with God.As it says, “All knees shall bend…”, and I might add both willingly and thankfully.As it says, “It is God’s Will that ALL be saved”, seems pretty simple, direct and straight to the point.Being a member in good standing with the “Church” could be equivalent to being a member in good standing with the “Temple” in Jesus’s day, it doesn’t necessarily add up to a bucket of snot.God has a Plan and has had His Plan since before creation and God’s Plan will come to Fruition.God’s Plan is for ALL to be in the Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth, which will arrive with the dawning of the seventh day.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    coloradodogI was wondering, were you raised “Catholic”?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    CCNLYou wrote, “Hmmm, “I am the Truth” i.e. John 14:6. This passage was, according to many NT exegetes, not said by the historical Jesus but was wishful thinking and an embellishment by John to make Jesus more like the ancient and local gods of first century Palestine.”As you say, “according to many”, just what is “many”, some, most, a few? Do the ones that are not the “many” disagree with the “many’s” opinion? Even for the “many”, it is just an opinion, is it not?Do you flock to the “many” because of the initials after their names, because many do?Haven’t you had any experiences in life of your own to base your own opinion on?After someone meets God, at least in my case, some of the things in the bible take on a whole different meaning than what others seem to think.To me it is kind of amazing that so many seem to want to “know it all” whereas I am content to know what I need to know.As I have said: God is Love, it is that simple.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • coloradodog

    THOMASBAUM:No, I was raised Lutheran in Mormon Utah, why? Catholic and Protestants stick together in the intolerant ethnocentrism of this place and I often went with my friends to CYA as a boy.The thing I resent most is being moralized to by “the religious” about something like abortion while their leaders hide pedophiles. It’s going on now in Mexico where Cardinal Mahoney transferred back a pedophile he hid in LA to Cardinal Rivera here in Mexico. Rivera originally transferred this “padre” to Mahoney to get him away from angry Mexican families whose little boys were molested by this guy. And, yes, if it any of anyone’s business, I was molested at age 10 by a “religious” pedophile. This is why I can not imagine a “Church” hiding these monsters in the name of Jesus less alone pretending to be so sanctimonious and self-righteous in the process. The Pope’s inaction on this matter reveals his true heart much better than his shallow words of “personal anguish” for the victims

  • ccnl1

    Thomas “The Hallucinator/god/trinity/satan seerer” and “Moses of the NT” Baum,Once again, your “knowledge” revolves around the Three B Syndrome i.e. you were Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Catholicism.To escape, read (with an open mind) the works of some of the historic Jesus and NT exegetes listed at Many of these experts (Professors Borg, Crossan, Fredriksen, Wright, Armstrong, and Pagels) are On Faith panel members.

  • ThomasBaum

    coloradodogYou wrote, “No, I was raised Lutheran in Mormon Utah, why?”One of the reasons that I asked is that it seems that some of those that totally despise the Catholic Church are former Catholics.Whether it is a “religious” pedophile or someone else, usually in some kind of authoritative position, it is wrong.The thing is not all priests, not all ministers and not all in other walks of life are pedophiles and some seem to condemn all in the process.I am not here to speak for the Catholic Church or for other “brands” of Christianity, I am here to speak for God.There has been much wrong done thru the ages by the Catholic Church and that is one of the things that Pope John Paul II went around the entire world proclaiming but there has also been much good done by the Catholic Church.As I have said before, God looks at the person, not the label.As I have also said, God’s Plan is for ALL to be in God’s Kingdom and God’s Plan will come to Fruition.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    CCNL1You wrote, “Once again, your “knowledge” revolves around the Three B Syndrome i.e. you were Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Catholicism.You seem to have missed what I have written many times, I have met God and I have met satan and I have experienced hell and I have experienced spiritual death, why should I read what is written by those that do not know what they are talking about? You also wrote, “Many of these experts (Professors Borg, Crossan, Fredriksen, Wright, Armstrong, and Pagels) are On Faith panel members”That is all well and good but there are many “experts” that don’t know didly and there are many “experts” that totally disagree with other “experts”, isn’t this a fact?I am not an “expert”, who knows maybe that is one of the reasons that God chose me to be a messenger.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ccnl1

    Thomas “The Greatest of All Hallucinators” Baum,Again, please invite CNN to your next seance with god and your demon of the demented. And we assume your visit with the local “pretty, wingie thingies” is close at hand??

  • ThomasBaum

    CCNL1You wrote, “Thomas “The Greatest of All Hallucinators” Baum,”I thank you for the compliment.You also wrote, “Again, please invite CNN to your next seance with god and your demon of the demented.”It wasn’t a “seance” which by definition is someone trying to “contact”. God, by His choice, came into my heart and my body.And I believe that it was God that allowed satan to do what he did, just like in the book of Job when satan had to get special permission.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ccnl1

    Thomas “The Greatest of All the Hallucinators” Baum,Job was the figment of some Jewish scribe’s imagination (or some fire-side tale of the ancients). Time for you to enter the 21st Century!!!

  • coloradodog

    IRT THOMASBAUM who wrote:”One of the reasons that I asked is that it seems that some of those that totally despise the Catholic Church are former Catholics.”To clarify, I don’t despise Catholics. I live and work in Mexico where over thirty members of my extended family and friends are Catholic and have over 80 students, mostly Catholic. I can truly say I love most of these people and respect their traditions of raising their children in the Church. I am often invited to their baptisms and first communions which I accept out of love for them and their families in spite of my feelings about the Catholic clergy and leadership. I sit quietly, without complaint, as they deny me the Lord’s Table, which the Church has hijacked for it’s exclusive use and exclusion of others. Even though it’s the Lord’s Table (not the Church’s) and the invitation to it comes from Him (not the Church), I painfully and silently suffer my exclusion from it.I despise the Catholic leadership, true, with their $10,000 red dresses, jewel encrusted crosses and their material riches. I despise how they manipulate and control my friends and family here with perpetual guilt, constantly keeping them in a state of low self-esteem and equally low motivation to achieve their potential in the quiet desperation they have been taught to plaintively wait for their god to forgive and favor them with health and material things instead of taking action themselves to better their lives. I despise the hypocrisy of the royal Papal monarchy and his “ambassadors”

  • ThomasBaum

    CCNLYou wrote, “Job was the figment of some Jewish scribe’s imagination (or some fire-side tale of the ancients).”You do not know one way or the other if Job was a real live human being, this is just your opinion.You also wrote, “Time for you to enter the 21st Century!!!”I am living in the 21st Century and I must say that the world is a mess if anyone would take an honest look at it.Man’s inhumanity to man, man’s near total disregard for the environment, just to mention two items.We seem to have taken “looking out for number 1″, in both the individual and various groups, to new levels which will one day level all of us, don’t you think?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • tbarksdl

    Comments have gotten so removed from the original posting by Stevens-Arroyo, I thought I would re-submit my original comments, first posted on June 9:”Let’s hope against hope that there is positive good in greater unity between the two religions that remain most locked in a medieval mentality. Serious commentators, for example, have raised the alarm that Muslim pressure and threats of violence have already caused the Western media to engage in self-censorship about Islamic issues, weakening and undermining one of our most precious legacies, freedom of expression. If either Catholics or Muslims gained dominance over the political system in the United States, how much freedom would there be to even discuss abortion or use of contraceptives?And if I were a woman, I would not feel reassured that the two religions that openly discriminate against women are beginning to show a united front.Then there was Pope Benedict’s ringing reaffirmation of the Catholic doctrine that only Catholics are going to heaven. Not Christians, mind you. Just Catholics. With that settled, he says, let’s discuss the universal brotherhood of man. The Islamic religion, of course, is based at its core on the idea that Jews and Christians got God’s message wrong, and God chose Muslims alone to get it right.Greater unity between these two? Chilling.”

  • ThomasBaum

    tbarksdl You wrote, “Then there was Pope Benedict’s ringing reaffirmation of the Catholic doctrine that only Catholics are going to heaven. Not Christians, mind you. Just Catholics.”I do not believe that this is “Catholic doctrine” and I also do not believe that this is what Pope Benedict said.Why should it bother you anyway?God’s Plan, actually, is for ALL to be in God’s Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth.You then added, “With that settled, he says, let’s discuss the universal brotherhood of man.”Sounds kind of inclusive to me, doesn’t it to you?You then added, “The Islamic religion, of course, is based at its core on the idea that Jews and Christians got God’s message wrong, and God chose Muslims alone to get it right.”This should give you an idea of just who the god of islam is, don’t you think?I suppose that it may come as quite a shock to quite a few when they find out that God is a searcher of hearts and minds rather than religious affiliations or lack thereof and that it is important what one does and why they do it and what one knows.God is a Trinity and God is a Being of Pure Love and Jesus is God-Incarnate but there is more to it than knowing God’s Name.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.