Believing an Atheist Over the Pope

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This week Pope Francis did or didn't say something to the effect of "They (bad souls) are not punished. Those who repent obtain God’s forgiveness and take their place among the ranks of those who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot be forgiven disappear. A hell doesn’t exist, the disappearance of sinning souls exists.”

 

 

According to Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist friend of the Pope, and the founder of the newspaper La Repubblica; that is what the Pose said; or in essence what he said since it was not an exact quote.  The two had met recently before this (2018) Easter weekend as they have done in the past.

 

Now the Vatican has gone into spin mode.  You see it all the time (especially on the left) with things like non-apology apologies and non-denial denials.  That's what we have here... a whole lot of weasel words which say a lot about the honesty (or lack thereof) of the people behind them.

 

Did the Vatican say "There was no meeting"?

 

No, they said that, yes, there was a meeting... BUT an "interview" had not been granted; as if that means anything the Pope said was off the record or didn't count.  It kind of reminds one of the Obama comment that hicks "cling to guns or religion or antipathy".  You say what you really believe when you think your surrounded by kindred spirits and it will go no further.

 

Did the Vatican say "Mr Scalfari totally misinterpreted what the Pope said"?

 

No, they said the statement was a) "the fruit of his reconstruction", which technically is true when you paraphrase and don't give a direct quote.

 

And... they said the statement was b) not “a faithful transcription of the Holy Father’s words”; which again is the definition of paraphrasing and not giving a direct quote.

 

And... c) “no quotation of the article should be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father” which AGAIN is the definition of paraphrasing and not giving a direct quote.

 

To be clear, at no point in time has the Vatican say, "The Pope doesn't believe that" or "The Pope didn't say that".

 

Every article on this you read will say something to the effect that the official Catholic church’s teachings affirm the existence of hell.  Which again says nothing about what THIS Pope believes or teaches.

 

Pope Francis has again proven he is a man of this world and not the next.

 

Comments

Khnum Added Mar 30, 2018 - 1:52pm
I have seen a black silhouette 8-10ft tall evil angel with sword and shield they are bat like and I wouldn't want to tangle with one Im afraid the Pope is wrong on this one and no I wasn't drunk or on drugs at the time.
 
If there is no balance of consequences then you can do anything isn't a very smart doctrine.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 30, 2018 - 3:19pm
1) Yes, if you sin enough you become a Buddha
2) Evasive answers are telling
3) Does the pope know what religion he belongs to?
4) It reminds me of ...*drumroll* ...Merkel. There is much worse than the a) obfuscation of a slipped tongue and b) the attention seeking 'misspeaking', namely the propaganda fuzz.
Step I) Make a fuzzy statement like 'Islam belongs to Germany'.
Step II) Make the press interpret the words for months. 'What kind of Islam?', 'German state or German society', 'Muslims or the ideas', 'What does "belong" mean?
Step III) Everybody who is irritated about the sentence and the interpretation media show must be called a Nazi.
Step IV) Make clear that people are in vested in supporting a statement that they don't understand. It breaks people's ability to think logically.
Step V) Let some proxy politicians say the opposite after some years and create a media fuss that no sane person cares about. (Horst Seehofer: Islam does not belong to Germany)
Step VI) Make clear that still everybody who disagrees with the fuzzy sentence is a Nazi, but pad yourself on the shoulders that the opposition was supposedly also heard.
 
Do that again and again and again with many propaganda terms ('We can do it!" What is it? Who is we?) until everybody is crazy.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Mar 30, 2018 - 3:38pm
So the Pope made an off-the-cuff remark.  Who cares?
 
Leroy Added Mar 30, 2018 - 5:16pm
Darn it!  Just when I got it all figured out, the pope had to burst my bubble.  There goes my plan to laugh with the sinners.  Now I just disappear into thin air like some magic trick or an old flatulence.  That's no way to go.
EXPAT Added Mar 30, 2018 - 7:16pm
I never bought the story of eternal punishment; Hell. God was supposed to be forgiving.
You are a piece of shit, Benjamin Goldstein for:  1) Yes, if you sin enough you become a Buddha.
Pardero Added Mar 30, 2018 - 7:29pm
TexasLynn,
You make a valid point that deserves to be considered by Catholics and all others. This Pope seems to be the most activist in history and seems to be diminishing the Papacy. The Vatican's attempt at Equal Opportunity will have to be seen as a failure. Next time we see smoke, I suspect that a conservative Pope will make an entrance. 
Sometimes, trying to be more inclusive has unintended consequences. Merit based systems offer the best chance of worthy choices.
Leroy Added Mar 30, 2018 - 7:45pm
"Sometimes, trying to be more inclusive has unintended consequences. Merit based systems offer the best chance of worthy choices."
 
That's the problem with Libertarians.  Too many loonies under the tent.
Pardero Added Mar 30, 2018 - 9:03pm
That is why I amuse myself by claiming 'paleoconservative.' Most people let me get away with the label.
Thomas Sutrina Added Mar 30, 2018 - 9:45pm
What else do you expect from a liberal.  That has been a center point of the theology for a century.  He was taught that as a teen ager.
Katharine Otto Added Mar 30, 2018 - 11:01pm
TexasLynn,
How would the pope or the Catholic Church know whether there is a heaven or hell?  In any other context making such claims would earn the label "lunatic."  
 
In any case, I don't expect to end up anywhere near these people, so heaven and hell may as well not exist for me.
Flying Junior Added Mar 31, 2018 - 4:04am
I appreciate that you are a Christian, Lynn.  It shows.  It's one reason that I know I can trust you.  I was raised by a Presbyterian, (the Frozen Chosen or the Commie Christians, take your pick,) and my father, a Texas Methodist.
 
If Pope Francis has the temerity to confess that he does not believe in a hell, more power to him.  Maybe the Cardinals can excommunicate him.
 
My spiritual nourishment occurred at the First Baptist Church of San Diego.  My life was forever changed.  I accepted the Christ as my Savior in less than three years at the age of thirty-three.  The day that I was immersed, I had to cry.  I blotted my tears with my tie.  I was finally one of the brethren.  I was the organist from October 1990 to summer of 2006.  I'm still legend.  I went back to visit my friends on my summer vacation last July.  It remains my Christian home.
 
Whatever quirk of fate bumped me in another direction or whether it was simply my understanding that I had earned the title of an experienced organist and I was looking for a new direction and maybe a pipe organ.  The point being that I found a new job at a Methodist church and played my cards right and remain there almost twelve years later.  Happy Easter bro!  I have some serious practicing to do tomorrow.  I am thankful that all of the practices and services associated with Jesus' last days in Jerusalem the week of his passion have all been successful for all of the church musicians, clergy and choir members.  I love nothing more than again reading the story of the Passion of the Christ in the gospel of John.
 
Easter is the big deal now.  Brass quintet.  Tympani.  Myself precariously balanced on the organ bench looking at a TV monitor and hoping the choir director doesn't chew me out.
 
Why do I bring up all of this self-serving...
 
Only to introduce you to the guy that made it all possible.  His name was Pastor Rich.  Every time I listened to one of his sermons, I wrote my thoughts on a piece of paper.  I had theological questions, notably the eternal life of Yitzhaak Rabin.
 
Rich told me that no man knows the heart of God.  I'm not kidding.  Pastor Rich was the most vital force in my life.  Happily, he liked me a great deal.  A friendship for the ages.
 
Bullet point.  Two bullets dead through the heart.  Rich was called upon to describe hell.  This is theology.  It didn't originate with Rich.  He didn't talk about it very much.
 
He described a place where non-believers or others who did not place their faith in the Christ might occupy for eternity.  He described many small chambers.  Each chamber had an altar.  The unsaved would spend all of their time worshipping upon the altar of themselves.  Somebody described something similar on the WB.  This was in the 1990s.
 
Pastor Rich was the greatest influence of a long line of Presbyterians and Baptists who cared enough about me to introduce me to the Heavenly Kingdom of Christ on Earth.  The first was my organ teacher, L. Robert Slusser.  The next was the pastor and his wife at Mt. Soledad Presbyterian Church.  Jim and Norah Buyers used to fly a plane in South America on Christian missions.  Happily, this predated DEA planes by at least twenty years.  Norah Buyers was my choir director and a published composer.  I never looked back.
 
Back to topic.  The pope is not so far off-base as many within the mainstream churches in the U.S.  There is an increasing movement to emphasize morality, Christian service, self-sacrifice and family values and perhaps not emphasize the things that American churches have been doing for the last fifty years that make ordinary people keep their distance.
Flying Junior Added Mar 31, 2018 - 4:06am
And it goes without saying.
 
Following  and living the teachings of Christ every day.
Flying Junior Added Mar 31, 2018 - 4:17am
Okay, one more thing...  Pastor Rich had a wonderful sense of humor.  Herewith his funniest joke and his most important joke.
 
I will never forget Pastor Rich preaching on the Second Jerusalem, the Holy City.  He assured us all that, "Unsaved guys won't be climbing the walls of Jerusalem and trying to sneak in!"  I can guarantee you that was original material.  Funny stuff?
 
The other joke was much more serious.  It was a lesson.  He was describing three demons who were trying to corrupt guys or something like that.  The punch line was this, "The oldest and wisest demon told the other two demons, 'Just let them believe that they have plenty of time.' "  Those are words to live by.
Flying Junior Added Mar 31, 2018 - 4:24am
Clarification of my first comment.
 
Hell or Hades, is an eternity separated from God.  That's bad enough.  No lake of fire required.
Dino Manalis Added Mar 31, 2018 - 8:45am
The Pope should be very careful with what he tells people, especially athiests, who may misinterpret him!
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:46am
Sorry all for being delayed in my response to comments...
 
Khnun >> If there is no balance of consequences then you can do anything isn't a very smart doctrine.
 
I've always concluded that if there is no God, then there is no morality.  Or put another way that morality would be subjective and that one view of right/wrong is just as valid as another that is the polar opposite.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:47am
BG >> It reminds me of ...*drumroll* ...Merkel.
 
What I call weasel words are indeed a trick and trade of many politicians.  When you notice that the words of the message have been painstakingly chosen to be technically true, but not shed much light on the issue... you can be sure that truth or communication is not the goal.
 
It often seems obvious, but I wonder how many people really notice this kind of stuff?
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:47am
JK >> So the Pope made an off-the-cuff remark.  Who cares?
 
Me...  And a few others who care about truth and honesty.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:48am
Leroy >> Darn it!  Just when I got it all figured out...
 
Well Leroy, there is still the chance that the Pope is wrong.  So, your best laid plans may still work out. :)
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:50am
Expat >> I never bought the story of eternal punishment; Hell. God was supposed to be forgiving.
 
Understandable, there are many who share that view.  We must all "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" (from the Apostle Paul).
 
The Bible is indeed replete with a message of a patient and forgiving God.  BUT the message of eternal punishment for the unrepentant is also there. The messages are not mutually exclusive as some have convinced themselves.  As a Christian I don't see how you take one as truth and exclude the other.
 
I offer criticism to the Pope because he is supposed to represent Christianity and should know better.
 
Expat >> You are a piece of shit, Benjamin Goldstein for: Yes, if you sin enough you become a Buddha.
 
I didn't really understand that...  Was it a slight to Christians for Buddhist?
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:54am
Pardero >> You make a valid point that deserves to be considered by Catholics and all others.
 
We should always question or leaders, religious and otherwise.  It's easy for me to throw this stone since I'm not Catholic... if I'm honest I give as much (or more) scrutiny to my guys.
 
Pardero >> This Pope seems to be the most activist in history and seems to be diminishing the Papacy.
 
The power of the Papacy received a mortal would centuries ago at the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte... but that's another post.  It has limped along since then.
 
This Pope seems very active and unfortunately concentrates on very secular and pagan causes.  His leftist and Marxist leanings are apparent in much of what he does.
 
Pardero >> Next time we see smoke, I suspect that a conservative Pope will make an entrance.
 
We'll see... that pendulum is always swinging.
 
Pardero >> Sometimes, trying to be more inclusive has unintended consequences.
 
Exactly... It gets back to when you stand for anything... you really stand for nothing.
 
You become luke-warm to your cause.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:57am
Leroy >> That's the problem with Libertarians.  Too many loonies under the tent.
 
Now, now... with the Democratic Party as it is today; who can disparage any other party for their number of loonies? :)
 
I love Libertarians for their fiscal wisdom, but despise their social laissez faire tendencies.  I go for the total package of conservatism.
 
A libertarian is a "fiscally conservative hippy". :)
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 
Pardero >> That is why I amuse myself by claiming 'paleoconservative.' Most people let me get away with the label.
 
I'll join that club of letting you get away with it; "classic liberalism" also works.
 
I'm one who slings labels around pretty liberally.  I have no problem with them as general descriptive devices; less so when they are used strictly for the purpose of slander with no descriptive intent.
 
I abandoned the Republican label many years ago when I realized they would never be a part of the solution we are desperately in need of.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:59am
Thomas >> What else do you expect from a liberal.  That has been a center point of the theology for a century.  He was taught that as a teen ager.
 
True... and I've never been a big fan of that denomination.  Like many, they have a mixed record, but I see that as more of a flawed mankind than a Catholic thing.
 
While this has been the direction of Catholicism for a century, THIS Pope is that on steroids.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 10:02am
Katherine >> How would the pope or the Catholic Church know whether there is a heaven or hell?
 
The gospel.
 
Granted it is a matter of faith in that Word, but then THAT is the definition of Christian... which the Pope claims to be.
 
Katherine >> In any other context making such claims would earn the label "lunatic." 
 
So, if I say there is a hell... I'm a lunatic.?  I can live with that. :)
 
Katherine >> In any case, I don't expect to end up anywhere near these people, so heaven and hell may as well not exist for me.
 
As is the belief and choice for most.  We all have the free will to make that choice.
 
They (heaven and hell) either exist or they don't.  I suspect their existence (or not) is very relevant to every soul that has or will ever exist... our want in the matter being irrelevant.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 10:51am
Dino >> The Pope should be very careful with what he tells people, especially athiests, who may misinterpret him!
 
He should indeed.  He should also be very careful to tell the same thing to all... not one thing to atheists and something else to believers.
Dave Volek Added Mar 31, 2018 - 10:55am
FJ
You should write a separate article for WB on the topic you introduced in your thread.
 
Lynn
All religions are evolving, including the Catholic Church. It seems to me that all Popes have been pushing boundaries.
 
In my life, I believe that Christianity, in general, has moved away from the theology that allows sinful people to gain heaven and more towards the morality and family and society values. I like watching Andy Stanley videos as he uses Biblical stories to help people make better choices in their lives. 
 
 
Jeffrey Kelly Added Mar 31, 2018 - 11:06am
@TexasLynn
”JK >> So the Pope made an off-the-cuff remark. Who cares?

Me... And a few others who care about truth and honesty.”
 
Then why do you support Trump?
;)
 
Do we have an entire transcript of what the Pope said?  Was this recorded in some way?  Did this person quote him out of context?
 
The problem is that if it wasn’t recorded in some way we have no way of knowing what these men said to each other.  
 
As someone who is completely neutral in this matter I honestly say I don’t care. Can you put your biases aside?
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 11:17am
FJ,
First, let me thank you profusely for the very thoughtful and detailed comment.  I enjoyed reading it and commenting back, very much.
 
I agree with Dave that more on this topic in a separate post would be most welcome.
 
FJ >> I appreciate that you are a Christian, Lynn.  It shows. 
 
Thank you.  You probably know how big a compliment that is to one of faith.
 
FJ >> It's one reason that I know I can trust you.
 
Be careful.  I may be a Christian... but I'm still a human; meaning very, very flawed.
 
FJ >> I was raised by a Presbyterian, (the Frozen Chosen or the Commie Christians, take your pick,) and my father, a Texas Methodist.
 
I believe you have shared some of this information before.
 
FJ >> If Pope Francis has the temerity to confess that he does not believe in a hell, more power to him.
 
Agreed!  But he didn't do that exactly.  I would have much more respect for the man if it did.
 
What he did was share that belief with one man and then pussy-foot around what he said when it was exposed.
 
Yes, I would have a problem with a Christian who chooses not to believe in Hell when the Gospel is so very clear on the subject.  BUT... my criticism of the Pope has more to do with honesty and clarity than that.
 
FJ >> Maybe the Cardinals can excommunicate him.
 
That is an internal Catholic matter that I would not presume to have any say in.
 
FJ >> My spiritual nourishment occurred at the First Baptist Church of San Diego. 
 
Thank you for sharing your experience.  I will confide that I too was immersed into Christ late in life (in my 30s).  Before that, I was a luke-warm Christian, generally believing in a god, but not really knowing Christ.
 
FJ >> It remains my Christian home.
 
Home is a taste of Heaven we enjoy here on earth.  Imagine the fullness of "home" in the here-after!
 
FJ >> The point being that I found a new job at a Methodist church and played my cards right and remain there almost twelve years later. 
 
Glad to hear you are using the "talents" entrusted to you for the master.
 
FJ >> Happy Easter bro! 
 
And to you.  Today we are buried in Christ.  Tomorrow we are raised. :)
 
FJ >> I have some serious practicing to do tomorrow…  I love nothing more than again reading the story of the Passion of the Christ in the gospel of John.
 
Amen. :)
 
FJ >> Why do I bring up all of this self-serving... Only to introduce you to the guy that made it all possible.  His name was Pastor Rich. 
 
We all have those who shared the gospel with us and those who have helped us grow in it.  We are grateful to them, and mostly to the Word Himself.
 
FJ >> Rich told me that no man knows the heart of God.  I'm not kidding. 
 
Then he is a very wise man.  No man knows the heart of God.  No man ever will... even in the next life after an eternity of being with Him.  God is God.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 11:17am
FJ >> He (Pastor Rich) described a place where non-believers or others who did not place their faith in the Christ might occupy for eternity.  He described many small chambers.  Each chamber had an altar.  The unsaved would spend all of their time worshipping upon the altar of themselves.  Somebody described something similar on the WB.  This was in the 1990s.
 
I like this guy more and more!  There are many things the human mind cannot comprehend.  They include such as: eternity, the trinity, what Christ sacrificed, God, Heaven, Hell (and many others).
 
And yet they are important, and we are given "descriptions" of them in the Gospel.  The Word gives us earthly descriptions of Heaven and Hell to impart proper images and ramifications of each.  I don't think Heaven has "streets of God".  I don't know what hell is literally like.
 
I do know that Heaven is the eternal presence of God and that Hell is the eternal absence of God.  One need not know more than that to work out their salvation ... with fear and trembling.
 
A book by C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce) describes hell as the eternal worship of self and doing for eternity what you did in life.  I highly recommend it (the book, not hell).
 
FJ >> The pope is not so far off-base as many within the mainstream churches in the U.S. 
 
Yes... and I for the record I think they are wrong on this matter.  And we can debate that separately.
 
What the Pope needs to do, is come out and say what he believes; specifically, categorically... and not pussy-foot around what he did or did not say verbatim to an atheist.  What you believe and state to be true to one, you confide the same to all.
 
FJ >> There is an increasing movement to emphasize morality, Christian service, self-sacrifice and family values...
 
All these things are great!  They are also what we Christians call... works.  They are important, but only if accompanied with faith.  I would simply recommend that those who would emphasize  one thing over another be very careful.
 
FJ >> ... and perhaps not emphasize the things that American churches have been doing for the last fifty years that make ordinary people keep their distance.
 
I agree that this is the movement; but I'm back to my belief that you accept the gospel as a whole (what you like AND what you don't like) or you are equivalently back to worshiping self; conforming God to you, not you to God.
 
Telling a drowning man that everything is fine and just keep doing what you're doing is no mercy.  Telling a lost man that the broad road he is on will take him home... is the same thing.
 
FJ >> Following and living the teachings of Christ every day.
 
Amen... stumbling like an idiot as the Spirit continually guides me.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 11:18am
FJ >> I will never forget Pastor Rich preaching on the Second Jerusalem, the Holy City.  He assured us all that, "Unsaved guys won't be climbing the walls of Jerusalem and trying to sneak in!"  I can guarantee you that was original material.  Funny stuff?
 
Not bad, humor wise.  It is interesting that I'm currently studying the 21st Chapter of Revelation that specifically addresses (symbolically) the Second Jerusalem and its walls.
 
The question the joke brings up is why will the unsaved guys not be doing that.  Because they have no desire or that the state of their existence/location prevents it?  By the time that we enter the Second Jerusalem, I think it is the latter.  We will have already been separated left and right and those on the left will have been cast into the second death.
 
FJ >> He was describing three demons who were trying to corrupt guys or something like that.  The punch line was this, "The oldest and wisest demon told the other two demons, 'Just let them believe that they have plenty of time.' "  Those are words to live by.
 
Again, very wise. :)
 
The kingdom of the Lord is at hand for all of us.  Is that His foot upon the step?  Is that His knock upon the door?
 
What if the Lord is patient another 2000 years before the second coming?  The statement still stands because what is life?  It is a vapor that appears and vanishes in an instant.  I'm a relatively old man... but if I live to be 100, then it is just those few more years before time is up (for me).
 
This statement by Pastor Rich reminds me of "The Screwtape Letters", also by C.S. Lewis; which is full of such wisdom.
 
FJ >> Hell or Hades, is an eternity separated from God.  That's bad enough.  No lake of fire required.
 
Agreed.  Hell is described so as to impart the knowledge that it is horrible beyond human understanding.  That is all we need to know.
 
In contrast Heaven is described so as to impart the knowledge that it is glorious beyond human understanding.  That too is all we need to know.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 31, 2018 - 11:33am
It's a pity that my Buddha joke didn't fly. It's bad to explain jokes. I just apologize to EXPAT.
 
The idea: Broadly speaking the religious 'goal' of Buddhists, to dissolve the identity into Dharma and to end life, which is supposedly suffering, is also the worst fear of contemporary Christians.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 12:02pm
Dave >> You (FJ) should write a separate article for WB on the topic you introduced in your thread.
 
As I stated above, I could not agree more. :)
 
Dave >> All religions are evolving, including the Catholic Church. It seems to me that all Popes have been pushing boundaries.
 
One must be careful when evolving concerning one's religion.  God and Truth (and the Spirit) do not evolve.  They are an unmovable rock.  We either build on that rock or we don't.  We either remain on that rock or move (perhaps evolve) off it.
 
So, we should examine if we are evolving towards God, because we found ourselves in error to His will?  Or are we evolving towards the world, because it's easier and more humanly enlightened? 
 
Most evolving is of the latter sort.  I believe most of the boundaries pushed are of this latter sort as well.  This (there is no hell) is one of them.
 
Dave >> In my life, I believe that Christianity, in general, has moved away from the theology that allows sinful people to gain heaven and more towards the morality and family and society values.
 
Yes... I agree that this is the direction.  But I fear it is works... over faith.  There are warnings about that direction.  I admire and encourage works, but I choose works because of faith.
 
As I explained in my Primer on Christianity, many "Christians" and the irreligious believe that the key to going to heaven is being "good enough".  THAT is the exact opposite of what Christ taught.  "There is no hell" is also the exact opposite of what Christ taught.
 
People coming to opposite conclusions is all part of free will... but I advise not deceiving oneself that Christ taught what I want to believe.  It's just worship of self in my opinion, and foolish.
 
Dave >> I like watching Andy Stanley videos as he uses Biblical stories to help people make better choices in their lives.
 
I still need to look at Mr Stanley, and I will.
 
Making the right choices to make our lives better is all well and good, but Christianity is all about those few choices that affect salvation.  Did we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior?  Were we faithful to that choice to the end of our days?
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 12:05pm
JK >> Then why do you support Trump? ;)
 
Do I support Trump? :)  I support and chastise ALL based on their character and actions. :)
 
Right now... I'm concentrating on that spec within the eye of the Pope. :)
 
JK >> Do we have an entire transcript of what the Pope said?  Was this recorded in some way?  Did this person quote him out of context?
 
Nobody does (have a transcript).  Not the Vatican and not even the reporter, who didn't even take notes.  (He's actually famous for not taking notes).
 
The reporter did not "quote" the Pope.  Reporters often tell us what someone said without quoting them.  That is what happened here.  It is a valid and often used journalistic tool in reporting.
 
JK >> The problem is that if it wasn’t recorded in some way we have no way of knowing what these men said to each other.
 
Very true... but there is no recording of OJ stabbing and killing his wife... does that prevent us from looking at other things that may point us to truth?
 
We can glean truth by how the Vatican reacted to the report.  It did not categorically deny the substance of the statement.  It used weasel words to offer a non-denial denial.  My post is simply an assessment of that fact and what is says about who is being truthful.
 
JK >> As someone who is completely neutral in this matter I honestly say I don’t care.
 
Got it. :)
 
JK >> Can you put your biases aside?
 
As an unmuddied lake. As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer. You can rely on me (to be unbiased). :)
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 12:08pm
BG >> It's a pity that my Buddha joke didn't fly. It's bad to explain jokes. I just apologize to EXPAT.
 
Yeah, welcome to the club.  Most of my stuff goes over the heads of you cretins too. :)
 
Thanks for the explanation anyway. :)
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 31, 2018 - 12:15pm
BTW is anybody Catholic here? I'd guess that Kelly is. Maybe Pardero (is that name Portuguese/Italian/Spanish/something Roman language based?).
Leroy Added Mar 31, 2018 - 12:47pm
"Well Leroy, there is still the chance that the Pope is wrong.  So, your best laid plans may still work out. :) "
 
Now. Now.  We all know that the pope is infallible.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Mar 31, 2018 - 1:44pm
@Benjamin Goldstein:
”BTW is anybody Catholic here? I'd guess that Kelly is. Maybe Pardero (is that name Portuguese/Italian/Spanish/something Roman language based?).”
 
I was at one time.  My parents actually wanted me to be a priest...... : D
 
Organized religion never did anything for me.  I don’t know if there is a God but I do wonder if there is one he/she/it isn’t looking down on us and thinking, “Ya know, the dinosaurs weren’t all that bad....”
Jeffrey Kelly Added Mar 31, 2018 - 2:00pm
@TexasLynn:
”Nobody does (have a transcript). Not the Vatican and not even the reporter, who didn't even take notes. (He's actually famous for not taking notes).”
 
So, he didn’t take notes.....so, what we have is someone who told us what someone said without any corroborating evidence.

“The reporter did not "quote" the Pope. Reporters often tell us what someone said without quoting them. That is what happened here. It is a valid and often used journalistic tool in reporting.”
 
Then how do we know that he didn’t filter the statement through his own perceptions?  

JK >> The problem is that if it wasn’t recorded in some way we have no way of knowing what these men said to each other.

“Very true... but there is no recording of OJ stabbing and killing his wife... does that prevent us from looking at other things that may point us to truth?”
 
That’s a stretch, Lynn.

“We can glean truth by how the Vatican reacted to the report. It did not categorically deny the substance of the statement. It used weasel words to offer a non-denial denial. My post is simply an assessment of that fact and what is says about who is being truthful.”
 
Actually we have a disagreement with two parties.  I don’t know if the pope said what is claimed or if this a misunderstanding.  I do know that it doesn’t particularly matter to me.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 2:21pm
JK >> So, he didn’t take notes.....so, what we have is someone who told us what someone said without any corroborating evidence.


So, notes equal corroborating evidence?  So, a reporter can’t report on a story where he forgot his (figurative) pencil?
 
JK >> Then how do we know that he didn’t filter the statement through his own perceptions?  


EVERY reporter does that.  Some filter it fairly, many don’t.  Thus the sad state of journalism today.
 
The post is less about the reporter and more about the Vatican reaction and what THAT tells us.
 
JK >> Actually we have a disagreement with two parties.
 
Actually, we don’t.  The reporter says A.  The Vatican says A is not a quote.  The reporter never claimed A was a quote.  The Vatican in no way ever says A is not true.
 
Point of the post... what does that likely tell us.
 
JK >>  I do know that it doesn’t particularly matter to me.
 
So, all this attention is for my benefit? :)
Jeffrey Kelly Added Mar 31, 2018 - 6:00pm
@TexasLynn:

JK >> So, he didn’t take notes.....so, what we have is someone who told us what someone said without any corroborating evidence.

So, notes equal corroborating evidence? So, a reporter can’t report on a story where he forgot his (figurative) pencil?”
 
Sure he/she can......but I wouldn’t trust someone purely on what they remember.

“JK >> Then how do we know that he didn’t filter the statement through his own perceptions?

EVERY reporter does that. Some filter it fairly, many don’t. Thus the sad state of journalism today.”
 
I can’t say I really disagree with you, hence my skepticism over your source.

The post is less about the reporter and more about the Vatican reaction and what THAT tells us.”
 
Well, considering all the backlash, would it matter what they said?

“JK >> Actually we have a disagreement with two parties.

Actually, we don’t. The reporter says A. The Vatican says A is not a quote. The reporter never claimed A was a quote. The Vatican in no way ever says A is not true.”
 
Actually we do.  If the reporter says it’s a quote and the Vatican says it isn’t, that’s the point of contention.



“JK >> I do know that it doesn’t particularly matter to me.

So, all this attention is for my benefit? :)”
 
What, you don’t want comments?????
 
: D
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 31, 2018 - 6:17pm
The pope says that the Lord hasn't said that dinosaurs are not bad nor that they are bad. Moreover, should we ask, "What are dinosaurs?". Is an archaeopteryx a dinosaure? Why is a modern duck not a dinosaur or is it one? What exactly is a bad dinosaur? Is it an ill dinosaur or a dangerous one?
People who say that dinosaurs are no good have no respect for the creation of the Lord and are Nazis. Since years they are dividing our society and threaten our democracy. Yet Cardinal Gullibo di Sycophanto told our reporters that dinosaurs are in fact bad. He is applauded by all the wrong people. Can the pope win this battle for his authority? Will he be happy and successful? Will he be part of the next season of the soap opera Dynasties?
In any event the power struggle in the Vatican proves how intellectually vibrant Catholicism still is.
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 6:27pm
JK >> Actually we do.  If the reporter says it’s a quote and the Vatican says it isn’t, that’s the point of contention.
 
Actually we don't.  You do understand the concept of relaying what someone said without quoting them.  The reporter did THAT.  The reporter never claimed it was a verbatim quote.
 
JK >> What, you don’t want comments?????
 
Sure, but is it too much to ask that the commenters care about the subject matter? :)
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 6:29pm
BG >> People who say that dinosaurs are no good have no respect for the creation of the Lord and are Nazis.
 
Dinosaur fossils are plants by the devil to deceive men... THUS they are no good. :P
Jeffrey Kelly Added Mar 31, 2018 - 7:40pm
@TexasLynn:
”JK >> Actually we do. If the reporter says it’s a quote and the Vatican says it isn’t, that’s the point of contention.

Actually we don't. You do understand the concept of relaying what someone said without quoting them. The reporter did THAT. The reporter never claimed it was a verbatim quote.”
 
Then we do.  If it wasn’t a verbatim quote, then what did he leave out?

“JK >> What, you don’t want comments?????

Sure, but is it too much to ask that the commenters care about the subject matter? :)”
 
I comment on a lot of things, Lynn.  Some I care more about than others. 
Jeffrey Kelly Added Mar 31, 2018 - 7:48pm
Let me give you an example, Lynn.
 
People who like to denigrate Muslims use this quote saying that this proves that Muslims are authorized by the Quran to commit terrorist acts:
 
”Allah's Apostle said, 'I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror.'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari 122)”
 
Scary, huh?  Except that’s not the complete verse, this is:
 
“Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand." Abu Huraira added: Allah's Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them).”
 
Not being a Muslim, I needed an interpretation on what it meant.  Scholars of the Quran interpret it this way:
 
“By using the word 'Terror' for ru'b, the Islam-hater intends to convey the following definition of terror:
Violence committed or threatened by a group to intimidate or coerce a population, as for military or political purposes. (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
However, the word ru'b does not have that meaning at all. It refers to fright and anxiety. In fact, we can derive a better understanding of ru'b by examing other ahadith:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) saod: "I was given victory through Ru`b: the enemy becomes filled with Ru`b even though they are the distance of a month's journey away from me." (Ahmad #20337)
The meaning is thus obvious that when the enemies' attempts to detroy the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) failed, they began to fear him as he grew in strength in Arabia and gained more followers. They feared and hated the religion he brought which preached equality and morality and would remove them from their position of corrupt tyrants who enslaved the poor and the non-arabs. It was fear of the mysterious power which granted Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers such rapid success. This fear was not the fear that resulted from past combat, as many Islam-haters would have us believe, rather it was a type of fear which prevented further combat. As Jalal Abualrub notes:
Ru`b ', means, ‘Fear': Here is a list of some of the Islamic resources explaining, ‘Ru`b', as, ‘Fear', and, ‘Awe': Fat`h al-Bari bi Shar`h Sahih al-Bukhari ; Tu`hfat al-A`hwadhi bi Shar'h Jami' at-Tirmidhi ; and, Shar`h Sunan an-Nasaii . These books were written by Muslim Scholars explaining Hadeeths contained in, Sahih al-Bukhari , and the Sunan collections of Imams at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasaii, respectively.... ...Al-Waqidi said in his, Maghazi , that Juwairiyah Bint al-Harith said, “ We were at the Muraisii` area when the Messenger of Allah marched forth towards us. I heard my father say, ‘There has come to us a gathering that we cannot resist.' I saw men and horses in such numbers that I cannot describe. After I became Muslim and the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, married me I looked at the Muslims and found their numbers to be less than what I had thought. I knew that this was Ru`b that Allah, the Exalted, throws in the hearts of the polytheists.' ” There are many similar examples in which the enemies of Islam, who, just like the Muraisii` people, had gathered armies to attack Madinah and the Prophet, scattered throughout the desert in fear when they heard that the Prophet had gathered an army to resist their treacherous attacks. Many lives were saved through Allah throwing fear in the hearts of the enemies of Muhammad, peace be upon them, because his enemies feared him, fled and did not meet him in battle. Thus, ‘fear', in the Hadeeth...saved Muslims and many of their enemies the hardship of battle and warfare. (Abualrub, The Prophet of Mercy, emphasis added)”
 
Now, I doubt things went so far as that but I hope you get the gist.
 
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 10:40pm
JK, Actually... if we can't get past the basic concept of reporting and the use of quotes... I doubt jumping into Islam and the Quran will clarify matters.
 
You already know I hold Muhammad and his religion is very low regard.
 
Pull you're comment together, clean it up and post it and I'll try to comment on the matter there.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Mar 31, 2018 - 11:15pm
@TexasLynn:
”You already know I hold Muhammad and his religion is very low regard.”
 
That attitude is why I hold many Christians in very low regard.  It’s all bigotry, Lynn, however you slice it.  Antisemitism, Islamophobia, whatever you call the hatred that Islamic radicals have towards us, it all springs from the same slime-filled well.  
TexasLynn Added Mar 31, 2018 - 11:54pm
JK >> That attitude is why I hold many Christians in very low regard.
 
I'm sorry you feel that way.  I assure you my detesting of Islam (the religion and teachings of Muhammad) is based solely on two things... 1) The fruits of Islam today and the warning of Christ that "you will know them (false prophets) by their fruits"; and 2) My reading of the Quran and what I took away from it.
 
JK >> It’s all bigotry, Lynn, however you slice it. 
 
I disagree.  I have read the teachings of Muhammad (the Quran) and have found his ideals as vile and hate-filled as anything I have ever encountered.  I don't know how one reads the Quran and not think those who kill and terrorize aren't the ones who are practicing Islam as Muhammad intended.
 
JK >> ...it all springs from the same slime-filled well.
 
I disagree.  I appreciate the majority of luke-warm practitioners of Islam who do not follow what Muhammad would have them do.  Unfortunately, they are immaterial in the fruits and direction of Islam today... kind of like the German people during the rise of fascism.
 
Romans 12:9 ... Detest what is evil; cling to what is good.
 
Again... please post something on Islam if you like and we can debate it there.  I think we're too far off the beaten path for this thread. 
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 31, 2018 - 11:56pm
Lynn: I'm fairly sympathetic to Islam, but this is really a very silly attempt at gaslighting.
Claim: The context makes all the difference. Then context is given. No difference. 2nd claim: Wrong translation. Result: "Fear" is translated with "fear" and not with "fear". It's pathetic.
TexasLynn Added Apr 1, 2018 - 12:06am
BG,
Thanks for the assessment.  I must admit that I had a bit of trouble following the narrative.  I do hope JK will clean it up and make a post out of it.
 
I admit my bias on the subject of Islam.  Reading the Quran was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I had to take breaks, as reading it was like opening myself up to evil.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Apr 1, 2018 - 1:45am
@TexasLynn:
”JK >> That attitude is why I hold many Christians in very low regard.

I'm sorry you feel that way. I assure you my detesting of Islam (the religion and teachings of Muhammad) is based solely on two things... 1) The fruits of Islam today and the warning of Christ that "you will know them (false prophets) by their fruits"; and”
 
Yeah, the Bible babble means nothing to me.
 
“2) My reading of the Quran and what I took away from it.”
 
Ah, so I assume you read it in the original Arabic?  
 
I haven’t but I read a translation some time ago while in college.
 
If not, I assume you read it and then discussed the contents with an Imam?  Or a Muslim?
 
I actually correspond with an Imam or one of his students on Facebook when I get a chance.  I ask him questions about things and get his views on current events.  He’s quite an intelligent man.  I also work with Muslims, they are good people.  
 


“JK >> It’s all bigotry, Lynn, however you slice it.

I disagree. I have read the teachings of Muhammad (the Quran) and have found his ideals as vile and hate-filled as anything I have ever encountered. I don't know how one reads the Quran and not think those who kill and terrorize aren't the ones who are practicing Islam as Muhammad intended.”
 
It’s funny, I see half-assed quoting from Tom Purcell about the Talmud.  This reminds me of the about the same, Tom never claimed to read it, though.
 
We can also find such things in the Bible, Lynn.  We can also observe such things in history, how “Christians” used their belief systems to force conversions and kill heathens, heretics and pagans.  Hell, wars were fought over differences in doctrine amongst Protestants and Catholics.

“JK >> ...it all springs from the same slime-filled well.

I disagree. I appreciate the majority of luke-warm practitioners of Islam who do not follow what Muhammad would have them do. Unfortunately, they are immaterial in the fruits and direction of Islam today... kind of like the German people during the rise of fascism.”
 
Ironic, I just wrote a piece on Fascism.

“Romans 12:9 ... Detest what is evil; cling to what is good.”
 
What did you leave out, Lynn?

“Again... please post something on Islam if you like and we can debate it there. I think we're too far off the beaten path for this thread.”
 
I did.  I’ll post the link in a new comment.  It isn’t specifically about Islam, more my musings on why I don’t understand people like you.
 
 
Jeffrey Kelly Added Apr 1, 2018 - 1:45am
Jeffrey Kelly Added Apr 1, 2018 - 1:48am
@Benjamin Goldstein:
“Lynn: I'm fairly sympathetic to Islam,”
 
Good to know.
 
“Claim: The context makes all the difference. Then context is given. No difference. 2nd claim: Wrong translation. Result: "Fear" is translated with "fear" and not with "fear". It's pathetic.”
 
Actually I felt it needed explanation.  I never presume to get other people’s belief systems, I don’t know how different things are interpreted.  It’s why I talk about it with people in the know.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Apr 1, 2018 - 6:08am
I wish you all a happy Easter. I can recommend the book "Dinosaurs are Better Than Thou!" by Slimetto di Balso, a trusted member of the Roman Curia. Since the release of the book he is often seen as the right hand of His Holiness, the Pontifex, himself.
opher goodwin Added Apr 1, 2018 - 6:30am
Well I kind of agree with the Pope - I believe that all people who sin and do not repent, do not go to hell - they just die and disappear. I'd go a stage further and say that all people who do good things, believe and repent, do not got to heaven - they simply die and disappear too.
I know - it's hard to accept.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Apr 1, 2018 - 11:08am
LOL, good one, Opher.  
 
Though I think a hell is a good idea for people like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
TexasLynn Added Apr 1, 2018 - 12:31pm
JK >> Yeah, the Bible babble means nothing to me.
 
I won't hold it against you; nor judge you a bigot for it. :)
 
JK >> Ah, so I assume you read it in the original Arabic? 
 
Of course not.  I have had Muslims tell me that's a requirement and consider the argument bullshit; with the intent of requiring me to get my information about Islam from them.  When a religious leader tells you, that you must learn their language and/or go through them for the truth... TRUTH is not their goal, but rather slavery.
 
The Catholic Church was very guilty of that same sin centuries ago.
 
JK >> I haven’t but I read a translation some time ago while in college.
 
Same here on the translation (cross referencing other translations); not in college but in 2002.
 
JK >> If not, I assume you read it and then discussed the contents with an Imam?  Or a Muslim?
 
I did not seek them out; because I didn't want their influence at the time.  I wanted the source… not the commentary.
 
Since then, I have since discussed and debated with a few Muslims; it is not something I seek out due to those few experiences.
 
JK >> I actually correspond with an Imam or one of his students on Facebook when I get a chance.
 
Good for you.  I have no problem with seeking common ground and understanding; if and when you can find someone intellectually honest enough to do that.
 
JK >> I ask him questions about things and get his views on current events.
 
My only experience with that is through a local Muslim store owner.  I'll never make that mistake again.
 
JK >>  He’s quite an intelligent man.
 
An uncommon gift.  Good for him.  I'm sure there are a lot of intelligent practitioners of Islam.
 
JK >> I also work with Muslims, they are good people.
 
I have worked with a few Muslims; I find them to be typical of humanity in terms of good and bad.
 
JK >> We can also observe such things in history, how “Christians” used their belief systems to force conversions and kill heathens, heretics and pagans.
 
Agreed.  Christians are not without sin.  We do so today much, much less so than those centuries ago.  Islam has not progressed so much.
 
JK >> “Romans 12:9 ... Detest what is evil; cling to what is good.”  What did you leave out, Lynn?
 
You tell me... and the relevance of it's omission if you like.
 
JK >> Ironic, I just wrote a piece on Fascism.
 
I read it when you posted it.  I liked the history very much... didn't agree so much with the assumptions and conclusions.  I'm sorry I didn't comment.  I think a lot of what I would have said was covered by others.
 
JK >> I did.  I’ll post the link in a new comment.  It isn’t specifically about Islam, more my musings on why I don’t understand people like you.
 
I just read the post.  Like that of the Nazi post I agreed with much of it... with a few disagreements.  I'm sorry you associate me with bigotry.  I don't know how to verbalize my hatred for an ideology and pity for those ensnared by it.
 
I've been called a racist, and privileged, and ignorant, and a hick, and a Nazi, and Islamophobic, and homophobic, and a fascist, and who knows what else... I've got a thick skin and am very comfortable with myself and my beliefs.
 
TexasLynn Added Apr 1, 2018 - 12:36pm
Opher >> Well I kind of agree with the Pope
 
Very good point Opher.  I would state it differently in that the Pope agrees with the you (the secular world).
 
When I find myself agreeing with the secular world, I re-examine my belief.  :)  The Pope winks, nods, and confides with secular friends and then dances around the issue when it is exposed.
 
TexasLynn Added Apr 1, 2018 - 12:36pm
BG >> I wish you all a happy Easter. 
 
Thank you.  you too.
 
Christ is risen!
Jeffrey Kelly Added Apr 1, 2018 - 2:27pm
@TexasLynn:
”JK >> Yeah, the Bible babble means nothing to me.

I won't hold it against you; nor judge you a bigot for it. :)”
 
Sorry, I now feel that was harsh.  You have my apologies.
 
Respectfully, I simply ignore it when someone quotes the Bible at me.  It’s been decades since I read the Bible and years since I attended church, other than visiting the Catholic Church where my father’s ashes reside.  I respect those who possess the faith I lack and have no patience for those who denigrate Christianity any more than I have patience for those who denigrate other faiths.

“JK >> Ah, so I assume you read it in the original Arabic?

Of course not. I have had Muslims tell me that's a requirement and consider the argument bullshit; with the intent of requiring me to get my information about Islam from them. When a religious leader tells you, that you must learn their language and/or go through them for the truth... TRUTH is not their goal, but rather slavery.

The Catholic Church was very guilty of that same sin centuries ago.”
 
That sin continues in all faiths, not just Catholics or Muslims.


“JK >> If not, I assume you read it and then discussed the contents with an Imam? Or a Muslim?

I did not seek them out; because I didn't want their influence at the time. I wanted the source… not the commentary.”
 
So, what if a Muslim or Buddhist read the Bible and came to the same conclusion you have?  Would you not want them to discuss it with a pastor or priest, someone who reads and interprets scripture, someone who went to a seminary and accessed the theories and interpretations of those that read it before?
 
Lynn, it’s not been so long that I don’t remember the grim stuff in the Bible, both the New and Old Testament.  Incest, murder, genocide, slavery, the denigration of women, it’s all there.  Atheists and others seize on that stuff to score points, just like others do with the Quran.  It’s the same quote-mining and cherrypicking.

“Since then, I have since discussed and debated with a few Muslims; it is not something I seek out due to those few experiences.”
 
I say the same about certain Christians I dealt with.

“JK >> I actually correspond with an Imam or one of his students on Facebook when I get a chance.

Good for you. I have no problem with seeking common ground and understanding; if and when you can find someone intellectually honest enough to do that.”
 
You should do the same.  Otherwise you will continue to see things through the same old filters.

“JK >> I ask him questions about things and get his views on current events.

My only experience with that is through a local Muslim store owner. I'll never make that mistake again.”
 
So, one person, a shop owner?  




“JK >> We can also observe such things in history, how “Christians” used their belief systems to force conversions and kill heathens, heretics and pagans.

Agreed. Christians are not without sin. We do so today much, much less so than those centuries ago. Islam has not progressed so much.”
 
Then I guess they deserve the same opportunities to screw up like Christians did.


“JK >> Ironic, I just wrote a piece on Fascism.

I read it when you posted it. I liked the history very much... didn't agree so much with the assumptions and conclusions. I'm sorry I didn't comment. I think a lot of what I would have said was covered by others.”
 
You should comment.  When it dies down I’ll post the article about National Socialism.

“JK >> I did. I’ll post the link in a new comment. It isn’t specifically about Islam, more my musings on why I don’t understand people like you.

I just read the post. Like that of the Nazi post I agreed with much of it... with a few disagreements.”
 
Feel free to tell me where you disagree.  
 
“I'm sorry you associate me with bigotry. I don't know how to verbalize my hatred for an ideology and pity for those ensnared by it.”
 
Islam isn’t an ideology, it is a religion.  I can say the same about those who use Christianity for nefarious purposes.  Those who commit violence or practice intolerance in the name of religion have turned it into an ideology.

“I've been called a racist, and privileged, and ignorant, and a hick, and a Nazi, and Islamophobic, and homophobic, and a fascist, and who knows what else... I've got a thick skin and am very comfortable with myself and my beli
Jeffrey Kelly Added Apr 1, 2018 - 2:29pm
Sorry, comment got cut off.  The point is it would do you good to broaden your horizons.  Those who stagnate no longer grow.
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 1, 2018 - 2:54pm
Like all of us the Pope is only human, and he will screw up too from time to time. 
Some believe that hell is what we endure here on earth and when we pass on, all is heaven. 
None us will really know util we get there.
Tom C. Purcell Added Apr 1, 2018 - 3:02pm
It's difficult to embrace and trust the Vatican in today's world.  It's as though the Vatican resides in the 13th century, frozen in time.  Meanwhile the rest of the world experienced centuries of change and evolution, including but not limited to the Crusades, the Protestant Reformation, the Napoleonic and two World Wars.
Tom C. Purcell Added Apr 1, 2018 - 3:03pm
Thanks for the article and for having this discussion.
TexasLynn Added Apr 1, 2018 - 8:13pm
JK >> Sorry, I now feel that was harsh.  You have my apologies.
 
None was required, but thank you, I accept.
 
JK >> Respectfully, I simply ignore it when someone quotes the Bible at me.
 
How do you know the difference between "quoting at your" and explaining how their religious beliefs mold their opinions.  Perhaps you should consider that it would do you good to broaden your horizons.  Those who stagnate no longer grow. :)
 
JK >> I respect those who possess the faith I lack...
 
Hmmmmmm...
 
JK >> ... and have no patience for those who denigrate Christianity
 
Hmmmmmm...
 
JK >> ... any more than I have patience for those who denigrate other faiths.
 
I can see how you loath my stance.  I'm just the kind of guy who calls a spade a spade.  I read the case Muhammad put forth and based on what I read I think he was a warlord that espoused a form of religious fascism that uses subjugation and oppression to spread his faith. 
 
If sharing that opinion is denigration... then so be it.  I'm not going to pretend what I read was a "religion of peace" just because that's what people who haven't read Muhammad want to believe; nor because learned Muhammadans (with other motives) push that narrative as well.
 
JK >> That sin continues in all faiths, not just Catholics or Muslims.
 
That implies an equivalence that I do not believe exists today or has it existed for hundreds of years.
 
Today those sins in number and severity are overwhelmingly Muslim.  Catholics, Jews, and Buddhists aren't flying jetliners into skyscrapers.
 
JK >> So, what if a Muslim or Buddhist read the Bible and came to the same conclusion you have?  Would you not want them to discuss it with a pastor or priest, someone who reads and interprets scripture, someone who went to a seminary and accessed the theories and interpretations of those that read it before?
 
I would first respect their desire to study the word without outside commentary or influence.  Afterward, I would encourage them to seek someone they believe understands the faith... not necessarily a scholar, but a faithful practitioner.
 
If they chose not to... I would respect that and wish them peace on whatever path they chose.
 
JK >> It’s the same quote-mining and cherrypicking.
 
I didn't quote-mine the Quran.  I base my opinion on the overall message of the Quran.
 
JK >> I say the same about certain Christians I dealt with.
 
Fair enough.  It seems to have influenced your view on us.  All I can do is share what I know and let you decide from there.
 
JK >> You should do the same.  Otherwise you will continue to see things through the same old filters.
 
I do not seek the encounters; nor do I intentionally avoid them.  I've simply stated that the ones that I have had have not given me reason to change my views on the matter.
TexasLynn Added Apr 1, 2018 - 8:14pm
JK >> So, one person, a shop owner?
 
That was my one occasion to seek out the view of a Muslim I had come to know.  It is not my only encounter of discussion or debate.  I found his views to be ghastly but in line with what I think Muhammad would espouse.  The justification of the killing of Jewish children is what still sticks in my mind.
 
JK >> Then I guess they deserve the same opportunities to screw up like Christians did.
 
They've been screwing up for 1400 years.  I think their grace period is over.  Evil is not entitled to tolerance based on the past evil of others.
 
JK >> You should comment. 
 
Like I said, I think my comments would have just parroted others.  If I had something original to comment on, I would have.
 
JK >> When it dies down I’ll post the article about National Socialism.
 
I look forward to it.
 
JK >> Feel free to tell me where you disagree.
 
I will try.
 
JK >> it would do you good to broaden your horizons.  Those who stagnate no longer grow.
 
What exactly am I doing on WB with the likes of you? :)
TexasLynn Added Apr 1, 2018 - 8:30pm
SH >> Like all of us the Pope is only human, and he will screw up too from time to time.
 
Whoa, whoa, whoa... you sir, are obviously not Catholic.  I can't believe you would attack that faith in such a way. (Said tongue in cheek)
 
But seriously... I do think the official stance of the Catholic church is that the Pope is infallible.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, isn't there some level of divinity to the Pope?
 
SH >> Some believe that hell is what we endure here on earth and when we pass on, all is heaven.
 
Yes, many people believe in such things.  My question to them is... upon what do you base this belief.  Feelings? 
 
No Christian would believe such by definition.
 
SH >> None us will really know until we get there.
 
Yes, something we can agree on.  Faith may be key... but seeing the final Truth is to come.
 
If the atheists are right, none of us will ever know anything... period. 
 
If the SantaClausians (those you describe above) are right... it's all good for everybody except Stalin, Hitler, Mao and one or two others.
 
If the Muslims are right... it's one big Pimp Master Allah party.
 
If the Buddhists are right... don't we eventually just merge into the universe?
 
If the Hindus are right... wash, rinse, repeat.
 
If the Christians are right... eternity is settled in this life... then and there is just the processing.
 
We'll see... :)
TexasLynn Added Apr 1, 2018 - 8:34pm
Tom >> It's difficult to embrace and trust the Vatican in today's world. 
 
And this Pope isn't doing them any favors.  He is a Pope the World can embrace… and does.
 
Tom >> It's as though the Vatican resides in the 13th century, frozen in time. 
 
A pretty close assessment.
 
Tom >> Meanwhile the rest of the world experienced centuries of change and evolution, including but not limited to the Crusades, the Protestant Reformation, the Napoleonic and two World Wars.
 
I've always seen the history of mankind as a repeating of the same stupid mistakes; with change and evolution only affecting the scale and scope of which we can apply those mistakes.
 
Thanks for the comments.
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 1, 2018 - 10:52pm
No not Catholic Texas. I was brought up in the Primitive Baptist church in rural New Brunswick Canada. So I do understand the fire and brimstone approach of give yourself to Christ or burn in hell for eternity. Pretty scary stuff for a young boy. The more thinking I did though the less belief I had in the literal interpretation of the bible.  However I do believe in the all mighty and love the true spiritual pieces of the scripture. Spiritual masters like Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle use many quotes from the bible in their teachings which resonate with me. 
Flying Junior Added Apr 2, 2018 - 3:26am
Old joke about Hell for Leroy.
 
Two guys are best buddies in life.  One guy dies and goes to hell.  A few years later, his buddy joins him.  The first sinner finds his old chum a little bit down in the dumps.  He can't believe that he has to spend an eternity in Hell.
 
His pal tries to reassure him that it's really nothing to worry about.  He opens with, "Cheer up!  It's not that bad in Hell.  We have lots of fun.  You can do anything you want!  Hey bro, do you like to drink?"
 
The new guy says, "Sure!  I love drinking!"
 
His pal says, "You're going to love Mondays."  It's liquor night.  You can have as many drinks as you want.  Anything that you can think of.  German beer.  Rye whiskey.  Scotch Whiskey.  The finest wines.  It's all free and you can drink as much as you like.  I mean, you're dead already, right?"
 
New guy says, "That sounds pretty good!"
 
"Do you like to smoke?"
 
"I love smoking."
 
"You will probably enjoy Tuesdays.  You can get imported cigarets, cigars, anything that you like to smoke.  You can smoke as much as you like and you will never get sick.  You're already dead."
 
"Awesome!"
 
Hey man, do you like doing drugs?"
 
"Hell yeah!  I love drugs."
 
"Well...  Wednesday night is drug night.  You can get any drug you want totally free.  Peruvian cocaine.  Columbian weed.  Heroin.  LSD.  Anything you want - totally free.  As much as you can handle.  And you can't overdose or die or anything like that!"
 
"That sounds pretty good to me, buddy-boy.  I'm starting to cheer up a little bit.  Can't wait for Wednesday night!"
 
"Hey man, are you into gay sex?  Do you enjoy making love to other men?"
 
"No way!  Are you kidding?  I hate faggots!  Disgusting."
 
"Oh man, you're going to hate Thursdays!"
Benjamin Goldstein Added Apr 2, 2018 - 8:47am
If Satanists are right, only Jesus Christ ends in hell.
Bill Kamps Added Apr 2, 2018 - 10:21am
Anyone who is certain about the nature and existence of Heaven, or Hell is really kidding themselves.  While religions believe certain things as part of their doctrine, it is almost certain that our limited knowledge couldnt possibly  comprehend what God, Heaven, or Hell might be all about, and whether they exist as we imagine.  Is Heaven or Hell a real place? at state of mind? or something that is used as an allegory for the benefit of primitive peoples, ourselves included.
 
I was raised Christian, but not Catholic, and our Pastor would freely admit that our limited minds could not comprehend the details of the Bible.  He advised that whether we take it literally or not, was not really the main point since that would not affect the important messages of the Bible, which are how we live our lives and treat our fellow man. 
TexasLynn Added Apr 2, 2018 - 12:44pm
SH >> No not Catholic Texas.
 
Yeah... that was obvious… and a joke. :)
 
SH >> I was brought up in the Primitive Baptist church in rural New Brunswick Canada.
 
"Primitive"?  Is that an editorial comment or flavor of Canadian Baptists I'm not aware of? :)
 
SH >> So I do understand the fire and brimstone approach of give yourself to Christ or burn in hell for eternity. Pretty scary stuff for a young boy.
 
Hell is indeed a part of the gospel.  As with any teachings there are ages at which things should be introduced.
 
SH >> The more thinking I did though the less belief I had in the literal interpretation of the bible. 
 
There are parts of the Bible that are to be taken literal and parts that are to be taken symbolically.  As Bill states below; some things are beyond human comprehension and are described in the Bible in terms simply to impart a general understanding.  (Glorious) Heaven and (Torturous) Hell would be two such things.
 
SH >>  However I do believe in the all mighty and love the true spiritual pieces of the scripture.
 
I glad to hear that.
 
SH >> Spiritual masters like Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle use many quotes from the bible in their teachings which resonate with me.
 
I've heard the names but am unfamiliar with what they teach, so I can't speak to their validity.
 
I'm not a believer in picking and choosing little pieces of scripture to live by.  It's just not logical to me.  I think that approach is just a decision to worship self.
 
I wrote a Primer on Christianity that I would encourage you to read.  I don't think you would agree with much of it, but it does give insight into the more fundamentalist Christians you seem to fear.
 
Thanks for the comments.
TexasLynn Added Apr 2, 2018 - 12:45pm
FJ >> Old joke...
 
Meh... :)
TexasLynn Added Apr 2, 2018 - 12:45pm
BG >> If Satanists are right, only Jesus Christ ends in hell.
 
Forgot about the Satanists... :)
 
... and probably a few others.
TexasLynn Added Apr 2, 2018 - 12:48pm
BK, I really like and appreciate your comment... valid points and good questions.
 
BK >> Anyone who is certain about the nature and existence of Heaven, or Hell is really kidding themselves. 
 
From a Christian perspective, God values faith so there is never going to be absolute secular proof of any of it.
 
BK >> While religions believe certain things as part of their doctrine, it is almost certain that our limited knowledge couldnt possibly  comprehend what God, Heaven, or Hell might be all about, and whether they exist as we imagine. 
 
Yes.  Absolutely.  The Bible tells us that we really can't know until we see it.  1 Corinthians 13:8-12
 
BK >> Is Heaven or Hell a real place? at state of mind? or something that is used as an allegory for the benefit of primitive peoples, ourselves included.
 
These are age old questions that we each must answer.  But there is an answer.  Not everybody is right.  And no one on this world fully comprehends.
 
BK >> I was raised Christian, but not Catholic, and our Pastor would freely admit that our limited minds could not comprehend the details of the Bible. 
 
He got that right as per the scripture above.
 
BK >> He advised that whether we take it literally or not, was not really the main point since that would not affect the important messages of the Bible
 
He got that right too.
 
BK >> ... which are how we live our lives and treat our fellow man.
 
And... with all due respect, he got that wrong.
 
Those sentiments are in the Bible and they are important but they are not the "main point".  The main point of the Bible is that man is fallen but God provided a way for man to reconcile with Him through His Son Jesus Christ.
 
How we live our lives and how we treat others are important in that those actions/works are signs that we are on the right path concerning the "main point".  Christ. :)
 
Rick W. Added Apr 2, 2018 - 5:50pm
>(without God) morality would be subjective and that one view of right/wrong is just as valid as another that is the polar opposite
 
Morality without God has subjective elements, but it's not the chaotic relativism you suggest. Everyone's sense of right and wrong is shaped by family, culture, beliefs, values, and genetic tendencies. The golden rule, which Jesus offered as one of the two most important rules, isn't even a religious concept.
TexasLynn Added Apr 2, 2018 - 7:34pm
Rick >> Morality without God has subjective elements, but it's not the chaotic relativism you suggest.
 
I still think I disagree, but I'll bite.  Convince me otherwise.
 
Rick >> Everyone's sense of right and wrong is shaped by family, culture, beliefs, values, and genetic tendencies.
 
Agreed.  So, help me with an example.
 
Let's say two societies with all the influences you list come to two different conclusions concerning the moral concept of "an eye for an eye".
 
Society A decides that if a man kills the daughter of another man, his (the killer's) daughter's life is forfeit.
 
Society B decides that if a man kills the daughter of another man, his life is forfeit.
 
There is no god... just men and your list of things that shape him.
 
Which moral decision is right and which is wrong?  Are they both right?  Is one more right (or wrong) than the other?  Why?  How is that conclusion reached?
 
I say if there is no god, no eternity, no consequences; one moral system is as good as any other.  I would go further and say that life, nay, all of humanity would be “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 2, 2018 - 9:03pm
Texas - absolutely "Primitive" was the name of that particular branch of Baptists. In recent years ( I did take my Mom to church every Sunday the last 3 years before she passed) the name was changed to Freewill Baptist.  
Rick W. Added Apr 3, 2018 - 12:10pm
>I still think I disagree, but I'll bite.  Convince me otherwise.
 
Cool! I'll try. (Man, I wish this comment system threaded...)
 
>Let's say two societies with all the influences you list come to two different conclusions concerning the moral concept of "an eye for an eye".
 
This is a good example. Because before Mosaic Law, as I understand it, if I knocked out your eye, you could do worse to me, and still be within Hebrew tribal customs. The law in effect says, "make the punishment fit the crime -- don't go overboard." Today, people use the phrase to sound bad-ass. Originally, it was meant to temper the response.
 
But I'll stick with your example. Which punishment is right (ie, morally superior), executing the killer's kid, or executing the killer?
 
Clearly, executing the killer is the right decision. We don't need a deity to suss this one out. Bringing God into it doesn't solve anything. It may even make things worse.
 
I could be a high priest, like Moses or Aaron, and say, "God said to me, kill his daughter in his place. Who shall question the word of the Lord?" Now, God doesn't just talk to anyone. In fact, going before God turned my hair white! So now... who's with me? 
  
When you bring God into it -- and by God, we really mean a human being who claims to have experienced a revelation -- it simply becomes a matter of who's more persuasive, the man of God whose deity can't be debated (just ask Job), or the man of reason who presents an argument for making the criminal pay for his crime, not his child, and engages you in an open debate to achieve justice? Which approach is more mature, more intelligent, and more likely to achieve the right result?
 
With your example, we end up with two tribes with two codes --which is indeed how the world is. In time, I believe the tribe with the right code will win, because people will flee the cruel culture for the kinder one (as we see today, with people fleeing certain cultures for the West, and almost never vice versa). But, while it lasts, that cruel tribe is going to be hellish place to live -- no question. And, possibly hellish with God's approval, by their reckoning.
TexasLynn Added Apr 3, 2018 - 2:33pm
Rick >> Cool! I'll try.
 
I appreciate the try, but I'm still not convinced.  We say the system where the man pays the price for his crime is more moral; but that has a bit of our current cultural biases seeping in.  A large part of it is that we were taught from a young age that was the right/moral thing.
 
My question might be, If things are so clear, why did it take so long for the Hebrews to get it.  Why do some societies struggle with it even today?
 
Had Society A (the one that kills the daughter) persevered, then attitudes towards those backwards people who didn't see the logic in the system (kill the other daughter) would have also persevered.  They wouldn't be right.  They wouldn't be wrong.  They would just be different.
 
And my opinion on the matter has much more to do with the final disposition of our race if there is no god.  When the answer to life is "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die"; that goes for the individual and the entirety of humanity.
 
To be clear, in the example/theory I'm sighting.  There is no god and neither society has even a concept of a god.  With no god... all answers to existential questions are... (in my opinion) relative and subjective.
 
Again... I do appreciate the try. :)
 
>> Originally, it was meant to temper the response.
 
OK... Here is where you hit a home run!
 
I was really impressed with your observation that when Mosaic Law seems to be cruel and stupid, there is often wisdom behind it that has the exact opposite effect.
 
An eye for an eye not only said make the punishment fit the crime, but also that an eye was an eye was an eye.  The eye of a rich man was equivalent to the eye of a poor man.  Another way of putting it is "equal justice under the law".  Sound familiar?  It's kind of a founding principle of the U.S. Constitution.
 
I do have to give credit to Denis Prager for expanding my understanding of what was going on behind the scenes under Mosaic law.
 
Another good example of this is in Deuteronomy (21) where parents with a rebellious child are instructed to bring the child before the council and if the child is found guilty he/she is stoned to death.
 
How barbaric!  Well, not really.  That punishment was rarely (closer to never) carried out.  Why?  Because the purpose of it was to get calmer heads involved before drastic measures were taken... to "temper the response".  What was the real goal here?  Stop family honor killings... and it worked.
 
Thousands of years later, some cultures haven't even figured that out yet.  Why?  Their god and prophet don't see things so "clearly".