Friday, February 22, 2008

Which fights will seem petty in 500 years?

Isn't it interesting that posts about prayer or personal spirituality receive so few comments, while posts about theology draw so many ("Prayer lost in the clutter": 3. "Reading the Bible as non-literal truth": 156 and counting)? I'm not surprised.

Perhaps the posts that receive little response are so boring that nobody has any desire to comment (possible) or that they cover the topic so well that nobody has anything to add (I seriously doubt that!). It's more likely that people are reluctant to open up -- even anonymously -- about something as personal as prayer in something as public as a blog.

But part of it, I feel sure, is simply that theology lends itself to argument in a way that spirituality doesn't. Dogma separates, while the experience of mystery unites. This is true across religious lines as well as within a particular faith or denomination.

I remember being horrified when I read about the bloody struggles between Catholics and Protestants in 16th-century England. Believers were burned at the stake over differences that strike us now as petty. Political power struggles were given a veneer of pseudo-righteousness when opponents were decried as heretics or papists.

How we love to insist that everyone believe exactly what we believe! But creeds don't transform lives; prayer does.

It makes me wonder which of today's debates will make our descendants shake their heads in disbelief. My guess: the bitter fights over homosexuality and the leadership of women.

Thoughts?

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

My guess is that you are wrong. I don't see how fight for equality of women and homosexuals is petty at all. Neither chose to be that, all were born as such. I can't endorse anyone who considers another person less worthy due to things outside of their control or due to the choices that do not affect others (i.e. what happens between two loving consenting adults in privacy of their rooms).

I also think that women should take more active role in every day life and men should support it. (Either in politics, religious leadership, hey I even think that it is time to have women heads of Catholic churches.)

Sincerely,
Iztok

Matt Privett said...

You said: "Believers were burned at the stake over differences that strike us now as petty."

Petty? Very little about the Protestant Reformation is petty and every almost every argument they had in the 16th century is still applicable today. The Reformation is by no means over.

The ability to possess a copy of the Scriptures in one's own language is by no means petty. Men were burned at the stake for it, yet today there are still millions who, for fear of persecution or simply because they haven't been reached, do not have the Scriptures in their own language.

Who runs the church? Tradition (man-made) or the Scriptures (God-breathed)? That debate was at the heart of the matter in 1517 and it rages in pulpits all over this country today.

And the big one... justification by faith alone. This is the hallmark of the Reformation. Man is saved not by any works that he does, not by any decisions he makes, and not by anything inherently in him... but he is saved, justified (i.e. declared righteous in the sight of God) on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross ALONE. This one was not petty then, and the evidence overwhelmingly shouts that it is not petty now.

The attempts over the last three hundred years to reason our way to God has given way to postmodernism where the truth is relative and differing views are given equal weight. Something is either true or it is false. That's why people were burned at the stake, because of the dispute over truth. It only seems petty now because, in the eyes of many men, the truth is what you believe it is.

D.J. said...

"It only seems petty now because, in the eyes of many men, the truth is what you believe it is."

Wow, Matt - perfectly put.

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

"man is saved not by any works that he does, not by any decisions he makes, and not by anything inherently in him... "

So how again is this moral? There is no way you can convince anyone with any rational that this is a moral thing.

Our actions have consequences. It is only moral stance that we are responsible for things we do and decisions we make.

Predetermination is another slippery slope to go.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

I would agree that the "civilized" world is moving more and more towards acceptance of homosexuals and women in leadership roles. I support both from a secular point of view.

From a Catholic perspective I don't believe the Church will alter its teachings on ordaining only men to the priesthood and diaconate, and I believe that is the way it should be.

As to homosexuals, Catholics and the Catholic Church already "accept" them for who they are -- children of God. Therein they are entitled to and expected to be shown love and respect. But this does not -- and I don't believe ever will -- involve the Church condoning homosexual "activity."

The Church has held these positions for over 2000 years. I don't expect that it will change in the next 500; especially with regards to homosexual "activity." God commanded it an abomination in the OT, and homosexual activity interferes with the natural order of things; that is, Creation.

Danbo59 said...

Pardon my cut and paste from Wikipedia -- it was the easiest place to locate these verses in one place.

Salvation is not conferred until after the Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46); that is, by God's grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10), and the Christian's response to it in God's grace (Galatians 5:6), as faith perfected by good works (James 2:22).

Faith, yes! But faith without action, without the application of faith is meaningless.

Actions speak louder than words, and words (by their very nature) speak louder than "faith," which is unspoken.

Nick said...

Jane. I'd like to know the historical sources you've read. There was much that went on in the Medieval period, but there is much that has been overblown also.

Now I don't think the debate over homosexuality is petty at all. It is getting to the nature of sexuality. Sex is a big topic. If sex is not sacred, I don't see how anything else could be.

The debate over homosexuality will center around marriage. Marriage must be something and it must be something sacred. If marriage can be anything, it means nothing.

As for mystery uniting, I really don't see it. There are many mysteries that don't unite us. Why are there debates on creation and evolution? Because the origin of life is a mystery.

Now you speak of prayer in contention to the creeds, but without the creeds, there is no prayer. Consider what C.S. Lewis said about prayer. Who are you to pray to? God the Father. Who are you praying through? God the Son. Who is enabling you to pray? God the Spirit. Thus, the Trinity is there when a simple man kneels to say his prayers.

Rev. Mike said...

The petty issues of dogma are never what people are really killing each other over. The issues were, are, and always will be about politics and the control of other peoples' destinies. Dogma is what we use to put a gloss on otherwise sinful desires to dominate others.

Anonymous said...

"From a Catholic perspective I don't believe the Church will alter its teachings on ordaining only men to the priesthood and diaconate, and I believe that is the way it should be."

Danbo, do you think women can't do the job of a priest or a cardinal or *gasp* a pope? Or are they not worthy doing such job?

I think men and women are equal and I can't support institution that doesn't accept such equality. I am surprised that so many women do. It is sexist view of the world.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Anonymous said...

Rev. Mike, are you serious that religious dogmas are not what people are killing each other over?

Northern Ireland was about religious difference. War in former Yugoslavia in the 90s was religious issue. Pakistan/India is religious issue. Many wars in Africa (even today) are religious issue. Middle East is a religious issue. Abortion clinics shootings are religious issue.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Mainstream Presbyterian said...

Dear Jane:
I've been trying to clear enough clutter from my brain to figure out how to respond to the last message ...
But what I think folks in the future will be shaking their heads over is that children are starving while we bicker over the ordination of homosexuals.
Did Jesus ever say "I was naked and you formed a committee to discuss long-term objectives ..." ?
thanks
K.

pornstudent said...

In 500 years China will be a superpower and possibly the dominant culture in the world. How much influence will they have on religion? The atheist philosophy may spring a society that really cares for people; or, we may all be tortured for visiting Sacred Space.

K. - "I think folks in the future will be shaking their heads over is that children are starving while we bicker over the ordination of homosexuals."

Good point.

Anonymous said...

"But what I think folks in the future will be shaking their heads over is that children are starving while we bicker over the ordination of homosexuals."

You are right! The ordination of women and homosexuals shouldn't be a question it should be given. Both are just as capable and deserving as straight men.

We should do more for our children. Work of one does more then talk of many.

We don't need to look far to make change. In NC alone there is thousands of kids in custody of DSS that need foster and adoptive placements. I think this is unacceptable for this region where people promote their pro-life agenda. We should step up to the plate and do something for already born kids.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Chris said...

I think women and homosexuals have made a lot of progress in western societies but are hundreds of years behind in other parts of the world (the middle east, for example). But we still have a long way to go.

I see religion becoming more fragmented as people look at the spiritual piece much more so than the dogma. The specificity of the rules can't seem to keep pace with the changing mindset of people. Look at some of the controversy in allowing homosexuals in (I believe) the Baptists.

For myself, I find that looking at humanism and rationalism makes sense in a world without God. Now that you've got some brilliant minds like Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and Dennett leading the way (and getting organized!), things can change and we can start getting more mainstream acceptance. We're one of the last frontiers.

I agree, the stuff we argued about a few hundred years ago is still in play. The good news is that I won't get put in jail for saying the Earth goes around the Sun. Although we still argue about teaching evolution in schools when there's just as much proof...

Mainstream Presbyterian said...

From what I remember of The Screwtape Letters, I can't help but wonder if Wormwood (i.e. one of Satan's minor helpers) has planted these petty issues -- such as evolution -- to keep us from doing what Jesus said to do.
What if everyone who truly seeks to follow God's will actually did what Jesus said? Why not spend the same energy housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, etc?

Anonymous said...

"From what I remember of The Screwtape Letters..."

You do know that this book is fiction?

Sincerely,
Iztok

Mainstream Presbyterian said...

did I need to specify? (there can be lots of truth in fiction, after all ...)

Anonymous said...

"did I need to specify? (there can be lots of truth in fiction, after all ...)"

I guess you are right. If you believe fiction then there is no end on what you can become. Modern examples are Church of Scientology and and LDS Church. We can find older examples along the same lines as well.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Mainstream Presbyterian said...

I think it was Marcus Borg who used this example when speaking to a crowd about Biblical inerrancy:
He asked "how many of you listen to the News from Lake Woebegone on Prairie Home Companion?"
Most of the crowd had, of course.
Then he asked,
"How many of you believe Garrison Keillor's stories are fact?"
No one raised a hand.
Then, "How many of you believe his stories are true?"
Many hands rose ...

Gamecock said...

I agree 100% with you on how much more important is prayer than dogma.

I suspect that the writers of the history you refer to covered up the real reason for the wars (lust for power by a few) by alleging it was over dogma.

But as to what people 500 years from now will deem "petty", I offer the following thoughts.

Your question suggests that the verdict on pettiness of people 500 years from now will be dispositive of the issue.

I disagree with the suggestion of inexorable progressivism, and I think a quick perusal of today's NYT and a more thoughtful study of Gibbon, the 20th C and all of human history proves my point.

The fact is that except for brief periods in select locales, the history of mankind is a history of tyranny. America is a brief miracle in that history, and even we have digressed in many ways from the people we were that forged the nation and defeated Nazism and Communism.

Look at what slaughterhouses the godless Nazis and Communists made of the 20th C that the God fearing peoples 500 years before never approached.

Petty arguments engaged in today? Let me suggest the following:

1 - That man is now or can effect climate change to any substantial degree.

2 - That children be allowed to choose a gender.

3 - That evils of the Iranian Mullahs' sort can be appeased.

more later

Matt Privett said...

Iztok,

Allow me to respond briefly to your comment.

I believe in the objective truth of the Old and New Testaments. They are God's Word. So when God says He declares the beginning and the end and He accomplishes all of His purposes I believe that means what it says.

The language of God's choosing (predetermination) those whom He saves is all over the Bible. You want to debate that, fine... it's not the point of this comment.

Predetermination, however, does not eliminate the responsibility of men to do good works. God punishes people justly (morally) because they are sinners. He pardons others who deserve damnation because of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. Salvation is given to those who, by the grace of God, express faith in Christ's work (and not their own works). You can read about this in Ephesians 2:8-9. Salvation is entirely the gift of God, but do not think I neglect Ephesians 2:10, in which Paul writes to believers that those who have been saved have been created to do good works which God prepared beforehand. Faith without works is indeed dead and those who hold to justification by faith alone do not reject the necessity of good works... not to save, but in an act of worship of God, a response to the love and grace He has shown those He is saving.

God is the One who determines what is a moral thing. That is the only way it can be, otherwise moral relativism abounds. Take a look at our culture and compare it with the description of the Israelites in the book of Judges... there was no king in Israel (i.e. they did not acknowledge God in practice as their king) and every man did what was right in his own eyes.

If man is the determiner of good morals than, logically speaking, no one has any right whatsoever to every find anything that anyone else does wrong or reprehensible.

pornstudent said...

Jane - "...theology lends itself to argument in a way that spirituality doesn't. Dogma separates, while the experience of mystery unites."

The definition of mystery: 1)a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand 2)something not understood or beyond understanding. The definition of dogma: 1)something held as an established opinion; especially a definite authoritative tenet 2)a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church. The definition of spirituality has a link to spiritual 1)of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit 2)of or relating to sacred matters. The definition of theology has five branches or fields of study - dogmatic, liberation, natural, practical and systematic.

Theology, almost by definition, lends itself to argument. It's possible to have a simple, personal theology, but we have a hard time with not fully understanding our experience--it's hard to say, "I don't know." So we create dogmas; or, more likely, buy into someone else's; making our personal, intimate and mystical experiences ordinary and commonplace (a billion Catholics). I can throw my theology, dogmas and arguments out onto the blogosphere to be examined and possibly trashed by whomever. I wouldn't do that with my beloved. I assume others are in love as I am, and we can leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

"God is the One who determines what is a moral thing. "

Then you have to answer the following:

Did God arbitrarily decide what is good/moral thing or did he pick things that are good/moral?

Or in other words, could God decide love is not moral or he picked up love because it is moral?

If first, then such God has no morals itself as it could simply decide any arbitrary thing to be moral (including murder). If last, then why do we need God for our good/moral things at the first place?

Sincerely,
Iztok

Anonymous said...

"Look at what slaughterhouses the godless Nazis and Communists made of the 20th C that the God fearing peoples 500 years before never approached."

1. Nazis were mostly Christian. So we can put this to bed once and for all. (Catholic churches celebrated Hitler's birthday and there is plenty of picture evidence. You might also read some on Ustashe in Croatia during the WW2.)

2. Communism was another dogma. (Stalin was raised Christian with all its dogma and he wouldn't be in dictatorship business if he would be incapable of capturing the attention of servile Christian population of his country. Russians were preconditioned by czars and religious leaders and fell right into hands of someone to grab such "pre made" audience. in former Yugoslavia due to Tito's ruling religious confrontation went to back burner until early 1980s after he died when Kosovo first erupted. The whole 1990s slaughters were fueled by pitting Catholics against Muslims and Orthodox Christians and other way around.)

Also, why do you use "God fearing people" phrase?

No other "x fearing" (fearing small spaces, hight fearing" ...) thing is a good thing and they are called phobias and people seek help for it. Perhaps deep down that is what you are trying to point out?

Plus, one would only fear something that might hurt you, you never fear love.

Sincerely,
Iztok

JayCee said...

Nick said...

“ There was much that went on in the Medieval period, but there is much that has been overblown also.”

Here’s some highlights from the first 1,500 years of Christianity. Maybe these explain why the First Amendment is so important:

414 – Christians organize their first attack on Jews in Alexandria (Egypt). Came about because Jews had sided with Arians (a Christian sect), who denied Christ’s deity. Then Jews rioted over the teachings of the Orthodox Christian bishop(Cyril) and killed many Christians, and the next day Cyril encouraged Christians to kill as many Jews as they could find.

694 – Christian leaders outlaw Judaism in Spain. Their possessions are confiscated. Jewish children over age 7 are taken from homes and raised as Christians.

846 – Muslims attack Rome and sack cathedrals of St. Peter and St. Paul.

996 – Caliph El Hakim persecutes Copts (Christians) in Egypt by destroying thousands of churches and forcing many to abandon their beliefs under threat of death.

1054 – Great Schism separates Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches over differences over the pope’s claim to universal authority, and because of other cultural and theological differences.

1066 – Jews massacred in Muslim Grenada (Spain) for “being different”.

1144-1147 – First accusation of blood libel made against Jews. English leaders claimed that Jews kidnapped a Christian child, crucified him and used his blood for a Passover celebration. Roman Catholic Church declared charges false 100 years later, but accusations continued, and Nazis revived them in the 1930s and 1940s.

1147 – Second Crusaders massacre Rhineland Jews (just like in First Crusade in 1096).

1171 – All 51 Jewish residents of Blois, France, are accused of blood libel and dragged to a wooden tower and given option of Christian baptism or death. All chose death and were burned alive, chanting a Hebrew hymn.

1209 - Pope okays the Albigensian Crusade to crush “heretics” in Provence (France) who did not believe in hell, and who believed in two gods: The God of Light and The God of Darkness. Thousands tortured and killed.

1232 – Dominican Order publicly burns the philosophical works of Maimonides, a Spanish Jew.

1233- Pope Gregory IX appoints first Inquisitors.

1242 – King James I of Aragon forces Jews to convert. In, Paris, Pope Gregory IX’s finding that the Talmud was heretical and blasphemous to Jesus prompts copies of it to be confiscated and burned.

1306 – Philip IV expels Jews from France.

1347 – Jews blamed for Black Death, probably because their dietary and sanitary laws made them less susceptible to the bubonic plague.

1415 – Jan Hus, priest and professor and founder of the Hussites, another Christian sect, was burned at the stake for attacking the sins of the Roman Catholic clergy. In 1420, Pope Martin V okayed a crusade against the Hussites in Bohemia.

1431 – Joan of Arc martyred by English, who declared her a heretic.

1478 – Pope Sixtus IV authorizes the Spanish Inquisition.

1497 – Savonarola, a prior who pushed for church reforms and denounced abuses of the clergy, is excommunicated by Pope Alexander VI. In 1498 he was tried for heresy, tortured, hanged and his body publicly burned.

1516 – Venice sets aside the first Italian ghetto to restrict Jews. In 1555, Pope Paul IV ordered that Jews be separated from the Italian population, making ghettos a standard feature in Rome and papal territories.

Nick said...

Of course Northern Ireland is political. You think they're really fighting over what happens at the Lord's Supper?

As for Stalin, do tell why so many Russian Orthodox churches were torn down by Stalin and his regime. Communisim is built essentially on the idea that there is no God.

As for the Nazis, were those who supported Hitler acting in a Christian manner or an unChristian one? It is not the fault of Christianity when people fail to live up to the teachings of Christ.

Matt Privett said...

"Did God arbitrarily decide what is good/moral thing or did he pick things that are good/moral? Or in other words, could God decide love is not moral or he picked up love because it is moral?"

Well first, God would not decide love is not moral because that would contradict Himself. God defines Himself as love in 1 John 4:8 and love is a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.

But beyond that, God defines what is good or moral because He is God. He is what true good is. Nothing He does or decides is arbitrary, but serves to glorify Himself (yes, even tragedies, bad things, evil things). We, His creatures, cannot explain it all. We do not have the answers and God does not owe us all of the answers. But He does reveal that "from Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Him be the glory forever" (Romans 11:36).

You cannot talk about God as if He were a creature, subject to the laws of some higher being that decides what is right. The God of the Bible is God Most High.

And we need God because He is just and He punishes sin. With His provision of perfect righteousness in Jesus Christ, we would be hopeless because we are not righteous. We've all sinned and fall short.

As for some of these arguments from history, there is no question that many people have done terrible things in the name of Christianity... but don't forget that it was "in the name" of Christianity. Many of those things cited happened when the Scriptures were hidden from the people by the authorities (such as the Roman Catholics). People were reliant on a pope or bishop to tell them what God wanted instead of being able to search the Scriptures for themselves (Acts 17:11). Now, no doubt, there have still been several horrible things who knew their Bibles good and well. That only points to the fact that everyone is a sinner and everyone needs forgiveness in Christ. We need the One who is good to make us good through the blood of His Son who made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:20).

pornstudent said...

"You cannot talk about God as if He were a creature..."

Yes we can.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok asked, "Danbo, do you think women can't do the job of a priest or a cardinal or *gasp* a pope? Or are they not worthy doing such job?"

Hmmm, your question is posed in the same manner as the following --

Iztok, are you still beating your wife? If not, when did you stop?

Perhaps now you see why I won't answer your questions.

Anonymous said...

Danbo, it is not quite the same. However in order to avoid such an issue let me rephrase the just of the question.

What women characteristics makes them not suitable to become priests, cardinals, and popes of Catholic Church?

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

Iztok, once again have it all wrong. It has nothing to do with a woman's "characteristics" that make her unsuitable for ordination.

No one — including the pope — has the authority to change the designs of the Church that Christ instituted. Specifically, the Church is unable to change the substance of a sacrament. Since the priest acts in the person of Christ, the Church has no authority to confer the sacrament on those who are unable to represent the male Jesus Christ.

Men cannot conceive and bear children. There is nothing "sexist" about it. Women cannot represent Christ "in the Sacrifice of the Mass" because they are not male. Nothing sexist about it.

Next topic. Get off the dead horse.

Anonymous said...

"Men cannot conceive and bear children. There is nothing "sexist" about it. Women cannot represent Christ "in the Sacrifice of the Mass" because they are not male."

Men can't conceive because they don't have organs to do so.

So what women don't have that they can't represent Christ? They have all the major organs including brain. Last time I've checked Jesus didn't inseminate anyone so there is obviously no need for women having ability to inseminate.

So it must be some other lack of ability in women that makes them not being able to become priests, cardinals, and popes. So what is it? Or in other words, which ability women don't have that man have (and Christ had) that makes them unable to do the job?

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "So what is it? Or in other words, which ability women don't have that man have (and Christ had) that makes them unable to do the job?"

Perhaps you missed it --

'...the Church has no authority to confer the sacrament [of Holy Orders] on those who are unable to represent the male Jesus Christ.'

Anonymous said...

'...the Church has no authority to confer the sacrament [of Holy Orders] on those who are unable to represent the male Jesus Christ.'

What makes women unable to represent Jesus Christ?

I believe that women are just as able to represent Jesus Christ as men are (yes I removed the word male as it has no other purpose then to point out the sexist role). Why does Jesus have to be represented with his qualities that would be only unique to male role? Which particular quality of Jesus Christ women are unable to represent?

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

Let me see if I can explain this in a more simplistic manner.

The Catholic Church believes that 'the deposit of faith' -- the immutable teachings and traditions left to Christ's Church by Christ Himself -- includes the specific act of naming only males to the priesthood (his apostles). Jesus could have named his own mother; the Mother of God, Mother of the Church, as an apostle. But He did not. He could have named one of His more devoted followers, Mary Magdalene, an apostle. He did not. Why, we do not know fully, but it is part of the 'deposit of faith' left to us.

It was to these males that Jesus passed on the authority to turn bread and wine into His most precious Body and Blood (Transsubstantiation).

Some have asked, "Can we baptize our baby with wine instead of water?" Some ask, "Can we use grape juice at Mass in place of wine." The Catholic Church responds to such requests with an authoritative "No." By changing the instruments of the Sacrament, you prevent the Sacrament from being bestowed. Water is used to baptize. Bread and wine are used in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (with regards to Transsubstantiation). Chrism oil is used for anointing.

In the same way, if you attempt to alter the priesthood from males only (as Christ indicated by His choices) to males and females, you are changing the the nature of the instrument of the Sacrament (as left to us in the 'deposit of faith'). Therefore, no Sacrament is forthcoming (Holy Orders and/or Holy Eucharist) from a woman "priest" because she has not received the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the first place.

Again, the Church does not have the authority to ordain women as priests -- any more than it has the authority to start baptizing children in Jello.

The imposition of Holy Orders on a woman would not be a Sacrament. Without that Sacrament, a woman "priest" would not be empowered to administer (or affect) the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.

Anonymous said...

Danbo, let us assume for a moment that you made your point (not really but hey).

You still didn't answer about cardinals. Since cardinals are not intrinsically connected to the Holy Orders what keeps women from having that role?

Under what Biblical authority does Catholic Church assign cardinals? Or are they new addition, something that Jesus didn't set up originally in the Bible? If Jesus didn't give the authority for cardinals, it seems that Church is free to change rules?

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Since cardinals are not intrinsically connected to the Holy Orders what keeps women from having that role?"

Since the reign of Pope John XXIII, only Priests may be appointed as Cardinals (Canon 351).

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

Actually, to expound on what I said last, Canon Law [351] states that all Cardinals shall be Bishops at the time of their appointment. An exception may be made [in naming a priest to be a Cardinal] only with the special dispensation of the Pope.

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

[Having trouble with typos today. Sorry!]

Technically, in the Catholic Church a lay person can be appointed as a Cardinal (or even elected Pope), but that lay person would have to be ordained a decon, priest and bishop prior to being installed in their new office to be in compliance with Canon Law 351.

Women cannot be ordained and therefore cannot be appointed as Cardinals.

JayCee said...

So God is a guy? I mean, Jesus may be an “only” Son, begotten (not made), of one substance with God, but are you telling me that the same magnificent and all-powerful God can’t manifest Himself to us as an only begotten Daughter, also of same substance? (God in four persons, Holy Quadruplets).

Are you sure He hasn’t already manifested in womanly form, but the Men’s Club at the Vatican were caught napping? Or maybe they just felt threatened.

Goes back to what I said a few blogs ago about the problem with religion - it’s too often cast in concrete. Someone makes some rules to serve their own purposes, and we literally play hell trying to change them. When a religion takes an immutable stand, it in effect says that God is dead. A living God is a changing God.

When God dies, that’s when folks start leaving “The Church”.

Anonymous said...

Danbo, so Pope can make all sorts of rules for cardinals. Since there is no scriptural support for them technically anyone who pope decides can be made cardinal. Canon law can me changed.

So technically pope decided to set up limitations for cardinals not the scripture so pope could change the restrictions.

Now why again women can't become cardinals? (I know, it is a sexist decision of pope.)

Sincerely,
Iztok

Chris said...

A lot of the last few comments just make me shake my head and shrug my shoulders. None of this seems to be the word of God. This is all too human logic. It's the logic of men who wanted to have power. None of this seems to be addressing how we, mankind, can work together to answer the higher callings of faith and spirituality. Instead it's a bunch of rules. The other guys have rules, too. And then people start hating each other because 'my rules are right and yours aren't.'

This is one of the many reasons I just became so disenfranchised with religion.

Anonymous said...

Danbo59 vs Iztok:
Round 2008

Danbo59 makes the argument; the Catholic Church has rules, which it follows.

Iztok makes the argument; why doesn't the Catholic Church change its rules to suit me.

Did I miss anything?

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous wrote, "Danbo59 makes the argument; the Catholic Church has rules, which it follows. Iztok makes the argument; why doesn't the Catholic Church change its rules to suit me. Did I miss anything?"

Nope. You got it. :)

Danbo59 said...

Iztok repeated, "Now why again women can't become cardinals? (I know, it is a sexist decision of pope.)"

Reread above posts for answer.

Anonymous said...

"Danbo59 makes the argument; the Catholic Church has rules, which it follows. Iztok makes the argument; why doesn't the Catholic Church change its rules to suit me. Did I miss anything?"

"Nope. You got it. :)"

You both missed the point. Dambo claims that RCC is not able to change rules because of scripture. When demonstrated that this is false obviously argument Danbo has fails. So we have to conclude that RCC doesn't change rules because of it's sexist nature not because it is not allowed to change rules but because it wishes not to.

RCC can and does make and change the rules outside of the scripture it just chooses not to allow women certain privileges otherwise secular society does. You can't talk about morals when you treat your own women as a second class citizens.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Dambo claims that RCC is not able to change rules because of scripture."

I don't know what he's reading, but it's not my comments. I've never said anything close to this.

Iztok, instead of putting words in other people's mouths (i.e., posts) in the hopes that forum readers won't check to see what was really said, you should focus more on how your culture deals with women. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Iztok, it's sad -- but your arguments involve nothing save deception and intentional misdirection. I prefer to converse with others on this board who engage in discussion as opposed to subterfuge.

Anonymous said...

So I went back and read Danbo59's posts. Sure enough, he writes only of what the Catholic Church believes and why. He does not quote scripture.

Iztok: if your wish is to change the church, you are wasting your time in this place. If your wish is to show your disbelief or antagonism towards those with beliefs other than yours, you are successful.

Anonymous said...

Danbo, you said RCC doesn't have authority to change fact that women can become priests. I assumed that is only so because of scriptural text. I guess you are referring to some other thing preventing RCC to have authority to change such thing?

"you should focus more on how your culture deals with women"

Which culture you have in mind? As an atheist agnostic I would say that we pose no artificial limitations (other than those of natural limitations) on women. In fact some of most prominent atheists, agnostics, freethinkers are women. They are certainly ahead when it comes to morality, compassion, and love. Or are you talking about Slavic culture? Mostly there is little to no discrepancies when it comes to treating women vs. man. Only time I've noticed significant discrepancy was when religion was involved (RCC as predominant religion in my country of origin, Orthodox as predominant religion further south, or Islam as predominant religion of those in between and immigrants) when it comes to discrepancy of what men can/are allowed to do vs. what women can/are allowed to do.

So which culture you have in mind?

Subterfuge? Let me ask you, do you think that presenting promises w/o any accountability to (not) deliver or any real way to prove them as true is not a subterfuge?

Sincerely,
Iztok

Anonymous said...

An interesting article on religion:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/secularism

Graph is also very interesting:

http://www.theatlantic.com/images/issues/200803/secular-graph.gif

It practically speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Iztok, as you profess Atheism/Agnosticism, you should understand that religions, of whatever stripe, reflect their culture. The Christian/Catholic religion has is basis on a culture 2000 years old.

To argue the rules of the church, and whether it can change them or not, when obviously it can, it rather a waste of time. Certainly it can. Any organization can. It then becomes a new organization, perhaps with the same name, but new none the less.

Churches are regularly changing their rules. Currently in Western Civilization, women and homosexuals have new standing in the church. Other things have changed.

None the less, those who believe in the old ways are not wrong. Neither are you wrong. You and they, and many others, have differing beliefs. To argue as if your's is the only way is obtuse. It is obviously not the only way and, I suggest, Atheism, is not a good way for the majority of people. I say this, when I am an Athiest. There is no Agnosticism with me. Still, I leave those who believe otherwise to their beliefs, and encourage them to practice.

Everyone needs something to believe in. For most it is outside themselves.

For me, I believe it's time for a beer.

Laura said...

I, for one, can't wait until discrimination against homosexuals and women is finally laid to rest.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Laura,

Discrimination will never be laid to rest, it is the very essence of man.

One discriminates between housing, flowers, food, weather, clothing, and, as you notice, people. Perhaps you would prefer mankind not be so discriminating, but then how would you choose with whom to go out with, or marry or to father your children, if you do not discriminate among the choices.

Perhaps you mean prejudice, or something to do with preconceived ideas. Perhaps you mean you wish people treated women equally and homosexuals indifferently. But for women, do you mean the same?

Well I differ on that, I would never treat a woman as a man.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous wrote, "Well I differ on that, I would never treat a woman as a man."

Bravo! I agree wholeheartedly. My parents taught me to treat women with utmost respect and courtesy. That does not precluide treating them as equals. I'm sorry if it "offends" some women, but I will continue to a) open a door (or hold a door open) for a woman, b) rise at a table when a woman approaches or gets up, c) offer to help a woman with a heavy load, etc.

Women are deserving of the same "opportunities" as are men (secularly speaking, of course), and vice versa. Note the word "opportunities." Men and woman should be judged on meeting the criteria for the job and on the ability to perform the job.

Laura said...

By "discrimination," I don't mean the act of distinguishing. I'm using the other definition: treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit. Prejudice (an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason) may, or may not, lead to discrimination. Even if it is, as you say, the essence of man, is that the criteria we should use to justify it?
There's certainly nothing wrong with holding doors open for a woman if it's done out of respect and is a display of good manners. But what I don't understand is why those same "good manners" and "respect" disappear when it's time for her to collect her paycheck. Things have improved, but they're still not equal when it comes to equal pay for equal work.

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pornstudent said...

Opening a door for a person because she is a woman is condescending because it implies women aren't capable of opening doors themselves. To insist on doing so, even though it might offend women, is unloving and petty.

Discrimination against homosexuals and women is a barometer of our progress, or lack of. It is encouraging that there are laws making sex and sexual preference discrimination illegal.

Danbo59 said...

[I gotta learn to hit the preview key more often.]

Laura wrote, "But what I don't understand is why those same "good manners" and "respect" disappear when it's time for her to collect her paycheck. Things have improved, but they're still not equal when it comes to equal pay for equal work."

I can't disagree with you there. No matter how many formulas HR comes up with for calculating pay rate, there's always going to be the intangible factor factored in somewhere. Unfortunately, since most of the purse-strings in this country are controlled by the good ol' boys network, women are going to get the short end of the stick more often than not. It's not right, but it's a nasty fact that can only be changed with a change in attitudes. Laws will never achieve the goal of equal pay for equal work.

Danbo59 said...

pornstudent wrote, "Opening a door for a person because she is a woman is condescending because it implies women aren't capable of opening doors themselves. To insist on doing so, even though it might offend women, is unloving and petty."

How wrong you are.

pornstudent said...

In the past men were more likely to rise at a table when a woman approached; yet, today, women have more rights and power than ever. Parroting the politeness of parents and clergy is shallow. It may make us feel good and do no harm other than masking what we really believe, but it doesn't feed babies and prevent the burning of witches.