Friday, August 1, 2014

Strawman Dialogues: the worst kinds of Christians

(Loosely adapted from an actual conversation.)

Atheist: Just tell me this. You know that one asshole preacher? The one with the hair and the big, weird teeth?
Theist: You're going to have to narrow it down a little more.
Atheist: Got caught nailing gay prosti...
Theist: Haggard?
Atheist: Yeah, him.
Theist: Yep, an asshole. What about him?
Atheist: You don't really think he believes any of this shit, do you?
Theist: Hrm. I don't suspect so. Not him.
Atheist: See what I mean?
Theist: No, what?
Atheist: Religion is a tool of exploitation! It makes assholes like him rich, while he fools and fleeces his flock!
Theist: I wouldn't say 'religion' does that, but yeah, it certainly does that at times. You think this happens often?
Atheist: I'm sure it does.
Theist: Alright. So you think it gets exploited by hucksters? Guys who don't buy any of it but see the use of it to make themselves rich?
Atheist: Absolutely.
Theist: And I guess politically useful too. You know, gin people up to go to war and sacrifice their lives?
Atheist: Absolutely.
Theist: And of course you think anyone smart enough to pull that often wouldn't buy any of it themselves?
Atheist: Right! How can you not see that?
Theist: Oh, I think the villains are a bit more diverse, and your description is one-sided and unfair. Still, doesn't this bug you?
Atheist: Why would it? I don't believe any of that shit.
Theist: Sure, but you realize what you just told me, right?
Atheist: What?
Theist: The worst kinds of religious people - the assholes who use it to exploit others, enrich themselves, abuse people - are actually atheists, according to you.
Atheist: Well...
Theist: It's one thing for atheists to be responsible for atheist crimes - and those are numerous - but to have them be responsible for religious crimes too? That's some dark comedy there, pal.
Atheist: Maybe I was a bit hasty in thinking Haggard really doesn't--
Theist: Ah, of course...

34 comments:

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

Zing!

BenYachov said...

Very clever.

On a related note I hope I don't hijack your thread here. But I wanted to respond to something you wrote on Codj blog.


>Should we, therefore, make sure to NOT welcome those who follow this apparent heretical, untrue form of Islam? Are they owed less respect, if any at all?

The terms "orthodox Islam" and "heretical Islam" are not used in Evangelii Gaudium.


As far as Muslims interpret their religion in such a way as to avoid violence and promote mercy by definition that is a good thing. It is a good thing and reflects a following of the Divine and Natural Law that God wrote in the hearts of all men including Muslims. It manifests a moving of Muslims toward divine Catholic truth.

As far as it is good how is in then not "authentic" & a "True Following"?

>We hear how we should treat those followers of True Islam. But how do we treat the other ones?

Crude my friend Ecumenism presupposes dialoging with someone like Jerry Falwell or Billy Graham. Not Jimmy Swaggart or Jack Chick.

Isis won't show up to any Vatican/Muslim dialog conferences any time soon.

Crude said...

Ben,

Isis won't show up to any Vatican/Muslim dialog conferences any time soon.

How about Hamas?

The problem I have with the statement - and the problem I'm zeroing in on - is that it takes pains to talk about how 'True Islam' is this thing over here, this nice and great thing, and it implies that none of the violence or problems or whatever are being perpetrated by Real Muslims.

I'm granting that. Okay, fine.

But... obviously there are some Bad Muslims. No instruction is given on how we should deal with them. Yet they are the problem.

Nor, for that matter, bad immigrants.

BenYachov said...

Think of it this way.

Crude when we talk about Anabaptists today we think of the non-violent Amish and pacifist Mennonites.

But back during the Radical Reformation they where not the only Anabaptists in town. Some sects where violent,anarchistic and sexually perverse. They have long since died out or where eliminated by Catholic and or more rational Protestant governments.

There are some more tolerable versions of Islam the less tolerable will have to be eliminated by governments as they take up arms to overthrow Judeo-Christian civilization.


>But... obviously there are some Bad Muslims. No instruction is given on how we should deal with them. Yet they are the problem.

It's not the job of the Church to deal with them nor does She envision dealing with them. That is the job of governments with Armies or locally with Police forces.

Ecumenism presupposes dialoging with someone like Jerry Falwell or Billy Graham. Not Jimmy Swaggart or Jack Chick or in this case Christian Identity, KKK or The Church of the Creator types.

This is not about an "authentic Islam" Muslims are heretics as are the Amish. But it is more authentic to follow the divine and natural law and do good then it is to not do so.

Amish have more truth then Muslims being Christians) and are more authentic since they are closer to Catholic Truth.

Non-violent more rational & benevolent interpretations of Islam are more authentic since they are closer to Catholic Truth.

Here is what Codj didn't quote from that very same document that sort of lends a missing context.

"an attitude of openness in truth and in love must characterize the dialogue with the followers of non-Christian religions, in spite of various obstacles and difficulties, especially forms of fundamentalism on both sides. Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and so it is a duty for Christians as well as other religious communities.

A facile syncretism would ultimately be a totalitarian gesture on the part of those who would ignore greater values of which they are not the masters. True openness involves remaining steadfast in one’s deepest convictions, clear and joyful in one’s own identity, while at the same time being “open to understanding those of the other party” and “knowing that dialogue can enrich each side”.[196] What is not helpful is a diplomatic openness which says “yes” to everything in order to avoid problems, for this would be a way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others. Evangelization and interreligious dialogue, far from being opposed, mutually support and nourish one another.[197]

This is all part of Evangelism and bringing the good news to the world. Even thought the world appears to be burning around us.

Crude said...

It's not the job of the Church to deal with them nor does She envision dealing with them.

See, I don't buy this at all. Does it even seem convincing to you?

The Church exists to give us instructions on how to deal with 'nice people' only?

BenYachov said...

>See, I don't buy this at all.

We may have to agree to disagree. I can't correct everybody and make the follow my obvious awesome and correct opinions.;-) ;D

> Does it even seem convincing to you?

Seriously yes. The Pope doesn't have any divisions.
Also as scripture says in Roman 15 those who weld the sword do not do so in vain.

It is providence of the Government to deal with lawbreakers and nut jobs who threaten the public order.

It is the providence of the Church to preach the Gospel and teach the truth.

>The Church exists to give us instructions on how to deal with 'nice people' only?

No rather practically there is really no instruction for Her to give for how to deal with pseudo-reigious anarchists and Nilliists.

Her job is to spread the Gospel. It falls on the governments to deal with "bad people".

(At best if the governments conduct immoral warfare or tyrannical oppression she must speak out to condemn such things. But Pius XII didn't need to tell Roosevelt how to stop Hitler.

Do you understand what I am saying?

If not we will have to continue this another time.

Cheers.

Crude said...

No rather practically there is really no instruction for Her to give for how to deal with pseudo-reigious anarchists and Nilliists.

I trust you're going to tell me the Church doesn't give any instruction on how to deal with sinners either?

Her job is to spread the Gospel. It falls on the governments to deal with "bad people".

I'm pretty sure the Church also sees her mission as instructing us how to live and treat others. Yet consistently, as of late, we only get told how to treat the 'nice' people.

The job of the government is also to defend its borders and determine who can or can't enter the country. Do you think the Church leadership has been giving no input on that front either?

BenYachov said...

Just to clarify then you can have the last word.

>I trust you're going to tell me the Church doesn't give any instruction on how to deal with sinners either?

What are we talking about? Obviously sinners are called to repentance and thus the Church has called on
terrorists and the wicked to repentence & refraining from evil. In terms of the obstinately wicked they must be dealt with according
to the Law or by a just war.

>I'm pretty sure the Church also sees her mission as instructing us how to live and treat others. Yet consistently, as of late, we only get told how to treat the 'nice' people.

Other then calling bad people to repentance & or letting the State arrest them when they commit crimes or declaring war on them and killing them in battle if they are attacking from outside the United States. What is left to do?

>The job of the government is also to defend its borders and determine who can or can't enter the country. Do you think the Church leadership has been giving no input on that front either?

Crude I am anti-amesty too and I am against terrorists being granted admittance to the USA.

The Pope’s words are sufficiently vague as to be open to interpretation on the level of political and practical solutions in terms of the current boarder crisis here in the USA. Liberals jump when he says we should be “Welcoming” and Conservatives jump when he talks about respecting sovereignty. I like Glenn Beck on this matter whom his critics seem to forget is still anti-Amesty.

I’ve seen individual Priests argue we can be against Amnesty & others claim the Gospels mandate we support amnesty. American Bishops as they have always been are
socially conservative but politically liberal. The bulk of them are nothing more then Pro-life Democrats with Crook and Miter and a great deal of them lean pro-Amnesty.

I refuse to disrespect them but I won’t agree with them. As long as none of them cross a line and try to excommunicate anti-Amesty Conservatives like myself I don’t care what
they do.

On matters of politics and policy solutions Catholics must rely on their prudent judgement.

BenYachov said...

Oh more on topic.

I have been watching the debate over at Feser's with that "The Whole Truth" wacko( & that rather Lazy Allan Fox guy.

IF there is a bright spot one of the more rational Atheists has taken them both too task.

I think God for Rational Atheists because they are pretty much God's Atheists.*

*Not that I don't pray they become Catholic.

Cheers.

Crude said...

Other then calling bad people to repentance & or letting the State arrest them when they commit crimes or declaring war on them and killing them in battle if they are attacking from outside the United States. What is left to do?

I would be satisfied with calling them to repentance. I'm not seeing that being done.

I like Glenn Beck on this matter whom his critics seem to forget is still anti-Amesty.

Since when? Last I saw Beck he was shipping a bunch of charity down to the border (great) and lambasting conservatives about how wrong they are and 'think of the children'.

I'm tired of hearing about the Good Muslims, as if the Good Muslims are the only ones worth talking about. Just as I'm tired of hearing about the 10 year old incestual rape victim Pro-Abortion people like to bring up. Just as I'm tired of hearing about the monogamous lifelong-committed Christian homosexual couple.

I'm tired of hearing about the absolute ideal, largely imaginary, people. I don't need advice from my Church on how I should react to angels. That's easy.

I want to know how I should react to people who are flawed.

BenYachov said...

>I'm tired of hearing about the Good Muslims, as if the Good Muslims are the only ones worth talking about. Just as I'm tired of hearing about the 10 year old incestual rape victim Pro-Abortion people like to bring up. Just as I'm tired of hearing about the monogamous lifelong-committed Christian homosexual couple.

I am too. So vut else is new?*

*Imagine this said with a very thick NY accent.

BenYachov said...

>I want to know how I should react to people who are flawed.

That is kind of broad.

The Deuce said...

As far as Muslims interpret their religion in such a way as to avoid violence and promote mercy by definition that is a good thing. It is a good thing and reflects a following of the Divine and Natural Law that God wrote in the hearts of all men including Muslims. It manifests a moving of Muslims toward divine Catholic truth.

As far as it is good how is in then not "authentic" & a "True Following"?


The obvious problem here is that while not murdering people is good, falsehood and self-delusion are bad.

While it is good for the Nazi soldier to abstain from killing the hiding Jew he has found, it would be wrong (both factually and morally) for him to tell himself that Hitler didn't *really* mean that he should kill Jews, and it would be wronger still (again, both morally and factually) for non-Nazis to conclude that, because a few Nazis "interpreted" Hitler's words to mean something other than what they actually meant, therefore the lone soldier represents "True Naziism," and that we should look at Nazis in general accordingly.

We are living in a critical time in which straightforward moral and factual clarity from our leaders is more desperately needed than it has been in a long time, perhaps centuries, and instead the Pope is giving us equivocal feel-good mush, lest stating the truth clearly and calling people to repentance offend someone's feelings, and get in the way of "fostering dialogue" that neither Islam nor the Left are interested in anyway.

Crude said...

Ben,

What's new is that Church leadership now seems pretty loathe to talk about the sort of people I encounter in everyday life.

Deuce,

I still think the Pope's general approach has good sides to it. I'm not particularly animated against muslims - truth be told I prefer them to secularists. But I'm tired of the line.

BenYachov said...

>What's new is that Church leadership now seems pretty loathe to talk about the sort of people I encounter in everyday life.

Talk about or talk too?

Because the Point is why would the Church want to waste time talking to either Nazis or Isis?

I could see them talking to right wing Germans or regular civilized Muslims.

BenYachov said...

>I still think the Pope's general approach has good sides to it. I'm not particularly animated against muslims - truth be told I prefer them to secularists. But I'm tired of the line.

Your balanced approach here is quite refreshing.

Crude said...

Because the Point is why would the Church want to waste time talking to either Nazis or Isis?

They're 'wasting time' talking to LGBT activists and abortionists. Why don't racists deserve a seat at the table too?

I could see them talking to right wing Germans or regular civilized Muslims.

They tell *us* how to act towards the 'civilized muslims' or the victim-immigrant. Where's the advice for dealing with the immigrant who wants to move to a country, not learn the language, not integrate at all? What do we do when we're not dealing with the marginal number of lifelong monogamous homosexuals and are instead dealing with people a bit more lurid?

How long should we go on pretending that these people don't exist?

BenYachov said...

Crude you seem to want to continue the conversation?

Ok anything for a friend.

>They tell *us* how to act towards the 'civilized muslims' or the victim-immigrant. Where's the advice for dealing with the immigrant who wants to move to a country, not learn the language, not integrate at all?

It not the Church’s job to answer that. Pick a political philosophy according too your prudent judgement and run with it.

I recommend Conservativism.

> What do we do when we're not dealing with the marginal number of lifelong monogamous homosexuals and are instead dealing with people a bit more lurid?

The Pope says we should make a distinction between a person with same sex attraction vs those who belong to a “lobby”.
In his native land he called the gay lobby the agents of Satan. So the implication is we should resist them.

>How long should we go on pretending that these people don't exist?

That like accusing a Evolutionary biologist who is writing a books on Evolution of pretending the Higgs boson doesn’t exist because he don’t address it in his book. Yeh that is another topic.

The Pope is not here to give us advise on how to deal with illegal immigrants who cross our boards illegally or how we should kill Jihadist terrorists. Pius XII didn’t tell us how to kill Nazis.

I’m sorry Crude but I don’t get it?

Like you I can’t stand liberals but to me it seems rather alien for the Church to address what is wrong with liberals.

The moral errors of liberals yes but everything else no.

BenYachov said...

>They're 'wasting time' talking to LGBT activists and abortionists. Why don't racists deserve a seat at the table too?

Are we taking the Vatican & the Congregation for inter-religious dialog?

Or individual bishops?

Because the Vatican as far as I know has never talked to "Abortionists".

Crude said...

It not the Church’s job to answer that. Pick a political philosophy according too your prudent judgement and run with it.

Because the Church never weighs in on political philosophies? C'mon.

You can argue that they do but it's not their mission. Fine. But then insofar as they do here, and don't there, I have a potentially valid criticism.

The Pope says we should make a distinction between a person with same sex attraction vs those who belong to a “lobby”.
In his native land he called the gay lobby the agents of Satan. So the implication is we should resist them.


I would be more heartened if he said that recently, not at some point in the seemingly distant past.

The Pope is not here to give us advise on how to deal with illegal immigrants who cross our boards illegally or how we should kill Jihadist terrorists. Pius XII didn’t tell us how to kill Nazis.

He damn well sure did tell us how to hide jews. And the nazis were condemned, if not over the top strongly, for obvious reasons.

I do not follow the logic that says the Pope has every right to tell us how to approach and deal with the poor, weak, destitute and victims, but never how to approach and deal with the corrupt, powerful, arrogant and otherwise.

Like you I can’t stand liberals but to me it seems rather alien for the Church to address what is wrong with liberals.

How about what is wrong with conservatives?

BenYachov said...

>Because the Church never weighs in on political philosophies? C’m
on.

Of course she does all threw out history & 9 times out of 10 it blows up in her face.

She is better when she rises above the politics.

>You can argue that they do but it's not their mission. Fine. But then insofar as they do here, and don't there, I have a potentially valid criticism.

You have a valid political criticism against any Churchmen even the Pope political views. But that is in my opinion
trivial. I doubt very much the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem & I would have the same views on Israel.

>I would be more heartened if he said that recently, not at some point in the seemingly distant past.

A year and a half ago or two years is not the distant past. Pope John Paul II pronouncements are the distant past.

>He damn well sure did tell us how to hide jews. And the nazis were condemned, if not over the top strongly, for obvious reasons.

No Pius XII didn’t tell us how to hide Jews. He merely hid Jews or instructed Churches in Italy where he had direct control to hide Jews.
Pius XII did NOT condemn the Nazi by name since he saw what happened when the Archbishop of Utrech did so. 60,000 Jewish converts
to Catholicism. Wiped out.

>I do not follow the logic that says the Pope has every right to tell us how to approach and deal with the poor, weak, destitute and victims, but never how to approach and deal with the corrupt, powerful, arrogant and otherwise.

I don’t follow the logic that how we deal with the corrupt, powerful, arrogant and otherwise is less than obvious.

Destroy them. Weld the Sword. Not as private individuals but threw the public authority.

>How about what is wrong with conservatives?

Them too.

The Deuce said...

I still think the Pope's general approach has good sides to it. I'm not particularly animated against muslims - truth be told I prefer them to secularists. But I'm tired of the line.

And what has Pope Francis had to say to the secularists? Last I checked, he was giving a notorious left-wing anti-Christian atheist a SECOND interview, once again with no recording, to be reprinted according to the atheist's 90-year-old memory. And that's after being burned by it the first time, and causing mass confusion and demoralization amongst his flock. Because apparently using even a tiny bit of common sense wouldn't be "nice" or "foster dialogue" or what have you.

It was stupid the first time, but I'm not sure "stupid" quite covers how stupid it was to do it again. And, what do you know? Turns out that according to the atheist's memory, both interviews were heavy on fluff about getting along with atheists of good will and how the world would be a wonderful place if we just did what is right in our hearts, and bereft of any solid message about sin, salvation in the blood of Christ, and the need for repentance.

BenYachov said...


Deuce

>And what has Pope Francis had to say to the secularists? Last I checked, he was giving a notorious left-wing anti-Christian atheist a SECOND interview, once again with no recording, to be reprinted according to the atheist's 90-year-old memory.

When I picture 60 year old Pope Sergius III hanging out with his 15 year old mistress I find it hard to get upset over this in contrast.


>And that's after being burned by it the first time, and causing mass confusion and demoralization amongst his flock. Because apparently using even a tiny bit of common sense wouldn't be "nice" or "foster dialogue" or what have you.

Rather the chuckeheads who used to bitch endlessly over Pope St John Paul II kissing a Koran that two Muslims gave him as a gift obviously need something else to bitch about. Unless Pope Francis brings back the Assisi events.

>It was stupid the first time, but I'm not sure "stupid" quite covers how stupid it was to do it again. And, what do you know? Turns out that according to the atheist's memory, both interviews were heavy on fluff about getting along with atheists of good will and how the world would be a wonderful place if we just did what is right in our hearts,

No they talked about how the world would be a better place if everyone followed their conscience. Which would be a good start.
Since if a person goes against even an erroneous conscience he sins. Obviously following your conscience exercises a will that at least intends to do good. Also he was talking about the role conscience plays in the salvation of non-believers. Those sentiments can be found in the 1917 Catholic encyclopedia. I’ve been over this before.

> and bereft of any solid message about sin, salvation in the blood of Christ, and the need for repentance.

Doing the first makes it easier for the second. Crude knows how much I like Atheists who are of good will and rational and how I cannot stand blithering Gnus channeling their inner PZ Myers and Dawkins.
It would be a better world if all Atheists where like Greg Gutfield, SE Cupp, Thomas Nagel, and a few other rational Atheists I could name.

As for preaching the Gospel it is clear his entire Papacy is dedicated to getting people to make a personal conversion to the Person of Jesus. How is that not awesome?

BenYachov said...

> bereft of any solid message about sin, salvation in the blood of Christ, and the need for repentance.


QUOTE" We can walk as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord. When we are not walking, we stop moving. When we are not building on the stones, what happens? The same thing that happens to children on the beach when they build sandcastles: everything is swept away, there is no solidity. When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Léon Bloy comes to mind: “Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil.” When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness."
-Pope Francis March 14 2013 homely.

Dude your argument is like accusing the Fathers of Nicea of teaching Pneumatomachian heresy(denial of the deity of the Holy Spirit) because they don't mention the deity of the Holy Spirit but of the Word only.

Read the Pope's word's directly and learn from him.

Stop nitpicking and trying to find fault.

It's tedious.

BenYachov said...

BTW I hope I wasn't too testy there.

malcolmthecynic said...

What I tend to notice is that the good things the Pope has to say somehow don't "count" because the media hasn't reported on them nearly as much.

Crude said...

Malcolm,

Yeah, that's true too. I could honestly be missing some things.

malcolmthecynic said...

BTW Crude, thank you for your comments on Marc's blog. I genuinely appreciate it.

Crude said...

No trouble, Malcolm. It was only speaking the truth.

BenYachov said...

Pope Francis when he was an archbishop allegedly told an Anglican Bishop ""He called me to have breakfast with him one morning and told me very clearly that the Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the Church needs us as Anglicans."

A certain person now leaning toward being an ex-Catholic told me this showed the Pope didn't think Anglicans or Protestants need to join the Church.

This person also believed the Pope would move against the Ordinariate when Benedict died.

I pointed out to this person Francis as Pope has expanded the Ordinariate.

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-says-catholics-seeking-confirmation-can-join-anglican-ordinariate/

So the man can't change his mind? If he is against Anglican Use Catholic Churches & Anglican coverts why make it so there will be more of them in the future? Why make them stronger, thus harder to suppress later?

It's like imagining Paul VI(who got rid of the Old Mass in what Dr Art Sippo once quipped was a very heavy handed manner) going out of his way to start the Fraternity of St Peter and issuing the Quattuor Abhinc Annos then turning around and issuing the Missale Romanum(doing away with the old Mass, allowing it's use only by special permission which his Holiness did not at that time grant liberally)

But if you are determined to believe the worst for some unknown reason then reason will not help you.

Also if you read only the sound bites & ignore everything else you can have a stunted picture of what is going on.

I said it before and I will say it again. Pope Francis will do awesome things like his predecessors & he will do ordinary things and he will screw up too like his predecessors.

But the bitterness and hate I see coming from so called "conservative Catholics" toward him can only IMHO be diabolic.

I hope I am wrong.

Well enough rambling.

Crude said...

I suppose, more bluntly, one can say: if all it takes is a shitty pope to make you leave the church, then you should have left already, because history shows we had some rotten ones.

And Francis doesn't seem nearly that bad here.

Also, I have no idea if you're taking potshots at Codg, but if so, do not do that. I like Codg.

BenYachov said...

Actually I am speaking of someone else not Codg and let us leave it at that.

Thought on the subject of Codg I can't promise not to pot shot him in the future.

Thought it's your blog. You control the posts so filter out or delete any vicious Codg posting.

I can always complain about him elsewhere.

On another note my interest is peaked.

>comments on Marc's blog

Where? That might be interesting. Assuming it's not a state secret which I totally understand if it is.

malcolmthecynic said...

Ben, just click to my blog and the first post gives part of the run-down. I was, ahem, in a rather biting mood, though for good reason. If you want to learn more you can click the link in my post and look through the comments on Marc's if you have the stomach for it.

("Marc" is Lothar from lotharlorraine.)

BenYachov said...

Oh I think I found it.

I seem to vaguely remember you mentioning you are an Eastern Rite Catholic Cude old boy?

Oh and if Malcolm wants to know anything about Messianic Judaism of the Protestant variety or the Hebrew Catholic movement he need only ask moi.

From whom do you think I get my nickname which is Hebrew for Son of James?

I wish I got into that conversation. Because I have herd of Jesus Mosques.