Author Topic: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?  (Read 53973 times)

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Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #195 on: December 06, 2006, 04:03:48 PM »
Roman Catholic Church Hierarchy
The Catholic clergy is organized in a strict, sometimes overlapping hierarchy:

Pope: Head of the church, he is based at the Vatican. The pope is infallible in defining matters of faith and morals.

Cardinal: Appointed by the pope, 178 cardinals worldwide, including 13 in the U.S., make up the College of Cardinals. As a body, it advises the pope and, on his death, elects a new pope.

Archbishop: An archbishop is a bishop of a main or metropolitan diocese, also called an archdiocese. A cardinal can concurrently hold the title. The U.S. has 45 archbishops.

Bishop: A bishop, like a priest, is ordained to this station. He is a teacher of church doctrine, a priest of sacred worship, and a minister of church government. The U.S. has 290 active bishops, 194 head dioceses.

Priest: An ordained minister who can administer most of the sacraments, including the Eucharist, baptism, and marriage. He can be with a particular religious order or committed to serving a congregation.

Deacon: A transitional deacon is a seminarian studying for the priesthood. A permanent deacon can be married and assists a priest by performing some of the sacraments.
=========================================================================
Between the Priest and the Bishop comes the Monsignor. Perhaps this is simply the leader of a group of priests, but it is a rank given some importance. A Monsignor is more important than a priest, he gets more respect, anyway.
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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #196 on: December 06, 2006, 04:48:19 PM »
OK, I apologise for the misunderstanding, but I still think you have a peculiar view.

Jesus was a human, it is a teaching of the Church and most other Christians accept it as well. He had a mother (the first Christian) and a step-father. He had a family, what could be more human than that? Ultimately though, he was not only a man and I'm not sure why you ask Christianity to refute that. Moreover, why should we have to accept Dan Brown's borrowed theory? I certainly don't understand that.

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And lastly, I'm sorry to tell you but the papacy thinks it is the be all, end all in relation to its god.  It may not say that it "has a pipeline" but it does say that the papacy is conferred on him by Jesus.

The church was established by Jesus when he built it upon Peter. That is the essence of Apostolic Succession, where the latest Pope is the latest in a line of successors to Peter. That does not mean that the Pope is "the end all and be all in relation" to God. It does not mean that the Pope is without sin. That is completely false.

Also, the infallibility of the Pope is often taken to extremes by those who attack the Church. That is only the case when he speaks ex cathedra which has happened a grand total of seven times in 2000 years. The last took place in 1950, before that it was 1854.

Also what do you mean "controlling other people." What makes you think that Catholic bishops, priests, or the pope "control" anyone?



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Brassmask

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #197 on: December 07, 2006, 02:41:05 PM »
OK, I apologise for the misunderstanding, but I still think you have a peculiar view.

Jesus was a human, it is a teaching of the Church and most other Christians accept it as well. He had a mother (the first Christian) and a step-father. He had a family, what could be more human than that? Ultimately though, he was not only a man and I'm not sure why you ask Christianity to refute that. Moreover, why should we have to accept Dan Brown's borrowed theory? I certainly don't understand that.

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And lastly, I'm sorry to tell you but the papacy thinks it is the be all, end all in relation to its god.  It may not say that it "has a pipeline" but it does say that the papacy is conferred on him by Jesus.

The church was established by Jesus when he built it upon Peter. That is the essence of Apostolic Succession, where the latest Pope is the latest in a line of successors to Peter. That does not mean that the Pope is "the end all and be all in relation" to God. It does not mean that the Pope is without sin. That is completely false.

Also, the infallibility of the Pope is often taken to extremes by those who attack the Church. That is only the case when he speaks ex cathedra which has happened a grand total of seven times in 2000 years. The last took place in 1950, before that it was 1854.

Also what do you mean "controlling other people." What makes you think that Catholic bishops, priests, or the pope "control" anyone?


You statement that Jesus had a "step-father" is exactly what I'm talking about.  The implication there is that a god was his father and Joseph was his "step-father".  A more plausible story of Jesus bastard status was that his mother was an adulteress or perhaps an underage girl who Joseph got pregnant and married subsequently, creating the "virgin birth" story as a cover.

Dan Brown's story of Jesus being married to MM and producing offspring didn't just spring out of his head whole cloth.  As you stated, it is borrowed from people who believe it to be the truth.  That is one of the reasons why the book was so popular, imo.  The book is a pretty run-of-the-mill mystery thriller but it is the implications of the rumors, historical data and religous myth that appeals so widely across the world.

IMO, the world is not what it was 2000 some odd years ago.  People are not half as gullible (for lack of a better word) as they were then.  Human Beings just KNOW that a person doesn't raise from the dead three days after he died.  That equation or process doesn't add up.  People inherently know that that is just not possible and if that story is being told, then somewhere along the line, someone is either lying or got it wrong somehow.   Some part of the story has to be wrong.  Maybe he wasn't dead.  Maybe it was three minutes not three days.  Maybe it never even happened.  And so, when someone comes along like Dan Brown and writes a book (fictional or otherwise) giving people a more realistic story relating to something that so many millions across the world have held so dear and had to really stretch to believe, it is like a cool drink of water in the desert. 

Personally, I just don't think that Jesus was the son of a god or anything mystical.  Most of his fantastic deeds are simply either outright lies or adopted tales from other religions.  Clearly, his rising from the dead is an Egyptian tale of one of their gods rising from the dead.  And the walking on water story is a ripoff as well.  However, having said that, I find his preachings regarding how we treat one another beautiful and worthy of study.  Taking the magic out of it is just something that makes Jesus more palatable to me.  When I talk about religion with friends and family, it turns into a "he was a god" discussion or how faith in god is imperative to live from day to day without suffering from depression.  Depending on who it is that I'm talking to, I usually just turn to whatever tv show we both like because it is head and shoulders more important to me that someone's delusions about a god.  Or if I try to talk about jesus and how he said we should take care of one another, they want to make it all about how I can't believe in Jesus' teachings without accepting that there is a god, which is utter bullshit.

And that leads me to the Humanization of Jesus.  If it were proven that Jesus had a family and had sex and did all the things that we all do, then he doesn't come off so pious and godlike.  He goes from a guy in a white robe with a staff walking the roads with this beatific smile on his face and gently holding someone's chin to this guy who had a wife and all that implies good and bad.

Now, it is true that he could have had a wife who had a child and STILL have been the son of a god and worn the robe and had the beatific smile but come on, is that more believable than he had to sit around with the apostles and have discussions and MM was there supporting him and offering him advice as one of his apostles and then offering her support as his wife after they got to bed?  What would that conversation had been like as they lay there together in the dark?  She offering him advice that he didn't want and he stating that he was the son of a god and didn't feel like talking right now.

I'm just postulating.  But that's what I thought of.

As for the Catholic Church "controlling" people.

Check it out...

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The Roman Catholic Church - the largest branch of Christianity - says there are a total of 1.086 billion baptised members around the globe.
This figure is expected to exceed 1.1 billion in 2005, with rapid growth in Africa and Asia. However, there are no reliable figures for the number of practising Catholics worldwide. Click on the links below for facts about selected countries.
The Americas have the lion's share of baptised Catholics, with 49.8% (approx 541 million); Europe accounts for 25.8% (approx 282 million); Africa has 13.2% of the total (approx 143 million); Asia - 10.4% (approx 113 million); Oceania - 0.8% (approx 9 million).


Now, if we go with my more than generous number of people who are running the CC in the hierarchy, 500,000 and there are say 1.1 billion Catholics worldwide, then that billion takes the CC at its word for the most part.  If they say that gays can't married, then that's that, for the most part, Catholics will say that gays can't marry.  If the CC says that abortion and contraception are sins against their god, then, by damn, most of the Catholics won't be a party to abortion or contraception.

That is control.  How is it not?

I don't know what the story is on baptism with catholics, with baptists, of course, you can't get into heaven with it.  It may be the same with Catholics since they do all that christening at birth and what not.  But if that is the case, then Catholics will get baptized or christened.  That's control.

Catholics go to mass and for the most part give money to the church.  Any one of them says it is because they want to and that can be true in addition to "that's what catholics do" or "christians do" or whatever.  That's control.  The church demands the parishioners come to church and give money.

Why is the pope courted by heads of state?  Because he can suggest that his followers support X and Y and for the most part, they will.  That is a form of control.  The Pope is seen as Jesus' successor.  To Catholics, that means that the Pope is conducting himself as Jesus did (or as close as he can) and therefore should know what the hell he's talking about and so they are more inclined to support X and Y with the Pope's endorsement.  Even if the CC doesn't consider the Pope infallible or the pipeline to god or whatever, it is the perception of his followers on some level that that is EXACTLY what he is.  He's a surrogate Jesus or at worst, a surrogate Peter.

And I don't know how you can interpret this passage as anything but "control" and the claim that the Pope is the be-all, end-all.

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The Dogmatic Constitution's third chapter, "On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman pontiff," states that (s.1) "the definition of the ecumenical council of Florence, which must be believed by all faithful Christians, namely that the apostolic see and the Roman pontiff hold a worldwide primacy, and that the Roman pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, true vicar of Christ, head of the whole church and father and teacher of all Christian people," that (s.2) "by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a preeminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that the jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate" and that "clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world."

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #198 on: December 07, 2006, 03:43:10 PM »
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You statement that Jesus had a "step-father" is exactly what I'm talking about.  The implication there is that a god was his father and Joseph was his "step-father".  A more plausible story of Jesus bastard status was that his mother was an adulteress or perhaps an underage girl who Joseph got pregnant and married subsequently, creating the "virgin birth" story as a cover.

One of the amazing things about Christianity is that it survived at all. You're right and are far from the first person to take the above view. In fact, when Christians first came to Rome, many Romans pondered why anyone would follow a Jewish bastard criminal. The fact that Christians continued to be so devoted to their faith, even after the persecutions of Nero astounded many of the Romans who had seen a number of religions (many with far more interesting and fantastical stories) come and go.

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Dan Brown's story of Jesus being married to MM and producing offspring didn't just spring out of his head whole cloth.  As you stated, it is borrowed from people who believe it to be the truth.  That is one of the reasons why the book was so popular, imo.  The book is a pretty run-of-the-mill mystery thriller but it is the implications of the rumors, historical data and religous myth that appeals so widely across the world.

It also appeals because the Catholic Church is an easy target. Atheists are probably some of the more calm critics of the Church when considering the plethora of myths and lies spread about the Church. You'd think we all walk around with secret handshakes and covert plans to subvert the world. You think Dan Brown was clever in this? Chek out the far more succesful Left behind series where the Church is the sinister "Whore of Babylon". Hell, Dan Brown is an amateur in my opinion.

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IMO, the world is not what it was 2000 some odd years ago.  People are not half as gullible (for lack of a better word) as they were then.  Human Beings just KNOW that a person doesn't raise from the dead three days after he died.  That equation or process doesn't add up.  People inherently know that that is just not possible and if that story is being told, then somewhere along the line, someone is either lying or got it wrong somehow.   Some part of the story has to be wrong.  Maybe he wasn't dead.  Maybe it was three minutes not three days.  Maybe it never even happened.

Really? These are the same human beings who allowed the Holocaust to take place? These are the same human beings who saw to the Rape of Nanking? These are the same human beings who brutally massacred one another in Rwanda? The same human beings who ate pygmies in the Second Congolese Civil War because they hoped to gain the pygmies' knowledge of the jungle? These are the same human beings who committed brutal atrocities upon one another in the Yugoslav Wars? These are the human beings who murdered innocents at Vukovar, Srebrenica, and Markale? These are the human beings who tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib? These are the human beings who watch children die in Lebanon and Gaza and praise the army that does it?

These are the human beings you find so enlightened that belief in Jesus and His ministry would be too illogical to them. These are the people who are so much more intelligent and enlightened than Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Bernard, John XXIII, Oscar Romero? Dan Brown is supposed to impress me?

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Personally, I just don't think that Jesus was the son of a god or anything mystical.  Most of his fantastic deeds are simply either outright lies or adopted tales from other religions.  Clearly, his rising from the dead is an Egyptian tale of one of their gods rising from the dead.  And the walking on water story is a ripoff as well.  However, having said that, I find his preachings regarding how we treat one another beautiful and worthy of study.  Taking the magic out of it is just something that makes Jesus more palatable to me.  When I talk about religion with friends and family, it turns into a "he was a god" discussion or how faith in god is imperative to live from day to day without suffering from depression.  Depending on who it is that I'm talking to, I usually just turn to whatever tv show we both like because it is head and shoulders more important to me that someone's delusions about a god.  Or if I try to talk about jesus and how he said we should take care of one another, they want to make it all about how I can't believe in Jesus' teachings without accepting that there is a god, which is utter bullshit.

Your personal view is up to you. I'm not hear to preach. In fact, I cannot stand the "are you saved?" style either. On the other hand, why should Christians change their beliefs so that Jesus is more "palatable" to you?

Another thing, whereas heresies of old, such as the Cathars or Arians required solid logic and knowledge to understand and combat, it doesn't seem to be the case with modern atheism. People such as Dan Brown and Richard Dawkins are useful for religious discussions only for the most moribund of intellectual minds. It is a symptom of todays society that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. In this case Dan Brown is clearly anti-Catholic, but he is no friend to serious atheists. He is a two-bit carnival act on a stage of stage of authentic Shakespearean players.

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Now, if we go with my more than generous number of people who are running the CC in the hierarchy, 500,000 and there are say 1.1 billion Catholics worldwide, then that billion takes the CC at its word for the most part.  If they say that gays can't married, then that's that, for the most part, Catholics will say that gays can't marry.  If the CC says that abortion and contraception are sins against their god, then, by damn, most of the Catholics won't be a party to abortion or contraception.

Look at the worldwide demographics for those situations and see if that is really the case. You are making broad generalizations about 1.1 billion people for goodness' sakes. By the way, to say that all of the bishops even agree is a stretch of the imagination. You make it seem as if the Pope gives an order and it is carried out without question. That is patently false and absurd. It is not a military organization, nor is it run as such.

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I don't know what the story is on baptism with catholics, with baptists, of course, you can't get into heaven with it.  It may be the same with Catholics since they do all that christening at birth and what not.  But if that is the case, then Catholics will get baptized or christened.  That's control.

Baptism is a sacrament, as is the Eucharist. That isn't control, it is a central belief. They don't place a gun to your head and say "do this or else!" You are free to leave at any time. By your standard Brass the Church could not hold any beliefs. The Church demands that all Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity as well, under your logic that would be "control." Yet, it is a tenet central to nearly every Christian Church worldwide. By your standard a church should have no beliefs at all. Why would anyone attend? Just to meet and discuss "stuff"?

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That's control.  The church demands the parishioners come to church and give money.

The Church does not "demand" attendance, but due to the importance of the Eucharist attendance is a must. Giving money is not "demanded" either. I'm not sure where you got this impression of the church, but next time you are in Nashville you should attend with me. You may just be surprised at how free you actually are.

An organization asking for attendance? Perish the thought! <gasp> That evil Catholic Church! Again, you aren't demanded and you may choose not to attend at any time.

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Why is the pope courted by heads of state?

Both the former and current Pope advised President Bush to not go to war with Iraq, but he did anyway. So apparently his "control" of the 1.1 billion Catholics is not as vast as you claim. 

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The Pope is seen as Jesus' successor.

No. That is blatantly false. He is Peter's successor and that does not mean the Pope is the equivalent of Peter.

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He's a surrogate Jesus or at worst, a surrogate Peter

Absolutely false.

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And I don't know how you can interpret this passage as anything but "control" and the claim that the Pope is the be-all, end-all.

If you knew the history of those passages then you'd understand them better.





I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Brassmask

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #199 on: December 07, 2006, 06:24:48 PM »
Lawsy laws!   ???  Where to start?
We're coming to agreement or at least understanding but let me try to clear up some of my generalities with more concise language.

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You think Dan Brown was clever in this? Chek out the far more succesful Left behind series where the Church is the sinister "Whore of Babylon". Hell, Dan Brown is an amateur in my opinion.

We're kind of hung up and Dan Brown and, imo, he's not even part of the picture.  What he has done in The Da Vinci Code is taken rumors and facts and brought them together for an overall view.  Yes, he made the CC into the bad guy but it is not anything they haven't brought on themselves.  A long time ago, they did have a hand in the Crusades and there was the Inquisition.  It's not like they were pure as driven snow and he applied this air of secrecy to them.  The CC conducts a lot of its business in secret and they have been on the wrong side of history in some cases.  Is every Catholic evil and out to kill any non-catholic, certainly not as far as I can tell.  I know and love some Catholics and they have never once tried to kill me as far as I know.  However, the CC did recently apologize for its non-action in the Holocaust.  And the CC has put kinks in the hose of knowledge on occassion when it thought that the knowledge coming down would somehow invade on their assertations about the way things are in this world.

So, Dan Brown just built a story that used that secrecy and wrongness in a way.

And I wouldn't be caught dead reading one of those ridiculous Left Behind books.  No more than the authors of those books would be caught dead reading TDVC, I imagine.

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It also appeals because the Catholic Church is an easy target.

Well, I disagree but I can understand why you'd say that as a Catholic.  That's fine.

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These are the same human beings who allowed the Holocaust to take place?

No, clearly they are not the same.  But this is strawman stuff and unnecessary.  You'll note that I never said Humans were "enlightened".  I said they weren't as gullible.  Clearly, in a world where someone who does believe that Jesus walked on water 2000 years ago can get on a plane and fly around the world, the human race has gotten smarter.  Not necessarily wise or more enlightened, but definitely SMARTER and less gullible.  If you were to go back in time and tell someone of Jesus' time were told that a man had risen from the dead, they'd believe it if you told it right and gave the reason that the guy rose was that he was the messiah and he was the son of a god.

Tell that to someone in any industrialized nation today, they'd laugh in your face.  Go to some countries in Africa and tell it, they might believe it and do you know what country is seeing the greatest rise in Catholicism?  You got it.  The same country where babies are raped as a cure for AIDS and where Pygmies got et for their knowledge of the jungle.

People may still commit attrocities.  But they don't buy into religious mysticism as easily.  And you'll recall that I said they still have faith but there is a skepticism that has grown in our DNA over the last 2000 years as people acquire more knowledge of how the world really works.  No one would look at a guy in a fur suit and think he might be a wolfman.  Nor would anyone look at Ric Ocasek in the The Cars video for Magic and think, "Huh, that guy's walking on water."  Everyone assumes there is a something just below the water that we can't see that he is standing on.

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In fact, I cannot stand the "are you saved?" style either.


And we find more consensus.  FWIW, I haven't seen a lot of that lately.

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On the other hand, why should Christians change their beliefs so that Jesus is more "palatable" to you?


I don't think you intend to, but this is again putting words in my mouth.  Yes, I find religious belief annoying.  Yes, I find think that theists are at best wrong, at worst delusional (or even ill).  Yes, I think they should change but I DON'T think they should change them to make them more palatable to me per se.  My thoughts are that if the christian community took it upon themselves to adhere to the teachings of Jesus by "doing unto the least of [ourselves]" as we would to Jesus (whom they proclaim so much reverence) and dropped the "Jesus is a god"/magical side of the Jesus myth, the world would be an infinitely better place because not everyone can get with "Jesus cast out demons" but I can imagine a lot of people getting onboard with "Jesus said feed the hungry".  I know I could because that is universal.  That is realistic.  That is tangible aid to my fellow Human Beings.

And when we all find consensus, the world is a better place usually.  ( Of course, I know that the Nazis reached consensus on the Jews but that's not what I'm talking about.)  I'm talking about how it feels to be at the U2 show singing "Daydream Believer" karaoke-style with 22,000 people.

Also, if you take the magic out of Jesus that puts the onus on us to follow those words as opposed to praying to ourselves and hoping that Jesus does the work for us somehow in all his Father's machinations. 

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In this case Dan Brown is clearly anti-Catholic, but he is no friend to serious atheists. He is a two-bit carnival act on a stage of stage of authentic Shakespearean players.

In a few years, we may find that since the release of TDVC, Catholicism has increased.  It wouldn't surprise me.  Is DB anti-catholic?  Probably, I don't know.  The book of his prior to TDVC was that Angels and Demons which was a little like TDVC but without the historical research.  In it, the CC was REALLY evil.  You'll be excited to learn that it is being re-written as a sequel to TDVC.  It had the same main character and I assume that once the book is re-written and re-released to greater fanfare, it will also be made into a movie with Tom Hanks.  We'll see.

I believe that Brown has said he is not an atheist at all nor is he anti-catholic but don't hold me to it.  Brown is actually a worse writer than that hack that wrote The Firm and stuff like that.  I had to look his name up even though he lives in Oxford, MS.  John Grisham.  Oy.  It is not my intention to hold Dan Brown up as a great writer nor someone to be followed as a leader.  He wrote a book that happens to be about subjects I even in certain contexts.  Conspiracy, adventure, history, religion.  It was a decent story that had to do with exciting and important subject matter.

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Look at the worldwide demographics for those situations and see if that is really the case. You are making broad generalizations about 1.1 billion people for goodness' sakes. By the way, to say that all of the bishops even agree is a stretch of the imagination. You make it seem as if the Pope gives an order and it is carried out without question. That is patently false and absurd. It is not a military organization, nor is it run as such.

You'll note that I took great pains to use the word "most" in my reply.  Is it true or not that the CC holds abortion as a sin or sees it negatively?  Is it true that even if a catholic has an abortion, for the most part, that girl will agonize over it due, at least in part if not altogether, because of her catholic upbringing and its teaching regarding abortion?  Is the same also true of contraception?  Doesn't the CC teach that contraception is not a good thing?  And even when using Natural Family Planning that should only be used in certain cases and not always?

True, if some catholics uses birht control or has an abortion, the Swiss Guard isn't going to kick in their door and haul them off to some earthly pergatory.  But, all the same, the teachings of the church for most catholics will play a role in their decision making.  And the only authority of the church is the belief that the Pope is the successor to Peter who was a first-generational follower of Jesus.  If a Catholic is following all the rules, they would not use birth control of any kind.  Do you deny this?

I understand completely how you, as a Catholic can not see it this way.  You are on the inside and I'm on the outside throwing rocks.  To you, it is simply part of you.  You don't go to mass to get your marching orders or to find out what the Pope said your attitudes should be.  It is just part of you.  I get it.  Try to think of it on my side.  Out here, it looks like a control mechanism.  I'm just saying.

Further, the CC's waning control over its masses of followers is indicative of my suggestion that people are not as gullible as they used to be.  In the old days, a Pope could throw his weight around and could issue edicts informing it's followers of some new rule handed down by a god and they'd follow it.  Popes crowned kings.  And all because people thought the Pope talked to god.  Now, a Pope can't hardly make people do anything but show up when he gives a sermon.  He's more of a beloved politician than a spiritual powerhouse.

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Baptism is a sacrament, as is the Eucharist. That isn't control, it is a central belief. They don't place a gun to your head and say "do this or else!" You are free to leave at any time.


Why then ex-communication?  Why then was Kerry threatened with denial of the Eucharist (or whatever it was)?  It is a control.  A catholic wouldn't shrug their shoulders if they were ex-communicated, would they?  It's not a powerful control these days but it is a control nonetheless.

The Church demands that all Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity as well, under your logic that would be "control."

If this is so, what is the punishment or adverse reaction for a catholic who doesn't believe in the holy trinity?   True, today, it might not be that big an issue, the punishment, but previously it could have been horrible for a catholic who believed that the CC was the only true church as was spelled out in my clip from WIKI.  I would bet the fallout from the decision to withold belief would be that you won't get into heaven.  And does the CC have any say so in that process?  Who gets in and who doesn't?  And here's another question, how is it that the CC is in the position to demand anything of anyone?  What power does it have?  Who gives the CC its power over anyone?   The People?  How can they, they don't get to pick the Pope.  If I remember right, they don't even get to pick their priest who gives their parishes sermon every week.   God?  Well, that takes us back to where we were when I said that the CC considers itself the pipeline to god as far as I'm concerned.  The People consider the CC God's Church built on the rock of Peter.  God's rep on earth.

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By your standard a church should have no beliefs at all. Why would anyone attend? Just to meet and discuss "stuff"?


Absolutely right.  If I were to start a church (an idea that has crossed my mind any number of times, mostly after two margaritas), it would be very much to get together and discuss "stuff".  This is indicative of the idea that an atheist can't be anything like a happy, normal theist nor could atheists get together and have anythign positive to talk about because they're all about NOT believing in something.  Certainly that is not the case.  There are lots of songs that could be used in a Humanist/atheist church.  Think in terms of John Lennon's Imagine.  A Humanist sermon could be on the topic of self-improvement or love or friendship or anything else that any theistic sermonizer could put forth.  It just wouldn't have any worship of some magic being who will inspire us to do stuff or wait for his return.  I, as an atheist preacher, could even reference Jesus and probably would.

Atheist church would start at 1 or 2 in the afternoon on Sunday so that everyone could sleep in like they want to or get up and watch Meet The Press and Sunday Morning.  (Ooo, that Sunday Morning is very nearly an atheist church program.  It centers on the arts and mostly the good in humans.  And they have that moment of zen thing at the end where they have video of "the Salmons of the blah,blah,blah going upstream to spawn".  That's beautiful and universal.)

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I'm not sure where you got this impression of the church, but next time you are in Nashville you should attend with me. You may just be surprised at how free you actually are.


Dude, I didn't realize that you were just up the road.  I had it in my head you were in Chattanooga or Knoxville or something. I may be driving up there with a friend in January to buy some monster aquarium.  Can I shoot you an email and maybe we can have dinner or at least a drink or something?  I've been to CC and I didn't develop my impressions of it there.  (There is way too much exercise though.)  Also, if you come to Memphis (I can't imagine that you would though), holler at me.

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Both the former and current Pope advised President Bush to not go to war with Iraq, but he did anyway. So apparently his "control" of the 1.1 billion Catholics is not as vast as you claim.
 

This is true.  But can you really hold Bush up as the example of the rule or as the exception to that rule?  And as I stated, the Pope's political power isn't what it used to be like when they would crown kings.

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If you knew the history of those passages then you'd understand them better.


This may be true but I doubt it would lessen my perceptions.





Lanya

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #200 on: December 08, 2006, 12:17:14 AM »
Enjoyable to read, you two. 
Brass, a good church is kind of like college; they aren't going to hassle you if you don't attend.  You just don't get the benefits you otherwise would have gotten.   (If you are the type who'd get benefits from it in the first place, I mean.)

I thought my Catholic friends had it real good when I heard the mother of one girl say, "So, do you want to go to church Saturday afternoon so you can go skiing Sunday?"  !
Planned Parenthood is America’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care.

Plane

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #201 on: December 08, 2006, 12:30:43 AM »
I think I have already asked about your Salvation Brassmask.


I am not required to do so twice , but if you ever want to I am required to then.

_JS

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #202 on: December 08, 2006, 10:57:39 AM »
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A long time ago, they did have a hand in the Crusades and there was the Inquisition.

There were actually numerous inquisitions. As I said much earlier, the Pope is not immune from sin by any means, neither are the clergy. Much of the most infamous atrocities in the inquisitions and the Crusades (the Spanish inquisition and the massacres of the Crusades) were done by laymen or zealous clergy specifically against Church instructions. Yet, that doesn't excuse where the Church has done wrong in those cases, or has looked away. It is difficult to become a 2000 year-old institution without making mistakes along the way. That does not excuse the mistakes at all and hopefully the Church has learned from them.

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However, the CC did recently apologize for its non-action in the Holocaust

I wasn't aware of this. You should know that Angelo Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII) helped thousands of Jews escape through his office and was later honored by the state of Israel for his services. Pope Pius XII had a mixed history when it came to taking action against the Holocaust. Current historians, including Jewish historians, are undecided on Pius XII's final role in that war.

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And the CC has put kinks in the hose of knowledge on occassion when it thought that the knowledge coming down would somehow invade on their assertations about the way things are in this world.

The Catholic Church has also been one of the world's primary sponsors of scientific knowledge. Did you know that it was a Catholic Priest who came up with the Big Bang theory? Check out Father Lemaître. I could list the scientific achievements of Roman Catholic scholars, priests, monks, and laymen, but quite honestly I don't have time and Bt wouldn't appreciate the use of bandwidth. Unlike many American churches, there is no problem in believing the principles of evolution or the Big Bang, etc and being a Catholic. The Church is tied to a myth that it denounces and even holds back scientific knowledge because of the Galileo issue. It is unfortunate because nothing could be further from the truth.

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You'll note that I never said Humans were "enlightened".  I said they weren't as gullible.

Really? People today don't believe in ghosts? Psychics? Spells? Curses? Superstitions? They don't believe in the symbolism of nationalism? Pledging allegiance to cloth and textile fibers? They don't see a commercial on TV with an old man in a uniform saluting a flag with a tear in his eye and then buy the product being marketed? You honestly believe the Spanish, British, and Germans of the 14th Century were so vastly less intelligent than the average individual today?

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If you were to go back in time and tell someone of Jesus' time were told that a man had risen from the dead, they'd believe it if you told it right and gave the reason that the guy rose was that he was the messiah and he was the son of a god.

And yet you made the same basic argument that some of the Romans made all those centuries ago. And still people believe Jesus is the son of God and that he rose from the dead. So your argument is really no different (in fact it is a bit mild in comparison to some) and the ability of Christendom to remain is still prevalent.

If Christianity were snake oil, as you claim, (and note that is not the argument Marx made - he had far greater respect for religion than modern atheists) then why use such an obviously weak story? As you said earlier, the Virgin Mary is easily countered by saying that she either got pregnant through fornication with Joseph or by another man and Joseph covered for her. I mean, that's a no-brainer, the Romans and others saw that one coming a mile away. The Gospel authors didn't dress it up at all. They sent an angel, "Hail Mary" and she went and talked with Elizabeth...I mean really. Even the Old Testament could top that. The Greeks and Egyptians had some real humdingers to beat that. Why such a mundane tale? Why would it last? Why would any sane individual suffer through Nero's persecutions for that? Do you know a snake oil salesman that good? It is one thing to suffer because a used car salesman sold you a Corvette, but a Datsun?

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Tell that to someone in any industrialized nation today, they'd laugh in your face.

So Europe, Brazil, and the United States aren't industrialized?

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Tell that to someone in any industrialized nation today, they'd laugh in your face.  Go to some countries in Africa and tell it, they might believe it and do you know what country is seeing the greatest rise in Catholicism?  You got it.  The same country where babies are raped as a cure for AIDS and where Pygmies got et for their knowledge of the jungle.

Africa is not a country and don't play the game of trying to put those atrocities upon the Catholic Church.

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People may still commit attrocities.  But they don't buy into religious mysticism as easily.

Is there a may about it? I don't think anyone is asking for mysticism.

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Everyone assumes there is a something just below the water that we can't see that he is standing on.

As I recall you could see it pretty clearly in the video. Still, they knew how to make videos back in the 80's didn't they? Now they just show the bands, though Evanescence video where Amy Lee is some sort of floating vampire with her backup singer minions is rather good!

I don't really see the problem with Jesus casting out demons. As I've said before, just read it in the context of the times. It is doubtful that Luke understood mental illness as we do now. But, even if he did (through some association with Christ) how could he relate that to the rest of humanity. It would be the equivalent of trying to explain the outside world to the folks inside Plato's allegorical cave. Therefore, "Jesus cast out demons" was far easier and still got the message across whereas "Jesus healed Mary Magdalene of her mental health problems relating to bichemical inconsistencies and past abuse issues dealing with..." just might not get a big "huh?" from the crowds and readers. The First Century wasn't familiar with SSRI's, brain chemistry, or psychology. That is why the Church is here today, so that such issues can be understood (and there are licensed psychologists within the Church).

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I'm talking about how it feels to be at the U2 show singing "Daydream Believer" karaoke-style with 22,000 people.

I attended a U2 concert at the Liberty Bowl once. Rage Against the Machine opened.

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You'll note that I took great pains to use the word "most" in my reply.  Is it true or not that the CC holds abortion as a sin or sees it negatively?  Is it true that even if a catholic has an abortion, for the most part, that girl will agonize over it due, at least in part if not altogether, because of her catholic upbringing and its teaching regarding abortion?  Is the same also true of contraception?  Doesn't the CC teach that contraception is not a good thing?  And even when using Natural Family Planning that should only be used in certain cases and not always?

Yes, the Church views an abortion as the taking of human life. As do I.

I cannot answer the second question because I'm not a Catholic female who has agonized over an abortion. Is there a guarantee that an atheist girl won't agonize over an abortion? I'd imagine that it would be a difficult decision, no matter what one's religious views are.

Yes, the Church sees contraception as sinful as well. Though this is an often ignored rule with many Catholics. Many see it as a personal decision. Natural Family Planning is always encouraged to my knowledge.

I should say that forgiveness is always offered. The only unforgivable offense is total rejection of God.

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If a Catholic is following all the rules, they would not use birth control of any kind.  Do you deny this?

What am I, a trial witness? ;)
The Church is not built on laws and rules. No one is expected to be perfect.

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I understand completely how you, as a Catholic can not see it this way.  You are on the inside and I'm on the outside throwing rocks.  To you, it is simply part of you.  You don't go to mass to get your marching orders or to find out what the Pope said your attitudes should be.  It is just part of you.  I get it.  Try to think of it on my side.  Out here, it looks like a control mechanism.  I'm just saying.

I've been a non-Catholic as well. I'm not a cradle Catholic, so I think I have a very good view from the outside. I think much of the fear of the Church is unfounded and shrouded in myth.

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Why then ex-communication?  Why then was Kerry threatened with denial of the Eucharist (or whatever it was)?  It is a control.  A catholic wouldn't shrug their shoulders if they were ex-communicated, would they?  It's not a powerful control these days but it is a control nonetheless.

Excommunication is the same as denial of the Eucharist. I wouldn't call it a control. It doesn't prevent one from attending Mass, just from participating in the Eucharist. Is it important? It depends on the person, it probably should be. Technically, no Catholic should participate in the Eucharist if they are in a state of mortal sin (meaning they need to seek penance through confession first). Kerry was not excommunicated and rightly so. There are a few reasons for automatic excommunication and they date from the 14th century, Kerry broke none of those (and note that the term is "automatic" but there is still an investigation and ecclesiastical court).

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If this is so, what is the punishment or adverse reaction for a catholic who doesn't believe in the holy trinity?

I honestly have no idea. My guess is that it would result in heresy and you would be excommunicated at the least. The issue is likely not to come up because it is such a fundamental principle to Christianity. It would be akin to a laissez faire capitalist joining the Communist Party or a radical Stalinist joining the Libertarian Party. Why would they do so?

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And does the CC have any say so in that process?  Who gets in and who doesn't?  And here's another question, how is it that the CC is in the position to demand anything of anyone?

God is in control of the afterlife, not man, nor the Church. The Church doesn't demand anything, I thought I've said that already. It has established principles, beliefs, and practices, if you choose not to follow those then that is your right.

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How can they, they don't get to pick the Pope.  If I remember right, they don't even get to pick their priest who gives their parishes sermon every week.

Again you are making the Pope out to have far more power than he does. No, the Church is not a democracy, why should it be? And we don't have "sermons", we have "homilies". Don't bring that dirty prod language into this discussion ;) (a joke to my Protestant friends, I promise).

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Absolutely right.  If I were to start a church (an idea that has crossed my mind any number of times, mostly after two margaritas), it would be very much to get together and discuss "stuff".  This is indicative of the idea that an atheist can't be anything like a happy, normal theist nor could atheists get together and have anythign positive to talk about because they're all about NOT believing in something.  Certainly that is not the case.

I don't recall ever suggesting that atheists can't be happy or positive. Nor would I suggest that atheists don't believe in anything. By the way, such organizations do exist, you might think about checking them out.

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Think in terms of John Lennon's Imagine.

A favorite song of mine.

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I, as an atheist preacher, could even reference Jesus and probably would.

I could be mistaken (and someone please correct me if I am wrong), but I believe that Unitarians and non-orthodox Quakers work very much along these lines.

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Dude, I didn't realize that you were just up the road.  I had it in my head you were in Chattanooga or Knoxville or something. I may be driving up there with a friend in January to buy some monster aquarium.  Can I shoot you an email and maybe we can have dinner or at least a drink or something?  I've been to CC and I didn't develop my impressions of it there.  (There is way too much exercise though.)  Also, if you come to Memphis (I can't imagine that you would though), holler at me.

Yes, I'm in Nashville. It would be cool to meet up. I know a few good restaurants and bars with decent music (depending on your tastes). I get to Memphis every once in a while for work or on my way to Dallas to visit my brother. And yes, no sleeping for our congregations!

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Further, the CC's waning control over its masses of followers is indicative of my suggestion that people are not as gullible as they used to be.

Or it could be the fact that the Church is so vast and diverse that it is impossible to exert the kind of control you believe it once had. It could also be that the rise of the concept of nations has lessened the influence of the Church, whereas it was once the only credible authority for many people. I'd be careful about reducing historical (or any other) hypotheses down to one single variable, especially 2000 years of history.
















I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Brassmask

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #203 on: December 08, 2006, 02:02:35 PM »
Well, that's all well and good.

I think we've walked it out as far as it needs to be.

In my estimation, we are very close to consensus and it is good to have discussion and not feel like the person that I'm talking to is just being contrary. 

I would summarize by saying that, yes, the church has done some good but it is also a very secretive society and that opens them up to supposition.  Jesus was a good and decent person by all accounts and that is good enough for me.  I don't have to worship him for reasons I don't believe but I can admire and emulate his goodness as I can Mr. Rogers, Jimmy Carter and MLK.  This, in my estimation, would be a way to influence more humans in a more realistic manner but the world may not be ready for a realistic type of religion. 

Not being a member of the Catholic Church, I realize that I have no influence over that body but it would hearten me to see them, for whatever reason, if not admit (I know that is a hot button word) that Jesus and MM were indeed married, then acknowledge her as just as imperative to the myth as the other apostles which would give some balance of influence to the fairer sex.

_JS is an awesome guy and the next time I'm on my way to Nashville, I'll shoot him an email and maybe we can have a nice dinner and meet face to face.

B

_JS

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #204 on: December 08, 2006, 02:52:49 PM »
Thanks Brass. I look forward to it.

I will say one thing for the Church in relation to women. Perhaps it is myopic to look at Mary Magdelene as the only source of inspiration for Catholic women. Mary, the holy mother, has been an inspiration for women for centuries. Many of those women have made a real difference in the treatment and role of women around the world.

Also, to be fair, when you consider the Church as you think about her in your overall worldview, consider that in some of those African nations the only decent schools and healthcare are provided by the Church. In American inner-cities the Church has remained a constant while white flight changed the demographics and money became scarce. When many preach individualism and a society based on consumerism, the Church has always believed in a better society for all. While you may disagree on abortion, the Church also opposes capital punishment, and a just war by Catholic doctrine is far more difficult to obtain and requires meeting serious criteria as it was designed to prevent warfare and not encourage it. There is a real commitment to human life that goes beyond mere politics.

I digress though. It is just often that people pick out some issues to critique the Church on and conveniently forget that the institution has done good in its 2000 years as well.


We could look in the window of the fancy French Restaurant where the Country Music stars all eat (I can't afford to eat there). I always think it is funny to hear or see them sing about being working men and women who shop at Wal-Mart, drink beer at a rowdy bar, and drive an old beat-up truck - then read about them in the paper dressed to the nines and eating at a French restaurant that costs a couple hundred a meal (wine not included).
« Last Edit: December 08, 2006, 03:29:02 PM by _JS »
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Amianthus

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #205 on: December 08, 2006, 05:44:59 PM »
We could look in the window of the fancy French Restaurant where the Country Music stars all eat (I can't afford to eat there). I always think it is funny to hear or see them sing about being working men and women who shop at Wal-Mart, drink beer at a rowdy bar, and drive an old beat-up truck - then read about them in the paper dressed to the nines and eating at a French restaurant that costs a couple hundred a meal (wine not included).

You don't save up to take the Mrs. out once in a while? I just bought my wife a gift card to The Fig Tree Restaurant for Christmas. Way out of our price range normally. We're the "shop at Walmart, drive a beat-up pickup" type most days.

(Of course, I realize that country music stars are just as rich as rock stars and the Hollywood types...)
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

_JS

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Re: Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?
« Reply #206 on: December 11, 2006, 11:27:15 AM »
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You don't save up to take the Mrs. out once in a while? I just bought my wife a gift card to The Fig Tree Restaurant for Christmas. Way out of our price range normally. We're the "shop at Walmart, drive a beat-up pickup" type most days.

(Of course, I realize that country music stars are just as rich as rock stars and the Hollywood types...)

'Twas really a statement on the "image" of country musicians, but mostly just a joke.

We own two vehicles, both of which have over 150,000 miles on them.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.