13 September 2010

Tea Mug Browsing

Christians rip up an English copy of the Koran.   Why is this a bad thing?  Muslims frequently burn Bibles, crosses, even Christians!  Tit for tat is not the Way of Christ.  The Koran is holy to all Muslims not just the raging, sword-wielding fanatics we see on TV.  (NB.  I'm told that Muslims only revere the Koran in its native language. . .translations are considered bastardized.  But to the fanatics, it's the thought that counts.)

Stephen Hawking doubles down on stupid:  "God may exist, but science can explain the universe without the need for a creator."  Yes, it can.  That's what science does:  explain stuff w/o reference to God.  What Hawking's science cannot do is explain stuff that science is not design to explain.  Why this is so difficult for him to understand is beyond me.  He's using a hammer to explain how gumbo is made.

On Sarah Palin and Leftist status anxiety:  "Palin’s success stabs [Leftists] in the heart of their anxiety. If Palin can be a successful political leader, what does that say about the leftists’ claims of intellectual and moral superiority?"  Easy.  They are neither intellectually nor morally superior.

B.O. vs. W. on the War on Terror. . .apparently, B.O. is as bad or worse than W. when it comes to all the things that the Left hated about W.  Um, where the media outrage?

Venezuela's Clown-in-Chief is losing his Shine. . .it's never a good sign for the Prez when the only way you can convince people to follow you is to shut down opposition.

Muslims stab and beat Christians. . .expect an outraged editorial from the NYT any second now.  Headline:  Why Didn't They Finish the Job?

Someone, please, nominate this man for the GOP ticket in 2012! 

How to kill a spider. . .all his hopes and dreams.

A new phrase for commenting on politicians' B.S.:  "Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before."  And 19 other puns.

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  1. Christie would make a great President. He's prolife, favors small government and best of all he's as fat as a house.

    With so much obesity in America, we need a President who looks just like us!

    Thin may be "in" but fat is "where it's at".

  2. templariidvm12:48 PM

    Hawkings premise (or part of it) is that as long as there is gravity, the universe will create itself. My two questions for him: 1) Why is there gravity to begin with? 2)Why would there randomly be any possibility of this all happening? "Systems" are rarely successfully self-designing.

  3. If I may Father, what is the significant difference between burning the Koran and St Boniface cutting down Thor's tree?

  4. Baron, Thor isn't a real god. The Muslims worship the same God we do. . .though not in the same way.

  5. Even if Muslims worship the same God, and they do not regardless of what recent Church documents say, the fact is the Koran is not a document born of a relationship with the One God.

    It's no differnt than cutting down Thor's Oak, burning the Book of Mormon (another collection of nonsense from a perverted con man who started his own religion based on diabolical private revelations), or torching L. Ron Hubbard's nonsense.

  6. Allah is, according to the Muslims own teaching a god who can and does decieve, who can be deceived, and who is a violent expression of pure will.

    There is no possibility for the Triune God of Love who has revealed Himself in the Person of the Christ to be the same being.

    And the sooner churchmen remember that, the sooner we accept what 1400 years of non-stop war actually means, the better for the Faith and the world.

  7. Flam,

    Lumen gentium n. 16:

    "Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(18*) In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.(125) On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues.(126) But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind."

    We can say that Muslims have an incorrect understanding of God, but they worship the same God we do.

  8. ". . .regardless of what recent Church documents say. . ."

    Flam, you are starting to sound a lot like some of my Dominican sisters who like to pick and choose which Church teachings are true and false.


  9. Father, Lumen Gentium can no more make the sky blue than it can make it such that Muslims worship the True God.

    And, given that the status and value of Vatican II's teachings where they appear to diverge from the constant witness and teaching of the Church has yet to be determined, I am only accidentally sounding like the material heretics to which you are referring. :D

  10. Flam,

    Distinctions w/o differences. Lumen gentium is a DOGMATIC constitution...passed by the Council Fathers, approved by the Holy Father, and reaffirmed again and again by all subsequent popes.

    The hermeneutic of rupture that you are proposing (i.e., VC2 isn't consistent with traditional teaching) is exactly what the McBrien's and Curran's of the Church push forward.

    Either VC2 is binding in its teaching or it isn't.

    Sorry. . .there just isn't any wiggle room here.

  11. A dogmatic constitution issued by a pastoral council that in its own inception and progress professed to not change any doctrine or dogma.

    It's not so clear cut as Romano Amerio, Marcel Lefevbre, Cdl. Stickler, Cdl. Ratzinger, Archbishop Marchetto, and numerous others made clear over the last forty-odd years.

    I'll concede that there may be a way to interpret this through the Hermeneutic of Continuity as His Holiness has asserted. But I'll also concede that I don't see how that circle can be squared.

    Thank God that there are doctrinal talks occurring. Maybe in the next half century we can figure out the worth of Vatican II.

    But until my conscience is bound, I'll hold to my reservations.

  12. Father, I'm left a little more confused now. Are we holding the Koran in respect? It blasphemes against the Trinity and salvation. I know what the Council Fathers say, but I fail to see how that gives immunity to their book. Aren't the tree and the Koran both falsely called holy?

    Is claiming connection to Abraham the extent of their likeness? They profess to hold the faith of Abraham, but that doesn't mean they really do, does it? How can they adore the "one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind" when we say that that will be Jesus and they say explicitly it will not be Him? I don't understand.

  13. The teachings of VC2 cannot and do not diverge from the teachings of Trent or VC1 or any other council. To claim otherwise is to embrace the hermeneutic of rupture.

    Benedict has never claimed that the Council teaches falsehood. How the Council has been hijacked and interpreted by so-called progressives is clearly a problem, one sustained by the hermeneutic of rupture--whether that support comes from the right or the left.

  14. When St. Boniface cut down Thor's oak, he was directly debunking the pagan idea that Thor would defend his holy place, and thus trying to bring pagans to Christ. Burning a Koran has, so far as I can see, no parallel effect.

    Also, St. Boniface was primarily risking his own life. If this silly stunt were to happen, the major consequences would probably fall, not on the 50 people in Florida, but on Americans in Islamic countries and on the already-besieged Christians in those same places.

    If a Muslim in Egypt sees a video of the burning, and decides to 'do something about it', is it more likely that he will travel to Florida to retaliate, or that he will join a mob to burn down the houses of the Copts across town ?

  15. Until the case for a Hermeneutic of Continuity is established, it remains a pleasant theory that permits some to ignore the devastation that has occurred in the wake of that Council.

    So far, the evidence supports a Hermeneutic of Rupture: that the intention of those who drafted the documents was to fundamentally alter the teachings of the Church in order to destroy the Church founded by Christ and replace it with a Modernist church rooted in the Revolution of 1789.

    That such a project is in the process of failing, despite having devastated the clergy for nearly 90 years and the rest of the Church for these past 40-odd years, is evidence that the Gates of Hell have not prevailed.

    But there is a long way to go, yet, and I don't see how some of the decrees of V2 can be read through Hermeneutic of Continuity: Lumen Gentium, Nostra Aetate, and Gaudium et Spes chief among them.

    I await, impatiently, His Holiness' resolution of the conundrum and the results of the discussion with the SSPX. I expect the latter will shed light on how His Holiness intends to establish the former.

  16. Flam, I believe the Holy Father has made the case for the H.C.

    And that's good enough for me.

  17. Laura1:29 AM

    Father Philip,

    The tricky thing about HC is that it is a two way street. LG doesn't just get to trump previous statements. That is rupture just as much as rejecting it entirely. So there is a nuanced reading of it, which we are awaiting with great anticipation, that helps square the hopeful tone of dialog from the council with the long tradition of condemning the heresy of Islam.

    The problem is that from a logical standpoint, we can't say that Islam worships the same God. They reject the Trinity absolutely while admitting Christ as a prophet. We extend the Jews the courtesy of claiming the same God (though the honest ones will not extend that courtesy back) because they are, theologically speaking, virgins. Prior to Chris, God's revelation to the Jews is solely His Unity. With Christ, he reveals that he is Trinity in Unity. The Allah of Islam is One and Christ is not God. Those who worship him are divorcees and cannot be extended the same courtesy.

    The most charitable interpretation is that Allah is on par with the God of the Philosophers, a dim reflection of the True God, far closer than the pagan deities, but not an accurate picture, and one that like the LDS Church obscures the picture by private revelation, of objectively heretical material. The question remains, how far can God be obscured and still be called the same God?

    This is all rather beside the point of the original question regarding cutting down oaks and burning Korans. I think this whole rabbit trail could have been avoided by looking at the practical implications of the acts. Boniface cut down the oak to show God's power. The pagans were emphatically impressed when he was not struck down immediately, and saw it as a forceful show of the superior power of Boniface's God. Burning a Koran would not have this effect. There is no expectation that such an act would generate an immediate violent response from anything other than human means. It would prove nothing. Thus is enters the realm of prudence and charity, both of which militate against such an act. There's no need to get into who's gods are real or not. The Koran is on par with the Gnostic Gospels, and has just as much right to exist, which is to say, none (from the standpoint that error has no rights). Both may point to a badly skewed version of the God of Abraham. Or to someone entirely different if we get down to essentials rather than accidental similarities. But it has no bearing in this case on what is the best way to treat the holy books of people that we hope will have sufficient good will to hear God's word unobscured.

  18. Laura9:21 AM

    Father Philip,

    Looking at Flambeaux's post, he is not disputing the H.C., merely pointing out that it is difficult to apply to certain passages which is why he awaiting word from those charged with figuring out how to square the circle.

    Given that the net effect of documents like Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate was to produce statements like the one heard at John Paul II's funeral, "he was the Pope that taught us that all religions are equal", it is clear that a universalist interpretation is the one that has been reigning. Such an interpretation is rupture, and to bring the passage you quoted into continuity with previous teachings will require a very nuanced reading.

    I don't think that it is at all clear, accurate, or helpful to state that Muslims worship the same God. Profess to worship the same God perhaps, and that would be a very Personalist reading of the objective state of things.

  19. Laura, we've heard from those in charge. . .VC2 is perfectly consistent with all other Councils.

    That some bozo spouted heretical nonsense at JPII's funeral is not evidence against the authenticity of the Council. People use the Bible to spout nonsense all the time, but we don't claim that we must wait for someone in authority to tell us if the Bible teaches truth.

    Great book: Renewal Within Tradition. . .this is a book that only includes orthodox theologians discussing VC2 documents.

  20. Laura, you and Flam both are failing to make a very important distinction. All three of us can refer to the same tree and all of us can be saying very different things about that tree. One's description of an object/event/person does not and cannot encompass the totality of the said person's being, etc., esp. when the person being discussed is God! There is nothing logically incoherent in the claim that Christians and Muslims both worship the same God and yet one of the two (Muslims, obviously!) are describing God in theologically inaccurate terms.

    VC2 does NOT claim that Muslims believe a truthful theology. VC2 only claims that Islam is properly understood as an Abrahamic religion.

    In Catholic terms, Islam is theologically incorrect. Most Protestantism is as well. Yet, we do not claim that Prots worship a foreign god.

    I checked with my OP-historian brother who tells me that at the rise of Islam, the Church treated it as a Christian heresy!

  21. Laura7:55 AM

    Father Philip,

    Conceding that Islam could be treated as a rather unique form of Christian heresy, along the lines of Mormonism (with which it shares many similarities), it doesn't change the fact that the Koran, like the Book of Mormon, is not an inspired text. I also think that it is dangerous, as the Gnostic Gospels are dangerous.

    I am not arguing for book burning. I think it is both stupid and uncharitable, as well as unproductive. I am simply saying that I think the original reasoning (Thor's tree OK 'cause Thor isn't real/Koran not OK 'cause God is real) doesn't hold water. Muslims may be an Abrahamic faith (though Voodoo could count as an Abrahamic religion given that it too is a spin-off born of similar syncretism with heathen religions) with an imperfect view of God, but that really has no bearing on how we should treat the objects they venerate. If the pagans Boniface had confronted were of the modern sort, cutting down the tree would be a graceless and ineffectual act. Regardless of how true or false the god they worshipped was, it was worth doing because Boniface knew his God was true and so he would not be struck dead by Thor. And that surprised the pagans. On the other hand, if I destroyed my neo-pagan friends candles or pentacles or whatever, they would be upset at me, less likely to listen to anything I had to say, but would have no expectation that I would be struck dead by the goddess they claim to worship. So it would be pointless even though they worship a deity just as false as Thor. I don't burn Korans not because it is an imperfect account of the Living God but because it would do not good and much ill.

    I am not disputing the validity of VC2, nor that it can be interpreted in continuity with tradition. I'm simply noting that because it has been hijacked by liberals for the last 40 years and because many of the ambiguities are apparently in contradiction with tradition, I am awaiting instruction from those whose task it is to interpret it. And I apply the same standard to the Bible. There are passages that can be apparently contradictory. Such passages led to great heresies in times past, and took councils, and a lot of vigorous writing by various saints, to clear the matter up. Several passages in LG and NA are ambiguous. They appear to lend weight to a universalist approach. I have faith that this is not so since the Church is not defectable, but I cannot explain why it is not so, just as there was a time when people weren't a hundred percent clear how Christ could be fully man and fully God given some of the things he says in the Gospels.

    As a side note, while I will admit of the possibility of Islam being an Abrahamic faith (though I think the passages from VC2 can be read more in the spirit of giving them the benefit of the doubt in charity), I think your tree analogy is weak. While we can indeed look at the same tree and see different qualities, we can also look at two different trees and call them by the same name because they share superficial similarities. I have a pair of ligustrums in my backyard. For years I thought that they were a pair of myrtles and was only corrected a year ago when I got a quote from an arborist on taking them down. They looked like myrtles to me, sharing many of the same qualities. It took a tree expert to tell me they were different. If we are giving Islam the benefit of the doubt in saying that they too worship the God revealed to Abraham, fine, and it means there is a chance for good will to work when reason is allowable. But it could be that they've been calling a ligustrum a myrtle and have decided that more good will be done if we don't disabuse them of this notion. And I will note that this is not settled matter, since only last week Father Zuhlsdorf opened up this very can of worms for reasoned debate.


  22. Laura7:56 AM


    What is not clear to me, and what I seek to have clarification on from those at the top, is what is being granted in calling Islam an Abrahamic faith. Why should that matter? If their view of God is so obscured as to lead them into mortal sin, how does that make a difference, except in making it harder for us to evangelize them because now we're seen as having a common denominator in faith. And on the other hand, why would it lend them any greater dignity that a pagan or atheist. They do not have the dignity of baptism, and so they are left with the same exact dignity due to any human creature created in the image and likeness of God. I would treat all of them with the same kindness, and treat their holy objects with the same respect if there was not some greater good (as in the case of Thor's Oak) to be gained in destroying it.

    I'm sorry to be so contentious. I just prefer clarity whenever possible, and want to know why it should matter that the Muslims, like the Mormons, or the Albigensians, follow an imperfect version of the God of Abraham.

    (Oh, and regarding heresy, I am making the distinction here between heresies that fundamentally mistake the nature and character of God with heresies of ecclesiology and soteriology. This is why I'm not grouping Protestants in here. They have a fairly good idea of who God is, even if some of their understanding of his Justice is off base. And the Jews are a special case, working from incomplete but undistorted revelation. But just as there is a difference between water with a little wine and wine with a little water, eventually you can water God down so much that He isn't God anymore.)