Saturday, July 12, 2008

Crackers And Wafers And Rudeness, Oh My!

Some other bloggers, internetters, and unmentionables think that PZ Myers was rude or abusive to the Catholics because he “didn't accord the Eucharist proper respect.” Some think that he is a jerk. Some find his conduct reprehensible. Just what is the proper respect that an atheist should have for the Eucharist?

Here’s what Catholics believe about atheists like Mr. Myers and myself:

We will spend eternity burning in hell. They believe this just as much as they believe in transubstantiation.

How rude is that?

The god that the Catholics believe in is a fucking asshole.

How rude is that?

For a more sane perspective on all of this visit Majikthise.

The world would be a better place with no religion at all.

8 comments - Post a comment :

Hubbard said...

Mr. Thoreau--

This post brings to mind a quote from Archbishop Fulton Sheen:
“There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church--which is, of course, quite a different thing.” I'm not Catholic, but if you're going to criticize Catholicism, it might be courteous to know the what they actually believe.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1037:
God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end.

Atheism is not a mortal sin. If you're trying for the lake o' fire timeshare, you're going to have work harder than mere lack of belief.

Paul Thoreau said...

In response to hubbard writing:

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1037:
"God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end."

Atheism is not a mortal sin. If you're trying for the lake o' fire timeshare, you're going to have work harder than mere lack of belief.


How is atheism not "a willful turning away from God"? Especially for a former believer, and a former Catholic like myself?

And I plan on persisting to the end. There will be no deathbed conversion for me.

Thank you for your comment.

I will have to check out snarkybastards.com some more to see if I like it.

Tommy said...

I should look this up as well, but my every understanding of Catholicism -- I'm an ex-catholic, too -- is that the church leaves things a bit ambivalent on the subject; you can be an all-works Catholic, an all-faith Catholic, or a bit-of-both Catholic.

Most protestant and evangelical denominations are much more faith-centric (especially those who trace their theology to Luther).

Hubbard said...

If I recall correctly, the key characteristic of mortal sinner knows that he is sinning and persists. If you think there is a God and deliberately deny His existence, your atheism would qualify as mortal sin. But if you don't think there is a God in the first place, then lack of belief is not sin.

Paul Thoreau said...

In response to these two comments:

Tommy said...

I should look this up as well, but my every understanding of Catholicism -- I'm an ex-catholic, too -- is that the church leaves things a bit ambivalent on the subject; you can be an all-works Catholic, an all-faith Catholic, or a bit-of-both Catholic.

Most protestant and evangelical denominations are much more faith-centric (especially those who trace their theology to Luther).

July 14, 2008 9:24 AM

Hubbard said...

If I recall correctly, the key characteristic of mortal sinner knows that he is sinning and persists. If you think there is a God and deliberately deny His existence, your atheism would qualify as mortal sin. But if you don't think there is a God in the first place, then lack of belief is not sin.

July 14, 2008 9:27 AM


Thanks to both of you for your comments.

I'm still not willing to concede this. For one thing, I think there are Catholics who believe that atheists should and will burn in Hell. I have no documentation on this (sometimes I'm lazy) and I don't know if polls have been done. I do have memories of hearing and reading Catholics saying this, however.

Maybe I'm wrong on a technicality. Maybe I'm not. This is one problem with religion and the Bible and the pope. They are open to interpretation. If you don't like something the pope says you can ignore it. If you don't like something in the Bible you can ignore it.

Maybe I should have used the Bible telling people that heretics should be killed as an example. (Deuteronomy 13:7-11 and John 15:6) Of course some of that is about worshiping "other gods", not no god.

The basic idea is a strong dislike for heretics and atheists, to put it mildly.

Spanish Inquisition, anyone?

Tom said...

Paul,

I believe Hubbard's formulation is correct, though there is some disagreement about it; I've known serious Catholics who believe faith to be a prerequisite for salvation, and others who believe goods works to be more than sufficient. I completely agree with you that the former belief is vile.

Tom

Paul Thoreau said...

Tom:

Thank you for your comment.

And thank you for sharing the information about what Catholics that you have known believe.

Paul Thoreau said...

To all who have commented so far:

You have all made me think long and hard about this particular post, and that's a good thing.

I want to point out that I wrote "Catholics" originally, not "the Catholic Church." The only change I would make in the post now would be to make "Catholics" into "some Catholics." As in: "Here’s what some Catholics believe about atheists like Mr. Myers and myself:"

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