Chat with other believers about Medjugorje.

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#227953
stunnedbyit wrote: go against the principles of secularism
You don't understand. Secularism has no principles. You speak of secularism as if it were just another valid structured method of how a society might choose to conduct itself.

Secularism is not something - it is the lack of something. It is a void. It is the absence of something - something quite important. Secularism is not a structured, ordered governing framework which humanity can choose to manage its affairs. It is the condition of amorphous, shapeless chaos that a society exhibits when it starts drifting aimlessly without any core guiding principle - "making it up" as they go along, as it were.

It is a disease which attacks mankind and once sickened by secularism man's society then has no true rules or bylaws chiseled in stone which defines its course through the ages. It can be - and most certainly will be - anything it chooses on any given day as it continuously shifts it shape over time. And in this arrangement, what is "good" one day becomes "bad" the following day. The only constant becomes certain change. In the words of Pete's kinsman Ray Davies "Its a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world."

In the spirit of intellectual societal management, secularism starts weighing the benefits of things like segregation and population control for certain races. There is no fail-safe beyond which secularist thinking will not go.

In this secularist arena where the agenda of the day is controlled by those currently making the most noise, secularism's constant morphing guarantees that there is no continuity from one generation to the next. Your own offspring will eventually look at you and think you nuts for what you thought during your prime, and in so doing makes its contribution to the demise of the traditional family.

We Christians say this disease is caused by the abandonment of the acknowledgement and worship God as Supreme Being. The humanists and atheists say different and think us quite daft.

Only one of us can ultimately be right.
#227954
stunnedbyit wrote:I am guessing however, that it would go against the principles of secularism to deliberately try and control the growth of a certain group of people.
I think what you're identifying is practice rather than principle - an important distinction. We were talking earlier about the difficulties of implementing any system of government (I don't concede that this was a characteristic of secularism as you implied in your earlier post by the way). Other structures exist to help maintains stable society and for sure, democracy, immigration, education & culture all play their part. You may be right to be concerned but I do not think that these problems are insoluble for, or unique to, secular thinking.

For example - drinking alcohol. If you are part of a religion that forbids alcohol then how should we resolve this in government? If the religion is permitted to influence the law then drinking alcohol becomes a criminal activity - easy, simple and clear. Problem solved? OR do we say, members of that religion can forbid drinking amongst their members if they like but it will not become a criminal activity and the rights of the member to drink should they choose to would upheld by law. Of course, additional laws are required to protect all citizens from antisocial or criminal behaviour arising from drinking. This would be the secular position. The same applies to more emotive issues already discussed and some hinted at by you in your earlier post e.g. Honour killings and some that I might add e.g. Genital mutilation.

In this simple case we see the rights of all protected with least infringement on the freedoms of all and respectful of the lawful preferences of others.

You have still not offered a better alternative as far as I can see...
#227955
Prodigals wrote:You don't understand. Secularism has no principles. You speak of secularism as if it were just another valid structured method of how a society might choose to conduct itself.
Oh dear! It does have a principle, just one, that beng that in a pluralist society that no one divinely inspired claim to absolute truth should be able to infringe upon on the rights of others.
Prodigals wrote:It is a disease which attacks mankind and once sickened by secularism man's society then has no true rules or bylaws chiseled in stone which defines its course through the ages. It can be - and most certainly will be - anything it chooses on any given day as it continuously shifts it shape over time. And in this arrangement, what is "good" one day becomes "bad" the following day. The only constant becomes certain change.
It's refreshing to hear you rant Prodgals. This is, of course, your hypothesis, and it is, of course, quite barmy.
Prodigals wrote:In the words of Pete's kinsman Ray Davies "Its a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world."
"Except for Lola" - Lola being implied as the solution to a problem in this lyric the irony being Lola would probably not be the moral compass behind who's values you'd set sail!
Prodigals wrote:Only, one of us can ultimately be right.
Not true - you can be religious and believe in secular government. But until it's established what 'right' is there are still a lot of people that don't agree with each other and have to live together.

Amidst all of this 'noise' you have still not proposed an alternative...
#227956
Prodigals wrote:We Christians say this disease is caused by the abandonment of the acknowledgement and worship God as Supreme Being. The humanists and atheists say different and think us quite daft.
Prodigals, good point but please allow me to go further...

Christians rely on God's understanding and wisdom where secularist rely on their own.

Christians rely on God to guide them with moral issues and complex decisions where secularist rely on the ever changing
knowledge and personal opinion of the time.

Christians take comfort in knowing that the weight of the world with all its complexities are ultimately in God's hands while the secularist lives in constant worry and fear about anything out of their control.

As Prodigals stated, Christians have a rock solid blue print to follow and apply it to their daily lives while the seculist struggles to find their way.

Christians have the hope of eternal life knowing this life is only temporary where the secularist is imprisoned to only this life with no hope for anything else other than this troubled world.

Christians are not bound by their own intellect as are the secularists.

Christians can see God's love and creation in the world and universe and apply this love where as the secularist sees a cold emotionless void with no real purpose or meaning other than their own survival.

Christians see God in all others making each person, whether born or unborn, as having great value and purpose. Secularists decide for themselves who has more value or not with abortion and euthanasia as a prime example.

Unfortunately, many Christians including myself are not practicing their faith as they should. Instead we are commingling with the secularists and sharing their values when it becomes convenient. We are picking and choosing when to live out our faith. This is one of the main reasons why this world is struggling and why
so many people are falling from the faith. This world needs God to flourish and God uses Christians as His guiding light. As Christianity becomes more watered down, secularism quickly fills this void with its empty promises and sometimes misguided leadership.
PeteStarr wrote:You have still not offered a better alternative as far as I can see...
So Pete, here is my take on a better alternative - Secularist have more of an excuse where Christians knowing the full truth do not. Christians, starting with myself, need to start doing a better job at being a Christian. This may not be the answer you wanted but it is the truth! And while you are at it, It would be awesome if you would consider joining our side as you already share many Christian principles and just think of how much more you could accomplish with God's great wisdom and knowledge at your helm... :wink:
#227957
PeteStarr wrote:Oh dear! It does have a principle,
Only in the vacuum of the theoretical where a perfect secularism existed. Sadly, in our real world, it does not exist, and therefore no principle.
PeteStarr wrote:your hypothesis, and it is, of course, quite barmy.
I love it when you verify Christ for me. "Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me."
Prodigals wrote:Only, one of us can ultimately be right.
Not true - [/quote]
Now you're being barmy. A degraded, disordered secularism (the only kind man can produce) that can ridicule religion in any fashion it wants - or even outlaw it completely - is in direct opposition to governance based on the tenets of Judeo-Christian beliefs. They are mutually exclusive.

You say there are still a lot of people who don't agree with each other and have to live together [in peace and harmony]. That's just the point - man [post Fall] has never, and will never live in peace and harmony, until he acknowledges the Lord God. This is the message of the story of whole Old Testament. It is the message that man has rejected for thousands of years. From your travels, you know this is also a core message of Our Lady in Medjugorje - at least you should know it unless you spent all your time in Colombo's eating pizza.

And yes, as Medjugorjeprayers told you, this is the Truth all of us barmy Christians have accepted, and for which we continue to suffer persecution at the hands of those of no faith.

As to our 'alternative', the world will never be right until all mankind accepts the Revealed Word and returns to God. Factual history is proof of that.

P.S. - And Lola's moral compass was broken.
#227958
Pete,
Told ye so, segregation is the
only true solution. Deduced from
just this discussion. Seriously.
A flower cannot come to full
bloom in a society where with
all the goodwill of the world
secularism tries to make every-
body happy. So with secularists
at the rudder with limited
resources who will then be
happy?
Most likely only secular atheists
will be happy in such a society.
And now that you advocate
this secularism and happen to be
a specimen of what you advocate,
You must be happy? But actually.
With just one life to live, no fixed
blueprint and focused on self.
I fear that secularism doesn't
provide happiness to anybody.
But hey that is justice. :lol:
Some people happy and others
not happy, that would be injustice.

To all the others:
Reality has an angry dog-face.
Now deal with pluralistic
societies. So as Pete says:
Secularism in gouvernement
is the only solution.
#227959
PeteStarr wrote: You have still not offered a better alternative as far as I can see...
The following passage sums up my "better alternative".

‘There are two points to make… The first is that any fair minded person will want to live in a society in which there are no second class citizens. Being Christian, Muslim or atheist should make no difference to your civic rights. In as far as secularism is understood as securing this level playing field (and that is a perfectly legitimate definition) it is the right and proper direction of travel, capable of being shared by believer and unbeliever alike.

‘But, point two, a level playing field is not the same as one denuded of religious symbols or identity. Nations have cultures (note the plural) and those cultures are often, indeed usually, steeped in religious belief and commitment. Equality of civic rights does not necessitate bland promises, non-religious coinage, and bare walls.

‘The kind of secularism which enables disgruntled individuals and minority atheistic groups to use the law to override democratic opinions (remember Bideford Town council) or national cultural attachment is deeply problematic, less secularism-as-referee more secularism-as-bully. It is, to continue the sporting metaphor, the kind of secularism in which the secular ceases to be the level pitch on which we play and morphs into a player who insists on controlling the ball at all times because to relinquish it to any other player would be to show “privilege” to them.

‘Sadly, we are witnessing the growth of this second kind of secularism, a kind of lautsi-secularism, meaning the assertion of personal rights over the commitment and concerns of others, usually under the guise of fairness and equality.’

Full article: https://godandpoliticsuk.org/2013/07/24 ... cularists/

You might reply that the UK (for example) already has this "good secularism" but I can't agree. The UK no longer feels like a country "steeped in religious belief and commitment". If we had a good secularism, we'd have a population of young people educated and aware of their Christian heritage. Most young people now know more about Ibiza Beats & Geordie Shore than they do about the Bible!
Furthermore, a good secularism would not lead to Christians being forced to choose between keeping their jobs and following their consciences. It should recognise that it would be foolish for Christian morality to be washed away with laws which mock Christian values.

In some ways, you win the argument as I concede that secularism is the only way (with the way demographics are in Britain/Europe). However, I think that the article above shines a negative light on the brand of secularism that we currently have.

In a nutshell, we need a secularism which recognises the countries historical religion (and not being ashamed of it) while making sure that being "Christian, Muslim or atheist should make no difference to your civic rights".
#227960
Stunnedbyit quoting GodandPolitics wrote:Nations have cultures (note the plural) and those cultures are often, indeed usually, steeped in religious belief and commitment. Equality of civic rights does not necessitate bland promises, non-religious coinage, and bare walls.
Nice. I agree :)
Stunnedbyit wrote:In a nutshell, we need a secularism which recognises the countries historical religion (and not being ashamed of it) while making sure that being "Christian, Muslim or atheist should make no difference to your civic rights".
Isn't that what I've been saying?
#227961
Prodigals wrote:I love it when you verify Christ for me. "Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me."
Well that seems a bit strong - however, in case there is any doubt, in the UK 'barmy' is often used as a gentle tease - often between friend. No insult was intended.
Prodigals wrote:A degraded, disordered secularism (the only kind man can produce) that can ridicule religion in any fashion it wants - or even outlaw it completely - is in direct opposition to governance based on the tenets of Judeo-Christian beliefs. They are mutually exclusive.
???? Secularism cannot outlaw a religion and it need not be contradictory on the core tenets of Christianity. Those core tenets are, of course, not original to Christianity - the four thou shalt nots (the last things claimed by Christians to be set down in tablets of stone) are hardly original! All successful societies had injunctions against murder, adultery, incest etc. To think that this needed to be revealed to us and that was at Sinai is very naive.
Prodigals wrote:man [post Fall] has never, and will never live in peace and harmony, until he acknowledges the Lord God. This is the message of the story of whole Old Testament. It is the message that man has rejected for thousands of years.
Well that's interesting, in the Tanakh God is responsible for a great deal of dubious actions who's connection with peace and harmony are, at best, tenuous! A good chunk of man over the last 2000 years has not rejected this and yet in spite of a great deal of pious behaviour we still find ourselves at crisis point. Let's assume that you're right - regardless, a large chunk of people don't agree with you ...What is your Christian response to this crisis? The world must all accept that you are right and God exists!!! At least you have the stomach to come out and say it - what I'm suggesting is compromise, what you're suggesting is uncompromising and this is consistent with your religious conviction but what you cannot say is that it is tolerant of other views! Compromise necessarily implies imperfection, a bit like a marriage - usually you have to work at it because you have two people trying to reconcile their differences for a greater good. Scale this up a bit and you have a working simile for secularism! You are idealistic and not facing up to the reality that there are others with claims and convictions equal to yours. Therefore, you don't have a solution to the problem our world faces - whether you're right or not!
Prodigals wrote:From your travels, you know this is also a core message of Our Lady in Medjugorje - at least you should know it unless you spent all your time in Colombo's eating pizza.
Since you mention it I was more a fan of Alf's - the pizza was much better there (and the beer, as it happens).
Prodigals wrote:And yes, as Medjugorjeprayers told you, this is the Truth all of us barmy Christians have accepted, and for which we continue to suffer persecution at the hands of those of no faith
Actually I was only calling you barmy but if the cap fits...You're comment seems hypocritical; I'm representing a way of thinking that respects your rights to exercise your religion freely, in spite of centuries of religious inspired horrors that continue to this day and you tell me that you're persecuted! The truth is no religion has liked being criticised or ridiculed but if you're looking for a principle then no one has the right to not be offended and if you don't like the fact that others do not see the world as you do then you are going to have to get over it. Thus has it ever been.

It's interesting how you make a point of correcting me when I make unsupported assertions and then you come out with 'factual history is proof' that mankind will never be right until he returns to God. Show me the evidence of this. History proves only that religious claims to the one truth lead to a lot of vicious disagreement. At best, one of you is right, most likely none are.

You still have not shown me a better way to manage these differences of opinion. I'm afraid that the proffered solution: 'we're right and that's the answer' butters no parsnips!
#227962
Let me add.
Be it so that the flowers and the trees will
not be allowed to fully bloom anymore
because of obliged restrictiveness for the
sake of others. Others who are also not
allowed to bloom. Because if one doesn't
bloom, it would be called justice that then
nobody blooms. Then we know that a
tree that does not bloom well in spring,
will bear bad fruit or no fruit at all.
A certain one had a fig-tree planted in his
vineyard, and he came seeking fruit in it,
and he did not find; and he said unto the
vine-dresser, Lo, three years I come
seeking fruit in this fig-tree, and do not find,
cut it off, why also the ground doth it render
useless? And he answering saith to him, Sir,
suffer it also this year, till that I may dig
about it, and cast in dung; and if indeed it
may bear fruit —; and if not so, thereafter
thou shalt cut it off. and cast in the fire.

We just wait for that lumberman to come by..
or......will the trees satisfy the fruit picker.
#227963
Pete, I know you realize this is a Christian forum but sometimes your philosophy may get in the way with this. Remember, this all started with you making a not so kind comment about St. Mother Teresa and then this blew up into a controlled frenzy with a lot learned mixed in with not so good as well.

You are trying to convince us that God is not necessary for a civil society to successfully co-exist and some or most of us are saying that without God only failure will result. This is what we believe and no one is going to convince us otherwise just as no one is going to convince you either at this point.

It seems clear you do not want to believe in God right now and are satisfied with your secular viewpoints? I still love you as a brother in Christ but would hope you
would be a little more careful here (this must be hard for you to not speak what is really on your mind as I know you hold back as much as possible) with your anti-Christian viewpoints, after-all, this is not a secular forum where everything is fair game, instead people, many who come on this forum and never post are looking for hope, comfort and support, not something that may cause them to second guess their faith. You are well spoken Pete and have a lot of influence which in my opinion can be either a good thing or bad. Most of what you say is kind and well thought out but this topic obviously hit a chord with you for obvious reasons. NO one likes someone else to tell them that they are wrong.... Please don't take it personal as I have had the same thing said about me on this forum and I survived as well :wink:
Last edited by Medjugorjeprayers on Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#227964
MP,

It saddens me to hear this on a number of counts but the fact that you feel the need to say it has to be respected. Most importantly I have to straighten out a frustrating misconceptions. A number of them, in fact.
  • I am not anti-religion. This is important, think about it, how could I be? I have a catholic wife & kids that go to mass, who also go to a catholic school. If I was anti religion would I entrust my most precious things to such a system - of course not. There is a huge difference between a-theist and anti-theist.
  • Similarly secular is not anti-religion. Prodigals had it 100% right when he said it is 'freedom of religion NOT freedom from religion'. This is hugely important. Remember that in a secular government the laws are still made by the constituents - if they are mainly Christian then these are the people running the state. And there is no problem with them being religious. If they are not mainly Christian than they will still uphold your rights to free religious expression.
  • Many people are religious AND believe in a secular state.
  • The original comment about St Teresa was not intended to be unkind. It was intended to link to religion-friendly secularism because I hoped to demonstrate that only through something like that can we happily coexist
  • I hoped to establish that inspite of our differences we are really still very similar in values and have so much in common.
  • The reality is that people with differences do have to get along and this is in the spirit of both Christianity and secularism.
  • You talk of it being hard to be shown that you're wrong - I don't know who or what you're referring to here (although I have a suspicion) but it's not about right and wrong for me. It's about peaceful coexistence & respect - I would have imagined that this is something you could get behind.
  • I proposed an exit from this forum several pages ago and you encouraged me to stay & continue discussion. I'm now confused. But you are in control - I will only post in this thread and I will always answer posts in this thread with as much sensitivity and care as I can but I will not talk to myself! You were pretty clear about this in defence of our freedom to do so in a previous challenge as I recall
  • Much of what we have talked about is semantic - it is not important to agree on what the words mean as long as we end up understanding each other. I think the 'S' word provokes a fearful reaction as it is wrongly associated with threats against your beliefs and values - rest assured I have not taken it personally. But the reality that we live in pluralist societies cannot be ignored. When you have conquered the world through prayer and love and we no longer need this imperfect system we can get rid of the 'S' word. Until then know this, brothers & sisters in humanity, regardless of what we choose to call it I stand for something that respects you're rights to practice you're religion and will continue to fight to do so.
#227965
I know I said I would not debate myself and yet barely an hour has passed and I'm breaking my promise already ...
PeteStarr wrote:At best, one of you is right, most likely none are.
On reflection, regardless of what I believe, this statement has no place in my argument or on this forum. I apologise for this. I got carried away :oops:. I think some of the other statements are blunt but in the spirit of what I was responding to.

MP, it was your post that made me re-read - thank you for helping me to calibrate. The irony is that it is often Prodigals posts that make me think the hardest before responding.
#227966
Pete, you know that you are mostly loved here on this forum. (notice I used mostly :wink:

That said, You seem a bit more edgy lately? You also know that many of us here would love nothing more than for you to accept the love of Jesus. To me it seems you are working very hard against some type of internal battle to prove to yourself that God doesn't exist. This could be a sign that God is really working in you right now.

I decided to be more blunt last night after I had a few experiences. The first, I was up in a ladder picking apples and of course started thinking about what you were saying about no need for God. There I was picking apples. My hand with it's nimble fingers were perfectly formed to precisely grab the apple off the tree and place it in a basket. The apple was perfectly formed and easily released it's grip from the tree as if it knew it was time to be harvested. I thought to myself, how could Pete believe that all of this was some sort of accident? The evidence is overwhelming that all of this was created by an intelligent designer.

This is where I lost my temper a little. At that point, I actually became angry at you Pete. You are a very smart fellow and thought, why couldn't he see the truth? What kind of force could blind him from something so obvious?

Then I took off up to the mountains to an elevation of about 13K, It was brutally windy with a real nip in the air. Regardless, I hiked to the top of the peak with little effort and then noticed a bright bulb in the sky too bright for an early planet. At first I thought it was a jet coming towards me but the bright light didn't move. Then I was suddenly stricken down with weakness in my legs and I had to sit down. Was I having a heart attack I thought! Instead of worrying about that, I got out my gear from my back pack and started shooting the bright globe and the now beautiful sunset lighting up the mountains all around me. My wife was with me on the hike who also came running up pointing to the bright light so now I knew I wasn't hallucinating.

It was probably a high altitude weather ballon but made for an interesting evening regardless. I regained my strength and we walked out in near darkness. The weakness was probably caused from me eating my dinner only a half hour before the hike which is a real no no from past experience.

I thought of you Pete when going through all of this. What if I didn't make it out of there and didn't get to say or do things I needed to accomplish in my life? Upon returning home, I decided to quit beating around the bush and began with this forum. So I guess you were the first to get it. I do not want to hurt your feelings in any way but I also believe you need to hear what I believe is the truth, God really does exist and He loves you very much and has paid the ultimate sacrifice when His Son Jesus died on a cross for you so that you could have eternal life. I know this sounds like some kind of late night televangelist hour but it is the truth :)

No need for you or me to walk on eggshells around here but rather out of respect for one another. I think we are both capable of accomplishing that as you have already gone out of your way in your last post to demonstrate that. Much appreciated! :)
#227967
PeteStarr wrote: No insult was intended.
None taken !!

I agree with you that you are not anti-religion. So many non-believers feel religion is the great cancer that is the cause of all society’s ills. You personally may think of us as “odd”, but I don’t believe you bear us a grudge.

I also agree with you when you said that laws are still made by the constituents (at least in democracies), and if they are mainly Christian then these are the people running the state, and there will be a favorable environment for (hopefully) all faiths. I do not agree with your claim that if they are not mainly Christian then they will still uphold our rights to free religious expression. The USA is a prime example of the slow erosion of Christian rights. And in regard to Catholics, you could almost say that it is “open season” on us in recent years. Extra brownie points are awarded if someone smears us. A badly executed secularism relegates people like us to the category of “religious fanatics”, and that becomes the starting point for a nasty downward spiral of attack and persecution. I become ostracized from society as some sort of loon.

We agree, as you said, that people with differences do have to get along. But MP had it right when he said you (and in an expanded meaning “the modern secular world”) are trying to convince us that God is not necessary for a civil society to successfully co-exist, while we firmly believe that without God this cannot be accomplished. The history of man shows that it has never been successfully done. This is what we believe and no one is going to convince us otherwise. Maybe other religious faiths are different – we can only speak to our Catholic faith – but there can be no compromising of the doctrines of our faith. Judeo-Christian history is full of the stories of the peoples who did that, and suffered for it. We cannot just “go along to get along” by modifying our dogma to accommodate current societal trends – some of Maryh’s posts nicely go into that – abortion and relaxed rules and regulations of our faith, etc. And so, we are seen as intransigent, archaic, inflexible, obstinate, and stiff-necked. Indeed, the Old Testament is full of the word “stiff-necked” as a criticism of the Israelites in not being faithful to God’s Law. In our case, we are stiff-necked in just the opposite.

The Blessed Virgin (if you believe in Her), has been appearing in many places. Maybe the folks who claim they saw her over these past centuries were all victims of mass psychosis. But if She is appearing, the essence of Her message as at Medjugorje is that man has wandered too far from God. And that is exactly what we Catholics are trying not to do. If we are to be hammered for it, then so be it. They threw us to the lions, and even Saint Paul hunted us down like vermin and killed us.

No need to feel bad about your statement “most likely none are”. It is an honest expression of where you (currently) are. It is, for you, a true reflection of what you think, and there is no shame in being honest. We, of course, think your evaluation is incorrect – no, let me now be honest and say that we KNOW that it is incorrect. Forgive my bluntness. How we know is a topic that can produce endless discussion, and we need not divert deeply into that right now.

And I don’t agree with MP that your viewpoints are anti-Christian. For a guy who claims to be an atheist, you’re pretty tame. I for one do feel that you have always attempted to show respect and be even-handed in this correspondence. I feel confident that you stand for something that respects the rights of people to practice their religions, and it's nice to know that you will continue to fight to do so.

That’s very Christ-like of you, mate. And for that quality, you are a better man than most. I could have worse friends that the atheist who said the rosary in Medjugorje.
#227968
Medjugorjeprayers wrote:Pete, you know that you are mostly loved here on this forum. (notice I used mostly :wink:
I did, just goes to show you're not perfect either! I also noticed that you missed off the closing bracket - I hate that!
Medjugorjeprayers wrote:My hand with it's nimble fingers were perfectly formed to precisely grab the apple off the tree and place it in a basket. The apple was perfectly formed and easily released it's grip from the tree as if it knew it was time to be harvested. I thought to myself, how could Pete believe that all of this was some sort of accident? The evidence is overwhelming that all of this was created by an intelligent designer.
Im not sure...I think if God existed bacon would be a health food.... :wink:
Medjugorjeprayers wrote:I do not want to hurt your feelings in any way but I also believe you need to hear what I believe is the truth, God really does exist and He loves you very much and has paid the ultimate sacrifice when His Son Jesus died on a cross for you so that you could have eternal life. I know this sounds like some kind of late night televangelist hour but it is the truth :)
It does - a bit, but it's much more palatable from you :). You haven't hurt my feelings, try harder!!!
Medjugorjeprayers wrote:you have already gone out of your way in your last post to demonstrate that. Much appreciated! :)
Thank you & you're welcome :D

PS say "hi" to Mrs Prayers for me!
#227970
PeteStarr wrote:I did, just goes to show you're not perfect either! I also noticed that you missed off the closing bracket - I hate that!
:lol: I know there are those here who would like me gone as well - Can't win em all :)
PeteStarr wrote:Im not sure...I think if God existed bacon would be a health food....
Not so good on this one Pete :roll:
PeteStarr wrote:It does - a bit, but it's much more palatable from you . You haven't hurt my feelings, try harder!!!
Hopefully soon you will be telling others the same thing and probably more effective than I could :) No need to try harder but if it happens,
you'll do just fine...
PeteStarr wrote:Thank you & you're welcome

PS say "hi" to Mrs Prayers for me!
:) And say hello to your's as well! And God knows that they both have to put up with a lot being married to us :wink:
#227971
Prodigals wrote:I do not agree with your claim that if they are not mainly Christian then they will still uphold our rights to free religious expression. The USA is a prime example of the slow erosion of Christian rights. And in regard to Catholics, you could almost say that it is “open season” on us in recent years. Extra brownie points are awarded if someone smears us.
Fair enough. I'm not too sure what is happening in the USA with regards to attitude to religiosity - the impression I get over here is that religion is still pretty mainstream and that a candidate that is not religious will not do too well. I struggle to keep up with British politics if I'm honest and make no pretence at understanding yours!
Prodigals wrote:A badly executed secularism relegates people like us to the category of “religious fanatics”, and that becomes the starting point for a nasty downward spiral of attack and persecution. I become ostracized from society as some sort of loon.
Isn't poor execution a risk of anything though?
Prodigals wrote:...MP had it right when he said you (and in an expanded meaning “the modern secular world”) are trying to convince us that God is not necessary for a civil society to successfully co-exist, while we firmly believe that without God this cannot be accomplished. The history of man shows that it has never been successfully done. This is what we believe and no one is going to convince us otherwise.
Now perhaps I'm being naïve or idealistic... I can't speak for "the modern secular world" as if it was a specific entity that can be represented in one way. I'll speak for myself and trust that, if I think it, many others will as well! I hope it's clear that personally AND in my description of secularism I'm not trying to convince you of anything. Naturally I personally think that we can get along without God but that's clearly very different from an attempt to persuade you otherwise. My view of an effective (if not perfect or 'pure') secular state is one that supports freedom of belief and does not persuade, cajole or attempt to convince people to change sides!
Prodigals wrote:Maryh’s posts nicely go into that – abortion and relaxed rules and regulations of our faith, etc. And so, we are seen as intransigent, archaic, inflexible, obstinate, and stiff-necked.
Yes, this is the crux of the difficulty and why man has struggled to live peacefully. The issue here, as I see it, is not whether you can agree, as Catholics, to live according to your values (i.e. observing all the sacraments, not getting divorced, not sanctioning abortion etc etc) but whether you can tolerate your neighbour living his life lawfully but according to different values & principles? Notwithstanding your rights as individuals in the formation of those civil laws.
Prodigals wrote:No need to feel bad about your statement “most likely none are”. It is an honest expression of where you (currently) are. It is, for you, a true reflection of what you think, and there is no shame in being honest.
Thank you - that is very tolerant and I think may go some distance to answering my previous question!
Prodigals wrote:We, of course, think your evaluation is incorrect – no, let me now be honest and say that we KNOW that it is incorrect. Forgive my bluntness. How we know is a topic that can produce endless discussion...
Or a very short one! :-D! Either way, you're forgiven.
Prodigals wrote:I feel confident that you stand for something that respects the rights of people to practice their religions, and it's nice to know that you will continue to fight to do so. That’s very Christ-like of you, mate. And for that quality, you are a better man than most. I could have worse friends that the atheist who said the rosary in Medjugorje
Thank you, that's eloquent and generous and fairly reflects my intent - if not always my achievements! I am also delighted to be counted among your friends :-)

There is a song by John Craigie called 'Leviticus' that, incidentally, was recommended to me by a Catholic friend: I'm not sure what you'd make of the song as it is a fairly direct objection to some of the harder to understand passages in that OT book BUT - there is a lovely bit at the end that I'll probably misquote but I think you'll appreciate it as it sums up quite nicely how I feel about Christian values...

"I don't care who you vote for as long as you vote,
I don't care what your religion is but I just hope,
that instead of getting worked up over stuff like that
you get worked up over stuff that's way, way, way, way, way, way, way more important.
Like feeding people. Healing sick people.
Loving your neighbour, you know, no big deal,
Just all that Jesus stuff."
..................................John Craigie, 'Leviticus'
#227995
ActionReq wrote:So with secularists at the rudder with limited resources who will then be happy? Most likely only secular atheists will be happy in such a society.
Well, I don't agree with your logic. Why would secular atheists be any happier than, say, a secular Catholic or a secular Moslem? Perhaps you're going to tell me that you can't be Catholic or Moslem and secular - but you can.
ActionReq wrote:With just one life to live, no fixed blueprint and focused on self. I fear that secularism doesn't provide happiness to anybody.
This still very much seems to suggest that you think secular = non-religious. So your comment would only apply to the secular atheists but still you're misguided if you think that joy, happiness and altruism are denied us without your blue-print. It's simply not true - even if you're right about the blue-print and the architect! As you like poetic analogies I would suggest to you that the temporal nature of our existence is to be likened to that of a butterfly, brief but wonderful. As an exquisite morsel of food would lose it's value if it was in endless supply so is life made all the more beautiful for it's transience...

If I understood the thrust of your first post quoted above I think you were saying that if segregated, you think it would be happier, but in reality secularism is the only way and we're all doomed to the rough justice of being unhappy. I hope I've managed to get across that I don't agree with you! I hope you don't really believe this too, but if you do, take heart... you have eternity to be happy in :-D

I'm afraid your fig tree parable in your second post lost me completely. I was not able to work out what you were trying to say... please feel free to explain!
#227996
Why would secular atheists be any happier than, say, a secular Catholic or a secular Moslem? Perhaps you're going to tell me that you can't be Catholic or Moslem and secular - but you can.
Remember I was an atheist even an
anti theist, until the God who identified
himself as the God of Abraham Isaac
and Israel came to me and said: Lo,
I am here.
So even with all the controversies
around religious scandals and wars
and devastating earthquakes, looting
and even abused children. I simply
know that God exists, more than
anybody maybe.
Does it make sense that a God exists?
No it doesn't make sense in the light
of an almighty God.
But it does make sense if we understand
that God is not almighty under all
circumstances.
God is almighty, yes, but not under all
circumstances.
I was an anti theist as I said.
So I know how I reasoned and I did
reason like you reason. I understand
the bacon grabbing idea, for me all
this reasoning about the beauty of
nature, the greatness of the universe
is just finding anything and attribute
it to God. Even if God made it all, to
me it doesn't prove God. Less will it
impress an atheist.
I know what
secular means. So of course I was also
secular, and very focused on social
justice. And after God made me
religious I understood that good and
evil is like a game of chess. God acts
and the devil acts. They can produce
little and big things that alter worlds
circumstances that changes people
and whole nations to good and or bad.

My daughter is at a secular school. All
schools here are secular. She comes
home and she says she felt bad. What
happened? The philosophy teacher had
said that God is an illusion for people
who are afraid to die and anybody with
brains (teacher using a fallacy) would
after thinking, come to the logical
conclusion that God is a delusion.
Then he reserved three spaces in the
classroom. One for people who do not
believe, one space for doubters and
also a space for believers. Take your
stand.
Quickly most children jumped to the
non believers space where also the
teacher is located and a couple went
to the doubter location, all moslims.
My daughter told me that she did
not dare to go to the empty believers
space and took a stand with the
doubters. But as she told me. It
made her feel that God does not exist
and that was the reason that she felt
bad.

She was forced into accepticism (is
there a word for that, if not I invent
it here) That would mean that the
fallacy of the teacher creates an
ambient where it is comfortable to
be an atheist. And then force the
children to make a clear stance.
If your faith is not standing firm,
then it will be affected by this
because wanting to be accepted by
the group is clearly proven to be
our instinct to survive.
I hear people here say that
believers are persecuted. Would
you classify this as persecution?
Strictly you should.

From observation of this and other
things I came to the conclusion that
if you are secular, then without a
conversion experience you are
atheist. From secular to atheist is
a small step. From atheist to anti
theist is also small step, because
it is heavily supported and accepted
in secular environments.
From secular to religious is a big step.
Conversion experience is needed.
From religious to fundamentalist is
also such a step that finds no support
in our society. But you know, from
secular to atheist is like a coming
home experience. From religious
to fundamentalist is likewise a
coming home experience because
in both cases it is probably caused
by feeling insecure and becoming
a bit more extreme gives a feeling
of mental security.

So the reason why I think that
atheists are more comfortable in
a secular society is all this.
For them secularists, atheism is a
coming home.
For religious people, becoming a
secularist is moving out.
#227997
ActionReq wrote:Remember I was an atheist even an anti theist, until the God who identified himself as the God of Abraham Isaac and Israel came to me and said: "Lo, I am here."
I had forgotten!
ActionReq wrote:God is almighty, yes, but not under all circumstances.
You said this (or something like it) before: please explain it.
ActionReq wrote:I understand the bacon grabbing idea
I hope you understand that I was (mostly) joking!

Your daughters philosophy teacher exercised poor judgement when he told his students how they should think - he did not do this because he was secular but because he was a poor educator. Of course the majority of kids will follow the teacher! I wonder how you would have felt though had he told the class that God definitely existed.
ActionReq wrote:She was forced into accepticism (is there a word for that, if not I invent it here)
There wasn't until you invented it! Words should be our slaves, not our masters!
ActionReq wrote:I hear people here say that believers are persecuted. Would you classify this as persecution? Strictly you should.
Depends on his attitude - I certainly think it's grossly insensitive & irresponsible.
ActionReq wrote:From secular to atheist ...
From secular to religious ...
I don't agree with your premises here and so, for me, the subsequent analysis does not follow. Secularism is not a state that you move from or to. It is compatible with both theist and atheist points of view. For these reasons I also don't share your conclusion...
ActionReq wrote:So the reason why I think that atheists are more comfortable in a secular society is all this. For them secularists, atheism is a coming home. For religious people, becoming a secularist is moving out.
#227998
Ok Pete, to me it seems that
you ignore that you are very
much a special case. and that
though there must be more
people like you, I fear you are
the only one I myself know that
is like you.
While you judge that secularism
is a good idea, to me it seems
that you think that once
implemented correctly it would
save the day. While you are
absolutely not ignorant about
many things, I fear that the bulk
of the people is ignorant about
most things that would make
secularism a success, like the
philosophers teacher of my
daughter. Just talked to her
and she said that all teachers
of her school except one, scoff
believers. More than not believing
in secularism, it makes me not
believe in people. Segregation
may be possible through right
wing. I hate right wing, and so
do you, because after right wing
comes Kim Jong un or Erdogan
type of rulers or a big war.
#227999
I wonder how you would have felt though had he told the class that God definitely existed.
That;s the bad thing. I would have
felt satisfied, however I understand
that at a secular school, he should
not have said that.
I can notice the corruption already
within myself through some notion
of victorious. Unstoppable.
Instinctive.
#228000
ActionReq wrote:Just talked to her and she said that all teachers of her school except one, scoff believers. More than not believing in secularism, it makes me not believe in people. Segregation may be possible...
Personally I don't think segregation is a realistic option - there is a danger that, as has happened in the past, this can lead to right wing behaviour as well.

I'm sorry you're having a poor experience at your daughters school. I can only say that my experience over here has been quite different. I would be inclined to say that whilst there may be a general decline in active faith, church going etc (I don't actually know if this is true) we are so multicultural that acceptance of other world views, cultures, perspectives comes with the territory. I'm not saying that this doesn't lead to problems and clashes of interest but these rarely make headlines!

As far as state schooling goes, discussion tends to be encouraged and different world views presented with relatively little bias - I think. I need to be cautious because I am quoting from my personal experiences (a long time ago), my childrens experiences (very limited data!) and anecdotal evidence and assumption! I would imagine that if there was a big issue I'd at least have heard about it. For my own (older) children they have gone to Catholic Schools where clearly the existence of God is assumed but it is not preached and discussion and questions are encouraged. That is to say, different faiths and world views are still freely discussed and (for example), faith is taught in a way that is still compatible with mainstream science.

An interesting development in British faith based schools is the requirement that they take in a % of pupils from other faiths / world views. This is interesting and I feel comfortable that my kids are being taught in a non-doctrinal, secular environment that respects the rights of other people to see things differently! I see this as a success for the schools but you may see it differently. Only one of my elder children attends mass and not too regularly at that. Whilst this upsets my wife I'm content that they have the information and freedom to make their own choices now that they are older.
#228001
ActionReq wrote:
I wonder how you would have felt though had he told the class that God definitely existed.
That;s the bad thing. I would have felt satisfied, however I understand that at a secular school, he should not have said that.
I can notice the corruption already within myself through some notion of victorious. Unstoppable. Instinctive.
Ha ha. Well said, I admire your integrity. I don't think it's corruption though, you're only human after all :-)
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