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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book Review: Michael Coren, 'Why Catholics are Right'.

Fighting back against post-modern shibboleths.

by StFerdIII

 Coren is a prolific British-Canadian journalist, writer and TV host. He converted to Catholicism as an adolescent – a rather brave endeavour in the post-modern anti-Christian world of Lesser Britain. Coren's book is probably a work that Catholics, some 80% of whom are secularist or 'light' in their faith, should read. Christian-haters could also benefit from this work, but it is unlikely that many of this group are even open to persuasion or rational discourse about the benefits and indeed civilisational values of Catholicism.


 

The book does a good job at debunking some common myths about the Catholic Church and defending its history and doctrine. Coren's work is however premised on the assumption that Christ is an incarnation of God or the divine power and that the Holy Trinity is self-evidently correct. The divinity of Christ exemplified through his resurrection, is the key event in Catholic theology:


 

The followers of Christ were in chaos when they saw their master crucified like a common criminal. It was the resurrection, an event He had promised, that thrust them into belief and, frequently, a martyr’s death. There is no explanation for the documented martyrdom of those who knew Jesus other than that they believed, without doubt, that He was the Messiah and that He had been raised from the dead because they were there. They were not few in number and they were not slow of wit.


 

While the above assumptions may or may not be valid, they are in the main surrounded by almost 2000 years of Church debates, arguments, and rationality as to why they are reasonably true, or why at least, one can use reason to support such ideals. Coren presents some important considerations about the Catholic church, a few of which are outlined below:


 

Free-will. Only the Catholic church among spiritual programs, has defended and extended the idea of free will:

God gives us free will because He is a loving God. If He had made it completely obvious that Christianity was true, He would have given us no freedom of choice and we would respond out of robotic self-interest. If He were almost impossible to find, He would be cruel, like some supreme vivisectionist watching us scurry around in a laboratory. No, He gives us just enough evidence if we make the effort to find Him.


 

Natural Law. Emanating from Stoicism, natural law rights is a key factor in human freedom:


 

...the Catholic Church believes in and teaches natural law and that humans were made, naturally, to complement each other as men and women. Our physical differences and sexual and biological capabilities are not mere accidents but God-given gifts. They are to be relished and enjoyed but not abused and twisted. It is not homophobic to courteously and gently explain the Catholic objection to same-sex relationships any more than it is a form of phobia to speak out against other behaviour considered sinful by Christianity.


 

A right to life, not to convenience and murder:


 

So the Catholic Church and faithful Catholics show a certain commitment, even an obsession, with the saving of innocent life. It is nothing at all to be ashamed of and something that, one day, will be seen as a mark of honour – just as the early opponents of slavery or “premature” opponents of the rise of fascism ...

and

One month after conception, the eyes, ears, and respiratory stem are developing. A week later, the heart can be felt beating, and the following week the baby can grip and bend its fingers. Eleven weeks after conception there is steady breathing and then the baby will be able to swallow the amniotic fluid. Around two weeks after this, around fourteen weeks from conception, the baby can taste, and between sixteen and twenty weeks the baby can hear, including hearing its mother’s heartbeats. At twenty-three weeks after conception, the baby is sleeping regularly, and six months after conception the baby’s sweat glands are functioning. The following month the baby kicks, stretches, performs somersaults. From this point on there is considerable weight gain and at around nine months the baby is born and, suddenly, has a right to life, liberty, education, and the right to free speech, health care, assembly, and whatever else.


 

Science and invention. The Catholic church built modern Europe, through the countless inventions of the middle-ages. The church funded all manner of innovation in science, math, medicine, agriculture and even the art and science of war. Coren gives one example out of thousands:


 

.....nineteenth century, the Jesuits in particular, according to Jonathan Wright in his seminal book on the order, “had contributed to the development of pendulum clocks, pantographs, barometers, reflecting telescopes and microscopes, to scientific fields as various as magnetism, optics and electricity. They observed, in some cases before anyone else, the colored bands on Jupiter’s surface, the Andromeda nebula and Saturn’s rings. They theorized about the circulation of the blood (independently of Harvey), the theoretical possibility of flight, the way the moon effected the tides, and the wave-like nature of light. Star maps of the southern hemisphere, symbolic logic, flood-control measures on the Po and Adige rivers, introducing plus and minus signs into Italian mathematics – all were typical Jesuit achievements


 

and


 

Galileo also attacked the Jesuits and their astronomers, who had gone to great lengths to write and speak in his defence. Galileo was not some innocent, impotent victim standing up for truth and being persecuted by ignorant and violent people but an activist intent on conflict who repeatedly rejected offers of compromise. Galileo eventually publicly recanted his views and ostensibly rejected heliocentrism but not, as is popularly assumed, because he was tortured. It is astounding how many people, including those who claim some knowledge of history, science, and the Church, make this claim as though it were absolute truth. Galileo was not tortured and was not even treated particularly badly.


 

The Church was the driving force in the development of the vulgate languages:

Catholic Church also had the Bible translated into vernacular languages, and the claim that it was Protestants rather than Catholics who first translated the Bible into English, French, and Spanish is just plain wrong. The Catholic Church sponsored and oversaw translations but refused to allow people to mistranslate scripture for their own political and religious ends. It was error and not access that the Church feared. If the Bible is the word of God, as Christians believe, it is essential to maintain it as the correct word of God and not allow it to become the word of a particular activist with a particular agenda.


 

Coren also tackles the Inquisition, the Crusades, and Church corruption – all 'sins' of Catholics which forever mar Christendom, or so we are told. The Inquisition killed about 3.000 people over 250 years, or about 3 months of daughters who are slaughtered in the modern world. Yet one rarely hears any criticism of the Moslem daughter-slaughter, named for some execrable reason a 'honour killing'. The Inquisition was a suppression of heresy and the establishment of social concord, as much as it was an instrument of power used by state and secular governments. Most of those killed were done so by the state.


 

As for the Crusades and other 'crimes' committed by Catholics-in toto, Coren does a good job of dispensing with those. 'Crusading' fell into disrepute thanks mostly to Protestant writers and the Enlightenment 'thinkers' who at times were decidedly ignorant and unenlightened. Walter Scott, Gibbon, Voltaire and others for instance. In reality the Crusades in part saved European civilization and were a necessary push back against 400 years of Moslem savagery, rape, destruction, raiding, slaving and territorial occupation. This says nothing of the 30.000 churches burnt to the ground or converted to mosques by that erstwhile peaceful theology of the cult of Muhammad. Without the Catholic church and its defence of civilization, Europe would long ago have been Islamic and the modern world never would have developed.


 

As we will see, the Crusades was never imperialism as we know it in any modern form; the region had been strongly Christian long before it was conquered by Islamic cavalry; Christendom was provoked over and over again by vehement and highly aggressive Muslim expansion; the Crusades were barely acknowledged in the Islamic world until the late nineteenth century because the Muslims thought them largely irrelevant; cruelty did occur but was nowhere near as common or extreme as usually suggested; and Islam was rarely as tolerant and pluralistic as its apologists both within and outside its religion and culture now claim.


 

Islam has never been pluralist. Jews and Christians are simply Dhimmis, or second class slaves, who should be of some use to their Moslem masters. The utility of the Dhimmi is the essential point, not 'tolerating' the Dhimmis religion.


 

This is a very good read about the Church, its importance in the development of the civilized world, and why its beliefs are central to a society which embraces life, change, free-will, reason and faith through good works. Without the Catholic church the entire Western welfare state would collapse. Without the Catholic church tens of millions of the world's poor, the leprous, the outcast and the marginalized would simply die, or starve to death. We don't see Moslem missionaries in Africa building hospitals, schools and churches do we?


 


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