Open thread for episode #844 »« Open thread on AETV #843: Russell and Tracie

Fair representation of competing doctrines

So we got email taking us to task for an argument made on the show. I am copying it with some minor edits.

I am a Christian who has been listening to your program for about a year now.  On the whole, I enjoy your programs but I have a problem with you on this issue outlined below.

I have heard you say that in Christianity a person can do ANYTHING they want – steal, rape, torture, murder – and still get in Heaven on a last minute Death-bed confession, and that Salvation is based ENTIRELY on Faith, IRRELEVANT of actions or deeds.

I am sorry but this is absolutey UNTRUE.

(Continued below)

Salvation is NOT based entirely on Faith.  See what Jesus said Matthew 25:31-46.  Didn’t these people have FAITH and believe in Jesus?  Yes they did!  So why are they still going to Hell then?  Read what it says in James 2:14-26 where Faith without Works is Dead and will lead you to Hell.

There is NO such thing as a last minute Death-bed confession to be “Saved” either.  Salvation requires Repentance, Restitution, and a change of heart and lifestyle.

  • Repentance ~ is a deep regret for past wrongs, not just saying “Oh Sorry about that” and then walking away.
  • Restitution ~ making a genuine and full attempt at righting the wrong we have done.
  • Change of Life ~ making sure we don’t repeat the same injury over and over again.

Repentance WITHOUT Restitution is INVALID.  Restitution is the EVIDENCE that our Repentance was genuine.

Christianity is not just based on Faith alone.  Christianity is a Life LONG committment of Good Works and helping others.

In conclusion, when you say that “Christianity teaches that a person can do ANYTHING they want and still get into Heaven” this is nothing but a blatant LIE.  The Bible does NOT teach this.  Jesus NEVER taught this.  His Disciples NEVER taught this.  The early Christian Church NEVER taught this.  My Church (the Roman Catholic Church) has NEVER taught this.  NO serious Christian on earth would believe that you can do ANYTHING you want – rape, steal, torture, murder – and still get into Heaven.  This is absolute BULLSHIT!

Are you saying these things just to discredit “Christianity” to make us all look Unjust, Evil and Stupid?

If I believed what you were saying - I would renounce my Christianity immediately – at such an unfair and asinine system!

So I recommend you please get your facts RIGHT before you bash Christianity and Lie about what we believe!

Hi, thanks for watching our show and for your concern about our factual accuracy.

Your message made a lot of sense when I got to the detail that you were Catholic. Here in Texas, the great majority of Christians are Protestants, with Southern Baptists being the most common. Protestants tend to put a much higher emphasis on “salvation through faith” as opposed to works than Catholics do. I understand that this is not what your church teaches, but the fact remains that many people who consider themselves True Christians just as much as you do, believe exactly that salvation is through faith alone, not works.

Don’t believe me?

Look, we agree that this kind of theology is immoral. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t widely believed. I’m not sure whether one of us really did say “in Christianity a person can do ANYTHING they want.” If so, that was a little bit of careless wording; I would have said “Many Christians believe that a person can do anything they want.”

But who’s right? Your letter quoted a lot of Bible verses supporting your point, that the Bible says what you think. Jack Chick also quotes a lot of Bible verses that he feels makes the opposite case. You and Jack have a fundamental difference of interpretation, and it’s not a trivial disagreement. I’m sure you’re aware that centuries of wars have been waged between Catholics and Protestants over issues that are far less weighty than this one.

As an atheist, my perspective is that the “correct” interpretation of the Bible isn’t a meaningful statement. Real moral behavior arises from an understanding of the consequences of your actions — hurting people is bad, not because it offends God, but because human dignity is an end in itself. Therefore, I am probably much closer to agreement with your views than to the views of Jack Chick. But I still don’t believe in your god.

Comments

  1. Monocle Smile says

    Isn’t it nice when Christians blame you guys for the failures of of both their chosen denomination and other Christian sects? There are serious doctrinal conflicts between a bunch of Protestant groups and even more when you throw in Catholics. So what do they do? Blame the atheists. I swear, it’s like all these fools work in middle management or something.

  2. K85 says

    The title is incredibly relevant to all manner of public discussion we see today. Even distinguished participants of formal debates tend to make these strawmanning mistakes, it’s outright pathological, epidemic even, and it’s often frustrating to try to find out whether they do it on purpose, knowingly, or just out of honest daftness.

    The commentator here seems to essentially just glorify the concept of ‘real’ faith that brings salvation, bypassing the point.

  3. kestra says

    The Gospel-of-Faith vs. Gospel-of-Works conflict and the question of the Virtuous Heathen were the doctrinal issues that lead to the first cracks in my Christianity, beginning a process that would eventually lead me to atheism. I was raised in a Congregational Church, but attended a Catholic elementary school, so I got a lot of exposure to different aspects of Christianity, something I’m actually very grateful for.

    I didn’t even know there was such the salvation-through-faith-alone doctrine until I was about 13, and as soon as I heard it, I utterly rejected it. I believed Good people who lead Good lives deserved to be rewarded, not punished, regardless of their personal beliefs about a god or gods. What I *couldn’t* believe was that anyone would not only accept the doctrine that just praying would gain you entrance to Paradise, let alone base entire sects of Christianity upon it. When I discovered Calvinism in high school, and saw how strongly it had influenced early American thought, I was completely incredulous.

    If you want a really disturbing look at where unbridled Calvinism leads in terms of moral behavior, just read Confessions of a Justified Sinner, a classic Gothic horror novel. Or just look at the lives of any number of famous Protestant super-preachers, Ted Haggard jumps to mind immediately, as does George “Rent Boy” Rekers, Peter Popoff, and any number of other men of god who’ve lied, stolen, embezzled and committed fraud against their own congregations, and still profess to be “saved”. Assholes.

  4. says

    By those standards legitimate death-bed conversions are not impossible but treated as ‘too late’ by a proclaimed ‘timeless’ being.
    Besides that, the irrationality that non-conceptual ‘evidence’ (restitution) is needed to convince a being of your conversion and repentance, the same being whom is all-knowing and also can condemn you of thought-crime… seems fairly asinine.

    By the standard of Matthew 25:31-46, either a single act of good or bad has you saved or damned. Or is there a >50% good standard?
    In all cases it is an immoral concept, shamelessly forwarded.

  5. John Kruger says

    Catholics occupy an interesting space when it comes to good works. While on the one hand they justify repentance by works, on the other hand they are staunchly against consequentialism. That is how they often justify letting women die instead of granting them a life saving abortion, following the rules of not killing is always more important than the outcome, even if it means someone (or even more people) is going to die. The same goes for using condoms, the “only procreative sex” rule is more important than the results of widespread condom use. You can take a turn at all sorts of Catholic positions with this philosophy.

    Even more oddly, they tend to argue against consequentialism by warning against its consequences. Catholic theology is a deep and confusing rabbit hole to dive into.

  6. Veks says

    I was a Christian four ten years and I could never reconcile this in my head. Helped lead me to atheism. I was aways accused of thinking to much.

  7. Hello Kitty says

    Roman Catholicism teaches “Faith + Good Works = Salvation” which makes way more sense than the Protestant “Salvation by Faith Alone” version which is completely unjust and asinine!

  8. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Are you saying these things just to discredit “Christianity” to make us all look Unjust, Evil and Stupid?

    Hold that thought…
     
     

    Read what it says in James 2:14-26 where Faith without Works is Dead and will lead you to Hell.

    James 2:21:
    “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?”

    So THIS is what you chose for your example of works that’ll get you to heaven!?
     
     
    Morover, tell us more about this “Hell” and the criteria for sending someone there…

    See what Jesus said Matthew 25:31-46.

    Matthew 25:41-42:
    “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:”
     
     
    If you’re not generous enough -> You get set on fire, forever.
    Yeah, that sounds fair.

  9. Monocle Smile says

    I actually find it worse because what the Catholic Church judges to be “good works” are horrific acts that lead to a shit ton of deaths. Read John Kruger’s post.

  10. jacobfromlost says

    I like the coinage of the word “absolutey”.

    I’m going to use it all the time, I absolutey am.

  11. Narf says

    James 2:21:
    “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?”

    So THIS is what you chose for your example of works that’ll get you to heaven!?

    Heh heh heh. Oopsie.

  12. TheSuitIsNOTBlack . says

    I don’t know….he DID use a lot of CAPS. He MUST have a good argument in there SOMEWHERE!!

  13. billhelm says

    speaking of “bullshit” and what the bible teaches, ask him where the bible teaches that he needs a pope, and where the bible gives a pope authority, and where it says people should pray to mary and other non-deities.
    …if he’s so concerned with what the bible says.

    the kind of confusion we have among denominations makes *god* the author of confusion, if he existed.

    the fact that the bible can lead to these kinds of differences and arguments, at the very least, shows how bad a communicator this perfect god is.

  14. Matzo Ball Soup says

    And the Caps. Don’t forget the Caps. Kind of like German, except he is Inconsistent and sometimes Capitalizes verbs and Adjectives too.

  15. L.Long says

    I call BS on both sides. As you all realize they have absolutely NO proof of any statement they make except for BS quotes out of a book of BS written by a bunch of superstitious people.
    I personally think everyone dies and goes no where except for a few chosen intelligent types who are with gawd because he wants help to end his existence cuz he is bored senseless!! Now this does not necessarily make more sense but it is at least written by someone whose has shown he is intelligent (Asimov short story).

  16. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    everyone dies and goes nowhere except for a few chosen intelligent types who are with gawd because he wants help to end his existence cuz he is bored senseless!!

    Y’mean “The Last Answer”? (wiki)
     
    At least it’s not “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”. :P (wiki)

  17. houndentenor says

    This is the Christianity I was taught as well. I understand that there are different views on the subject of faith vs. works and that what I taught is not universal across Christendom. What was said was indeed not what all Christians believe, but it’s not as if no Christians believe that. To claim that none do is the only lie here.

  18. Chrissy says

    Neither Catholics nor Protestants teach that it is enough to simply believe in God’s existence. One may hear a Christian say that people cannot “earn” or “buy” their way into Heaven by performing good deeds, but that is not the same thing as saying that good works are not a requirement.

  19. says

    The thief on the cross next to Jesus was forgiven. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith…” . Another note about this Jonathan Edwards on evil would be if they would refer to the one who is responsible for the existence of evil they would have to blame their god, Isaiah 45:7. If god what’s to start judging people who are evil then he would have to hold himself accountable as well because from responsibility comes accountability.

  20. says

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who so ever BELIEVES in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Where in this verse does it say anything about being forgiven or doing good deeds? All it says is that to have eternal life one just simply has to believe. John 3:16 is a conundrum because it also demonstrates how god’s love is conditional and not uncondition.

  21. Paul Wright says

    Bing raised in a secular household and realising I was an atheist at an early age, I’ve never been mired in any religion. As such I’m often ignorant of many of the nuanced arguments. This was one of them. I had always thought that all Christians believed that faith alone and a deathbed repentance (heartfelt and genuine) would get you to Heaven. Now I know that Catholics have a different twist, they emphasise repentance and restitution along with a change of life for the better, which to me is more moral than the Protestant position.

    Having said that, it’s all a bunch of pixie dust anyway.

  22. L.Long says

    No, the LAST ANSWER is about the computer that grows to large dimensions and evenually finds the answer at the end of the universe and says “Let there be…”. But this is one of his stories that won him the supreme prize of being called the antichrist.

  23. Felipe says

    Yeah, this is why I’d rather not talk about doctrine when talking to a theist. Since the Bible’s a collection of many, many different opinions, they can find whatever justification they want for whatever they want. Even when you tell exactly where it condones slavery, for example, they can always say that they don’t follow that particular aspect of the book.

    It’s kinda brilliant, even if it’s unintentional.

    I think we’re better off sticking to skepticism.

  24. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    the computer that grows to large dimensions and evenually finds the answer at the end of the universe and says “Let there be…”.

    That sounds like “The Last Question” (wiki).

  25. mond says

    Ii wonder where confession and indulgences fall in this argument?

    I suppose they are acts and not faith alone.

    But they are kinda loop holes to get out the consequences of bad behaviour which might lead you to the big bad fire.

  26. Monocle Smile says

    I always wonder why people don’t ever bother to read the entire blog post before posting.

    Your statement is directly contradicted both by Sir Real’s posts and the second half the original blog post where sermons and people are highlighted that shows at least some Christians DO believe this.

  27. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    the Bible’s a collection of many, many different opinions, they can find whatever justification they want for whatever they want.

    This is why you shouldn’t argue that the bible as a whole commands anything (and neither should they).
    For any pro-social justification they cite, there are plenty of others to undermine it.
     
    Then they’re left making excuses for why the book is such a good guide for behavior and depiction of God’s character. Leviticus says respect the disabled, love your neighbor, and don’t cheat… and also happens to command things like stoning women to death on their fathers’ doorstep for the crime of not being virigins… and threatens, at length, that if you don’t do everything it says, the bible’s god will personally rot out your eyes, send animals to kill your family, and make you eat the flesh of your children.

    Just saying “Those rules don’t apply to me,” or “Here’s a nice sentence,” is not sufficient to pretend the pages are blank, no matter how much they may wish that god wasn’t in their holy book.

  28. Felipe says

    Well, usually they don’t pretend the bad stuff isn’t there, they just dismiss it. How many times have you heard “ah, but that was the Old Testament”? Sure, you could point out the Ten Commandments are also in the Old Testament, but I don’t see why them picking and choosing which parts they’ll follow isn’t valid. In fact, it’s evidence that their morality derives from somewhere else.

    To me, arguing the immorality of the Bible is pointless, even though arguments for it are well-based. Because ultimately, if the person doesn’t support and live by the immoral bit, it’s entirely their prerogative; if they do, they won’t see it as immoral. The only thing it accomplishes is making fellow atheists feel better about themselves because they’re more moral than a schizophrenic collection of ancient literature – which I guess that’s what this blog post is doing, so, hooray for us.

  29. Monocle Smile says

    Felipe, this blog post and the arguments concerning the immorality of the Bible are merely responses to claims made by Christians. It has nothing to do with self-congratulatory back-slapping.

    Sure, it’s the prerogative of Christians to pick and choose what to follow in the Bible. But now they can’t claim they aren’t just blatantly making shit up.

    The purpose of these arguments is to expose major flaws in the “infallible” armor. Why do you think AXP exists? Why does this blog exist? It’s not targeted at converting the callers and emailers, although that does happen as well. It’s for the third-party theists who are starting to question. These arguments generate discussion.

  30. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Well, usually they don’t pretend the bad stuff isn’t there, they just dismiss it.

    Glib dismissals are a quick way to get you to stop talking about the bad stuff, so they can get back to pretending the bad stuff isn’t there.
     
     

    How many times have you heard “ah, but that was the Old Testament”?

    Rarely actually. IIRC I got it from folks who – minutes before making that excuse – proudly claim they “believe it all”.

    And when that excuse comes up, it coincides with suddenly forgetting that eden, noah, Moses, Exodus, Babel, etc, and ‘prophecies’ that legitimize Jesus are in there too. They are lying when they say everything in the OT pages doesn’t count. It’s a dodge put the dissonant parts out of mind.
     
     

    I don’t see why them picking and choosing which parts they’ll follow isn’t valid. In fact, it’s evidence that their morality derives from somewhere else.

    It’s not just rules to follow or not. Church leaders routinely lie about the characters in the bible in order to fill seats and add gravitas to their own opinions. This abuse of trust is something members are desperate to avoid acknowledging. Because their social identity is founded on those lies.

    Including the lie that they get their morality from characters in that book.
     
     

    if the person doesn’t support and live by the immoral bit, it’s entirely their prerogative

    And it’s entirely someone’s perogative to become a walking advertisement for alternative medicine, whether or not they do so while responsibly visiting doctors.

    if they do, they won’t see it as immoral

    You’re unlikely to be talking to a sociopath. And they’re unlikely to have a god in their head as dim and malevolent as the one iron age authors wrote about. Glib acceptance is another attempt to end discussion, and pretend it never happened.

  31. garnetstar says

    All I can say in response is what I have named “Aurelius’ Wager”:

    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but…will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    Marcus Aurelius

  32. Hello Kitty says

    You said and I quote: “If you’re not generous enough -> You get set on fire, forever.
    Yeah, that sounds fair.”

    Is that what the text (Matthew 25:31-46) really says that you weren’t generous ENOUGH? It doesn’t say that at all, does it?

    Talk about reading things with an already “established Mindset” – which you accuse us Christians of doing all the time, but it’s OK when you Atheist do it, isn’t it?

  33. Hello Kitty says

    Oh yes, the Thief on the Cross was forgiven without any good works! Interesting how many people use this ONE EXAMPLE as their Justification to “live like the Devil” and then repent at the last minute. Well when YOU are in the SAME POSITION – on the Cross next to Jesus – THEN you will be forgiven without the need for Good works also.

  34. Monocle Smile says

    Who cares if it says you’re not generous or not generous ENOUGH? If that’s your entire objection to Sky Captain’s post, it’s a little (read: incredibly) weak.

  35. Monocle Smile says

    Your objections are bad and you should feel bad.

    What you’re attempting to say is that the rules don’t apply to all of humanity. All this does is contort your doctrine even further because now the rule book is meaningless…if the rules change depending on each person and their situation, why even have a rule book?

  36. Dagor_Annon says

    Funny thing – having studied Catholic theology for 10+ years (even going to seminary), I can verify that a deathbed conversion is possible… so this Catholic is either has a poor understanding of what their church teaches… or is lying because they don’t want that part of their moral argument to be lost.
    Just a side note, Catholics believe that someone who truly has faith and lives in Christ will have works, but those works aren’t what’s the salvation of the person. (Sort-a like how someone that runs will have nice calves, but those calves aren’t what keeps them from having a heart attack.)

  37. says

    Interesting how many people use this ONE EXAMPLE as their Justification to “live like the Devil”…

    Nobody is doing that. Please stop pretending to yourself that we really, deep down, believe in your god. We don’t. We’re not tying to justify anything. We’re not looking for a loophole to be forgiven by a deity we think is fictional.
    This whole discussion is entirely academic. it’s a discussion about the features of a belief system that most people around here think is complete bollocks. We’re discussing it in the style of “okay, if it was true, then…”

    With that in mind, if a single person, just one, was ever saved without works then works cannot be said to be a requirement for salvation. That’s a logical conclusion. You might say that works are often necessary or spring naturally from a true conviction or whatever, but you can’t claim works as an absolute requirement. Your bible says otherwise.

  38. AhmNee says

    An objection due to the interpretation of a biblical passage. Who would have thought?

    Whether you consider it generous or generous enough is really the reader’s interpretation. I’m sure you’re interpreting it, Hello Kitty, as “if you’re not generous at all”. Correct? But the passage isn’t explicit in saying the person or persons should be damned because they haven’t been generous with anyone. Just with the author.

  39. N. Nescio says

    Interesting how many people use this ONE EXAMPLE as their Justification to “live like the Devil” and then repent at the last minute.

    I have never in my life heard anybody actually do this. Since you claim many people have done this, you’ll have no problem listing say, five examples of that happening.

  40. AhmNee says

    Unfortunately, a Catholic saying that is talking out of both sides of their mouth. Catholic repentance and restitution amounts to the reciting of rote incantations Hail Marys, Our Fathers, Etc. The actions of their religion on the whole contradict their rhetoric. And their new pope, actually following the tenets they claimed to adhere to is throwing the catholic leadership and more than a few of it’s followers into apoplectic fits.

  41. Monocle Smile says

    Yeah, AhmNee and John Kruger are right…they throw around words like “repentance” and “restitution,” but what those actually mean are petty and inane. Furthermore, what the Catholic Church considers a “better life” and “good works” are usually wildly immoral and damaging, so their doctrine is actually worse in my opinion.

  42. Hello Kitty says

    Well I personally know someone who lived like the Devil and then repented on their Death-bed. It was my own Dad when he died of Cancer. He abandoned his family, lived a life of debauchery, while we were starving and homeless … and the he expected to be forgiven for all the pain and suffering he put us through! My brother followed in his footsteps and is planning to repent on his Death-bed also – he told me so – and even quoted the Thief on the Cross as his example! What a joke!

  43. Hello Kitty says

    No a Death-bed conversion is NOT possible! Ask yourself this question – why is the person repenting at the very last minute? It’s only because they are DYING and for no other reason. If they weren’t dying, would they still be Repenting? No. They would continue living like the Devil. That makes their entire Repentance INSINCERE and unacceptable.

    A Christian who loves Jesus doesn’t try and get away with as much evil as possible. Good Works are the EVIDENCE that we truly love and follow Jesus.

  44. Hello Kitty says

    You said and I quote: “But the passage isn’t explicit in saying the person or persons should be damned because they haven’t been generous with anyone.”

    Well yes it does. Matthew 25:31-46 says that I was hungry and you gave me NOTHING, it says I was naked and you did NOTHING, it says I was sick and you did NOTHING, etc, etc, etc. So yes these people are damned because they saw the need but totally ignored it.

  45. Monocle Smile says

    Wouldn’t an all-knowing god know whether repentance is sincere or not regardless of evidence presented to other humans? Doesn’t he have insight into our thoughts?

    Why, then, is the standard set to satisfy other humans rather than a deity? And why are “good works” as classified by the Catholic church so evil? Why is spreading AIDS in Africa considered “good?” Why is letting a raped teenager die in pregnancy rather than provide a life-saving abortion “good?” Why won’t you answer the hard questions and just repeat yourself with ANGRY CAPS?

  46. Hello Kitty says

    It doesn’t make any difference if the Death-bed Repentance is legitimate or not. If you Repent ONLY out of Fear because you are Dying – then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons! These people are trying to get into Heaven not because they love God, but because they are afraid to go to Hell.

    Example: Would you accept a woman (or man) marrying you not because they loved you, but because they were afraid to marry someone else? NO ONE in their right minds would get married on that basis because that attitude (lack of Love and lack of Commitment) is unacceptable. Well God doesn’t accept such phoniness either!

  47. Monocle Smile says

    If the fear of hell doesn’t count for anything, why does hell exist? And why do preachers constantly harp on burning in the fires forever? I mean, it doesn’t, but why is it part of your doctrine? Why does your doctrine make zero sense at every turn?

  48. Hello Kitty says

    I would rather be a Roman Catholic any day than one of the many idiotic Protestant denominations who can’t even agree on one single Doctrine between the thousands of conflicting Protestant denominations out there. At least the Roman Catholic Church is “One” and united in Doctrine!

  49. Narf says

    The Catholic Church isn’t even united with itself. Why do they need people to spin the words of their new pope, hours after he says them? :D

  50. Hello Kitty says

    You people consider yourselves so smart you think you know EVERYTHING, don’t you?

    So John 3:16 is your proof that we need no Good Works? Really? Is this what you really think?

    BELIEF is only the beginning. What comes AFTER Belief? Do you know?

  51. Narf says

    Many preachers disagree with you though, Kitty. Why should we believe that you’re correct and they’re not? What sort of evidence do you have for us?

  52. Narf says

    No. We’re just pretty sure that you have no clue.

    Atheism is a negative stance. We’re not pushing a positive position. We’re just saying that you’re full of crap and haven’t justified your claims to any sort of point that we should believe them.

  53. Hello Kitty says

    I don’t feel “bad” at all and you can’t lay a “Guilt” trip on me! Nice try though …

    Of course the Rules change depending upon circumstance! DUH … Have you not read the 613 Laws of the Old Testament? Do you think those Laws applied to absolutely EVERYONE in Israel? Well Newsflash – they didn’t! Do you know to whom they applied to and to whom they didn’t?

  54. Narf says

    Even more oddly, they tend to argue against consequentialism by warning against its consequences.

    Oooooooooooh, I like that point.

  55. Narf says

    You’re confusing “makes way more sense than …” with “is slightly less immoral than …”

  56. Narf says

    And your evidence that God didn’t accept him into heaven with open arms is …

    Hmm?

    I’m waiting.

  57. Hello Kitty says

    You said and I quote: “Please stop pretending to yourself that we really, deep down, believe in your god. We don’t.”

    WOW, who said that deep down I believe that you believe in my god??? I KNOW that you don’t believe and I don’t give a SHIT whether you do or you don’t!

    Good Works are a necessary requirement for Salvation. The Bible states this over and over and over again in both Old and New Testaments! Just because Jesus was “generous” and offered Salvation to a dying man, a Thief who saw the injustice of being Crucified next to an innocent man – now you are using that against Him?

    Please don’t tell me my Bible says “otherwise” because I know the Bible better than you do!

    Our Judgement will be based on our WORKS – that should tell you something … DUH!

  58. Narf says

    Good Works are a necessary requirement for Salvation. The Bible states this over and over and over again in both Old and New Testaments!

    And it also says the exact opposite, over and over again. Welcome to the Bible. That’s why Martin calls it The Big Book of Multiple-Choice.

  59. Narf says

    Please don’t tell me my Bible says “otherwise” because I know the Bible better than you do!

    I don’t think that you know the Bible nearly as well as you think you do. Dunning-Kruger in action …

    Our Judgement will be based on our WORKS – that should tell you something … DUH!

    It tells us that the sections you personally find pleasant say that, in contradiction to other sections.

  60. Hello Kitty says

    Because people like you don’t understand him!

    There is only One Roman Catholic Church with One leader, One Magisterium, One people ALL believing the SAME THING – which is called “ONE Catholic and Apostolic Faith.” How many leaders and Faiths do Protestants have? Thousands!

  61. Hello Kitty says

    How am I full of crap? You don’t believe that it makes sense that ONLY people with “Good Works” should get into Heaven? You mean Criminals should get in as well?

  62. Narf says

    All Catholics believe the same thing? Really? Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.

    Thank you. I’m just going to sit here and bask in that whopper. I was raised Catholic, myself. All priests don’t believe the same thing. I was an altar boy for many years and had many in depth discussions with several priests. My father nearly became a priest. You have no concept of reality.

  63. unfogged says

    Good Works are a necessary requirement for Salvation. The Bible states this over and over and over again in both Old and New Testaments! Just because Jesus was “generous” and offered Salvation to a dying man, a Thief who saw the injustice of being Crucified next to an innocent man – now you are using that against Him?

    So works are a necessary requirement except when they aren’t? Are there rules for who gets the extra generosity or is it arbitrary?

    I was originally brought up Catholic and salvation via repentance was certainly part of what I was taught. All you had to do was be truly sorry and say that you confessed all sins and they’d be forgiven; works were never even mentioned. You claim that Catholics are united but ‘cafeteria Catholics’ are found so commonly that it seems like the only thing they have in common sometimes is that they disagree on everything.

  64. Narf says

    How am I full of crap?

    You’re accepting the Bible as something that you should have any kind of confidence in, for one thing …

    You don’t believe that it makes sense that ONLY people with “Good Works” should get into Heaven? You mean Criminals should get in as well?

    As I said elsewhere, you’re confusing sense with morality.

    Criminals should get in eventually, yes. Infinite punishment for a finite crime is immoral.

  65. Hello Kitty says

    It doesn’t make any difference if he is sincere or not! It’s too little, too late. A person who repents on their Death-bed has NO Good Works to PROVE his Love for God. For example: If a woman said I love you but never did anything for you at all, would you still believe that she really loved you? Or are they just empty words?

    Love is not what you say, Love is shown by what you DO. Anyone can say “I love you” but it takes time, effort and energy, and many times it will cost you, to actually show someone that you really love them, doesn’t it? Words alone are WORTHLESS. If you don’t show them that you love them, then your words of “I love you” are insincere.

    Christianity is a LIFE long commitment of Good Works and helping others, not just “believing” in a God and that’s it. “But someone may say “You have Faith and I have Works; show me your Faith without the Works, but I will show you my Faith by my Works.” You believe that God is one. You do well, the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that Faith without Works is useless.” James 2:18-20.

    I know my dad is NOT in Heaven because he NEVER LOVED GOD to begin with. He never wanted to go to Heaven either. All his life he wanted to go to Hell and said he would “enjoy” being there. He only repented out of pure FEAR – “just in case” there was a God because he knew he abandoned his family and all the other shit he did in his life … so do you think that is acceptable?

    Would you be with a woman who never loved you but only wanted to be with you because she was afraid to be with someone else? I don’t think so!

  66. Hello Kitty says

    They are not “angry caps.” I used CAPS to emphasize a point.

    Read my answers to Narf to see why Death-bed conversions are unacceptable.

    On Judgement Day, standards must satisfy BOTH Deity and those with Him – because when we do Evil against other humans, we are also doing Evil against the Christian God (by Christian God’s Rules).

    Yes condoms should allowed in Africa. I’m not sure what the Roman Catholic position is on Abortion if the mother’s life is at risk. Are these Official Teachings of the Church or just “opinions” that the Pope have expressed? “Opinions” don’t carry any weight. Only Official Teachings do.

  67. Narf says

    So, why is it that so many of the clergy in your One Roman Catholic Church with One leader, One Magisterium, One people ALL believing the SAME THING disagree with you? Why do so many Catholics believe that Atheists, Hindus, Muslims, etc., who are good people, will make it into heaven?

    … so do you think that is acceptable?

    Very little in your book of fables is acceptable.

    Tell you what … every time you quote a Bible verse at us, I’m going to pretend that you quoted a passage out of one of Aesop’s Fables. They both hold the same authoritative weight, and Aesop’s Fables are more likely to be morally correct.

  68. Narf says

    Read my answers to Narf to see why Death-bed conversions are unacceptable.

    … and why you’re full of crap.

  69. Narf says

    … because when we do Evil against other humans, we are also doing Evil against the Christian God (by Christian God’s Rules).

    Yet another immoral teaching of your bankrupt moral code, yes. The Guy wasn’t thinking very clearly when He made up His rules.

    Yes condoms should allowed in Africa.

    Dude, you’re letting down your One Roman Catholic Church with One leader, One Magisterium, One people ALL believing the SAME THING.

  70. Hello Kitty says

    Well if I am “full of CRAP” then my presence is no longer required.

    Good luck with your unjust system of Criminals raping, torturing, and murdering, and still getting into Heaven by simply saying “oh sorry about that …” on their Death-bed and receiving the same reward as a Righteous man who worked hard and sacrificed all his life to support his family – Wow, what a great system you have! And you say WE Christians are unjust?

    To Hell with all of you! Let’s see how “just” you find Satan’s system since you reject God’s.

    This concludes our communiqué.

    ~ THE END ~

  71. Narf says

    Why the fuck would you think it’s our system, you halfwit? We’re ATHEISTS. We think that Catholics and Protestants (and other religious types) are delusional and reject all of their theistic claims as unsupported by evidence … or in the case of many of their claims, because they’ve been demonstrated to be flat-out false, by other evidence.

  72. Monocle Smile says

    Let the door hit you on the way out.

    Note to all concern trolls from the past few weeks: Hello Kitty is a decent example of the “thoughtful” theist open to discussion that sometimes comes here. I don’t say that with any hint of irony or sarcasm. All of you who bitch hard about YouTube comments need to realize that theists very rarely get any better than Hello Kitty and are almost always much worse.

  73. Chaos Engineer says

    It doesn’t make any difference if he is sincere or not! It’s too little, too late. A person who repents on their Death-bed has NO Good Works to PROVE his Love for God. For example: If a woman said I love you but never did anything for you at all, would you still believe that she really loved you?

    So if a women tells me that she’s just realized that she loves me, and five seconds later she gets run over by a bus, I shouldn’t feel too bad because I’ve got no reason to believe she was telling the truth? I’ve got to admit that I’d be pretty broken-hearted, but maybe that’s just simple human fraility and if I had a more Godly perspective I’d be able to shrug it off.

    Anyway, I’m trying to understand the rules here. It seems like Salvation is partly a matter of luck: Suppose a person makes a sincere conversion and resolves to spend the rest of their life doing good works. Are you saying that they can only get into Heaven if they’re lucky enough to live for a long time after converting? (So a not-too-bad person who converts and gets hit by a bus 10 minutes later will go to Hell, but a wicked person who converts and lives for 50 years will have enough time to atone for everything and get into Heaven.) I dunno, it seems awfully unfair.

    Actually, where do you get this information from? Is it in the BIble somewhere, or did God communicate it to you directly?

  74. Monocle Smile says

    …that was a pop culture reference, but I probably should have expected you to miss that.

    Yes, I’ve read the 613 laws. Why should any of them apply to anyone? You’ll find a few that are okay, but most are oddly specific and/or horribly immoral. This also doesn’t solve the problem of the thief on the cross, as he seemed to have a special exemption based on exigent circumstances. But the “case law” of the Bible doesn’t cover every situation and conflicts internally on similar cases.

    This is of course all moot once you realize we’re talking about a compilation of historical fiction on par with Marco Polo’s writings rather than anything that accurately reflects reality.

  75. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    The cited passage involved dividing people into two groups to set up a dichotomy:
    – Goats on the left, that did NONE of the things;
    – And sheep on the right, that did ALL of the things (meat, drink, shelter, clothing, prison visitation).

    Anyone who didn’t qualify for the latter group during the sorting process was to be tortured, forever.
    Hence, generous ENOUGH.
     
    Enough (adj): equal to what is needed.

  76. eggmoidal says

    I too was raised Catholic. Alter boy. All boys Catholic high school with 4 years of religion studies. Still, I’m no expert, I just remember some of what I was told over the years. I don’t know what they are teaching now, but in 1974 and before I heard over and over that if a person makes a “perfect act of contrition” to remove any mortal sins, then there is no bar to getting into heaven. He/she may have to do time in purgatory, but as long as they don’t die with a mortal sin on the soul, they will eventually go to heaven. Mr. Kitty seems to have not absorbed this crucial lesson. Yes, they also taught (in 12 grade) that salvation required faith and good works, not just faith alone. But I could never get a clear understanding of how they reconciled the two conflicting ideas. I concluded that the one they really meant was the stronger statement – the “perfect act of contrition” – a phrase that was always used so carefully and deliberately, and mostly by priests, that I understood it to be one of the infallible doctrinal teachings. The good works thing always seemed to me to be a preemptive defense against the line of questioning: “What good is faith alone? Why should an almighty God care what you believe? If he cared about anything we do, wouldn’t it be your actions, rather than beliefs? Don’t they speak louder than words?” Anyway, I still would like to know what the real doctrine is: do you get to heaven if a) you die with no mortal sin on your soul (and a perfect act of contrition cleans them off even 1 second before death) or b) you die after a lifetime of good works and faith, and an uncleansed mortal sin isn’t a show stopper – it’s just a story used to scare the children straight, or c) some combination of the above with lots of exceptions for those lucky enough to get to use them.

    I just plain stopped asking about oddities like Limbo, Jesus offering heaven to all people who lived before him, unborn (but ensouled) fetuses, and other cases where a and b are impossible.

    I remember my freshman year history teacher used to insult students who got a little too wordy by saying they were suffering from diarrhea of the mouth and masturbation of the brain. By the time I had 12 years of Catholic indoctrination, I felt that description fit most religion teachers to a T. The only way I could have stayed a Catholic is if I just stopped thinking about it all and used church as a social function, while mouthing the words when called upon. If you don’t do that, and you stay a Catholic, IMO, you’re probably a bit tetched in the haid.

    The “perfect act of contrition” is not the same as merely saying the “Act of Contrition”, the prayer said in the confessional. But the prayer, said “perfectly” would count. Normally though, if you used such a canned form just before death, you’re probably putting insufficient sincerity into it. Or so they said. But over and over we were also told that only God makes that call. Not men. And certainly not hubristic kittys.

  77. says

    Kitty- that has to be sarcasm, right? I also grew up catholic, and I can only see that statement making sense as a joke. Even if it were true, I don’t see how electing a single infallible person who you follow blindly, until the next infallible person says something else, is in any way, a better system. More powerful, maybe, not better. C’mon. And this isn’t even considering that so many Catholics ignore doctrine, anyway.

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1201584.htm
    http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/about/default.asp
    http://www.theinternational.org/articles/457-conflicting-freedoms-the-catholic-church

  78. chrisdevries says

    Wow…the magnitude of the unexamined beliefs astonishes me (re: Hello Kitty). He is really really committed to his beliefs; people were throwing evidence at him (from the Bible, from other Christian theologians, from…well-known facts and simple logic) but somehow, he managed to exit this conversation without a mote of cognitive dissonance. Additionally, he emerged from the discussion with the (perplexing) idea that the atheists with whom he was arguing are somehow relying on the loophole of a half-assed deathbed conversion so they could live their sinful atheistic lives and still get into heaven, as if Pascal’s Wager, having been rejected for all our lives will somehow, all-of-a-sudden make perfect sense. All atheists need to pay attention to Rev. Msgr. Kitty’s dire warning that our nefarious plan will fail! God’s onto us! Drat!

    There will be no deathbed conversions. There is no heaven or hell. Morality is innate, not something we get from Authority, and those who have religious faith ALL (without exception, in my experience, including Hello Kitty) use that innate sense of morality to decide which parts of their chosen holy book are important (or “True”) and which parts are not (these are either brushed off and ignored when anyone brings them up in a debate – Hello Kitty’s chosen method – or some excuse is given so they can be both “True” and not applicable to modern life).

    I read somewhere that the more an individual begins to question, in private, a belief that is extremely important to them, the harder they defend to it publicly, as if they can drown out the creeping doubt with fervent exclamations and stubborn denial. Can you feel the dissonance, Hello Kitty, between different Bible-derived ideas, all of which you hold to be true? You can’t ignore the irreconcilability forever! Are you slowly beginning to see how your faith is illogical? Maybe you should visit this thread to learn how, by the very doctrines espoused by your Church, the God of the Bible (in the astronomically improbable event He exists) must enjoy getting gangbanged more than any other individual, EVER. A bit of light philosophical reading to help you progress to a worldview that actually makes sense. You’re welcome.
    .
    .
    .
    Okay, that was a bit mean. I’m sorry. I take philosophical debates way too seriously, and thoroughly enjoyed Richard Carrier’s postulations, so I couldn’t resist.

  79. Monocle Smile says

    Nope. Not a joke. Kitty is dead serious, and I’m almost entirely certain Kitty is the emailer in the blog post.

    Another example of how there’s no bigot like a Christian bigot. They spend so much energy slandering other Christian sects and then lie to promote their own sect while they do it.

  80. says

    WOW, who said that deep down I believe that you believe in my god??

    I did. It’s a common position among Christians and from the way you were talking, it sounded like it was yours too. If it isn’t, fair enough. I stand corrected.

    Good Works are a necessary requirement for Salvation … Just because Jesus was “generous” and offered Salvation to a dying man…

    Notably, Jesus offered salvation without works. Do you understand what “necessary” means? You can’t both say that works are necessary AND say that someone (the thief) can be saved without.

    Please don’t tell me my Bible says “otherwise” because I know the Bible better than you do!

    Perhaps you do. Maybe it’s English that you’ve got a problem with.
    You’ve agreed that the thief was offered salvation without works. Thus, whether you like it or not, you’ve agreed that works is not an absolute requirement for salvation.

  81. says

    I’m not sure what the Roman Catholic position is on Abortion if the mother’s life is at risk.

    I believe the official position is “though shit”. There have been several cases where pregnant women have been denied an abortion, even to the point of death, like the recent case of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland. Catholicism was explicitly used as a justification in that case.

  82. says

    Good luck with your unjust system of Criminals raping, torturing, and murdering, and still getting into Heaven by simply saying “oh sorry about that …” on their Death-bed and receiving the same reward as a Righteous man who worked hard and sacrificed all his life to support his family

    ” “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’”
    Matthew 20:1-16

    If your god made such a system, then who are you to call it unjust?

  83. deesse23 says

    Hello Kitty:
    On Judgement Day, standards must satisfy BOTH Deity and those with Him – because when we do Evil against other humans, we are also doing Evil against the Christian God (by Christian God’s Rules).

    He is all powerful, created the universe etc, pp. I am less than an ant compared to him. Why should he care if i “do evil against him”. If an ant was “trying to do evil against me” (= try to annoy me) i
    1) just wouldnt bother
    or
    2) just smash it with my foot in less than a second
    Looks like god is the kind of guy who choses 2)…oh no wait, he doesnt smash me, he puts me in h3ll for a loooong time. Isnt this against hum…erm, animal rights?

    Hello Kitty:
    A person who repents on their Death-bed has NO Good Works to PROVE his Love for God.

    Why do i need to prove my love to god in case i just discovered that love on my deathbed? (imminent death can change your view on the whole universe ya know, not just out of fear for death, just out of this very unique situation your are currently in, all the emotions and insights you suddenly have….i guess).
    Why prove, doesnt he already know? I mean hes all knowing and $hit!
    Aaannnd…..in case i start to love him…..6 months before i die and start doing good things? Where is the threshold? What about all the poor souls (literally) who just barely missed your qualification? Compared to those who just barely did it, i bet they were not much different during their lifetime. Still, some will go to heaven and some to h3ll FOR F.ING EVER, just because of this small difference “in performance”?!

    I just pretended to be a 6y old, and it doesnt need much more to see that this system is inconsitent and immoral.

    Hello Kitty:
    Ask yourself this question – why is the person repenting at the very last minute? It’s only because they are DYING and for no other reason. If they weren’t dying, would they still be Repenting? No. They would continue living like the Devil. That makes their entire Repentance INSINCERE and unacceptable.

    Ask yourself? How about asking the defendant? Even the inquisition did! You cant THINK of any other reason than “because they are dying”, and that is enough to sent somebody to h3ll FOR F.ING ETERNITY (a damn long time)? Dont you have a better standard than this? Wouldnt you at least ASK them in favour of their defence? Or does the defendant not have those rights on judgement day?
    Let me tell you this: In the legal system of even the less advanced society nobody would be sentenced to even 6 months without parole just “because we couldnt think of anything else in case of his motivations”, and without giving the defendant at least the right to defend himself.
    Thank you very much, but in this case i rather join up with people in hell than with people like you in heaven.

    Hello Kitty:
    To Hell with all of you!

    All i can say is “without god we would have no morals?” -> Yep, sure

  84. says

    So if it’s not fear being the reason a real Christian goes to heaven then what about greed? Promises of a eternal life of happiness and health perhaps is the reason a real Christian goes to heaven. And let’s not forget about guilt as well, seeing how the bible makes us all feel guilty without ever proving it. This is probably why Christians like to coin the phrase: “There are no atheist in foxholes.”

  85. says

    What amazes me is how you can write about how these people who did nothing when there was a need and are damned when your god is the one who is responsible for everything and does absolutely NOTHING. So what message are you trying to point out that your god is a self center and self rightious hypocrite that demands more out of others then he expects out of himself?

  86. says

    And how do you know that there aren’t others who have been forgiven in the same manner? What would be the purpose of having a priest in a prison if someone lived a life of crime and couldn’t expect to be FORGIVEN? Didn’t Je$u$ say “Forgive them father for they know not what they do.”? I don’t think he was just refering to the thief on the cross when he said that. Forgiveness has no purpose if it has no understanding.

    P.S. Even though my father was a lying, arrogant, hypocrite preacher that would treat me and my family like shit, I’m still able to forgive him. So what’s your excuse? It would appear Kitty you’ve forgotten the forgiveness aspect of being a Christian.

  87. says

    @ Hello Kitty,

    What about when Je$u$ said,”Forgive them father for they know not what they do.”? I don’t think he was only refering about the thief on the cross, but to everyone who has sinned. What is the purpose of having a priest in a prison and having the criminal repent if there is no forgiveness? Forgiveness has no meaning if it has no understanding. My father was a lying, arrogant, hypocrite preacher that treated me and my family like shit and even though I’m an atheist, I’ve already forgiven him. So what’s your excuse? It would appear that you have forgotten the forgiveness aspect of being a Christian. Here’s your clue it’s called salvation.

  88. says

    In many times and places throughout history, women married who it was economically necessary for them to marry. If they were extremely lucky, they were allowed to choose the “not an abusive jerk” option, but marrying for love was not typically on the table. Fear of the alternatives (starvation, getting thrown out of their father’s house, being forced to marry the sadist who happened to be willing to pay, etc.) very often *was* the motivating factor, and it wasn’t considered “phony” because the idea of marrying for love simply wasn’t the norm.

    Many religions formed during that phase in human history. So why should we think, if the marriage analogy applies, that it was intended to be different with choosing a god than with choosing a husband?

  89. John Kruger says

    I mostly have to agree with you. If there is no constraint on what is allowed to be made up, any conversation is destined to be a long wild goose chase that never ends up going anywhere.

    Still, big contradictions and glaring omissions are always the sign of flawed human authorship, as opposed to historical fact based investigations that always eventually point to the same story along multiple lines of evidence. And boy, does the Bible have a multitude of wild inconsistencies: Multiple gods turn to one god in early genesis, two mutually exclusive creation stories, a god that walks around with Abraham talking about Sodom and then a god that Moses could not look in the face without dying, and on and on and on. Reading the Bible from the beginning was the last nail in the coffin for my Christianity, and I was in Middle School at the time, so there is at least some chance these conversations can be fruitful.

  90. says

    So what’s the matter Hello Kitty? There’s no need to get angry just because I proved you wrong. You’re a prime example how theists can’t tolerate the truth when it’s inconvenient and yet they believe the bible is the truth. The truth is there for our respects not our convenience. And by the way when did god the father ever pay any child support for his baster kid? A responsible father wouldn’t have neglected his only son and certainly wouldn’t have allowed him to die on a cross if he was innocent. Talk about a dead-beat sky daddy.

  91. says

    Would you trust a god who requires constant praise, takes full credit for everything and never once has held himself accountable, but insteads holds the innocent accountable and whose standard of justice is double standard justice, expects us to forgive our enemies when he can’t even forgive his own, endorses slavery, expects us not to kill unless it’s a witch and passes judgement on everyone before they are born. A god who is jealous of other gods as if jealousy is a virtue, a god who for some unknown reason decides to deceive the wicked when deception itself is wicked and then to top it off gets full credit from narrow-minded, unreasonably biased theists when a disater happens, when he has done absolutely NOTHING?

  92. says

    It would appear that Hello Kitty refuses to forgive her dad and is just using her beliefs as an excuse to be a contemptuous and ignorant hypocrite. H.K. must have forgotten about compassion, forgiveness, and obedience because does it not also say in the bible to honor your FATHER and mother? Let;s just hope for Hello Kitty’s sake that their god doesn’t exist because it looks like H.K. might be spending eternity in hell with their dad.

    Best of luck Hello Kitty because according to your religion you’re going to need all the luck you can get.

    P.S. You might want to bring a LOT of water with you seeings as to were you’re headed.

  93. says

    I sometimes wonder if a religion becomes a myth because others have a difference of opinions in their beliefs. If so then H.K. is a prime example of how their own religion is falling apart. Because isn’t a myth a religion that no one believes in any more?

  94. trina says

    In the happy clappy church I attended for a while in my teens, the faith versus works issue was resolved by saying that Christians who have a real ‘relationship’ with Jesus can be seen by what they do.., so works are not, strictly speaking a requirement t get into heaven, but an unavoidable side effect of loving Jesus enough to get in.

  95. says

    Which is a good, bible-based position. “For every tree is known by his own fruit”, etc.

    Of course, that makes works functionally required, since the absence of works works as a proxy for the absence of true faith.You may not be saved by works, but works are a requirement for being saved, nonetheless. It ends up being a technical distinction, rather than a practical one.

  96. corwyn says

    Not in relation to deathbed conversions however. A true deathbed conversion will get you into heaven under one supposition but not the other.

  97. Artor says

    Wow, all through this thread, you’ve made an awful lot of pretty definite statements, with lots of ALL CAPS!!! to emphasize your points. One thing I notice lacking is any sort of evidence to back up what you say. You’re telling us how things work in the afterlife, but why do you think we should believe you know one bit of what you’re blathering about? How exactly do you have the one true line on who goes to heaven or not? How is it you can claim to be a devout Catholic, but you don’t know the Church’s position on important matters, and you dismiss the words of your Pope as mere opinion?
    Everybody here is amused by your spittle-flecked ranting, but believe me when I tell you that shouting in ALL CAPS does not make your point any more believable or compelling. Try reason and evidence to support your position, and you’ll be much more convincing. Oh, except you don’t have any of those. Tough luck for you, sorry.

  98. Hamsa says

    Even more when you throw in Catholics? Hahaha…wow, you’re an idiot. No offense. The Roman Catholic Church is only ONE exact same church. From 325AD to 2014AD, From India to Hawaii. There is only ONE doctrine. There are no denominations. That’s why you can pick the Pope from ANY country. You should learn to Google, perhaps. But you are absolutely correct about Protestants. But when Tracie (and other atheists displaying ignorance) says Christianity is/says/does…that means ALL Christianity. Catholics/Orthodox(Russian/Greek/Coptic) are 82% of ALL Christianity. MAINline Protestants make up 11% (Anglican,Lutheran, etc), 3% Evangelical, 2% Mormon, 2% other. But honestly the other 93% of us consider evangelicals/mormons a cult. Kool-aid and Nike shoes do not a religion make…So out of 2.2 billion Christians, all Fundie atheists refer to is there never-escapable Fundie cult of 50 million….and their apparently equally inescapable ignorance. LEARN TO GOOGLE.

  99. says

    I don’t think someone who fails so miserably at basic reading comprehension that they appear to have as many working neurons as your average spnge should be throwing around the word “idiot” so casually. Glass houses and all that.

    Catholics DO have a different doctrinal interpretation than protestants, thus upping the number of doctrinal conflicts between christians when you throw them into the mix and don’t jsut take protestants into account. But you’d have to have passed third grade to be able to discern the fact taht this is what Monocle Smile was saying. And, judging from your maturity – and lack of grasp of basic english – I’d say that’s still ways off in your future, isn’t it?

  100. VERY Ex-Nun says

    Kitty, you are wrong. The RC church teaches that the only thing necessary for salvation, if you are dying and no priest is available, is to make a good act of contrition.

    And, according to your very own doctrine, only “God” can decide if an act of contrition is “good” or not. YOU can’t decide it. Even a priest, should he be hearing it, can’t decide if it’s good or not. In fact, if a priest is hearing your act of contrition and grants absolution, ALL of your sins are wiped out. Every single one of them…mortal and venial. Not only does the priest not have to know all the good works you may or may not have done, he isn’t even interested. He’s ONLY interested in your catalogue of sins and if he grants absolution for those sins, you go to heaven.

    So, you don’t know your own religion nearly as well as you claim to know it.

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