Yet Another Reason to Leave the Church

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In what will surely rank as the most controversial encyclical since Pius XI's Mit brennender Sorg, Pope Benedict XVI, according to Vatican sources, is set to declare tax evasion "socially unjust." Years after denouncing Liberation Theology as inimical to the church's teachings, Herr Ratzinger is starting sound like the lost Berrigan brother. From the London Times:

In his second encyclical—the most authoritative statement a pope can issue—the pontiff will denounce the use of "tax havens" and offshore bank accounts by wealthy individuals, since this reduces tax revenues for the benefit of society as a whole.

It will focus on humanity's social and economic problems in an era of globalisation. Pope Benedict intends to argue for a world trade and economic system "regulated in such a way as to avoid further injustice and discrimination", Ignazio Ingrao, a Vatican watcher, said yesterday.

The encyclical, drafted during his recent holiday in the mountains of northern Italy, takes its cue from Pope Paul VI's encyclical Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples), issued 40 years ago.

Italy, a model of social democratic generosity, is apparently brimming with tax cheats:

This week the Italian centre-left Government of Romano Prodi began a concerted crackdown on tax evaders, saying that it would target individuals with second homes and other signs of "conspicuous wealth". If the black economy is included, unpaid taxes amount to 27 per cent of Italy's gross domestic product.

Mr Prodi, a devout Catholic, urged church leaders to speak out on tax evasion, telling the Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana that a third of Italians heavily evaded taxes, which were needed to plug Italy's huge budget deficit.

Perhaps Mr. Prodi should investigate the conspicuous consumption of der Pontiff, who finger-wags at the masses from his holiday home in "the mountains of northern Italy."

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  1. If I were pontiff, I might focus first on making the imposition of taxes moral and fair before going after people who might attempt to evade taxes.

    Of course, if I were pontiff, the Vatican would have its own space program.

  2. I thought Vatican City was the world’s largest tax haven.

    If churches want to play the game of politics, let them pay admission like everyone else. –George Carlin

  3. I checked into this “Catholic Church.” What I found might surprise you. Click my name for the video.

  4. There’s never a Martin Luther when you need one.

  5. Pope Benedict XVI, according to Vatican sources, is set to declare tax evasion “socially unjust.”

    Would you expect a National Socialist to say otherise?

  6. To lead by example, and avoid even a whiff of hypocrisy, the Pope could start his campaign against not paying taxes, by declaring that the Catholic Church in the US will from now on volutarily resign its tax exempt status.

    Right after it finishes paying all the damages awarded from lawsuits resulting from its celibate priests having sex with children.

  7. So, were Germans who decided to evade taxes because they didn’t want to fund the Holocaust commiting a sin? Would they have been blessed for assisting mass-murderers?

    I’ll bet you he would rescind that order quickly if a couple of governments announced a special tax on Catholics amounting to a 50% income tax.

  8. What is it with you guys always trying to dodge your taxes? Didn’t I say “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”?

  9. And of course, this is further evidence in favor of one of Thos. Jefferson’s assertions:

    “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”

  10. If the black economy is included, unpaid taxes amount to 27 per cent of Italy’s gross domestic product.

    Okay, I am missing something here? Does this mean the Italians aren’t paying taxes on 27% of the GDP? Or are, as the article makes it sound, the taxes they aren’t paying 27% of the GDP? Because for the unpaid taxes to be 27% of the GDP is just freaking insane, even for a bunch of filthy socialists.

  11. Hey, Jesus? Prove it’s Caesar’s. If my Legions are better than Caesar’s does it then become “Render unto Will what is Will’s.”?

  12. I don’t find this at all surprising in any religious authority.

    If one assumes that all good things come from a “Supreme Entity”, the logical consequence is that the “Supreme Entity” has the right to take it back.

  13. Hey, Jesus? Prove it’s Caesar’s. If my Legions are better than Caesar’s does it then become “Render unto Will what is Will’s.”?

    Will, are you a Pharisee? I mean, no offesne if you are. Some of my best friends used to be Pharisees. It’s just that you sound like one. Here’s what I said back then:

    Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

    “Caesar’s,” they replied.
    Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

    –Matthew 22:20-22

  14. It’s all about the Benjamins.

  15. Tax evasion is illegal. (hiding income, stuff like that)

    Tax avoidance is AOK. (putting money in a trust fund to avoid the estate tax, stuff like that)

    The distinction isn’t clear from the post. If the ole Pope is saying you shouldn’t organize your estate to minimize your tax bill within the limits of the law… well he’s a retard.

    If he’s just saying you shouldn’t do stuff that you wouldn’t admit to doing to an IRS agent, no big deal.

  16. I expect the Kennedys will be leaving the church any day now…

  17. Ratzinger, you have a problem with that? You know what you should do? You should sanction me. Sanction me with your Vatican army. Oh!! Wait a minute! You don’t have an army! I guess that means you need to shut the fuck up! That’s what I’d do if I don’t have no army. I would shut the fuck up. Shut. The. Fuck. Up!! That’s right!

  18. Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

    “Caesar’s,” they replied.
    Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

    –Matthew 22:20-22

    To reiterate: “When they heard this, they were amazed.” As in, “OMG, did he really just say that?”

    Further proof that Jesus was a troll and should therefore be ignored. Put him in your filter.

  19. Funny, this seems to be a dire warning of the horrors of centralized government which includes, gasp, a 10 PERCENT TAX RATE!

    1 Samuel 8: 11And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
    14And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
    15And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
    17He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
    18And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

  20. Smacky,

    I am the way, the truth and the light. What are you going to do, get a light filter? Do they even make such things?

  21. When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

    I think Jesus had Asberger’s Syndrome or really crappy social skills.

    This part was later edited out:

    And, verily, as they went away, one remarked “God, what a douche!”

  22. Eryk Boston,

    That passage seems like it would somehow relate or refer to the church’s tithe. I can’t make heads or tails of it, though.

    Jesus,

    No, there is an internet filter for trolls who misbehave. Now run along and go play with the other false prophets. 🙂

  23. We paid for all this food ourselves, God, so thanks for nothing.

  24. I would think that the Pope would understand that there is a huge difference between willingly surrendering your wealth to your neighbor to allieviate his needs vs. being forced at the point of a gun to hand over your wallet so it can be laundered through a host of hands (each taking his cut) before the remaining pittance is handed over to your neighbor by a faceless entity.

    The former is called Charity, and is a Christian virtue that enriches the soul and reinforces the idea that we are all created in the image of God and we have a responsibility to look out for each other.

    The latter the Welfare state that reinforces that government shall provide for all your needs, breeds resentment, and robs the giver and the recipient of any moral benefits.

    You want to make the world a better place, convince people to do the former rather than engage in the latter.

  25. Thank you CFisher at 2:33pm.

  26. Jesus,

    When I look at my money it was pictures of andrew jackson on it. Some washingtons and a hamilton, as well. If they come looking for the money I’ll render it, but until then, can’t I hang on to it?

  27. *looks to the corner of State and North Ave.

    ASSHOLES (with funny hats, of course).

  28. Pay your taxes like everyone else, you friggin parasites.

  29. I do like Moynihan’s argument that rich people should shut up about politics, though.

  30. Hey, Jesus, are you a blasphemer? It’s o.k. if you are; some of my best friends are. Now tell the good pontiff to get the people under his influence to stop buggering children, and his capos, er, cardinals, to stop obstructing caeser’s justice, prior to flinging stones.

  31. “Render unto God what is God’s” – I thought *everything* was God’s. And if He wants it, why doesn’t He just take it? Although I don’t know what God would need money for. Buy something from Allah?

  32. The more important part of the statement was to ‘render unto God the things that are God’s’: Worship, devotion, obedience, etc.

    God always trumped Caesar when it comes to obedience.

    And it was God who commanded that we should love our neighbors as ourselves, which Jesus further illustrated with the parable of the Good Samaritan.

    Charity, compassion, and love are left to individuals for action, they are not calls to hand over our responsibility to an organization that relies on force to accomplish its will.

    Caesar has overstepped his assigned boundaries and needs to be put back into his proper place. I’d settle for a Constitutional Republic that shows some actual respect for and deference to that document.

  33. Will Allen

    don’t forget the lesson from the Big Lebowski (hier), “don’t fuck with the jesus”.

    very similar to URKOBOLD’s “Monkey Tuesday”, where one is not to fuck with the monkey. But different.

  34. What the church needed a pontiff to drag it into the latter half of the 18th century, but they picked this douche. The Vatican is becoming less relevant even faster.

  35. When I look at my money it was pictures of andrew jackson on it. Some washingtons and a hamilton, as well. If they come looking for the money I’ll render it, but until then, can’t I hang on to it?

    Oh, come on. Don’t go all literalist on me, Scott. What are you, a fundamentalist? No offense, if you are. Of course, some of my best friends are fundamentalists, but that’s besides the point.

    For those who are hostile, I understand most of you don’t follow me. That’s no skin off my palms. But why are you so angry when the Pope gives advice to those who do want to follow me?

  36. Now tell the good pontiff to get the people under his influence to stop buggering children, and his capos, er, cardinals, to stop obstructing caeser’s justice, prior to flinging stones.

    If only they’d listen.

  37. I meant 19th. Latter 19th, early 20th century.

  38. Jebus – well, it’s kinda hard getting skin off yer palms, what with those holes there n all.

    oh yeah. I so went there.

    hier

  39. Hey, joe, who is the bigger parasite; the business owner who employs people but lies about the extent of his profit, or the direct recipient of wealth from others, not as a result of mutually agreed upon relationship, but from belonging to a majority which forces a minority to submit?

    Now, there are those who belong to both groups, and there oughta’ be special warm place for them.

  40. Hey Jesus,

    You’re a lot funnier than I thought. Kind of guy I’d like to open a bottle of wine with. Whats up with your biography? It makes you sound like you got a permanent bug up your ass.

  41. In a nation of the people, by the people, for the people, we are all Caesar.

    So, while I agree with Jesus that I should pay my taxes, what rate should Caesar (myself) charge?

    The quote from Samuel is pretty clear – the people were telling Samuel that they wanted a King and Samuel was telling them the bad things that would happen if they did that – including said King taxing them 10%!

  42. Warren,

    Dont splurge for the wine, just buy some bottled water. He will take care of the rest.

  43. Warren,

    I blame translators. For some laffs, try here: John 1:45-51 and Luke18:1-8. The latter answers questions many of you have on when it is okay to disobey a corrupt civil authority.

  44. Golly Gee, blasphemer, perhaps I don’t want to listen to the good pontiff give advice regarding the responsibility of a human being in his or her relationship with the Almighty for the same reason I don’t want to listen to O.J. Simpson give advice to husbands regarding their responsibilities to the interplay between their wives and their cutlery?

  45. Dear Jesus,

    Could you please materialize three letters of recommendation that I need for a job interview? I will take back all that stuff I said about you being a troll and whatnot.

  46. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

  47. Although, blasphemer, I am glad to see you agree that the good pontiff should just shut up, given the disorder in his own house. Shame he won’t listen to you.

  48. Smacky,

    I answer all prayers. Sometimes, in handling requests like yours, the answer is no. But even if you don’t get the job, take heart in knowing that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Best of luck!

  49. Well, as if I didn’t already know not to debate theology with someone using the pseudonym Jesus, those verses cited have nothing to do with obedience to authority.

    They lead respectively to: two disciples meeting Jesus for the first time and to a parable about being persistent in prayer.

  50. …Fuck you, too, Jesus…

  51. CFisher,

    The first passage was just for laughs. (Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile” [“Hey, here’s an honest Jew”–joke!)

    The second passage deals with a widow who, instead of disobeying a corrupt judge, petitions him to change his mind. You are correct in that it can also be read as a parable to be persistnet in prayer.

  52. For some laffs, try here: John 1:45-51 and Luke18:1-8.

    Yeah, I don’t get it. The Old Testament was more side splitting. I’ve read Job like a hundred and fifty seven times, and it keeps getting funnier every time I read it.

  53. Warren wins the thread!

  54. I live my life according to Ezekiel 25:17:

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

  55. Warren wins the thread!

    Oh, and what, the Redeemer of the world is chopped liver?

  56. Oh, and what, the Redeemer of the world is chopped liver?

    Oh, great! Another whiny Jew.

  57. um. well, since you’re not my savior (although I think your run in with the Big T was something), and depending on what kind of chopped liver (foie gras, etc) we’re discussing, I really can’t answer that.

    But do realize I shall take that under advisement.

    *brrrring brrrring*
    [picks up receive of ridiculously large red plastic phone on desk]

    sorry. gotta take this. kthxbye.

  58. Your interpretation does not match the text which specifically calls it a parable and even gives the lesson that Jesus intended to convey to us:

    “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

    Pretty clear to me. It’s a parable, not a literal life lesson or command about how to get what you want from the government.

    (If it were, Jesus would have included a lot more details about filling out form 502-X and such and the resultant parable would equal the rest of the bible in length.)

  59. And my vote for thread winner goes to de stijl

    Because if he’s anything like Sam Jackson, he’d probably shoot me if I didn’t give it to him. 😉

  60. “Ratzinger, you have a problem with that? You know what you should do? You should sanction me. Sanction me with your Vatican army. Oh!! Wait a minute! You don’t have an army! I guess that means you need to shut the fuck up! That’s what I’d do if I don’t have no army. I would shut the fuck up. Shut. The. Fuck. Up!! That’s right!”

    Do you have an army? If not, I suggest you heed your own advice.

  61. But, Ratzinger, you were terrific on Cheers. And as the Underminer at the end of the Incredibles!

  62. smacky,

    We Urkoboldians decided that Socrates was a troll (to be precise, a trollosopher) a while back. I had considered following that up with a “Was Jesus a Troll?” posting, but I didn’t want to be damned for all eternity. Or something like that.

  63. Pope Benedict,

    Stankonia is ready to drop bombs on Vatican City.

  64. Behold the Underminer! I am always beneath you, but nothing is beneath me! I hereby declare war on peace and happiness! Soon all will tremble before me!

  65. smacky,

    Saw a picture or two of you here a year or so ago. Are you still just as beautiful?

    – Timmy

  66. “I am always beneath you, but nothing is beneath me! I hereby declare war on peace and happiness! Soon all will tremble before me!”

    Shouldn’t that read “Soon all will tremble ABOVE me!”?

  67. Anybody have sources? You know, like a draft copy or something?

    The media usually gets the Pope’s messages wrong, so I get a little suspicious because the guy didn’t mention anything about where he got the information.

  68. Joe,
    My argument that rich people should shutup about politics? Huh? If you had read the post, you would have noticed that I was referring Romano Prodi’s comment on conspicuous consumption.

  69. THE URKOBOLD WOULD POST ON THIS MATTER, BUT IT IS TOO TAXING.

    MICHAEL,

    JOE WAS BEATEN UP BY RICHIE RICH AND A GANG OF HIRED, AFFLUENT FRAT BOYS AS A CHILD. IF YOU READ HIS POSTS, YOU WILL REALIZE THAT HE IS NOT A LEFT-WINGER–HE JUST WANTS REVENGE ON ALL RICH PEOPLE. THE URKOBOLD FINDS THAT MOST PEOPLE’S MOTIVATIONS CAN BE REDUCED TO SINGLE EPISODES OF THAT SORT.

  70. Isn’t this the same Catholic church that aids priests in avoiding laws against molesting children?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2556959.stm

    The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, has flown to Rome, as pressure grows on him to resign over his handling of child abuse by priests.

    The crisis facing the cardinal deepened last week after the publication of Church records bearing fresh evidence that the archdiocese allowed priests accused of abuse to keep their jobs. …

  71. TIMMY – CONSIDER THIS A WARNING TO YOUR HANDICAPPEDCAPABLE SELF.

    NEXT TIME YOUR HANDICAPPEDCAPABLE TAINT WILL BE WHITHERED, MAKING SITTING IN YOUR WHEELCHAIR AFFIXED TO THE BACK OF THE SHORT BUS EVEN MORE UNCOMFORTABLE THAN USUAL.

  72. “THE URKOBOLD FINDS THAT MOST PEOPLE’S MOTIVATIONS CAN BE REDUCED TO SINGLE EPISODES OF THAT SORT.”

    So what was your single episode like, little girl?

  73. Yeah. Whatever.

  74. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.

    Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

    Take the fish from someone else and give it to the man and you don’t have to waste any time teaching him to fish.

    So sayeth the lord.

  75. IT’S TOO TERRIBLE TO TALK ABOUT. IT, IT, IT WAS. . .THIS.

  76. TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy

    TAMMY!

    HA! GOT YOU!

    PWND!!!!!

  77. Spot TIMMY in the left side, hier.

    d00d. totally dig yer ink. That must really score you the chix.

    can I feel your bulging bicep? oooooh!

  78. So you’re saying the Pope wants to do to the taxpayers what his church does to little boys?

  79. Michael Moynihan | August 17, 2007, 3:42pm | #

    Joe,
    My argument that rich people should shutup about politics? Huh? If you had read the post, you would have noticed that I was referring Romano Prodi’s comment on conspicuous consumption.

    Let’s go to the tape.

    Perhaps Mr. Prodi should investigate the conspicuous consumption of der Pontiff, who finger-wags at the masses from his holiday home in “the mountains of northern Italy.”

    If you intended the “who” in this sentence to refer to Mr. Prodi, Michael, then your English language education would appear to have been cut off at the same time as your education in ethics and logic.

  80. That’s ok.

    When one lies as much as Michael Moynihan, it becomes difficult to remember what one has said.

  81. “TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy TimmyTIMMYtimmyTimmy

    TAMMY!

    HA! GOT YOU!

    PWND!!!!!”

    timmy??

  82. Who can explain the Uber Troll’s fascination with the hypothalamus?

  83. Dunno, joe. I always thought he was a little overly interested in the female bosom. Like he wasn’t breastfed enough or something. Definitely pathological. Not sure about any other obsessions.

  84. Oh, and what, the Redeemer of the world is chopped liver?

    /*blushes

  85. The media usually gets the Pope’s messages wrong

    Not just the Pope’s messages: Luke 19:3 – “And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press…”

    Anyway, topically there’s this.

  86. “Ratzinger, you have a problem with that? You know what you should do? You should sanction me. Sanction me with your Vatican army. Oh!! Wait a minute! You don’t have an army! I guess that means you need to shut the fuck up! That’s what I’d do if I don’t have no army. I would shut the fuck up. Shut. The. Fuck. Up!! That’s right!”

    This sounds like what Stalin said at the end of WWII when he asked how many divisions the Pope had. Pope John Paul II didn’t have any divisions either but the Soviet Union, which had many, is what crumbled.

    I would not judge the upcoming encyclical on a press release. Look at the sheer ignorance with which the press reported upon the Regensberg address. Pope Benedict is one of the great thinkers in history of the Church and is, by a wide margin, the most brilliant leader on the world scene today. If you have not read any of his books, you are not qualified to speak of him. I suggest: “Truth and Tolerance” and “Introduction to Christianity.” Grapple with what the man is saying, not with some infantile caricature. You claim to be advocates of reason, but you spew sheer bigotry.

  87. If you fucking libertarian goonballs had your way, we’d pe paying protection money instead of taxes. Go fuck yourselves.

  88. Pope Benedict…Boo!
    🙁

  89. Like there’s a difference…

  90. Um, good catholic, I am interested to know, what do you think is the moral difference between taxes and protection money? NOTE: I am NOT asking the legal difference but the moral difference. I see none, in both cases goons with guns point a gun in your face and threaten to make your life miserable if you do not pay up.

  91. M, Lew Rockwell has gone off the deep end lately. I used to love it but it seems to have some screw loose writers now.

  92. Well, GC, as the previous posters point out, taxes are protection money.

    And religions not only demand monetary payments from their adherents, but in addition, require that the believer surrender his mind to the priest, mullah, or whatever. That’s a much more severe demand.

    To demand that you give up your very identity as a thinking individual, in exchange for your life, is a truly horrific bargain.

  93. To demand that you give up your very identity as a thinking individual, in exchange for your life, is a truly horrific bargain.

    What, so all religious adherents to the same creed have no distinguishable identities as thinking individuals? Martin Sheen and Kevin Smith (both practicing Catholics) are essentially the same as Sam Brownback?

  94. Used to Love L.R., Thanks for the warning; I’ve heard such and try to keep an open mind; ends many call deep (like this right hier end where we meet) I sometimes find remarkably congenial to go off. Or go on about. Or whatever prepositions or propositions are germane.

    I dunno about the depth of the end off of which all the very varied contributors at lewrockwell.com may have gone. If your response was a general observation, I’d add that may a true word has slipped out from between false teeth. But while I sharply disagree from time to time with several of the articles there (one would have to, since some are written in direct opposition to others), what I posted was topic-specific and seemed shallow enough. No, that’s not quite right, is it; I meant navigable enough. Or…?

  95. Malto Dextrin, try being an apostate from gummint.

  96. many a true word

    (many a falsely checked spell)

  97. huffing and puffing to catch up

    Catch up to 1913, that is.

  98. Thanks for your comments

  99. R.D., that is an interesting quote. I wonder how Mr. Sobran would feel if the most recent infallable pope were to condemn someone to death for claiming the Earth revolves around the Sun.

  100. For a bunch of supposed atheists, why do any of you care what the Pope says. Or do you feel the need to respond and try to justify your actions to a God you don’t acknowledge. Seems to me if you truly believed your own bullshit you wouldn’t be so concerned about Pope Benedict and his dictates.

  101. oooh! Mark and Good – you are absolutely adorable.

    *pat pat*

    now run along.

    (and the corner of State/North is why non catholics have to tolerate or have an opinion on your bullshit; or how your organization tolerates the sexual predatory nature of the men’s club (only). stuff like that; or the way you guys confuse an acorn with an oak tree)

    but oooh, “Mark” what a zinger. Ba-ooooo-ga! such a good little poster. yay! you can has cheezboiga.

  102. Mark,

    The reason I care what he says is that so many gullible people are swayed by the words of this postage-stamp-dictator. Therefore, what he says matters even if I strongly disagree with it.

  103. Plant Immigration Rights Supporter

    I’d love to fix your teeth for you, you fucking anti-Catholic bigot.

  104. And like most bigots, he hasn’t the vaguest familiarity with the people he spits on.

    Ever seen any polling on how American Catholics feel about the Pope’s positions?

    (This is the part where crimethink comes along and gives the anti-Catholics ammunition with his “no true Scotsman” fallacy.)

  105. I would prefer to RTFE (read the encyclical) before commenting, but the encyclical hasn’t been published yet. Not that this should deter anyone from explaining how the encyclical confirms their previously-held views.

    From Michael Moynihan’s original post: “In what will surely rank as the most controversial encyclical since Pius XI’s Mit brennender Sorg, . . .”

    I don’t think this supports Moynihan’s Catholic-bashing thesis. He’s referring to this:

    http://tinyurl.com/cr0f

    This is the encyclical which denounced the National Socialist regime and its evil ideology. It was necessary to smuggle the encyclical into the country, and the encyclical prompted vehement anti-Catholic diatribes from National Socialists.

  106. Good Catholic,

    First of all, no thanks, I have a good dental plan.

    Second of all, a religion is simply a collection of ideas. I see no reason that ideas should be off limits for debate merely because they are part of a collection called a “religion”.

    Joe,

    I am well aware that the Postage-Stamp-Dictator does not hold as much sway among U.S. Catholics as he does in other parts of the world.

    For the record I have no respect for any faith-based religion because I have no respect for the concept of faith. Faith is the acceptance of an idea without evidence. Just imagine if your family doctor prescribed medicine without any evidence that it is safe or effective.

  107. Faith is the acceptance of an idea without evidence.

    Almost.

  108. M,
    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    Even given this def., immagine conducting any other part of your life by “faith”. Think of choosing an job, a bank, a doctor or a college on “faith” based on “the evidence of things not seen.” People are willing to accept far more B.S. in their religions than they are in any other part of their lives. And yet, if you accept the Dogma of the most popular reliigions, the soul is supposed to be more important than the body. Hmm, if that is true we should put up with even LESS B.S. from religion.

  109. Libertarians must be the most lily-white, middle-class, over-scularized knee-jerk anti-Catholic fringe group in existence. You’re a bunch of Wal-Mart worhiping fuckheads.

  110. Citizen of AnCapistan

    Do you know the difference between have a chat and having your teeth knowcked out?. I’d be pleased to show you.

  111. Good Catholics,

    I am glad to see you decided to get into a debate about ideas of substance. I do have two questions for you: 1. Do you believe you know how much dermal melanin I have in my skin? 2. Why is this important to you?

    By the way, I do not worship Wal-Mart. But I do shop there from time to time.

  112. Good Catholic,

    Perhaps I misunderstood the nature of government. If I choose to not pay taxes is it the case that no one will throw me in a cage?

  113. Do you know the difference between have a chat and having your teeth knowcked out?. I’d be pleased to show you.

    I guess “good catholic”, so-called is one of them Giuliani Catholics.

  114. Plant, let us agree that critical thinking is lamentably deficient in many persons across the theological [and antitheological] spectrum; we’re working on that one. And let us agree (with Xenophanes) that many popular beliefs do not withstand scrutiny. Also, you (and Socrates and Jesus, inter alios) are right that eternal things merit more attention and discrimination than transient things.

    We do seem to base many important choices on the evidence of things not seen. Examples are sticking with a friend, a spouse, a conversation, a political philosophy, an optative presidential candidate when visible evidence stacks against the prudence of such investment. Sometimes we are even satisfied with the long-term results of such fidelity.

    I’d call religion more a set of practices than a collection of ideas, though of course the two overlap.

    Good Catholic, please consider in its intended spirit a bit of what St. Thomas called brotherly correction – and what the Apostles might have called a shande far di goyim: “a disgrace in front of the gentiles.”

  115. As a recovering catholic, I end to ignore any holy man on a mountain top. They rarely have any practical advice. And his moral authority disappeared with the guilty verdicts against his priests. As for Good Catholic, please remember, Coperincus, Gallileo, Marco Polo, and Charles Darwin, were all prominent anti- catholic fuckheads. I for one, would consider it an honor to be placed in their company.

  116. Surely some Jesuit coined a term for the fallacy of “I participate in Ron Paul’s virtue by being elderly.”

  117. good catholic,

    Know thyself. In the Biblical sense.

    Mike W,

    “Coperincus, Gallileo, Marco Polo, and Charles Darwin, were all prominent anti- catholic fuckheads. I for one, would consider it an honor to be placed in their company.”

    Don’t forget others on the anti-Catholic honor roll: Robespierre and the other French Revolutionaries, Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, the Ku Klux Klan, the advocates of eugenics, etc.

  118. Mike, to refresh my perplexed memory, I just looked up your short list of “prominent anti-catholic[s]” and was reminded that Copernicus died a Catholic priest and Galileo an obedient Catholic layman. At which point, fearful I’d come across the feast days of your other two saints, I desisted.

  119. I couldn’t resist. I learned that Marco Polo was a “devout Catholic” who carried letters from Pope Gregory X to Khublai Khan, and Darwin was an Anglican who became an agnostic.

    Joining you in the spirit of scientific method, I look forward to learning, Mike w>, about their “prominent anti-catholic[ism]” as well as that of your other two heroes.

  120. Your examples of friendship and love hold no water because someone becomes a close friend or lover after learning you can trust them. If your spouse does something to utterly shatter that trust (i.e. physical abuse) most sane people would say it is not only acceptable but wise to leave that person and say good riddance. People can and do change their political philosophies. I myself was once a conservative, now I am libertarian (some would call me anarco-capitalist.) As for presidential candidates, I am skeptical about the usefulness of popularity contests in any case.

  121. This is why dating is important.

  122. PIRS,

    There is a place for faith. How can one have a spiritual life without faith?

    The problem is when faith is used as an authority in spheres outside of its proper place, such as government or science.

  123. Personally, I’d like to see the clergy revert to their proper role as wild-eyed holy fools, like John the Baptist, inspiring all who see them with their devotions.

    Nor freaking lawyers and bureaucrats and wanna-be medieval nobility.

  124. Joe,

    I suppose this depends on your definition of “spiritual.” I enjoy meditation and have evidence from past experience that it works for me. It may not work as well for someone else. It helps me clear my head, reduce stress and I feel refreshed after the practice. I find meaning in the beauty of the natural world, in literature, in art and in great works of cinema. I need not believe a fictional character in one of the books I read or films I watch “actually existed” to enjoy the work. When I look at a painting of a surreal landscape I need not believe that landscape “actually exists” to enjoy it.

  125. Spirtual life != Aesthetic appreciation.

  126. Joe,

    Are you telling me that you have never read a book, seen a play / opera / film, or looked at a painting that was more than a mere aesthetic experience for you?

  127. joe says:

    How can one have a spiritual life without faith?

    Why is “a spiritual life” worth having? My life is pretty awesome as-is.

    M says:

    [L]et us agree that critical thinking is lamentably deficient in many persons across the theological [and antitheological] spectrum; we’re working on that one.

    I’d like to know what you mean by, “we’re working on that one.” In particular, who is “we”? And, is any measurable progress being made?

    [E]ternal things merit more attention and discrimination than transient things.

    While I suppose that might be true, I see no evidence that there are any eternal things.

  128. PIRS,

    Are you telling me that you have never read a book, seen a play / opera / film, or looked at a painting that was more than a mere aesthetic experience for you?

    No, I am not saying that. I’m saying that your appreciation of these things, in the absence of a spiritual life apart from that aesthetic pleasure, is unlikely to be anything but aesthetic.

  129. Son of a!

    I’ve heard people say the same thing about having children. I even thought it myself, prior to having a child.

    Now I realize I was living in two dimensions, and have discovered a third. A blind person may lead a full, enjoyable life, too. He’s still missing a great deal, even if he doesn’t realize it.

  130. joe:

    I don’t want to be snarky, but that kind of sounds like a cop-out.

    “Unfortunately, no one can be told what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.”

    That’s a load of crap. Everyone in the audience was able to figure out what The Matrix was without taking any magic pills, and even people who hadn’t seen the film could have easily been made to understand the concept, by using terms like “virtual reality” and such. Yeah, you might have an uphill battle convincing people that that’s what we’re living in, but you can certainly describe it in a way that allows them to get the gist of it.

    I tend to go with Dr. Feynman’s observation that if you can’t reduce something to a freshman-level lecture, you don’t actually understand what you’re talking about.

    [Probably unnecessary disclaimer: I don’t have kids.]

  131. Joe,

    “No, I am not saying that. I’m saying that your appreciation of these things, in the absence of a spiritual life apart from that aesthetic pleasure, is unlikely to be anything but aesthetic.”

    You are assuming that because I reject faith I do not have a spiritual life. Earlier in this thread you asked how it was possible to have a spiritual life without faith. I explained how it was possible and you respond by telling me that having a spiritual life via these things is unlikely sans a spiritual life. Tell me, what exactly YOU mean by “spiritual.”

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