Since Nov 11, 1999
Older linksThe Tragedy of the Commons
Ralph Reed's Real Agenda
Interview With R.J. Rushdoony
Can We Legislate Morality?
Rerum Novarum [1-15, Man and Property]
Rerum Novarum [16-30, The Church, the Rich, and the Poor]
Rerum Novarum [31-47, The State]
Rerum Novarum [48 - End, The Civil Society]
Morality and the Law in Moses Maimonides
Question 90. The essence of law
The Mathematical Principles of Natural Rights
Intellectual Property Rights In a Free Society
Who Should Pay for Science?
Freedom and War
Libertarianism and the Public Square
Al-Azhar The Vatican Official apologies demanded
Help Build a Datab[a]se of Prolife Physicians
POPE'S DEATH AND CATHOLICISM'S PROSPECTS IN RUSSIA
The Protoevangelium of James
Indulgences: Spreading the Wealth
St. Irenaeus on Free Will (Adversus Haereses IV,37)
The Spiritual Exercises: The Incarnation (Second Week First Day)
The Spiritual Exercises: The Nativity
The Spiritual Exercises: AS TO EATING
Man to build Catholics-only town
Why Is the End of the World Inevitable?
On Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition
Communion of Saints
Anti-Catholicism, Hypocrisy and Double Standards
Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
Full Text Of Pope's La Sapienza's Speech
Bishop Aquila's Address on Absolutes in Life Issues
Radio Replies First Volume - The Sacrifice of the Mass
Cur Deus Homo AnnotatedCur Deus Homo I-III
Cur Deus Homo III-V
Cur Deus Homo VI-VIII: Is God Omnipotent and Wise?
Cur Deus Homo IX-X: Did The Father Wish Christ To Die?
Cur Deus Homo XI-XIV: God's Honor, Compassion, and Justice
Cur Deus Homo XV-XVIII: Men and Angels, Perfection and Election
Cur Deus Homo XIX-XX: No Satisfaction
Cur Deus Homo XXI-XXIII: Enormity of Sin
Cur Deus Homo XXIV-XXV: Unhappiness of Man
Cur Deus Homo Book Second I-IV: Holy, Happy Man
Cur Deus Homo Book Second V-VII: The Necessity of God-Man
Cur Deus Homo Book Second VIII: The Necessity of the Virgin Mary
Cur Deus Homo Book Second IX-X: The Sinless Word
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XI: Christ Chose To Die
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XII-XV: Christ's Death Removes Sin
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XVI: Christ, Mary, Adam, Eve
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XVII-XVIII(a): Will and Necessity
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XVIII(b): Debt and Freedom
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XIX - XXII: The Precious Gift
How Catholicism Is Different - THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ISN'T JUST ANOTHER "DENOMINATION" (Scriptural references to the Church's defining controversies)
The Catholic Religion Proved By The Protestant Bible
More scriptural references
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization
"How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization" ( Book Review )
Galileo: The Trump Card of Catholic Urban Legends
The New Testament: In Medio Ecclesiae
St. Peter and Rome
Is Europe Dying?
Medieval Mistakes (Excellent commentary by Dionysiusdecordealcis and Jo Kus on free will; the article itself is not interesting)
Back to the Beginning: A Brief Introduction to the Ancient Catholic Church
The Liberalism of John Paul II
The Dark Side of Christianity
A History of The Inquisition
The New Inquisition: Spanish Inquisition does not live up to reputation of injustice
Shroud of Turin again on display in 2010
Is the Turin Shroud genuine after all? From beyond the grave, a startling new claim
New experiments on Shroud show its not medieval (dates to 1st century)
How Two Sacred, Bloody Images Take Us to God
The Early Church Fathers on The Church
The Early Church Fathers on Purgatory
Are Catholics Born Again?
Why Catholics Have More Fun Than Protestants While Studying Early Church History
Twenty One Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura
'An Ordinance Forever' - The Biblical Origins of the Mass
Deuterocanonical References in the New Testament
The Gospel of Jesus Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed
Is Christmas Pagan?
Luther and Erasmus: The Controversy Concerning the Bondage of the Will
- The Holy Ghost is given to the Church first: 216 and on, 661, 790, 1395;
- The Trail of Blood myth: 427;
- Free will in the Scripture: 501, 956, 972, 1835, 1995, 3687, 3689 (fathers);
- Free will and Sovereign God: 956, 972, 1066, 1643, 1968, 3052, 3687;
- Augustine and predestination: 1001, 1549;
- Sin, grace, hope, charity: 562, 1474;
- Necessity of Atonement: 10621;
- Orthodox and Catholics close: 574, 580, 586, 605, 802 and on, 1796, 2155, 2476;
- Orthodox and Catholics not that close: 3752, 5545, 5580, 5916, 7116, 7131;
- Apostolic Church and Messianic Judaism: 5327, 5339, 5372, 5373, 5479, 12315;
- East and West's theological traditions: 1724;
- Necessity of sacraments: 947, 948;
- Necessity of good works: 1058, 2200, 2218, 2302, 7311, 11458 (what "saves");
- Trusting the Church and Apostolic Succession: 970, 1225, 1796, 8825; 10338
- The Christian Canon: 2024, 2060, 2104, 3973, 5319;
- Tradition and Scripture: 2428, 2741, 4882, 5224, 5812;
- Christian mysticism: 1102 and on;
- Error of Luther: 1557, 1834, 1988, 2033, 2107;
- Error of Calvin: 2679, 4320, 4370, 8676 (*);
- Defects of King James Version: 1194, 1760, 4713-4715, 6384, 6932;
- Is mankind cursed: 1827, 1901; 5317
- Mary sinless and ever virgin; Immaculate conception: 2246, 2310, 2317, 2451, 2459, 2612, 2707, 2801, 2802, 2982, 5916, 6099;
- Intercessory prayer: 1837, 1904, 5588;
- Purgatory and the Last Things: 1837, 1904, 1989;
- Confession and Holy Orders: 4516;
- Liberal Biblical scholarship: 6599;
- Papal Infallibility: 12582
This thread, 'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children mostly rehashes the Erasmus thread with a somewhat different set of participants. Of special note are posts on the importance of the Septuagint: 7207, 7405, 7414, 8277. Also see, on that topic, Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist:145
This is another marathon thread, where Daniel and I exchanged many lengthy posts. We mostly argued the role of good works in salvation, where Daniel took a detailed classical-Protestant position. His thoughtful and well-argumented posts can be seen from my responses to them:
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In this mega-thread Catholics, Protestants, and Immaculate Mary there are several detailed posts of mine that I want to keep for reference. It is also a good article in its own right.
Priests and bishops in the New Testament:
Validity of Protestant Baptism:
(*) This is my growing collection of posts on Calvin:
ActivismWhy Every American Parent Should Follow the Romeike Case
German family denied asylum, HSLDA appeals [Romeike - home schoolers]
Easter 2008 CelebrationAnti-Catholicism, Hypocrisy and Double Standards
Hauled Aboard the Ark
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality
His Open Arms Welcomed Me
Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
My Personal Conversion Story
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
Catholics Come Home
My Journey of Faith
LOGIC AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF PROTESTANTISM
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation
The Crisis of Authority in the Reformation
Our Journey Home
Our Ladys Gentle Call to Peace
A story of conversion at the Lamb of God Shrine
Who is Mary of Nazareth?
Mary and the Problem of Christian Unity
Why I'm Catholic
A Convert's Response to Friends
Courage to Be Catholic
Finally Catholic! My Conversion to the Catholic Church
Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist
The Short Version (the Way International convert)
Shower of Roses-- An Independent, Fundamental Baptist Becomes Catholic Through Mary's Intecession
Confessions of a Catholic Convert
Alex Jones: the evangelical who became a Catholic deacon
A TRIUMPH AND A TRAGEDY
Women's Ordination Was Non-Negotiable
Catholic Mariology, Authority, and Various Other Qualms of Protestants Considering Conversion
Sheep That Go Astray
Pope Benedict Goes to Washington Ecumenical Meeting at St. Joseph's Church, New York
Orthodox and Catholic Churches are allies, (Orthodox) Bishop Hilarion says
How to become a Catholic
Catholic Theology for Non-Catholics series
On Salvation Outside the Catholic Church
The Great Heresies
SALVATION PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
JUSTIFICATION IN CATHOLIC TEACHING
Hermits and Solitaries [Ecumenical]
THE PRIESTHOOD DEBATE
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND MERIT
A Well-Rounded Pope [Ecumenical]
A Monastery to Last 1,000 Years [Ecumenical]
Explaining Purgatory from a New Testament Perspective [Ecumenical]
In the Crosshairs of the Canon [How We Got The Bible] [Ecumenical]
'An Ordinance Forever' - The Biblical Origins of the Mass [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Church Authority In Scripture [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Tradition: Life in the Spirit [Ecumenical]
Vatican plea to uncover Virgin Mary and show her breast-feeding baby Jesus
Why do Catholics have to confess their sins to a priest instead of praying straight to God? [Ecu]
Our Times: The Age of Martyrs
The Eucharist - the Lord's Sacrifice, Banquet and Presence
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Morality: Life in Christ [Ecumenical]
Chosen In Him: The Catholic Teaching on Predestination [Ecumenical]
The Sacraments [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: A Strong Start in the Faith: The Catholic RCIA Stages [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The RCIA Inquiry Stage In the Catholic Church [Ecumenical]
Evangelicals: Change of Heart toward Catholics
Beginning Catholic: The Creed Of The People Of God: The Essentials/Catholic Belief [Ecumenical]
An open letter to Mr. Stephen A. Baldwin, Actor, and born again Christian.
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Purgatory: What Does It Mean? [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The Kingdom of God Taking The Center Of Christ's Teaching Into The Heart Of Your Faith
The Language of Love
Beginning Catholic: The Essentials: Basic Catholic Prayers [Ecumenical]
Why Mary Appears/The Mariology Gap (Cath-Orth Caucus)
Beginning Catholic: How to Pray: A Catholic Guide to the Interior Life [Ecumenical]
The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement
Christianity and Sexual Pleasure
What's So Great about Catholicism? (here is the top 10)
Janet Smith on the Right to Privacy: How Bad Laws Allowed the Culture of Death
Leo XIII on the inerrancy of scripture (from Providentissimus Deus) [ecum.]
Bible can only be understood with the Church, Pope tells scholars (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
MIRARI VOS: ON LIBERALISM AND RELIGIOUS INDIFFERENTISM
The Origins of Political Correctness
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture
Monarchy: Friend of Liberty
Separation of Church and State-Manifest Destiny or Manifest Heresy?
I want my country back
Catholic Conservatives and the Obamas re-election
Is capitalism Catholic? A priest defends free-market economics
I have seen the enemy and he is amongst us...
How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?
They Endured the Communist Terror
Three Numbers [human cost of Communism in Russia]
Fjordman: Can We Coexist with the Left? (Old but timeless)
The reasons for a voluntary death
The revolt of the mothers
Man must sacrifice his life interview with Dominique Venner
The Century 1914
Lackeys and Provocateurs at the New Yorker
Fr. Men: The Eucharist [Cath-Orth caucus]
The Cup of Christ [Cath-Orth caucus]
A Defense of the Holy Icons
Which Came First: The Church or the New Testament?
Sacrificial Language in the Book of Romans
The Sacrament of Holy Orders
Decree of The Seventh Ecumenical Council Against the Iconoclast Heretics (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Sola Scriptura and Protestantisms Hermeneutical Chaos
Nestorius on Mary as the Mother of God (Ecumenical)
Tome of St. Leo the Great on the Two Natures of Christ
Crosses appear inside the Hagia Sophia
Quoting the Eminently Quotable Newman on the Veneration of Images
From time to time someone would ask me not to address anything to him. I will try to accommodate fellow Freepers generally, but I cannot promise never to address a particular Freeper, and this is why.
- I do not keep a database of people where I could store any of your preferences. I do not have a regular ping list of any kind; those that I used to have, I no longer use. If I choose to create another ping list for some reason, I will promptly add or remove anyone upon request from that person, and I always have done so.
- As a general rule, I ping those who I think may be interested in the thread or in what I posted. It does not mean I expect a response, so feel free to ignore it.
- As another general rule, I post chiefly for the benefit of the reader, not of the Freeper who got pinged. There is nothing personal in who I choose to ping; I include certain people in the reply out of courtesy when I have an assumption that they might want to read my post.
- If I choose to respond to a post, and the post has a ping list, I will include the visible part of that ping list in my response. I cannot be expected to edit out parts of that ping. If my response bothers you, please ask the Freeper who included you in the post I am responding to, not me.
- I cannot give you a blank license to post whatever you want and exclude my criticism. If you post something I wish to express my disagreement to, I will post it, regardless how many times you asked me to not ping you. This is a discussion forum, not a chat room, so you should expect criticism of your view point.
I am a happily married man in mid 50s, Catholic conservative. My political ideal is feudal society. This makes me a monarchist. I believe that modern forms of government are an understandable reaction to the excesses of absolute monarchies of 16-19c Europe. I would be happy if a constitutional republic were restored in America, but I don't think it is in the cards. Rather, this is what I think will happen. The end result will be good, but in the interim we should be prepared for some pain.
- Attempts to restrain democracy with constitutional republicanism will not succeed. The modern democratic state will fail very soon, perhaps even during our lifetime.
- The geographically compact capitalist enterprises will survive, at least inasmuch as they contribute to the material culture. That is, hardware, power, construction, transportation and agriculture. The entire cosmopolitan supernational money-changing pseudoeconomy will crash.
- Security will be handled by an interlocking system of private security firms, insurance companies and neighborhood associations.
- Men will nourish their spiritual needs by congregating into religiously, and often nationally homogeneous villages. We'll see Catholic villages, Lutheran villages, Muslim villages, and Agnostic trailer parks, all with ethnic flavors. Places of worship will become universal centers that also provide education and meeting place.
- Consolidation of power will lead to expulsion of inassimilable minorities; the culturally compatible villages will develop trade and security relationship of trust.
- A class of town elders and warlords will emerge. That will be the new aristocracy. Their children will have the natural advantage of proximity to power, and it will be easy for most of them to inherit power. Likewise, the educated class will ensure its own comfort and stability by making itself indispensable to power. Rights will come from property ownership and so will be primarily inherited rights or contractual rights. Political rights will for the most part atrophy due to irrelevance. At this point we will enter the New Feudal Society.
- The public space will become property of the local warlord, first de-facto, because he is the owner of the security firm responsible for the public space, and then de-jure. These men will become new royalty and will distinguish themselves from other nobles, as they will have a responsibility for public order. They will preside in the royal court, and with time begin to appoint professional judges.
- Unlike the Middle Ages, the New Feudal Society will heavily depend on trade, because, of course, the outward life styles won't change, and we still will have cars, computers, washing machines, the Internet and all that other stuff that will not be homegrown. This will ensure stability through mobility, as those dissatisfied with the local government will find opportunities elsewhere. This is different from the Middle Ages where the lower classes had to make do with whatever land lord they were born under. It is therefore possible that the New Feudal Society will not collapse into absolute monarchism in the way the medieval feudalism did.
What is Religious Freedom?
The topic so far has been: what is religious freedom. Specifically, does it include the freedom to preach in a respectful non-disruptive manner in a public place.
I believe, the answer is unequivocal yes. Therefore, a placement of a crucifix (or any other religious symbol) in a public place, for example, in a school run in a non-sectarian way, — for example, a taxpayer supported school known to us in America as a public school, — is a right so long as it is non-disruptive.
Two aspects are germane to the question of possible disruption: — has a deliberative process lead to it? and, — is the symbol otherwise customary and inherently inoffensive?
The first has to be looked from the subsidiarity point of view. The school is operated in a certain way, the parents are one input and the principal is another input. They are a unit completely capable of figuring out if a symbol is appropriate. Usually, — at least, hopefully, — the process has a democratic component. If the majority of the parents prefer one particular symbol, that is a potent factor for that symbol. Unless the principal has a solid reason to overrule the majoritarian decision: for example, the symbol is blasphemous or calls for violence - -the principal should go with the majority. In a predominantly Catholic environment, a crucifix is placed, in predominantly Protestant Christian a naked cross, and in predominantly Muslim — an Islamic symbol would be just as appropriate.
The offensiveness of the symbol is to be seen in the local context as well. If it is otherwise customary it is already proven to be inoffensive. Such is a cross in a Christian community, a Star of David in a Jewish community and so on. If two symbols are juxtaposed in an absurd cacophonous way (Christ next to Shiva) then the less common symbol has to give way.
In short, freedom of religion means that the local community allows for the dominant religious symbols routinely, and for non-dominant symbols on an exceptional basis. The minority groups are free to form a minority-dominant enclave and enjoy the dominance of their religion in that enclave.
This is how religious freedom was understood for centuries, in the Roman Empire or Muslim Caliphate in their better days, in medieval Europe and in the United States, and till recently everywhere in the formerly free West. We lost that clarity thanks to the ACLU militant litigants. They should be rolled back.
Obviously, religious freedom suffers when immigration is blind to this most critical aspect of the immigrant’s identity, his religion. If a nation values religious freedom, that nation should give preference to the immigrants of the dominant religious confession and especially avoid confessions that are known disruptors of peace, such as the Muslim and the Atheists.
You then asked how the above program can be realized in America. My answer is threefold. First, whether a principle of justice is valid is not controverted by the difficulty of achieving it in practice. Christian communities lived under Roman and Islamic persecution for centuries, under Atheist persecution for nearly a century; slavery was the law of the land for centuries as well. That polytheist or atheist empires denied religious freedom, or slaveholder societies denied economic freedoms, does not make religious freedom a false principle or slavery a right principle. What we need is patience and clarity of thought, and the right side wins in the end.
Second, the countries in immediate view are Italy, Poland, Greece and Cyprus, that are already confessionally solid. They had crucifixes and icons for centuries; it took a foreign power to deny them their freedom. That battle is easy to win, and we see how it is being won: the Church takes leadership position, and the population, encouraged by their civil leaders engage in civil disobedience. Either the EU will back down, or these countries leave the EU. The worst that can happen is that the EU will lose its moral authority and will be seen as a foreign oppressor. That will not last.
In the US the situation is a bit different as we are being brainswashed into thinking that multi-confessional diversity is a virtue. I think that the likely progress of the battle in this country will be that every time ACLU knocks down a Christian monument someone erects a tall cross on his property. Children already defy the system by publicly praying in public schools (what a pun!). Teachers often join them. This, again, is civil disobedience. The difference with healthier countires in Europe is that we have the American insitutions of government working against us. I think civil disobedience will be productive in this country as well. We may not see crucifixes in public school any time soon. But we shall see them more and more often. One day, the damb will break. Note, too, that the system is crumbling down from the other end: the maintenance of the public school system is fiscally untenable. Perhaps the public education system in America will simply — poof! — collapse.
Little Known Gospel FactsThis is a collection of particularly contorted interpretations of the Gospels that I have come across while defending the Catholic faith. Please send me your suggestions.
Mary in the Protestant Gospel
Christ teenage years were difficult. His mother Mary would not let him teach in the temple and asked him for miracles all the time. When Christ grew up, He paid her back by refusing to recognize her or other relatives.
Christ almost forgot to arrange for His mother to move in with John. Luckily, He remembered at the last possible moment as He was dying on the cross.
Peter in the Protestant Gospel
"Petros", masculine noun, means "tiny pebble" but "petra", feminine noun, means "big rock" in Greek (*).
The video of the Gospel of Matthew clearly shows Jesus taking a pebble form His shoe, then pointing to a big rock nearby, when talking to Peter.
Jesus was upset when He caught Peter fishing, so He told him to feed the sheep instead, and predicted his torturous death in order to further embarrass him.
What Christ taught
Jesus told parables about works of love and sacrifice to entertain the disciples while He was waiting for His death and resurrection. Now that we have been saved, we can ignore those fables.
Jesus did not want the rich young man to go to Heaven. He told him to obey the commandments and give his wealth to the poor in order to confuse him.
Jesus decided to give Peter a key, acting on an impulse. But quickly He realized His mistake, called him Satan instead, and kept the key.
(*) See, however, Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle