Learning from Atheists, Other Things

August 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Dialogues

 

WHY bis not being one of the People of the book equated with Athism?? I am a religious Pagan who says her prayers morning and night and enjoys the fellowship of more or less like minds. I happen to harbor a deep love for ST Therese, and a deep respect for ST. Hypatia of Alexanfia martyred for rhr crime of saying that ftruth was greater than belief and actions greater than Faith.

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  • New Apologetics Thanks for your question. 

    You wrote:
    “WHY is not being one of the People of the book equated with Atheism?? “

    We reply:
    We’d like to begin by saying that atheism is not so bad. In comparison to the disordered versions of Christianity which view most of the human race as expendable (damned to eternal torture for not holding Christian beliefs), a transition to atheist humanism is a move in the right direction. In order for “Christianity” to have anything to do with Christ, other people must be understood as having *infinite* value to God. Furthermore, the atheist criticisms of popular Christian ideology (which is not to be confused with the official teaching of the Church) are almost always right on target. The atheists are right in that they are rejecting a concept of God that ought to be rejected.

    You wrote:
    “I am a religious Pagan who says her prayers morning and night and enjoys the fellowship of more or less like minds. I happen to harbor a deep love for ST Therese, and a deep respect for ST. Hypatia of Alexanfia martyred for rhr crime of saying that ftruth was greater than belief and actions greater than Faith.”

    We reply:
    We (and the Catholic Church) agree that truth and love are greater than belief. We say that if you love truth then you love Jesus even if you don’t call him by name. Could you describe what attracts you to your pagan beliefs? We are interested in the common ground.
  • Connielynn Gillespie Lande I believe no one can truly be an atheist if they believe in anything even if it is just their self…I say agnostic maybe but we as humans believe in whatever gives us comfort even if that is just pure science…prayers no matter who they are made to seem to bring comfort to the ones saying them and to the ones they are meant for…Blessed Be
  • Jomil Mulvey exactly so! I went through a phase of calling myself agnostic. I am not so humble any more. taught by time i would say I am a pantheist polytheistic animistic deist. I reject the notion that loving truth is loving Jesus because I do not accept the notion that any Man is the truth. if truth were any Person, SHE would be the Goddess. In, answer to the question New Apoligetics posed to me, I am attracted by love of ritual as are many of my sisters and brothers who are also recovering Catholics and Jews. A few of my coveners are recovering Protestants who hungered for what they did not get in the churches taet=y were raised in. Our common search for truth lead us away from “churchianity”. Please do not mistake me, I believe there is a lot of common ground. what i, Personally cannot get around is “vicarious Salvation”. Since I reject the notion of a punitive God out of hand, who can learn Life’s lessons for me? Who can learn to play the piano for me, much less ,learn the great lessons the Gods have been trying to Teach Humanity since we first crawled out of caves. I also reject the whole :”War in Heaven” scenario BTW, but agree heartily that all things conspire toward the Good for those of us )who love the Lo
  • Jomil Mulvey sorry, Lord. (and Lady) BLessed Be.
  • New Apologetics Connielynn Gillespie Lande Jomil Mulvey 

    How fitting that you came here at the time of the Epiphany.

    The good pagans came to offer worship to the newborn Christ knowing that nothing of what they already loved would be threatened, but would be vindicated and infinitely amplified through the one who had come into the world. It was Herod, the oppressor, whose ill-gotten gain was threatened by the child Jesus. All that which he held by force was about to be taken away. He knew not how, but he knew truly.

    It was not only Herod’s throne but the throne of every oppressing power that was to be emptied, and the head of the Oppressor crushed underfoot.

    But before Herod or the demons who nourished his false kingdom sensed their doom, a woman said:

    “My soul glorifies the Lord, 
    my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
    He looks on his servant in her lowliness; 
    henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
    The Almighty works marvels for me. 
    Holy his name!”

    And then she goes on to describe some of the marvels done for her:

    [Through Mary, the Mediatrix of all grace] His mercy is from age to age, on those who fear him.
    [Through Mary, the Mediatrix of all grace] He puts forth his arm in strength and scatters the proud-hearted.
    [Through Mary, the Mediatrix of all grace] He casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly.
    [Through Mary, the Mediatrix of all grace] He fills the starving with good things, sends the rich away empty.
    [Through Mary, the Mediatrix of all grace] He protects Israel, his servant, remembering his mercy, the mercy promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his sons for ever.”

    You are (in what you have come to love in your paganism) seeking something far smaller than the power given to Mary, our Mother. You say “Blessed be”, but she says “Behold, all generations will call me blessed.” 

    But have you heard that the same Love who chose a woman to be the first to be elevated to equality with God by God’s own gift (yes, it is the teaching of the Church)… Have you heard the good news that the gift that God gave to Mary is the gift that he is giving to you? But how can it be that God has done this for Mary *and* for you? We would like to tell you about it.

    God knows that you love power and hate oppression, and God is with you and for you. His one desire is to give you the desire of your heart.

    In authentic Christian teaching, it is not a vicarious sacrifice which saves us. It is the reality that God, to liberate his suffering people from every injustice, has united every human person to the divine nature. The creator and redeemer of all beauty and innocence is one with you *now.* The child who is the terror of all oppressors wants you to know that he promises to give you more power than you can ask for or imagine, and he is *not* asking anything from you but to simply receive what he has for you.
  • Jomil Mulvey ah, but do YOU know that SHE is the Giver, and the Receiver who does not demand sacrifice. but pours her Herself out upon the earth. She defined Herself as female by giving Birth to what we know as the multiverse. There followed the BIG Bang (!) and as a result we came to be. I* am His and Her handmaid and natural child not a 7 day DIY project. i am not ashamed of my lowliness. Swinbourne quotes the Mother of all when he gently chides “My sons, o’ too dutiful to Gods not of Me, Was I not enough beautiful? Was it hard to be free?” Tthe greeting blessed be is short hand for a short ritual known as the 5- fold kiss, which reminds us of 5 principles, begining “Bleed be thy feet thta have brought thee in these ways, and ending Blessed be thy Lips that shall speak holy Names.” I say Blessed be to you and the world to greet you, welcome you into my company and wish for you that you remeber who you are and are meant to be.
  • Nita Church There are many spiritual paths to god.
  • Jomil Mulvey and just as many to the Goddess! I like nthe Bahai’i saying that the various paths we take are the fingers of the God’sa hands stretched out tous, and they all lead into the palm of His Hand . And hers! I am weary of all the He/She-ing I am doing, would you please take it as read that i mean Their hands neither His nor Hers exclusively? Vioet Firth (Dion Fortune) said it well,I think-“a religion w/o a Goddess is halfway to atheism.”
  • New Apologetics Jomil Mulvey

    You wrote: ah, but do YOU know that SHE is the Giver, and the Receiver who does not demand sacrifice. but pours her Herself out upon the earth. 

    We reply: Which is greater, a being in feminine form, or the transcendentally beautiful one who invented femininity itself? We are with you in recognizing the feminine in God, but God is *beyond* masculine and feminine attributes as both are created things. 

    Going further in agreement, Catholics also believe that God does *not* demand sacrifice, but is pure self-gift to us for our joy.

    You wrote:
    She defined Herself as female by giving Birth to what we know as the multiverse. There followed the BIG Bang (!) and as a result we came to be. 

    We reply:
    We do not deny the truth to which you are pointing. There are both masculine and feminine ways of referring to God, but the reality of God’s transcendence is beyond our limiting terms. 

    You wrote:
    I* am His and Her handmaid and natural child not a 7 day DIY project. 

    We reply:
    Have you come to know that the divine nature itself is offered to you? Though you are a creature, you will possess (by the gift of God) the divine nature. God has identified with your human nature and offers you the divine nature in exchange. This gift has consequences greater than what we can ask for or imagine.

    You wrote:
    i am not ashamed of my lowliness. 

    We reply:
    Nor should you be. All authentic lowliness is the refusal to glorify ourselves because we *know* that God is more interested in our glory than we could ever be. And the glory that God gives leaves nothing to be desired.

    You wrote:
    Swinbourne quotes the Mother of all when he gently chides “My sons, o’ too dutiful to Gods not of Me, Was I not enough beautiful? Was it hard to be free?” 

    We reply:
    We would agree that many of us Christians are dutiful to a “god” who is not the God of freedom, beauty, love and truth. However, these “gods” are idols in the way of the one true God. We can learn much from the atheists. 

    You wrote:
    Tthe greeting blessed be is short hand for a short ritual known as the 5- fold kiss, which reminds us of 5 principles, begining “Bleed be thy feet thta have brought thee in these ways, and ending Blessed be thy Lips that shall speak holy Names.” I say Blessed be to you and the world to greet you, welcome you into my company and wish for you that you remeber who you are and are meant to be.

    We reply:
    We say that in this broken world where we experience injustice and death, all blessing and hope of a future flows not from five principles, but from the wounds of Christ who has made our wounds his own. Only in him can our suffering and death be made holy. He did not come to appease an angry father by offering a blood sacrifice. Rather, in union with the Father, he came to be united to us in our agony. One with the Father *and* with suffering humanity, Jesus has destroyed the power of suffering and death to separate us from the love of God.