Saturday, March 29, 2008
The Bible is silent on the issue of the perpetual viriginity of Mary. While there are references to "brothers" and "sisters" which on the surface seems to support the idea of Mary having other children, the fact is we know nothing about their exact relationship with Jesus. The Bible is silent on these family members untill Jesus is 30! It makes sense that if there were other childeren involved in the return from Egypt or on the trip from Jerusalem, there would be some mention. Now I realize that this is not strong evidence but it is circumstantial and must be acknowledged.
However, there is the additional problem, that even if Mary did not have additional children, that does not mean she remained a virgin. So we must look at the evidence we have. The Bible records that the Angel told Joseph to take Mary as his wife. But it also makes it clear that he had no relations with Mary while she was his betrothed, nor did he have any relations while she was pregnant. Here, we must ask, why? Nothing in Jewish law forbids a man having relations with his pregnant wife. But we see that Joseph choose not to.
An Explination for this may be found in other documents from antiquity. In the Protoevangelum of James written in the 2nd century we read the early Christian legend that Mary was a temple virgin under a life-long vow of celebacy. And that she was entrusted to Joseph to care for her. This is not unheard of in antiquity. And, it would explain why Joseph did not have relations with her while she was pregnant.
Add to this that in antiquity, in the early church, there is no counter argument. There is no one claiming Mary was not a virgin, no one claiming relatives of Christ. As a matter of Fact we know from other early christian sources that James "the brother of the Lord" was in fact a son of Joseph, a view supported by the Protoevangelum.
In short, after prayer and study, there appears to be no evidence from the Scriptures, antiquity or Tradition to support the idea that Mary did not have other children. At least, that is my opinion.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
- (referring to an emotional investment in pastors) Not like that required of Catholics which obligates them to believe that their church leaders are not wrong or even Christ Himself is a liar and fraud.
- Individual catholics are subject to the RCC. They lie for they mama. They mama is a liar par excellence. If that does not clearly state that one plus one equals two, nothing does.
- A true Christian is a Christ-follower, not a papist.
- .you (Catholics) have been brainwashed by your superiors...
- You must obey the Roman Catholic Church....This is all they believe and all they think they need to believe.
- But they have been brainwashed Catholicism is "apostolic" so they believe modern Catholic teachings "must be" there, albeit, the fault is THEY cannot see them...
- Now Protestants (and other non Catholics) notice the same thing Catholic readers do, that modern Catholic doctrines are not in scripture...but they aren't brainwashed by the Magisterium...
- No, it's because Roman Catholics get cliched talking points that are seen all over, yet when queried in a way that they cannot rely on those cliched talking points, are totally lost, just like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses and other cults who regurgitate conditioned cliched talking points.
And all of this from people who claim they "love" us.
I recently came across a blog that I am really enjoying. It is called American Papist, and it is the blog of Thomas Peters, a lay catholic and sometimes contributor to Inside Catholic webzine.
It is a mix of Catholic social commentary and humor.
Check it out!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
It is a well-known fact that religion isn’t either necessary for a moral life or, indeed, even a very good source of morals.Here, I would disagree. I happen to believe that religion is an excellent source of morals. Sometimes we as people need to be told the obvious. "The golden rule", is a notion found in every religion, be it the karma of the Hindus, the Circle of the Buddhists or the morals of Judaism and Christianity. Also, if religion were unnecessary, why is it a element of every society humankind has created?
Then consider whether or not their position was anything to them other than a means to an end, that is, a way for them to use and manipulate people to get what they want. They violated their oaths and betrayed the people who trusted them.
A further idea of illustrating this point just popped into my head.
Consider the infamous Catholic kid-bothering priests, like Brendan Smyth. Consider the fact that they were the seemingly most religious and sacred persons around in their societies. Then consider what they did.
Or, consider that they were/are pedophiles. Their positions had nothing to do with their crimes, anymore than the teacher who is caught can blame education. Most likely, they did believe what they preached, that makes them hypocrites, but it is hardly condemning of all religion.
Which of the two resulting alternatives do you rather take: That these outwardly most holy men were liars and didn’t believe the hellfire and post-mortem justice they preached, or that their godly beliefs were of a form that found raping children acceptable?
The plain truth is that religion doesn’t, on the average, make people any better. Some it helps, some it just hides, some it gives power to do great good or terrible ill, but on the average in doesn’t make people any better. As it isn’t true either, why keep it? Let it pass into the company of hankering for a Habsburg king and spotting ufos — an anachronistic hobby for the slightly eccentric ones.So, if you happen to be religious or spiritual, you are an "eccentric" with an "anachronistic hobby". Of course, I have seen religion play a huge role in helping people turn their lives in a different direction. And, make them better people. I believe people do need religion, in one form or another. It is our nature, how God made us. We do have souls, and our souls are constantly reaching towards him that created us. That is truth, a greater truth that I am happy to know.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Witness the spectacle of hundreds, or thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics massing together to worship a piece of melba toast, or a stain on the side of a wall, or a shadow against a building, or a growth on a tree, or the latest "apparition" that vaguely resembles the shape of what Roman Catholics have come to associate with Mary.
Now, I have been a Catholic my entire life, and have never witnessed "the spectacle of hundreds, or thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics massing together to worship a piece of melba toast..." This is a ridiculous assertion. Most Catholics I know, view such things as silliness, and when they do occur (contrary to what Mr. Svendsen says) they are almost always accompanied by a representative of the local diocese warning against seeing to much in it.
I guess that is why Mr. Svendsen does not allow comments on his blog, that way, he can post whatever he wants without fear of correction.
Friday, March 14, 2008
History has always been fascinating to me. So it is interesting when traditions from the past are brought out to commemorate the passing of a special person.
On January 12, 2008 the Rite of Christian Burial was performed for His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Carl Ludwig Maria Franz Joseph Michael Gabriel Antonius Robert Stephan Pius Gregor Ignatius Markus d'Aviano of Austria. aka Archduke Carl Ludwig von Habsburg-Lothringen. He was the fifth child and the fourth son of Blessed Emperor Charles and his wife Empress Zita of Bourbon-Parma.
The Ceremony was held in the Cathedral in Vienna, and the archduke was later interred in the family crypt in the Capuchin Abbey.
Some videos of the Ceremony:
There are also some home videos on Youtube, posted by the Austrian Monarchist League. This one, is the most moving, it is the family rising to its feet as the Kaiserhymme (the anthem of Imperial Austria) is played, and the crowd present singing the old anthem. Most Americans don't know that Austria was once a superpower that dominated Central Europe.
There are also some photos of the event at the German magazine Bunte:
Eternal rest grant unto him o Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.