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They say "Catholic," but are they Christian?

Catholic activists organizing boycott of holiday dinner; Menino's stance mischaracterizes faith, they say. (Boston Globe login semods4@yahoo.com; pw= speakeasy).

>> A Catholic network of antiabortion activists is trying to mount a boycott of an annual Christmas dinner that raises money for Catholic Charities, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Boston.

The group, which has about 50 activists, began asking major donors last week to rescind their sponsorship of tables at the black-tie benefit banquet, planned for Dec. 9 at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

The event will honor Mayor Thomas M. Menino, whom the boycott organizers criticize for being a Catholic in public office who contravenes the Vatican's teachings on abortion and gay marriage....

[The group's spokeswoman] said the activists plan to urge boycotts of the charity well beyond the benefit dinner, hoping to reduce donations by at least $100,000 in the next six months. <<

Today's Gospel was about the end times and the last judgement. According to that Gospel, Christ Himself will ultimately judge us, based on whether we feed the homeless and help the helpless -- not on our stance about gay marriage, or even abortion. If there's anyone mischaracterizing the faith here, it's those who insist that sexual morality, rather than economic justice, is the core of what it means to be a Christian. St. Paul says the hallmark of the Christian is love -- trying to sabotage fundraising by Catholic Charities is not an act of love, and it's definitely not what Jesus would do.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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What would Jesus do?

Our pastor here has a comeback for this one but, then again, he uses the phrase himself. He will tell us that Jesus was constantly confounding his own diciples with unexpected answers to their questions....so we really don't know what Jesus would do.Happy

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Based on His actions with the adulterous woman vs.

His parable of the beggar Lazarus and the rich man, the camel's eye commment, and today Gospel, I don't think it's at all hard to work out, Steve.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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re: The woman 'taken in adultery'

I think you have to do some violence to the text to claim that He wasn't concerned about sexual morality. For example, even in John 8:11, the last thing He said to her was "Go now and leave your life of sin." (NIV)

Also, unless you want to throw out a chunk of New Testament (including Acts, most of the letters, ...) you will find more than enough evidence that sexual morality matters.

I think the better question is what government should look like. It's pretty clear from Scripture what our personal lifestyle and morality ought to look like, especially if you consider the Old Testament as well as the New. What is not clear is whether we are called to set up a government that enforces that morality.

If Jesus had been so intent on setting up a political kingdom He could have done so. If He had wanted the disciples to set one up then it seems to me He would have given them instructions to that effect. If you really want the government to enforce the values of the "Kingdom of God" then so be it ... but you'll be left with the problem of who gets to decide what those values are. There's a whole lot of us who don't think those values are limited to issues of social justice. Also, it appears to me that government institutions intended to reflect the Kingdom's social values have uniformly failed and have generally made social problems worse rather than better.

Personally, I don't much want the government to get involved in enforcing the Kingdom's sexual morality. On the whole, I'd rather live in Paul's Corinth than in Calvin's Geneva. I do, however, strongly object to attempts to use governmental power to trash traditional social norms that have been recognized even by many non-Christians.

Finally, if you want to try to codify your notions of social justice you are welcome to try. In doing so you are giving tacit permission to your opponents who want to codify their notions of Christian morality. I really don't see why you would want to do that.

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Social norms

Bill, I presume you're okay with the government's outlawing some social norms of the past and present, such as slavery, child labor, unsafe working conditions, voting restrictions, separate and unequal education, racial discrimination, gender discrimination, etc. These kinds of injustices require constant vigilance. They continue until a vigilant populace demands that they be eliminated. So in a way it's not the government getting rid of them but rather the people through the government.

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Government's role in our lives

I believe that government's role is to keep us from hurting each other but not to keep us from hurting ourselves because that is a very slippery slope.

Diana

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to keep us from hurting ourselves

said the Masochist to the Sadist "hit me!"
said the Sadist to the Masochist "NO!"

Wink

.

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Who is us? Who is ourselves?

Whether we like it or not, we are a community. A person cannot hurt himself without hurting others. A father drinks too much. A son commits a crime. A daughter gets on drugs. A mother commits suicide. Everyone is a father, or mother, or daughter, or son. Or friend of someone.

Each person has a potential for good. If that person does damage to that potential, society suffers, for society cannot do good, only the people who make it up can do good.

As Donne said, none of us is an island; we are all part of the main. Who was it that said if you cut off a finger, you hurt the whole body?

For whom the bell tolls, by John Donne

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

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OK, then who decides what you cannot do to yourself?

Will you make driving illegal because lots of people die in car accidents each year.

Will you outlaw extreme sports (or even regular sports) because people get hurt or killed doing these?

Will you outlaw all things that people abuse? How much does the father have to drink to drink too much? Why should you stop the daughter from getting on drugs? How do you stop a mother from committing suicide - by making it illegal? These are family matters and should be handled by the family. The son committing a crime brings someone else into the mix.

Will you designate the police to go to people's houses to make sure they exercise?

Will you be a Carrie Nation and charge into the supermarkets and destroy all the Twinkies and cakes - not to mention the cigarettes and beer?

Where do you draw the line? This is a slippery slope.

Diana

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The problem, Granpaw, is that government isn't a thing

It's the active agent of society -- as Lincoln put it, "of by, and for the people." At least ideally -- we currently have the best government special interests' money can buy, thanks to the wrong-headed notion that money=speech.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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I didn't say He wasn't concerned, Dr. Bill

Clearly He was ("heave already commited adultery in your heart.") But that wasn't the focus of His message. By objection is to those who say that sexual morality, which in fact was a minor focus of His message. Elijah (or was it Isaiah) spoke of the Messiah proclaiming good news to the poor, liberty to captives, and release to prisoners -- no mention of hellfire to adulterer's! Yet these focus are trying to do serious harm to an agency known for its good and charitable works simply because they honor someone with whome the group disagrees politically. How is that christian behavior?

Another example of what I mean was back 10 years or so. Henry Hyde, then a leader of the Catholic right (and best known as author of the Hyde Amendment forbidding use of Federal funds to provide abortions to the poor except in the case of rape, incest, or threat to life, not health, of the mother) issued two press releases on two consecutive days commenting on actions by the American Congress of Catholic Bishops. The first day he praised their bold leadership and vision for speaking out against abortion, contraception, and sex eduxation in the schools. However, the next day they called for an abolition of the death penalty and a "liveable living wage" as part of Christ's message of economic justice. Hyde's comment? "The Church must learn to stop meddling in politics!" Thankfully, Hyde's influenced waned after it came out that he'd had a mistress for years.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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The Catholic church has already in its old history

paid a high price for straying from its orthodoxy. Much of this was caused by the church allowing itself to (or deliberately) become woven into the fabric of secular or political bodies. If it weren't for the few who remained faithful to the fundamental principles it believed to be the teachings of Jesus through the apostolic fathers the church might well be gone or indistinguishable from so many others.

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Steven, do you believe that one must be Catholic

to go to heaven? Or that God has given Catholics an edge on getting to heaven? If being a Catholic does not give a person an edge, then isn't one religion as good as another? Doesn't salvation then depend on the internal circumstance of how good a person is rather than on the external circumstance of whether, for example, he was born to a Catholic family in Ireland or to a Buddhist family in Vietnam?

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I can answer that, Granpaw.

It's been many years, Granpaw, since the Church has taught that only Catholics can go to heaven -- Father Feeney, who taught that, was excommunicated for that belief back in the 40's -- it was officially declared heretical in 1949. The Church now teaches that anyone who lives a good life and follows the dictates of his/her own value system will be saved, whether they personally know and accept Christ or not. However, the Church also teaches that it is the official successor of the Apostles, and was ordained directly by Christ, with sacraments to aid the faithful towards salvation.

My problem is that I believe the latter, but I also believe that the institutional, hierarchical Church has strayed far from what Christ intended, and is now more concerned with its own power and influence, and "staying on message" (whether that message be right or wrong) rather than ministering to the flock and adapting Christ's word to the times. As a result, the institutional Church has usually been part of the status quo and opposed to social progress (for example, it supported absolute monarchy and slavery until both had essentially died out, and still hasn't come to terms with the concept of women's equality with men!)

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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This one and this one only will I answer
''Steven, do you believe that one must be Catholic
to go to heaven?''


Since you asked only my belief...the answer is "NO". The remainder of your questions I will respectfully ignore as not being pertinent to the subject or my post.
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(NT) (NT) Jesus said that only God is good.
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What would Jesus do?

Well,unless He is a hypocrite, I would think He would feed the poor, clothe the naked, comfort the oppressed, welcome the neighgor, and vote Democratic.

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I don't. I think He would condemn the Democrats for killing

children. He's God. He knows what abortion is, and has shown no hesitation to condemn the self righteous who cloak their sin with talk. In fact, He said that, for those who harm children, it would be better for them if an anchor were tied around their neck and cast into the sea. I think He would also condemn the Republicans for being so willing to accomodate those who are doing evil things. He would, and does, call both sides to repent of their sin.

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I'm waiting for lightning bolts to strike televangelists,

all of them. Talk about Hypocrisy on the Hoof.

Rob

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Yes, Jesus wouldn't have a lot of good to say to many of

them, but I suspect He would surprise you with who He praised.

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Agreed!

Although I suspect he'd rather like Charles Stanley.

--Cindi

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I suspect, KP, He'd be about as "pleased" with "His Church"

(generic -- not referring to any in particular here) as He was with the Pharisees and Sadducees that were the religious leaders when He came the first time! BTW, the Church that's doctrinally probably closest to what the Gospels suggest He had in mind is probably the Society of Friends -- but there's that nasty problem of a lack of sacraments or apostolic succession.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Well,. that too

But first of all he would clothe us in the finest garments, feed us the most sumptuous meal, provide us with the lovliest virgins (even more than the Muslims get when they ascend), etc. What a Guy!

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Don't drag Jesus into your argument if you don't know who He

is. You make God sound like a four letter word that both begins and ends with a 'p'. That's offensive gutter talk.

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Thanks, kiddpeat,

for your thoughtful, loving and Chriatian addition to the conversation. And I agree with you that Jesus says that we should not judge.

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begins and ends with a 'p'
sure does give new meaning to "pulp fiction"...


.
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Of course they are...

their position is as it should be regardless that it is in variance with your cafeteria choices.

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No, Ed -- because they're contravening

Christ's dictates to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, and minister to prisoners. They're every b it as much "cafateria Catholics" -- it's just you happen to agree with their menu choices more than mine.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Christ didn't say ...

... to do all that with money stolen from the pockets of others.

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Irrelevant to a discussion of Catholic Charities, Evie.

And many consider profits theft, too (though not I, except in the case of excess). "Theft" is in the eye of the beholder.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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No way to arrive at that conclusion...

because NOWHERE does anything indicate they are opposed to any of Christ's teachings--just that they are opposed to a specific charity that has provided monies for abortions and same sex adoptions which does regardless of your personal beliefs "contravenes the Vatican's teachings on abortion and gay marriage".

Their message is really quite simple - QUIT using the charity to provide monies for things that ate AGAINST CHRIST'S TEACHINGS. Do take note that they have not even hinted at boycotts of other Catholic Charities that do not provide monies for what the Catholic Church itself teaches is evil or unholy.

Try reading Mathew again (FROM THE START) and see what it says about when life begins as well as what is said about the place of those who harm children.

If you concentrated on the breads, meats, and vegetables rather than the desert table's cakes, pies, and ices even the cafeteria could provide you a rounded "meal".

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