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« Fr. Kenneth Baker on Mary, Immaculate | Main | Turn Your Hearts! »

Friday, December 07, 2007

Comments

Nick Milne

This is the false deity that promotes numb groupthink and inhibits growth and abhors the feminine divine (perhaps the books' most beautiful, inspiring theme), the same paranoid, dreadful God that votes for George W. Bush because, well, he will smite the icky gays and protect us from vile pagans and Buddhists and Muslims and feminists and frumpy genius atheist British writers.

This was written by a San Francisco man, you say

Jackson

"genius"

The dumbing down continues.

LJ

I am glad that these vitriolic Pullman fans are giving voice to their hatred and I hope that they receive as much publicity as possible. Those who disguise their anti-Catholicism and hatred of God and promote a sort of "tolerant" ambivalence, knowing quite well the cultural effect of something like the Golden Compass among those who are less informed, are to my mind far more dangerous.

If and when the lines are clearly and publicly drawn, even those who don't wish to think are forced to make a decision, are forced to look at an issue and align themselves.

I am also glad that they have spoken the issue for what it really is. Nevermind the specific teachings and dogmas, abortion, birth-control, fornication, etc., etc. which are such precious liberties to the self-centered. Those are battles and important ones, but they have also named the war for what it is. It is what it has ever been since Adam and Eve, rebellion against authority. Nothing more, nothing less. Before Adam and Eve it was Lucifer, the father of all rebellion against God.

It is the clarity that is so refreshing because in that clarity decisions are made. I know this personally, and must remind myself of it regularly so that I do not become that Pharisee thankful that I am not as other men. Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.

(It was in that time when I had made up my mind to follow Jesus Christ as opposed the pagan gods around, but before I became Catholic that I one day realized that I could never be a Protestant again for the simple reason that its very ethos was rebellion against authority. Moreover, that is the reason that it continues to fragment.)

It is my hope that even those who shake their fist at God will one day stop in mid-shout at the realization that without authority there can never be authenticity, and without that ultimate authority there can be no authentic life.

Salome

Am I imagining things, or is the real point that the latest crop of professional atheists are trying to make is that God is a nasty old spoilsport who (shock, horror) tries to prevent them doing whatever they like with their genitals, and must therefore be eliminated?

Audrey

I am surprised how many Evangelicals and Catholics I know who have never heard any of Pullman's raging and atheistic rhetoric.

I keep referring them to this weblog, and there isn't any I've found with better or more up-to-date information on this or any issue...so thank you very much. I read it every day!

Jackson

What happened to being "open to all points of view"? Nevermind.

Sandra Miesel

The seething hatred of religion expressed by some Pullman supporters on blogs and websites is deeply ominous. I'm sure they're just a minority and few in absolute numbers, but so are the avid fans of Dawkins et al.

Rémy

Very well written. . .

If I may rant ... just a little.

As I find one particular point, common to the typical militant atheist's à la carte criticism, as expressed by M. Morford as our “abhorrence” toward “the feminine divine”, which he feels may, even, be the series most touching, - heavens me! -, most beautiful and inspiring theme of all (and this means more than I'm initially inclined to grant as its proper worth. He really believes there are many beautiful and inspiring things all amongst these insipid pieces of unmusical agitprop)...

Remarkable. I find it almost impossible to understand how anyone can hurl this beyond bizarre claim that we Roman Catholics have, of all things, an abhorrence for a divine feminine figure. Craig Blomberg noted, with equal confusion and less tears, this same trait in his review of the Da Vinci Code. How can anyone, of right mind, assert in spite of “the early veneration of Mary, the Mother of Jesus (My note: Mother of God), in Roman Catholicism” - that we abhor the ideal of a divine feminine figure? There can be no reasonable explanation offered for this groundless polemic. Theres no excuse for stupidity, no, not when its thought out. I mean, it isn't as though Marian devotion is some isolated practice. Everybody knows what the Rosary is; on the same token, I don't know of many people who haven't heard (or heard of) the Angelic Psalter: Ave Maria. Very few subjects has the Church so emphatically expressed Herself as on that of the status of the Immaculata.

Honestly now, how can a man weep at a woman's feet, implore Her help and yet be a misogynist? How can those who pray to a woman, ever, be adverse to feminine divinity? ... It is, perhaps, one of the greatest, most disheartening, spectacles of the modern world...that those who have never ceased to seek refuge from a woman, are those ever accused of denying femininity its proper place in light of the Divine. . .We call Her Mediatrix, and are called heretics for going too far; while the other side of the fence deny that we've gone at all...

It isn't all bad though...I spose we may feel rather confident with our own beliefs, in considering that the world's criticism, of this Catholic Faith of ours, merely amounts to a grotesque pile of oxymora.

Cristina A. Montes

Carl wrote: The Guardian column cited by Karr is a case of Pullman engaging (in unconvincing fashion) in self-serving redefinition. He writes: "You don't need a belief in God to have a theocracy." Uh, yes, you do. It reminds me of the statement made by an atheist—the founder of the local "freethinkers and atheists society"—after we had exchanged three or four letters years ago: "I never said I didn't believe in a God. I just don't believe in your God." Since for Pullman most if not all evils can be eventually traced back to "organized religion" and "theocracies," the tens of millions murdered by atheistic regimes in the 20th century must necessarily be victims of some form of theocracy. Never mind that a theocracy without belief in God or gods is like a symphony without music (unless the "composer" is John Cage) or a combustion engine without fuel or motion.

=> This reminds me of an atheist friend of mine who, in discussing with another the difference between atheists and agnostics, told his interlocutor, "But those definitions aren't accurate because they come from the point of view of someone who believes in God."

Tom R

"before I became Catholic that I one day realized that I could never be a Protestant again for the simple reason that its very ethos was rebellion against authority."

You need to get out more and meet some real life Protestants. Warning: if the Catholic Truth Society leaflets you'e relying on for your data are dated before MCMLXIII, then they're no longer operative (NPI for "Serenity" fans there!). In fact, Protestantism's very ethos is "We must obey God rather than men." Any "authority" that humans wield is subordinate to God's authority. I realise this distinction is largely meaningless for Catholics if the "men" in question are your personally preferred Popes (although Catholics are reasonably good at recognising that "obey them" doesn't mean "obey them unconditionally,, even if they are teaching heresy or commanding you to sin" when it comes to secular rulers, but I suppose St Paul didn't use the word "keys" or "rock" in Romans 13), but for St Peter and other Evangelicals it was obviously a pretty cogent distinction.

padraighh

You may be right Tom R. but at last count these Protestants have been listening to and obeying about 20,000 different gods.

Carl Olson

In fact, Protestantism's very ethos is "We must obey God rather than men."

A good example of why nearly any statement that declares, "Protestantism is X", or "Protestantism is not Y," is doomed to be meaningless. Even a more specific statement of "Evangelicalism is X" requires a number of qualifiers since you can find self-described Evangelicals (Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo) who often sound more like 21st-century Democratic cheerleaders than they do heirs of mid-20th century American Evangelicalism. And then there is the ongoing crumbling of the Anglican Communion/Episcopalian. Frankly, it's rather hard to believe—based on her public comments and stances—that Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, is more interested in a traditional, orthodox understanding of God than the opinions of current-day trendsetters.

Any "authority" that humans wield is subordinate to God's authority. I realise this distinction is largely meaningless for Catholics if the "men" in question are your personally preferred Popes

You need to get out more and meet some real life Catholic doctrine:

Christ is himself the source of ministry in the Church. He instituted the Church. He gave her authority and mission, orientation and goal:

"In order to shepherd the People of God and to increase its numbers without cease, Christ the Lord set up in his Church a variety of offices which aim at the good of the whole body. The holders of office, who are invested with a sacred power, are, in fact, dedicated to promoting the interests of their brethren, so that all who belong to the People of God . . . may attain to salvation." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 874)

"Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline." (CCC, 75)

Christ himself chose the apostles and gave them a share in his mission and authority. Raised to the Father's right hand, he has not forsaken his flock but he keeps it under his constant protection through the apostles, and guides it still through these same pastors who continue his work today. Thus, it is Christ whose gift it is that some be apostles, others pastors. He continues to act through the bishops. (CCC, 1575)

,but for St Peter and other Evangelicals it was obviously a pretty cogent distinction.

That made no sense at all...

Katy

Honestly now, how can a man weep at a woman's feet, implore Her help and yet be a misogynist? How can those who pray to a woman, ever, be adverse to feminine divinity? ... It is, perhaps, one of the greatest, most disheartening, spectacles of the modern world...that those who have never ceased to seek refuge from a woman, are those ever accused of denying femininity its proper place in light of the Divine...

Good, true and beautiful words. Gender studies departments have killed whole forests trying to explain that one, but I haven't seen a successful attempt yet.

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