Open Friday: Envy, Martyr, and American Politics

envyTwo disclaimers upfront: I don’t think much of the cult of celebrity nor opening up one’s children to public ridicule. But I did note a hint of one of the seven deadlies in the commentariat here.

It took theologians two years to determine what everybody else just knew? Fine. The archbishop still needs a miracle, I see. Like that’s not going to happen soon.

Bishop Tobin declined to attend the inauguration of his governor, a Catholic. She went to Mass anyway that day, to the scorn of a few commenters. I don’t see the fruitfulness in linking legislators or executives to abortion. Abortion is settled law in the US. It is now entirely decided by the judiciary. The only thing legislators and executives do is burnish their credentials with their “base.” Vote on some meaningless law that will get overturned by a court. Then wrings hands, confess they did their best, then promote abortion through some backdoor means, like buying products made in China or cutting off the poor from a hand up.

Max brought up proof-texting earlier today. Anybody have a good working definition of that?

Note: this is an open thread for people to discuss things, even things totally off topic. Off-topic comments will be deleted from Lectionary posts. Again, if you have a topic you think deserves its own thread, send me an email. You’ll probably get action.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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7 Responses to Open Friday: Envy, Martyr, and American Politics

  1. Tony Phillips says:

    Abortion is settled law in the US. It is now entirely decided by the judiciary.
    That was also true of slavery in your country, once upon a time. Should politicians like Lincoln have just let the issue go?

    • Atheist Max says:

      I’m glad Bishop Tobin knows his own business and stays away in protest over the Abortion issue.

      Excellent. I protest churches by staying away from them, too.
      I wish all clergy would act similarly on all matters of government.
      The work of the people is really none of the business of clergy.

      But why stop at government approval of Abortion? The government commits so many other supposed sins perhaps the clergy should sit out
      all government activities and inaugurations in permanent protest.

      “Sins” of the Government:

      Don’t use the Lord’s Name in Vain? – “under God…with liberty and justice…”
      Killing of enemies instead of loving them? – G.W.Bush: “Dead or alive”
      Love God above all? Nope – man made laws is what we love. God is only mentioned as being explicitly excluded from laws.
      Don’t make graven images? Please.
      Adultery? – Right. Ask Newt Gingrich about it.
      Love of money? – Name a government person who doesn’t.
      Stealing? – Ask a Native American if the American government steals.
      Coveting? – Hmm. How much for the Louisiana Purchase?
      Gambling? – Jeeez. Even priests play in Las Vegas
      Sorcery? – Have you seen NASA’s latest? Must be witchcraft.
      Love your neighbor as yourself? – Ask Cuba and Mexico and see what they say.
      Sex? – Ask Bill Clinton about it.
      Homosexuality? – 37 states allow Gay marriage.
      Obey God? – “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion…”
      Give to the poor? – “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!” ~ Herman Cain, Republican Presidential Candidate

      At least there will always be churches.
      Where purity is attainable.

  2. Atheist Max says:

    Regarding “proof texting” …

    Jesus did it more times than I can count:

    “And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning …‘made them male and female,'” – Jesus (Matthew 19:4)

    “And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4″For God said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,’ and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.'” – Jesus (Matthew 15:3)

    I can’t cite every example. There are so many.

    Jesus frequently used Scripture as ‘proof’ that something was true or not. Scriptural Text alone determined the facts. Feelings and intuition were not to be trusted.

    What does this mean?
    It means Jesus was beholden to the Old Testament Scripture in a way which modern Christians do not like – and a new Jesus is invented out of whole cloth. One which comports to each Christian.

    • Todd says:

      Actually, Max, you could count them. I’m not inclined to take Scripture as a literal whole, meaning that we’re not getting the full conversation–just what the Biblical author distilled as important.

      I’ll continue to criticize proof-texting when Max or you or others do it, because we have a context in conversation.

      And you practice it as vigorously as any literalist Christian looking for a high. What does it mean? It’s an easy way to score a point. In authentic human relationships, even among atheists, people don’t attempt to talk louder or more effectively than the other person. They listen and attempt to understand a universe they don’t completely perceive or understand.

      • Atheist Max says:


        “people don’t attempt to talk louder or more effectively than the other person. They listen and attempt to understand…”

        Try to imagine my confusion. Seriously.

        I’m just trying to figure out what parts of “scripture” are true.
        If we are to refer to the entire Bible as ‘Scripture’ it suggests that there is no untruth to it – otherwise it would not be deserving of the world ‘Scripture’.

        For example, there are countless books with better moral lessons. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is 95% excellent moral lessons – but is it considered ‘scripture’? No.

        Yet much of the Bible is awful. It would be generous to say 30% of it has excellent moral lessons. Yet this is the only tome blessed as ‘Scripture.’

        So Catholics and mainstream Christians consider something true in the Bible and yet nobody wants to point out what it is or quote it either because they are fear the morality is too difficult to explain, not very moral after all, incoherent or some other reason.
        Imagine how confusing that is. ‘Scripture’ is the one book whose words are not to be quoted as if they are true.

        If something is true, you should be able to quote it. The claims of the Bible seem to have no real defenders.

      • Todd says:

        Thanks for replying, Max.

        I perceive your confusion between the rationalist approach of the intellect, and the wholeness of Christianity, which is at heart, a relationship. Or a set of relationships.

        There are things in the Bible that are wrong. But authentic Christianity is more than the sum of a finite number of rational facts contained in one book.

  3. Atheist Max says:

    Thanks, Todd,

    How does one initiate a relationship with Jesus? Is it not realistic to initiate the relationship with some attention to words he is reputed to have said? Which words, which gospel?

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