where Germany has set a bad example for the rest of the world

The Archbishop of Kampala, borrowing a leaf from Germany’s church tax, wants the Ugandan government to deduct 10% tithe from salaried employees who are members of the church and forward it to the church.

The good bishop had this to say

“Whenever we ask for tithe, everyone gives only what they have at that time. But the Bible says a tenth of whatever you earn belongs to the church,”

This is such a busy Monday!

Happy week everyone.

Further reading

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God has been photographed

But the photos are invisible!

This morning my brother informed me of the Nigerian man hospitalized for his atheism[ see previous post] then I find this post of a nun who claimed to have photographed god. The only reassuring thing about the whole episode is those close to her didn’t believe her.

Hear what she tells us

I was revealing what God had told me and they didn’t believe but these are the real words from God, ‘Listen to me I am above this earth, I have allowed you and you alone to photograph me for them to know the truth’. I managed to photograph Him but what surprised me is that when I took the full image, it came out a passport size picture of the image of Christ because he did not want people to know what he looks like

I am willing to buy them drinks if they can only share with me these photos.

I don’t know about you, but I am calling this bull

There was also another miracle where a photographer in Uganda attempted to take a picture of the sister while attending a seminar there but when he produced the film, the picture of Mary the mother of Jesus appeared in the background holding the holy sacrament. All these pictures are available at the Cathedral church in Eldoret.

I am not aware of anyone who has an inkling of what Mary, if she lived, looked like. How do people believe such bs? And now they think she should be made a saint.

Just as with the Jesus story where there is no father, no body so it is with the camera and photos in this case. We are told

The lady had shown us several wonderful miracles, which I as a bishop have never seen in my life. Even the cameras she used to photograph the alleged Lord were later blown up after she finished taking the pictures. We did not believe and bought a new one. Surprisingly it was also damaged, according to the technician who attended both of them

and this bullcrap is voiced by the bishop! Not that I hold the bishop or any church person in high regard, but what this means is most of the lay people will just buy this crap. It has come from the bishop and so it must be true.

woman photographs god

such is the candidature of the popes

[..]the successful candidate is drawn from the church and even the convent- from the mode of education and life that are most adverse to reason, humanity and freedom. In the trammels of servile faith he has learned to believe because it’s absurd, to revere all that is contemptible, and to despise whatever might deserve the esteem of a rational being; to punish error as a crime, to reward mortification and celibacy as the first of virtues, to place the saints of the calender above the heroes of Rome and sages of Athens and to consider the missal, or the crucifix as more useful instruments than the plough or loom.

Edward Gibbon, the Decline and fall of the Roman Empire, pg 632

Is life worth living? A review

by William Hurrell Mallock

There is a question no more pressing to us than the above question and when one looks at the history of man, it appears as one that its answer has remained elusive to the critical mind.  In considering this question, one inevitably must ask whether life has an inherent value. So far as I can tell, the answer is no and if there is any value in it, they are those values that we have attached to it, to make it at least bearable for us and no more. This observation is, I think true both for the believer and the unbeliever alike.

In the book we are presently reviewing, the author wants us to believe that by doing away with  gods, and he means the christian god and the versions of hell and heaven, life looses its meaning. He tells us, by removing god from the picture and the ideas associated with it, we have no basis for morality, for love, happiness and as I have said before to go on living.

He starts first by telling us we live in a quite different world than the ancients did. As proof of this, he tells us that, Christianity

 has by uniting into one the scattered points of brightness and by collecting other rays that were before altogether imperceptible such as the idea of good, been given a definite shape by its deity.

He continues to write

That deity, from an external POV, may be said to have acquired his sovereignty as did the Roman Caesar. He absorbed into his own person the offices of all the gods that were before him, as the Roman Caesar absorbed all the offices of the state; and in his case also, the whole was immeasurably greater than the mere sum of the parts. Scientifically and philosophically he became the first cause of the world; he became the father of the human soul and its judge and what’s more, its rest and its delight.

Which from a casual glance appears to mean, that before the advent of Christianity, men were without souls and likewise the universe did not exist unless he means to use this allegorically and not literally.

He feels that science has reduced the vast complexity of the universe and man’s place in it. He opines that scientific discoveries have taken the wonder and mystery from the earth. Here, we are not told the truth, for to look at the night sky with its constellation of stars is still a source of wonder and the lack of belief in a benevolent god takes nothing from its beauty.Therefore, when he writes in part

The skies once seemed to pay the earth homage and to serve it with light and shelter. Now they do nothing, so far as the imagination is concerned, but spurn and dwarf it. And when we come to the details of the earth’s surface itself, the case is just the same.

it’s to appeal to the ignorance of days past. It is to want to believe the impossible, that is, that the world was created chiefly for men and that we live at the centre of the universe and everything in it pays homage to man. It is such a belief, a belief in the superiority of man, especially as taught by the Judeo-Christian religion that has allowed man to give least attention to his environment.

Our author seems, to me,  bothered by the skepticism of the current age. And in rejecting positivist that of the day, he writes

positive thought reduces all religions to ideals created by man; and as such, not only admits that they have had vast influence, but teaches us also that we in the future must construct new ideals for ourselves.

which he sees as a problem for the future, for says he,

we shall now know they are ideals, we shall no longer mistake them for objective facts.

I don’t know about you, but to claim that without the threat of punishment and the hope of immortality, men will not strive for ideals strikes me as odd.

We are told, the worth we are trying to analyse is closely bound up with morality and that the loss of faith in god and immortality does away with the second one. He tells us, we cannot, the unbelievers, continue to hold on to what is good if we no longer believe in god. He asks to believe that by making man mortal, killing his god and this life being the only life, there is no reason to believe men will aspire for greater ideals and at the same time, there would be no way of reproaching anyone.

His next frontier where he finds a problem with positivist though is on consciousness. And here the problem he writes about originates from the assertion that consciousness is a function of the brain & altogether inseparable from it. His argument here is that since as far as science can tell us, consciousness remains a mystery in the sense that we are not in the least able to tell how matter combines to translate to consciousness. To solve this problem, he suggests that we must accept god and immortality of the soul the two things that themselves need explanation.

We are presented with a dilemma, he writes

Science places the positive school in a dilemma. The mind or spirit is either arranged entirely by the molecules it is connected with and these molecules move with the same automatic necessity that the earth moves with; or else these molecules are, partially at least, arranged by the mind or spirit.

We are told we must accept one or the other, that is the choice between

man as an automaton or his consciousness in no mere function of any physical organ.

I will readily accept man as an automaton until at least, it can be demonstrated there exists an immaterial, parallel world that cause affects in the present world. Ignorance of the how the brain/mind is constituted is, to me, no license to create a second immaterial universe, independent of the material and obeying different laws. Such a belief would require men to abolish their reason and accept things on faith. The greatest testament of virtue shall be

I believe because it is impossible!

The author then delves briefly into the discussion about hell and whether a god who we are told is good could create hell to send men there for eternal damnation. He writes

[..]God is here represented as making a hell with the express intention of forcibly putting men into it, and his main hatefulness consists in this capricious and wanton cruelty. Such a representation is, however, an essentially false one. It is not only not true to the true Christian teaching, but it is absolutely opposed to it. The god of Christianity does not make hell; still less does he deliberately put men into it. It is made by men themselves, the essence of its torments consists in the loss of god; and those that lose him, lose him by their own act, from having deliberately made themselves incapable of loving him. God never wills the death of the sinner. It is to the sinner’s own will that the sinner’s death is due.

Which is an odd statement, given that the same god is described elsewhere as all powerful, all loving and all merciful. One wonders how the works of a finite mortal in the scale of things, would upset such a being so described? I have written elsewhere, and I will repeat it here, that for man to be eligible for punishment, Christianity or rather the Judeo-Christian- Muslim religions had to make responsible. It would be against natural justice to have god punish man if he were not responsible and they think by wishing this, it becomes true. Whereas our author would want to think he, by making man responsible, has freed his god from all responsibility must ask himself if he believes that god is the author of everything there is, seen and unseen, how would man resist him? How would man annoy him? How would man displease him? It boggles the mind what the theologian tells us of his god, the powers he gives him and then turns around to annihilate all goodness with the things he tells us his god shall do or allow to happen.

As I come to the end, our author offers a scathing criticism of protestant Christianity. He tells us

protestant Christianity, after three centuries, is at last beginning to exhibit to us the true result of the denial of infallibility to a religion that professes to be supernatural. We are at last beginning to see in it the practical denier of all revelation whatsoever.

And a defender of the catholic faith, he writes

The church maybe conceived of as a living organism, for ever on all sides putting forth feelers and tentacles, that seize, try and seem to dally with all kinds of nutriment. A part of this she takes into herself. A large part she at length puts down again. Much that is thus rejected she seems for a long time on the point of choosing. But however slow may be the final decision in coming, however reluctant or hesitating it may seem to be, when it is once made, it is claimed for it is that it is infallible.

The church knows the difficulties that her past records present to us, especially that of the divine character of the bible. But she knows too that this divinity is protected by its vagueness; nor is she likely to expose it more openly to its enemies, till some sure plan of defence has been devised for it.

To which I’d say, had he lived now, he would be the least surprised to find in the introduction to the bible approved by the catholic church, the admission that Moses could not have been the author of the books of the old testament and

the books of the Pentateuch do not record historical facts in the way we expect the work of a modern historian to do. They record the traditions of a people about the origin of the universe, the world and all it contains and the people themselves. They express the fundamental truths on which the understanding of the people rests

which leaves me asking why should they be revered? Why should it be the standard upon which current generations base their lives? Are we morally bankrupt, or less creative to draft ideals to aspire to? Ideals that do not include the supernatural with its attendant killings and rituals?

And lastly we are told how the Catholic church manages to propagate itself even in the face of contrary evidence to its claims. He writes, and this is very instructive for anyone who is committed to questioning the church and its policies and stand in opposition to its continued dominance on the world stage, that

It may be that before the church defines inspiration exactly, she will wait till lay criticism has done all it can do. She may then consider what views of the bible are historically tenable, and what not, and may faithfully shape her teaching by the learning of this world, though it may have been gathered together for the express purpose of overthrowing her. Atheistic scholars may be quoted in her councils; and supercilious and skeptical philologists, could they live another hundred years, might recognise their discoveries, even their words and phrases, embodied in an ecclesiastical definition.

A declaration, yours truly, is at a loss of how to classify but for lack of a better word would for the time being describe as fraud.

Silly Catholics

Yesterday when I shared the statement by the Catholic bishops, I thought that was all we will here of the condom debate and I even said the Catholics are better than their creed, but it appears I talked too soon for I have seen a response by one faithful catholic that I ought to share with you.

The gentleman asks a very telling question

Has anyone ever wondered why the Catholic Church is still around more than 2000 years after the death and resurrection of its founder, Jesus Christ while other churches continue to die and reincarnate in all sorts of new names?

I thought the answer to this question should be obvious. Sheep beget sheep, so in many cases the sheeples just keep siring sheepish Catholics, but it seems I was wrong. He tells us

The answer is simple

What is the answer if we may ask?

The presence of an infallible teaching authority that has never erred in matters of faith and morals and is thus reliable and credible voice of conscience in a world that seeks to deny authority and create its own versions of what is right and wrong.

No, this guy is not my neighbor! I thought I was reading an article written by the pope in 1900, this level of faith is shocking and the ignorance appalling! This guy is a real sheep! Who in this day and age thinks the pope is infallible and what matters of morals has the church led unless he means hiding pedophiles, stifling dissent and treating women as less equal than men by failing to ordain women priests, not that I care who is priest or who isn’t, among other things.

He goes on to tell us who a good Catholic is. He tells

A good catholic only abides by the teaching authority of the Magisterium[ a group of old pedophiles and eunuchs] as custodians  of our rich heritage in scripture and tradition.

Rich indeed, what with burning people in the stakes, destroying the library in Alexandria, stifling research in medical fields, preaching against use of contraceptives to ensure its coffers are full every Sunday. Indeed the it has a rich history!

He continues by telling us he is proud to be a serf. That it is great to be one. Listen to the good Catholic

We live in a world that believes in autonomy, independence and relativism and so submitting to such an authority seems backward. On the contrary, it is in obedience that we are great!

No, you can’t be great as a slave! You can only be foolish to think so. And yes it is backward to think that some guy who wears red sandals, lives in a big mansion in Vatican city and wears purple dresses should tell you how to live your life.

Now he gets real stupid

Human sexuality is a faith and moral issue and thus good Catholics know who really is the authority to guide them in matters concerning our bodies as sexual beings.

This fellow must, it seems to me, confesses to the priest when he masturbates! For him to need guidance on when and how to have sex, this guy needs help. This kind of person who goes back to the father to ask how to engage in sex with his wife because he never had an opportunity to learn on his own unless he was kept by a priest..

The Catholic church will continue to be the voice of conscience and moral sanity despite all the ills that plague it.

Seriously, that the church will continue to protect the children abused by its pedophile priests! It is like encouraging sheep to have faith in the wolves even they have been eaten several times by the same wolves!

Jesus did not have perfect disciples but this did not stop him from entrusting them with the great treasures for our salvation.

Has anyone ever wondered why the disciples were fishermen and not any other trade? In my village, fishermen are the least educated and would believe anything they are told and I know my village has more educated fishermen than the ones who could have followed the Jesus fellow [whose existence is doubtful].

I knew a warning had to be here some place

Don’t attack the messenger; acknowledge the richness of the message.

This is one of those times that both the messenger[an idiot] and the message [crap] have to be attacked for the good of us.

He finishes by saying

good Catholics are not fooled by such misinformed directives since they can tell the difference between a good shepherd and the wolf.

I agree, the good Catholic must be an idiot of the first degree!

You know something is fishy

When the leader of the world’s billion plus Catholics gives a notice to quit his job when all these billion+ cathos are praying for his good health and the good of the church. Ratzinger’s abdication has provided me with some comic relief from my busy schedule of work and reading and it is getting more interesting by the day. I think by the time he finally quits and a new pontiff is elected, we really will be a happier lot.

We knew something had to be up with the resignation of Pope Benedict. After all, Popes don’t just resign; in fact, this is the first time a Pope has resigned in 600 years. Therefore, the hoopla surrounding this is more than understandable. However, as per usual with the Catholic Church, there seems to be a catch, and, lo and behold, it likely surrounds the infamous abuse scandals that have plagued the church’s image for so long.

More here