Having some trouble


#1

I received this post from an atheist on another forum:

If i was a member of a church that sheltered child molesters, and moved them from parish to parish to keep them one step ahead of the law, I would want an explanation from those in charge. Wouldn’t you? I live in Louisiana, and have seen Catholicism at its best - why would anyone want to be a part of such a corrupt organization? Read your history books - we are talking about a grotesque caricature of religion here. I could care less about the pretty rituals and cathedrals, tell us about the inquisitions, the crusades, the persecution of Jews long before Hitler got to them, etc. We are talking major evil here. Someone once said “by their fruits ye shall know them”. Can you guess who that was?

I’m not certain how to answer to it. I’ve always been ok defending the faith in terms of the Bible, but when you get down to history I’m a bit more at a loss.

How would you answer something like this?

Thanks in advance!


#2

It’s hard to argue with caricatures. He hasn’t been reading history very carefully if he has missed the immense positive contributions of the Church to Western civilization.

Dealing with things on his level, does he know that in places where the Inquisition operated, there was very little witchcraft hysteria? The Inquisition was ruthless and I would never defend it (some on this board would), but it was a juster and more rational legal system than many available in the medieval/early modern period.

The Crusades were justified originally in the sense that they were a response to Islamic aggression, although many of the things the Crusaders did were horrific and I do not think the Crusades (in terms of the original Middle Eastern wars) had many positive results.

The attitude to the Jews–there’s less to say in defense of the Church there, except that persecution of Jews predates Christianity and had secular grounds as well as religious ones (they were a prosperous minority group, and that’s always a precarious situation), and that for centuries the Church did its best to shield Jews from the results of its own propaganda.

But it’s all useless, because his presuppositions only let him see the bad stuff. Note how he dismisses the cathedrals out of hand.

Edwin


#3

There is another thread that has some very interesting posts on these subjects. It is “Crusades, Inquisitions, Jews”, it is in this same forum. I hope this helps.


#4

No, you have not. Your experience of it is highly limited. Try reading some biographies of the saints.

why would anyone want to be a part of such a corrupt organization?

People are corrupt, not organizations.

Read your history books - we are talking about a grotesque caricature of religion here.

Yes, I suggest you read your history books, like H. W. Crocker’s *Triumph. *As for talking about a grotesque caricature of religion, you are the one creating that.

I could care less about the pretty rituals and cathedrals, tell us about the inquisitions, the crusades, the persecution of Jews long before Hitler got to them, etc. We are talking major evil here.

Please do discuss them, but be sure you’re being accurate.

Someone once said “by their fruits ye shall know them”. Can you guess who that was?

Yes, let’s look at some of the fruits, like Mother Teresa.

I’m not certain how to answer to it. I’ve always been ok defending the faith in terms of the Bible, but when you get down to history I’m a bit more at a loss.

How would you answer something like this?

Thanks in advance!

I would ask your atheist friend if he would like to be judged solely by what he had done wrong with no consideration whatsoever to anything he had done right. That’s exactly what he’s doing to the Church.

You might also point out just how well atheism has worked in societies like Russia and Red China. No corruption there, right?So since you’ll be discussing history, you’d like to discuss the history of atheistic communism too.
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#5

It is a tough proposition and I don’t think it is an argument you are going to win. It reminds me of something I read about the DaVinci code and the discovery of the Ossuary “containing Jesus bones”-- These things make a big splash, but by the time someone has bothered to look into them and debunk them properly, academically and authoritatively, the public have lost interest.

Crusade, Inquisition, Nazi pope blah, blah, blah. These things are much more complicated than a one word reply. The Church is a two thousand year old institution run by fallible people.

Its existence in its present form is extraordinary in the light of that fact. The truth it gaurds is what it exists for: the fides quae, the story of God’s Revelation to man. No amount of sin can change that fact.

The other thing is the good that so many people in the Church do. It is such a shame that it is never mentioned, rather people prefer to dwell on less edifying realities!


#6

If i was a member of a church that sheltered child molesters, and moved them from parish to parish to keep them one step ahead of the law, I would want an explanation from those in charge. Wouldn’t you?

Certainly, however, the catholic church’s incidence of child and adolescent (and let’s be clear that the majority of cases had to do with adolescents of ages 13-17 and not actually children) is actually LOWER than that of the United states as a whole. By this persons logic, we should be calling on the “atheist” leaders to account for their even greater failure.

The truth be told, these cases remained ACCUSATIONS until someone brought them to court. Upon allegation alone (with no legal proof whatsoever) the church would “shuffle” priests… which was basically a way of saying to remove them from public ministry and eliminate their contact with adolescents while sometimes forcing them into counseling and treatment… all without the benefit of a trial to determine if the priest were guilty or not.

I live in Louisiana, and have seen Catholicism at its best - why would anyone want to be a part of such a corrupt organization?

I’ve been to Louisiana, and let me tell you: i strongly doubt that anything there is at it’s best (points to the rampant social degradation occuring at the french quarter)

tell us about the inquisitions

How about you tell us about your bias? the major inquisition that everyone complains about (the spanish inquisition) was started by SPAIN, not the church… and yet i fail to see this atheist telling people they shouldn’t be spanish… in fact, the church put an END to the spanish inquisition.

As to the other inquisitions: the cathars were eliminated… oh man, a militant group that believed human procreation was disordered and tried to assasinate the pope while attempting to raise an army against the king of france… and they got eliminated… DARN:rolleyes: (in all actuality though, i hope God found mercy within His heart to forgive their sinful methods)

the crusades

yeah yeah yeah… what this obviously historically uneducated person doesn’t realize that the first two crusades were defensive in nature and that if it weren’t for the catholic church he’d be speaking some form of turkish (ie, saracin) right now

the persecution of Jews long before Hitler got to them, etc.

eh, right… so protestants had witch burnings, and more catholics were exterminated in atheist countries the 20th centure than all the religious wars between judaism, islam, and christiany COMBINED managed to kill… so if he wants to talk persecution let’s go with the most efficient and wanton slaughterers… the atheists.


#7

Communist atheists slaughtered 100 million people in the 20th century.

Fascist atheists added some 40 million to this total.

Each of these people murdered were human beings like you or I, ground up by regimes which replaced God with State.

It would take millennia for Christians to catch up to such bloodshed.


#8

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