What would be good to say (apart from “that’s preposterous”) to the claim that the Jesuit Order is very evil, controls the “Illuminati” and seeks to take over and form a “New World Order” in which anyone who doesn’t bow to the Jesuits will be at the least persecuted and probably killed?
“That’s preposterous” is a perfectly correct answer, but it doesn’t go far to alleviate this paranoid conspiracy theory. Are there any good sources online (or printed) that would help? And is there any point in me trying - knowing full well that if someone is dead set on believing something then no amount of good evidence will draw them to another belief.
Also, are there any good sources for refuting the claim of the “Jesuit Oath” to rip out women’s wombs and crush infants heads and so on. Yes, I know that it’s a total fake.
Yes, I have a friend who almost makes Jack Chick look like he’s the Pope’s right-hand man. I’ve never known someone so extreme in their hatred of the Catholic Church. It’s a great shame as, though he is very misinformed, his views arise out of a love for God and a seeking to serve God with an enthusiasm and zeal that puts pretty much anyone else to shame.
Beyond that, you might give him a copy of Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh. It’s a biography of one of those big-bad early Jesuits… one of the greatest of them, in fact. He’s been inculcated with the view “Jesuits=evil” by a lot of other people who’ve never met or read a Jesuit in their lives, but will believe anything bad about Catholicism because it’s organized and seems secretive, alien, and ritualistic. It’s silly, but not necessarily evil: certainly, some Catholics’ view on what Masonry is “really” like hits these notes (although at least in that case, Masonry actually **has **done a lot of demonstrable evil, particularly in Mexico and parts of Europe).
I think maybe prayer is the best option. I haven’t tended to challenge him on matters that are purely of faith, just on matters where historic details can, in theory, be easily confirmed or negated. And that doesn’t get me anywhere at all. Anything concerning faith is pretty much ingored, as are questions asked and I just get the reply that Catholics worship Mary or the Pope claims to be God or some other falseness that he wants to believe.
The books sound good - for me - but I don’t think he would want to read such things as they are written by Catholics.
At least he’s not the most extreme person ever on the Inquisition. He only states that it killed 50 million people - much less than the current 95 million highest bidder.
The thing about preposterous theories is that they are often so outlandish that they simply can not be proven wrong. Any evidence is subject to being part of The Conspiracy. I think it best just to remember that the crazier the theory, the more the burden of proof is on the adherent to the conspiracy theory. But on the other hand, I may just be another Jesuit spy here to hide the truth.
The absolute best way to handle people like that is to consistently ask for primary sources for their claims and refuse to move on to their other contentions until those sources are provided.
Seeing as how the sources either don’t exist or are from radical, fringe polemicists, they will have a very difficult time in responding.
If he makes a claim about 50 million being killed by the Church, ask where he got his figures. If he talks about various heinous acts by the Church, ask him for his source (chances are that it’s Foxes Book of Martyrs). If he talks about the Vatican involvement with the NWO, ask him where he got his information.
If he gives you an answer that is clearly not a primary source, ask where that person got the information. Watch as his claims evaporate in the ether of rumor and exaggeration.
I try to keep a list of sites that refute specific claims. If he hits you with something specific, feel free to pm me and I’ll see what I can dig up.
It’s true. It doesn’t matter what you’re debating or who you’re debating, if you ask someone to actually come up with evidence for their views and beliefs, they usually fall short. It sounds like this friend of yours is simply irrational and should be ignored. People who aren’t willing to look at evidence and change their beliefs if it turns out that their views are unevidenced are not worth talking with.
For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible …
What are you atheists doing here, anyway? Seriously. What do you have to offer? Do you claim “freedom?” Jesus said “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life” and he also said that the Truth shall set us free. Ergo, belief in him sets us free. I chose to believe him and not you.
To address a serious post, I agree with motoeric and especially JustaServant: “Pray for him and don’t discuss religion with him.” Actually, do discuss religion with him, if the opportunity should ever arise. As for now, it doesn’t sound like he’s much interested in discussion. If nothing positive can arise from the confrontations you’re having now, but only negative, then say a prayer and move on.
To those willing to listen, a reasonable discussion. But I have no intention of changing anyone’s minds, I’m only here to put my arguments to the test in debate and see if they’re able to hold their own. I’m here to grow my own knowledge, I maintain no delusions about my ability to change the minds of others.
Just like Jack Chick’s adherents choose to believe Chick and not you.
So are you saying that Jack Chick should be able to make unevidenced claims about the Catholic Church? Are you denying that demanding evidence for Chick’s claims is a solid response, and that if there is no such evidence, his claims should be rejected?
I can’t speak for V–or anyone else–but I, for one, came here with a question about the Church (the exact question is not germane here) and found some interesting, insightful and knowledgeable people with whom I have had, and am having, thought provoking discussions.
I think we offer different perspectives, worldviews and experiences. In addition, I have a MA in Moral Theology which has come in useful in answering some people’s questions.
If I may be so forward, I would encourage you to be a bit more welcoming and, dare I say, Christlike; to paraphrase someone whose name I cannot remember, you may very well be the only Bible some people ever read.
Now to go back to topic. There’s one question that I’ve been itching to ask them should the opportunity arise: why the Jesuits? Out of all the religious orders that exist or had existed within the Latin-Rite Church, why did have to pick the Society of Jesus?* (Oh yes, and the Opus Dei) Ain’t it odd that when you talk to a rabid anti-Catholic who also happens to dabble in conspiracy theories, they can lead you to believe that there is apparently only one religious order (or two) in the Catholic Church? :shrug:
I mean, I’ve never heard someone rant about how the Dominicans were behind D&D and Black Metal or how the Order of Friars Minor (in all of its forms) were behind each and every evil thing that existed in the history of mankind, be it the Holocaust, the assassination of Kennedy, September 11, and bad reality TV. I’ve not seen a person fearing that Carmelites and Benedictines were conspiring to control all the populations of major cities in the world by smuggling mind-controlling devices in everything, yet. I’ve yet to discover a ‘Norbertine Oath’ where they vow to use comfy chairs against anything and anyone who dare question the infallibility of the Pope! :rolleyes:
This is nothing new. Ever since their inception, the Jesuits have been getting a lot of bad publicity. Wikipedia notes this:
The Monita Secreta, also known as the “Secret Instructions of the Jesuits” was published (1612 and 1614) in Kraków, and is alternately alleged to have been written by either Claudio Acquaviva, the fifth general of the society, or by Jerome Zahorowski. The document appears to lay down the methods to be adopted for the acquisition of greater power and influence for the order and for the Roman Catholic Church. Scholars generally agree that the Secreta were merely fabricated to give the Jesuits a sinister reputation and it has become widely considered a forgery.
Henry Garnet, one of the leading English Jesuits, was hanged for misprision of treason because of his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot. The plan had been an attempt to kill King James I of England and VI of Scotland, his family, and most of the Protestant aristocracy in a single attack by blowing up the Houses of Parliament in 1605; another Jesuit, Oswald Tesimond, managed to escape arrest for involvement in the same plot.
Jesuits have also been accused of using casuistry to obtain justifications for the unjustifiable (See: formulary controversy; Blaise Pascals’ Lettres Provinciales). In English, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, “Jesuitical” has acquired a secondary meaning of “equivocating”. The Jesuits have also been targeted by many anti-Catholics like Jack Chick, Avro Manhattan, Alberto Rivera, and the late former Jesuit priest, Fr. Malachi Martin.
Within the Catholic Church, some Jesuits are criticized by other parties for allegedly being overly liberal and for deviating substantially from official Church teaching and papal directives, especially on such issues as abortion, priestly celibacy, homosexuality, and liberation theology.
However, the last two Popes have appointed Jesuits to notable positions within the Church. For instance, John Paul II appointed Roberto Tucci, S.J., to the College of Cardinals, after serving for many years as the chief organizer of papal trips and public events. In all, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have appointed 10 Jesuit Cardinals. Benedict XVI has appointed several Jesuits to positions of prominence in his curia, such as Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, S.J. as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Rev. Federico Lombardi, S.J., Vatican Press Secretary.
These are all excellent reasons. However, you say that you do not want to change anyone’s mind but clearly if you desire to debate and “put your arguments to the test” you also desire to get the better of the argument, which would show your “opponent,” so to speak, that his arguments are false or at least weaker than yours, which should cause him to change his mind. After all, who professes belief in something they know to be false?
That others “listen” requires you to “preach.” Do you want to preach and not change anyone’s mind? If so, then what would be the point? That does not make any sense to me.
Fine. Just like you chose to believe what you want to believe and not what I believe.
No, I am not saying that Jack Chick should be able to make unevidenced claims about the Catholic Church - I’m not sure where that came from. Please explain.
And no I am not denying that evidence should be demanded. Go right ahead…
Not at all. I’m here to learn, and the only person who learns something from a debate is the person who was wrong about something, and who is shown his error. Only someone who knew they were right would have no need to debate, since they would have nothing to learn. I’m here in order to find out what I’m wrong about.
I don’t profess something that I know is false, but I do accept that I could be wrong, and putting my views out in the open and allowing those who disagree with me to voice their objections is the best way to find out if I’m wrong.
Changing another person’s mind is an exercise in futility. I’m here to see if they can change my mind, and show me my errors, and hold me accountable for my mistakes. But I don’t expect others to do the same, which is why I don’t entertain any delusions about changing the minds of others.
The point is for me to learn what I’m wrong about. Winning a debate and changing someone’s mind are not my goals when I go into a debate, if anything, losing is my goal, because then I actually learn something from it.
Well, my claim was that the OP should demand evidence for his friend’s rather ridiculous accusations, and that the extent to which he should believe his friend should be based on the amount and quality of the evidence provided, specifically, I said that it is rational to reject his friend’s claim if the friend was unable to provide evidence. You seemed to take offense at this. I was simply wondering if you disagreed, if you perhaps thought that people shouldn’t have to provide evidence for their beliefs about the Church. It appears that I was wrong, and you do indeed think that people should demand evidence for claims made about the Church, such as whether it’s part of a conspiracy, whether it’s infallible, etc. Since we apparently agree, it was my mistake to pursue the matter.