Pope Francis, Catholics, and Christians in the news

Everyone is on tenterhooks waiting for what comes next from him specifically with regard to the two-state solution question. Israel is terrified that the Pope will lean farther toward the Palestinians, while the Muslim world hopes he will be an ally for them. Everyone examines every word minutely because they can... centuries ago we would not have had a clue what was said by whom in this conversation, but technology has changed all that.

I love what Hanan Ashrawi said:

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, laughed when asked about the controversy, saying she was not about to provide “a biblical exegesis on ‘may you be’ or ‘you are’.”

The debate of sei vs. sia is, at bottom, a tempest in a teapot and incapable of resolution, but it stems from deep feelings and fears.

As for why everyone waits with 'bated breath for every word this pontiff says, it's because he is so radically different from any pope of our era. You never know what is going to come out of his mouth, and that makes him endlessly fascinating.


Yep, history of how religion and politics are expressed through the (ever-changing) media, and how that in turn affects belief, right there. Gah! There's no escape. Please, if I post here this week, everybody scold me, I have too much to do.


Well, in that case, go away. But don't forget to come back when you are done. smile



mtierney said:

Tom, you and I are reading different things.

I never implied that Christians are threatened with beheading in this country and yet you repeatedly have accused me of doing so! That,  I do believe is repugnant!

I have said that Christians here have to be extremely concerned over the slaughter and displacement of Christians in the Middle East.

Are you asking that Christians sit by and witness the destruction of a people?

I truly can separate beheadings from cultural concerns. 


 Thank you for clarifying. No, I don't think anyone should sit by.

I still think Blow said nothing repugnant.



mtierney said:

"We already see a rising sentiment in America that Christianity is under attack and losing the culture wars. Some even try to link Christian persecution abroad to the plight of Christians in this country.

I think this sentence from Blow''s oped has been overlooked here for the  most part - except  the reference to culture wars . I have to wonder where Blow read about or how he learned   that "some" Christians are confusing persecution  in the Middle East  with anything  going on here in the USA .

 Jim Shempert at American Family Association does this in this article.

http://www.afa.net/the-stand/christian-persecution/americas-future-christian-persecution/

Kevin DeYoung writes at The Gospel Coalition that American Christians are persecuted all the time and that while some would like to belittle it when compared to what's happening to Christians in other places, it is still persecution.

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2014/04/15/are-christians-in-america-persecuted/

In this article by Rick McDaniels on Faith Street, he lists 9 things he wishes everyone knew about persecution of Christians. Number 2 mentions China. Number 3 mentions Iran. Number 4 mentions atrocities by ISIS and Al-Shabab. Numbers 6, 7, 8 & 9 are about discrimination in the United States.

http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/12/05/9-things-i-wish-everyone-knew-about-the-persecution-of-christians/35313

Would you like me to go on?


You gave links to a lot of stuff which I intend to get into throughout the day, Ridski.

The first one offers this ...

Martin Niemoller was a pastor in Germany during the Nazi regime and also a concentration camp survivor.  He is remembered most for this quote:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Read the whole thing, then tell us whether you agree with it.

"An old Arab saying applies to government and its relationship with the Church:  "Do not allow a camel to put his nose under the edge of your tent, for soon you will have a camel in your tent."  How much longer before our government begins to tell us what we can and cannot believe?  What we can and cannot think?  What we can call right and wrong?  What verses of Scripture we can and cannot read? "

Smaller government is a good idea.

Rarely do I find myself agreeing with the entire premise of some other person or group. Good Grief,  I have been a 7 day a week subscriber of TNYT  for over 50 years, and much I read gives me pause!




mtierney said:

"An old Arab saying applies to government and its relationship with the Church:  "Do not allow a camel to put his nose under the edge of your tent, for soon you will have a camel in your tent."  How much longer before our government begins to tell us what we can and cannot believe?  What we can and cannot think?  What we can call right and wrong?  What verses of Scripture we can and cannot read? "

 The person you are quoting is trying to scare ignorant people.  Or people who think President Obama is bringing Sharia to the United States.

Or a GOP Presidential candidate.  Or possibly all three.

[Edited to add]  It is reminiscent of the old anti-Catholic diatribes from our nation's past.  Catholics should be the LAST people to support that kind of bigotry against other people's beliefs.


Knew i should have made a copy of my comment before I submitted. Verdammt stupid website.

nohero, I may be mistaken but I think she was agreeing with the proverb, not knocking Muslims, and maybe meant to put this in the political thread.


I'm not really here, carry on...


Go away, SouthernBaron.


SouthernBaron said:

nohero, I may be mistaken but I think she was agreeing with the proverb, not knocking Muslims, and maybe meant to put this in the political thread.


I'm not really here, carry on...

 The "nose under the camel's tent" notion, followed by "What scriptures will they allow us to read" was written by someone being defensive, and claiming that allowing other people's faiths would injure the speaker's own.


Following up on Ridski's directive, I have read his second link in his post this morning. I found this very interesting..


"But is that what the Bible means by “persecution”? Like most Greek words, the word translated “persecution” in our English Bibles (dioko) has a wide semantic range. According to the standard lexicon for the New Testament (BDAG), dioko can mean “to harass someone, esp. because of beliefs, persecute.” In many place in the New Testament, persecution refers to violence toward Christians. Matthew 10:21-23speaks family members killing other family members. Luke 11:49 references killing and persecution in the same breath. And in Acts persecution is linked with arrest, murder, and physical violence (Acts 7:52; 9:4; 22:4, 7; 26:11, 14; see also Gal. 1:13).

But there is reason to think dioko is not limited to these extreme acts of oppression. In Matthew 5:10, Jesus promises that those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake will be blessed. Then in v. 11 he further explains what this persecution is like: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” It’s possible that reviling and persecuting and uttering evil are three distinct acts, but considering verse 11 flows out of verse 10, it’s better to see these as overlapping categories. When verse 12 says “for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you,” Jesus does not mean every prophet was killed, but rather that all the prophets were reviled and spoken against, and in this manner (or worse) they were persecuted. Persecution may mean being put to death (Matt. 10:21), but it can also refer to being “hated by all for my name’s sake” (Matt. 10:22).


I'm sorry, I absolutely refuse to see American Christians of any denomination as "persecuted." Criticized, sure, when they act like total asshats (Westboro Baptists come to mind). But that is a far cry from what goes on in third-world countries. In fact, Christians in America have it loads better than, say, Muslims in Europe.

To say American Christians are persecuted is an insult to people of all religious affiliations who have truly suffered. The worst most American Christians have ever "suffered" is moderate annoyance.


 Comparisons are always odious. 

Obviously, for  anyone reading my last post, the conclusion clearly would be that there was absolutely no effort to compare or equate beheadings, etc etc  to the ridicule and name calling directed at other Americans who espouse Christianity.

On Sunday, I  will wear an orange ribbon on my jacket to church.

On MOL , I have often kvetched over purchases, be it iPhone, iMacs ,plants, flowers, bugs, finding the right day bed, animal issues, the list goes on. I might be ticked off often over an appliance failure or other annoying and mundane life issues. But do I equate such matters as suffering and mass murder? Of course not.






mtierney said:

 Comparisons are always odious. 

Obviously, for  anyone reading my last post, the conclusion clearly would be that there was absolutely no effort to compare or equate beheadings, etc etc  to the ridicule and name calling directed at other Americans who espouse Christianity.

On Sunday, I  will wear an orange ribbon on my jacket to church.

On MOL , I have often kvetched over purchases, be it iPhone, iMacs ,plants, flowers, bugs, finding the right day bed, animal issues, the list goes on. I might be ticked off often over an appliance failure or other annoying and mundane life issues. But do I equate such matters as suffering and mass murder? Of course not.




No one said you do it. You objected when someone else said "some" do it. I provided links to "some". Why make the sum of all Christian experience about you? It's got nothing to do with you.

Reading the quotes you put up there, it specifically says "But there is reason to think dioko is not limited to these extreme acts of oppression." 

And it specifies those reasons (and now I can't get out of this quote block, so forgive me). The author equates  "arrest, murder, and physical violence" with people who may "when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely". There's no other reason for the author to write this out if he doesn't believe that the culture war "persecution" of American Christians isn't equivalent to the rounding up and beheading actual persecution of Christians elsewhere in the world. 

The author is fully aware that there are people like us who don't equate the two. Look at this paragraph. 

"I even understand why many conservative Christians are reticent to use the p-word to describe our troubles. We think of persecution as church bombings and physical violence—the sort of stuff our brothers and sisters in North Africa and the Middle East and in parts of Asia face every day. We understand, rightly, that getting a forced hiatus from Duck Dynasty is not exactly suffering on the same scale. If persecution means “there’s a decent chance this year that someone will try to kill me or a family member for being Christians” then no, we are not persecuted in this country."

(Finally, I had to quote something to get the quote to switch off.)

There he is, saying exactly what you're talking about. However, the next word is the beginning of the passage you quoted and obviously mis-read based on what you claimed it said. The next word is "But". As in...

"If persecution means “there’s a decent chance this year that someone will try to kill me or a family member for being Christians” then no, we are not persecuted in this country. But is that what the Bible means by “persecution”?"


I'll up you one quote..

"Persecution may mean being put to death (Matt. 10:21), but it can also refer to being “hated by all for my name’s sake” (Matt. 10:22)."


ISIS appears to hate and wish death to Jews, Christians, other Muslims who don't buy into its perverted interpretation of the Koran, agnostics and atheists in equal measure. All are infidels in their view. All Americans are hated and are fair game. 

The Boston bombers didn't  check church affiliation  beforehand!

Choosing not to ignore or deny the existence of evil is being proactive. 

If it offends some folks, what can I say?


Christians in American are exactly like Blacks in South Africa. Majorities being persecuted...


:WhereAreTheEmoticons?:



mtierney said:

I'll up you one quote..

"Persecution may mean being put to death (Matt. 10:21), but it can also refer to being “hated by all for my name’s sake” (Matt. 10:22)."


ISIS appears to hate and wish death to Jews, Christians, other Muslims who don't buy into its perverted interpretation of the Koran, agnostics and atheists in equal measure. All are infidels in their view. All Americans are hated and are fair game. 

The Boston bombers didn't  check church affiliation  beforehand!

Choosing not to ignore or deny the existence of evil is being proactive. 

If it offends some folks, what can I say?

I was unaware that your point was that as long as ISIS exists, the other 6,999,968,500 people on Earth are now being equally persecuted.


How in the world could you have deduced that from anything I posted!  


Would you rest easier if I said only Christians need to worry about ISIS.?



mtierney said:

How in the world could you have deduced that from anything I posted!  


Would you rest easier if I said only Christians need to worry about ISIS.?

But you just said ISIS hates everyone, that bombers don't care what church you belong to, so obviously if you're not ISIS, you're a target, and as ISIS currently has around 31,500 fighters, that leaves 6,999,968,500 targets. Being hated is persecution according Matthew (as quoted by DeYoung). Ergo, that's 6.999 billion persecuted people. It's a wonder anything gets done on Earth to be honest. 


Your logic is sound to my way of thinking ridski.  Hopefully 6,999,968,500 of us can keep them at bay.


"Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.  Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.  But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.  … But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

Luke 6:22-24, 27-28.

Just thought I'd throw that into this scrummage.


Also "semen est sanguis Christianorum"...


I really like that a lot nohero. 



SouthernBaron said:

Also "semen est sanguis Christianorum"...

 You're making me think irresistibly of a scurrilous Monty Python song...


Oh, sorry, I do traffic in Latin with abandon; from Tertullian, Apologeticus, usually translated rather broadly as "the blood of Christians is the seed of the Church."


I know. But on a quick first reading it sounds awfully like the Monty Python song which I am NOT quoting from here. smile


Worth watching...

http://www.onepeterfive.com/who-would-dare-to-love-isis/


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