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  1. #11
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueHeart View Post
    Paradoxes of Catholicism by Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson.
    Thanks for the link. I didn't find the "ascetism and sensuality" section I was looking for, but got lucky under "Sanctity and Sin"
    Excerpt:
    --A VERY different pair of charges -- and far more vital -- than those more or less economic accusations of worldliness and otherworldliness which we have just considered, concern the standards of goodness preached by the Church and her own alleged incapacity to live up to them. These may be briefly summed up by saying that one-half the world considers the Church too holy for human life, and the other half, not holy enough. We may name these critics, respectively, the Pagan and the Puritan.
    I. It is the Pagan who charges her with excessive Holiness.

    "You Catholics," he tells us, "are far too hard on sin and not nearly indulgent enough towards poor human nature. Let me take as an instance the sins of the flesh. Now here is a set of desires implanted by God or Nature (as you choose to name the Power behind life) for wise and indeed essential purposes. These desires are probably the very fiercest known to man and certainly the most alluring; and human nature is, as we know, an extraordinarily inconsistent and vacillating thing. Now I am aware that the abuse of these passions leads to disaster and that Nature has her inexorable laws and penalties; but you Catholics add a new horror to life by an absurd and irrational insistence on the offence that this abuse causes before God. For not only do you fiercely denounce the "acts of sin," as you name them, but you presume to go deeper still to the very desire itself, as it would seem. You are unpractical and cruel enough to say that the very thought of sin deliberately entertained can cut off the soul that indulges in it from the favour of God.
    . . .
    That kind of attitude is too fantastically fastidious altogether. You Catholics seem to aim at a standard that is simply not desirable; both your ends and your methods are equally inhuman and equally unsuitable for the world we have to live in. True religion is surely something far more sensible than this; true religion should not strain and strive after the impossible, should not seek to improve human nature by a process of mutilation. . . . If you were less holy and more natural, less idealistic and more practical, you would be of a greater service to the world which you desire to help. Religion should be a sturdy, virile growth; not the delicate hothouse blossom which you make it."
    The second charge comes from the Puritan. "Catholicism is not holy enough to be the Church of Jesus Christ; for see how terribly easy she is to those who outrage and crucify Him afresh! Perhaps it may not be true after all, as we used to think, that the Catholic priest actually gives leave to his penitents to commit sin; but the extraordinary ease with which absolution is given comes very nearly to the same thing. So far from this Church having elevated the human race, she has actually lowered its standards by her attitude towards those of her children who disobey God's Laws.
    Unfortunately, the puritan side does not delve into a critique of Catholicism's resort to aesthetic appeal to pull followers by playing to desires that are rather earthly. The section is more about revulsion to the creed's "easy" penitence. I guess you could tack on the accusation of using yet debasing sensuality to the puritan's complaint that it makes itself too accessible to a tainted human element. But that's not even the half of it.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Snail's Avatar
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    I am including three different links to the same book just in case something goes wrong with one or more of them.

    The Two Babylons--Alexander Hislop
    The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop
    The Two Babylons: Table of Contents


    There are plenty of valid reasons to reject Catholicism, regardless of how appealing the aesthetics of it might seem.

  3. #13
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    You don't say?

  4. #14
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IF3157 View Post
    You don't say?
    Is that a Rastafarian treatise? I know they hate Catholics almost as much as they hate gays.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Is that a Rastafarian treatise? I know they hate Catholics almost as much as they hate gays.
    You asking me?

  6. #16
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IF3157 View Post
    You asking me?
    Did you read the text? I clicked the link, but I am at work. I don't have the time.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  7. #17
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    Nah, I passed. Ain't got the time myself. However, it says it was "first published as a pamphlet in 1853--greatly expanded in 1858". I doubt Rastafarians were around then.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    It's a very flamboyant and ritualistic church. The drama of the Mass (the Eucharistic Prayer, in particular) is readily apparent even to a young child.
    The Mass is a brilliant trance induction.

    Remembering that a trance can be induced by any repetition.

    And the Mass is a repetition of a ritual.

    The Mass is highly cultivated and has given us some the great works of art in Western culture, including music and drama, painting and song; as well as the great cathedrals such as Chartres. And has inspired countless charities.

    However it excels as a trance induction across the world; and now across the global village.

    And as the trance is induced, the cognitive functions such as analysis, judgement and a sense of humour fade; and the creative functions such as imagination, belief and awe take centre stage. So that the priest and the congregation can fully identify with the climactic moment of the Mass where the bread and wine is turned into the Body and Blood.

    The bread still looks like bread. It still tastes like bread. And the wine looks and tastes like wine. But all present know, without doubt, that it is the Real Presence.

    So catholics can teach us a lot about Presence.

    And as we move into the Noosphere, in the group trance of the global village, Presence is what counts - your presence and mine - we become present to each other in the electronic media.

    The Real Presence is mystical just as our presence is mystical here.

    We have just begun to understand that presence is our future. So we look to our past, in particular our catholic past, to understand who we are and where we are going.

  9. #19
    Member TrueHeart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    There are plenty of valid reasons to reject Catholicism, regardless of how appealing the aesthetics of it might seem.
    Maybe. But none of them are to be found found in Hislop's mishmash.

    Is Catholicism Pagan?

    P.S. This is even better, from a former Hislop believer who is by no means a Catholic:

    The Two Babylons: A Case Study in Poor Methodology by Ralph Woodrow.
    Last edited by TrueHeart; 08-26-2008 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Added second link.
    "There can be no understanding between the hands and the head unless the heart acts as mediator." (Metropolis, 1927)

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottaprettygal View Post
    It wasn't the aesthetics that drew me in so much as the calisthenics. Kneel, stand, sit, kneel, stand. . . I loved the activity of it all.
    You can always tell a catholic because they have baggy knees.

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