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  1. #81
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    Yes Peguy. We all know. You believe neither your religion nor your church can do any harm. It has clearly given you an objective stance by which to learn about and judge the historical and current actions of both.

    Of course, the Jewish people and the Islamic people feel the same way and about their respective theologies and religious organizations. Just proof that when man decides to believe in the absolution of fairy tales, he closes his mind to any evidence that would prove otherwise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  2. #82
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    I'll certainly keep looking for the exact speech of the Pope they're citing, since I can't find it off-hand at the Vatican website, nevertheless I did find this from one Catholic news source:
    "In a similar way, the pope said, the church's teaching on ecology needs to be understood as arising from God -- the "creator Spirit" -- who made the earth and its creatures with an "intelligent structure" that demands respect. Because of faith, the church has a responsibility for protecting the created world and for proclaiming publicly this environmental responsibility, he said.

    The pope then explained why the human being must be at the center of the church's ecological concern.

    "The church must protect not only the earth, the water and the air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone. It must also protect man against self-destruction," he said. "The tropical forests certainly deserve our protection, but man as a creature does not deserve any less."

    By "self-destruction," the pope said he meant "contempt for the Creator," and he said examples could be found in so-called "gender" issues today. He offered a case in point: Marriage as a permanent union between a man and a woman was something instituted by God as "the sacrament of creation."

    Although the pope didn't specifically talk about same-sex marriage, the meaning was clear enough to prompt some unusual headlines about rain forests and homosexuals."

    CatholicCourier - Top Stories

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Yes Peguy. We all know. You believe neither your religion nor your church can do any harm.
    To believe that would be mean denying my own faith actually, which teaches we are all sinners. And no, the Church is no exception to it. That's why St. John Chrysostom once wrote that the floors of Hell were paved with the souls of corrupt bishops.

    Or as one Catholic writer, Hilaire Belloc, once put it:
    "An institute run with such knavish imbecility that if it were not the work of God it would not last a fortnight."

    I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    To believe that would be mean denying my own faith actually, which teaches we are all sinners. And no, the Church is no exception to it. That's why St. John Chrysostom once wrote that the floors of Hell were paved with the souls of corrupt bishops.

    Or as Catholic writer, Hilaire Belloc, once put it:
    "An institute run with such knavish imbecility that if it were not the work of God it would not last a fortnight."

    I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.
    You believe that a church that is corrupt and filled with imbecility would make a large difference in the Middle East? Or this a confession that you simply believe bringing the Christian God into the equation of the Middle East will be the answer?
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    You believe that a church that is corrupt and filled with imbecility would make a large difference in the Middle East?
    We're all humans, and all flawed. There is no such thing as a perfect person or a perfect institution. After all that was the entire point of the Church's founding by Christ, to save sinners.

    Now I could get into the authority of the church and all that; but I'll just ask this simple question: has anyother (non-religious) institution done better?

    If you wish to explore the issue of the flawed nature of Christians and so on, I highly recommend Nikolai Berdyaev's wonderful essay "The Worth of Christianity and the Unworthiness of Christians".

    Berdyaev was a non-Catholic, and even criticises Catholicism in this piece. Nevertheless he hits the nail on the head, especially here:
    "The men of to-day who are so far from Christianity are fond of saying that the Church ought to be made up of perfect people, saints, and complain of her that she includes so many faulty persons, sinners, and pseudo-Christians. It is the standing argument against Christianity, and it is one that betrays non-comprehension or forgetfulness of the nature and essence of the Church. The Church exists before all else for sinners, for imperfect and wandering beings. Her origins are in Heaven and her principle is eternal, but she operates on the earth and in time, among elements submerged in sin; her first business is to succour an erring world at grips with suffering, to save it for eternal life and raise it to the heavens. The essence of Christianity is a union of eternity and time, of Heaven and earth, of the divine and the human, and not any separation between them: the human and temporal are not to be despised and rejected but enlightened and transfigured."
    Moving on.


    Or this a confession that you simply believe bringing the Christian God into the equation of the Middle East will be the answer?
    Well the stressing of the common Abrahamic roots of the three faiths involved could probably hold the key to any kind of mutual respect among the parties. Although that'll be tricky, since each has their own take on those roots.

    Nobody involved in this endeavor has to my knowledge admited to this being an easy task.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    We're all humans, and all flawed. There is no such thing as a perfect person or a perfect institution. After all that was the entire point of the Church's founding by Christ, to save sinners.

    Now I could get into the authority of the church and all that; but I'll just ask this simple question: has anyother (non-religious) institution done better?
    Actually, from what I have learned, the historical times when there was the greatest peace in the Middle East eerily correlate with the times when the religious institutions had the least influence there.

    Well the stressing of the common Abrahamic roots of the three faiths involved could probably hold the key to any kind of mutual respect among the parties. Although that'll be tricky, since each has their own take on those roots.

    Nobody involved in this endeavor has to my knowledge admited to this being an easy task.
    The only way to end a cycle of violence is to end the killing. No institution is going to sooth vengeful hearts. What people need is a greater incentive to live than to fight. And that should be the goal of anyone who takes on the issue of the Middle East. Provide the means to a better life. Christianity can only serve as another wedge in an already divisive region.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Actually, from what I have learned, the historical times when there was the greatest peace in the Middle East eerily correlate with the times when the religious institutions had the least influence there.
    A more accurate interpretation would be to say when the region was largely dominated by one hegemonic power, which arbitrarily forces the warring parties to cooperate. Kinda like how it was in the Balkans.

    But then again, your interpretation falls flat on another account as well: the fact that the conflict originated when secularist ideologies dominated both factions. Zionism largely was secularist in origins, as Blackmail earlier mentioned; and the Palestinians were originally motivated by Arab nationalism, which too was largely secularist in orientation.

    There were religious fundamentalist elements among the Arab nationalists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood. However they forged an uneasy alliance with the secularist wings, and were constantly suppressed once secular Arab nationalists came to power. This was especially true in Egypt after the Free Officers' coup in 1953. Further crackdowns ultimately lead to Anwar Sadat's assasination in 1981.

    It wasn't untill the Iranian Revolution in 1979 that religious fundamentalism even became a major factor into the whole conflict. So we have a time frame of about 1920's(with the first Jewish emigrations) to about 1980ish, a good 60years were secularism is the dominant force in the region.

  8. #88
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    You can argue that the conflict in the Middle East began with secular beliefs and I will argue that it began with religious beliefs. I've played this game of, "I feel this is where things started to go wrong," before, and I have found that it is as much fun as playing the game of "this is how I interpret this scripture." Both religious ideologies and secular ideologies are to blame for the current situation in the Middle East, and trying to divorce either of its rightful share of the blame is more or less the same as trying to claim that either the Republicans or Democrats aren't to blame for our current economic situation.

    My point still stands. More thinking in terms of absolutes will solve nothing. And I think the history of the Middle East proves that point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  9. #89
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    I didn't say religion wasn't a factor in the conflict. I'm disputing the notion that it's purely one of religion, and somehow eliminating the religious factor will solve the issue. It's basically a mix of ethno-religious tensions. Even without the religious factor, the ethnic tensions still remains.

    As far as the religious factor goes, I agree with the former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, that there's needs to be an official recognition of all three faiths in the region. As he stated last year: "God made this land for all three of us, so a suitable state is one who can adapt itself to the vocation of this land...This land cannot be exclusive for anyone."

    I already mentioned earlier the position of the Jewish religious philosopher Martin Buber, who advocated for a bi-national federation of Jews and Arabs, for as he stated:"the Jewish people proclaims its desire to live in peace and brotherhood with the Arab people and to develop the common homeland into a republic in which both peoples will have the possibility of free development."

  10. #90
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    Well for once we are in agreement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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