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Sad, Sick Jew-Hating Trads

About six weeks ago, the right-of-center Catholic writer John Zmirak penned a TAC piece saying that Catholic conservatives are not the Pope’s enemies [1]— though he conceded that Francis, as the cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, may have had bitter experience with hardcore Catholic Traditionalists. Zmirak:

The pope’s most controversial statements seem to arise from a single motive: He doesn’t like “right-wing” Catholics, and wants to make it clear to all the world that he’s not one of them.

Up to a point, I see what he means. From what I have read, in Argentina, a swath of the folks who fought for the Latin Mass also supported the right-wing dictators down there—which means they winked at torture and murder, but their consciences proved too tender to countenance altar girls. I have met this kind of smug zealot up here in the U.S.—the guy you meet at the coffee hour who starts off with pro-life talk, then finds a way to assert that most abortionists are Jewish … and pretty soon he’s pressing on you poorly printed pamphlets that “prove” theHolocaust never happened [2]. I used to argue with people like this, but it led nowhere. (Although I learned how to have some fun with them by “proving” that World War II was also a myth, and that all its “casualties” had really been abducted to serve as slaves in the Zionist tin mines on the Moon.)

I finally had to accept the cold fact that some people are not sincerely mistaken, or even deluded, but rather of evil intent, with wicked hearts and culpable motives. In fact, they’re the kind of “evil company” St. Paul tells us to flee.

These are the kind of people Zmirak was talking about: [3]

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholics have openly challenged Pope Francis by disrupting one of his favorite events, an interfaith ceremony in the Metropolitan Cathedral meant to promote religious harmony on the anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust.

The annual gathering of Catholics, Jews and Protestants marks Kristallnacht, the Nazi-led mob violence in 1938 when about 1,000 Jewish synagogues were burned and thousands of Jews were forced into concentration camps, launching the genocide that killed 6 million Jews. Before he assumed the papacy, Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and his good friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka led the ceremony every year.

A small group disrupted Tuesday night’s ceremony by shouting the rosary and the “Our Father” prayer, and spreading pamphlets saying that “followers of false gods must be kept out of the sacred temple.”

These protesters were members of SSPX. If that is the face that Roman Catholic Traditionalism presented to Cardinal Bergoglio, there’s no wonder that Pope Francis has no patience with them. Lord have mercy, what a vile display.

 

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89 Comments To "Sad, Sick Jew-Hating Trads"

#1 Comment By William Dalton On November 15, 2013 @ 2:19 am

I believe Tumarion states the Christian perspective very well. But we must remember this is the Christian perspective. For one who believes that “God” is set of postulates existing only in the human mind, the differences in belief held by Jews, Muslims and Christians, as to who and what God is, means that they worship different gods. Christians who believe that God is a real person, real as any other person who walked the Earth, know that Jews and Muslims worship the same God, the God identified in their common Scriptures as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but many hold heretical beliefs about God.

However, a professor I had in seminary, very aware of the importance of Jewish-Christian relations in contemporary America, cautioned us as follows: While Christians can proclaim we worship the same God as do the Jews (and we can add the Muslims), the Jew (and the Muslim) who is devout to his faith, rather than modernized form of that faith, can not say he worships the same God as the Christian. This is because he knows that Christians worship Jesus Christ as God and he does not. Christians alone believe that in worshiping Jesus Christ we worship the same God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and therefore the same worshiped by Jews and Muslims today.

Too frequently, however, when Christians enter into joint worship services with Jews and Muslims, we refrain from mentioning the name of Jesus Christ, out of respect for the beliefs of the others. In doing so, however, we betray our own faith, for we are pretending to profess that God is one who is other than the One who was incarnate in Jesus, was crucified on the Cross, rose from the Dead and has ascended again to Heaven. And when we do that our relationship to God is no better than that of the Jew or the Muslim.

#2 Comment By M_Young On November 15, 2013 @ 3:08 am

“M_Young has forfeited his working class street cred. Francisco Franco?”

Siarlys, about a year ago I had a wonderful conversation with an older Chilean engineer on sea going vessel. The guy loved Pinochet — told me he turned Chile around. And he was probably right. And Franco? Let me paraphrase — yeah, Franco, Spain needed Franco.

Franco was hugely popular with a significant proportion of the Spanish working class. And having arrived in Spain in the mid 1990,* and having seen the legacy contracts that the Franco regime had extracted from the US government for Spanish workers on our little tiny concession on a Spanish military base, I can see why.

*When I got there, about two years before the Spanish adoption of the Euro, the old Franco coins were still circulating. That’s where I got the phrase.

#3 Comment By JonF On November 15, 2013 @ 6:34 am

Re: The idea that Jews worship a different God stems from the Scholastic idea that if you have the wrong idea about God’s nature, (i.e. He’s not triune, like Jews and Muslims believe) then you are worshipping a false god.

The scholastics were wrong then.
Does the fact that they (and everyone else until the 20th century) knew nothing about nuclear fusion and so posited various absurd theories as to how the sun shines mean that they knew a different sun, not the same one in the sky above us? Of course not. And if one believes in God then God is as real, if not more so, than the sun. Inaccurate notions about God do not alter God; they simply mean one is wrong about theology.

#4 Comment By TTT On November 15, 2013 @ 8:24 am

Who says it’s the same God? Some different author who came along thousands of years later and changed everything?

Do you believe the Sherlock Holmes from the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories is the same as the title character in the 2001 Saturday morning cartoon “Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century”? How about Stoker’s Dracula vs Abbott and Costello’s Dracula?

#5 Comment By Puller58 On November 15, 2013 @ 8:50 am

The Pope doth protest too much. He’s been accused of complicity with the Argentine regime, so this might well be personal CYA

#6 Comment By Major Wootton On November 15, 2013 @ 9:08 am

The expression “Abrahamic faiths” sometimes stops thought. There it is, a ready-made expression that can be invoked to silence one’s own misgivings or debate with others.

I think it is of only limited usefulness, and what limits it is the fact that, *finally*, there is only one Abrahamic faith, orthodox Christianity. God incarnate, Jesus, said that Abraham rejoiced to see His — Jesus’ — day (John 8:56).

It cannot be said that Judaism or Islam rejoices to see Christ’s day. One of the reasons that they exist as they do is to provide a faith connected to the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures for people who reject the divine nature and saving work and gift of grace belonging to Christ. That really is the nub. Take those things away from Christ — make Him one of many prophets, maybe a charismatic healer, but not a God-man to be worshiped — and you will have a Jesus acceptable to Judaism and Islam.

If you be Christ’s you are Abraham’s seed (Galatians 3:29).

#7 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 15, 2013 @ 10:15 am

I don’t especially see the point of arguing whether Jews and Muslims worship the same God as Christians. Maybe they do, but if so, they’re wildly and spectacularly wrong about the nature of that God.

#8 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 15, 2013 @ 10:19 am

Re: There were quotas on Jewish admissions at the University. In the ’70s.

I’m not sure what we have nowadays (heavy overrepresentation of Jews at some selective colleges)is any better, thought to be fair we should have quotas against East Asians and Indians as well. And honestly, should probably get rid of elite private colleges in general.

Re: The idea that The National Socialist German Workers’ Party wasn’t killing Jews just communists who happened to be Jewish is Holocaust denial.

Can you read? The person you’re purporting to respond to explicitly excluded German Nazism from his remarks.

#9 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 15, 2013 @ 10:23 am

Re: Thus, I’d have no hesitation in saying that Jews, Muslims, orthodox Christians, and heretics of all these faiths all worship the same god; they just disagree in important ways on what He’s like.

Some of those folks would disagree with each other about whether they worshipped the same God. Many Jews don’t think Christians worship the true god, and a lot of the early Christian heretics (the aforementioned Marcion, notably) didn’t think the Jews did.

#10 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 15, 2013 @ 10:26 am

M_Young,

Give me a plane ticket to Russia, and I’ll bet that in a week I could find plenty of Russians who think Stalin was a fine fellow.

The fact that you think Pinochet was good for Chile says a lot more about you than it does about him, about Chilean public opinion, or about the Chilean left.

#11 Comment By Alice AN On November 15, 2013 @ 10:32 am

Not much different from the Christian Right in the US that were okay with the pro-torture regime of Cheney et al, yet insurance that covers Birthcontrol? Deal breaker.

I like the Latin mass and I’m not closed to the conservative argument, however drop the holier than thou attitude already. These trads have been driving people out of the church for decades and now not even the Pope is doctrinaire enough?

Do they even hear themselves? Does a single word coming out of their words sound Christ-like? How dare the Pope say the poor, the sick and the downtrodden should be our focus? Or heaven forbid the less doctrinaire that were driven out of the Church?

Yet because they are the Churchiest Catholics, harras women outside abortion clinics (least likely to convince anyone of anything) and have sex without a condom (or not at all) they are the *true* Christians? More Catholic than the Pope? Suppressing gag reflex…

#12 Comment By TTT On November 15, 2013 @ 10:40 am

Ken Hoop: yes, Arno Mayer is a Holocaust denier insofar as he denies the motives and origins of it. First of all, Mayer’s Wikipedia article is poorly-written and clearly biased, accusing his critics of being “hysterical” without external citation (in other words, that’s the opinion of a Mayer fanboy who edited it in defiance of their Neutrality policy). Mayer and his ilk apparently really believe German anti-Semitism was rooted in anti-Bolshevism, thus ignoring many prior centuries of pogroms and persecution. There were anti-Jewish riots all over Germany for decades upon the performances of passion plays – look up the Obermargau. While you’re at it, look up the German tradition of the Judensau and observe by how many centuries they predated Marxism.

As for the idea that it was all really it brought to life as a secondary effect after Operation Barbarossa (or after the U.S. entry into the war, another oft-chewed revisionist bone): Hitler wrote in the 1920s that if he ever took power the first thing he would do would be to hang all the Jews. Krystallnacht, the Nuremburg Laws stripping Jews of all civil rights (making street murder effectively legal), and the proof-of-concept T4 euthanasia program all predate Barbarossa.

Mike: It is absurd, long debunked canard to suggest that the Nazis were atheists or shared much of anything in common with today’s secularists. Hitler described himself as was a proud Catholic motivated by what he believed to be the will of Jesus. He banned all non-religious schooling and all atheist organizations. “Gott mitt uns” was inscribed on the Wehrmacht uniform and there were high-profile state observations of Christmas. Perhaps most importantly, the many times that the einsatzgruppen encouraged rural peasants throughout Poland, Estonia, Latvia and elsewhere to rise up and slaughter their Jews for them, are we really expected to believe that those were not traditional bucolic Christian communities, to the last one? Unless there were scads of Darwin fan clubs and tortoise fanciers throughout Latvia, the idea is as ahistorical and laughable as self-hating Jew Ben Stein’s assertions that if the Germans had read more about music than about science the Holocaust never would have happened because “science leads you to killing people”.

Last but not least, please never cite Bill Donohue as a source on any issue, including basic arithmetic and the color of the sky. This is a man who invented a special “crybaby” graphic to lampoon the survivors of sexual abuse within the church and told them to get over it after all these years. Funny, Jesus died over 2,000 years ago and Donohue is still mighty fixated on THAT.

#13 Comment By Mr. Patrick On November 15, 2013 @ 10:46 am

M_Young:
“Franco was hugely popular with a significant proportion of the Spanish working class.”
But not popular enough to win an election, not so popular enough to gain power without aerial bombing of his own countrymen, and not so popular that Spanish workers wouldn’t break open the police armories to arm themselves against his revolutionaries. Which is to say, he wasn’t entirely all that popular.

#14 Comment By TTT On November 15, 2013 @ 10:55 am

Also, to anyone who was still seriously attempting to pull the “Atheist Holocaust” card:

The Ustase puppet government in Croatia was fiercely Catholic with no separation of church and state, and their own on-site death camp – Jasenovac – was the staging ground for barbarism so gory that it horrified even visiting German Nazis.

#15 Comment By Turmarion On November 15, 2013 @ 11:27 am

Glaivester: Islam is considered different, I think, based on the idea that their conception of God derived not from a misunderstanding of the Abrahamic God, but from taking a pagan moon god and conflating him with the Abrahamic God (your mileage may vary on whether you think this is historically correct).

I do not think it is historically correct—for an extended discussion, see [4]. Even if that were correct (which it’s not), it wouldn’t be the first such conflation. Among the pagan Semitic tribes of Phoenicia and Palestine, El was the chief of the gods, equivalent to Zeus or Odin. That didn’t keep the Jews from using that name and its derivative Elohim (a plural noun!) for the One God. It’s also worth pointing out that there’s some reason to believe that El Elyon (“God Most High”—see Genesis 14:17-20) and El Shaddai (translated as “God Almighty”, and occurring many times in the Old Testament) were originally the names of local deities that were syncretically conflated with the Hebrew One God. Thus, even if it were the case that “Allah” were a conflation of a supposed moon deity with the Abrahamic God, that doesn’t mean it’s not legitimate as a term for the One God now.

Bottom line, though: There were Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians centuries before Muhammad was even born, and they all consistently used “Allah” for the One God. If they had no problem with it, no one should now, either.

For my part, I tend not to take a position on Muslims, as I don’t know that there is a practical difference between having a different conception of a monotheistic God or believing in a different One. (my emphasis)

Seems to me a huge difference. If it’s a matter of different gods, then either one and one’s ancestors were worshiping delusions or demons, with no contact to the One God. If it were a matter of devil worship (as some ancient Christians thought, incorrectly in my view), the implication is that they were worse than deluded, that is to say, damned. Delusion would be better, but still bad. However, if it’s a matter of different conceptions of God–and it seems to me very clear that this is the view of Paul in Acts—then one and one’s forebears were in some kind of contact with the True God, however imperfect, all along. It seems to me a gigantic difference both in terms of one’s hopes for one’s ancestors, and in evangelization. Certainly an evangelization that says, “You knew God imperfectly; let me perfect your understanding,” seems likelier to succeed than one that says, in effect, “Put away your foul heathenism!”

#16 Comment By dominic1955 On November 15, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

“The scholastics were wrong then.”

Not really. I don’t think that they would put Jews and Muslims on the same page as Hindus and Greco-Roman Pagans. They were concerned more about the efficacy of worship in spirit and truth.

“Does the fact that they (and everyone else until the 20th century) knew nothing about nuclear fusion and so posited various absurd theories as to how the sun shines mean that they knew a different sun, not the same one in the sky above us? Of course not.”

Apples and oranges, buddy boy. I’ll let you think for a second as to why that was a completely asinine analogy.

“And if one believes in God then God is as real, if not more so, than the sun.”

True…

“Inaccurate notions about God do not alter God;”

Obviously. That wasn’t what the Scholastics were saying though.

“they simply mean one is wrong about theology.”

Yes, but it also means that what you have in mind to worship is a “false god”. God IS, that’s a given, but to properly worship Him you must have the right idea of Him and what He wants. Being in the right ballpark (i.e. Yahweh, Allah as the same God spoken of in the OT) is better than being in the wrong ballpark, but it still isn’t enough.

It would seem as if the SSPXers down in Argentina took that idea too far, I was just illustrating where the original came from.

#17 Comment By Another Matt On November 15, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

In epistemology there is a distinction between extension and intension (intension-with-an-S). The classic illustration is this: say four kids are having a discussion about astronomy. One mentions “Venus,” another “the Morning Star,” another “the second planet from the sun,” and the other “the Evening Star.” Each of those words/phrases has an identical extension — the actual object pointed to by the labels. But they do not have the same intension — the belief underlying linguistic production of the labels — unless the user knows them to be synonymous. The four kids will be surprised and delighted to hear from the teacher that they’re all talking about the same thing.

Most of the thorny philosophical disputes about this are what happens to extension in the case of fictional or legendary objects or persons. As William Dalton points out above, the resolution of the dispute about God hinges on his existence. If he exists, then the God spoken of in Abrahamic religions is likely the same extension, but with three (more like three-hundred-thousand) intensions. If he doesn’t exist, then all there is is intension.

#18 Comment By TomB On November 15, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

TTT wrote:

“yes, Arno Mayer is a Holocaust denier insofar as he denies the motives and origins of it.”

Well then, just exactly where does one go to so as to make sure not to deviate even a molecule from The One True Interpretation of the motives and origins of it and so become a Holocaust denier?

Very brave though: How better to risk decaffeinating what the charge of being a Holocaust denier means?

[And]

“Perhaps most importantly, the many times that the einsatzgruppen encouraged rural peasants throughout Poland, Estonia, Latvia and elsewhere to rise up and slaughter their Jews for them, are we really expected to believe that those were not traditional bucolic Christian communities, to the last one?”

Very brave: Are we then really similarly expected *not* to believe that those jewish communities who—long before the Holocaust—so disproportionately supplied the Soviet’s Cheka and NKVD with its torturers and killers and Gulag keepers (and then after the war supplied the Polish communist’s UB and other other satellites’ secret police forces with theirs as well) were traditional bucolic jewish shtetls as well, to the last one?

You are no doubt right that there was a long history of anti-semitism in Germany before the rise of Bolshevism, but to suggest anti-Bolshevism had nothing to do with the degree to which the German public went along with Hitler—which degree was crucial—is nothing less than an attempt to erase history. Almost as soon as could be imagined after the Bolsheviks took over Russia the most blood-curdling Bolsheviks, including Trotsky and a number of its other prominent figures including other jews were openly promising imminent rivers of German blood when the Revolution got there. Openly. Exultantly. The same sort of rivers they were *actually* bathing in in Russia and the Ukraine and etc.

But we are expected to believe that the German people weren’t affected by this?

#19 Comment By Glaivester On November 15, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

I do not think it is historically correct—for an extended discussion, see here.

It may not be. I’m not endorsing the view, just suggesting that it plays a role in the way some Christians view Islam.

Seems to me a huge difference.

I don’t think we disagree as much as it might seem. My point is that if it can be agreed that someone has an incorrect conception of God – one that is incorrect enough that it prevents salvation – and that it needs to be corrected, I’m not certain that there is much point in debating whether that implies a different god or not; if their conception of God can be changed to the correct one, then they are believing in the right God once that happens, regardless of whether they did so before.

It’s sort of like the question of whether Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons are a “cult.” I think that it is more beneficial to dispute their theology rather than to figure out whether or not it is accurate to describe their errors* in as offensive a way as possible.

Or, put another way, if it can be agreed between Christians that Muslims have an incorrect conception of God, I am not certain there is any benefit to asking whether or not they actually worship a false God.

*I am writing this from my perspective as an Evangelical Baptist Christian.

#20 Comment By JonF On November 15, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

Re: If you be Christ’s you are Abraham’s seed (Galatians 3:29).

True, but by adoption (unless one has Jewish ancestry). The Jews are Abraham’s seed by birth. That does not mean they are right theologically and we are wrong, but it does mean, well, that they remain the children of Abraham.

#21 Comment By JonF On November 15, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

Re: Apples and oranges, buddy boy. I’ll let you think for a second as to why that was a completely asinine analogy.

Only if one thinks that God is of subjective reality only, which is truly asinine for anyone who professes belief in God. If God is objectively real then what humans think about him does not alter him. Moreover we all have incorrect notions about God because God in his fullness is beyond human knowing– so we are all worshiping the wrong God by your absolutist standard. Moreover if one posits that Jews are not worshiping God, then that was true for the ancient Jews as well their modern descendants. Abraham, Moses, Elijah and all the rest– they were worshiping a false God. At that point we stand in the land of the Gnostics.

#22 Comment By Turmarion On November 15, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

Glaivester: My point is that if it can be agreed that someone has an incorrect conception of God – one that is incorrect enough that it prevents salvation….

I’m not sure I do agree with this. If a Unitarian or a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon–whose conceptions of God are obviously very much wrong from a little-o orthodox perspective–is a good and upright person who prays regularly, does the right thing even when it’s difficult, and tries to live his life in accordance with God’s will, to the best of his understanding, I don’t think he’ll be damned over his incorrect doctrine.

Now I have made no secret here of being a universalist, but what I’m suggesting doesn’t necessarily imply universalism or MTD. It’s possible to believe that MTD is an insipid watering down of Christianity, and to believe that some indeed will go to Hell, without necessarily believing that the criteria for this unfortunate eventuality are mainly dogmatic. Mark 9:38-41 and Matthew 25:31-46 certainly imply that one’s actions and a favorable disposition towards Christ are more important than perfect doctrinal understanding.

Now even if one maintains that aberrant views of God don’t of themselves endanger one’s salvation, that wouldn’t be a reason to de-emphasize evangelism. Some views, while not of themselves endangering salvation, might tend to lead one towards actions and behaviors that could; and even for those that don’t, a more accurate view of God is always preferable.

#23 Comment By TTT On November 15, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

TomB: but to suggest anti-Bolshevism had nothing to do with the degree to which the German public went along with Hitler

–is a straw man. I suggested no such thing. Rather, I said anti-Bolshivism was not the main cause of the Holocaust, which is Mayer’s revisionist kook thesis and which plainly wasn’t actually true as Germany’s half-millennium of institutionalized Jew-bashing shows.

Since you didn’t take the meaning of my prior references, I’ll help you out: Judensaus date back to the 1200s, with Martin Luther approvingly writing of them in the 1500s. And passion plays sparked murderous riots from the mid-1300’s onwards.

Against that backdrop of everlasting culturally-normalized Jew-killing…. well, as a great film once put it, “Communism is just a red herring.”

Al-Qaeda hated America for having bases in Saudi Arabia – in addition to many decades worth of violent cultural resentments and grudges going back to women being allowed to dance with men, and beyond.

#24 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 15, 2013 @ 11:03 pm

For one who believes that “God” is set of postulates existing only in the human mind, the differences in belief held by Jews, Muslims and Christians, as to who and what God is, means that they worship different gods.

Sounds like sollipsism as premise to me. To a sollipsist, other people don’t even exist. But we do.

A Chilean engineer loved Pinochet… therefore the general MUST have been right. My mother thought Barack Obama to be the best president we’ve had in a very long time… therefore all Republicans think like that.

To Mr. Patrick’s perceptive remarks about Franco’s popularity with the Spanish working class, I can add nothing.

Worshipping Jesus as God may be an error. But Jesus is important only because “I and the Father are one,” not in his own right.

TTT: Was Sherlock Holmes a real person? Was Dracula? Are you talking about a person who really lived vs. a fictional portrayal, or are you talking about two different known fictions under the same name?

#25 Comment By dominic1955 On November 15, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

“Only if one thinks that God is of subjective reality only, which is truly asinine for anyone who professes belief in God.”

Sigh. No points for you. The analogy fails because the Scholastics were intellectuals who would have understood nuclear fision had all the intervening inventions had come about by that time. Its not that they were stupid and couldn’t grasp such “advanced” things, they just hadn’t (as a society) developed all the things that made such discoveries possible.

The knowledge of God is largely revealed, thus its not time contingent, i.e. knowledge of God is not time contingent. It is only “contingent” if you are one of those idiots that think the totality human knowledge is on some grand march to perfection and that the fact that something happened a thousand years later makes it more “advanced”. If you are there, my condolences.

“If God is objectively real then what humans think about him does not alter him.”

Hot damn, I need to nominate you for the Nobel Prize…

“Moreover we all have incorrect notions about God because God in his fullness is beyond human knowing–”

X2

“so we are all worshiping the wrong God by your absolutist standard.”

I would really recommend reading some Aquinas or Augustine.

“Moreover if one posits that Jews are not worshiping God, then that was true for the ancient Jews as well their modern descendants.”

No actually not. The Jews of the present era do not share the same religion as the OT Jews. Regardless, the point is that they have a radically false idea of God past the fulness of His revelation.

“Abraham, Moses, Elijah and all the rest– they were worshiping a false God. At that point we stand in the land of the Gnostics.”

They were worshiping the True God as best they knew according to how much God revealed about Himself at that point.

Personally (and according to the proper reading) we say the Jews worship the same God. They have a totally crap understanding of Him, but they are in the right ballpark. The Catholic Church considers itself the New Israel, the Jews had their time and they are still the “Chosen People” but now its the Church’s age.

Long story short, what matters is if you believe correctly, make right use of the Sacraments (the visible channels of grace) and you live according to that grace (Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, Precepts of the Church, 10 Commandments, etc.). Being part of a specific blood clan is irrelevant. Having the wrong idea of God connected to that clan will not help you either.

#26 Comment By Dale Carville On November 15, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

“If he exists, then the God spoken of in Abrahamic religions is likely the same extension, but with three (more like three-hundred-thousand) intensions. If he doesn’t exist, then all there is is intension.”

If you believe your God once chose to break His silence to deliver a message to mankind via a process guaranteed to fail (a single dubiously sourced transmission, received by a single mortal, isolated in time and space), watched as that easily disputed message did not take, witnessed its alteration and repurposing, saw it encounter other, equally un/believable competition, neglected to attempt any clarifying re-transmission, and then sat back and watched the subsequent centuries of strife and suffering caused by His own poorly conceived and haplessly implemented delivery mechanism- is that god, your God, incompetent, insane, or evil ?

#27 Comment By Daniel On November 15, 2013 @ 11:27 pm

I am a fairly traditional Reformed Christian, and this talk of “false god” vs. “true God”– and the responses to such–seem lacking in Scriptural support. At least to those in my camp (Reformed/Calvinist) and to a great many Evangelicals, the Scriptures are to be the sole and final authority in these matters. Yes, I know that Catholics, Orthodox and Anglican brethren may disagree–but this is my understanding.

You may also be of the opinion that the Holy Scriptures are worthless and riddled with errors. Or, you may believe that they are so “open to interpretation” as to be meaningless. It’s a free country; but I think it’s more than a bit difficult to use a sound hermeneutic and conclude that any religion that explicitly rejects Jesus Christ as the unique Son of God can be considered “ok” with God, once the follower of that faith encounters the Gospel. Reject the teaching as false, if you wish; but it’s hard to twist the words any other way.

What is clear from the Johanine literature is that one cannot be a true worshipper of God if he or she rejects the Son. Yes, I know many consider John’s gospel to be the most anti-Semitic. So be it, if that’s what you believe. But here’s what it says:

“And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.”– John 5:37-38

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”– John 14:6

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.”–1 John 2:22-23

“He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” 1 John 5:12

“Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.”–2 John 9

There are specific Scriptures that affirm that yes, the patriarchs (the Old Testament Saints) were true followers–even if they were not blessed with the fullness of the revelation that is Christ. However, merely claiming to follow those Saints means nothing if one rejects the One of Whom they testified:

“For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”– John 5:46-47

“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.”– John 8:42

As for Paul, what he wrote about pagans:

“No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.–1 Cor 19:20-21

All this being said, it is by no means required of a Christian to hate or persecute those who disagree with their faith. We are commanded to “live at peace with all men” (Rom 12:18) and we are called to love even our enemies (Matt 5:44) and even do good to those that hate us (Luke 6:27).

As I understand it, then, it is clear that the Bible teaches that knowingly rejecting the Son of God is rejecting God Himself, and therefore their ‘worship’ cannot be said to worship the true God, but at best an idol of the mind. So any call for “ecumenical worship” with those who explicitly reject the unique Son of God is to accept a theology that is not apostolic, but more in common with a mere cultural norm. But again, this does not mean for a second that any hatred or animosity should be shown to those who reject the Gospel.

#28 Comment By TomB On November 15, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

@TTT:

Well I appreciate your at least initial disavowal of saying that anti-Bolshevism had “nothing to do with the degree to which the German public went along with Hitler.”

But what then are we to make of your later endorsement of the sentiment that “Communism is just a red herring”?

Without the support of the German public Hitler could have gotten nowhere, and so on the one hand you’re admitting that the public’s anti-Bolshevism contributed to that support—and thus the Holocaust—but then in the very next breath assert this isn’t just in error, but a consciously fraudulent claim.

With all due respect it seems to me you are just immediately renouncing that which you have just been forced to admit.

Likewise, I can’t help but note your side-stepping of my response to your indictment of “traditional bucolic Christian communities” as being viciously anti-semitic “to the last one.”

And once again I think it’s because you just simply cannot deny that there existed a strong and traditional anti-Christian sentiment in many Eastern European jewish communities too (although no doubt not nearly to the degree of your indictment of “to the last one.”)

So strong in fact that the very Yiddish/Hebrew words for gentile youths (“shegetz” and “shikse” for males and females, respectively) meant things like “loathed,” “impure” and “abomination.” And certainly vicious enough for many of their members to welcome and support and take part in the incredible Bolshevik savaging especially of Christians. (Such as the Holomodor among other things.)

In short it seems to me that while you are forced to admit that the pre-WWII Eastern European and German picture is an ugly complex of human hatreds and savagery and crimes generally, you nevertheless still insist on some vision of it as having been a simple matter of one set of bad, evil folks (Germans, and/or “traditional Christian communities” or etc.) with everyone else being on the side of the angels.

That’s just not sustainable I don’t think.

#29 Comment By Mike On November 15, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

TTT

Please name one credible historian to support your claim that AH was a “proud Catholic.” I don’t think you would find any historians to support your claim. So just who are your “debunkers?” You’ve got little more reading to do because all you’ve demonstrated so far is a large degree of historical ignorance. Hitler’s biographers (the most recent being “Hitler’s First War, The Men of the List Regiment and the First World War,” by Thomas Weber, Oxford University Press 2010) always point out that Hitler was one of the very few soldiers in the regiment (in WWI) not to attend religious services.
But here’s a source that might not be too difficult for you to look into. From Time Magazine 23 Dec 1940 which features a picture of Pastor Martin Niemoller on the cover with a cross and a swastika in the background. The article itself details the Nazi persecution of Christians in Germany at that time. But here’s a quote right from the mag, not “Mike.”
“More than 80% of the prisoners in the concentration camps are not Jews but Christians. And the best tribute to the spirit of Germany’s Christians comes from a Jew and agnostic (Time, Sept.23), the world’s most famous scientist, Albert Einstein, Says he,
‘Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but no the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few shorts weeks. . . . Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.’”
Or check out (The Persecution of the Catholic Church in the Third Reich, Facts and Documents translated from German, Roger A. McCaffrey Publishing, 1941)
Did you know SS men were buried with the “rune of the dead,” a pagan symbol adopted by the Nazis to replace the Christian cross?
You might also learn that over 2000 priests were interned in Dachau.
My own Polish Catholic in-laws (rural peasants themselves) were forced labor for the Nazis from 1940 to 45 and not wanting to go back to Communist Poland after the war waited in a displaced persons camp for 5 years before immigrating to America.
I can only imagine what you’re going to have to say when Pope Pius XII is canonized? This is a little bit of what his predecessor Pope Pius XI had to say to AH and the Nazis in 1937. It’s an encyclical called Mit brennender Sorge (with urgent concern) that might also apply to seccies:
The morality of the human race is grounded on faith in God. All attempts to detach the doctrine of moral law from the granite base of the faith in order to build it up again on the shifting sands of human regulations sooner or later bring individuals and nations to moral decadence. The fool who says in his heart, ‘there is no God” will tread the path of moral corruption. The number of such fools who presume to separate morality from religion has today become legion. . . . To hand over moral teaching to subjective and temporary opinions instead of anchoring it to the holy will of the everlasting God and to His commandments means opening wide the doors to the forces of destruction. Thus to encourage the abandonment of the eternal principles of the objective moral law in the formations of consciences in. . . all spheres of life. . . is a sin against the future of a people, and its bitter fruit will have to be tasted by future generations.

The 2 godless isms of the 20th century, Nazism and Communism, killed more people in a span of 70 years that could ever be laid at the doorstep of certain periods of overzealous Christianity in 2000. That’s a historical fact seccies would be well advised to learn.

I also support Bill Donahue and the Catholic League in standing up to the Christian haters among us.

#30 Comment By Reinhold On November 15, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

Pope Francis doesn’t like Catholics who supported the Peron dictatorship in Argentina. It wasn’t just Latin Mass traditionalists, it was Catholics who didn’t like Vatican II and didn’t like Liberation Theology. On the other hand, Pope Francis did not and does not, as Zmirak often suggests, support liberation theology. His public statements on the Dirty Wars often emphasize that ‘some Catholics supported the regime, some Catholics died as guerillas,’ cautiously placing himself in the middle (which may or may not have lead to some ‘collaboration’ with or at least ‘indifference’ to military persecution within his congregation). But yeah, he’s had a very bad experience with Catholics who support right-wing dictatorships in the name of anti-communism; and that’s an attitude that’s, at least, not unheard of in the U.S. as well….

#31 Comment By JonF On November 16, 2013 @ 1:40 am

dominic1955

I do not accept scholastic theology– in fact I think the West went seriously off the rails with it. So citing Scholastics is about as useless as citing Confucius with me.
There is One God, period. There are correct and incorrect ideas about Him (and to some extent all of us are wrong since God’s Essence is fundamentally unknowable, by finite beings in Time). It is not possible to worship a “different” God because there’s only one. One may direct one’s worship toward something that is not God (i.e., animists worshiping spirits and totems and the like), but when one directs worship toward God (wrong concepts and all), then one is directed toward God (which is tautologically true). To return to my “sun” analogy, some planets are closer to the sun than others– but even the most distant ones of our solar system are still revolving around the sun.
People who talk about worshiping “a different God” are, IMO, indulging in the sin of pride. Better to work out one’s salvation in humble hope and piety and leave God to sort out the intellectual gordion knots.

#32 Comment By TTT On November 16, 2013 @ 7:18 am

TomB:

you just simply cannot deny that there existed a strong and traditional anti-Christian sentiment in many Eastern European jewish communities too…. the very Yiddish/Hebrew words for gentile youths (“shegetz” and “shikse” for males and females, respectively) meant things like “loathed,” “impure” and “abomination.”

Who cares?

No, really. Those are private thoughts and words. There was no atmosphere of anti-Christian violence from the Jews of Europe during the 700-odd years that the Jews were subjected to relentless violence, pogroms, torching, and institutionally supported street murder. I talk about passion play riots for half a millennium and you say “well, shiksa can hurt feelings!” This is an attitude not unprecedented among some of Rod’s readers, who place the ungracious THOUGHTS of ghetto Jews into moral parity with the church-and-state-sanctioned mass murder they had to contend with for the better part of a millennium. Some really – REALLY – found the Holocaust a bit easier to understand after learning about practices like “Nittel Nacht,” when Jews would spend every Christmas measuring out all the toilet paper they planned to use for a year because – yes – they hated Jesus and Christians.

It takes a very privileged perspective to rank the hatred of an inner monologue as being just as bad as the hatred of a bloodstained cudgel.

So sure, I’ll see your Bolshevik Revolution, and raise you the prior 7-8 centuries.

#33 Comment By TTT On November 16, 2013 @ 8:28 am

Mike:

Please name one credible historian to support your claim that AH was a “proud Catholic.” I don’t think you would find any historians to support your claim.

Think again. I in fact have so many sources pointing to Hitler’s assertions of Catholic piety and his loathing for atheism that I’m saving them for last, so that the other points I make don’t get lost behind a wall of italicized text. So let’s skip ahead a bit:

From Time Magazine 23 Dec 1940… details the Nazi persecution of Christians in Germany at that time… 80% of the prisoners in the concentration camps are not Jews but Christians. And the best tribute to the spirit of Germany’s Christians comes from [Albert Einstein].

You’re seriously citing the WESTERN media from 1940 as an authority on what was going on inside Nazi Germany? Tell me, was that the same magazine issue that joked about kindly “Uncle” Joe Stalin? I think if you’d given that a few more minutes consideration, you wouldn’t have done it.

And yes, since the Nazis also wanted to exterminate Poles, Jehovah’s Witnesses, alcoholics, homosexuals, and the physically and mentally disabled, they sure did end up killing a lot of Christians too. This is supposed to be evidence of…. what, exactly? How many bloody wars have there been between Protestants and Catholics – did one stop being Christian when they were killing the other? Most victims of Al-Qaeda have been Muslims. Do you dispute that Al-Qaeda is an Islamic group?

The 2 godless isms of the 20th century, Nazism and Communism, killed more people in a span of 70 years that could ever be laid at the doorstep of certain periods of overzealous Christianity in 2000.

I think you’ve never heard of the Ustase. I think you won’t even click this link to read about them:

[5]

They were an explicitly and incontrovertibly Catholic Nazi puppet-state working hand-in-hand with the Catholic church to butcher Jews and other minorities. They forcibly converted about 200,000 of their victims to Catholicism; many hundreds of thousands more were murdered in their death camp, Jasenovac. Which, as I mentioned before, was SO bad that it even freaked out GERMAN NAZIS:

[6]

“The greatest of all evils must be Jasenovac, which no ordinary mortal can glimpse.” –Nazi General Edmund Glaise-Horstenau

I also support Bill Donahue and the Catholic League in standing up to the Christian haters among us.

Do you support him in making cartoon baby caricatures to mock survivors of sexual abuse by clergy? Do you consider such people to have forged their stories as “Christian haters” in disguise?

Anyway, as far as Hitler calling himself a proud Catholic, why don’t you just ask him?

“It will be the Government’s care to maintain honest co-operation between Church and State; the struggle against materialistic views and for a real national community is just as much in the interest of the German nation as in that of the welfare of our Christian faith. The Government of the Reich, who regard Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attach the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See and are endeavouring to develop them.”

-Adolf Hitler, in his speech to the Reichstag on 23 March 1933

“National Socialism neither opposes the Church nor is it anti-religious, but on the contrary it stands on the ground of a real Christianity…. For their interests cannot fail to coincide with ours alike in our fight against the symptoms of degeneracy in the world of to-day, in our fight against a Bolshevist culture, against atheistic movement, against criminality, and in our struggle for a consciousness of a community in our national life… These are not anti-Christian, these are Christian principles! And I believe that if we should fail to follow these principles then we should to be able to point to our successes, for the result of our political battle is surely not unblest by God.”

-Adolf Hitler, in his speech at Koblenz, to the Germans of the Saar, 26 Aug. 1934

“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”

-Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)

“The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties— and this against their own nation.”

-Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

“The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God’s will, and actually fulfill God’s will, and not let God’s word be desecrated. For God’s will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord’s creation, the divine will.”

-Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

“We are determined, as leaders of the nation, to fulfill as a national government the task which has been given to us, swearing fidelity only to God, our conscience, and our Volk…. This the national government will regard its first and foremost duty to restore the unity of spirit and purpose of our Volk. It will preserve and defend the foundations upon which the power of our nation rests. It will take Christianity, as the basis of our collective morality, and the family as the nucleus of our Volk and state, under its firm protection….May God Almighty take our work into his grace, give true form to our will, bless our insight, and endow us with the trust of our Volk.”

-Adolf Hitler, on 1 Feb. 1933, addressing the German nation as Chancellor for the first time, Volkischer Beobachter

[NFR: Hitler would never lie or use rhetoric designed to deceive, right? — RD]

#34 Comment By Turmarion On November 16, 2013 @ 11:03 am

TTT, I’ve been pursuing a different conversation here, but I really have to point out that [7] are, to say the least, ambiguous. I say this not because I’m Catholic and don’t want to be associated with him–God knows there have been any number of Catholics as bad, if not worse. I say it because of the evidence.

In a similar way, some Christians want to distance Hitler from themselves by trying to argue that he was a pagan and an occultist. There certainly were strands of volkisch neopaganism, Germanic revival, and occultism among the elite of the Third Reich; but as with the Church, Hitler was fine with such things as long as they served his purpose, while persecuiting astrologers and non-standard religions at other times. Bottom line: Hitler was out for the benefit of Hitler, and cared about any ideology only so long as it served that purpose.

Hitler in many ways is a Rorschach that people interpret in order to cudgel views they don’t like with argumentum ad Hitlerum tactics. People need to stop that.

It looks to me that Hitler was scornful of Christianity of all forms in private but quite willing to use religious rhetoric of the type you cite for his own purposes. The Nazi state more broadly was certainly cultivating attempts to get those churches and individual Christian leaders that would do so to collaborate and to eliminate those who would not –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchenkampf.

The point is that if one dislikes Catholicism (or paganism, or whatever), then one ought to criticize it outright rather than bringing out tired, trite, and tendentious arguments that Hitler was Catholic/pagan/an occultist/etc. Such arguments are lazy and false.

#35 Comment By TomB On November 16, 2013 @ 11:27 am

In response to my last post concerning anti-Christian feelings in the Eastern European jewish communities TTT wrote:

“Who cares? No, really. Those are private thoughts and words. There was no atmosphere of anti-Christian violence from the Jews of Europe during the 700-odd years that the Jews were subjected to relentless violence, pogroms, torching, and institutionally supported street murder.”

Well I’d question just how “relentless” it was for sure, not only because the history doesn’t reflect that and instead shows same was highly episodic, but that common sense alone tells that anything even approaching such “relentlessness” would never have seen the still close living situations of Christians and jews that was seen for all those centuries.

And it seems to me to be beyond naive to believe that such deep and profoundly hostile private thoughts and words—again, viewing even young gentiles as “loathsome” and etc.—had no effect upon the manner in which jews treated gentiles.

But I have to hasten to admit that you have a substantial point in differentiating between the use of violence and other manners of expressing hatred, disdain, loathing and etc. Nothing justifies that, although what makes your point less than totally overwhelming is that nothing justifies those other manners of expressing hatred, disdain and loathing either.

After all there are an infinite variety of non-violent ways that one can terribly afflict others.

But then also there is what you “gave” me, which *was* the employment of extreme violence by the disproportionately jewish-populated Bolsheviks. And doesn’t the fact that their violence was directed to at least some degree against *all* religion and against all kinds of peoples (Christian and non) strongly demonstrate—contrary to your implication—that it *wasn’t* in retaliation for the all the anti-semetic history that you cite?

And doesn’t this just lead to the proper way of seeing this history—the Holocaust and the Holomodor let’s call it—which is that there is the potential for obscenity in *all* us human beings, with no ethnic or religion or group being any freer from same than any other?

And doesn’t the fact that neither you nor I nor the great majority of people living today participated in either of those obscenities and thus cannot be personally charged with same mean that we all ought to avoid trying to nevertheless impute them to each other? Even if, in all our hearts somewhere, lies our potential for obscenity, shouldn’t we instead be thankful and *congratulating* each other on not giving in to the reptilian part of our hearts?

#36 Comment By Mike On November 16, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

All your AH quotes indicate is that he was attempting to coax or co-opt German Christian consciences for political gain with sugar rather than the whip either in Mein Kampf or early on after coming to power. This was a prelude to the Concordat. After the Concordat with the Vatican in July 1933, an attempt to keep the Church out of German politics (for the aforementioned reasons I cited in my first post), he proceeded to violate just about everything he promised in it. From then on, if Germans did not follow the Nazi party line, they would be denounced, denied employment or shipped to Dachau. Again, the majority of Germans sent to the concentration camps in the ‘30s included every stripe of political dissenters, especially communists whom the Nazis had fought on the streets of major German cities all through the late twenties and early thirties. When the Nazis came to power old scores would soon be settled. And, Catholic priests (Rupert Mayer, The Apostle of Munich comes immediately to mind) and Protestant pastors (such as Dietrich Bonhoffer) who spoke out from the pulpit against Nazi policy and practices, especially the Nazis’ rapidly developing euthanasia programs targeting those who had nothing materially to offer the Nazi state. AH knew that the Christian conscience of the German people would have to be substantially marginalized, if not destroyed, in order for them to accept the necessity (not my views) of ridding Germany of its “untermenschen” (sub humans): the “useless eaters” such as the senile and mentally retarded, the non aryans such as the Jews and the Gypsies, who were considered parasites on German energy, and the sterile homosexuals who weren’t going to procreate for the Fatherland. That’s why Pope Pius XI publicly denounced Nazi policy in his encyclical, “Mit Brennender Sorge” already in 1937, a year after the infamous Nuremburg Laws in 1936 which had atomized Jews as citizens.

TTT, my friend, I gave you credible sources to back up what I stated. You never did give me one credible historian to support your ridiculous and outrageous claim that AH was a “proud Catholic.” And you and I know why. Because there aren’t any. All you returned is your rant and roll of certain anti-semitic episodes perpetrated by Christians throughout history (which should be condemned by all Christians) and selective quotes of AH, which would not cause any objective historian of the Nazi period to conclude that AH was a “proud Catholic.”

And I repeat: The 2 godless isms of the 20th century, Nazism and Communism, killed millions more people in a span of 70 years than could ever be laid at the doorstep of certain periods of overzealous Christianity in 2000.

But, TTT, I get it and I get you. If AH said “the Jews are our misfortune,” in your mindset, the Christians are the world’s misfortune. That’s where the obvious thread of your argumentation (that Christianity caused the Holocaust) leads. Sorry, I don’t buy it, but I respect your right to express it.

I now shake the dust of your myopic delusions off and move on.

#37 Comment By Paul On November 17, 2013 @ 10:33 am

Re: Hector St Clare :I was in Chile in 1973. The left had a specific agenda of disrupting “bourgeois institutionality” and exposing what they saw as the inherent contradictions of bourgeois society because they believed they would naturally win any such confrontation and hold power indefinitely to re-make Chilean society.

What actually precipitated the coup in Cjile was the call by Sen. Carlos Altamirano , head of the Castroite Socialist Party in a speech to the naval non-coms in Vina del Mar , to disobey their officers in the supposedly apolitical enforcement of the arms control law to prevent political militias from being formed ( which the leftist MIR was actively doing).

With everything else going on in Chile , Chilean society was highly polarized, radicalized on all sides and the left was showing signs of plummeting support. The coup had a broad base of support when it happened.

Since then for reasons too complex for this post , Chile has reverted to a tri-partite electoral politics with a dominant center-left alliance. remarkably similar to that of the 1960’s.

My broader point is that Argentina went through a similar breakdown in the 1970’s, and people felt forced to take sides , often in alliance with elements they found thuggish and lesser evils.

#38 Comment By dominic1955 On November 17, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

“I do not accept scholastic theology– in fact I think the West went seriously off the rails with it. So citing Scholastics is about as useless as citing Confucius with me.”

Gee…I didn’t think I was citing Scholastics.

“There is One God, period. There are correct and incorrect ideas about Him (and to some extent all of us are wrong since God’s Essence is fundamentally unknowable, by finite beings in Time).”

Ok.

“It is not possible to worship a “different” God because there’s only one. One may direct one’s worship toward something that is not God (i.e., animists worshiping spirits and totems and the like), but when one directs worship toward God (wrong concepts and all), then one is directed toward God (which is tautologically true).”

Objectively, sure but subjectively not so much.

“To return to my “sun” analogy, some planets are closer to the sun than others– but even the most distant ones of our solar system are still revolving around the sun.
People who talk about worshiping “a different God” are, IMO, indulging in the sin of pride. Better to work out one’s salvation in humble hope and piety and leave God to sort out the intellectual gordion knots.”

Its all mystery…

#39 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 17, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

Daniel: Matthew 25:31 et. seq. clearly states that a person who ” explicitly rejects Jesus Christ as the unique Son of God” could well be among the sheep, because “inasmuch as you did it unto the least of these my brethren, you did it unto me.” Also, many who explicitly confessed Christ as the unique Son of God will be among the goats, because “inasmuch as you did it not to the least of these my brethren, you did it not to me.” And please spare us the repartee cut from whole cloth that Jesus was only talking about how gentiles treat Jews.

JonF, very well said.