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Should We Lds Really Admire The Reformers?


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Rory, it is great to have you participate in such threads, and you raise some pertinent points. I agree that the reformers were not seeking modern religious liberty. I don't think that anyone at the time was, not least because religion defined public and private spheres of existence. Even if you were impious, your religion was an integral part of your identity, and by extension, the character and well-being of the community. This is what makes the Servetus affair understandable from an historical POV. I think that if nothing else, the proliferation of new religions (when before you might have seen Jews, and maybe a rarer Muslim) forced a practical paradigm shift which led to the modern notions of individual and religious liberty, among others. There were still other, more conceptual shifts, but I think that once new faiths proved resilient and large enough to resist being easily stamped out, people had to rethink civil attitudes. This, more or less, is what I understood you to be saying.  

 

Thank you volgadon.

 

The biggest problem I have with a principle of religious liberty which gives all religions equal rights in society, is that it creates an impression that the true God, the true faith, and the true church are so difficult to distinguish, that we must allow a religious free for all. In my opinion, the free for all results in too much confusion for souls who get mental indigestion trying to understand the good and sweet will of God according to the competing parties. I believe that the religious "free for all" signifies, or at least suggests, a tacit agreement between all men, who are led to believe that the most reasonable of us are agnostics, not necessarily about God, but about God's church. The result is agnosticism regarding that "one Lord, one faith, and one baptism", of which St. Paul spoke.  

 

There truly are practical realities that would point a good and loving sovereign committed to enacting the principles of God's Church, to prudently allow degrees of activity by members of false sects within his sphere of authority. But never upon a principle that error has equal rights. I would be criticized severely by most for saying this, but I ask thoughtful souls like yourself to consider why this view would ordinarily be so vigorously attacked in our day. I am aware that it would be difficult to even consider by almost everyone (even my fellow Catholics), but most severely attacked by those who if they believe in God, are convinced that religious truth about God is not clearly marked out. Agnosticism about the church, is as deadly for souls as agnosticism about God, and modern principles of religious liberty lead to agnosticism about church.

 

I agree that to an extent, the path is not perfectly clear. An argument could be made that full religious liberty upon the principle of equal rights for any and every religion, "the free for all", will work out fine because the path to truth is brightly lit, and the true faith will shine all the brighter under a "free market spirit" so to speak. In my opinion, this sanguine point of view is appealing on many levels. But I think we should be wary. Could this be human "wisdom"? For myself, I fear that this appealing idea runs counter to the biblical model we obtain from the Old Testament Church in Israel. Accepting modern principles of religious liberty forces its proponents to be critical of, if not despise, the same good God of the Old Testament who was bringing us the New and better covenant.

 

The principles of modern religious liberty also contrary to my own Catholic Tradition which boasts many wonderful and saintly rulers (who are ignored by modern historians in favor of pointing out tyrants who always hated the Catholic Church anyway because the Church could ably defended his subjects from him) who never considered these kinds of ideas. Popes of the 19th and early 20th centuries continued to resist the tide of public opinion on this subject. Wisely indeed I think. If it seemed by Christians everywhere that the principles of modern religious liberty had become a practical expedient a few centuries ago, I hold that its bitter fruit now shows how that it was a mistake. Religious confusion and doubt among souls in the 21st Century is more rampant now than ever before in history. In my humble opinion. the principles of modern religious liberty point souls towards confusion in every direction. All Christians should begin questioning whether modern religious liberty represents a wisdom that comes from God, or whether it serves purposes more compatible with the devil's plans.

 

I think the experiment is drawing to a close as we see the spiritual offspring of modern religious liberty in teeming generations, one more angry than the next, who blame religion for many or all of society's ills. Western civilization, in a way unimaginable to those Christians who first proposed or accepted such new ideas, moves toward returning to a suppression of not just identifiable false sects, but of all religion in general. That is why, with the historical hindsight I have, it is easy for me to retain my Catholic identity, defend the principles upon which King St. Louis IX reigned, and submit that when a state becomes predominantly populated by a single religious point of view, that state has the right to judge for itself whether it is prudent to allow competing and contending sects to propagate its beliefs. My model is the biblical one, as found in the Old Testament, which our Lord came not to abolish, but to complete.

 

Thank you to any who would give these thoughts, which run counter to all modern assumptions, a hearing. I know that to even give it consideration is a very hard exercise in our day. For me, I have no liberty to believe otherwise as I am most happily bound to the one Catholic faith and can not exchange good and sometimes saintly Catholic sovereigns of centuries past for uncanonized politicians today!  

 

Rory

Edited by 3DOP
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Thank you volgadon.

 

The biggest problem I have with a principle of religious liberty which gives all religions equal rights in society, is that it creates an impression that the true God, the true faith, and the true church are so difficult to distinguish, that we must allow a religious free for all. In my opinion, the free for all results in too much confusion for souls who get mental indigestion trying to understand the good and sweet will of God according to the competing parties. I believe that the religious "free for all" signifies, or at least suggests, a tacit agreement between all men, who are led to believe that the most reasonable of us are agnostics, not necessarily about God, but about God's church. The result is agnosticism regarding that "one Lord, one faith, and one baptism", of which St. Paul spoke.  

 

There truly are practical realities that would point a good and loving sovereign committed to enacting the principles of God's Church, to prudently allow degrees of activity by members of false sects within his sphere of authority. But never upon a principle that error has equal rights. I would be criticized severely by most for saying this, but I ask thoughtful souls like yourself to consider why this view would ordinarily be so vigorously attacked in our day. I am aware that it would be difficult to even consider by almost everyone (even my fellow Catholics), but most severely attacked by those who if they believe in God, are convinced that religious truth about God is not clearly marked out. Agnosticism about the church, is as deadly for souls as agnosticism about God, and modern principles of religious liberty lead to agnosticism about church.

 

I agree that to an extent, the path is not perfectly clear. An argument could be made that full religious liberty upon the principle of equal rights for any and every religion, "the free for all", will work out fine because the path to truth is brightly lit, and the true faith will shine all the brighter under a "free market spirit" so to speak. In my opinion, this sanguine point of view is appealing on many levels. But I think we should be wary. Could this be human "wisdom"? For myself, I fear that this appealing idea runs counter to the biblical model we obtain from the Old Testament Church in Israel. Accepting modern principles of religious liberty forces its proponents to be critical of, if not despise, the same good God of the Old Testament who was bringing us the New and better covenant.

 

The principles of modern religious liberty also contrary to my own Catholic Tradition which boasts many wonderful and saintly rulers (who are ignored by modern historians in favor of pointing out tyrants who always hated the Catholic Church anyway because the Church could ably defended his subjects from him) who never considered these kinds of ideas. Popes of the 19th and early 20th centuries continued to resist the tide of public opinion on this subject. Wisely indeed I think. If it seemed by Christians everywhere that the principles of modern religious liberty had become a practical expedient a few centuries ago, I hold that its bitter fruit now shows how that it was a mistake. Religious confusion and doubt among souls in the 21st Century is more rampant now than ever before in history. In my humble opinion. the principles of modern religious liberty point souls towards confusion in every direction. All Christians should begin questioning whether modern religious liberty represents a wisdom that comes from God, or whether it serves purposes more compatible with the devil's plans.

 

I think the experiment is drawing to a close as we see the spiritual offspring of modern religious liberty in teeming generations, one more angry than the next, who blame religion for many or all of society's ills. Western civilization, in a way unimaginable to those Christians who first proposed or accepted such new ideas, moves toward returning to a suppression of not just identifiable false sects, but of all religion in general. That is why, with the historical hindsight I have, it is easy for me to retain my Catholic identity, defend the principles upon which King St. Louis IX reigned, and submit that when a state becomes predominantly populated by a single religious point of view, that state has the right to judge for itself whether it is prudent to allow competing and contending sects to propagate its beliefs. My model is the biblical one, as found in the Old Testament, which our Lord came not to abolish, but to complete.

 

Thank you to any who would give these thoughts, which run counter to all modern assumptions, a hearing. I know that to even give it consideration is a very hard exercise in our day. For me, I have no liberty to believe otherwise as I am most happily bound to the one Catholic faith and can not exchange good and sometimes saintly Catholic sovereigns of centuries past for uncanonized politicians today!  

 

Rory

Suppose though your position is held by someone who thinks he is right, and yet is not Catholic?

 

Suppose some evil guy who didn't like Neoplatonism became Soverign?  Or someone who prohibited religion entirely?  I suppose I am missing your point or something.  Who gets to decide which church is correct?

 

This seems so fundamental that I am certain I am misunderstanding you, yet the more I read your words, the more it seems that you are saying exactly what I am presuming to hopefuly be my "misunderstanding"

 

It is especially difficult for me because obviously this is not a Catholic board, so most of your readers are among the evil ones perpetuating "errors" in our "false sect"

 

I just don't get it.  What am I misunderstanding?

Edited by mfbukowski
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Suppose though your position is held by someone who thinks he is right, and yet is not Catholic?

 

Suppose some evil guy who didn't like Neoplatonism became Soverign?  Or someone who prohibited religion entirely?  I suppose I am missing your point or something.  Who gets to decide which church is correct?

 

This seems so fundamental that I am certain I am misunderstanding you, yet the more I read your words, the more it seems that you are saying exactly what I am presuming to hopefuly be my "misunderstanding"

 

It is especially difficult for me because obviously this is not a Catholic board, so most of your readers are among the evil ones perpetuating "errors" in our "false sect"

 

I just don't get it.  What am I misunderstanding?

 

Mark,

 

Sorry to alarm you and thanks for your concern. I am prepared to defend mine as a position of love and good will towards all. But It seems like you are leaping to unwarranted conclusions about the mindset of one who holds my views. I do not believe that Mormons are "evil ones". That was your own expression. I had thought maybe the time had come, that I had built up enough good will among a few here, to be able to discuss the question dispassionately, without leaping to the conclusion that I necessarily hate members of "false sects" and without imagining unrealistic horror scenes. I would like to be able to put forward the Catholic position as I see it, before and after Vatican II.   

 

Unfortunately, I am leaving on a trip tomorrow morning. I do not expect to be back until late Friday night. I'll have a lot of long driving time to ruminate on how to get past the preconceived notions. I knew this wouldn't be easy if we got started. I could never expect Mormons to agree. I never expected that. Shoot. You guys have practically canonized the American Constitution! Well, can't you see that I have to defend what my faith has canonized too? It is possible that I shouldn't have tried. It might have been imprudent. It might not be something we can disagree on amicably. (I am speaking of all of my friends here, Mark. Not just you.) I think I sometimes have unrealistic imaginations myself. I imagine I can write words that lets people really peek into my heart and mind. Anyway, if I could do that, I think your alarm would be eased. 

 

While I am on the road, anybody else who has comments are welcome to share. I would especially encourage those who could comment on how the revelation that I accept, (minus Latter-day revelation), should lead me elsewhere than what I briefly describe above. I would be very pleased if I could be provided with some ideas on why, remembering that I am Catholic and we believe that Christ is King of Heaven and earth, that I should disregard the Old Testament "theocratic model". Why is Catholicism, inconsistent in your opinion, with pursuing theocratic models of government? Also, if you could share how your revelation leads you to know that separation of church is necessary and toleration of every religion is a duty of the state, according to LDS principles? That would be great if anybody could help out with that. I do not consider Thos. Jefferson a source of revelation either, for you or me! Let's keep this about revelation. Heh.

 

I'll look in tomorrow morning before I go. Thanks to all for your patience, and also for being the kind of folks you are. Would I try to share this hard truth I hold to if I thought you were "evil ones"? For goodness sake, no. I trust you. I trust that some of you will try your best to follow me. Maybe when we are done you'll come away from it shaking your head at how anybody can believe what I believe. If that is the case, "just look at me and sigh, and know I love you." God bless.

 

Rory 

Edited by 3DOP
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Mark,

 

Sorry to alarm you and thanks for your concern. I am prepared to defend mine as a position of love and good will towards all. But It seems like you are leaping to unwarranted conclusions about the mindset of one who holds my views. I do not believe that Mormons are "evil ones". That was your own expression. I had thought maybe the time had come, that I had built up enough good will among a few here, to be able to discuss the question dispassionately, without leaping to the conclusion that I necessarily hate members of "false sects" and without imagining unrealistic horror scenes. I would like to be able to put forward the Catholic position as I see it, before and after Vatican II.   

 

Unfortunately, I am leaving on a trip tomorrow morning. I do not expect to be back until late Friday night. I'll have a lot of long driving time to ruminate on how to get past the preconceived notions. I knew this wouldn't be easy if we got started. I could never expect Mormons to agree. I never expected that. Shoot. You guys have practically canonized the American Constitution! Well, can't you see that I have to defend what my faith has canonized too? It is possible that I shouldn't have tried. It might have been imprudent. It might not be something we can disagree on amicably. (I am speaking of all of my friends here, Mark. Not just you.) I think I sometimes have unrealistic imaginations myself. I imagine I can write words that lets people really peek into my heart and mind. Anyway, if I could do that, I think your alarm would be eased. 

 

While I am on the road, anybody else who has comments are welcome to share. I would especially encourage those who could comment on how the revelation that I accept, (minus Latter-day revelation), should lead me elsewhere than what I briefly describe above. I would be very pleased if I could be provided with some ideas on why, remembering that I am Catholic and we believe that Christ is King of Heaven and earth, that I should disregard the Old Testament "theocratic model". Why is Catholicism, inconsistent in your opinion, with pursuing theocratic models of government? Also, if you could share how your revelation leads you to know that separation of church is necessary and toleration of every religion is a duty of the state, according to LDS principles? That would be great if anybody could help out with that. I do not consider Thos. Jefferson a source of revelation either, for you or me! Let's keep this about revelation. Heh.

 

I'll look in tomorrow morning before I go. Thanks to all for your patience, and also for being the kind of folks you are. Would I try to share this hard truth I hold to if I thought you were "evil ones"? For goodness sake, no. I trust you. I trust that some of you will try your best to follow me. Maybe when we are done you'll come away from it shaking your head at how anybody can believe what I believe. If that is the case, "just look at me and sigh, and know I love you." God bless.

 

Rory 

We actually believe that freedom of religion is important because we were so persecuted at the beginning.  It was legal to kill Mormons in Missouri, but not Catholics.  Without that being obviously unconstitutional, who knows what might have happened with that nationally.  We had to flee from place to place, just to find peace and freedom.

 

We actually believe that the only reason the apostasy lasted as long as it did was because there was no nation with freedom of religion, which would allow the Restoration to happen.

 

We all love you- and understand your good intent.  But if Rory were king, it appears we might not be allowed to exist. at least that is what I understood you to imply.

 

It doesn't matter much because in fact, we don't have kings.

 

We also do not accept the kingly model of Christ.  Christ taught to give Caesar his due, and God his due.  Yes, he will reign in glory after he returns. But I will think it will sort of be obvious that indeed he is the Christ after his return.  Every knee will bow- voluntarily- and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.

 

We affirm the agency of each individual to decide religious matters for themselves and do not presume to confine their beliefs to what someone else "knows is true".  Without agency we are slaves, That is not God's way.

 

I am just trying to understand your position.  Either you think in the optimal society we would be free to practice our religion or you don't.

 

Of course there are other possibilities and an infinity of nuances possible, but it seems that your position is quite black and white.

 

I just feel quite certain that if I had said that non-Mormons should not be allowed freedom of religion, you would let me hear about it.

All Christians should begin questioning whether modern religious liberty represents a wisdom that comes from God, or whether it serves purposes more compatible with the devil's plans.

Sorry.  Without religious freedom this is not possible.  And which sect are "All Christians" supposed to affirm in their process of questioning modern religius liberty?

 

Can you see how contradictory this is?

 

 

That is why, with the historical hindsight I have, it is easy for me to retain my Catholic identity, defend the principles upon which King St. Louis IX reigned, and submit that when a state becomes predominantly populated by a single religious point of view, that state has the right to judge for itself whether it is prudent to allow competing and contending sects to propagate its beliefs.

Just plain scary for one who's faith is in the minority.

Edited by mfbukowski
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A distinction needs to be made between beliefs and outward actions, allowing everyone to believe whatever they choose to believe while outward actions are regulated by laws. Religious reformers were and still should have been subject to laws while being free to believe whatever they chose to believe.

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Hi again Mark.

 

Some brief thoughts before I go.

 

Your wildest imaginations are unrealistic and do not have any foundation in the principles I have enunciated.

 

I am terribly eager to disabuse you of the notions that have got into your head based on my belief that in principle, error has no rights. I am choosing my language with exact precision. What I believe does not grant a right to coerce, persecute, or hinder any person in privately believing what they want. In fact, coercion in matters of religious belief would be a crime. As the population is currently distributed, it is probable that you would retain every privilege which is granted to you now as a right. Contrary to what happened in Missouri, it would always, even if the population were 99.9% Catholic, be a capital crime to kill Mormons, and a lesser crime to use any other kind of force to make Mormons give up their beliefs. (I can hardly believe I have to make such an odious disclaimer.) In my opinion, your freedom of activity, though not by right, would in many circumstances be under less hindrance than they are in many nations today that give lip service to modern religious liberty. I define modern religious liberty as a legal right to be in no sense prohibited from publicly proclaiming falsehood, so long as it is proven to be a religious falsehood.

 

Gotta go. See you on the Feast of All Saints. God Bless.

 

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I define modern religious liberty as a legal right to be in no sense prohibited from publicly proclaiming falsehood, so long as it is proven to be a religious falsehood.

And you're saying people should not have that right or liberty, if I have understood you correctly.

So now what? Are you proposing that we somehow try to take away that right or liberty from anyone who has it? That all people everywhere should be bound by law to say only what is true, at least on religious issues, or otherwise say nothing at all?

Fine, just vote to elect me as the arbitrator. I'll defer to God, of course, but everyone else can just take my word on all religious issues with the understanding that my word is in tune with God's word.

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Hi again Mark.

 

Some brief thoughts before I go.

 

Your wildest imaginations are unrealistic and do not have any foundation in the principles I have enunciated.

 

I am terribly eager to disabuse you of the notions that have got into your head based on my belief that in principle, error has no rights. I am choosing my language with exact precision. What I believe does not grant a right to coerce, persecute, or hinder any person in privately believing what they want. In fact, coercion in matters of religious belief would be a crime. As the population is currently distributed, it is probable that you would retain every privilege which is granted to you now as a right. Contrary to what happened in Missouri, it would always, even if the population were 99.9% Catholic, be a capital crime to kill Mormons, and a lesser crime to use any other kind of force to make Mormons give up their beliefs. (I can hardly believe I have to make such an odious disclaimer.) In my opinion, your freedom of activity, though not by right, would in many circumstances be under less hindrance than they are in many nations today that give lip service to modern religious liberty. I define modern religious liberty as a legal right to be in no sense prohibited from publicly proclaiming falsehood, so long as it is proven to be a religious falsehood.

 

Gotta go. See you on the Feast of All Saints. God Bless.

 

This is not a moral arugment- it is a discussion of speculation about what "really would" happen in a utopian society in your mind.

 

That's fine.  We disagree.  No biggie.  I have a different utopian vision.

 

And no, these are not "wild imaginings".  They are real differences about the nature of truth.  I am not a Platonist, you are.  We are about as far apart as one can be on these issues.  I am a relativist, you are an abosolutist.

 

I believe that truth cannot be defined clearly enough to rule out anyone's expression of its alleged "truths" and it is pure hubris to think that one can do so.  Consequently,  religious freedom is a human right and that all so we all get to define our own errors accordingly, and know that one expression has it all, though some are better than others.

 

But guess what?  That means you have the right to think others are wrong, even if you are wrong to think so.

 

But that doesn't mean we are not buddies.  We like to argue.  Lots of buddies like to argue.  :tribal:

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Should We Lds Really Admire The Reformers?

 

I'd have to say yes, and not just because of the BoM.

 

The Reformers acted to increase freedom of thought, expression, and religion or acted within those widening areas to advance society and lay the groundwork necessary for the Restored Church to thrive.  While many things that are the antithesis of the Church also thrive under these conditions, it is these conditions that are required for the plan of salvation to work ala 2 Nephi 2. What that means is men and women become completely responsible for themselves and not slaves to a system that dictates their conscience and keeps them down.  The Reformers in many ways, realized this even though they may not have completely understood and it opened them up to the Spirit's influence.

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 Hey mark.

 

I'm at the Holiday Inn Express in Medford, OR.

 

Only ten minutes...You said Mormons wouldn't exist if I were king. You offer misrepresentations of what I would do if I were king, and then when I deny it I am offering Platonist arguments #31? #31 isn't even debatable. It isn't an argument. Its my opinion about my opinion and I say I won't kill you or exterminate you. I will protect you according to the principle I have laid down.

 

I see nobody is interested in engaging the questions I asked in the third paragraph of post #28. If nobody wants to take my questions seriously I can let it go and I'll remain as I am.  

 

I'm out of time already...Tomorrow is a monster. A heavy set of doubles to Troutdale, OR. 55 MPH and some elevation. Another set of doubles back to Riddle, OR. Then the Ford Focus home. 

 

Happy Halloween, See you Saturday the good Lord willing.

 

Rory

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.....................................................................    

 

While I am on the road, anybody else who has comments are welcome to share. I would especially encourage those who could comment on how the revelation that I accept, (minus Latter-day revelation), should lead me elsewhere than what I briefly describe above. I would be very pleased if I could be provided with some ideas on why, remembering that I am Catholic and we believe that Christ is King of Heaven and earth, that I should disregard the Old Testament "theocratic model". Why is Catholicism, inconsistent in your opinion, with pursuing theocratic models of government?

Possibly because the OT "theocratic model" was none too successful.  In addition, we have already seen what supposed theocratic models look like in practice, whether under the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Ayatollehs in Iran, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, or John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland:

 

. . . in Geneva, Calvin went right to work organizing the Reformed church. In 1542 the council approved his new regulations.  . . . To control public behavior, an elected group of pastors and elders were given the right to search people's homes; to banish anyone from the city; to force attendance at weekly sermons; and to ban gambling, drinking, dancing, and immodest dress. Criticism of Calvin or other church officials was forbidden, as were immoral writings and books about Catholicism. Punishment for first offenses was usually a fine. Repeat offenders were banished, and extreme offenses carried the death penalty. From 1541 until Calvin's death fifty-eight people were executed and seventy-six were banished in order to preserve morals and order.  http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ca-Ch/Calvin-John.html#ixzz3Hh1hOoUK .

 

In the American colonies, similarly "theocratic" states and towns were set up, leading to executions of so-called "witches," banishments of heretics and non-conformists, and other examples of intolerance.

 

Also, if you could share how your revelation leads you to know that separation of church is necessary and toleration of every religion is a duty of the state, according to LDS principles? That would be great if anybody could help out with that. I do not consider Thos. Jefferson a source of revelation either, for you or me! Let's keep this about revelation. Heh.

 

..................................................................   

Rory

Mormons believe that the U.S. Constitution was inspired by God (https://www.lds.org/ensign/1992/02/the-divinely-inspired-constitution?lang=eng ), certainly for a variety of reasons and benefits, but particularly in allowing for religious freedom and pluralism in a decidedly heterogeneous nation.  This usually allows minority religions to flourish, although Roman Catholicism and Mormonism were subject to considerable persecution in the 19th century.  Thus, the separation of the secular state and religion has become a bulwark of protection for American minorities in our own time.  Too bad that such concepts are not allowed in some regions of the world.

 

That does not, of course, mean that a theocratic state is not envisioned for some millennial future era by Mormons, Roman Catholics, Jews, and Muslims.  Even the Nazis envisioned a thousand year Reich, and the Soviets preached about the coming automatic harmony of pure Communism.  The late Bertrand Russell considered the latter to be a religion, and he was deeply fearful of religion's tendency to kill lots of people -- in the name of God.  See his Why I am Not a Christian  (1927), online at  https://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/jksadegh/A%20Good%20Atheist%20Secularist%20Skeptical%20Book%20Collection/Why%20I%20am%20Not%20a%20Christian%20-%20Bertrand%20Russell.pdf .

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Volgadon- what am I missing here?

 

It is late, so I will probably not sound as coherent as I would like.

 

At first reading, I had similar concerns to yours. Coming from two religious minorities who have endured persecution throughout the centuries, how could I not have concerns.

 

However, it is helpful to reiterate what Rory is not arguing.

 

He is not saying that religious minorities should be persecuted and banned. It boils down to the ideological baggage of rights and privileges. He is saying that the ideal sovereign is the executor of God's temporal, political will with the duty or obligation to uphold Truth. He is God's own representative, and as such must not embrace the notion that we cannot know the truth in an absolute sense and thus must treat everyone's beliefs as equally true (or equally mistaken) that is implied by casting such freedom as a right. By contrast, a privilege will bestow the benefits of a right without comprising one's duty to uphold Truth. The privilege to worship as one may please means that although you are wrong, I am still granting you the opportunity to live your life in whatever way you would like.

 

It seems to me that you are talking past each other because you are more concerned with practical implementation, whereas Rory has a theoretical, philosophical framework in mind. Not to say that you (of all people) aren't approaching this with philosophy in mind. Now, personally, I suspect that in practice Rory's idea might be more open to abuse and misuse, but I would love for him to develop his thoughts further.

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It is late, so I will probably not sound as coherent as I would like.

 

At first reading, I had similar concerns to yours. Coming from two religious minorities who have endured persecution throughout the centuries, how could I not have concerns.

 

However, it is helpful to reiterate what Rory is not arguing.

 

He is not saying that religious minorities should be persecuted and banned. It boils down to the ideological baggage of rights and privileges. He is saying that the ideal sovereign is the executor of God's temporal, political will with the duty or obligation to uphold Truth. He is God's own representative, and as such must not embrace the notion that we cannot know the truth in an absolute sense and thus must treat everyone's beliefs as equally true (or equally mistaken) that is implied by casting such freedom as a right. By contrast, a privilege will bestow the benefits of a right without comprising one's duty to uphold Truth. The privilege to worship as one may please means that although you are wrong, I am still granting you the opportunity to live your life in whatever way you would like.

 

It seems to me that you are talking past each other because you are more concerned with practical implementation, whereas Rory has a theoretical, philosophical framework in mind. Not to say that you (of all people) aren't approaching this with philosophy in mind. Now, personally, I suspect that in practice Rory's idea might be more open to abuse and misuse, but I would love for him to develop his thoughts further.

Thanks, that helps a lot- it is kind of the way I saw it too really upon further reading.

 

But honestly, I have a hard time with the practicalities, as you say.  It's Plato's Republic where the Philospher Kings are in touch with the Form of Good (God) and rule with perfect righteousness.

 

I am a Pragmatist.  What can I say?  Really not too much more to be said about it as far as I am concerned.  I cannot take Plato seriously any more.

 

Some think certain ideas must be right because they are old, I automatically think that if they are old, they are wrong.  There's no accounting for these prejudices I guess.

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Hey all. Thanks for the replies from robert, volgadon, and mark.

 

16 hours and 720 speed limit miles...only legal because the last 220 or so was the "commute" home in my car. Its too much. Everybody gives lip service to safety, but if "unsafety" is legal, none of the companies care because they aren't serious about real safety. They are serious about lawsuits. But lawsuits aren't about safety. They are only about legality. That is why I have to sign this thing saying I have been instructed and am aware, of the law/policy/protocol that says I will check my load to see if it shifts after the first 30 minutes and every two hours thereafter. Have you EVER seen a truck driver (other than some flatbed guy whose load would fly off on to the road and who can easily check anytime anyway.) doing that at a rest area or shoulder of the highway? No. You want us to cover all of these miles, AND break up the set so we can open up the front trailer to look at it to see if we really did secure the load when we already know we did because we don't want to dump the load worse than some stupid bureaucrat for the simple reason that we have to clean up the mess, not the blankety dumb bureaucrat. We do it right the first time. Break up the set and put it together again to look to see if the load is strapped? My front trailer was bricked out, to the door, from floor to ceiling anyway. There wasn't anyplace for it to shift even if it wasn't tied down. No driver will ever do this. Never. At least fifteen minutes, probably more to screw around looking to see that what you know you did you actually did? Okay...so just letting off a little steam build-up.

 

Hey!!!! I know. Its probably my Platonic idealism getting the better of me! Heheh. If only I could stop being such an absolutist realist I could more easily be agnostic about whether I really secured the load.     

 

But I'm home and after kissing the wife and seeing some World Series stuff...I came here next. I have been doing less thought about it than I expected...but it was on my mind. After Mass tomorrow maybe.

 

God bless.

 

G'nite.

 

Edited by 3DOP
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Hey all. Thanks for the replies from robert, volgadon, and mark.

 

16 hours and 720 speed limit miles...only legal because the last 220 or so was the "commute" home in my car. Its too much. Everybody gives lip service to safety, but if "unsafety" is legal, none of the companies care because they aren't serious about real safety. They are serious about lawsuits. But lawsuits aren't about safety. They are only about legality. That is why I have to sign this thing saying I have been instructed and am aware, of the law/policy/protocol that says I will check my load to see if it shifts after the first 30 minutes and every two hours thereafter. Have you EVER seen a truck driver (other than some flatbed guy whose load would fly off on to the road and who can easily check anytime anyway.) doing that at a rest area or shoulder of the highway? No. You want us to cover all of these miles, AND break up the set so we can open up the front trailer to look at it to see if we really did secure the load when we already know we did because we don't want to dump the load worse than some stupid bureaucrat for the simple reason that we have to clean up the mess, not the blankety dumb bureaucrat. We do it right the first time. Break up the set and put it together again to look to see if the load is strapped? My front trailer was bricked out, to the door, from floor to ceiling anyway. There wasn't anyplace for it to shift even if it wasn't tied down. No driver will ever do this. Never. At least fifteen minutes, probably more to screw around looking to see that what you know you did you actually did? Okay...so just letting off a little steam build-up.

 

Hey!!!! I know. Its probably my Platonic idealism getting the better of me! Heheh. If only I could stop being such an absolutist realist I could more easily be agnostic about whether I really secured the load.     

 

But I'm home and after kissing the wife and seeing some World Series stuff...I came here next. I have been doing less thought about it than I expected...but it was on my mind. After Mass tomorrow maybe.

 

God bless.

 

G'nite.

 

Ah yes.

 

So should laws reflect one person's opinion of the Platonic Ideal, abstract, ambiguous, beyond experience, and therefore useless, or the real world of experience, the world in which we imperfect folks ALL live?

 

Truck loads or freedom of religion- it's all the same, really.

Edited by mfbukowski
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I beleive Wilford Woodruff said that John Wesley and Martin Luther were among the group of spirits that appeared to him in the St. George Temple.   Which if correct gives added meaning to the following

 

"I may say that many [members of Christendom] had revelations from God, but they had not the keys, and rights, and knowledge, and system of the religion of God. John Wesley was a good man, and so were thousands of others. Will they be saved? They are saved. You know what my doctrine is with regard to this matter. Every man will be judged according to the deeds done in the body."  (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses “ Vol. 5 p. 128)

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mfbukowski

Suppose though your position is held by someone who thinks he is right, and yet is not Catholic?

 

3DOP

I would agree with such a person in regards to the truth that in justice, error may be tolerated as a privilege, but never established as a right to be promulgated. I think many Muslims and I would get along pretty well with respect to that belief.

 

mfbukowski

Suppose some evil guy who didn't like Neoplatonism became Soverign?

 

3DOP

I don't identify with neoplatonism. I care about the Catholic Church and Catholic Tradition. I am not a monarchist or anti-monarchist. Monarchs are heavily dependent on keeping the people happy. I wouldn't worry much about a bad sovereign if the people were good. Ultimately though, it really doesn't affect the salvation of our souls to suffer a little persecution. I desire peace and tranquility in this life like everybody else. But our days are "few and full of trouble" according to Job, and who can be surprised at whatever form it comes? Let us seek the unspeakable peace of God which no one can take from us, and see what the good God has for us. 

 

Finally, I can't continue to submit to your referring to my Catholic faith as neoplatonism. If I recall from my studies, the Catholics I most admire have reservations about Plato anyway. It might be helpful if you would simply call my faith "Catholic" instead of "Platonic" or "neoplatonic". I know what you mean, and if we were speaking privately I would be happy to have the discussion knowing that you hold that Plato and Catholic are synonymous. But if I did that here, I think it would be confusing to other readers. No offense taken, but that is why I have to object to your use of "neoplatonic" to signify what is most commonly understood as "Catholic."

 

mfbukowski

Or someone who prohibited religion entirely? 

 

3DOP

If the people have the will to prohibit religion entirely, laws can present an obstacle, but there is no constitution written that will stop the will of a strong majority, especially towards that which fills them with fear or hostility. Look at how the Constitution "protected" innocent and loyal Japanese Americans in World War II. Practical expedience overcomes legal theory when there is a perceived danger. I will not compromise Catholic principles because I imagined that a legal document can insure that I live my faith peaceably among people who despise my faith.

 

It has already been noted that Constitutional law didn't protect Mormons or Catholics adequately until significant numbers forced tolerance. Do you think you could have continued without fleeing to Utah? Nor would Catholics have been accepted if not for a large influx of immigrants who were at first vilified by those who liked the status quo. Of course there is toleration when in the balance no one group predominates.

 

But I have never denied the usual need for tolerance. I know it is part of your tradition to have reverence for the U.S.Constitution, but I do not share your tradition. I do not have confidence in the authority of the Constitution. I find myself becoming increasingly expectant that we will be soon losing freedoms to believe and worship as a Traditional Catholic, constitution or no constitution, as the bulk of the population grows increasingly hostile to my beliefs.

 

mfbukowski

I suppose I am missing your point or something. 

 

3DOP

I think you are making assumptions, and they are not what I believe.

 

mfbukowski

Who gets to decide which church is correct?

 

3DOP

The people who compose the state, for better or worse. They always have. America has been a hodge podge for its entire existence, but there are signs that perhaps this is changing, not in favor of any church, but for no church. If all the people believe one thing, in any kind of government, that belief will receive favored status and the rest will be suppressed. Error will impose its rule on a tiny minority anyway, and with much less mercy and toleration than truth will impose on its behalf. 

 

mfbukowski

This seems so fundamental that I am certain I am misunderstanding you, yet the more I read your words, the more it seems that you are saying exactly what I am presuming to hopefuly be my "misunderstanding"

 

3DOP

Fundamental to who? Do you think the Catholic Church has a tradition that teaches that religious error has a right to equal treatment under a just civil society? If you can find that "fundamental" for me in Catholic Tradition, I will change my mind instantly. This belief has no basis in Catholic Tradition. None. As with any other of my beliefs, it is important because I am conscious of necessary continuity with Catholic Tradition. You would have me throw overboard the wisdom of the past in favor of this novel theory? When has a legal document specifying rights for all religious errors ever been a protection against oppression from a vast majority that are hostile to any view (true or not) held by a tiny minority? On a few occasions of its being tested in America, it has failed. If I should adopt the principles which you claim are fundamental, Mormons would be correct to point out my inconsistency. It is my interaction with Mormons and apostasy theory that in part strengthens my resolve not to budge, even if the whole world should seem to be against me. Even if 90% of Catholics have fallen for this "fundamental", it is in my opinion, a trap, a novelty, that has absolutely no foundation in Catholic tradition.

 

This is mainly an academic exercise to me because none of us have any ability to change anything anyway. What I care about is defending the Catholic Church. I have studied the issue,  because I care about God's Church, not because of any political vision I have to suppress non-Catholics. I have been struck with the prudent restraint, the wisdom, and the love of Holy Mother Church both for her own children, and for the whole world. (The Church's children have been overzealous at times exceeding their mother's own instructions and causing the Church to be tarnished with their sins. I am not defending Catholics who violate Catholic teaching.) I confide my beliefs to you as a member of a religious minority. I vehemently deny that my church teaches that coercion can be used to force conversions or that those who believe otherwise than we do should be harassed for it. I am admitting that for the common good of a community that would need to be almost entirely Catholic, the right would be reserved to make it difficult for Mormons to do missionary work aimed at converting Catholics. Tolerance would be the rule so long as there was restraint on your part with regards to the proselytizing of Catholics.   

 

mfbukowski

It is especially difficult for me because obviously this is not a Catholic board, so most of your readers are among the evil ones perpetuating "errors" in our "false sect"

 

3DOP

You are the one identifying you and your fellows as "evil ones". I never called anybody "evil ones". I have referred to "errors" and probably I used the term "false sect". It was not intended pejoratively, but I will retract that expression in favor of something that cannot be misconstrued that way. I'll think of something later.

 

The subject arose in the atmosphere of praising the Reformers for modern religious liberty. I think it is an absurd reason to praise them when they opposed modern religious liberty both in practice and ideology. You would rather be under my reign any day than under any of the major Reformers. So why would I refrain from expressing my misgivings about a mere humanistic movement, with no foundation in anybody's canon of revelation, except maybe yours?

 

mfbukowski

I just don't get it.  What am I misunderstanding?

 

3DOP

I do not think you are accustomed to someone who blithely disregards opinions held by most of those now living. I give more consideration to the dead than to the living. Today is the Feast of All Saints, that day set aside to honor the multitudes of obscure saints who are forgotten by men, but intimately united to us through the good God who wills that His glory be manifest through men and women doing great wonders. Far from detracting God's glory, the communion of the saints is a continuous song of praise to God whose grace saved the heavenly saints, and gives the grace of hope to us who are in this life, already living the life of heaven, God Himself living in our souls, but only seeing God through the obscure light of faith. But them? Face to face! I am not committed to the human wisdom of the "living dead" here below. I live in a community vividly attached to those who are more alive than you or I have ever been, but unlike us, have died and no longer need faith, but see the good God "as He is". I can almost hear their voices cheering and exhorting us below to faith and good works and commitment to the continuous integrity of Catholic Tradition. Their voices ring truer to me, than the voices of Paine, Rousseau, or Jefferson and a dozen other 18th Century political movers, who I fear are not singing that song of praise to God on this, the Feast of All Saints.   

Edited by 3DOP
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I wish you well.  We are very different and I really have never belonged in the Catholic church.  But not all Catholics would agree with you at all.  I suppose they are in error.

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American Catholics are probably just as American as American LDS are and thus many are in error because they confuse the one part of their existence with the other (because obviously the 'reality' is that it is all one experience anyway, one is American and LDS not American at times and LDS at times).  Hard at times to know which part of one is due to country and culture and which is due to the faith and the culture that goes along with it (but then there is faith culture that is a result of the faith being in that country where in a different country the culture is expressed differently…sorry, can't think of any example right now beyond politics and I really don't want to go into that…).

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mfbukowski

Suppose though your position is held by someone who thinks he is right, and yet is not Catholic?

 

3DOP

I would agree with such a person in regards to the truth that in justice, error may be tolerated as a privilege, but never established as a right to be promulgated. I think many Muslims and I would get along pretty well with respect to that belief.

With some Muslims intent on establishing Sharia Law under a Caliphate over large regions, and ultimately worldwide, you and they might indeed see the same point, but I'm not certain that you would "get along pretty well."

 

.................................................................

 

If the people have the will to prohibit religion entirely, laws can present an obstacle, but there is no constitution written that will stop the will of a strong majority, especially towards that which fills them with fear or hostility. Look at how the Constitution "protected" innocent and loyal Japanese Americans in World War II. Practical expedience overcomes legal theory when there is a perceived danger. I will not compromise Catholic principles because I imagined that a legal document can insure that I live my faith peaceably among people who despise my faith.

 

It has already been noted that Constitutional law didn't protect Mormons or Catholics adequately until significant numbers forced tolerance. Do you think you could have continued without fleeing to Utah? Nor would Catholics have been accepted if not for a large influx of immigrants who were at first vilified by those who liked the status quo. Of course there is toleration when in the balance no one group predominates.

 

But I have never denied the usual need for tolerance. I know it is part of your tradition to have reverence for the U.S.Constitution, but I do not share your tradition. I do not have confidence in the authority of the Constitution. I find myself becoming increasingly expectant that we will be soon losing freedoms to believe and worship as a Traditional Catholic, constitution or no constitution, as the bulk of the population grows increasingly hostile to my beliefs.

 

............................................................   

 

The people who compose the state, for better or worse. They always have. America has been a hodge podge for its entire existence, but there are signs that perhaps this is changing, not in favor of any church, but for no church. If all the people believe one thing, in any kind of government, that belief will receive favored status and the rest will be suppressed. Error will impose its rule on a tiny minority anyway, and with much less mercy and toleration than truth will impose on its behalf.

................................................................

Your cynicism may be justified, and history does suggest that any law may be shredded in practice and that Realpolitik reigns supreme over much of the Earth.  So, on a purely theoretical level, push may come to shove.  And the Constitution may indeed hang by a thread and finally be lost.  Why wouldn't it be the Mormon Prophet who then speaks the word of the Lord to the large populace of Mormons and non-Mormons?  Well, of course, Mormons have it as an article of faith that people are free to choose what form of worship they prefer -- erroneous or not.  Thus, Roman Catholics would be free to continue their tradition under a Mormon administration -- including preaching to the Separated Brethren (including the Mormons).

 

Fundamental to who? Do you think the Catholic Church has a tradition that teaches that religious error has a right to equal treatment under a just civil society? If you can find that "fundamental" for me in Catholic Tradition, I will change my mind instantly. This belief has no basis in Catholic Tradition. None. As with any other of my beliefs, it is important because I am conscious of necessary continuity with Catholic Tradition. You would have me throw overboard the wisdom of the past in favor of this novel theory? When has a legal document specifying rights for all religious errors ever been a protection against oppression from a vast majority that are hostile to any view (true or not) held by a tiny minority? On a few occasions of its being tested in America, it has failed. If I should adopt the principles which you claim are fundamental, Mormons would be correct to point out my inconsistency. It is my interaction with Mormons and apostasy theory that in part strengthens my resolve not to budge, even if the whole world should seem to be against me. Even if 90% of Catholics have fallen for this "fundamental", it is in my opinion, a trap, a novelty, that has absolutely no foundation in Catholic tradition.

............................................................................................... I am admitting that for the common good of a community that would need to be almost entirely Catholic, the right would be reserved to make it difficult for Mormons to do missionary work aimed at converting Catholics. Tolerance would be the rule so long as there was restraint on your part with regards to the proselytizing of Catholics.   

..........................................................................

My late Uncle, a Methodist minister, called the Mormons "sheep stealers," and he wasn't trying to be humorous, so I understand the bitterness which that can bring.  However, only reverence for the very evenhanded and fair principles of the Constitution can prevent the kinds of intolerance and internecine warfare which was so common in Europe.  We have tried to spread those principles worldwide, so that people will just preach at each other, rather than killing each other -- the sad result of so many European religious wars.

 

The subject arose in the atmosphere of praising the Reformers for modern religious liberty. I think it is an absurd reason to praise them when they opposed modern religious liberty both in practice and ideology. You would rather be under my reign any day than under any of the major Reformers. So why would I refrain from expressing my misgivings about a mere humanistic movement, with no foundation in anybody's canon of revelation, except maybe yours?

I'm not sure who made the silly assertion that the Reformers were the authors of modern religious liberty, and you are right to think that "absurd," but without the Reformers (the Separated Brethren) there could have been no future religious liberty, simply because the hegemony of Roman Catholicism would not allow it.  Once that hegemony was broken, and a whole variety of denominations began forming, only then did it occur to anyone that religious freedom is sacrosanct.  Why sacrosanct?  Because it is no value to God if His followers are the victims of coercion.  Within Islam, likewise, it should be no advantage to Allah that His adherents are punished with death if they convert to Christianity, and it does no honor to Him if people are commanded to convert or be put to the sword.  The 200 Christian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram have all been forcibly converted to Islam and married to Boko Haram soldiers.

No one was forced to follow the Catholic Maid of Orleans (Jeanne D'Arc), but she herself was subjected to torture and finally burned at the stake.  The Mormon creed (if there be such) is that "all men" must be allowed to "worship how, where, or what they may" (Article of Faith #11), even if it is in error.  For who shall determine what is in error?

 

.............................................

I live in a community vividly attached to those who are more alive than you or I have ever been, but unlike us, have died and no longer need faith, but see the good God "as He is". I can almost hear their voices cheering and exhorting us below to faith and good works and commitment to the continuous integrity of Catholic Tradition. Their voices ring truer to me, than the voices of Paine, Rousseau, or Jefferson and a dozen other 18th Century political movers, who I fear are not singing that song of praise to God on this, the Feast of All Saints.

My sentiments as well.

However, none of us knows just what Tom, Jean-Jacques (ironically from Geneva), and Thomas are doing right now over on the other side, although Mormons have doubtless done their temple work and believe that they are now most likely praising God along with the rest of the Heavenly Host.  For the Saints, in both OT and NT, are the Holy Ones of God.  Just men made perfect.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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American Catholics are probably just as American as American LDS are and thus many are in error because they confuse the one part of their existence with the other (because obviously the 'reality' is that it is all one experience anyway, one is American and LDS not American at times and LDS at times).  Hard at times to know which part of one is due to country and culture and which is due to the faith and the culture that goes along with it (but then there is faith culture that is a result of the faith being in that country where in a different country the culture is expressed differently…sorry, can't think of any example right now beyond politics and I really don't want to go into that…).

Well LDS culture is based in Protestantism, which was founded in the spirit of the Renaissance, which really was the beginning of humanism.  The very idea that one could interpret the Bible as one sees fit was the beginning of the end of the Neoplatonism of the Middle Ages.  The entire mindset is quite different.  I am sorry that 3DOP is offended by my referring to Neoplatonism, but the link is so obvious it cannot be ignored.  He references Muslim theology, perhaps without realizing it comes from the same sources.

http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H003.htm

I have taken entire courses on Ibn Sina

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonism_in_Islamic_Philosophy

It's not like I am making this up or pulling it out of my imagination.  It is universally accepted. 

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I'm not sure who made the silly assertion that the Reformers were the authors of modern religious liberty, and you are right to think that "absurd," but without the Reformers (the Separated Brethren) there could have been no future religious liberty, simply because the hegemony of Roman Catholicism would not allow it.

Yes, that's it exactly. The refomers were themselves hardly advocates of freedom, however were prisoners of their time, as we all are, and their very challenge to the church would have been literally unthinkable a hundred years before.

Great post!

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............................................................. I care about the Catholic Church and Catholic Tradition. I am not a monarchist or anti-monarchist. Monarchs are heavily dependent on keeping the people happy. I wouldn't worry much about a bad sovereign if the people were good. Ultimately though, it really doesn't affect the salvation of our souls to suffer a little persecution. I desire peace and tranquility in this life like everybody else. But our days are "few and full of trouble" according to Job, and who can be surprised at whatever form it comes? Let us seek the unspeakable peace of God which no one can take from us, and see what the good God has for us. 

...................................................................   

 

Here is the latest view of Mormon Dan Peterson on Father Thomas Aquinas:

 

There is a memorable story about St. Thomas Aquinas, who is plainly Robert Reilly’s intellectual hero in The Closing of the Muslim Mind and who is, very arguably, the greatest of all systematic theologians: One day, on 6 December 1273, while he was celebrating Mass in the chapel of Saint Nicholas at the Dominican monastery in Naples, he paused for a very long time, such that the congregation became nervous. Finally, he resumed his liturgical functions and completed the service.

 

But a great change had come over Thomas. From that moment, although he had been a legendarily prolific author, he never again wrote or dictated anything. When his companion or socius, Reginald of Piperno, complained that there remained much work to be done, Thomas replied, “I can do no more.” Still, the other man insisted. “Reginald,” Thomas finally answered, “I can do no more; such things have been revealed to me that all that I have written seems to me so much straw [mihi videtur ut palea].” And he died about four months later.

 

It seems clear that Thomas, a good, sincere, and devout man, had experienced some kind of profound revelation while ministering at that Neapolitan altar. And what he had just seen, in his own judgment, trumped everything that he had ever written.

 

The Interpreter Foundation was established on the premise that both reason and revelation have their place in determining religious truth. We believe reasoned investigation to be essential, but we will not discount revelation.

 

 http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/reason-experience-and-the-existence-of-god/ .

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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