Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gold medal for Australian Catholic Church

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According to the NZ Herald, the Catholic Church has taken upon itself to recognise Mother Mary MacKillop as a saint...Australia’s first. I’m not impressed. The basis for this honour is:
1. She lived a life of integrity
2. She performed miracles
I would suggest she did no such thing. You can’t give without receiving....unless one of her miracles was to conjure up piles of money to perform her feats on this earth. I trust not. She more probably conveyed the biblical message and was able to raise money in order to do what she did. My guess it would not have been to hard to raise money in that time because Australia was having a commodities boom. According to the Christian standard, her work was only possible with the help of a lot of ‘materialistic’ people, who gave surpluses to her so that she did not need one.
Now of course....if not for the generosity or ‘guilted’ altruism of others, who is to know what would become of her? Would she be one of the more desperate flock rather than a leader of people? But saints are not necessarily leaders by the standards indicated.
The other aspect of this honour is that she ‘saved’ lives with some ‘miracles’. Of course there is no way of verifying that she had any such capacity....but the fact that someone who dealt with such desperate people could only find two souls to save suggests to be that she really had no skill at all, and it was merely a distortion, or someone’s overactive imagination. Self-delusion to be sure.
There is of course a great deal of political strategy in this announcement. There can be no better way of promoting Catholicism than by anointing a new saint. Why? Well there are two reasons:
1. Religion looks ever more relevant if you can point to some modern day miracle to support your rationalisation. Of course there are miracles being performed in India every day among the uneducated.
2. Religion needs to sanctify the life of pastors in order to attract more members, and also to reward the best performers. That is simply good business....and we need to remember ‘blind faith’ is a hard sell....yet its the more virtuous...but hell you have to give the pastors something to hope for don’t you. It can’t be all faith can it?
3. A miracle 100 years ago would appear to be 'modern enough' to be in the scientific era, but not so modern that anyone is going to dig up a scandal about Mary....or disprove her mythical miracle. Of course Mother Theresa did not look so positive for this reason. She was considered a control freak by some. Isn't that unsaintly? Certainly not humbling. Well, one flaw. Any miracles?
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Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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Attention all atheists!!
In fact anyone who has had an interesting encounter with a Christian which involved manipulation, deception or blatant rationalisation. This is research or material for a forthcoming book. I am not suggesting that all Christians are criminals, dangerous or threats to society, but I am suggesting that Christianity is a basis for moral inefficacy. There is a reason why Christian nations are always at war. There is a reason why former Christians (or children of Christians) have a tendency to drift into cults and extreme religious groups. Thank you for any life experiences you can recall. ----------------------------------------------- Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com