Friday, July 08, 2005

Atheists, Unbelievers, "Not Human"

Nothing demonstrates the incredible hubris, evil, and bigotry of religion than a sincere apologist. Take for example Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland, Oregon.
[link] Last but not least, people of faith must demonstrate to unbelievers and those who are indifferent to God that the only way a person can be truly human is to be religious, to be in relationship with the divine. To be truly and fully human, one must eventually encounter Jesus Christ, the Divine Word, whose good news is meant to be shared with women and men of all cultures.

Labelling those who are "not us" as "inhuman" or not "truly human" is a step towards mass executions and genocide. That's a harsh observation, but truth hurts. First you de-humanize your enemy, then you eradicate them with the full support of your fellow believers. This pattern has been repeated over and over again throughout human history.

In this case it happens to wear the kindly face of a Catholic archbishop, but it's no less a slippery slope because of it.

9 comments:

Bruce said...

Fortunately, Oregon, and especially Portland (which is where I currently reside) is about as non-religious as you can get in the states. This guy probably feels he has to make such bold claims in order to be recognized because he has such little influence in the Portland community. I have no doubt that he probably believes what he says, but I'm sure he is frustated that his words fall on such a small audience here in town. I guarantee you that if this guy went downtown and started preaching this bullshit, he would be laughed straight back to the Vatican.

As far as his message, no surprise, I think all of us already know that the believers think they are superior to all of us heretics. Oh yeah, I forgot, love the sinner, not the sin. Yeah right.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, selling your volition, your values, your sense of social and personal justice, your intelligence, your sense of self-preservation, and your integrity to a magic fairy in the sky is to be truly human (rather than, say, an abject slave of an all-too-successful priestly power grab).

And, as Christians have also reminded us down the ages, holy suffering is true joy and health, and holy poverty is true wealth, and Godly faith without evidence is true knowledge (episteme), and sitting alone meditating on the top of a pillar is true skill (techne), and trusting in the holy sky fairy to provide for you is true prudence (phronesis).

What else is new? This crap has been bouncing around since before civilization, and you can tell that from the fact that it's basically anti-civilization.

(speedwell)

ThatGirl said...

I find that to be interesting since the Archdiocese of Portland paid my fiance to be the head coach of the freshman football team at an area high school last season. Good to know that despite his being inhuman, his coaching skills are a-okay.

MichaelBains said...

After reading that crap, I got pissed!

Here's the letter I posted to their site.

To be truly human, we must encounter Christ, the Son of God
07/07/2005 Archbishop John Vlazny


That has got to be one of the most Genocidally motivated essays I have read since Mein Kampf!
(There! Godwin's Law achieved up front.)

As a skeptic and a libertarian thinker, I am completely against hate laws in this country. You should be as well because the "good" bishop would surely (be) convicted and slammed into a Gitmo Cell for such profanity as he delivered in this essay.

I am appalled and offended that such ill-will is being published by an organization which claims to be representative of the Prince of Peace.

You have brought much shame upon yourselves for publishing this vile invective.

Sincerely

Michael Bains

dAVE said...

I'd say belonging to an organization that protects and enables pedophiles (for decades, if not centuries) disqualifies you from making any statements about what constitutes being "fully human".

Kevin said...

More interesting than this Bishop's speach is the way that that the atheist community changes the word "inhuman" to mean "not human" when it traditionally had meant not living up to a given set of ideals of humanity.

Beating a dog is an inhuman activity. Sadly, people do it all the time. Beating a dog does not make your soul pop out of your ears and you stop being a human.

Changing terms then using your shiny new term to label your enemy as a mass murderer is discourse at its worse.

My claim is that dog beaters are inhuman. This does not make me a mass murderer. For that matter, if I were to start murdering dog beaters, then I would (by my own definition) stoop to inhuman activities.

What this person you loath is saying is completely different than the meanings that you are trying to stuff down his throat.

Painini said...

Er, Kevin... the word you're thinking of is "inhumane". Ours is a sadistic little language, I know, but that e is an important difference.

Furthermore, that's B.R.'s word, not the Archbishops. The Archbishop said that unbelievers are "not fully human", and, well, you can kick a dog and still be fully human.

Tracie said...

Sad indeed. It is sad how somebody who "claims" to be a believer in the Messiah would say such a thing. That is truly not His Spirit. But what's even more sad... is when people focus on the few bad apples out of every bunch and lump them all together as bad and the same. One would hope that we would know better. That's like saying people like Stalin, Lenin, and Hitler represent all athiest. The true Spirit of the Messiah does love the sinner but not the sin.

Shalom

Geremia said...

I, being a Catholic physicist, find all this talk among Catholics about needing to be Catholic to be more human very heterodox and even heretical, for we believe every human is created in God's image (cf. Gen. 1:27); there is no gradation of humanness. This Cardinal Cormack Murphy is likely caught up in the modern heresy of "Modernism" (although from my perspective I interpret him merely saying that God is responsible for any humans' being human). Chief amongst the errors of Modernism is for Catholics to deny anything supernatural, which, incidentally, atheist materialists do deny. Catholics also believe God created humans for a supernatural end, so what would it matter to an atheist materialist had this cardinal instead said something like: "...you're not fully saintly"? Of course you likely wouldn't be insulted at all.

Catholics fallen to the heresy of Modernism also, for the most part, detest the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. He has been, in my opinion, the greatest scientist-theologian ever to live; he laid the foundations upon which much modern science developed. He also wrote—in an extremely logical, syllogistic manner—about the relationship of and differences between faith and reason, and he is firmly on the side of scientists in modern questions like the Protestants' flawed "Intelligent Design theory." The Church, not some of its flawed human constituents, has never opposed true science.

(By the way, Bruce, I am from Portland, and what you say is generally true. Also, MichaelBains, you are correct by saying this is eugenics or genocidal thinking. This is why Modernism is a heresy! My being Catholic does not oblige me to believe every cleric is infallible; far from it! Jesus Christ Himself said to the first Pope, St. Peter, "Go behind me, Satan." (Matt. 16:23), and He knew one of his followers, Judas Iscariot, would worship satan instead of Him and betray him to death by crucifixion! There are good cardinals, bishops, priests and bad ones. The Catholic Church is here until the end of time, and is not ultimately grounded on man (thank God!), but a supreme, perfect Being.)