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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:08 PM

The rise of a new religious America



Democrat Colleen Hanabusa, right, congratulates candidate Tulsi Gabbard after both women won their Hawaii Congressional district seats on Nov. 6, 2012, at the Japanese Cultural Center in Honolulu. (AP)

Posted at 02:56 PM ET, 12/28/2012
Dec 28, 2012 07:56 PM EST

TheWashingtonPost
By Charles C. Haynes

The first Hindu elected to the House of Representatives, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, will take the oath of office in a few weeks – and she has chosen to place her hand on the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred text of her tradition.

Meanwhile, the woman she replaces in Congress, Mazie Hirono, will be sworn in as the first Buddhist elected to the U.S. Senate.

Welcome to the new religious America.

Religious diversity, of course, has long been part of the American landscape. But in 2012, religious minorities became newly visible and vocal in a society historically dominated by the symbols, values and leaders of the Protestant faith.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/the-rise-of-a-new-religious-america/2012/12/28/24cc7a8a-5120-11e2-950a-7863a013264b_blog.html

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Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:12 PM

1. A toast to diversity!

Diversity always leads to a decrease in discrimination, imo.


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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:13 PM

2. And the bulk of them are in the Democratic Party.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 04:06 PM

15. I'll drink to that!

Three steps forward here:

Both new Congresscritters are women.

Both are women of color.

Both practice minority relgions not formerly represented in the national lege.


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Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:20 PM

3. Republican heads will explode.

 

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:41 AM

4. Isn't her immortal soul damned for eternity for picking the wrong menu item?

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:22 AM

5. No. What a strange view of religions you have.

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:24 PM

6. I'm pretty sure the Catholic Church thinks otherwise.

The senator certainly is aware of Christianity, consequently she is in the non-ignorant camp. Those people don't get heaven or purgatory. So that would leave the eternal damnation option.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:30 PM

7. Well then you'd be mistaken.

Unless of course you're a Feeneyite.

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Response to rug (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:58 PM

10. What is current Catholic doctrine on salvation?

After some searching it seems not so easy to find, don't know if that's because the doctrine is unpopular and therefore not one that the church wishes to emphasize.

Here's something I found in my search, is the following correct?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, following historic Christian theology since the time of the early Church Fathers, refers to the Catholic Church as "the universal sacrament of salvation" (CCC 774–776), and states: "The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men" (CCC 780).

Many people misunderstand the nature of this teaching.

Indifferentists, going to one extreme, claim that it makes no difference what church one belongs to. Certain radical traditionalists, going to the other extreme, claim that unless one is a full-fledged, baptized member of the Catholic Church, one will be damned.

The following quotations from the Church Fathers give the straight story. They show that the early Church held the same position on this as the contemporary Church does—that is, while it is normatively necessary to be a Catholic to be saved (see CCC 846; Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 14), there are exceptions, and it is possible in some circumstances for people to be saved who have not been fully initiated into the Catholic Church (CCC 847).

Notice that the same Fathers who declare the normative necessity of being Catholic also declare the possibility of salvation for some who are not Catholics.

These can be saved by what later came to be known as "baptism of blood" or " baptism of desire" (for more on this subject, see the Fathers Know Best tract, The Necessity of Baptism).

The Fathers likewise affirm the possibility of salvation for those who lived before Christ and who were not part of Israel, the Old Testament People of God.

However, for those who knowingly and deliberately (that is, not out of innocent ignorance) commit the sins of heresy (rejecting divinely revealed doctrine) or schism (separating from the Catholic Church and/or joining a schismatic church), no salvation would be possible until they repented and returned to live in Catholic unity.

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/salvation-outside-the-church


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Response to eomer (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:20 PM

12. Here's a straightforward article.

http://catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0043.html

You can also read the Catechism on Baptim, especially 1260. Note, ignorance also means misunderstanding.

VI. The Necessity of Baptism

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. (1129, 161, 846)

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. (2473)

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. (1249)

1260 “Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.”63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity. (848)

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,”64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism. (1257, 1250)

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Response to rug (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:09 AM

16. Thanks, from that link and some other research I understand the Catholic doctrine better.

I also found this:

Invincible ignorance removes one's culpability for a materially sinful act, whether one of omission or commission (CCC 1793). Vincible ignorance may affect one's culpability for a sinful act, depending on the kind of vincibility. If some insufficient diligence was shown toward finding the answer, then the ignorance is termed merely vincible. If little or no diligence was shown, the ignorance is termed crass or supine. If one deliberately fostered the ignorance then it is termed affected or studied.

If vincible ignorance is merely vincible, crass, or supine, it diminishes culpability for the sinful act relative to the degree of diligence that was shown. If a vincibly ignorant person showedalmost reasonable diligence, most of his imputability for the sin could be removed. If he was crassly ignorant, having shown little or no diligence compared to what was reasonable, little or none of his imputability would be removed.

Affected or studied ignorance can increase culpability for a sin, especially if it displays hardness of heart, whereby one would commit the sin irrespective of any law that might exist concerning it. Such an attitude shows contempt for moral law and so increases culpability (cf. CCC 1859).

-snip-

A special case is the application of vincible and invincible ignorance to salvation. Failure to embrace the Christian faith (infidelity), total repudiation of the Christian faith (apostasy), and the post-baptismal obstinate denial or willful doubt of particular teachings of the Catholic faith (heresy) are objectively grave sins against the virtue of faith. Like any other grave sins, if they are committed with adequate knowledge and deliberate consent, they become mortal sins and will deprive one of salvation.

Also like any other grave sins, their imputability can be removed, diminished, unaffected, or increased by the varying types of ignorance. Invincible ignorance removes culpability for the sins against faith, merely vincible ignorance diminishes culpability (sometimes to the point of being venial), crass or supine ignorance will affect culpability for them little or not at all, and hard hearted, affected ignorance will increase culpability for them.

http://archive.catholic.com/thisrock/1999/9907chap.asp


I was raised in two Baptist churches and later was a member of a Catholic parish for several years. I've had the Gospel preached to me and I've read it many times on my own. Not going into all my personal details, but my "ignorance" might seem to fall into the "hard-hearted" category (see above) and so the Catholic Church may seem to say I'm going to Hell, although I do give them credit for saying that the final judgement of that isn't up to them.

On the other hand, perhaps the fact that I embrace the teachings of Jesus about loving and caring for "the least among us" and social justice would let me, even though I am an atheist, fall into the "righteous people in all religions" category:

In many parts of the world it is easy for people to display reasonable but not supererogatory diligence and be invincibly ignorant concerning the Christian faith in general or the Catholic Church in particular. The assertion that there are no invincibly ignorant people also is manifestly contrary to the teaching of the Church, which acknowledges that there are "righteous people in all religions" (CCC 2569; cf. 847, 1260).

Same link as above


Of course, I don't believe any of this Catholic doctrine to be true. But having a more accurate understanding now, I will be less critical than I was before today. Thanks for your part in that.


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Response to eomer (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:35 AM

18. I'm glad it cleared it up somewhat.

One thing that struck me about the Catholic Church. For all its rigidity and authoritarianism it has always taught the love and mercy of God above all.

I remember in high school one of the brothers was teaching about hell. He described it as extraordinarily difficult to get into. He talked about it in the context of sin. As usual, the Catholc Church classifies sin into venial and mortal. Venial are less serious offenses and mortal places one's soul in in danger. A mortal sin is, at root, placing oneself above God.

To go to hell, one must completely, utterly and fully turn one's back on God and choose to live without God. He went on to say that to do that, one must know and understand what one is rejecting. Frankly, by that measure, one who does not belive there is a God could hardly reject it. It may turn out that atheists are the only ones who inhabit heaven. People struggle their entire lives to know and to understand what God is. To finally get to that point and then reject God is nearly inconceivable.

He ended up by saying that while the Church teaches a doctrine of hell, it has never declared anyone has actually gone there, including Judas. It has only a process of declaring saints not the doomed. That came as a great relief to us wankers in high school.

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:43 PM

8. Yes, Warren Stupidity and Jesus have such a strange view of religion.

At least if you believe that the quotes of Jesus in the Bible are accurate.

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Response to eomer (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:46 PM

9. Lol, Warren Stupidity is no Jesus.

Neither are you.

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Response to rug (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:14 PM

11. LOL, you're no Jesus, what makes you think you are.

Now that we've established that none of us is Jesus (how did that come up?), what does Jesus say (as "quoted" in the Gospels of the Bible)? Is it the same thing that Warren Stupidity said? I think it probably is, isn't it?

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Response to eomer (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:23 PM

13. Actually, you brought it up, placing Warren in the same company.

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Response to rug (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:24 AM

17. No, I merely said they seem to share the same views about eternal damnation.

Many "quotes" of Jesus in the Gospels seem to show him pretty fired up about the eternal damnation of non-believers. It's interesting that the Catholic Church seemingly has a softer position than that, currently (see my upthread posts). But in other parts of the Gospel, Jesus "says" that merely taking care of the least among us is enough to gain salvation, even if the doer does them without believing. So maybe on the balance the purported position of Jesus can be reconciled with that of the church.

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Response to eomer (Reply #11)

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