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Mary Matthews
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First: in the REAL first century, the Pharisees were the good guys. When you're reading the Christian Testament, wherever it says "Pharisee," THINK "Sadducee." I'm reasonably sure that whether or not he flirted with the Essenes, Jesus was born and reared a Pharisee. For one thing, he broke bread with Pharisees, who did NOT eat with non-Pharisees. Second, I don't think religion itself is the problem. I think virtually all problems in religion are caused by those who have deified their own view of religion. This is easiest to see in militant Islam, in Mormonism, in Scientology, and in Roman Catholicism. I agree that the reaction of Pope Benedict (whom I continue to think of as "Joey the Rat") has been amazingly tone-deaf, and I believe it comes from his decades of defending R.C. orthodoxy. In my opinion, first-century Christianity was a religion of absolute equality -- "male and female, Jew and Gentile, slave and free," etc. -- and Roman Catholicism has morphed this equality into a rigid, androlatrous hierarchy of power. According to THEM, one can only approach God through the intermediation of the R.C. Magisterium. I believe Roman Catholicism is facing a major crisis of structure, and the BEST I can envision is a schism in which American R.C.s break away from the bishop of Rome. Joey the Rat continues to defend the status quo (he says the problem is inadequate education in R.C. seminaries!), and the status quo is doomed. Does one need the vast edifice of Roman Catholic hierarchy, or can one interact with God without it? Does one need to worship R.C. dogma (e.g., papal infallibility), or can one worship God without it? If only males can represent God at the altar, doesn't that mean that Genesis 1:27 and 5:1-2 are lies? What if there IS NO "hell"? What if Jesus was right when he told his followers they were just as capable as he was of interacting with God and doing what he did? If the Magisterium is right, if you can only interact with God as an obedient Church brownshirt, why did JESUS never say so?
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Apr 2, 2010