Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Thomas, Sep 29, 2016.
Here is where we will always disagree.
I understand Hart's term but I suggest all religion is composed of cherry picking. If we merely concentrate on Christianity we find, according to The World Christian Encyclopedia, that there are approximately 34000 Christian groups alone. That to me is the broad spectrum and a smorgasbord. Without intent though, I suppose I did go outside your thread. I will try to get back on board.
I was simply (or maybe poorly) making the distinction that all choice is not free, if ever, but all individuals can freely make choices.
That sure does seem to suggest cherry picking of Christianity on a Grand Scale. Thoughts, Thomas?
That argument doesn't really hold in his specific case, he is Catholic remember, it's all them Protestants that are doing it wrong.
If we hold his position it is natural to disagree with the splits that followed the Protestants from Catholic Church. It could even be seen as what started this whole snowballs effect he describes in the OP.
But I'm really interested in his comments here because I have noticed that he is really careful when talking about other Traditions.
I DO remember he is Catholic. Not sure what that has to do with it. The point was made that there are thousands of variants of Christianity. Why are there all those denominations? Because every single one cherry picked certain aspects of the Bible to accept and other parts to reject.
Unless you are saying that anything beyond Catholicism is not appropriate Christianity? Which I cannot imagine that is what you mean.
I don't think it's so much a matter of cherry picking. Just a different interpretation of what's there. Never cared for the idea of denominations myself. My ancestors simply identified themselves as Christian and left it at that.
I'm not saying >I< believe that, but is it unreasonable that a Catholic would?
You are a science geek, if I said that evolution could be equally valid as creationism because there are scientists who support it, I think you would reject that notion and point to the science. I think a Catholic, I'm not saying Thomas would(!), would equally dismiss such an argument and point to the Theology.
OK... gonna tackle these as they came up ...
Oh, wow! That's a question and a half.
Same here, I think.
LOL? You mean the transmission of sexual disease is more likely within marriage? Not sure the way I've read it is quite what you meant to say?
But so far the same issues apply in Europe and America.
There are distinctions. The rate of Catholic annulments in the diocese of New York was, at one point, ten times greater than any other equivalent European metropolitan area. That says to me the bishops have a far more lenient view and are more flexible in their interpretation of the canons than their European counterparts.
The 'Big One' here is the Paul VI encyclical in 1968 called humanae vitae. The stated the church's position on contraception — a blanket no — and was seismic with the Church.
The fact is clear that the use of contraception is widespread within the Church. Is this boutique-ing? No, because there was no alternative for those wishing to remain in communion with the Church. No-one set up an alternative church, offering all the benefits of the RCC, but without the ruling on contraception.
There may well be those who thought 'OK, I'm off' and went looking for another community to join. That may well be be boutique browsing. But the majority underwent a crisis on conscience. It was, and remains, very painful for Catholics.
As balance: There was a time when I moved strongly towards Soto Zen. Won't go into the reasons, but that was me boutique-ing.
As you've asked for my thoughts, I stand on the side of the community, I think the ruling against contraception is wrong, although my disagreement points to a far deeper question with regard to the Church than the average secular issue which is about population control and freedom of choice.
Hi ED —
The WCD offers sets and subsets ... where the 34000 comes from I have no idea.
Are all these boutique-ing? I don't think so. The early schisms — Arianism, Nestorianism, etc., were theological disputes, revolving around questions regarding the nature of Christ. They were not motivated by the same voluntarist mindset that Hart identifies as those who 'shop' in the 'spiritual marketplace' (quite a caustic description, I'll admit).
I would argue that boutique-ing did not happen until the Reformation. Here we see the split within the Protestant denominations, and we can see that in some cases the nature of the denomination reflects the prevailing socio-political demographic. Zwingli's audience was Swiss, for example, and his theology reflects that. Likewise Luther had no problem with the sale of indulgences for his bishop, but when the money was going out of the province, then he complained (a bit unfair, but not entirely untrue).
With religious freedom in America, and once consumerism began to make an appearance as a social driver, then we see a proliferation of Christian 'Bible Tract' sales organisations, the more successful of which evolve into religions as formulated in the Constitution. Here the market really begins to play to Hart's thesis, but it doesn't come to fruition until the last century, because the last century saw the emergence of the idea of the state as the servant of the self, rather than the other way round. The emergence of the idea of 'my rights' and 'my freedoms' when in reality, neither exist outside the state, along with religion as a commercial enterprise, TV evangelists, etc., etc.
See? SEE? I was right everyone, I'm always right about everything!
If the selective folks are making boutique religions....is Catholicism Walmart?
LOL, They certainly are!
Although we will begrudgingly admit they do some things right. They read the Bible a lot more than we do, for a start.
(As an aside to that, the idea that the laity should read the bible and draw their own conclusions is not at all what the Reformers meant. Rather that they should read the Bible and interpret it as instructed by their community leaders, rather than by the Catholic Church.)
As stated above, I don't think the historical schisms were the product of 'the boutique marketplace' that Hart is talking about. The pre-Reformation schisms, for example, are all on theological grounds, on intellectual rather than volitional grounds ...
Nor is the Reformation a manifestation of the boutique. For all Luther's aims at the good, it seems his pessimism flavoured his theology to the point that human nature was seen as fundamentally corrupt, and therefore incapable of doing good, whereas the Catholic view is human nature is fundamentally good, capable of doing good, but wounded and inescapably susceptible to concupiscence (this latter is often narrowly defined as a tendency to the sins of the flesh, that is anything to do with sex. In facts it's a far broader term, although still to do with the desires that rise in the senses, and in that corresponds much to the Buddhist notion of the tendency to hang on to the causes of suffering).
Rejection of original sin... I'll put that in my cart.
I beg your pardon?
My selective boutique does not include original sin...or all the guilt...or fire and brimstone, or devil critters, or a place called hell.... come and join the cuddle puddle.
Oh ... OK ... ?
Sorry, Will ... my post looks a bit off.
Just meant ... OK, what can I say? Kind of thing — Your post does kinda highlight the issue, Jesus definitely included original sin, guilt, fire and brimstone, devil critters and a place called hell. So it does kinda do away with the idea of 'salvation', 'redemption' etc.,
In fact, it rather poses the question ... if there is no sin, etc, etc ... then why did He bother speaking at all? What was His message?
Love your neighbor...
Love the sinner...
Help the helpless...
Separate names with a comma.