Subject: Catholic Church

To: Charlie Ray

From: William Putnam

Date: 10/5/95 21:07:00 - (Continued from previous post)

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WP> And I am glad that this is so, but for the longest time, the [Roman] Catholic Church STOOD ALONE in it's fight against abortion. I can remember the days when the rest of christendom was babbling to themselves, not knowing what to say for fear of loosing church members who happened to disagree. (I'm talking about the the 1950's and earlier) <<<

CR> You refer to the mainline churches mostly, Bill. Evangelicals have always voiced opposition to abortion. However, because of their theological separation from the world many refused to become involved in politics until the Moral Majority changed all that. Now the liberals are screaming bloody murder and foul. I think they like better when we kept our mouths shut and prayed in our churches.<<<

In any case, I'm glad that most of christendom is together on this one issue. I'm in Pensacola, FL, and so you can understand why I fear the radical element can go too far (i.e., the abortion doctor shootings) and that distresses me very much. We even had a catholic priest support such activities, and as a result, the archbishop of Mobile dismissed him from his parish. He is only a thread away from excommunication, I fear.

WP>Oh, I'm sure that there was an undercurrent of belief that abortion was wrong, but why could they not have stood-up and spoken out, like they do against "drinking and booze?" <<<

CR> Read your history, Bill! Prohibition came before the Scopes monkey trial, modernism infiltrating the mainline churches, etc. As a result of these controversies of the 1920's Fundamentalists withdrew from the world, including the political arena. Growing differences of opinion gave rise to the Evangelical and Neo-Evangelical movements, somewhat more moderate in their theology to the point of using both higher and lower biblical criticism. In fact, it was Roe v. Wade that was the clarion call to the Evangelical movement. The sleeping giant is aroused! <<

I know some of the history, but I am certainly not an expert. I am thankful that that terrible court decision "awakened the sleeping giant" and joined with the Mother Church on this issue.

WP>In any case, I'm thankful that you guys are now on "our side" in this issue. <g> <<<

CR> That's mighty BIG of ya, Bill. Shucks, us lil ol' inbred Pennycost'ls sho' 'ppreciate yall lettin' us be on yo' side:)<<

It's about time, too! <g> :)

WP> I at least got you to say that, and I'm glad! I'll let it slide that you don't think John Paul II is the vicar of Christ, but I'm tolerant of ya! <g> <<<

CR> Keep up the triumphalism and I may be tempted to revert to the old apocalyptic paradigm of the RCC as the great whore of Babylon and the Pope as the antichrist:)<<<

Oh no! Please! Not that! (Hope you realized the "tongue in cheek" <g> in the above statement.)

CR> I did read his book, CROSSING THE THRESHOLD OF HOPE:) I have also read some of Hans Kung's liberal theology. Catholicism has its liberals, too.<<

WP>Oh sure, I agree. I am glad you are at least open minded to read good catholic literature, especially John Paul II's. <<<

CR> Are YOU open-minded enough to read Hans Kung? Try his book, THE CHURCH, and get back to me. (Unless the church has legislated that one to the forbidden reading list!)<<<<

Nah, but I'll add that to a whole list of stuff everybody in this conference thinks I should get and read.

WP>Oh no! Another issue raises it's head! Would you please give me a thumb-nail sketch of why ganbling per se is sinful? Now anything legitimate, done to excess, is sinful. This includes over-eating, drinking (even too much coke), or anything that is legitimately pleasurable, but do you think that gambling is specifically sinful? Why? <<<<

CR> Give me a break, BILL! Didn't the Roman soldiers gamble over our Lord's garments as He hung there on the cross for our sins? Don't people have their lives destroyed by gambling addictions?<<<

So what if the soldier's cast lots over Jesus' garments? It was predicted, right? And of course you are right if gambling is taken to excess, just like many things. Any *addiction* is sinful.

CR> Know who throws their indisposable income to the state lotteries? The poor do so in false hopes of instant riches. There is going to be a hot place in hell for those who defraud the poor by cheating them out of their meager income.<<<<

We are all responsible for our OWN choices in life, and if we do it to ourselves, the sin is ours, and not some one elses. (Continued in next post)