Monday, August 06, 2012

Much Ado About Religion

Lawrence Marin takes a little time and space this morning to rebut the theocons who were outraged when he asked whether the prime minister's religious faith influences his policies -- or lack of them. Martin was answering people like Michael Coren, who called Martin a "twit" for suggesting that some Catholics rejected the doctrine of transubstantiation. Coren was apoplectic:

If you don’t believe in transubstantiation, you’re not a Catholic; if you do, you are. You can believe in almost all of the other teachings of the church, but if you deny the wafer becomes the body of Christ, you are not a serious Catholic.

Shades of Dean Del Mastro questioning Justin Trudeau's Catholic credentials. But to his credit, Martin offers some personal testimony:

I was raised as a Catholic in a strict Catholic environment. I am still – they haven’t excommunicated me yet – a Catholic. I go to church occasionally. But I don’t believe in transubstantiation. In fact, most Catholics who I know do not believe in it.

 I'm sure that there will now be calls for Martin's excommunication. But, as I recall, Jesus Christ faced the same calls. And the solution the authorities sanctioned was quite brutal. One hopes we are now beyond that.

But, then and now, there has always been much ado about religion.


Anonymous said...

So then let me get this straight, the wafer literally becomes the body of Christ and the wine the priest drinks is literally Christ's blood?

Well I got it then, my momma did not raise any stupid children, Catholics are cannibals and their priests are cannibals who also drink blood;)

Anonymous said...

transubstantiation = the wafer literally becomes the body of Christ and the wine they drink is literally Christ's blood = zombie vampires

Owen Gray said...

It seems to me that we're getting a little far afield. The subject of Martin's column was the prime minister's faith -- and whether it influenced public policy.

People have debated transubtantiation for a long time. I acknowledge the controversy that surrounds the doctrine. But, to my knowledge, that doctrine has not been enshrined in public policy.

It seems to me that -- given the Conservative attitude toward science, Statistics Canada, and the environment -- we should debate the doctrines Mr. Harper claims to hold dear.

Owen Gray said...

That's been the criticism for centuries, Mogs. Actually it goes back to the Jewish tradition of sacrificing an animal, where the flesh of a goat or a lamb was consumed.

It was an improvement on human sacrifice, where human beings were sacrificed to the gods. Animal sacrifice enters with the story of Abraham and Issac. Abraham, on God's insistence, replaces Issac with a goat.

Transubtantiation takes that one step further -- where Christ becomes the "sacrificial lamb." Some people think that's mumbo jumbo. Some think it's a miracle.

Anonymous said...

I doubt many Catholics would pass Coren's membership test(s).

Owen Gray said...

Coren seems to have appointed himself as a judge of the valid and the invalid, Anon.

As a man of letters, he might remember John Milton's observation: "They also serve who only stand and wait."