Readers respond to Register articles.
Church in Lockdown
Relative to “Holy Week in Holy Land: Coronavirus Means No Pilgrims” (April 8, online at NCRegister.com):
To live and witness the moments we called “holy” in religion come and pass us by without our habitual gathering celebrations: The novel coronavirus has changed the world and still continues changing and having crucial impacts on our lives from all angles.
This is definitely the best time that Christians should develop strong relationships with God and with each other.
The societies may fall apart, and there will, evidently, be no pilgrimage, no religious celebrations or gathering, and how do we live Christian life and remain faithful to our God?
Here, we can see that our lives and our connections to Christ should be much stronger than our lives during holy moments and during gathering celebrations.
There is absolutely hope after the coronavirus pandemic, but at this time, the Church should deeply think of how to organize the Christian society and what should be the core principles to work on.
We have been facing unemployment, and the pandemic has made it worst due to lockdown. Only a few priests have performed [Mass] during Holy Week, and it is very sad.
The Church is in lockdown, in isolation and observing social distancing, and we feel for our priests who are alone, without our massive support.
We pray that the Church will be reunited and that our faith and communion would be much stronger wherever we find ourselves.
It is indeed very painful to have celebration without the faithful.
Patrice Assiongbon Sowanou
C/O MV Africa Mercy
Garden Valley, Texas
Relative to “Biden and the US Bishops” (page one, May 24 issue):
The political and religious relationship gets complicated when they intersect. I am a Biden supporter and a sinner.
Right off the top, abortion is murder and disqualifies a supporter for the Eucharist.
I do not believe it disqualifies one for office, especially when one could disqualify every candidate.
Abortion is not the only sin of murder, and there is no right form of murder.
As I approach the ballot, politicizing abortion is filled with insincere motives, not honest intention. I am for Biden to be president of the United States because he builds bridges, not walls.
He will feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, comfort the ill, and visit the prisoner.
The current president has in every situation neglected his obligations. He shows no respect for life, despite his words.
Yes, the bishops have a responsibility to speak out, and they speak with authority. They are conflicted, as everyone is. I believe they pursue honest reflection and prayer.
Whether it is caging kids in family separation, military weapons on our streets, or dishonest pandemic response, untold numbers have been murdered, no less consequential than abortion. With Biden we have a chance to address underlying causes that lead women to their desperate decision to take their babies’ lives.
Speak for the sheep on the right, not the goat in the dark, or stand silent. A sinful priest does not negate the Mass.
Essay of Contradictions
I just came across “Atheist Inventions of Many Bogus ‘Bible Contradictions’” (Sept. 4, 2018, NCRegister.com) by Dave Armstrong.
It is an interesting article, in that it claims that “atheists” make unsubstantiated claims about the Bible contradicting itself, yet the article doesn’t list a single one of these unsubstantiated contradictions.
Instead, it goes into a ridiculous story about some people going to a Dairy Queen, trying to suggest that this represents the type of arguments that “atheists” use, without giving any example of an “atheist” argument that follows that same reasoning.
In fact, Mr. Armstrong is correct; many Bible critics (“atheists” or otherwise) will use some pretty ridiculous arguments (such as saying that the Bible says Jonah was swallowed by a whale in one place and by a fish in another). I’m surprised that he didn’t choose to list any.
But the fact that some people get carried away and make false claims doesn’t invalidate the claims that are correct.
And the fact is that there are a large number of clear contradictions in the so-called “inerrant word of god.”
I have screened out those bogus claims that some critics make and have published my own book (yes, another of those lists that Mr. Armstrong decries) of contradictions that I and others have found in the Bible that are clearly contradictions.
Would Mr. Armstrong or any of you like to challenge any of the over 400 contradictions that I list in one of the chapters of my book, Unholy Bible?
Dave Armstrong responds: I thank Mr. Ricker for his feedback.
I always appreciate the opportunity to clarify my meaning and intent.
I was specifically going after “bogus contradictions” — that is, alleged logical contradictions that actually aren’t so, by the laws of contradiction in the field of logic.
The Dairy Queen story was, precisely, an analogical example of how atheists and others who don’t properly think through the nature of a logical contradiction make false claims, when, in fact, there is no contradiction present at all. Mr. Ricker may think that is “ridiculous.”
But I think it’s necessary in order to illustrate the common errors in identifying the presence of “contradictions.”
The overall gist of my article was to explain the nature of a logical contradiction, as opposed to refuting atheists’ particular proposed examples of same in the Bible.
Sure, it would have been nice to include some actual “atheist versus the Bible” examples, but there simply wasn’t space to do so after I made what was my primary point in the article.
I do, in fact, have well over 100 articles on my blog that do exactly what Mr. Ricker challenges me to do and suggests — they analyze and refute several actual examples of claimed “contradictions” from atheists (and from several of the most prominent and influential ones online, at that). I will also be directly interacting with Mr. Ricker’s arguments on my blog (and am more than happy to do so).
But this wasn’t my purpose in this particular article, as explained.