Twas a Dark and Stormy Cthulhu

Saturday, October 31, AD 2015

Something for a Halloween weekend. Hey there Cthulhu.  A minor vice of mine is a love for old pulp science fiction and fantasy.  One of the authors I treasure is H.P. Lovecraft, best known for his cycle of horror science fiction\fantasy stories centering around the Old Ones, evil supernatural entities that lurk in dark dimensions, waiting to unleash unspeakable horror on unsuspecting humanity.  The best known of these demonic creatures is Cthulhu.  I have always found these stories gut-bustingly funny due to the fact that Lovecraft, in these stories, has to be the worst writer of fiction, at least fiction that does not contain phrases like “Love’s Savage Unending Fury”, “The Davinci Code”, “Based On A True Story”, and “Stephen King”, since Bulwer-Lytton shuffled off to the world beyond.  Some things are so spectactularly bad that I find myself liking them due to how hair-raisingly inept they are.

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13 Responses to Twas a Dark and Stormy Cthulhu

  • Derleth? Derleth can’t hold a foetid tallow taper to Lovecraft. Derleth’s work always sounds like an imitation of HPL, his writing some how neater, tidier, lighter. Lovecraft’s work is thick, dark, dripping like the beings it described. His writing oozes over you, every sentence another heavy step, every phrase rumbled up through catarrh-wracked lungs, every paragraph bespeckled in fungus. So what that there’s no characterization, that character growth is measured in leaden paces toward the mad-house, that plotting is a thing he tried and cast aside. To read Lovecraft is to spend time in a world where it’s always an overcast day in early autumn, where healthy growth is a concept never seen in man, beast or plant, and where the only reason you have kept your sanity till now is that They haven’t taken notice of you. Good stuff! 😉

  • Don, have you ever seen the two movies made by the HPLS of “Call” and “Whisperer In The Darkness”? Both should be available though Netflix, and here creepyclassics.com

  • I wouldn’t say that Lovecraft is a bad writer, only that he wrote one story over and over. Some writers are all about dialogue, or characters; some write for the perfect kiss or the moment that the hero says “I love you”. Lovecraft writes for the moment when the lead character’s sanity is crushed by the unutterable. Everything else in his stories is in service to that moment. I think he does a great job of it most of the time, but after a while it loses all its impact, because you should never be able to expect the incomprehensible.

    He’s also the most racist writer I’ve ever read. I know, these days it’s stylish to accuse dead white male writers of racism, but wow, he was racist. Everything good and wholesome is embodied by New England whites, and evil creeps forward from places occupied by minorities with unappealing faces (usually sailors). You start to realize that the realm of humanity is whiteness, and the scary unfathomable is any other culture.

  • “character growth is measured in leaden paces toward the mad-house”

    Nice.

  • “A writer who is a poor writer is a waste of time to read, right?”

    Not necessarily. It depends on how one defines “poor writing”. If it means “not High Literary Art worthy of the Nobel Prize for Literature and not likely to be included in future English Lit classes,” then about 99.99% of the fiction currently in print fits that description — including numerous books that we have probably enjoyed reading and maybe even learned something from.

    If it means “written in such an obtuse or muddled fashion that it becomes more of a burden than a pleasure to read,” then it is IMO a waste of time — and there are a number of works hailed as “classics” and even taught in English Lit classes (e.g. James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake”) that fit this description. And actually, even this type of bad writing can serve a useful purpose if it inspires one to say “Heck, I could do better than that” and start cultivating one’s own literary talent.

  • Lovecraft was the first of many authors in this vein for me. When I got my Kindle, I began downloading a bunch of authors of early “weird” and “horror,” such as:

    1. Algernon Blackwood
    2. Arthur Machen
    3. M.R. James
    4. Robert Hugh Benson
    5. Bram Stoker
    6. H.R. Haggard
    7. William Hope Hodgson
    8. Clark Ashton Smith

  • “but wow, he was racist”

    Pretty much. For most of his life Lovecraft adopted the pose of an upper crust Tory who thought this country went to Hell in 1776. Then FDR was elected and he flip-flopped to become a socialist which I guess fitted in at least with his life long atheism.

    “As for the Republicans—–how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.”

  • “Don, have you ever seen the two movies made by the HPLS of “Call” and “Whisperer In The Darkness”? Both should be available though Netflix, and here creepyclassics.com”

    Not yet.

  • “When I got my Kindle, I began downloading a bunch of authors of early “weird” and “horror,” such as:”

    It’s an interesting genre Jonathan, chock full of striking personalities. Their lives are often as interesting as their writings.

  • “Heck, I could do better than that”

    Which is precisely how James Fenimore Cooper got into writing after his wife challenged him to make good on his claim that he could write a better novel than the one they had been reading.

  • I actually wrote an artcle (see blog search function) about how the immediate and maddening terror of Cthulhu was a superior reaction to the deity than the careless service and banal hymns we give to the Holy Trinity. At least that’s how I remember it.

  • We also had many memorable role playing games of Call of Cthulhu. Elder Sign may be the best Cthulhu games: not too hard, or long, but lots of meaningful choices and flavor. It’s even available as an iPad game. Good group game in the boxed version. Fantasy Flight, I think.

  • He wasn’t much of a writer, but he was GREAT at painting with words. I read the bit that you quoted and I can see it. (I don’t like horror, but I can see it, and it inspires the desired reaction.)

3 Responses to I Don’t Normally Watch Television, But When I Do, I Prefer. . .

Not Just One Reason

Friday, November 4, AD 2011

Growing up, my family had a lot of odd conversations, especially on the rare occasions we watched TV. One of these led to my mom pointing out that a lot of the “strange” things that the Bible told the Jews to do were not just for religious reasons (I think it came out of a TV character using ‘religious’ as a synonym for ‘serves no practical purpose’)—they made very good practical sense, too. Simplest example, pork is horrifically dangerous if you don’t have a fridge and don’t know about invisible dangers.

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2 Responses to Not Just One Reason

  • Good reflection there Foxfier. God isn’t stupid, and I don’t think there is any genuine religious tradition that is simply arbitrary or exists for no reason — they all have some logic to them.

    The “practicality” of the Mosaic Law can be glimpsed in other aspects. For example, the 40 days of ritual uncleanness, followed by purification, that women underwent after giving birth correspond almost exactly to the standard 6 week recovery period after childbirth today. Being “unclean”, though it sounds bad, meant women were excused from most of their ordinary household duties like cooking and cleaning (since anything they touched became unclean) and it also allowed them time to bond with their babies.

    Also, the Law of Niddah, which prohibited sexual contact (or any contact at all) between a woman and her husband during her menstrual period and for 7 days afterward, meant that the period of abstinence would usually end right around the time the wife was most fertile — sort of a reverse rhythm method.

    Then there are the economic laws like the “sabbatical” year every 7 years when the land was allowed to “rest” (to prevent exhaustion of the soil) and the “jubilee” year every 50 years when debts were canceled, slaves freed, and lands that had been sold to pay debts were returned to the original owners. Whether this was ever actually carried out exactly as prescribed in Scripture is a bit doubtful, but it did seem to have some logic to it… it would allow everyone an economic “do over” at least once in their lifetimes and prevent the rich from perpetually getting richer while the poor sink into a permanent underclass.

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Cross & Eagle Award for Most Improved Blog

Tuesday, August 23, AD 2011

The Cross & Eagle Awards (C&EA) will be recognizing another legend and this particular blogger is in the field of apologetics.

This defensor fidei travels the country evangelizing both Catholics and non-Catholics alike, educating in the Catholic faith, and defending the eternal Truths.

In my estimation, he probably created his blog with minimal thought, not knowing what a tremendous tool it could be to evangelize.

Imagine not having to travel to another parish hall or hotel to do another presentation in person.  Not that he has stopped doing this, it’s that he can now reach a wider audience.

Unfortunately his blog wasn’t one of the best out there.

This all changed recently.

He changed the layout, improved the graphics by leaps and bounds, and made it much more interactive.  Yes, he improved the look of his blog overall.

Who is this mustachioed Catholic?

I am happy to present the 2011 Cross & Eagle Award for the Most Improved Blog in the Catholic Blogosphere to. . .

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2 Responses to Cross & Eagle Award for Most Improved Blog

Cross & Eagle Award for Most Prolific Blogger

Monday, August 22, AD 2011

The Cross & Eagle Awards (C&EA) will be honoring a true legend in Catholic Blogosphere history.

To qualify even for consideration you need not only be talented in writing and knowledgeable about our Catholic faith, you need to write often.  That is the kicker.

Many a Catholic blogger has stopped blogging due to an increase in the family unit, new job, blogging fatigue, carpal tunnel affliction, and even death.  And that’s just a short list.

This particular blogger didn’t allow a growing family nor inclement weather stop him.  Not even a beard that has gotten out of control has slowed down this convert.

Being a warrior for Christ, he is horizontally integrated in various forms of media battling heresy and anti-Catholicism in it’s many forms as well as educating the faithful and non-Catholic in our rich and long Catholic Tradition.

Even when his template was no longer supported or his antiquated version of blogger, he stayed the course, WordPress be damned!

Don’t know who this character of the Wild, Wild Web is?

Here is only a sample of the many publications he writes for online:

Crisis Magazine, National Catholic Register, Catholic Exchange, Inside Catholic, and a whole lot more.

I am happy to present the 2011 Cross & Eagle Award for the Most Prolific Blogger in the Catholic Blogosphere to. . .

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5 Responses to Cross & Eagle Award for Most Prolific Blogger

Cross & Eagle Award for Most Catholic Non-Catholic Blog

Sunday, August 21, AD 2011

The continuing Cross & Eagle Awards (C&EA) is breaking new ground by honoring a non-Catholic blog today.

No, no, no, I will no longer entertain any submissions for the National Catholic ReporterThe Tablet, U.S. Catholic,  or America Magazine for this award.  This is a serious category and I will not tolerate such ornery suggestions.

Where were we, ah yes. . . there are a few notable exceptions to our separated brothers and sisters in Christ in the Protestant Blogosphere.

VirtueOnline, Mere Comments, and yes Get Religion come to mind.

But the winner of this rapidly-becoming prestigious award does more than be almost Catholic, he actually defends Catholic Church teaching when under assault from the world.  That cannot be said for some aforementioned “Catholic” blogs.

As much as this particular blogger reads like a solid orthodox Catholic blog, he is resistant to put his swim-trunks on to jump the Tiber.  Yet he is able to show to the world, more so than his state’s motto, that timeless Truths always lead back to the Church that Jesus established with Saint Peter as its Rock.

His wit is quick and his humor dry and to the point, he certainly reflects his proud patrimony he inherited from Canterbury.

I am happy to present the 2011 Cross & Eagle Award for the Most Catholic Non-Catholic Blog in the Catholic Blogosphere to. . .

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8 Responses to Cross & Eagle Award for Most Catholic Non-Catholic Blog

Non-Human People

Thursday, August 18, AD 2011

(First time posting, so hopefully I don’t mess up the formatting too much; that would be a bit much after folks were kind enough to invite me to post!)

Time for a bit of Catholic applied to geekery! (Not to be confused with straight up Catholic Geekery, which is more the Holy Father’s area– does anyone doubt that he dearly loves thinking about, playing with and elaborating on Catholic theology? You just don’t end up writing THREE books on the life of Jesus without the love, intellectual interest and deep enjoyment of a geek for his geekdom.)

There’s something about Catholics and blogs that always ends up going into the old question of what makes a man– or, more correctly, a person. “Man” in this context would be a human, and there are several examples of people that aren’t humans– like most of the Trinity. Sadly, the topic usually comes up in terms of abortion; even the utterly simple-science-based reasoning that all humans are human and should be treated thus will bring out the attacks. (Amusingly, the line of attack is usually that someone is trying to force their religious beliefs on others, rather than an attempt to explain why a demonstrably human life is objectively different from, say, an adult human. The “bioethicist” Singer is famous for being open about valuing life in a utilitarian manner, but there aren’t many who will support that angle.[thank God])

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164 Responses to Non-Human People

  • Fascinating. If there are other sentient races in the universe then there arises the question as to whether God would provide ways for them to attain salvation other than through Christ. CS Lewis was intrigued by this question as demonstrated by his Out of the Silent Planet trilogy and the Narnia books.

  • When I think of what differentiates us as humans, Donald, I think of how we are spiritual beings. We yearn for God (whether we know it or not). And we of course look over the horizon to find something that will fill that gap. So we’re spiritual. As Augustine said, Thou hast made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless til they find their rest in Thee. We are at the center, too. There is a great chain even while Sir Lovejoy charted its intellectual demise. Regardless of our physical location in the universe, our spiritual plight places us right at the center. As far as we can tell, we alone are consciously troubled and preoccupied more than any other creature. We know of no others comparable to us.

  • “We know of no others comparable to us.”

    Yet.

  • Whether God created other beings than those mentioned in Scripture cannot now be known. Depsite what scientists have said, we live in a human-centered, geocentric universe till this day.

    C. S. Lewis was a fascinating, imaginative man, of course. His works are all classics. I appreciated The Abolition of Man. When we divorce our concept of man from the Christian worldview, we get a distortion. Our understanding is still dependent on the Christian worldview (to some extent). We’re at a transition, surviving on borrowed capital. But there are those who argue for a different view, and that other viewpoint is gaining in acceptance. So we have our feet in both worlds. Are we beings of worth and responsiblity? Or are we animals of instinct determined by forces?

    So what separates us? I don’t think it’s reason. I think it’s spirituality. We are accountable to God. He made us as priests over creation, to offer up sacrifices pleasing to Him. We failed in that assignment. So He initiated a rescue mission to restore us to that role. Once again we can be “priests of God and of Christ,” and we can reign with him (have dominion over creation). It’s the marriage of heaven and earth, where God, the temple, comes down to the garden never again to depart.

  • Priests and kings. We were created as priests and kings. To that we are restored if we are in Christ. This priestly and kingly role to which we’re assigned, then, is what differentiates us from all other created beings that are known.

    To possess dominion over creation, offering it back up to God, is the essence of the human being, I believe, when restored to God’s image. After all, who is God in whose image we were made?

  • Pat-
    I would agree “we” (culturally) are living on borrowed worldview– one of the things that this kind of discussion does is get people to realize how many of the things they assumed were just universal human views are Christian, and not shared by other cultures. (This is a major, major issue in dealing with time off the ship in the Navy–utterly ignoring the applications in terrorism!)

    I think the difference you draw between reason and spirituality might be an artifact of definition. Short version: you can’t be spiritual if you can’t choose.

    St. Augustine got it right in general, although I don’t think his biological detail is required:
    But whoever is anywhere born a man, that is, a rational, mortal animal, no matter what unusual appearance he presents in color, movement, sound, nor how peculiar he is in some power, part, or quality of his nature, no Christian can doubt that he springs from that one protoplast. We can distinguish the common human nature from that which is peculiar, and therefore wonderful.

  • Well, Foxfier: People have long distinguished us on the basis of reason. But do not animals reason? I have before me a dog that reasons. She’s not apparently spiritual, though. So I guess that’s the sense in which I meant to get that difference across. (Also, people vary in mental capability and sometimes profoundly so). I trace ‘the reason thing’ to the Greeks, Aquinas, Western phil., Victorian sensibility. I don’t think of it as a purely Christian notion. We’re spiritual beings, I know. I don’t know that reason really separates us from other seen beings. First of all I don’t know that we all reason. Secondly, I’m not sure all other seen beings don’t.

  • It’s that priestly and kingly role to which we were assigned that separates us from the rest of creation. We were to reign over it and offer it back up to God. We failed in that mission. He in His goodness, came down to us as high priest in Jesus Christ offering up a perfect sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. He thereby restored us to Himself. We are atoned for. We find in Christ our roles re-established. Priests of God and of Christ who reign with Him. There’s a polis in a garden that God has sanctified. He’s Immanuel forevermore.

    The human being is made in God’s image, fallen in Adam, and then redeemed and restored in Christ. Made by a triune God, we find our fulfillment in Him and in His community, the New People. The world is very old and is passing away.

  • You know I’ve been tempted to use reason and/or morality to separate us from other beings. It just doesn’t make any sense. Unless you’re living in one of the better parts of Victorian London. No. People are different from animals because they are spiritual beings, made in God’s image, and fallen from thence, though redeemable in Christ. This is our essence.

  • But do not animals reason?

    In this meaning of reason, no, they don’t reason, are not rational beings. Mental capacity of an individual is likewise not involved– we’re talking classes, groups, not individuals. I don’t remove your soul if I do so much brain damage that you’re unable to express the rationality of said soul.

    I’m not sure how you figure your dog reasons, since you don’t explain it, nor how you’d be able to tell if she felt a yearning for something greater than herself– after all, dogs do tend to desire a pack.

    You might want to go read Jimmy’s post that I linked.

    It’s that priestly and kingly role to which we were assigned that separates us from the rest of creation.

    Problem being, who is “we”? Rather the whole point of the exercise….

  • No idea what you’re getting at by the frequent references to Victorian London, either.

  • Well I think we are that: beings made in God’s image, fallen, and redeemable. Priests before and after. Lords before and after. We are spiritual. In Christ our identity is reclaimed. We find our place again in God’s creation: kings and priests. Does God need us? Of course not. But this is what he created us for. He loves us and engages us in his creative work.

  • In the Western world beginning wiht the Greeks, we at the height of culture/ civilizaTION HAVE thought of ourselves as rational beings. I think it’s old.

  • YOu see, the problem is that we’re not rational. We’ve found that out. We just have to accept it.

  • When we think of human beings, we must think not only of what we were, but of what we are and what we will be (assuming we are Christians). Our essence is this: Made in God’s image, fallen, and redeemed in Christ. This is what separates us from vegetation, animals, angels, etc. I do not mean to say creation in general is not redeemed. I believe very strongly that it is. I simply mean to point out our difference. Our essence. We are spiritual, with souls as well as breath, accountable spiritually since we were made in God’s image, since we failed his assignment, since we find redemption in Him through Christ, and restoration.

  • Well I think we are that: beings made in God’s image, fallen, and redeemable.

    Who is included in “beings made in God’s image”? That is the point of this post.

    Obviously it includes male, female, a huge range of hair, skin and eye colors, a huge range of body types, a huge range of mental abilities… we often use the short-hand of human, or homo sapiens; as we learn more about homo neanderthalensis, that becomes less reasonable.
    Like St Augustine reasoned, if “monstrous” births are still people, would it not be possible for there to be “monstrous races”?

    YOu see, the problem is that we’re not rational. We’ve found that out. We just have to accept it.

    That people don’t use the ability doesn’t mean that we don’t have it. It would take a lot of proof to “show” that your dog is rational, but humans aren’t!

  • Hmnn, I think you might be looking at it a bit too literally or precisely. Whether one is profoundly retarded or genius level is irrelevant. God made human beings in His image. We failed in that. But we have souls as well as ‘breath’ or life. We are spiritual. We were and could once again be priests and lords within the context of this creation. Whatever else is going on way out there is another topic, really. As for prodigies, unusual differences, etc., we still know they are human if they are. Otherwise it’s an animal. Darwinism and evolutionary thought has us confused on this. Secular scientists would like to blur the boundary between animals and humans by focusing on ‘deep time’ and theorizing.

  • Reason became a distinction, and perhaps the one distinction of the human being because of the Greek inheritance. Acquinas was reason-oriented within the western heritage. But the Bible’s dinstinguishing mark for the human is what? The soul, created in God’s image, fallen, redeemable in Christ, priests and kings. This is the pattern. It’s our essence. I was made by God, in God’s image, for Godself, and can be restored to that image in Christ the Redeemer. This is what’s central about the human.

  • Yes, that’s it. Animals have breath. Life is there….there’s blood. Human beings have souls too, however. We were made in God’s image. We were meant to be that. We can be that again. That’s the marker.

  • I think you’re bypassing the point entirely, Pat– who is “we”? Who has souls?

    To our knowledge, people/men/humans have souls, animals do not, but that makes for a circular definition– or for abject horror, when you consider that it’s pretty standard for a culture’s word for their own group to translate as “people,” “mankind” or “humans.” Just as with “rational,” the meaning of a word in context is very important.

    A person is one with a soul; how do we figure out if someone who is outside of our previous experience is a person or not? Appearance won’t work, obviously, and we are not God so we do not see their souls. Obviously, we have to assume that those who seem to have a soul do in fact have one– but what are the markings of having a soul?

    Can you argue against Augustine’s ‘rational, mortal animal’ definition? Actually argue, not assert?

  • correction:
    To our knowledge, people/men/humans have rational/spiritualsouls, animals do not

  • All made more complicated because “soul” refers to several different things– life, including that of animals; essence of something; the part of a human that is eternal….

  • Too much classification….why order it like that? Not necessary for our conception. No little green man will come by to confuse us. It’s just us. If it looks like a human, walks like a human, and talks like one, it’s a human. That includes the Elephant Man, the circus workers, those referenced by Augustine in the City of God, and anyone else who’s uniquely interesting and remarkably different. They’re all human. The trinity teaches us that there is diversity in unity, vice versa. The Fall teaches us that we’re not as we should be. Yes there’s variety. But I know a human when I see one. And I’ll bet the farm that they possess breath and a soul, and the same origin and destiny too, if in Christ.

  • No. The soul is not eternal. That’s a Greek error. Christ alone has immortality. That’s where the Christian gets it. Soul and body resurrect. We’re not eternal. No portion is. But the soul gains immortality in Christ. The body is resurrected in Him.

  • Our first parents were made in God’s image. The animals were not. Plants were not. The earth was not. Neither was the sky. We alone were made in His image. We fell. We’re restored if in Christ. That image manifests in the priestly and kingly role. Exercise dominion. Offer up creation. And St. John said, they came to life and reigned with Christ. Kings and priests.

  • Too much classification….why order it like that?

    Because meaning is important. You can’t say that only humans have souls, because everyone who has a soul is a human. That’s circular.

    We can’t say it’s obvious who is human and who is not, because it’s sadly not obvious– a quick glance at history will show that, and a moment’s thought on the current pro-life issues of abortion, eugenics and euthanasia show it’s ongoing. People are very, very good at making themselves believe things that suit them. God made this world in a manner that we can learn about systematically– why would he have not done the same when it comes to who is a person?

    If it looks like a human, walks like a human, and talks like one, it’s a human.

    And what constitutes “like a human”? From your prior statements, you mean “being made in God’s image”– which we cannot define by the standard use of “human,” which is a biological term.

    That question is the entire point of this post.

  • No. The soul is not eternal. That’s a Greek error.

    From Catholic Answers:
    The glossary at the back of the U.S. version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines “soul” as follows:
    The spiritual principle of human beings. The soul is the subject of human consciousness and freedom; soul and body together form one unique human nature. Each human soul is individual and immortal, immediately created by God. The soul does not die with the body, from which it is separated by death, and with which it will be reunited in the final resurrection.

  • Humans give birth to humans. Animals give birth to animals. Both have life. But the human was initially created in God’s image. We are now fallen, but redeemable. What’s the question? I think you’re trying to argue with secular ethicists and pragmatic people who represent what the late John Paul II termed a culture of death. I understand that if you are. But these people make distinctions the Bible does not. We shouldn’t. We know life. We continue to know life. Not everything can be proven. God only holds us responsible, in those casses, for maintaining faith and conviction and obedience to truth. If they press us, we may not be able to answer. They want to know what is special about a fetus. I don’t know exactly. It’s a human. God knits us together in the womb. They won’t believe that, though. And there’s no strict definition of the kind for which you’re searching. If they don’t have faith, it won’t be life to them. But we know it is, and will continue to say so.

  • Christ, who alone has immortality, be glory forever. Forgot which epistle. But we are ‘clothed’ with that immortality. It’s not ours. We ‘died’ because of sin, the fall…the soul would live on in death or die forever, however you wish to say it. But that’s not the same as “being eternal by nature.” The Greeks thought we were. Plato thought that. Some of it’s semantic. But those not saved in Christ are not immortal. They don’t live forever. They die forever. Christ is the Life.

  • Pat, where does the Bible define made in God’s image?

    Where does it define soul?

    Where does it define human?

    It’s obvious that people– from the embryonic through the senile, sound of mind and body or not, in all our wide range of characteristics– are different than animals because we’re made in God’s image. The question remains: who is “we”?

  • Why is that a question? I’ve never been confused over whether a created being was a human or an animal. I’ve always distinguished the two. I’ve never yet seen a demon or an angel. No aliens either. “We” are those two-legged creatures that walk upright, etc., though we sometimes are born with issues. “We” may be Siamese, etc. Humans though. ANd we all know them. What’s the question? You want a definition? Don’t tell me you dont’ knwo one when you see one. I can’t kkeep from laughing. I jsut don’t udnerstand where you’re coming from, Foxfier.

  • The Genesis myth tells us about our first parents, who they were, what happened. Who we are now. Who we can be in Christ. The new creation. Humans are at the center because made in His image and capableof being restored to that. It’s the focal point. Well, God is really, but then we in Him and He in us forever. That’s at the center of the story.

  • I jsut don’t udnerstand where you’re coming from, Foxfier.

    I noticed.

    Why is that a question?

    Because you claimed that the Bible has said the soul is the “dinstinguishing mark for the human.”

    You claimed that I’m making distinctions where the Bible did not– you still haven’t supported that claim.

    I’ve never been confused over whether a created being was a human or an animal. I’ve always distinguished the two.

    So? I’ve never had to splint a broken arm– doesn’t mean that the information isn’t important, or will never be used.
    As I pointed out, there are several times where people mistakenly classified other people as non-persons; more amusing are the times when people mistakenly classified non-persons as people. (Was it Mark Twain that wrote about a town mistaking an ape for a Frenchman?)

  • Admittedly, apart from the Biblical story, there is no way to define and separate people fromm the rest of creation. Paganism blurs the distinction. IT’s through the light of Scripoture that we learn of who we are. Our identiy is derived from our Creator who communicates revelation. Otherwise we wouldn’t know. And people today don’t know. The Christian identity of the person is wearing off. You can’t fix a defintion of the human for the non-Christian. It won’t work. It’s through Scritprue that we find out who we are. The Greeks tried and all they came up with was reason. No good. Priests and kings. Not simply reason. If only reason, why preserve a human?

  • Humans are at the center because made in His image and capableof being restored to that.

    To repeat myself a final time tonight:
    you can’t define “human” as “those made in God’s image,” then say that those who are made in God’s image are human.

    Bring in actual quotes, with citations. Make an argument for what you’re saying, rather than just claiming it.

  • You’re getting really incoherent, Pat.

  • You wihs to go with Etienne Gilson’s choice? Do you wish to have a universal sense of the human, that can prove to everyone, that can force everyone to believe it and be OK with it rationally? Then it would be watered-down. It would not be the udnerstanding given by Scripture, the identity we have within the narrative of God. It would be something far less, something paltry.

  • Well how coherent do you suppose you can become on something like this? It’s not that kind of a thing. Either you’re human or an animal in our visible realm here. I do not have to create new definitions because someone feels like they might face an alien soon. It’s simply either an animal OR a human. If you approach it, talk to it, and stay with it for about five minutes, you ought to know which classification it falls within. If it has two heads and two permanently separate personalities and identities, it’s two humans joined from birth. Two souls, not one. Otherwise, one soul per human. And that’s about it.

  • You see, it’s through God’s story that we learn who we are, why wer’re here, where we could go, etc. Apart from faith there is no correct definition of the human. God alone gives it. If you are willing to accept it then that’s what it is. If not, you live in ignorance as pagans always have. It’s nothing complicated. Very simple. No God, no man; Lewis wrote “THe Aboliton of Man.” That’s what he meant.

    If ever there’s confusion as to whether a creature is human or animal, I’d like to know why. I’ve never heard of someone being confused in our time.

  • God’s story is our story too. It’s our meaning, our identity. We are told everything that way. It IS circular. That’s why it’s faith. If it were otherwise, it would be human philosophy. What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? Jerusalem saved Athens, and so we continue to think as it did.

  • I always thought of people as possessing dignity. Then I read of a minister who visited the dying. He said that dying is the most undignified thing. He’s right. I feel we should be thankful that God made us for himself. Life is a gift. It’s precious. We’re responsible for how we live it. We need to be good stewards of all that God gave us. To live again is possible. But it happens in Christ alone. This is being human.

    I experience no despair over my lack of a scientific definition. Humanity cannot be defined philophically or scientifically. And that’s OK, since we gain our understanding from Scriptural revelation.

  • pat,
    It is basic Catholic teaching that we gain our understanding of God and His Creation not only through Scripture, but through reason as well. I don’t know you and perhaps you are a sola scriptura Protestant, and this thread is not intended to debate that point. I only point out that the notion that humanity cannot be defined philosophically or scientifically, but only by reference to Scripture alone is a singularly unCatholic point of view.

  • It would not be the udnerstanding given by Scripture, the identity we have within the narrative of God.

    What is this understanding? Lay it out.

    And that’s OK, since we gain our understanding from Scriptural revelation.

    If it’s in the scriptures, it can be cited. Go for it. Jesus Himself, if he said “is it not written,” would then give the actual quote.

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  • In Genesis, it says that God created our first parents in His image. Let us make man in our image, after ouor likeness. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. That’s the actual quote. This is NOT true of animals or the rest of the visible creation.

    The understanding is arrived at through progressive revelation. As the story unfolds, we learn of who we are: where we came from, where we’re at, and where we can go. It’s not fixed. It depends on who and where you are within the story. That’s our identity. It’s what it means to be a human being. But it cannot be abstracted to be a precise, universal idea. That’s reason at it’s best and it still falls radically short of scriptural revelation. Don’t baptize it. Don’t synthesize them.

    You’re trying to arrive at a universal, modernist understanding of the human, analytically or philosophically abstracted from concrete time, space, and the story that changes as it unfolds and moves eschatologically, or teleologically, toward its fulfillment, the story that informs us and gives us our understanding. We cant do that.

    The Greeks abstracted from the concrete because they beleived in the heraclitean/parmenidean split, the platonic this world of change versus that world of static reality, etc. No, we see it eschatologically.

  • So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. That’s the actual quote. This is NOT true of animals or the rest of the visible creation.

    Now, where does it say what, exactly, His image is? Clearly it’s not too physical, since the difference between male and female in the human species is rather large. The wisest idea would be to read the original, or as detailed an explanation as possible of the known meaning of the original.

    Given that information, we could very easily come to the conclusion that being able to create things is what makes us “in God’s image.”

    But it cannot be abstracted to be a precise, universal idea.

    How do you come to that conclusion? Much like the other claims you make, you don’t support it– you just state it.

  • No….we’ve wound up talking past one another because we’re starting with different assumptions. I’m assuming that Scriptural revelation is what we are given, and that that’s meant to inform all that we think and find elsewhere. I don’t hold to two separate categories. There is faith and it seeks understanding. I don’t maintain that reason or tradition are separate or reconcilable compartments. Never thought that way.

    Citgations, quotes….what good would that do? You prooftext with one set of references. Somone else uses another set. Everyone has their own pattern. That still doesn’t answer the question. It simply reveals paradigms. It’s like the Methodist who finds all the proofs. They back it up. Then the Calvinist does it with their proofs. The Catholic wiuth theirs. The Mormons have their documents from which to prove their arguments, and they are coherent within their own system, more or less.

    I advocate a better way. Let’s transcend these systems and get back to the BIble. Not Sola Scriptura per se. But let’s go back to the narrative first and foremost. That’s our story. Let’s learn it and allow it to inform our thinking. That’s what I’ve tried to do. I’ve tried to get across the Bible’s sense of who we are in relation to the one who has made us. We are humans, and the story tells us what that means. We happen through the story. It’s eschatological, that is to say that we are ‘on the way.’ We are pilgrims if we are Christian. We’r’e in transition. If not, we’re part of an old world that’s passing away, and that means death. Definitions? Not really. But definiately a reality that is wondrously amazing!

  • Once again: priests to God and kings over creation. Sacrifices acceptable, our creative service. Worship. That’s the image reflected. It’s the life we’re called back to. He’s not jsut the Creatior. He’s the Redeemer too. We participate redemptively in his plan. Also, He’s triune. So we exist in community. All this is what’s meant by being in his image. If we are in Christ, we are alive again! We see signs of that now. It will come about fully when the Lord returns in glory.

    A scientific or philosophic definition of the person that I can insert in Merrium-Webster’s? I really and truly don’t think it’s possible. There are two kinds: the saved and the unsaved…two very different definitions, and within each there is the telos—they’re in flux. You can try….I used to attempt that sort of thing. I find at the end of it soemthign like this: You learned all this information and wonder to yourself what you know. Then you come to realize that what really matters is who you know. The path, the truth, and the life is a person, Jesus. Not some abstract set of propositions. Propositions exist. But Chrsitianty is life. Our faith is never in truth itself. It is in Truth itself. Do you get what I’m saying? It’s not in the written word, but in the Word. Christ was the Word who spoke. We beleive the One who spoke. We therefore speak.

  • No….we’ve wound up talking past one another because we’re starting with different assumptions.

    Yes.

    I assume that when you say “the Bible says X,” that you can actually show where it says ‘x’.

    You seem to assume that when you say “the Bible say X,” that is enough– because you think that’s what it means.

    Perhaps you should try to mimic Christ in how He taught– as I said before, when He said “is it not written,” he followed with what was actually written.

  • Christ spoke things without quoting too. BUt the fact is that we have a Bible and it presents a story. We have to let that story inform our life.

  • To learn of the human, we must read the WHOLE story. Where we came from, where we’re at, and our destinations. I cannot quote the whole bible. We have to read it from cover to cover. You would never do that with a movie or another book. SO why would you only take a part of the Bible? I don’t like that.

  • Christ spoke things without quoting too.

    When teaching things on His authority as the Son of God, not when trying to explain his position as a guy in a compbox….

    SO why would you only take a part of the Bible? I don’t like that.

    Jesus Himself quoted. Don’t like it, take it up with Him.

  • We know from the Bible that the human is created in God’s image, made to reflect him. We are fallen. But we can be redeemed and this is life. Not everyone is redeemed. So in this sense the definiton of what makes us human is being redeemed. To be human is to be all that God has called us to be and do. And what is that? What the Bible says. You know the quotes. I don’t have the time to offer them now. But we see throughout Scripture that we are called to service and worship.

  • I don’t have the time to offer them now.

    You’ve spent roughly three days failing to offer them, Pat; small wonder you have no time left!

    The one quote that I asked for and you partly offered was out of context and didn’t actually say what you implied it did. (1 Tim 6:16.)

    Still, you beg the question- who is “we”?

    So in this sense the definiton of what makes us human is being redeemed.

    This contradicts what you’ve said before– that being made in His image is what makes us both people and able to be redeemed.

  • Yes, three things. We were made in his image. We fell. We can be redeemed.
    Some are. Some aren’t. Where you are in that defines who you ar as a person.

  • We were made in his image. We fell. We can be redeemed.

    Good start! Mr. Wright’s post touched on these aspects, pointing to aliens that never fell as being something that would actually cause trouble with folks’ faith.

    So, “we” are those made in God’s image, who fell and can be redeemed; how do we identify those who fit that category? Objectively– as I pointed out, there are a lot of people right now who can’t recognize a baby as a person, just because of where they happen to be located. (Be it in the womb or inside of Israel’s borders.)

    Where you are in that defines who you ar as a person.

    Has nothing to do with the conversation.

  • Well, we have not yet seen aliens. To be honest, I don’t really believe we will. We’re the focus now. We’re accountalbe to God. We must deal with this fact. What God chooses to do elsewhere is His business. We musn’t evade our responsibility for service and worship, to come home and accept his embrace, to arrive spiritually with God.

    Yes, if we’re redeemed, then we are a new creation. Old things have passed. New things have come. Otherwise we are part of a world grown old and dying.

  • So there are two different kinds of peole. Those saved and those unsaved. Again, a precise definition for the ‘universal human’ will allude you.

  • The only alluding going on here is your alluding to there actually being something to back up your claims; somehow, the notion that you actually have to support your assertions eludes you…..

    You’re still saying “we.” Of course people are “we” in a religious context. How to go about figuring out who is “we” is the point of this post.

  • Yes, in Genesis we learn that God created various creatures. And human beings were initially made in his image. Having given us dominion, he launched us into that priestly and kingly endeavor. God knew what would happen. The plan was built in so we can find restoration as it unfolds. We can find redemption in Christ. So the image is restored, as well as our initial purpose. As Augustine said in The City of God, though, it’s on a higher level. There’s a garden, now a polis, and a temple—God is with us forever. New Jerusalem. It’s taken to a higher level.

    What distinguishes the human being? Made in his image, responsible to Him for what he requires. We fell. The law came. The kingdom has come; now grace. Human beings can respond to their Creator as he engages us in a relationship with Him. This is special. Nonhumans, i.e. animals, don’t share in it in this way. How do we knwo? Revelation. Without it we are unenlightened as the pagans. A rational way to affirm? I don’t think so. A scientific way? I don’t think so. We sort of had that but it wares off without revelation. Science and rationality turn unscientific and irrational as our hearts and minds are darkened once again. They still call it science and ratioanlity, but it’s not. Apart from Revelation we simply wouldn’t know what human means. We wouldn’t accept it.

    So abortion, euthenasia, suicide, etc. is wrong. He gives us life with his plan in view. If an animal is put down do to severe complications or rabies, it’s just not the same thing. The animal is not made in His image and designed for this plan I described. THAT IS WHAT DISTINGUISHES US FROM THE OTHER VISIBLE CREATURES OF GOD. Then there are angels elect and fallen. That’s a different matter. The Bible gives us a sense of what that’s about too, but it’s different. Another order. Other life? If so, a different order. So yes, there is a classification.

    So to define it would go something like this: Human beings are made in God’s image, responsible morally. Can’t meet the law’s requirements. We tried. We’re responsible for “going through the eye of the needle.” How do we do it? Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Grace. He sent Jesus Christ, the atoning sacrifice. The human is responsible to God’s law. The provision is in Christ alone. With God all things are possible: we go through the eye of the needle. Our humanity is restored. That’s really human. New people. New community. New creation.

  • To clarify the kingdom, Christ is King and we His subjects. He reclaimed the world, creation. (When the strong man is tied, his place is looted by one stronger.) The nations are no longer deceived. Now we can live and reign with Christ a thousand years. It was promised. So it is.

    When we acknowledge Christ as the Lord, the King, the Messiah, we yield our political allegience to Him. Our inclusion in His kingdom is marked by the acknowledgement that He is Lord to whom we bow. Ours is a polis…an outpost in the world as it passes. So we are the New People. Creation waits for us to find itself again.

  • Creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. Who are the sons of God? Those redeemed in Christ. Creation too, is liberated from its bondage to decay and set free in the glorious liberty of Christ. God’s re-creation of the New Day. Humanity restored in Him. To be human is to be created by God in his image to worship and serve Him. But we fell. How to we reclaim our humanity? In Christ there is a new creation. Old things have passed away and new things have come. So we can be human again. I think this is the best way to answer the question of what defines us. It’s our essence.

  • You still don’t get it, Pat.

    You jump from those made in His image to “human”– without either defining the word or giving a reason why.

    Also, I thought you were out of time? Where are the verses you owe me?

  • I’m assuming macro-evolution never took place.

  • Genesis Chap. 1 versus 26-28. That’s the part that explains that human beings were made in His image. Revelation Chap. 20 verses 1-6 describes the reinstatement of dominion, as these are “in Christ.” They reign with Him.

  • In his image, dominion over creation, creatively offering up sacrifices well-pleasing. Worship and service as kings and priests. This is not given to the animal kingdom. Extra-terrestrial life doesn’t figure into this. It’s our story for now, so it doesn’t include what God may be doing elsewhere.

  • So we find our understanding of the human in the unique way that the Creator has made us, and for the unique purpose to which we’re assigned. And that’s what I’ve been detailing throughout this thread.

    That identity was given at the start of creation in Genesis. It is reclaimed in Christ.

  • Gen 1:26-28
    l Then God said: Let us make* human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.
    27
    God created mankind in his image;
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female* he created them.
    28
    God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.* Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth.m

    (With many, many footnotes.)

    That does not say:
    So in this sense the definiton of what makes us human is being redeemed. To be human is to be all that God has called us to be and do. And what is that? What the Bible says.

    It’s only the same tiny snippet you’ve offered several times before, in various phrasings, still not defining who is human.

    How about we go back before you started just repeating yourself– how do you conclude that your dog both reasons and does not yearn for God? Evidence?

    Can you explain this phrase?
    You know I’ve been tempted to use reason and/or morality to separate us from other beings. It just doesn’t make any sense. Unless you’re living in one of the better parts of Victorian London.

    Justify this one?
    YOu see, the problem is that we’re not rational. We’ve found that out. We just have to accept it.

    Can you justify why we should abandon reason when all you can offer is

  • So we find our understanding of the human in the unique way that the Creator has made us, and for the unique purpose to which we’re assigned. And that’s what I’ve been detailing throughout this thread.

    No, it is not. You’ve been asserting various things, and failing to follow through the reasoning or offer justification for why you have reached various conclusions.

    You can not even explain the incredibly simple, basic question, the entire point of this post:
    why do you assume that ‘we’ consists of only those you have personally identified?
    You don’t even apply that consistently, since you’ve also said that only those who have been redeemed are truly people!

  • No, I do not beleive we have seen or will see extra-terretrial life. Humans are those who were created in God’s image, fallen and redeemable in Christ. Each human is somewhere within that story. Either we’re still fallen or we’ve been redeemed. Two entirely separate destinies, regardless of the same origin.

    What we were, what we are and what we will be are not necessarily the same. Once, again, it depends on where you are within the narrative.

  • You wish to abstact a definition so it will be static. That is not possible. You have to read the story to find out.

  • You wish to abstact a definition so it will be static. That is not possible. You have to read the story to find out.

    No.
    I “wish” support for the assertions you keep making, especially when you claim they are Biblical. Your track record on the Bible actually saying what you think it does really isn’t very good.

  • I don’t know what you’re referring to. In the scriptural narrative, human beings were created one way, fell to become something else, and are heading somewhere else if “in Christ.” I’m not sure how you would define that philosphically or scientifically. You have to read the story and find your place within it.

  • We need to understand that Scripture is a narrative. In any story things change. It’s in flux. We need to find out where we are in the story and decide what that means. What the implications are.

  • I don’t know what you’re referring to.

    That explains why you aren’t making any sense….

    By the way, you still haven’t supported your claim that your dog reasons, or any of the other claims you made that were actually related to the topic.

  • You want to know what makes a human and what differentiates them from other created beings. I told you: God made us in His image to reflect Him. We failed in that mission. He promised restoration in Christ. Some people claim that by being recipients of God’s grace. Others don’t.

    Animals stand outside that category. We have not seen, and I think we will not see extraterrestrial beings. So I’m content with the answer I gave. It’s biblically informed. It makes perfect sense. What part of it don’t you understand?

    On a broader level you can say that we are spiritual. This separates us. Not the ability to philosophize like the Greeks on a sunny day. No, but the fact that we were made for God in the unique way I described. As Augustine said, You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you. This makes us spiritual and that is what’s most profound about us. People have that need.

    From a non-Christian, Western vantage point, people often feel driven to say it is reason that separates us. But reason is merely a part of the ‘image.’ It fails, furthermore, to describe the person adequatly. It only mentions a facet, and does not get at our essence. Also, there are people who do not reason because of some predicament, e.g. severely low mental capacity. Animals can reason: they put two and two together to reach an end that that person I described would not. My dog sees someone and is hungry. She picks up her paper plate and growls as she moves toward you. Other animals are smarter yet.

    So you see it is not reason that separates us, but that we are spiritual beings, and in the way I described based on Genesis and the narrative’s development.

  • The quote from Augustine you gave earlier is not satisfactory. Mortal, rational? No, this is what I’ve been saying is not the case. Mortal, yes. Rational, no. Reason or rationality is a facet. That is not our essence, though. Our essence is that we’re spiritual, with souls, originally created in God’s image, fallen, and redeemable through Christ. This is what defines us if you look to the Scriptures. And any sense of the human that derives from elsewhere must be checked against that. I don’t even think the Greeks held reason or rationality to be central. Only aristocrats or freemen of their kind. They beleived that the rest of the world were Barbarians. And then there were slaves. No universality there. The universal notion came much later with Christianity. That’s because Christianity recognized a common descent for humanity and borrowed heavily from the Greeks for ideas. What the Greeks said was appropriated wrongly.

    It is true to say that reason or rationality is generally a facet of human beings. But it’s not the defining characteristic. It’s not our essence.

  • 1) You utterly miss what I “want.”
    2) You are still asserting, not arguing, supporting, giving any reason beyond “Because I’ve said so, several times.”

  • Foxfier, I’ve supplied an udnerstanding of the human in line with Scripture. It’s pretty scripturally-informed. I can’t see getting any more exact than that. I’ve supplied reasons and explanations. I even quoted Scripture. I’m not sure what else you’re looking for. This is best I can offer based on my understanding of the Bible:

    We were created in God’s image. We experienced a fall from that first estate. Christ can restore us to that. That’s human.

    All other visible created beings we usually see were placed under us.

    Angels are God’s ministers. They are (usually) unseen. Demons are angels who also fell.

    Extra-terrestrial beings: I don’t believe they’ve been mentioned in Scripture.

  • If you wish to engage in a thomistic exercise, and write the way he did in the Summa with quotes, citations, unreasonable and dramatic logic, I cannot afford you that kind of an experience. I don’t even udnerstand the Summa myself. I have a copy of it but it’s become a dust-collector.

  • No, Pat, you’ve just kept making claims and unsupported statements.

    Argument by saying it over and over, and then failing to provide any support, is what you’ve provided.

  • Support? We have the weight of Genesis and the whole Bible in fact. How much support do you want? I won’t go outside Scripture. I’ve quoted verses from Genesis. You know the story as it develops. The Fall, Redemption, Restoration….the themes speak for themselves. This is the basic Christian narrative. What is more central to the human person than this? Can you please tell me? I’m quite satisfied with what’s said. If you went to any Christian book to find answers to who we are as persons, you will find this. It is what Christianity has always taught.

  • This is where I draw my understanding of the person: the scriptural narrative. What do you base it upon?

  • Since you like quotes, I came upon this one from Laurens Van Der Post, quoted in L’engle’s Walking on Water: “The extreme expression of his spirit was in his story. He was a wondrful story teller. The story was his most sacred possession. These people know what we do not: that without a story you have not got a nation, or a culture, or a civilization. Without a story of your own to live you haven’t got a life of your own.”
    I introduce this to underscore the importance of ‘story.’ It is through ‘story’ that our meaning and purpose is derived. That is where our identity is found.

  • Support? We have the weight of Genesis and the whole Bible in fact.

    Great! So show your work.

    I’ve quoted verses from Genesis.

    Yes, and I’ve pointed out that it isn’t sufficient for your claims. Heck, you’ve quoted it to establish something not related to the topic!

    It is through ‘story’ that our meaning and purpose is derived. That is where our identity is found.

    That doesn’t mean what you seem to think it does, that your “the whole thing” sourcing is good… it’s a statement on personal identity.

    Nobody forced you to come here and start making claims, or dragging the conversation away from what could have been an interesting, fun route. Seeing as you decided to insert yourself, why can you not do the incredibly simple task of supporting your claims? In a manner other than just saying them again or ignoring that you ever said them!

    How do you figure your dog reasons, but isn’t “spiritual?” Etc.

  • I think that would be taking scripture out of its context. To see it as a whole, to catch the grammar or morphology of things, is rather the aim for me. The story is our story, yours and mine. It teaches us about origin and destiny, and where we fit within all of that.

  • I think that would be taking scripture out of its context.

    Now that is funny, since the very first quote you offered was out of context and clearly didn’t say what you claimed….

  • Hmmm, I’m not sure what you mean. I know I quoted something from Genesis about being made in God’s image. But the thing you raise goes to the heart of what I’m saying regarding definitions. We are not as our first parents (humans) were; we (humans) fell. But we (humans) can reclaim the position in Christ. Or rather, he can reclaim us (humans). So here is the quandary: how to fix a definition of the human given this dynamic reality. I feel that cannot be done scientifically or philosophically. So I let the story inform my understanding. And stories move from a begining to an end. As said Lewis Carroll, I like to begin at the beginning and end at the end.

    You see, here is the problem. If I say that human beings are creatures made in God’s image, well, that’s not true. Adam and Eve were. Then they fell. We can be among the redeemed or the unredeemed at this point along the story. At the consummation of things, those redeemed will be raised up body and soul, resurrected as a unity. You see the problem? No definition fits throughout, unless of course we include everything. That is why quoting just parts of the Bible doesn’t work. Gotta read the story. I do appreciate very much your spirited debate. There is a new (or not so new) trend known as narratival theology. It stresses the fact that Scripture affords us a story. It is less concerned with universal statements and propositions than with how this story shapes our lives and how we find our place within it, letting it inform us. I’ve been somewhat influenced by narratival theology. I find that the Bible makes much more sense this way. I used to think like a Fundamentalist, always wanting to locate a verse or two, or a passage in order to feel like I had proof. Yet those parts of Scripture are part of an ever-widening context, until we find ourselves within the broadest circle of the Word itself. And that Word presents us with a story.

  • When you tried to claim that immortal souls were a Greek invention, using a quote about the resurrection of the body.

    The reason you don’t want to offer text to support your claims is because, based on the evidence, you can’t. All you can do is make claims and hand-wave that it’s all there, somewhere.

  • I also said confusion could arise in part due to semantics.

  • But what has that to do with the discussion?

  • To get back on track, you wish to define the human. I’ve told you that the meaning and purpose of the human is found in the Christian story. By reading any story, you learn character development. We must do this witht the Bible.

  • Still waiting for support for a single one of the claims I’ve asked you about.

  • Foxfier, you’ve not listened to a single thing I’ve said. You continue to insist on supporting things with verses. People do this all the time. And they’re often wrong. To give you an example: i had a discussion with a man the other day who said alcohol was sinful. I said why? He said let me show you, and he brought me a gigantic King James Version of the BIble, and he pointed to a line where it said “do not be givne to strong drink.” Well, upon reading the epistle, I was reminded that this was advice for bishops/elders of the church. It was not a pronouncement on alcoholic beverages. Anotheher version reads “not a drunkard” which of course is binding upon all Christians anyway. It was horrendous. I just couldn’t explain it to him. THe understsanding simply wasn’t there.

    So no, I strongly feel, and this is my conviction (no proof here) that we should read the whole Bible and let its meaning come forth.

  • No, Pat, the “problem” is that I have listened to what you said– and asked you to actually support your claims, with something besides waving at the whole Bible.

    Every time you try to get into detail, you fail.

    Small wonder you try to change the subject, especially when asked to support your claims.

    I do not care what you strongly feel. This is not a post on “what Pat strongly feels.”
    This is a light-hearted, whimsical post about applying Catholic personhood theory in imaginary situations, which is a useful exercise for dealing with the darker, real situations that show up in day to day life– such as the trans-human embryos already in England.

    You’ve shown that you’re not going to defend the few statements you made related to the topic, let alone discuss the actual topic.

  • Too often it degenerates into prooftexting. Here a verse, there a verse, pick and choose them, divorce them from their contexts and use them to prop up an idea. Why? Because you hold a beleif prior to Scripture which you wihs to prove, whether it’s temperance, forms of church polity, views on baptism, or whatever else people subscribe to. They go to the BIble to prove things, and they uproot verses from their context. I can find ‘proof’ of the congregational politiy, the presbyterian government, the episcopal form, etc., for example, depending on which texts I use. Likewise, I can find ‘proof’ for many other things. There is always a tendency to do this in Chrisitnaty.

    Instead, I choose to read the BIble from cover to cover as a story, and to let that story inform me. And if something is unclear i don’t go back and try to find the verses that fit the belief I hold most dearly becasue of sentiment or preference. I let the story unfold. I find where I belong in it. I become enveloped by the story. The story then dictates to me. As Tom Wright said regarding our time, we are called upon at this juncture to improvise, to pick up where the apostles left off, and to play out our role until Christ returns (paraphrase). I do not solely conform to propositions, though those exist to which we give assent. Christianity is more importantly a living faith.

  • Can you give me an example of Catholic personhood theory? I’m not aware of this. I don’t see personhood in specifically ‘Catholic’ terms. I view the human in a Christian light as I’m informed by the Bible.

  • Too often it degenerates into prooftexting.

    The irony of you warning of is amazing…..

    You are still trying to change the subject away from your failure to support a single claim when challenged.

  • YOu say this is a light-hearted, whimsical post. I can see that. We move back again and again and again to your need for supporting versus despite all I’ve said. I wonder if you’ve really been reading my remarks, or simply skipping over them. Do you understand anything about what I’ve said thus far? About the narrative and the need for us to find our sense of ourselves within that structure? Or the need to take into account where we are along the timeline? Has any of that meant anything to you?

  • Can you give me an example of Catholic personhood theory?

    Read the post. There are several different examples, multiple links, many phrasings.

    For love of little green apples, you claimed to disprove it by assertion.

    We move back again and again and again to your need for supporting versus despite all I’ve said.

    That happens when you claim the Bible says something: people say “where?” Shockingly, the rest of us aren’t willing to accept the word according to Pat as a binding source of enlightenment.

    I notice you’re trying to change the subject to your favorite– “Pat.” Amazing how your sources all seem to be by your own authority, and every attempt you make to justify that with evidence fails.

  • The human being cannot be distilled into a definition such as would be broadly understandalbe and acceptable. I don’t wish to play fast and loose wtih Scripoture by engaging in prooftexting.

    Revelation teaches us who we are. Our identity develops through the narrative that is the Word of God.

    Whatever verses one has, another has theirs and so on. It just keeps going. There’s no way out until we discover truth. And that truth is in a person, the Truth, Jesus Christ. Once our God engages us, we learn who we are. We know it. The world cannot know this as we do. It’s spritually discerned.

  • I believe you misudnerstand what I’ve said. I’ve tried to explain my position: I read the Bible as story. That story informs my life. I find myself within that story. Before you know it, I’m a living part of that reality. I speak this way because this has been my experience. It’s wonderful. It’s truly human. And I think that’s what I’ve been trying to get across. Our experiences, if they relate to the Word, demonstrate that humanity we strive for. It is not what we were, and thank God we will not always be what we are. As tge past and present are taken up in the cross of Jesus Christ, we are transformed. We’re a new breed.

  • Pat, I don’t think you’re getting the point:
    You already showed that you’re not able to quote scripture–or anything else– without prooftexting.
    You already claimed to define what makes people be people, but couldn’t defend your objection to a rational soul or your support for “spirituality.”

    The thing that keeps going on and on is your attempt to change the topic to being all about you.

  • We each see things from our perspective. Hopefully we come to see those things accurately. I’m able to quote scripture and other sources. I have with regard to the human, by going back to Genesis. That’s classic. Nothing peculiar.

    Yes, I maintain that we are spiritual beings, and that this separates us off from the rest of creation. Having been made in his image, yet fallen, we’re accountable for that kind of creaturehood which we possess.

    I don’t prefer the ratioinal soul idea. I just don’t see it as getting to the core. I see it as Greek. I know we absorbed the Greeks. But I don’t agree with it, which is one of the reasons I welcome postmodernism.

  • We each see things from our perspective

    No, we’re not just seeing things from different perspectives.

    You made claims. You still haven’t backed them up. You misquoted, you still haven’t corrected yourself. You try to change the subject… in pretty much every post.

    What is so difficult about this topic? The simple fact that it’s not “Pat,” or something else?

  • I appreciate the spirited discussion on what makes us human. I of course don’t go at it the way you expect. For me, defining the human is not a logical exercise or a rational sort of thing. It’s not really about quoting a verse or a passage either. But when I think of what defines a human, or what their essence consists in, I think of how we’re spiritual. We live lives based upon our beliefs. Our convictions. We can’t prove such things. But if we have faith in the Word despite appearances to the contrary, we develop conviction. As John Ortberg has said in “Faith and Doubt,” we bet the farm on it. On all that we’re told throughout the Scriptural narrative about God, ourselves, and His ongoing interaction with us. I feel that life is worth it. That all that happens occurs redemptively in Christ. That our suffering, loss, grief, pain, uncertainty and all our trials are taken up into the cross of Jesus Christ and sanctified. That we’re loved by him and that being a recipient of his grace makes us entirely gifted and priveleged. I hope you can come to see that being human means recognizing what we were created for and finding our home once again in God. There are those who wish to remain apart from their Creator in darkness and alienation and confusion. I don’t totally understand how all this can be. But I’ve “bet the farm on it,” I know all that God’s story says, and I believe it. To present this to the world as an “ambassador” I believe I must share this in life, in love, and in action. I cannot communnicate all of this in a way that resonates wiht those who wish to keep their ears shut. I can only hope that “whosoever will” listens.

  • Still trying to change the topic.

  • It is true that Christianity is confessional. And the world seeks after wisdom. But to define the human in a way that’s embraced by everyone on the basis of proof is not possible. So to get right to the topic, here it is: The human cannot be understood outside of revelation and faith. Call me fidiestic, I don’t care. But it’s our story and we’re convicted it’s true because we persevere in faith.

  • You’re still trying to change the topic.

    Guess it’s pretty embarrassing to have evidence that you’re willing to quote things only when they don’t say what you claim, right above where you claim you wouldn’t do that? Probably annoying to find a place that keeps asking for more support than what you “feel.”

  • Another example of the serious applications of personhood theory, and why it matters to have a defensible, reasonable definition of what a person is.

  • Hmmm….I just can’t seem to figure out what you’re getting at. If the purpose of this thread was to work toward an understanding of the human as differentiated from all other creatures, I think we’ve been pretty successful. If the purpose of this thread was to do so on the basis of scriptural evidence, I think we touched on that when I quoted Genesis and spoke about the Fall and Redemption. But more important than single verses is the narrative as a whole. We find meaning and purpose and identity for the human in that story. It’s our meta-narrative, if you will.

  • Pat, the only thing you’ve done here is make unsubstantiated claims, misquote the Bible, complain about how you don’t understand what I’m saying and how I’m not listening to you, and go off on tangents to try to change the subject.

  • Oh, and misquote other sources, too. Mustn’t forget that.

  • Thanks for the example. Yes, indeed it’s a problem. But I think you’re assuming all people share in this rational thing that can be expressed and agreed upon.

    God chooses to make himself known to HIs people. THe world does not know him. They therefore see things from the perspective of that world.

    How would the nations have known of the one God and his ways? Revelation. How would we know of his plan? who we are? the anser is revelation. ONce known, revelation informs our reason and we go on to develop further understanding. But we remain people of faith whose minds have conformed to revelation and the way that revelation shapes our “reason.”

  • You’re trying to change the subject again.

  • Thomistic philosophy cannot hold onto the one while retaining the other; either we must accept that revelation is requisite always or we must reject the light that enlightens. There is no ‘reasonable’ concept of the human. Our ‘reasoning’ apart from the story of God will be to no avail.

  • On topic, with support for assertions, Pat. And your feelings aren’t evidence.

  • The issue does not relate to that at all. It relates to our approaches. I’ve explained that for me, the narrative of God tells us who we are. Read the story and find out. I give precedence to revelation.

  • For some people, faith and reason are equally valid categories, reconcilable systematically.

    I am not a thomist. Never was. Never thought that approach worked. God reveals himself to us personally through the Word and Spirit. Then revelation informs our lives and our minds are transformed. So our ‘reasoning’ is altered after conversion. Without this experience one would think from a worldly vantage point. You simply could not tell them what being human means, its implications, its worth, etc.

  • Calvinism, Thomism, all these systems want to be logical and universally compelling. They want their understanding to reach the world. To make sense to everyone. It’s as if the faith were a matter of common sense explanation. As if those who rejected it could be laughed at. That’s not how it is. Two radically different positions exist: we are either darkened in our minds and lost in sin, or we are enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Two viewpoints and no bridge but that of the Holy Spirit and of Christ.

  • Still not on topic.

    Still not supported by anything but your say-so.

  • I don’t know what you’re looking for in a thread. I tried to tell what it means to be human based on an informed biblical understanidng. I feel I have done this. I have no regrets. I would like to know what you specifically disagree with and why.

  • If you point to something you don’t udnerstand or highlight a disagreemnt you have, I can address that. But to ask for quotesand citations for everything stated is a bit odd. That’s something that might happen in an official debate. I would not expect to see that in a compbox. That’s just too much. When a priest offers a homily or a pastor delivers a messsage, it’s true they quote scripture. They do not do this constantly though. It does not go on from beginning to end. If operating on a calendar, tehy have the passages. They build from there. I know that fundamentalists are fond of quoting more often. I’m not fundamentalist. I don’t agree with that approach. I find it unnecessary and even confusing. Too often people quote scripture without understanding what it means and this confuses people. I told you about the gentleman who argued against alcoholic beverages. I spoke with another person who quoted verses in support of Sabbath-keeping for Saturday. No, the entire story must be reaed. That’s my approach and I’m sticking with it. Once againm, if there’s anything you wish to debate specifically, tell me what that is.

  • You made claims; the few times you’ve tried to support them with quotes, you failed. When asked for details or support, you try to change the topic.

    Your only approach is to try to change the subject to “Pat.”

  • I’ve expressed a lot throughout this page. I’d like you to glance back at it and see what’s there. Especially since you haven’t necessarily found soemthing you disagree with or can prove wrong.

  • First read through what I’ve written one more time. Try to get the gist of it,the basic idea. Then cite what you disagree with, if anything at all. And I’ll try to substantiate it. But we have to get this narrowed down.

  • I already pointed out where you misquoted, where you failed to support your claims and where you changed the topic. Two or more times for some of them. I even provided the quotes you misused.

  • I don’t see that. What I’ve stated is pretty classic, although it’s admittedly said in a different way at times. I don’t believe I’ve said anything contrary to the Bible. I believe I’ve communicated the sense of being human based upon our controlling narrative. I’m not sure what could be there that you’d disagree with or be uncertain about.

  • Behind everything lies conviction. I don’t know what your precise convictions are. I’ve tried to state mine.

  • I don’t see that.

    *dryly* Hadn’t noticed.

    I do notice that you’re still trying to change the subject, though.

  • Foxfier, are you interested, really interested in what makes us human? If you are, I would think you’d look back on what I’ve said to get the basic idea. Do you really want to know our essence? It’s there.

  • Oooh, nice try on changing the topic again! Too bad “Foxfier” isn’t my favorite subject….

  • Creation, the fall, redemption and restoration, these themes and our relation to them define us. We must of course trust the narrative. I believe it’s true. So I’m perfectly settled in my notion of the human. I know of no other source that can get to the heart of who we are. Acceptance of this requires a faith response.

    Now I know that people disbelieve this. I know that ‘Christians’ sometimes believe in macro-evolution and hold to variations of Darwinism. They say that human beings and animals possess a common descent. That at some point humans evolved. I just don’t beleive this. While the creation portion of Genesis is mythic in one sense, I see God intentionally creating creatures after their kind, with humans alone made in his image having dominion over all others. That kind of language doesn’t sound evolutionary.

  • I’m trying to get you to think. I want you to see what I said about faith in revelation, and about finding our place in God’s story. Our sense of ourselves must derive from this. Not from attempts at reconciling the Bible with knowledge from a worldly vantage point. Spengler, the historian, knew that evolution was a Western projection.

  • And Pat goes back to his favorite subject- “Pat.”

  • You’re trying to change the subject because people are actually paying attention to the lack of substance to what you say on the topic.

  • This is not about me. This is about what defines us as human beings. It’s about the story we’re given through revelation, the story that we find ourselves a part of. For those who can accept it, it’s ‘Everyman’.

    I’ve said nothing eccentric or heterodox to my knowledge. If anything strikes you as untrue, point it out and we’ll get to the bottom of it.

  • This is not about me.

    The topic isn’t; your posts are.

    I have pointed out your misquotes, incorrect claims, unsupported claims and where you keep trying to make the subject you, you, you. The Word According to Pat is not the topic, but it’s about the only one you’re willing to expound on– at great length.

  • I don’t see this as being about me. However, Christianity is a faith that involves the person. We experience it. There is no subjective/objective split. What the Bible says it says to all who would listen. For those who do, their experience is at one with what’s been said.

  • Again, trying to change the topic….

  • I’m not a fudamentalist. I don’t see the point in throwing out verses here. Anyone can find verses to support their view. That’s prooftexting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been upset by people who do just that. They grab hold of some verse and use it to support their belief or claim as you put it. So we have people going aroudn saying it’s sinful for Christians to drink alcohol. There’s a thousand years of bliss in store for the Jews when Christ returns to the David throne and reinstates the sacrificial system. A rapture will occur that will beam us up to the sky because Christ won’t come all the way down. We’re not allowed to eat anything with blood in it. Vegetarianism is God’s best. David and Jonathan were homosexuals together. We can literally move mountains if only we believed we could. We must practice footwashing. Ministers should support themselves through their own means because Paul did, and on and on it goes. All these things sound like true statements for all time. They’ve been abstracted from the Story.

  • Still trying to change the topic, and still all about you.

  • This is not about me, Foxfier. It’s about what makes us human. It’s applicable across the board. Now this has become about prooftexting. You don’t accept something unless someone cites a chapte and verse. I don’t see that happening on any of the other threads.

    If you disagree with what I’ve stated, then say so. Tell me what you don’t believe in and why. Then we’ll take it from there. I’m fully ready to tackle that. I’m totally confident about what I’ve stated.

  • This is not about me, Foxfier.

    Nice of you to realize it, finally. So, when are you going to stop making it all about you?

    It’s about what makes us human.

    Close, but no– it’s about what makes us people.

    If you disagree with what I’ve stated, then say so. Tell me what you don’t believe in and why. Then we’ll take it from there.

    I’m not going to go back over all this again and collect up your unsupported claims, prooftexting quotes and attempts to shift the conversation.

    I’m fully ready to tackle that. I’m totally confident about what I’ve stated.

    Again, it becomes all about you. Same as the last several times.

  • Hmmm….don’t know what to say. But again, Christians are people of faith, of conviction. We have revelation from God, his Word, and we have faith. I don’t know what else you want to hear, but this is the most I can offer.

  • I don’t know what else you want to hear, but this is the most I can offer.

    Scroll up to the top of the page.

    See the post? See how it has a topic?

    Notice how it’s not “the word according to Pat”?

    Frankly, I doubt your sincerity. You were vaguely on topic up to the point where I started asking you to support the claims you made, such as that your dog is rational, or to explain the off-handed comments you made, such as about Victorian England.

  • Foxfier, dogs reason in a sense. They figure things out. SOme humans don’t. For example due to a profoundly low IQ or some other state they’re in. I mentioned Victorian England because people think of humans as rational—I intended my allusion to hit home, in other words, we’re not the rational people we tend to think we are. CIvilziation is precarious. Rationality adn civility are not givens. Intellectual edifices and official definitons based on rationality come and go, and people may or may not be willing to accept that understanding for long. In the end we have our faith, the revelation from God whom we place our faith in, and the convictions that develop as we persevere through life.

  • 1) Wrong kind of rational
    2) You’re still not supporting your claim that dogs aren’t “spiritual”– pretty hard to do, since they clearly do have a desire for something larger than themselves, most obviously their pack, and the God-shaped hole is traditionally detected by that yearning.
    3) How does Victorian England show that humans, as a group, are not rational?

  • Intellectual edifices and official definitons based on rationality come and go, and people may or may not be willing to accept that understanding for long.

    Fallacy. Truth isn’t determined by how popular a belief is.

    In the end we have our faith, the revelation from God whom we place our faith in, and the convictions that develop as we persevere through life.

    Again, you try to change the subject.

  • I don’t believe I have to support a claim that dogs aren’t spiritual. True, they are created by God. But they are not spiritual in the sense humans are. When it comes to something like that, I believe the burden is on the oteh person to prove that they ARE spiritual, i.e. made originally in God’s image and responsible to him in the way we are with the central purpose for which we were made.

    What God-shaped hole lies in the animals?

    Victorian England doesn’t necessarily show in itself that we’re not rational. World Wars and genocide do. Rebellion against the very Creator that made us creatures does. That’s irrational.

    Truth is not determined by popularity. Well said. But the acceptance of truth waxes and wanes throughout a civilization. The popularity level alters. What society is willing to take from the church changes. And it is for that reason that I remark on faith, revelation and conviction. Truth is spiritualy discerned. If civilization is not Christian, don’t expect it to heed truth from revelation that once was accepted. It’s wearning off. We can again see the separation of those who know and those who don’t, or to be more precise, the righteous and the wicked.

  • I notice you don’t believe you have to support most of the claims you make, or define your terms, or even hold with what you’ve previously said.

    You’re trying to change the topic again, too.

  • That separation occurs during times like this. Christianity and culture are not one and the same. They interact. It’s dynamic. The church is influenced by society and culture and also influences society and culture. This happens in varying degrees at different times.

    Thomism, Etienne Gilson’s choice, seems to some Christian philosophers to be the anwwer to our troubles. I just don’t see that. I think it creates more problems than it solves. Thomism, Calvinism, and all these scholastic methods don’t work out.

  • Would you please answer my questions? How is a dog spiritual? How is being rational at the center of being human?

  • I already did for the dog, and you’re still trying to change the conversation.

  • Foxfier, the conversation has remained the same throughout–the human–what makes us so. I’ve stated that we’re spriitual, originially amde in God’s image, fallen yet redeembable, and we have souls. That’s our identity, our meaning. Our purpose too. We were made to be priests and kings, to offer up sacrifices pleasing and acceptable, lives of service and praise, as we participate as co-creators, creatively engaging the world to God’s glory. Under God, over the earth.

    I’m sticking by this. It does not pertain to the animals, plants or othe aspects of visible creation. If extra-terrestrial life exists beyond angels and demons, we haven’t seen them yet and I suppose they’d be for another chapter. Thats’ God’s business, not ours. As of now, they exist as products of our creative imagination. We can posit other worlds and beings. It’s fabulous, but irrelevent to the discussion of what makes us human (except insofar as we can imagine other beings).

    You did not explain how a dog is spiritual. You only explained how they seek out things beyond themselves. Other aspects of creation. You didn’t prove they seek out or know God the Creator of all.

  • Yes, we are creative, and i’ve addressed that throughout the thread. We imagine other worlds, better worlds, more powerful beings. We hypothesize in all kinds of different ways. We have the creative capacity to invent new things. God engages those he calls in his plan. He invites us to work redemptively alongside him. He restores us. We live and reign again. Lords of the earth. That’s why we love myth. A new world’s coming and we’re going to reign as priests and kings in the kingdom of God.

  • Foxfier, the conversation has remained the same throughout–the human–what makes us so.

    No, it has not. Partly because the topic is not “what makes a human,” and partly because you keep dragging it off into The Word According to Pat.

    We’re now in stage three– stage one was making assertions until challenged, step two was offering quotes that didn’t say what you claimed or weren’t related to the topic, step three is you demanding that I do this or that.

    All of that, rather than just reading the post and responding to that.

  • As far as I can tell, and it’s not totally lucid, you’re trying to understand the human and to distinguish the human from the non-human who may also possess intelligence. Is that correct?

  • I don’t beleive it centers on intelligence or being rational. I beleive the Creator created a world and arranged it according to a plan. The plan, I believe, is what tells us about each being, who they are and what their purpose is. As the story unfolds, we learn of that in detail. We see where it goes and we get a glimpse of the outcome.

    That we are creative means we can posit OTHER worlds and beings similar too but not the same as us. I’m not sure what can be said beyond that. The dramatis personae in Scripture is pretty straightforward. We have the script, etc., and we live in that world.

  • We are characters in a story already underway. Through revelation, we learn that story and who we are. We wouldn’t know this otherwise. We otherwise wouldn’t know what being human versus being nonhuman meant. The distinction would not be clear.

    The world we inhabit is understood, if at all, through scriptural revelation. Otherwise it would be an existential exercise. We’d wonder about it. And we’d worship creation rather than the one Creator whose plan we are a part of.

  • I think I’ve ansered everyuthing as best as I can. I ‘ve told you how I feel concerning the whole thing. I’ve given you my very best understanding about who we are and what separates us from other biengs. I'[ve asked you to point out any paritcular disagreemnets you had with me and I told you I’d address them one by one. I answerreed several of the items you cited. What more do you expect? Yes, this should have been a fun exercixe, an enjoyable discussion aobout what makes us human and what separates us from other seen and unseen aspects of God’s order. Instead, this has become about reducing what I say to nothing by insisiting on literal quotes, citations, hair-splitting logic that would make a Presbyterian seem mild, and a sense that what you say matters and what isay does’nt. I don’t know where you learned to debate, but using terms like beg the question and so on when it’s a nice talk among Christian-minded people is not necessary. Straw-man, and all ofthis is used among adversaries or within debates that surpass this level. I’m a bit disappointed. I wish we could have discussed this thing in a fun way like you said without it becoming so literal and exacting.

  • This post has gone off topic, and there is apparently no pulling it back.

    I’m closing comments.

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TAC College Football Rankings: Week 3

Tuesday, September 21, AD 2010

No upsets before midnight central standard time made for a fairly quiet rankings; this week we lined up more or less with the AP poll (though Tito and I threw it some curves). Some random thoughts of my own before the rankings:

Could we please stop with the Locker for #1 pick and Heisman? This is the second game he’s blown this year. He shouldn’t still be on a Heisman ballot. The Heisman is between Pryor, Robinson and Patrick Peterson (his interceptions this weekend were insane) at this point.

If Ole Miss had listened to their fans and made Admiral Ackbar their mascot, maybe they would have known that Vanderbilt & Jacksonville St. had the potential to be A TRAP! (Seriously, Ole Miss is terrible and Ackbar is a better choice than the moronic suggestions they’ve come up with so far to replace Johnny Reb. of course, the stupidity & lack of creativity of Ole Miss’s student body is how we got stuck with the lame “Magnolia Bowl” title between LSU & Ole Miss /rant.)

Brian Kelly is not a good coach, or at least not from what I saw Saturday night. A bizarre 4th & 1 decision to go for it in Notre Dame territory late in the 4th quarter as well as being totally unprepared for an obvious fake field goal situation makes me question Kelly. Coming from a fan who puts up with Les Miles’s gambles, that’s saying a lot.

Ok, time for the rankings!

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7 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings: Week 3

  • Florida v. Arkansas should be an excellent game. BTW, Razorback fans–you’re welcome for Mallett.

    Oregon’s offense reminds me of accounts of the Mongol invasions.

    We won’t know anything for sure about the Wolverines before the Michigan State game. Unless, of course, they pratfall or have UMass-like near misses against Bowling Green or Indiana.

  • Seeing the Aggies in the Top 25 is nice, but seems a bit unwarranted… especially with two games in a row with 5 turnovers… each. But then again, it only took them one quarter to outscore FIU.

  • Yeah, Tito ranked them high but no one else ranked them (not even MJ, who is an Aggie alum). I was not impressed with their effort v. FIU. I wish them all the best, but it looks like a rough year for them unless they can muster together one huge upset.

  • I am a big TAMU fan, but I must admit that they don’t belong (yet) among the T-25. They barely got by Florida International, and J. Johnson looked like a freshman against the FIU defense. I’m a bit worried about Big-12 play for the Aggies.

  • Texas A&M is my Notre Dame.

    They have the most outstanding Catholic apostolate in the country when it comes to public universities. I have met so many faithful and devout Catholics from that school that I have adopted A&M as my school to root for (after Arizona and Hawaii) while Notre Dame tries to recover from the Obama fallout.

    Yes, I’m disappointed at how A&M has started the year, but they still won. Though if they do another dead-cat bounce victory then I too will begin to think twice of their worthiness to be in the T-25.

  • Well, that game, or at least the third quarter (4 INT’s) was very uncharacteristic of Jerrod Johnson. My hope is that this was an aberration. They did manage to pull out the win in one quarter of play, so that says something about character. Well… it’s on to Okie Lite.

  • The Aggie defense was outstanding, but Johnson was the very definition of erratic – I think the creative defensive scheming of FIU had him for three quarters (plus the very, very young O line).

    This Thursday will tell us a lot (although the OSU defense isn’t the greatest).

TAC College Football Rankings: Week 2

Monday, September 13, AD 2010

Last week we debuted our fearless college rankings here at TAC. This week saw chaos in the middle and back as our #11, 12, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, and 24 teams all lost. Some of the chaos is surely due to this man:

The first lesson we need to learn is that if we keep ignoring the Federalist Papers, Madison will strike down our football teams. The other lesson is that it’s great to not be an ACC fan.

This week the rankings take on two new additions: our own Dave Hartline and Evangelical Catholicism’s M.J. Andrew. If you’re a Catholic blogger, and you’re interested in writing rankings, shoot me an email at michaelrdenton”at” gmail. com. Let’s see those rankings now, shall we?

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32 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings: Week 2

  • Tito, sir, you are a gentlemen. Gig ’em!

  • #25 I thought Air Force was one of the more interesting wins that seemed to go under the radar this weekend. COming off their Last season they could very well be legit

    #24 Fresno – I agree why not

    #22 WV I agree skeptical but it was one those game. 40th Annv of Marshal Plane Crash,Marshal feeling the heat to win because of the politics of keeping game going.

    #19 Miami(Fl) Your being generous

    #14 Arkansas- ULM did not play a game before this one so there was no game film. Also ULM has New Coach, so unknowns for Arky. Further believe it or not ULM has played them close before. So we shall see this week

    #13 Wisconsin Yall are on Crack. At the very least I would Wis change places with S.C

    #11 LSU I WISH!! The QB situation is just too unstable now

    #7 Oklahoma- Agree. Jimbo was running the show at Florida State last year. Why would this year be different. SO we don’t learn much

    #6 Nebraska I am a believer too

    #1 Alabama Yack Yack Yack!! but at this point true

  • JH:

    LSU is so high b/cit’s hard to figure out who’s ahead. 1-7 looks pretty good, 8-10 have some history of getting good later, but after that it’s a crapshoot between 11-20 and after 20 you might as well stop the ballot.

    I really don’t know what to do with Wisconsin, myself. They could be great; could suck. As for SCAR, a win over Georgia isn’t what it once was, and SCAR has had a problem with being a flash in the pan. We’ll see if they can keep it up, and if so they’ll rise.

  • I guess I just see SC wins more quality than Wisconsin. Of course with South Carolina one has a feeling that Garcia could implode at any moment

  • JH,

    If Air Force wins this week, I assure you that I’ll bump ’em all the way up into the top 15 in my voting. Maybe even top 10.

    For what it’s worth, I think they have a real shot at beating the Sooners.

  • Big Tex,

    If I’m not mistaken, one of the voters in this poll is an A&M alum, and he didn’t even give the Ags any love. I think the Aggies may be another one of Tito’s Idaho Vandal type picks.

    😉

  • A&M is grossly underrated.

    This is the year they get over the hump and finally beat Kansas State, Colorado, and TU-Austin.

    As for Idaho and Jay’s ‘comment’, Idaho played Nebraska pretty damn hard up until kickoff. That and their schedule get’s pretty easy so hopefully they’ll run the table and knock off WAC powers Boise State and Fresno State and prove me right!

  • I overlooked Houston (in my own backyard no less) and if they man-handle UCLA like they should, they’re getting my vote (assuming anyone in my top-25 loses).

    West Virginia won against Marshall because of a coaching decision of putting in a freshman RB when they had a seasoned back ready to go. The freshman fumbled inside the red-zone. If they would have scored there is no way WV would have had time enough to score 18-22 points.

    Fresno State takes on all-comers. They still have Mississippi and Illinois in their schedule.

    Not to mention WAC powers Boise State, Nevada, and Hawaii.

    If they can just win those close games watch them reek havoc in the polls!

  • Idaho played Nebraska pretty damn hard up until kickoff

    Lol.

    I’d agree with Houston getting a vote if they beat UCLA; I probably could have shoed them in to my rankins.

    West Virginia seems suspect to me. I just couldn’t figure out who to put ahead of them. However, if they try to play like that in Death Valley…well, let’s just say we came up with “Tiger Bait” (pronounced Tiii-GAH BAIT!) for a reason

  • I agree with WV. It doesn’t help that they’re in an overrated conference (thank goodness the Big Least is around, it makes the ACC look like the Black&Blue Division of the NFC North).

    LSU will walk all over them like a cheap rug.

  • I just noticed Jay putting in UVA at #25.

    They almost took out the University of Spoiled Children though.

    Tough cross-country road trip for the Cavaliers.

  • Yeah, that was a stretch, but I had to give some love to my alma mater for a late-night trip to the Colliseum that almost ended in an upset of USC.

    What does that say about the ACC that arguably the most impressive performance of the weekend came in a loss?

  • Sorry to dissappoint you Tito, but the A&M Gaggies will not beat The University.

  • …of Arizona?

    I agree, because Arizona isn’t on the schedule.

    😉

  • Sorry to dissappoint you Tito, but the A&M Gaggies will not beat The University

    I won’t tolerate anybody speaking badly about a future SEC team-which reminds me, when does the rest of the country decide to gang up to pummel UT for their nonsense this summer?

  • A&M would be a great addition to the SEC.

    I could see a great rivalry forming between A&M and LSU.

    Along the lines of the Red River Classic, games could rotate between Houston (Reliant Stadium) and New Orleans (Super Dome) every year!

  • Tito:

    We used to have that rivalry, but it got lost sometime in the conference shuffle. I have a great respect for the Aggies’ tradition and wished they could join us in the SEC (even though I don’t like the idea of super-conferences and like the SEC’s number). I hope LSU will notice the attraction of its fan base towards the Aggies and schedules a series in the near future-I think your idea of Reliant & New Orleans is a good one, though I think both schools have such great environments tha it would be a shame to be played other than Death Valley & the Home of the 12th man.

  • Jay, at A&M, we don’t have alumni. We have former students.

    cmatt & others… I didn’t realize A&M had the Volunteers on their schedule? UT is in Tennessee. If that was a typo, and you meant t.u., then yes, I think the Aggies have a better than good shot and sawing varsity’s horns off. Remember back a couple years ago, McGhee ran all over that horn defense… in Austin. Anything can happen, especially with the skill players the Aggies have on offense. Watch out for Johnson, Michael, Gray, Fuller, and Nwachukwu.

  • Michael,

    Everything’s on the table!

    A player for either school could play one game in College Station, one game in Baton Rouge, one game in the Super Dome, and one game in Reliant.

    During the course of the players four year career he would get the opportunity to play in all those great venues!

  • What a load of dung. Once again, southerners who seem to need to justify just how important they are to the world of sports spout on obnoxiously about how superior they are to the Big Ten. A careful study of Penn State history vs. the SEC will demonstrate they do pretty well thank you very much. In fact, since joining the league in ’93, PSU is 5 and 2 vs. the SEC in bowl games. In fact, only a closely contested match against Auburn and a game against Florida where PS was without Curtis Enis and Joe Jurivicius resulted in PS losses. In the SEC land, only the Bear owned Penn State and he owned everyone else too! I will take our record against the vaunted and mighty SEC any day of the week.

  • Oh and by the way, do you know the differnce between the SEC and the NFL? The SEC does not have a salary cap!

  • I follow the Big Ten and prefer it to the SEC. But the SEC is a stronger football conference. Obnoxiousness has nothing to do with it. The Big Ten has disappointed me for too long and I refuse to be in denial. That said, I still prefer the Big Ten. Overall I think they run somewhat cleaner programs more consonate with the stated ideals and objectives of college athletics. To be clear, I do not think the SEC was necessarily the stronger (let alone strongest) conference in the 90s; but it is today and has been for a while I think.

  • I’m a Southerner who now lives in Big 10 country, and who has been an Ohio State and Big 10 fan for most of my life. I also like Penn State and LOVE Joe Pa.

    Believe me, there is a lot of respect for the Big 10 reflected in this poll (Michael’s whiny comments about having to play on anything other than pristine field conditions in anything other than sunny 75-degree weather or inside a dome notwithstanding).

  • Speaking of respect for the Big 10, I just noticed that Michigan is missing from this poll, despite the fact that the Wolverines appear to have received votes from all the voters.

    What gives?

  • Speaking of respect for the Big 10, I just noticed that Michigan is missing from this poll, despite the fact that the Wolverines appear to have received votes from all the voters.

    What gives?

    Um…I screwed up. 🙁 I’ll fix it.

  • “Speaking of respect for the Big 10, I just noticed that Michigan is missing from this poll,”

    I think all Illinis would say Michael that whenever you wish to forget Michigan, that is fine with us. 😉

  • That would make Michigan come in at #20.

    Bumping the three-way tie at #25 into ‘honorable mention’ territory.

  • Believe me, there is a lot of respect for the Big 10 reflected in this poll (Michael’s whiny comments about having to play on anything other than pristine field conditions in anything other than sunny 75-degree weather or inside a dome notwithstanding).

    I actually gave a lot of respect to the Big 10 in my ballot; I think they’re either the second or third best conference right now in the country. But I do reserve the right to jab Penn St. for barely beating the worst offense in LSU history on “turf” that gave advantages beyond what proper conditions should give to a Big 10 team. (See addendum in post above)

  • @Michael Denton, @Jay, et al,

    It’s hilarious that Michael is complaining on what definition of the word “field” should be, since most Louisianan’s call the northern seabed of the Gulf of Mexico “New Orleans”.

    So I take his comments with a ginormous grain of salt.

    “You call it dinner, I call it roadkill.”
    –Tito driving through the Louisiana portion of I-10 circa 2002.

  • It’s hilarious that Michael is complaining on what definition of the word “field” should be, since most Louisianan’s call the northern seabed of the Gulf of Mexico “New Orleans”.

    Yes, but we’ve never called it a field. You’ll find that we New Orleanians have the technology to produce flat fields as opposed to Marshes, a technology we apparently have to share with the good people of Orlando.

    We will provide ginormous grains of salt from Avery Island, if you would like.

    And we don’t call it dinner; we call it “gumbo” or “boudin” and it’s delicious. 😉

  • Mike-

    Granted, I am a bit sheepish about the Cap One Bowl victory last January but not because of the field. I am a bit embarrased about the horrible unsportsmanlike conduct penaltly at the end of the game that should have been called against PSU instead of LSU. I don’t apologize for our ability to play in crappy weather. In fact, that’s my beef against the SEC outside of Bama whom we have a history with. I think Bama is the only school SEC we have ever seen in Happy Valley and I am looking forward to the battle in 2011. I sort of bristle when we are lumped in with the rep the rest of the Big Ten has. Penn State has always held its own vs. the SEC.

    I do not doubt that year in and year out the SEC is the deepest conference in football but let us just agree that the SEC with the exception of Vandy operates froma different set of rules than the SEC when it comes to “student” athletes, OK?

  • Note: should read “from the Big Ten”.

    It’s late.

TAC College Football Rankings: Week 1

Thursday, September 9, AD 2010

Idaho Vandals QB & NFL Prospect Nathan Enderle

So we’re trying a new feature here at TAC. Since we noticed we have a lot of college football fans, we thought it might be fun to start our own rankings system. This way, we have an excuse to talk college football every week in a Catholic setting. B/c we thought of it this week, this ranking is coming out on Thursday but the others should be coming out on Mondays.

Here’s how it’ll work. People will send in their rankings and I’ll assign points to them (25 for 1st, 24 for 2nd, etc.) and then average out the points and rank the teams according to that. Then I will take that score along with the computer models and…just kidding. No computer models.

My hope is that it’ll build and we’ll get more people involved (and if you want to submit rankings, let me know-you don’t have to write for TAC). At the end of the year, we may even do a special bowl pick-em thing if it seems popular enough.

Rankings follow after the jump ?

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37 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings: Week 1

  • Thanks for ranking them Michael!

    BEAR DOWN!

  • Ok, Tito. Why on earth is Idaho #8? Why do you have them so high?

  • Idaho has a four year starter in NFL prospect QB Nathan Enderle returning and putting in a fantastic performance against FCS power North Dakota.

    1,000-yard rusher Deonte Jackson is back for his senior season.

    2 starting WR’s return as well.

    7 of the top 8 DL’s return in a loaded WAC with Boise State, Fresno State, and Nevada.

    The entire LB corps returns to make the Defense one of the most feared in college football (and their back-ups return as well).

    Ditto the Secondary.

    We’ll see what happens in Lincoln this weekend when they face #6 Nebraska.

  • I agree with your take on VA Tech. Boise State was shrewd in scheduling the Hokies for their first game. VA Tech lost a disproportionate number of starters, especially on defense, whereas Boise State returned almost all their starters. VA Tech is likely to improve more than Boise State through the season.

  • You know I was kind of tempted to get a little ridiculous in my rankings – like putting the entire Big East in top 25 or something. After seeing Tito’s rankings, I kind of wish I had.

  • Mike:

    Yeah, the first game is always really tough to judge b/c some teams need it more than others i.e. need to work out the kinks & sloppiness. Both Boise & VT had their moments in that game. I still think VT will contend for the ACC crown.

    Paul:

    Please don’t. You are going to hurt my soul.

    Tito:

    Not a bad case, though 8 is really high. We’ll see what happens when you #8 meets your #1 this weekend. Maybe you’ll have me eating crow.

  • Paul,

    There’s always next week, but by then the Big-East will reveal themselves to be the usual charlatans that they are.

  • Okay, MAYBE Tito has a good argument for Idaho’s inclusion in the top 25. But at #8?

  • Very interesting Michael, you put some serious work into this project. For what it is worth, I might have to throw my prognosticating helmet into the ring. While Tito may have a West Coast bias, I have a Midwestern bias, skewing toward the Big Ten and MAC. Though I believe Jay has some loyalties to the Big 12 and ACC, he might be sympathetic to the Midwest.

    As for the poll, it looks pretty sound though I would put Ohio State over Boise St. You might want to check out the Central Michigan vs Temple game tonight, the winner could be a sleeper in the Top 25. I would also put Notre Dame in the Also Receiving Votes. I think they will manhandle Michigan this week. Though, I don’t like recent developments at Our Lady’s campus, they still have a more orthodox minded student body than any of the other major Catholic campuses. In addition, there probably hasn’t been a more faith filled Catholic coach than Gerry Faust, even if things didn’t go his way. He promptly went to the Grotto every day, as he promised Our Lady, if he got the job.

    BTW, what in the world is wrong with Joe Montana bad mouthing Rudy during the Dan Patrick Show? Let the guy have some glory. How embarrassing for Joe that some former teammates had to politely scold him for his comments.

    Finally, Tito I think the Idaho Vandals should employ you as their marketing director, that’s some pretty astute commentary on your part!

  • Dave:

    Well if Paul’s got a Big East bias and I’ve got my SEC bias, we’ll have everyone except the MWC represented!

    Also, Notre Dame did receive votes. Notre Dame was in Jay, Mine, and Paul’s top 25 but not Tito’s (or maybe very low on Tito, not sure). Since Notre Dame was pretty low on all our ballots, it fell out.

    What happened with the Joe Montana deal? I hadn’t heard about that.

  • Jay, Michael, Paul, et al.,

    And just a reminder, in our Catholic Writer’s College Football Poll Idaho is ranked #22.

    😉

  • Actually, they’re 21st since they’re tied with Penn State.

    :_(

  • Michael, Jay, & Dave,

    I had Notre Dame in at #25.

    I penalize their faculty and administration for being worldly, but you’re right about the student body.

    From what I’m aware of they are one of the most deeply devote campuses in the country outside of Thomas Aquinas College and Franciscan University-Steubenville.

    For the record, Idaho was #9 on my ballot, not #8.

  • Dave is correct that my loyalties do lie in the Midwest – I prefer Big 10 football (and have from childhood) even over my alma mater conferences, the SWC (now the Big 12 minus 2) and the ACC.

    In addition, I will give Idaho props for their awesome mascot name.

    Jay
    Van High School (Van, TX)
    Fighting Van Vandals
    1982-1986

  • Jay,

    The very same Vandals that terrorized Christian North Africa?

    😉

  • The very same Vandals that kicked @$$ and took names throughout East Texas, baby.

    😉

  • Yeaaah!

    It’s FOOTBALL season baby!

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

  • Michael, the Joe Montana thing rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it was because Rudy was nice enough to be interviewed for my book twice (along with other Notre Dame connected personalities like Lou Holtz, Dick Vitale and Gerry Faust.) He didn’t know me from Adam and yet he helped me out. He has been on the road for years giving hope to people and making a nice living for his family. (A great combination by the way, someone who is an idealist and a Capitalist all at the same time.)

    Why Joe Montana tries to ruin it for the guy is beyond me. As I stated fortunately after the Dan Patrick interview, a couple members of the 1975 squad defended Rudy and scolded Joe saying 95% of the movie was correct. Montana was only a freshman on the team, let Rudy have his fun and allow him to inspire people. Joe could take some lessons from Rudy’s exhuberance, because as a commentator Joe was terrible. Sorry if I got off topic everyone, thanks for allowing me to vent.

  • Just another reason for me to hate Joe Montana (the so-called “The Catch”, of course, taking the highest position of prominence in my hierarchy of hatred).”

  • Awww, Jay, don’t tell me you’re a cowgirls fan?

  • Dave:

    No problem. I wasn’t familiar with what Joe had said about Rudy, but I take he indicated that the movie was not accurate?

    Tito:

    No, you had Idaho at 8. I double-checked. Next week, I hope to actually figure out how to do a screenshot of the excel sheet and post it to so we can see where everyone was.

    And Jay is a cowgirls fan, which is sad, since God has clearly designated his team in New Orleans and Jay refused to believe (which reminds me-anyone up for a Pro football rankings next week?)

  • Michael,

    I double-checked and you’re right.

    In my WORD document where I made my picks I must have updated it after I sent it.

    Now I know how John Kerry feels, like a complete idiot.

  • I’m not into pro football power rankings, so I’ll just stick with the college game.

    Tito,
    I grew up in northeast Texas in the days of God’s (and His blessed mother’s) quarterback, Roger Staubach. Anyone NOT a Cowboys fan under those circumstances has no soul.

  • Jay,

    Those were there good ole days of Tex Schram.

    Luis Zendejas said in a motivational seminar where I used to work at Wal-Mart that the difference between playing for then-new head coach Jimmy Johnson and Tom Landry (he played for both) was that you would take your family to a BBQ hosted by Landry, but you would go to the strip clubs with Johnson.

  • I’d be up for pro-football rankings.

    Speaking of which – go Drew Brees and Bobby Meachem (both on my fantasy team)!

  • Yes, this is my favorite time of the sporting year (the best actual time period being rivalry week of mid November through the bowl season into early January.) Though I do like March Madness as well.

    As for nicknames, I am sucker for the politically incorrect names. At my high school (Marion Catholic in Ohio) we were the Fighting Irish. I am an Ohio University alum, and we are a member of the Mid American conference. At one time there were the Redskins (Miami of Ohio) the Hurons (Eastern Michigan) and the Chippewas (Central Michigan.) Now only the Chippewas remain. However, some alums from Eastern Michigan and Miami still travel with banners that read “Forever Hurons” and “Forever Redskins.” It was my understanding that the Huron tribe actually liked the name, but the liberal university board thought it would be offensive. Nothing like telling people that they should be offended!

    When I was in school, we had an old school Irish priest who also served as chaplain at the local correctional institute. He was always on the football sidelines exhorting the team and the crowd. One year we played a school about an hour away, where few Catholics lived. We were told some years later that the coach of the team placed a bounty on the priest. The priest was never touched because the opposing players were smart enough to know there would have been a war. During my high school years, that same priest once said that he was surprised to learn that players of German extraction had exceeded in numbers players of Irish and Italian extraction, “Maybe we should call ourselves the Fighting Germans? Well on second thought that might not go over well.” I think it was the only time he second guessed himself!

  • Dave,

    My first job out of college was as an Assistant to the Marketing Director at the University of Arizona Athletic Department. I did a lot of work in the college football industry after that so I can spin a tale or two to sell a ticket!

    Helps if the program is a winner.

    I’m also a MAC fan since I had to work with them when I was a Las Vegas Bowl rep many moons ago when their champions would meet the WAC champions.

  • Tito, ah the Las Vegas Bowl. At Ohio U, we never had a winning season in my undergrad years. For years after, fellow alums and yours truly would think of the Las Vegas Bowl as most school’s alums think of the BCS Bowl Series. We never made it! However, I did attend the MAC Championship Game and the Little Ceasar’s Bowl (formerly the Motor City Bowl) last December. Ah Detrot in December, there’s nothing like hearing gunfire as the detour signs to I-75 were mysteriosuly nowhere to be found, and you find yourself are driving through blocks of abandoned buildings. I don’t think my wife as recovered yet! Somehow, the Las Vegas Bowl of old would have sounded more inviting, though no less dangerous.

  • Yes, Ohio University.

    Back when I was more interested in sports/athletics than in God I remember Ohio U. having the best Masters in Sports Management degree in the country.

    Besides that, it is a fine and excellent university!

    The MAC is known as the cradle of college football coaches. Where all the greats start out and move on to BCS-caliber programs.

  • There is now an Idaho Vandal on my post. I guess I shall have to ensure that pictures from the LSU games make more frequent appearances.

  • Michael, just wanted to ‘improve’ the look of your post.

    It’s your post so I don’t mind if you take it down.

    🙂

  • No, it’s fine. I think it’s kinda of funny.

    That said, if you suddenly see that one of your comments now proclaims the glory of LSU football and your profound love for the purple and gold, you’ll understand why. 😉

  • LOL.

    It’s a one week wonder. Idaho will probably lose to the Cornhuskers, but hopefully not so badly so my ranking looks good!

  • Tito, thanks for the compliment concerning my alma mater, Ohio University. Yes the MAC has had some great coaches. Miami of Ohio (our hated rival) is where Sid Gilman, Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Ara Paraseghian, Randy Walker etc got their start.

  • Can’t wait to see week’s 2 rankings beh-bee!

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Genius, Weird Al Yankovic

Monday, September 6, AD 2010

That is a word that many music entertainers use to describe “Weird Al” Yankovic.

All of the songs that Weird Al parodies he gets approval for.  In fact after the Coolio controversy about his “Amish Paradise” music video he now makes sure he speaks with the music entertainer directly before he proceeds in the production of any new venture.

Weird Al also parodies music styles, ie, pastiche, in addition to pop music hits.

In another cult classic which is a rare original from Weird Al, he pokes fun at the pop music group Devo and their brand of music which is New Wave.

Shortly after the song was released, Weird Al received a letter from the lead singer of Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh, congratulating him on writing “the perfect Devo song”.  He has also said that the song is “beautiful … and I hate him for it, basically.”

An apocryphal story has been recounted where the lead singer of the Talking Heads, David Byrne, said after viewing the video for “Dare To Be Stupid” that Weird Al is a “genius”!

Dare To Be Stupid is the title song of the same album, and in my personal opinion his best album ever.

Enjoy!

[Warning: The following videos are without profane lyrics or any form of nudity.  You may finally realize that you can enjoy “contemporary” or “pop” music without all the vileness that emanates from the black hole that is MTV.]

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9 Responses to Genius, Weird Al Yankovic

Yes, It Is a Weird Al Weekend

Sunday, September 5, AD 2010

I’m coming out of the closet, I’m a “Weird Al” Yankovic fan.  I don’t listen to him much these days, but I do keep up with some of his latest hits like my post from yesterday.

So here are some of his more enjoyable hits that some may not be aware of…

[Warning: The following videos are without profane lyrics or any form of nudity.  You may finally realize that you can enjoy “contemporary” or “pop” music without all the vileness that emanates from the black hole that is MTV.]

In 2006 AD the music video “White & Nerdy” re-introduced “Weird Al” back into the mainstream of American culture.  This video was his first Top 40 single since 1992’s “Smells Like Nirvana”.  It also eclipsed the greatest single he ever had, “Eat It”.

In between those to seminal hits he has been very active releasing albums every other year or so, but this new hit of his re-established himself as an icon of parody videos and clean fun.

“White & Nerdy” is the second single from “Weird Al’s” album Straight Outta Lynwood.  It parodies the song “Ridin'” by Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone. (OK, I’ll admit it, I have no idea who Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone are, but that’s what it said in Wikipedia)

This song makes fun of nerds everywhere from Houston, Texas to Springfield, Illinois.   It includes constant references to stereotypically “nerdy” things, such as collecting comic books, playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), and editing Wikipedia, as well as stereotypically “white” things, like watching Happy Days and playing ping pong.

Chamillionaire himself put “White & Nerdy” on his official MySpace page, and commented that he enjoys the parody. In an interview, he also stated he was pleasantly surprised by “Weird Al”‘s rapping ability, saying: “He’s actually rapping pretty good on it, it’s crazy … I didn’t know he could rap like that.”

Enjoy the cameo’s, especially from Donny Osmond!

Yes, there are more funny and highly entertaining video’s from Weird Al.  I compiled a short list of his most creative hits.

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15 Responses to Yes, It Is a Weird Al Weekend

3 Responses to Another Jesus Sighting

  • from Faed Fiada (Cry of the Deer/St. Patrick’s Breastplate) St. Patrick:

    “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
    Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right,
    Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length,
    Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
    Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
    Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.”

    “Live, Jesus, in our hearts, forever!” ST. John Baptiste de la Salle

  • I would have laughed, but about a year ago I witnessed the miraculous image of Saint Homobonus of Cremona’s hat in the static of my television; I reasonably concluded that God wanted me to stare at it, talk about, call the news, and not actually become a better human being.

  • Ike,

    Now, now.

    This was just poking fun, but there are mystical experiences of many varieties that cannot be explained away or made fun of.

3 Responses to Letterman Zings Obama for Vacations

Catholics and Professional Football

Thursday, September 2, AD 2010

As a person who has voted for a Republican, I am a fascist. As you may know, fascists want to control every aspect of people’s lives (and I don’t want to hear any fancy political science definitions to the contrary). With the college football season starting tonight and professional football starting a week from now, it is the perfect time to consider the ethical approach Catholics must take towards professional football. I have attempted this once before, but like Cassandra, no one really listened to my wise teachings. Therefore, I must witness once again by examining afresh all the professional football teams in light of Catholic teaching in order to determine whether Catholics may root for them while avoiding the fires of hell.

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37 Responses to Catholics and Professional Football

  • Hilarious Michael! My one point of concern is that I despise football, indeed all professional sports. Can I remain a fascist in good standing with that stain on my record, in spite of my voting record? I suspect that Dan McLockinload would say no.

    http://thecatholicfascist.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/how-many-ecumenical-councils-are-there/#comments

  • That was very good. Well done, Michael.

  • Gnosticism and the Cleveland Browns? Good call, but you have only scratched the surface. I believe it goes far deeper than that, Michael, I suspect ancient secret ties between that organization and the bestselling author of anti-Catholic potboilers. I swear I saw an albino water boy hanging about the sidelines last time I watched a Browns game. Saints, beware!

  • Your comments regarding the Cowboys are Calvinist gibberish. 🙂

  • Don:

    All that is necessary to be a fascist is to condemn. Remember, we have no positive ideas of our own and are merely there to stop joy in the lives or others. Therefore, as long as you are condemning those around you, you are fine.

    Big Tex:

    Aha! You have revealed your own Calvinist leanings! For I did not mention Calvin, and the fact that you did shows your dualism and your secret adherence to his teachings!

    Donna V:

    I suspect that all of these organizations are secretly in collusion with each other as well as Islam to overthrow the Church.

  • I don’t see the point in supporting a sport that doesn’t involve Paul The Octopus.

  • Roger Stauchbach was the embodiment of Catholicism in the NFL. His most famous pass is named the “Hail Mary” because of his answer to a post-game question about what he was thinking when he threw the ball up in the air:

    “I got knocked down on the play. … I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.”

    And all subsequent last-second heaves toward the endzone have been likewise named after the most famous and widely used prayer to Our Lady.

    If the staunchly Catholic Staubach could spend his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys, and remain one of their biggest fans, then you can get over yourself and your hang-ups over God’s Team (borne purely out of jealousy over a long winning tradition vs. the Aints’ likely one-and-done history of “success”).

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  • you can get over yourself and your hang-ups over God’s Team (borne purely out of jealousy over a long winning tradition vs. the Aints’ likely one-and-done history of “success”).

    I’m not jealous. I guarantee you that the joy myself and other New Orleanians had over this one Superbowl was more than the joy of Cowboys fans for all the Cowboy’s titles put together. Also, I am not jealous of any team that has Romo as QB, for we have Brees and he is amazing, both on and off the field. So you can keep your owner who charges people to watch TV outside the stadium; give me the Who Dat Nation anyday!

  • And you still need to brush up on your history (I still haven’t forgotten that you completely bolluxed the history of “Cavaliers” and the part they played in the war against the evil Calvinists under Cromwell).

    For example, you’re right that “Vikings are celebrated pagans who pillaged innocent towns, committing unspeakable atrocities while doing so.”

    But, while you cite things that are clearly contrary to Catholic teaching, you completely MISSED that what made the Vikings truly deplorable from a Catholic perspective was that they specifically sought out Catholic monasteries for plunder and defacement and took great pleasure in desecrating Our Lord in the Eucharist.

    Countless number of monks died before the altar in attempts to defend the Body and Blood of Our Lord from the Viking hordes. That makes the Vikings the MOST unCatholic team in the NFL – shame on a Catholic boy like Brett Favre for choosing to play for them.

  • Jay:

    That’s very true, and all the more reason to not cheer for them. Unfortunately, it would have been too long if I listed all the ways in which the various teams violated Catholic principles. Indeed, I would have spent the whole day writing on the Cowboys if I had done that, not to mention would have had to spend a week writing on the glories of the Saints.

    And I haven’t forgotten my college football post, either. I will deal with your UVA Cavaliers soon enough.

  • Lions eat Christians. That’s what they did in Rome, and that’s what they do to Catholics unwary enough to slip into their trap.

    But the Detroit Lions haven’t hurt anyone in years. OK, they beat the Browns and Redskins last year, but that’s not saying much. Kinda like shooting zombies in the head, really.

    Oh, and being a Lions fan is an excellent primer in Purgatorial suffering, so I think they’re ideal for Catholics–the Last Things, and all that.

  • Before my good friend Mr. Denton gets around to “deal[ing] with [my] UVA Cavaliers”, please allow me to enlighten the readers as to the genesis of this friendly discussion. Here is a link to the post in question, in which Michael gets taken to school on English Civil War history after he first referred to “Cavaliers” as “pirates”, and then subsequently edited his post to say something that was even less coherent in regard to the name “Cavaliers”:

    http://forthegreaterglory.blogspot.com/2008/08/catholics-and-college-football-part-i.html

    Michael, my friend, whatever you have to say in your future dealings with my UVA Cavaliers, I hope that it is, unlike your previous tripe, at least grounded in reason and actual historical knowledge.

    😉

  • Dale:

    You may be interested to know that my alternate entry for the Lions was:

    “The Lions haven’t fielded a team in years, or maybe ever, so this point is moot.”

  • Good lord, Jay. That post was two years ago. I guess UVA fans don’t have anything other than grudges to fill their memories.

    I don’t even remember what I said about them being pirates. Their dress is remarkably similar to that of pirates, which is probably where the association came from. Presumably in my haste to not spend as much time on a football team that isn’t any good, I misspoke. However, once you pointed out my error I amended the post to include some research. Having found that “cavalier” was a derogatory term for those who were Catholic, I argued that it is not permissible for Catholic that support a team whose name began in order to mock Catholics for their alleged vanity and lack of manliness and virtue. Just because a name is applied to Catholics does not mean Catholics ought to embrace it.

  • Somebody take American Papist out of the blogroll.

  • Somebody take American Papist out of the blogroll.

    Wow, Jay. Why do you hate Peters so much? Are…are you one of the bloggers at Catholic Fascist?

    headline: Jay Anderson hates American Papist; Pro Ecclesia to begin major blog war with Catholic Vote Action. 😉

    In seriousness, Papist refers to what protestants believes was undue reverence to the Pope. Catholics can rightfully celebrate being associated with the pope, but not celebrate being associated with being vain girly-men, which was the connotation of cavalier.

  • Wrong, again.

    “Cavalier” refers to what Calvinist Roundheads believed was undue Catholic influence within the Stuart monarchy and its supporters. Catholics can rightfully celebrate those who proudly accepted the name “Cavalier” for themselves and fought against the heretical, genocidal Roundhead usurpers.

  • And, by the way, I DO hate Tom Peters (admittedly out of jealousy for his success).

    😉

  • I agree; I hate everyone who gets paid to blog and tweet out of pure jealousy.

    As for you assertions about cavalier, do you have a source? I have a feeling we’re on different planes here.

    Additionally, for turning a discussion about football into the English Civil War, I hate you also. 😉

  • Weren’t tigers also used on the Christians? Just asking.

  • Dale,

    but that’s not saying much. Kinda like shooting zombies in the head, really.

    Niiice.

    I remember the day Sanders retired.

    I was doing a shift meeting with my colleague, a Lions fan, at a Wal-Mart Warehouse in front of the shift-workers and in the middle of announcements my colleague asked everyone to bow their heads in sorrow for Sanders retirement from football.

    Michael Denton,

    Your post is nothing short of Freemason gibberish with a dash of Illuminati seasoning.

    Anyone who lives south of I-10 knows full well that the best professional football is played in the SEC and not the NFL.

  • go pats!!!!!!!!! yes, i’m an addict 🙁

  • Your post is nothing short of Freemason gibberish with a dash of Illuminati seasoning.

    It’s not Illuminati; it’s more Opus Dei/Knights Templar. We New Orleanians know the best spices to season our gumbos.

    Anyone who lives south of I-10 knows full well that the best professional football is played in the SEC and not the NFL.

    It is difficult to be in Louisiana to choose between the World Champion Saints and the greatest conference in college football. Thankfully, they play on different days so that we may enjoy them both.

  • …this embrace of Gnosticism will lead many Cleveland fans to the depths of hell-where the devil will either show them “The Decision” or Cleveland Browns games on an eternal loop.

    Don’t forget “the Drive” which will be meticulously narrated by a demon with over-sized teeth and a #7.

  • Michael: Yeah, that would have worked, too. We Lions fans are eagerly awaiting the return of professional football to Detroit.

    Tito: Thanks! I mean, the Skins will wear the shame of breaking “The Streak” forever, which makes me happy as a Patriots fan.

    Pauli: There will also be slow-mo, frame-by-frame replays of “The Fumble,” narrated by a demon who impersonates John Madden’s voice.

  • You know, Jay, Roger Stauchbach was also a supporter of Catholic education. His daughter attended Ursuline Academy in Dallas in the early ’90s.

  • The Chargers were not named after an electrical device or even a charging horse–it’s worse than either. Former owner Gene Klein wrote about it in his book First Down and a Billion. The Chargers original majority owner, Barron Hilton, was starting a new credit card company in 1960 called “Carte Blanche”. The team was named for what we do with credit cards: We charge.

  • Robert K.,

    Are you serious about the “charge card” thing?

    I did some Google research and they were named “Chargers” because Mr. Hilton liked how Dodger and USC fans would yell “Charge!” during home games.

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  • Lol I couldn’t stop reading this, I was amazed that anyone could actually be this stupid.
    The saints are dirty cheap players.
    And Brees-GAG! …. I wish the vikings would break his legs.

  • Lol I couldn’t stop reading this, I was amazed that anyone could actually be this stupid.

    You don’t get sarcasm, do you.

    The saints are dirty cheap players.

    Actually the Saints have shower technology and are well paid, making them neither dirty nor cheap.

    And Brees-GAG! …. I wish the vikings would break his legs.

    How you can hate a guy like Brees is beyond me. I hope you’re a Viking fan, enjoying Brees walking around victorious tonight on his two perfectly healthy legs.

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