Thursday, June 01, 2006

Crazy Christians

From the first reading for the Mass on the memorial of Saint Justin, martyr:

"For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles..."

It struck me today that, yes, the world — much of it, perhaps most of it — thinks we're nuts.

Yesterday, in what I fear was a fit of idiocy, I tried to comment on Eric Muller's blog, "Is That Legal?" Specifically, the post I was interested in — sorta — was one called "The Pope's Disastrous Speech at Auschwitz."

Leaving aside the post by Professor Muller itself — except to say that he not only refused to call the Holy Father "Pope" or even "Benedict" (except for the post's title) but instead repeatedly misspelled the pontiff's Christian name (it's "Joseph," professor, not "Josef") — I was struck by one comment in particular, from someone called "Just Wondering":

"At Auschwitz the Pope said "Where was God in those days? Why was He silent? How could He permit this endless slaughter,this triumph of evil?"I find this statement most revealing. I would expect that Pope Benedict XVI, The Vicar of Christ,should have rather said "Where was Jesus Christ in those days? Why was He silent? How could He permit this endless slaughter, this triumph of evil?" I leave it to the imagination of each reader to speculate on the meaning of this subtle difference in phrasing. I wonder if the God he was referring to was the "Old Testament" God of Israel. If that was the case, then the answer to the questions is obvious isn't it? I refer, of course, to the old Doctrine of Supercession."

This struck me as being...strange. And also...weird. As if the commenter was — albeit, tortuously — implying that the Holy Father was blaming the "Old Testament God of Israel" other words, blaming the "Jewish God."

Stupidly, I tried to respond:

Uh...Just Wondering? You can stop wondering. See, the thing is, the pontiff believes that Jesus Christ is God. (Me too.)

Anyway, some translations have it as "Lord," and "Lord," referring to Jesus, is all over the New Testament.

Besides that, you might recall one of Jesus' last prayers -- and I believe the Holy Father was praying in your referenced statement, by the way -- before dying, quoting from the Psalms: "My God, my God, why have you foresaken me?"

I hope this is helpful.

Evidently it wasn't. Helpful, I mean. The response:

Dear Kelly Clark: Helpful indeed! You claim, (and you include The Pope in your claim) that Jesus IS God. So I ask you: When Jesus, in His dying moments prayed "My God, My God, Why has't Thou forsaken Me?" to Whom was He praying? To Himself? Also when Jesus, The Son , died, Did God, The Father, also die? If "yes" How could He pray to a dead (or dying) God?; if "no", how could God the Father be alive when God the Son was dead if they are one and the same?


I was, no doubt stupidly so, stunned that the dogma of the Trinity was apparently unheard of. Now, naturally I wasn't about to try to explain the Trinity! But I did try to suggest that the "Wondering" poster maybe google The Apostles Creed, or the Nicene Creed to get a glimpse of what Christians believe.

Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to post, for some odd reason.

Which is why I put my answer here. There didn't seem to be any way to email any of the commenters privately.


Today we remembered a brilliant man who died rather than worship Roman idols.

We preach that God chose to (A) become man, (B) become a rather humble fellow and, insanely enough (C) die an ignominious death.

Add the fact that we believe in One God in Three Divine Persons, and I can see why we're seemed as "foolish."

Which is one reason why I love this line, again, from today's first reading:

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.