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15 Surprising Things Atheists are Saying About Pope Francis

Pope Francis just landed yesterday in America, and today he's being welcomed at the White House. Much of the country has turned its attention to his visit. Whatever you might think of the Pope Francis, it’s hard to deny the fact that people are listening to him; if not his words, certainly his example. I heard someone say, when Pope Francis embraced that man covered with tumors, the world changed! Beautiful. Among those being moved by Pope Francis are atheists. I recently spent time hunting... Read More

An Atheist in Church? Why Christians Should Listen to Their Atheist Neighbors

Atheist in Church

A few years ago I was preparing to debate an atheist on the existence of God at my home church. One lady came up to me, curious about the posters she was seeing advertising the event, and asked about the individual I was debating. “He’s an atheist,” I explained. Immediately her expression tightened and a look of confusion came over her as if to say, “Why would you talk to an atheist?” Forming opinions about the atheist community To be honest, it’s not an unusual reaction.... Read More

8 More Keys to the Catholic Environmental Vision

Nature2

This post will articulate the final eight of fourteen principles that I think underlie the Catholic environmental vision. Part one ended on the thought that the first six principles imply a positive and optimistic attitude toward the natural world, the creator, and the human race. Principle seven, however, is not positive, since Catholicism holds that at the very beginning, something happened which damaged the way man relates to creation. Original sin has disrupted the harmony that ought... Read More

Can Catholics and Atheists Agree on the Environment?

Landscape2

Tomorrow (June 18), Pope Francis will release his long-awaited teaching document on the environment and human ecology. With that in mind, I wrote this article to articulate some principles that underlie the Catholic environmental vision, with the hope that atheists can better understand it and perhaps find common ground. I don’t know if these principles have been set out systematically, but in my research, I have uncovered fourteen. My selection of them is my own, as is the order... Read More

I’m a Muslim But Here’s Why I Admire the Catholic Church

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

First, allow me to start this short article with what might be deemed a startling confession: I am not a Catholic, nor am I even a Christian. In fact, I am a secular Muslim and an avid reader of philosophy and history with an unswerving commitment to the unmitigated truth no matter where it is even, nay especially, if it runs counter to commonly held beliefs. I have spent the last few years researching the history of Christianity, especially the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, and... Read More

Is the Catholic Church a Force for Good?

Church

Western civilization is greatly indebted to the Catholic Church. Modern historical studies—such as Dr. Thomas E. Woods' How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization—have demonstrated with force and clarity that it is the Catholic Church who has been the primary driving force behind the development and progress of the civilized world. The Church has provided innumerable 'goods' for the benefit of humanity. Nonetheless, modern critics assert that no amount of good could outweigh... Read More

The Glory of Being Shut Up

Cathedral

  “Christ prophesied the whole of Gothic architecture in that hour when nervous and respectable people (such people as now object to barrel organs) objected to the shouting of the gutter-snipes of Jerusalem. He said, 'If these were silent, the very stones would cry out.' Under the impulse of His spirit arose like a clamorous chorus the facades of the mediaeval cathedrals, thronged with shouting faces and open mouths. The prophecy has fulfilled itself: the very stones cry out.”... Read More

In Defense of Nice Churches

by  
Filed under The Church

Vow of Poverty

At some point in discussions between Catholics and atheists, the Catholic is obliged to defend the flair his Church has for covering everything in gold. The criticism, veiled as a question, isn’t without foundation. There have been all manners of abuse regarding wealth within the Church, and — if I may prophesy — there will continue to be. No sane man would defend the personal hoarding of wealth, especially not among clergymen. But when the man outside of the Church bemoans... Read More

Does the Catholic Church Hate Women?

Women

The Catholic Church is subjected to a great deal of suspicion, if not outright scorn, when it comes to its treatment of women. Does the Church treat women as "second class"? In short, does the Catholic Church hate women? Few people would put the question that strongly, yet many believe the answer is "yes." As evidence, they point to sexist quotations from Church Fathers and sexist interpretations of Scripture. Even Scripture contains "subordination" passages, such as "Let wives also be... Read More

Black and White and Misread All Over

Black and White

NOTE: Dr. Feser's contributions at Strange Notions were originally posted on his own blog, and therefore lose some of their context when reprinted here. Dr. Feser explains why that matters.     Philosopher Dale Tuggy recently quoted a famous passage from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola:   "To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it, believing that between Christ our Lord,... Read More