Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Reality of Dragons

Abstract: Dragons were real as can be seen especially from the trustworthy, unambiguous testimony of the scholarly, non-gullible Church Doctor St. John Damascene.

MYTH
Dragons never existed



Notes and References

Saturday, May 17, 2008

No Divorce!

MYTH
Divorce, i.e., dissolution of the marriage bond and contracting a second marriage while the other spouse is still alive is OK in cases of adultery

Abstract: Why divorce is absolutely unacceptable, proving that the Gates of Hell have prevailed against the Eastern Orthodox Church which means that Eastern Orthodoxy is not the one true faith.

The following authorities (found in the old Catholic Encyclopedia article "Divorce (in Moral Theology)") teach expressly that the marriage bond is indissoluble (i.e. only death can end a consummated marriage)

Scripture
St. Moses the God-Seeing Prophet says, Dt 24:4: The former husband cannot take her again to wife: because she is defiled, and is become abominable before the Lord: lest thou cause thy land to sin, which the Lord thy God shall give thee to possess.St. Matthew the Evangelist says, Mt 19:4-9:
Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that He who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And He said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. They say to Him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away? He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.
Patriarch St. John Mark I the Evangelist of Alexandria says, Mk 10:11-12: "And He saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband and be married to another, she committeth adultery."St. Luke the Evangelist says, Lk 16:18: "Every one that putteth away his wife and marrieth another committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery."St. Paul the Apostle says, 1 Cor 7:10-11: "But to them that are married, not I, but the Lord, commandeth that the wife depart not from her husband. And if she depart, that she remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away his wife."2 Cor 12:14: "Behold now the third time I am ready to come to you and I will not be burdensome unto you. For I seek not the things that are yours, but you. For neither ought the children to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children."

Fathers and Doctors
East: St. Justin Martyr the Philosopher of Caesarea: Apolog. 1:15 in PG 6:349:
And, Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced from another husband, commits adultery. And, There are some who have been made eunuchs of men, and some who were born eunuchs, and some who have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake; but all cannot receive this saying [Matthew 19:12]. So that all who, by human law, are twice married, are in the eye of our Master sinners, and those who look upon a woman to lust after her. For not only he who in act commits adultery is rejected by Him, but also he who desires to commit adultery: since not only our works, but also our thoughts, are open before God.
East: Athenagoras of Athens (177): In Legatio pro Christi 33 in PG 6:965:
For we bestow our attention, not on the study of words, but on the exhibition and teaching of actions,— that a person should either remain as he was born, or be content with one marriage; for a second marriage is only a specious adultery. For whosoever puts away his wife, says He, and marries another, commits adultery [Matthew 19:9]; not permitting a man to send her away whose virginity he has brought to an end, nor to marry again. For he who deprives himself of his first wife, even though she be dead, is a cloaked adulterer, resisting the hand of God, because in the beginning God made one man and one woman, and dissolving the strictest union of flesh with flesh, formed for the intercourse of the race.
East: St. Clement of Alexandria: Stromata 2:23 in PG 8:1096:
Now that the Scripture counsels marriage, and allows no release from the union, is expressly contained in the law, You shall not put away your wife, except for the cause of fornication; and it regards as fornication, the marriage of those separated while the other is alive. Not to deck and adorn herself beyond what is becoming, renders a wife free of calumnious suspicion, while she devotes herself assiduously to prayers and supplications; avoiding frequent departures from the house, and shutting herself up as far as possible from the view of all not related to her, and deeming housekeeping of more consequence than impertinent trifling. He that takes a woman that has been put away, it is said, commits adultery; and if one puts away his wife, he makes her an adulteress, that is, compels her to commit adultery. And not only is he who puts her away guilty of this, but he who takes her, by giving to the woman the opportunity of sinning; for did he not take her, she would return to her husband. What, then, is the law? [Lev 20:10; Dt 22:22] In order to check the impetuosity of the passions, it commands the adulteress to be put to death, on being convicted of this; and if of priestly family, to be committed to the flames [Lev 21:9]. And the adulterer also is stoned to death, but not in the same place, that not even their death may be in common. And the law is not at variance with the Gospel, but agrees with it. How should it be otherwise, one Lord being the author of both? She who has committed fornication lives in sin, and is dead to the commandments; but she who has repented, being as it were born again by the change in her life, has a regeneration of life; the old harlot being dead, and she who has been regenerated by repentance having come back again to life. The Spirit testifies to what has been said by Ezekiel, declaring, I desire not the death of the sinner, but that he should turn [Ek 33:11]. Now they are stoned to death; as through hardness of heart dead to the law which they believed not. But in the case of a priestess the punishment is increased, because to whom much is given, from him shall more be required [Lk 12:48].
West: Tertullian of Carthage: De monogamia 100:9 in PL 2:991.
East: Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea (Doctor): Epist. can. 2 and Ad Amphilochium can. 48 in PG 32:732.
East: Bishop St. Epiphanius of Salamis: Haeres. 59:4 in PG 41:1024.
West: Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan (Doctor): in Luc. 8:5:18 in PL 15:1855: "You dismiss your wife, therefore, as if by right and without being charged with wrongdoing; and you suppose it is proper for you to do so because no human law forbids it; but divine law forbids it. Anyone who obeys men ought to stand in awe of God. Hear the law of the Lord, which even they who propose our laws must obey: 'What God has joined together let no man put asunder.'"
East: Patriarch St. John Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople (Doctor): De libello repud. in PG 51:218:
"What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." See a teacher's wisdom. I mean, that being asked, Is it lawful? He did not at once say, It is not lawful, lest they should be disturbed and put in disorder, but before the decision by His argument He rendered this manifest, showing that it is itself too the commandment of His Father, and that not in opposition to Moses did He enjoin these things, but in full agreement with him. But mark Him arguing strongly not from the creation only, but also from His command. For He said not, that He made one man and one woman only, but that He also gave this command that the one man should be joined to the one woman. But if it had been His will that he should put this one away, and bring in another, when He had made one man, He would have formed many Women. But now both by the manner of the creation, and by the manner of lawgiving, He showed that one man must dwell with one woman continually, and never break off from her.
West: Hieromonk St. Jerome the Great of Strido (Doctor): Epist. 60 ad Amand. n. 3 in PL 22:562.
West: Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo (Doctor of Grace): De adulterinis conjugiis 2:4 in PL 40:473.
East: Bishop Theodoret of Cyrus: on 1 Cor 7:39-40 in PG 82:275.

Popes
Pope St. Gregory I the Great (Doctor): Ep. ad Urbicum Abb. in PL 77:833.
Pope St. Leo I the Great (Doctor): Ep. ad. Nicetam Aquil. in PL 54:1136.
Pope St. Innocent I: Epist. ad Exsuper n. 12 in PL 20:500: "The practice is observed by all of regarding as an adulteress a woman who marries a second time while her husband yet lives, and permission to do penance is not granted her until one of them is dead."
Pope St. Zachary (1/5/747): Ep. Merovingici et Karolini ...

Councils
Synod of Elvira (300): Can. 8: "Likewise, women who have left their husbands for no prior cause and have joined themselves with others, may not even at death receive communion." Can. 9: "Likewise, a woman of the faith [i.e., a baptized person] who has left an adulterous husband of the faith and marries another, her marrying in this manner is prohibited. If she has so married, she may not at any more receive communion--unless he that she has left has since departed from this world." Can. 10: "If she whom a catechumen has left shall have married a husband, she is able to be admitted to the fountain of baptism. This shall also be observed in the instance where it is the woman who is the catechumen. But if a woman of the faithful is taken in marriage by a man who left an innocent wife, and if she knew that he had a wife whom he had left without cause, it is determined that communion is not to be given to her even at death."
Synod of Arles (314)
Second Council of Mileve (416)
Council of Heveford (673), Can. 10.

Notes and References

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Straight Dope on Vatican II

MYTH
Vatican II was a heretical pseudo-synod which created a new church

Abstract:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Top 10 Atheist Arguments and Replies

As one who has spent hundreds of hours of research on theism vs. atheism, I have carefully chosen the top 10 strongest arguments against theism and Christianity and have named, described, and assessed them below (the order that they are in is not necessarily representative of the true ranking in terms of strength).

1. In "The Tale of the Twelve Officers" (2002), Mark I. Vuletic presents what are prima facie forceful arguments against twelve distinct theodicies. His parable is worth a read but its fatal flaw is its false premise that, in the words of first rate Christian apologist Glenn M. Miller, "the culpability of human (police) non-intervention in violent crime (brutal rape and murder) implies that God's non-intervention shows Him to be impotent or malevolent."
2. In "The Argument from the Bible" (1996), professor Theodore M. Drange argues that the Bible cannot be the Word of God because it is full of false prophecies, sundry contradictions (internal e.g. resurrection sequence of events; and external, e.g. scientific errors), evil actions by God, implausible miracle accounts, and prophecies which Christianity misinterprets as confirming Christian doctrine. I've already started refuting Drange's treatise, which contains many blunders not at all reflective of good scholarship.
3. In "A Disproof of God's Existence" (1970) Michael Martin tries to prove God's nonexistence based on the false premise that God's moral goodness is incompatible with His knowledge of evil (e.g. an omniscient God cannot know lust and envy without having had feelings of lust and envy Himself, making omniscience and moral goodness fundamentally incompatible).
4. Francois Tremblay attempts to show that God cannot possibly exist due to the primacy of existence over consciousness.

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Eve Sinned Worse Than Adam

Eve sinned more grievously than Adam; Eve wanted to become like God against God's will but Adam did not want to do so against God's will. Eve sinned against God and her neighbor by sinning herself and suggesting that Adam sin. Adam's sin is less grievous because he agreed to sin, as St. Augustine puts it, due to some kind of "friendly good-will" which can make men "offend God" instead of making "an enemy of his friend," though Adam should not have done this.{1} God punished Eve more severely than Adam [Gen 3:16-19].

I wonder if Adam and Eve are saints. They did not sin against the Holy Ghost,{2} and it is hard to believe they did not repent and grow closer and closer to God for the rest of their extremely long lives; Adam lived another 930 years [Gen 5:5].

Notes and References
{1} Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo, Doctor Gratiae, Gen. ad lit. 11:42.
{2} Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo, Doctor Gratiae, City of God 14:11.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Contraception Is A Mortal Sin

Irreformable Church Teaching: Contraception is Intrinsically Evil
1. "The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable."{1} Moreover, "the Church, nevertheless, in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life."{2} Thus the Church has always taught that contraception is ALWAYS evil NO MATTER the intention, purpose, or circumstances. Therefore contraception is ALWAYS an objective MORTAL sin which is DAMNABLE, and MORESO when it is done WITHIN marriage.{3} God killed Onan, who went to Hell since he died in mortal sin, for withdrawing during sex and wasting his seed,{4} which is today called Onanism.

The Sin of Onan and Other Sexual Immorality
2. Onan spurned God's blessing to "be fruitful and multiply" [Gen 1:28] and disobeyed God's direct command to impregnate the widow of his brother. Those who deliberately physically sterilize themselves are an abomination before the Lord.{5} God wills to bless couples with many children{6} and when we waste our seed with oral sex or forms of "outercourse" instead of genital intercourse open to life{7} we do the opposite of what our Lord did because we effectively say to God, "Not Your will, but my will be done"{8} and thus defy the will of the Holy Spirit Whose temple is our body.{9} We deserve death for spitefully rejecting the fertility with which God has bestowed us.{10} We may distinguish five kinds of sex: vaginal, oral, anal, manual, and mammary. Only vaginal sex without contraception between husband and wife is permissible.

Contraception Turns Marital Love into a Lie
3. For the unitive and procreative ends of marriage are truly inseparable.{11} Marital sex involves complete self-donation to the wife and when the husband denies his wife his procreative powers then he gives only part of himself to his wife. Therefore contraception makes a lie of marital love.{12}

Contraception vs. Natural Family Planning
4. Contraception and Natural Family Planning (NFP) are different. Contraception is evil while NFP is not. But the purpose of both is to not have babies; therefore they are morally equivalent and are thus both evil! Wrong. NFP is not sinful.{13} Contraception means intentionally willing the nonexistence of this possible baby who could be conceived due to this act of sexual intercourse. It means that the couple would see a baby as an undesirable accident instead of correctly seeing him as the fruit of God's will and wise providence. However, read n14 and you will see that NFP is essentially different from contraception because NFP is the choice to not conceive a baby at a certain time for legitimate and grave reasons without the non-willing of the conception of a particular child and without making impossible the conception of a baby during a particular conjugal act because that particular conjugal act did not occur. Unlike contraception, NFP does not involve the separation of sexual pleasure from its deepest purpose. In contrast to contraception, NFP necessarily entails the acceptance of babies resulting from improper practice thereof as blessings from the Lord. NFP (abstinence during fertile periods for sufficiently grave reasons) can be anti-life but only from the mortal sin of its abusers. Contraception, however, is intrinsically anti-life. Moreover, NFP is not abortifacient,{14} unlike the forms of contraception IUD, several varieties of the Pill, and Norplant.

Notes and References
{1} Pontifical Council for the Family, Vade Mecum for Confessors concerning Some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life, n. 4.
{2} Humanae Vitae, n. 11. Wherefore St. Clement of Alexandria said in A.D. 191 [The Instructor of Children 2:10:95:3], "To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature." And in A.D. 307 St. Lactantius said [Divine Institutes 6:23:18], "God gave us eyes not to see and desire pleasure, but to see acts to be performed for the needs of life; so too, the genital ['generating'] part of the body, as the name itself teaches, has been received by us for no other purpose than the generation of offspring."
{3} Bishop of Hippo and Doctor of the Church St. Augustine the Great says [On the Good of Marriage 11], "[T]he Apostle [Paul] could not be silent, when speaking of the excessive corruptions of unclean and impious men … by changing the natural use into that which is against nature, which is more damnable when it is done in the case of husband or wife." This harmonizes with our Lord's teaching in Lk 12:48: "So then, of all to whom much has been given, much will be required. And to those of whom much has been entrusted, even more will be asked."
{4} St. Moses says [Gen 38:7-10],
But Er, Judah's first-born, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. Then Judah said to Onan, 'Go into your brother's wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.' But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, so when he went into his brother's wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and He slew him also.
Wherefore St. Clement of Alexandria said in A.D. 191 [The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2], "Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted."
{5} St. Moses says [Lev 21:16-20],
"And the LORD said to Moses, 'Say to Aaron, None of your descendants throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback, or a dwarf, or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles…" He adds [Dt 23:1], "He whose testicles are crushed or whose male member is cut off shall not enter the assembly of the LORD."
St. Paul says [Eph 5:29-31],
For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes it and cherishes it, even as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
{6} St. Ezra says [1 Chr 25:5], "All these were the sons of Haman the king's seer, according to the promise of God to exalt him; for God had given Haman fourteen sons and three daughters."King St. Solomon says [Ps 127:3-5], "Lo, sons are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate."St. Malachi says [Mal 2:15], "Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does He desire? So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth."{7} St. Moses says, quoting YHWH Himself [Lev 18:22-23; 20:13],
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And you shall not lie with any beast and defile yourself with it, neither shall any woman give herself to a beast to lie with it: it is perversion. … If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.
Writing in A.D. 375, Bishop St. Epiphanius of Salamis said [Medicine Chest Against Heresies 26:5:2], "[certain Egyptian heretics] exercise genital acts, yet prevent the conceiving of children. Not in order to produce offspring, but to satisfy lust, are they eager for corruption."
{8} Cf. Lk 22:41-42, "After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, He prayed, saying, 'Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done.'"
{9} St. Paul says [1 Cor 6:19-20], "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, Whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body."
{10} St. Luke says [Acts 5:1-11],
A man named Ananias, however, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. He retained for himself, with his wife's knowledge, some of the purchase price, took of the remainder, and put it at the feet of the Apostles. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart so that you lied to the Holy Spirit and retained part of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain yours? And when it was sold, was it not still under your control? Why did you contrive this deed? You have lied not to human beings, but to God." When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last, and great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men came and wrapped him up, then carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, unaware of what had happened. Peter said to her, "Tell me, did you sell the land for this amount?" She answered, "Yes, for that amount." Then Peter said to her, "Why did you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen, the footsteps of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." At once, she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men entered they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole Church and upon all who heard of these things.
{11} Humanae Vitae, n. 12: "That teaching, often set forth by the Magisterium, is founded upon the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and procreative meaning."
{12} St. Paul says [Rom 1:26-27], "Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity."
{13} St. Paul says [1 Cor 7:5], "Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control." Wherefore Pope Paul VI says [Humanae Vitae 10]:
"In relation to the tendencies of instinct or passion, responsible parenthood means that necessary dominion which reason and will must exercise over them. In relation to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised, either by the deliberate and generous decision to raise a numerous family, or by the decision, made for grave motives and with due respect for the moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate period, a new birth."
{14} Abortifacient means causing a spontaneous abortion, i.e., a miscarriage.