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Sin basically means an offense or violation. To me, when things end up being about one self and can hurt another or even one's own life, it's wrong. God gave us all of these natural desires to use wisely and not for selfish purposes, IMO.

Did priests manipulate things long ago? Hell ya...people in power have been manipulating stuff since the beginning on time.

To me free will isn't a "cop out." It's something that works for me. At least I know when I choose something, *I* decide. And no, I don't think "the devil made me do it" when I screw up.

My Priest once said that "Thou Shall Not Murder" would apply to murdering someone's soul, or character and not just taking a life. So to me, that's where molestation comes in, and rape, and slander, etc.

I was never taught that I was so bad that I had to win God's favor. I was taught He loved me beyond words. And like a parent He wants me to lead a good life, so I am happy. I actually like trying to live a good life and not be all about me. Sometimes, oops, I screw up...but all my natural desires, when I enjoy them without being selfish, are terrific!

* I love sex, I love great food...*

Ditto, but I am not going to obsess over natural desires to the point where they will ruin my life. That's when it becomes bad news.

And, from the bottom of my heart, I enjoy my Priest in my life. Father Fred, rocks! He teaches about God's love for us, never about how God will punish us. He is my spiritual leader and I like it.

*I am consistently astonished at the "spin" Pope Ratzinger continues to propagate re/ child molestation. This is such an insult to good Catholics everywhere, I don't know how they can bear it.*

I'm not happy with him at all. And trust me, there's more than one man running things at the Vatican. Not just Ratzinger.

As for condoms, I understand why the church won't hand them out, as any form of artificial birth control is against church teaching. I don't get it, never have done, but I can't change it and I don't think the Church will either.

However, I personally don't know any Catholic who doesn't use some sort of artificial birth control or who wouldn't back the church in handing out condoms in those AIDS stricken countries. I for one wish they would hand them out. But there are plenty of other people on the planet who can go to those countries and start passing condoms around too.

Not only that, the Church has been telling people not to have sex outside of marriage and have they all been listening? No. So not everyone will listen to some priest or nun who hands them a condom and tells them to use it. And condoms are not 100% effective, so even if one is used...doesn't mean it will stop that person from getting the AIDS virus.

Also, the more one has sex, the more risk you have with or without a condom. People need self control more than they do condoms – that would help this crisis a lot more. Responsibility in one's own life. There is no easy answer, but this would be a start.

Now, all these "fundamentalists" are not going to stop thinking the way they do just because we can't understand it. All I know is that I need to do in my life, what I feel is right. If I didn't feel its right, I wouldn't do it. I suppose I don't go around everyday thinking how the world should be different. I suppose if I see something that I think needs to be changed, I get involved.

As for the words written 2000 years ago...if you don't think these are good rules and we need new ones, then I can respect that. It's just that I happen to think they are good rules for me. Also, I don't think I am "backwards" for thinking as such. Following the 10 commandments hasn't gotten me into trouble. It was the times that I didn't follow them, that, I'd find myself in a bit of a pickle. So, I do not mind "swallowing my moral code in tablet form."

I love being a Christian and following my faith. There's nothing wrong with it. I don't force anyone to believe the way I do, and do my best to respect other's religious or non-religious views. And I would hope for the same respect.

I don't know...maybe it's too late and I'm too tired, but this is all I've got.

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Regarding your reply to Eric: from a Mormon to a Catholic (I think you are Catholic) pretty much ditto.

Regarding the Pope: I believe he is a good man and means to do the right thing but maybe the Church having too much power for too long a time, it's leaders separated from having the personal experience of the everyday life of marriage and children and living the sequestered life serving as a member of the hierarchy does not prepare one for judging situations the way you or I might.

It is obvious that there are Priests and Nuns who labor in the "thick of things" with much courage and sacrifice and I would never want to be so foolish as to give them short shrift.

Keep up the excellent posts, Wendy.


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First of all there are exceptions to everything.. however religion has been coming up in my house as I help my college sophmore daughter with her theology class, which she thinks is a snoozer but I find interesting. She was a bit confused over the difference between religions and denominations, but she asked some good questions, and no disrespect to those of you who are, but our dna is not Catholic. In my little surburban world growing up, around me, most people were simply what there folks were, as opposed to matching up their beliefs and see where they fit.

My daughter wanted to know why gender has anything to do with who was allowed to deliver a church sermon.

She also wondered how can a man speak about family values who has no family experience and in fact is disallowed from having one.

And lastly who said God has a secretary in a white robe, if you want to speak with him, you have to go through me, I'll see if I can get you in.

Again no disrespect for those that are, the beauty of this country is we're free to worship anyone, no right or wrong, but my daughter and I , don't get it, they were good questions.

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I think it's super that she is asking questions and not just drawing conclusions without knowing. Please encourage her to always ask questions, that's how one learns!

*My daughter wanted to know why gender has anything to do with who was allowed to deliver a church sermon.*

It doesn't.

It's just that in many Christian religions, right now, only men can be priests based on the fact that Jesus was a man. Something I think should change as many of His disciples were women...including His mother who preached His gospel after His death.

And BTW: it doesn't make it "œwrong." It's just a rule of the church. It's still a "boys" club in many aspects. But throughout time "man made dogma" has changed. It isn't fair, but life isn't fair...and that's why people try to change certain things.

*She also wondered how can a man speak about family values who has no family experience and in fact is disallowed from having one.*

Everyone comes from some sort of a family, therefore, that's where the experience would come from...also there are many priests who counsel that do study family counseling courses — my priest is one of them. Not every family counselor has a family, either, yet many are excellent practitioners.

I've never had kids, but I've given advice to those of my friends who have asked my opinion. Why? Cause I was a kid once and I had parents who instilled certain values in me. Sometimes, even if you've never done something, certain things make sense. Common sense.

(In the Catholic Church, a priest not having a family started centuries ago, basically for land ownership. No family to inherit the land, so the church got it. Cha-ching)

*And lastly who said God has a secretary in a white robe, if you want to speak with him, you have to go through me, I'll see if I can get you in.*

Whew. She is highly misinformed if she thinks that Catholics have to talk to the Pope to get to God and get into heaven. I would love to know where she heard that from if she is studying religion. Or perhaps she came to that conclusion for some reason.

This may help her understand other religions better...start off by Googling questions and then call a local parish/synagogue/church. I can tell you there are many who would sit down and talk to her about their religion and why things are X,Y and Z.

Thing is, in the end...if she doesn't understand why there are certain rules or wouldn't want to belong to a religion that has certain rules, she doesn't have to, and like you said that's the beauty of this country.

Thanks for posing these questions, Steve!

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I like the profile that Eric smokes. The jacket photograph of the Geffen album was very cool, too!


Eric said "I can't help but envy my neighbor"

( I do not yet understand a way of the quotation of the sentence!)

I am impossible that you envy somebody, Eric! You are always respected, and it is existence looked up at.

Because it is loved to you by God, and there is "talent" given by God.

I watched movie "Amadeus" after a long absence last night. I thought of Eric and thought that there was surely the talent given by God.

It is said that there is God in the Japanese "Shinto" in all things. The Shinto is Japanese religion believed for a long time than Buddhism. Of course there is God of the music, too. And there are God 8,000,000 in the Shinto.

You will not surely believe it!

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Even though Eric has difficulty believing in God I agree with you that God gave him his gifts for music and touching peoples hearts.

Our imperfections only show how courageous and wonderful we can be in spite of them.

I know God loves all his offspring and hope Eric will believe that too someday.

BTW. Welcome to the group.


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Eric Carmen said:

No, I have nothing in common with a 19 year old. I prefer mature women who I can relate to.

Maradona's interview several days ago was recalled.


However,I that it is very wise and manners might be good think of the Eric fan of EC.com. A hard time though Wendy's post was read.(It was long and difficult) Nobody has opposition.

Absurd.Chaos.Regardless of the difference of the religion and unlike the idea. We cannot escape from them. We think that we choose each way to keep my spirit. I just think so.

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