Comments

  1. jj says

    It’s great they’re out, and it’s been fascinating to watch.  Which one is the one who turned out to have both the wife and the mistress maintaining a vigil at the top of the shaft?  Has he come up yet?  Is he sorry he did?  Is he thankful?  (Well, if he is he’ll get over it, when he meets his wife’s lawyer.)
     
    I dunno.  Call me a cynic.  Or something else, if you’re more imaginative.  I’ve always had difficulty with the concept of people in situations like this being grateful to the almighty.  I have trouble philosophically with God annexing the credit for rescuing people from situations into which He has dumped them in the first place.  I guess He was watching another channel when the mine collapsed, which, according to his public relations, it could not have done without Him being aware of it, and okaying it.  I suppose I’m not quite as cynical as Mark Twain – but nearly.
     
     

  2. jj says

    Sure.  Practically any shared thing – could be love of cats; could be pedophilia; could be flat feet – holds people together.  That’s human nature, we all want to be part of a group of like or like-minded folks.
     
    But contemporary history seems – regrettably – mostly to bear out that faith in fact drives people apart better than practically anything else ever invented.  Leads them to kill each other pretty promiscuously, too.  (That’s not a different species we’re fighting, just guys with a different faith.)
     
    I don’t know.  No great philosophical point here.  It’s just odd that people who survive events like, say, the day after Christmas tsunami a few years ago, or the explosion of Mt. Pinatubo are very grateful to God for their survival.  It seems not to occur to them that the same party might (again, according to his PR department, which says he’s in charge of everything) bear some responsibility for said tsunami, or said eruption.
     
    It’s great the guys are getting out of the mine, but that’s owing to nothing more than human ingenuity.  Maybe I am as cynical as Twain.
     

  3. says

    God, being defied as the First Cause, can be selectively held responsible for disasters or miracles. The point is that he caused the creation of people. So it doesn’t really matters what happens after that. No people, nothing to worry about. Or concurrently, those that can create something can also destroy it.

  4. Charles Martel says

    “But contemporary history seems – regrettably – mostly to bear out that faith in fact drives people apart better than practically anything else ever invented.  Leads them to kill each other pretty promiscuously, too.” 

    I assume that since you use the expression “contemporary history” you are referring not only to Islam but also to such modern faiths as Communism and secular humanism, both of which believe in a bright, shining, rational future no matter how many corpses it takes (gluags, abortuaries) to ge there?  

  5. jj says

    Not exclusively.  I don’t know that I actually even accept that either Communism or secular humanism qualify as genuine faiths.  When I said faith that’s what I meant.  I’m married to a Protestant of the German persuasion whose faith, when you peel away the facade and look at the man behind the curtain, seems quite firm on the fact that me and all the rest of us dirty thieving lying Catholics are bound for hell.  My English Protestant mother had to admit that hers felt the same way – and boy did the Catholic Church put her through some s**t for daring to marry a Catholic!  She had to swear to raise the kids as Catholics, her own thoughts be damned;  had to swear to never interfere with anything and not even snicker to herself behind a hand held to her mouth.  I personally wouldn’t have accepted it.  And Mel Gibson, and any number of other highly traditional/conservative Catholics are equally certain that everybody else is bound for an afterlife of deep tanning.  Especially Mormons and Christian Scientists, both of which are seen as dangerous cults for the feeble-minded.  (Which is, of course, exactly how a large percentage of the rest of the world sees Catholics.)
     
    None of these western faiths talk much about the traditional enmity much any more, (unless you get an Irish monsignor drunk, which we occasionally do [generally by the time he's bombed we all are]), but on the other hand none of them have repealed their original statutes, either.  (Well, okay, JP II did decide that maybe the Jews aren’t such bad guys, after all.)  So I use the phrase “contemporary history” in regard to faiths to refer to actual faiths – not “isms.”  Islam of course would be one.  Everybody knows the historical problems between the various western faiths, and of course the historical problems between Islam and everybody else in sight.  The point is, these problems – except with Islam – have retreated off the front page, but despite the (western) happy talk they’re a long way away from being gone.   Thus, “contemporary.”  If you’d like to broaden it to make it more ‘historical’ than ‘contemporary’ history, feel free.
     
    Oh – just a sidelight!  Miner #20 came up – to be met by his mistress, but not the wife.  She refused to come near it, or have anything to do with any of it.  He’ll be meeting her lawyer shortly.  He’ll probably come to regret being saved.  For certain he’ll never see any part of the lifetime pension the government’s granted them!

  6. Charles Martel says

    jj: OK, now I get what you mean about faith pushing people apart, although it’s funny that in two of the instances you cite, the people of (different) faiths involved actually wound up together in marriages. Thank goodness the certainty of the people you described didn’t lead to them shooting or torturing one another—the way, say, their disagreements might have ended up under an “ism.”

    Ironically, you assert some things from faith rather than knowledge. You say Christian Scientists and Mormon are seen (I assume by Catholics) as cults for the feeble-minded, although I have never in my 60+ years as a Catholic run into anybody of my faith who thinks that way. They may consider the theological bases on those two religions to be pretty squiffy, but I can’t recall them denigrating the intellects of their practitioners. So how is it you know this stuff and I don’t?

    As to whether “a large percentage” of the rest of the world sees Catholics also as feeble-minded, I have no more idea what that percentage is than you do, so your sharp and detailed estimate is lost on me. My same comment would apply to the “any number” of “highly traditional/conservative Catholics” who think all non-Catholics will all burn in Hell. There probably are still some Feenyists in the Catholic Church who believe in “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” (“Outside the Church there is no salvation”), but I’ve never run into one. Apparently you’ve run into more than one. Perhaps someday you could introduce me to “any number” of them?

  7. says

    Yes, there have been moments of true grace indeed!

    Unfortunately, there have been moments of classlessness – especially among those in the media.  Barcepundit has a link which shows how the new media treated one of the miner’s family in Camp Hope – they ran over and knocked down their tent in an effort to be the first to interview them.

    But, yes that guy with the “gift of rocks” was fantastic.  I hope that his euphoria doesn’t turn 360 into despair. There is one big thing that I think will help all of them – they (according to the news) made a pact to not talk about what happened before they were found.  They also had requested (but were turned down) that they all stay together until the last miner was out and go to the hospital together.  So, they seemed to have developed a “togetherness” that is much greater than just camaraderie.  I think that if they can stick with that togetherness they can help each other in the coming months and years – here’s to wishing them well.

    P.S.  JJ – that one miner’s wife did NOT met him when he came out, only his mistress did.

  8. suek says

    As another lifelong Catholic, I support Charles position.  But I’ll add another…  I have also heard that
    <<“Outside the Church there is no salvation”>>, however there’s a caveat to that:  you become a member of the Church through baptism.  Then there’s this little kicker… there are three forms of baptism: baptism of water (the usual), baptism by blood (you’re killed for your religious beliefs) and baptism of desire (you live your life consistent with sincerely held beliefs).  That pretty much covers everybody who is actually concerned about God, religion of any kind and whether they can be on the “right” side of an afterlife.
     
    >>My English Protestant mother had to admit that hers felt the same way – and boy did the Catholic Church put her through some s**t for daring to marry a Catholic!  She had to swear to raise the kids as Catholics, her own thoughts be damned;  had to swear to never interfere with anything and not even snicker to herself behind a hand held to her mouth.>>
     
    See now…I agree with the Church on this.  The Church’s position is that the _primary_ purpose of marriage is the procreation of children.  (Note I said ‘primary”, not “only”)  The parents  need to be unified on how they’re raising their children – and particularly, the Church expects the children to be raised in the Catholic faith and recognizes the importance of the mother especially in forming that faith.  Faith issues are also a factor in the unity within the marriage.  Your statement sounds as if your attitude (and your mother’s , I’ll bet) towards religion is more along the lines of a club which you either belong to or don’t.
     
    Why did your mother accept these terms if she didn’t agree with them?  It sure sounds like a false promise of sorts – that she did indeed “snicker to herself”.  Because she didn’t have to agree to these terms – your parents could have married civilly outside the church if she objected strongly to the terms…so why did she agree to them if she _didn’t_ agree with them?  Maybe over the years she learned that the religion of her childhood meant more to her than she thought…

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