Sunday, October 09, 2005

Catholic bishops say Bible is not true?

Whoa. This is huge news for the millions and millions of Catholics in the world. (I've been saying for years that the Bible should not be taken "literally", but nobody listened...)

The [Roman] Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their
five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture,
that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible. (link)

So, basically, they're saying that parts of the Bible aren't accurate. This means that parts of the Bible aren't necessarily true, which in turn indicates that the Bible is not 100% "inspired by God", which logically results in the conclusion that it was therefore inspired/written by the only other alternative, man. If man created the teachings in the Bible, then it is obviously suspect, as even the best of mankind is full of crap sometimes.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with the decision to publicly announce this theory. Granted, I'm an athiest (actual athiest, not agnostic), so it really doesn't affect my beliefs in any way, but still, if only for the preservation of the Catholic Church as a business (and the Catholic church is a business. They own their own country, for crying out loud), they should keep this sort of thing quiet. After all, they're essentially saying that everything that they've told people to believe in for thousands of years is suddenly no longer true.

Example: The Catholic church (as a whole) believes that during the communion process, the cracker literally becomes the body of Christ. Not merely a symbol, but literally the "body of Christ". (This belief derives from referencing Jesus' words during the Last Supper, and interpreting them literally.) Now, if the Catholics are to believe that the Bible is not necessarily literal, but (as makes much more sense) chock full of metaphor and symbolism, then this means that the cracker is just a cracker. Those participating in the communion ritual are still making the effort to commemorate Jesus' death, etc, but does it mean as much to a generation who has been raised on the belief that they were actually eating of Jesus' body and therefore "combining" with his holy aura in some way?

This is not the only recent news story to make people question the accuracy of the Bible. Recently, on (Generation X's church, I suppose), I read an article which questioned the validity of the number 666 as having the dubious claim of the proper number with which to refer to the antichrist. (Apparently, it's now supposed to be "616", much to the chagrin of southwestern Michigan residents living in that area code...)

I suppose the point of this rant is this: If people believe something, it doesn't really matter whether it's true or not. More people have been fought in the name of God (usually from both sides of a conflict, each of which thinks they have God on their side) than anything else in history. (Some) Muslims gladly kill themselves in suicide bombings because they believe that they'll have 72 virgins (or "white raisins" for you nitpickers) waiting for them in the afterlife. Many Hindus starve to death while feeding edible grain to the also-edible moo-cows because they consider them to be sacred. To me, these beliefs don't make sense. Of course, neither does the idea that if you give all of your money to the church when you die, you'll go to Heaven. Sounds just a little bit scammy to me, considering the fact that you can't exactly come back and ask for a refund when you find out it wasn't true.

Angry Internet Guy says, "Pick a belief and stick with it, or just come out and admit that you're wrong... But either way, make up your minds already!"

Related blog articles:
Catholic Church non longer swears by truth of the Bible
The Catholic Church shocks the world!