Between Hitchens and Dawkins, I can't tell which one of them takes the lead in paralogisms. Neither of them seems to be able to come to a correct conclusion, even with all the facts. They also have a penchant for stepping out of their province and making sovereign pronouncements.
'Science disproves God; religion impoverishes one's view of the universe',etc; things that these people have no business even thinking about. They invalidate themselves as scientists.
Cardinal Manning, speaking in the name of the Pope, said, 'I acknowledge no civil power; I am the subject of no prince; and I claim more than this. I claim to be the supreme judge and director of the consciences of men-- of the peasants that till the fields, and of the prince that sits upon the throne; of the household that lives in the shade of privacy, and the legislator that makes laws for kingdoms-- I am sole, last, supreme judge of what is right and wrong. Moreover, we declare, affirm, define, and pronounce it to be necessary to salvation to every human creature, to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.' Oct. 9, 1864.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of concern for the state, here.
Has anyone answered my challenge to the pope's existence, based on Eph 2: 19-22?
The belief that, do what you will, your sins may be waved away without brokenness, holy mourning, repentance, and 'striving to enter in', can be very attractive to those who are wearied by unceasing Christian warfare.
One last interesting proposal by their chief theologian.
I found this alarming enough to render lying negligible: 'Though heretics must not be tolerated because they deserve it, we must bear with them, till, by a second admonition, they may be brought back to the faith of the church. But those who, after a second admonition, remain obstinate in their errors, must not only be excommunicated, but they must be delivered to the secular power to be exterminated.' St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologia, Vol. iv. p.90.
You do realise, Lance Eccles, that our battle is not with you, but with your church and your defense of it.
Our prayers are with you, for your salvation and entrance into glory. We plead your continued remembrance of this in all of our discussions.
I was under the impression that the declaration of the Council of Constance, to the effect that promises to 'heretics' need not be kept, amounted to a green light to lie. Upon more than one occasion, godly men, promised security, were taken in snares and murdered (at least, that's what I call being burned at the stake, hanged, etc).
The fact that this took place is not some secret or esoteric information.
Having dozens of the Puritans in my library, I can testify that their poetry is sublime, Paradise Lost certainly being way up there.
The 'elegiac poem' on the death of Mr. Augustus Toplady, as well as the poetry of Mr. James Hervey, whom he admired much, is very affecting. The only difficulty that I had reading these, was the continual pausing to muse or clear my throat.