I woke up today to find some of my favorite Catholics blogs were going to be going offline. Apparently one or more persistent atheist commenters were making objections that devastated the authors of these blogs.
Joe of the “Blind Faith and No Reason” blog posted:
I use to ask atheists how matter could come out of nothing bringing up “Ex nihilo”, out of nothing nothing comes. Unfortunately an atheist commenter asked me about my own belief in “Why do you believe your mythical being could exist then?” I was stunned by this question. Nobody in the 2,000 year history of the Church had never considered this objection. He then brought up other questions that also nobody in the 2,000 year philosophical history of the Church had ever considered. So glad my atheist commenter finally forced me to take the red pill and to wake up into reality.
I was saddened by this, but was shocked when the next blog I went to had this to say:
I thought my Catholic commenters and myself were making headway responding to an atheist commenter and then the commenter brought up the priestly abuse scandal. We were totally unprepared for this. How could the Church founded by Christ have sinners in it? I then realized my understanding of the magical sacraments was totally flawed. Surely if God existed once I became his fanboy he would rip out my free will allowing me only to do good. I totally see now that it is not the examples of the saints who lived the faith that I should be informed by but by the sinners who didn’t live the faith. Then he brought up other examples of past sins of the Church that must be totally true in every detail since he saw it on the History Channel.
Unbelievably when I next clicked on the “Scriptural Catholic” blog I found this post by Duey Rheims:
As a lay scriptural scholar I thought I knew scripture and my faith rather well. Having read scripture daily for many years, read commentaries, heard the word proclaimed at Mass I thought I had a good understanding. Then an atheist commenter started leaving objections and questions on my comment boxes. I am prepared for most objections, but was not prepared for his asking about “talking snakes and a man living three days inside of a fish”. Wow I had never considered that there were such odd things in the Bible and I must have insulated myself from reality by ignoring this. I use have a fairly nuanced view of scripture knowing that scripture is not like modern history and that there were various literary genres used to impart truth. For example when the Prophet Nathan told King David the story of the Ewe Lamb that was taken by the rich man even though the rich man had plenty of his own, Samuel was telling a story that imparted the truth of what King David was doing by taking Bathsheba in adultery. Then I remembered Balaam’s talking Donkey and now know that the only way to approach scripture is to be a fundamentalist in regard to scriptural interpretation. No nuance or study is required, just read it and what you think it means at first blush or through your own interpretive lens is the right one. All those scholars throughout the ages just totally missed was is obvious to the combo box atheist. He then told me God hated shellfish and I knew my faith was crushed.
OK, this was getting serious. Still I was not prepared for what I found at the “Midwife of Science” blog:
I use to write on the stillbirth of science in every civilization and culture and how the Christian philosophical atmosphere prepared for the growth of science. The late priest and physicist Stanley Jaki wrote extensively about this in his books on science history. “Once more the Christian belief in the Creator allowed a break-through in thinking about nature. Only a truly transcendental Creator could be thought of as being powerful enough to create a nature with autonomous laws without his power over nature being thereby diminished. Once the basic among those laws were formulated science could develop on its own terms.” I use to point out to atheist these facts and the thousands of Catholic scientists throughout the ages. There are of course famous examples such as the Friar Gregor Johann Mendel and Deacon (possibly priest) Nicolaus Copernicus. Or the priest/astronomer/physicist Georges Lemaître who came up with what came to be called the Big Bang Theory. I knew of this and countless examples from my own research and the Catholic Laboratory Podcast. This morning after my usual routine I checked my email and found a comment from an atheist “What about the Galileo affair?” Wow, how did I miss that and its significance? Obviously this one example where Galileo was prosecuted for breaking his word and teaching as fact something not proved with empirical evidence almost two centuries after his death. So what if Galileo was totally wrong for using as proof the tides? So what if he was treated even worse by the scientists of the time and he had rather an abrasive personality. Surely this one example which could have been handled better is proof that the Church hates science and just wish it could go away so we could go back to some dark dank ages kicking it up like the Amish. The fact that the Church had setup Cathedrals as solar observatories and that she still maintains astronomical observatories is just cover for her hatred of empirical science.
As the day progresses I see more an more of the devastation of the Catholic blogosphere as Catholic blogs go dark. Now as for myself you don’t have to worry. Like any solid Catholic I am totally immune to reasonable arguments by atheists. The Pope told me atheists are mistaken so I just depend on the argument by authority without messing my mind up with want pesky reason. If God wanted me to mess around with reason he wouldn’t have given me faith.