Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


forgive only personal attacks on me and nobody else?

Reverend Father, Peter R Scott preaches, "The obligation of forgiveness, even of our enemies, is fundamental to the new law of charity instituted by Our Divine Savior. We all have heard many times of Our Lordís response to St. Peterís question: "Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times" (Mt. 18:21-22). We constantly pray in the Our Father that God might forgive us, as we forgive those who trespass against us (Mt. 6:12). We know that regardless of the insults directed against us, we must pray for our persecutors, as Our Lord himself did on the Cross: "Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you" (Mt. 5:44).  However, it is not for us to forgive injuries done against Almighty God or against others. We are not those who have been offended, insulted, attacked, calumniated, and it is not our honor that is in question. It is consequently not for us to forgive, but for God Himself, or for the persons concerned. In such instances, of course, we have the duty to pray for the enemies of God, that they might convert and ask for pardon, that they might understand the gravity of the insults directed against God and His friends, or against the Blessed Virgin or the Church. However, it is not in our power to forgive an injury that is not directed against us. How frequent this situation is with respect to God, and how great a desire of making reparation it enkindles in our hearts! Yet only God, who is offended, can forgive, and then only when pardon is requested of Him."

Thoughts: As resentful as you feel when God is hurt you have to live with it.  Forgiving to get rid of it is not an option.  This denies that forgiveness is merely/mainly about trying to emotionally feel better about what terrible thing somebody has done.  It says you have no choice but to hate those who hurt God or others for you cannot forgive what is not done to you.  Religion says hate is not a sin when it cannot be helped.  As God is seen as perfect goodness and good to you and the reason you have anything good in your life at all that is drawing people into quite intense hate against those who disrespect God or ignore him. 

The atheist answer is that if you scrap belief in God you will have less wrongdoing in others to worry about.  Faith has more "sins" to the list than necessary - not making it all about God, not praying, sex outside marriage etc. 

Forgiveness implies that wrongdoing matters.  So to say that wrongdoing only matters when it is your affair is just to show what a hypocrite you are.  You are in fact selfish.

Why does God make it his business what you do to others?  It is said to be none of my business and not up to me to forgive Hitler for killing millions. And since God is bigger than my sins and mistakes and indeed the creator of all then my sins do not really matter except to me so what is he forgiving me for?

Oddly enough the faith still has you apologising to God for what you do to others which totally contradicts the claim that offences against God or others who are his children are not our concern.  The Church is provoking hate in a passive aggressive fashion.

The reason you can put yourself at risk by forgiving is because it is your risk to take. You must be prepared for having made a mistake in forgiving. But to forgive what is done to others is being open to them being risked. That is not your place for it is adding insult to injury. Jesus said that his people are all connected together which is why you have to forgive sins done by others that have nothing directly to do with you. Paul described that as the doctrine of the body of Christ. The Church is Christ's body and all the members are united in truth and faith like a human body. Love your neighbour as yourself means you must BE your neighbour so that what is done to her or him is done to you. So you must forgive for your neighbour and with your neighbour. As loving God means treating your neighbour as God and honouring her or him as God himself it follows that you have to forgive what is done to God as well. You and God are so intimate that it is one's business what is done to the other especially when you would not exist but for God and he sustains every cell in your body. That is what the rules about love for God are saying. That God cannot be risked with harm is not the point. These doctrines ensure that in a world where people continually hurt each other you need to do so much forgiving that you will just give up. This is an example of a doctrine so demanding that it asks for trouble and takes no responsibility if you go berserk when you have had enough and leave people dead. Living up to ideals can be a way of hiding passive aggression.