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A Man Needs A Fish Like A Woman Needs a Bicycle
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
IS GIBSON A NUT-JOB? or, WHY RELIGION IS ITSELF CAUSE FOR CONCERN Poor, Mel. After unburdening himself in an interview, he has convinced 60% of one group of viewers at least that he is a bead short of a rosary. The issue is that he thinks that those who are not Catholic will likely go to hell, including his wife.

"“There is no salvation for those outside the Church,” Gibson replied. “I believe it.”

He elaborated: “Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She’s a much better person than I am. Honestly. She’s, like, Episcopalian, Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff. And it’s just not fair if she doesn’t make it, she’s better than I am. But that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it.”"

OK. So explain to me why this makes him, as, MWO suggests, "a whack-job"?

IS it the fact that he thinks that Catholics are too exclusive in who is saved? Or the ardor of his belief? Or the fact that he thinks that a mere mortal, like the Pope can determine who is saved and who is not?

WHy is this any more strange than those folks who think that they have a personal relationship with God? If we grant that God is omnipotent, infinite, eternal, etc., why would God care about us as an individual? I will grant that you feel what you feel, and that you are truely describiung what you feel (a big assumption I know). However, just because I feel something strongly does not mean that that feeling is accurate about the actual state of the world. After all, plenty of folks hate President Bush. But then again, plenty of folks love President Bush. Can they both be right about the same object?

I can understand folks who say that they feel God strongly in their lives, can feel touched by the presence of God, and so forth. The one thing I have difficulty with is the notion that God "talks back to us." It is so Old Testament. Here is a thought experiment (WARNING: argument by analogy coming up) for those outraged by what I say here:

Consider yourself. Now consider your gut bacteria. What kind of relationship do you have with your gut bacteria? Do you have a personal relationship with bacteria #345,456,896,234? If so, what is it? If it prays to you, do you care? If one of the gut bacteria actually developed self-consciousness, and you were aware of it (primitive as it might be as a state of awareness), would that make a difference to you, knowing that it would be gone in a minute, an hour, or a day? I would argue: only in so far as it was likely to either aid or hinder one's digestion! Otherwise, who cares?

Is Mel a nut-job? As far as I can tell--not any more than anyone else that thinks that they have a personal relationship with an infinite, eternal, and omnipotent being. SO...?

SUMMARY: God is watching us, but so what?
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