Letters to the Editor

Christianity being undermined by contradictions between faith and reason

The clergy are puzzled why there is now a rapidly growing loss of faith in God and all sense of the transcendental as Bishop Robert Bannon of Los Angeles states. As a scientist born in 1935, I believe that the huge impetus given to science and technology during the Second World War convinced many nations that these areas of knowledge bring material well-being and power to humanity. Consequently they have become increasingly emphasised at secondary and tertiary levels of education at the expense of philosophy and subjects in the faculties of arts.

Science and technology are confined to finite space and time realities bringing material wealth and well-being so people are becoming convinced that finite reality is the only reality. The spiritual nature of humanity is being forgotten and ignored. We are drawn into materialism, agnosticism and ultimately atheism.

The Church teaches that each person begins, body and soul, at conception at a finite point in history, lives a finite life, but only after death and the resurrection achieves an eternal or transcendental destiny.  The latter is increasingly regarded as “pie in the sky”, so the whole basis of Christianity is being undermined by the apparent contradictions between faith and reason. A finite beginning but an infinite or eternal destiny is not believed by mathematicians, since the 19th century genius, Georg Cantor, proved that if God is the Absolute Infinity there exists lesser created infinities.  He was unable to convince the magisterium.  Thus the angel of Fatima taught the children to pray “through the infinite merits of he sacred heart of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary”, but the theologians would not accept that the merits of Mary are infinite, and changed the prayer.

The Church teaches that original sin (ccc390) and the fall occurred at the beginning of history of homo sapiens. However, evolution shows that natural evil existed as well as good in creation long before humanity emerged from animal precursors. If God is responsible as creator He cannot be totally good.  This is known as the theology problem not as yet answered.
I have suggested that original sin with the fall happened in an initial transcendental state of being. The consequence was that the fall was into finite space-time and thus the distorted reality we experience in this life. All creation fell.

Our true reality is always transcendental so we can seek personal relationships with the divine persons and also Mary, angels and saints but be aware of the dangers due to the presence of Satan and his fallen angels.

The charismatic movement began by Protestants in the US encouraged the sense of the transcendental and personal relationships with the Holy Spirit. It came to Ireland in the 1970s but received a very lukewarm welcome by the clergy, who seem to believe that personal relationships with transcendental beings are very risky for the laity, without their control. In my youth faith was largely due to blind obedience and fear of God. There was a very strong community dimension but it was largely impersonal and is no longer attractive to young people as they will not accept to be driven sheep.

PROF JOHN ROONEY
Belfast BT9

 

Arab-only towns Teresa mentioned existed in mists of time

There was me thinking all these years that the treatment of the Palestinians by Israel and its occupation forces and settlers was abhorrent and amounted to a slow genocide but Teresa Trainor (September 19) has explained everything and I now understand the situation in the Middle East and particularly Palestine.

She explains that five times in the last 50 years Israel has tried to negotiate the setting up of a Palestinian state, with its capital Jerusalem under international control, but the stubborn and recalcitrant Palestinians were having none of it – ‘attacks on Palestinians not government policy. Could she enlighten us as to who it was that attacked Gaza three times with ‘smart’ bombs? 

Teresa goes on to educate us regarding the treatment by Israel of its Palestinian citizens.
Has Teresa heard of Ilan Pappe, one of Israel’s best-known and respected writers? He wrote ‘The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel’ in which he writes of the “three levels of discrimination” imposed on Palestinians, the legal, the semi-legalistic and the regulation of daily contacts between citizens and the Israeli authorities. “So”, according to Pappe, “you are a second-rate citizen by law, you are a second-rate citizen according to the regulations that can be enacted at any moment, and if you forget about these two, your contact with whoever represents the official state reminds you of that.”
Recently the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that a Palestine village on the outskirts of Jerusalem in the West Bank can be bulldozed to make way for a new Jewish illegal settlement which will divide the remaining land available for the creation of a Palestinian state into two parts, ending for all time the chance of such a state being set up. Where are the inhabitants of this village to go? Will the Israeli government build homes for them elsewhere? What do you think Teresa?

Teresa also states that “the Supreme Court has allowed Arab-only towns to be built while rejecting plans for Jewish-only construction”. The Arab-only towns she mentions existed in the mists of time, many centuries before the Zionist movement conjured up the idea of a Jewish state in the Middle East.

EUGENE F PARTE
Belfast BT9

 

Culture of ridicule

If the political debate in Northern Ireland is a racehorse, then clearly the blinkers are well and truly on.

It seems that republican and unionist talking heads would rather ridicule each other than come up with outside-the-box solutions. The ‘minority mindset’ is prevalent in our attitude. Hence cheap digs by republicans living near the Antrim Coast, or even the cries of ‘victimisation’ by unionists from the border regions.

The tail has wagged the dog for too long. It’s clear that neither side can create anything imaginative, neither could the Alliance-voting do gooders or even Trevor Ringland.

Instead of trying to make everyone the same, we should accept the differences between Irish culture and British culture. I personally have no vendetta against Britain. However, they need to acknowledge the hurt caused by Bloody Sunday and RUC/UDR collusion.
In return, republicans should acknowledge that the Shankill bomb touched a raw nerve amongst unionists.

It’s either that or watch our country being eaten alive by America.

DESMOND DEVLIN
Ardboe, Co Tyrone

 

Decision on border is Britain’s alone

It didn’t take long for the Dublin government to change its stern stance against Britain’s Brexit strategy, the very day after Theresa May stood up on her hind legs to let the EU know the lady’s not for turning.

Good for her.

Our representatives in the Dáil are heading backwards with expressing tentative hopes that words of half-promise made a year or more ago, might now become a basis for agreement on the manufactured border issue demands of the EU.

The decision on the border, ‘hard or soft’, is Britain’s alone to make.
Get used to this, especially the leaders of FG, FF, SF and Labour.
Work with the reality and stop the wishful thinking, which even if possible would also be meaningless overall.

ROBERT SULLIVAN
Bantry, Co Cork

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