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Communion Wafers
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Since we were all invited to the supper, we're supposed to feed the guests accordingly. God doesn't make mistakes. People screw up his intentions. Jesus didn't hand down a recipe, he handed down a Commandment which is being DENIED to dxed celiacs due to *fear* that God will be diminished if the current recipe is called into question... forgetting altogether that the Commandment is where our attention should be focused. I'm Catholic. My kids are being raised Catholic. I'm not upset or ruffled about this "problem". I think it's superficial, at best. If a person's faith is tested by this issue, there are deeper issues that need examining. My celiac child is being denied his righful invitation to a supper Jesus commanded we all participate in. That's no shame on my son. It's a privledge to display our faith during a crisis in the Church. :) He will receive the wine next year during his first Communion.

You cannot receive Holy Orders if you are a dxed Celiac. Celiacs and Alcoholics cannot receive Holy Orders.

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as for the scientific bit... (what we know, anyway)

the portion of wheat that bothers celiacs is a 33-amino acid long sequence that is a part of the protein we call gliandin (the main wheat protein). a very similar sequence is found in horedin (the main rye protein) and secalin (the main barley protein), and a somewhat similar sequence is found in avenin (the main oat protein). (collectively, we call these "glutens", as "gluten" refers to plant protein.) wheat is made up of a number of other chemicals, starch being the other main component. in theory, due to molecular differences (weight/size, chemical properties), it's "possible" to separate wheat into its components - you can separate out the protein (vital wheat gluten is often added to whole wheat bread to give it a better texture) from the starch (wheat starch is used in fillers for many things). the question is, how separated can you get them?

it seems your followup question would be, is the wheat starch, still "wheat"? in so far as it would just be a particular molecular formation of starch (if we have a completely 'purified' sample, I don't know that you'd be able to tell that it had ever been wheat, starches being much simpler compounds than proteins, and found more ubiquitously. but the same holds true for many other items, which may be more often synthetically derived chemicals that are identical to natural ones (such as vanillin).

I won't get into the religious issue, because once we deal with the fact that the church has failed to address the cause of the symptoms in a celiac who takes communion despite their belief in transubstantiation, there's still the issue of not using the wheat that the church so strictly believes we should use (what Jesus refered to). it seems there are too many factual issues to be resolved between 'the two parties' before the theological ones can be discussed.

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Interesting.

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Caeli,

Noticed you use the other spelling of celiac...where are you from? Where do you work? Do you think that you've had celiac for all those 27 years and were misdiagnosed or didn't have symptoms?

Dear Debmidge,

I guess my spelling of Coeliac gives me away as either English or Australian. I am am Australian, Western Australian to be more precise.

I currently live in Perth, the capital city of Western Australia. For the past twelve months I have been relieving as the Catholicn Chaplain of Curtin University. Most of the young people I have been working with are from overseas countries around the Indian Ocean Basin (Africa and Asia).

As I said in other postings, I hope to do some further study this year with a view to teaching in a seminary. I have lived and worked in a seminary for eleven years (1992 - 2003), and would like to go back into that work in the future. I have been a priest for 27 years. Apart from my prirstly studies, I have also completed an honours degree in Arts, majoring in Cultural Anthropology and Australian Pre-historical Archaeology, although it is ten years ago since I studied and worked in these areas.

Thanks for your interest.

Regards

"Caeli"

He's a Jesuit spy sent by the vatican to report the doings on this board, lol! :o

Dear Celiachap,

Thanks for the compliment - I've always thought it would be fun to belong to the VIS (Vatican Intelligence Service) ( hope "VIS" isn't an oxymoroan??! - just kidding) B)

By the way, I thinnk the Jesuiats position has been taken over by Opus Dei - The jesuits haven't been too popular with recent popes! At least this is what the Da Vinci code would purport.

I like your sense of humour! :D

Regards

Caeli

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Caeli,

Noticed you use the other spelling of celiac...where are you from? Where do you work? Do you think that you've had celiac for all those 27 years and were misdiagnosed or didn't have symptoms?

Dear debmidge,

I forgot to answer the second part of your question.

To be honest, I don't know how long I have been a Coeliac. I suspect most if not all my life. However, in 1986, I had a "breakdown". At the time I displayed lots of digestive problems, which were put down to stress, anxiety and IBS. Since then, I have been plagued with IBS problems. It was only because I was contemplating going overseas to study that I thought I would change my doctor and have a physical check-up. I decided to go to a medical doctor who worked at a Natural Health Clinic which takes a holistic approach to medicine. My thought was that if they didn't find any physical symptoms I could look to some alternative medicines. I have little or no time for doctors that play at being psychologists or psychiatrists and dispense anti-anxiety and anti-depressants. If you have to take these drugs, then you should first of all have to see a psychologist and or psychiatrists. I think General Praactitioners shouldn't be able to dispense these drugs as they are not qualified enough to do so (in my humble opinion). As a priest, I trained for seven years, and I consider myself a "Generla Practioner" when it comes to priesly wor. I have studied counselling and some psychology, but I would never pretend to be an expert in these fields. If I discern somebody needs psychological or psychiatric help in my ministry, then I senf them to the experts. Medical General Practioners should do the same. Perhaps also, if some GP's ercognised their limitations in regard to Gastroentology, they might refer people like me and many other celiac disease sfferers to GE specialists who might diagnode their complaints sooner and inflict less suffering on celiac disease patients. I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of people are suffering out there simply because of misguided faith in GP's or the arrogance of some GP's who wont refer patients on to experts. Sorry for the ranting, but I feel deeply about this as I consider that I along with many other celiac disease sufferers have been considered a hypochondriac these past many years. I had almost come to believe it myself!? At last now, I can say there is a real physical ailment. Perhaps my mind kicks in and exaggerates the symptoms, but now I can say to myself, yes these pains are not just in the mind and I can say to my mind, this is the cause, there is nothing to fear, you have perhaps inadvertantly taken glute - things will clear up and all will be fine again.

As a recently DX's celiac disease I am yet to feel any real iprovement, but I live in hope.

I think In have ad symptoms for many years. As a young child, I ermember feeling nauseous at movies and acually having to get up and go outside because I thought I was going to be sick. As a teenageer and young man, I found it difficult to put on weight. My mother used to give me a mineral/vitamin tonic as a teenager. In my mid-twenties I tried to take some pills to put weight on. When I had the breakdown, I was experiecing a lot of bowel problems. In fact, my first panic attack was preceded by feelings of nausea and wanting to go to the toilet. When I saw a GP and he said I was suffering anxiety (the consultation lasted about 5 minutes!), he put me on Ativan. I took these merily for about three weeks before I realised what they were - a type of vallium, at which time, foolishly perhaps, I stoppped taken them. In that short time I had become addicted to them and went through what I desceribe "cold turkey" symptoms, cramping in the stomach, nausea, sweating, tremors. I was curled up in ed in a fetal position, terrified to be seen or tio be in public. I dreaded the thought of clebratinf Mass, fearlful that I would embarrass myself by being sick whilst performing my duties - fortunately this never happened, although I often felt very nauseous and broke out in sweats. I became agraphobic for some time after my breakdown but gradually worked at overcoming this to the poitn where I could resume my ministry, but it took a huge effort and a lot of "silent" suffering.

Over the yaers I kept putting my abdominal discomfort down to anxiety and depression, but now I would say that each fed off each other, and I hope that perhaps the anxiety and depression will decrease as I am able to pinpoint the cause of my pains. Before my diagnosis I had become aware of changes in my bowel, particularly the presence of mucous. I was also becoming very fatigued but I was doing very little work or exercise. I noticed cramping in my legs and unexplained twitching in some of my muscles, including the eyes, legs and arms. I woudl also brusie easily and had rashes, but didn't take notice of these too much as they had come and gone over the years, and thought they were more to do with heat or the like. I would also suffered regular headaches but again I would put these down to anxiety or stess. I also noticed that in the mornings, I tended to be even more tired than when I went to sleep. I would often be depressed i the morning, but as the day went on I owuld improve. I started to wonder about the depression, as it wouldn't last for days, but more like a few hours. If I started to feel nauseous, I tended to withdraw form social activity and I would withdraw into myself and focus on the feeling, which I think magified them. At times, I thought I was going crazy. Over theyears, I have spent many hundreds of hours going to psychologists and psychiatrists, but never could we find anything that seemed to be the "key" to what I was going through. Idon't pretend that I will now have the answer to all my problems having been DX's as a celiac disease sufferer. However, I do hope that the near future will bring me some renewed health and energy. I feel I have something to contribute to my Chruch and faith but have felt frustrated and impeded over the past twenty years. Perhaps this might be a new dawn for me. I hope so, but in all things, I need to be realistic about all this and believe that in all this God has been at work. In fact, I can count my sffering and misdiagosis as a blessing, as a sharing in the sufferings of Christ, for it only when one endures the pain that others endfure that real empathy can be generated, and the energy receivded to fight for a brighter future. Perhaps this is what the resurrection of Christ is all about - New life - lets hope! Sorry for the sermon - nature of the beats I suppose.

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Caeli

I enjoyed, sincerely, your sermon. Your health issues sound like my husband's (he's the celiac, not me - at least as far as I know I'm not). He had a physical breakdown when he was 27, he's 55 now. Had seen at least 7 gastros/GP's over the past 28 years all had the same diagnosis in some form: IBS, colitis, irritable bowel, ileitus, "it's all in your head" etc. And I can't blame the ineptness on HMO doctors because we didn't go thru an HMO at any point in this mess.

He had "classic" celiac symptoms: gut discomfort, belching/gas, bloating, diarrhea, lost about 25% of his body weight (he wasn't overweight to start with) and had to stop working he was so sick, he developed the appearance of anexoria. For many years he ate stuff he shouldn't have due to these misdiagnoses: whole wheat, wheat bran, oats, etc. as he was advised to do so. Over the years he became agraphobic too and morbidly depressed. In 2003 he had a further breakdown physically and he went to a new gastro (one that wasn't trained in USA) and after the first 5 minutes of hearing this story the gastro said "You have celiac disease." And the gluten-free diet began. He's gained back about 8 lbs in 2 years, not enough but we'll take it. No more gut noises or reactions. Depression lifted somewhat. But he's still tethered to the apartment by diet now and by fear of unknown. He has also developed neurological problems due to the years of misdiagnosis.

We've been married for 26 years. Now I have learned to cook differently.

I am wishing healing and health for you so that you can complish God's goals in your life.

Deb

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Caeli--Hi Father--After reading your "sermon", I have to say that you were describing my story to a tee. The way you talked about the anxiety, the nausea when you were younger, increasing D with age, depression at times, how it all fed into itself and how no one ever put it together. I believe we are aprox. the same age and as I read your post, I couldn't believe how much your story was like mine. I have been gluten-free for 7 months now. I have had great improvement in the D--never have it any more unless I accidently take in gluten. After an uneven start of 3 months, I felt well up until Dec. when I began (for no reason I can think of) to have problems with indigestion and gas that seems to stay in my upper abdominal region and refuses to move in any direction. I see my GI on the 17th. and will be discussing that with him then. Hopefully, you will begin to improve on the diet--I'm sure you will, I think those of us with years of damage take a bit longer to see improvement.

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...however I literally just finished reading a study on a Catholic woman who was completely gluten-free, except for communion, and although her symptoms disappeared...her intestinal damage was still severe.

jenvan,

Can you tell me if this asymptomatic communion taker had positive blood panel?

Thanks

Sarah

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The Catholic Church does NOT recognize as valid, a host which is gluten free. Is your church an off-shoot of a Catholic community? The Catholic Church has very strong opinions on this gluten issue and will not *at present* make acceptions.

My church is not an off-shoot of Catholicism. It is definitely Catholic and has been around for over 150 years in my community. We have more than a few Celiac people in my church and to quote the pastor of my church, " We take care of our own and make sure that they do not receive any wheat in their communion" The "special hosts" are blessed during the sacrament on a separate plate. Maybe they are doing it on their own and shouldn't be but they are. Also, they have gluten free menu items for the school as well.

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My church is not an off-shoot of Catholicism. It is definitely Catholic and has been around for over 150 years in my community. We have more than a few Celiac people in my church and to quote the pastor of my church, " We take care of our own and make sure that they do not receive any wheat in their communion" The "special hosts" are blessed during the sacrament on a separate plate. Maybe they are doing it on their own and shouldn't be but they are. Also, they have gluten free menu items for the school as well.

FYI- the Catholic Church does NOT recognize your gluten-free hosts as valid. You are not receiving the body of Christ. Your priest could get in trouble for claiming your gluten-free "host" is valid. Rather than going against the Church, why not stick with the wine as they've instructed Celiacs to do? Get a separate cup - as is allowed- and make a point of sipping your wine without any arguement. Offer the slight up as a minor issue and pray that you are eventually "called to the supper" properly in the near future. Praying about it and following the current rules is what will be the most effective. Breaking rules, supporting those who engage in breaking the rules, and thumbing your nose at the Church leadership only antagonizes the situation.

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I have been reading this message board for a couple months, but have not written until now. I am a Catholic and apparently am gluten intolerant or celiac, not sure which. I discovered a wheat intolerance about three years ago when I did a rotation diet to figure out why I was not feeling well. I have had digestive issues all my life and many stories on this board sound like mine. I have always, since I was a small child, not trusted the medical profession because they never really seemed to be able to help but only could mask the symptoms. Anyway, I did not eliminate all gluten because I didn't realize it was in so many things and because I only thought wheat was the problem. After 3 years almost wheat-free, I began getting sloppy because I'm so busy with my 6 kids and life in general. So, all of a sudden I dropped 15 pounds in three months and was becoming anorexic as I could eat nothing. At 123 pounds, 5'8" I began eating as much as I could to get my family off my back about seeing a doctor. I ate double what my husband did and managed to stabilize my weight. I finally was convinced to see a doctor, but my blood tests were negative, which was probably because by that time I was gluten-free and had eaten little wheat for three years. I also had a negative biopsy after torturing myself with gluten for 8 weeks. I only ate a little each day because what little I was eating was making me miserable. I could hardly get out of bed, I was so dizzy I often had my husband drive me where I needed to go, bloated, heavy brain fog, joint pain, muscle weakness, blisters and rashes on my skin, plus digestive issues. I told the doctor about my rashes and blisters, but he never tested them. That's it in a nutshell. I've been gluten-free for a month and am quite a bit better. I'm eating less and maintaining my weight, last week I could make it till 4:30 without taking a nap, today I made it till 6:30 before I needed a rest - progress!

About the communion topic, since I am a layperson, I bought my own chalice to use at daily masses, retreats, etc. When there are many cups available, I watch to be sure that the priest doesn't put the host (or crumbs) in each cup and am sure to be one of the first to receive to prevent cross contamination because even crumbs will make me sick as I found out Christmas Eve when I ate a piece of cheese that others had been putting on crackers.

If I were a priest, I believe I would buy the low-gluten hosts made by the Benedictine Sisters that are made with wheat starch and are .01% gluten and have been approved by the Vatican. Fr. mentioned eating a small piece of a regular host, I would eat a very small piece of this low-gluten host instead since even a crumb is enough to count as receiving.

Also, Fr., you mentioned going to Italy. I hear that there are so many celiacs there that it is a good place for us! I would definately go, and I really look forward to reading anything that you write in your research about gluten and the Church.

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Since the subject of "heaven" has been introduced, here's some thoughts.

All I know is that when my time comes to approach the alleged "pearly gates", and if there really IS a gatekeeper as we've been told, St. "The Rock" Peter might just paraphrase that stoned ex-Dell TV pitchman (who was immediately dropped by Dell after a marijuana street-bust incident in NYC) and say to me, "DUDE, YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!" :P

I wonder if they have gluten free-food down there? I know that I'll enjoy the company of the opposite sex that ended up (another oxymoron, Padre?) there, regardless of the threat, "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.", lol. :wub:

Another question: Is it possible for any human with heart, and feelings, to enjoy himself in "paradise" knowing full-well that the vast majority of people, who are not to blame for their circumstances, beliefs and/or personality, are being punished for all eternity? It's not much of a stretch to visualize the professionals who make their living through this abominable creed attaching no importance whatsoever to, and doing nothing to help, people that are getting extremely sick from consuming gluten in the "holy sacrament", as long as their power, and reign of control, prevails over their "flock", intact.

The truly compassionate person would eschew heaven, and choose to minister to the poor souls in the dungeons of the netherworld. I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing that there was even one unfortunate victim in that place, and could not, in good conscience, worship, serve, give praise or any kind of support to a being, supernatural or otherwise, that perpetrates such an atrocity on his own children.

Edited by celiachap
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..WHO... mentioned going to Italy?...

I hear that there are so many celiacs there that it is a good place for us! I would definately go.

Hi Carla

I have just come back from Italy and found food a bit disappointing when it comes to gluten-free (although I loved Venice!). My son survived on risotto and supplies brought from home (and topped up at the supermarket). I don't know how/where the Italian celiacs eat, but the menus are full of typical Italian non-gluten-free foods. There was rather a limited selection of salads (winter?) and my son doesn't eat meat at all, so it was perhaps harder that it could have been.

However, we still have plans to go to Rome: with another family we are tentatively planning a trip and we also hope to include a special audience with the Pope. This is because my friend is German and we have children with a very rare medical condition (severe light sensitivity). My son is on strict gluten-free diet and I have been concerned about the Holy Communion wafers. Only yesterday I have heard from our priest that they do in fact have gluten-free wafers available (they have provided the supplier contact in UK) and I hope "gluten-free" is not just "low gluten". I couldn't possibly take risks with gluten ataxia.

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Sarah-

Yes, this woman in the case had positive bloodwork and biopsy. Eventually her blood work returned to normal, and much of her symptoms disappeared, but until she stopped taking the wafers, her intestinal lesions persisted.

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Celiachap-

Your question is not new, and your perception of hell is not yours alone. But it is an inaccurate one. When "Judgement Day" comes, we will all realize that we have sinned against a Holy God, and we are all deserving of punishment. I know it seems harsh, but it's the truth. It only seems harsh, though, if you think that people are basically good. The Bible tells us that we all sin from birth (just watch kids play and you will see their selfish nature). God is Holy and we have broken His laws and offended Him. Every person who has ever lived has sinned, though we tend to downplay it, and refer to the scales ("I've done much more good than bad"). You have lied, you have hated your brethren in your heart, if only for a moment. The only way to get to heaven and enjoy God's presence is to be absolutely perfect. We are tainted by sin (thanks, Adam and Eve!) so that is not possible. But God made it possible through Jesus. He did not have to do this, but He did. We didn't deserve it one bit. Just because you don't like it or it doesn't seem right to you doesn't mean that it's not true. Your opinion will not change the truth on iota.

Hell is a place where eternal judgement and punishment occurs. There will be no administering to the poor souls there, or enjoying of the opposite sex in hell. Contrary to popular belief, there will be no "rocking out" with the Rolling Stones, and the devil does not run the place. He has also offended God and there is a place reserved for him as well.

As to your question of the validity of heaven being a wonderful place with the knowledge of loved ones being tormented in hell, I don't think anyone totally has the answer. However, the Bible does talk about the way sinners respond to God when they encounter Him. People who have not been forgiven by the blood of Jesus and remain in their sinful state would be worse off in the presence of Almighty God. The focus in heaven will not be ourselves, our lives, or our loved ones. It will be God, who is perfect in every way and is without fault. Heaven is a place where we will see God for who He truly is, and worship Him forever. We will no longer see through the same eyes, or think the way we do now.

Because I couldn't live with myself if I let one person go that "unfortunate place", I choose to tell the good news now and try to prevent it from happening. But everyone is responsible for their own soul. It may seem that people go there because of no fault of their own, but that is only an illusion. Of course, we all think we are good people who make mistakes. But according to God, we are at emnity with Him, and we live everyday in rebellion to His laws. Not everyone ever born is a child of God (except in the sense that He is the Creator of all things). We are enemies of God until we come to the Cross.

I realize that all this probably sounds like religious mumbo jumbo, but your question is valid, and is probably shared by many who think that the God of the Christians is a big meany who is unfair and unjust. But if you look a little further into it, you will discover that it is we as humans that are the offenders and have no right to gripe at God. By the way, I appreciate your honesty and sincerety! It is better to openly oppose and question, than to pretend to go along and become a bitter hipocrite.

Lisa

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Celiachap-

Your question is not new, and your perception of hell is not yours alone. But it is an inaccurate one. When "Judgement Day" comes, we will all realize that we have sinned against a Holy God, and we are all deserving of punishment. I know it seems harsh, but it's the truth. It only seems harsh, though, if you think that people are basically good. The Bible tells us that we all sin from birth (just watch kids play and you will see their selfish nature). God is Holy and we have broken His laws and offended Him. Every person who has ever lived has sinned, though we tend to downplay it, and refer to the scales ("I've done much more good than bad"). You have lied, you have hated your brethren in your heart, if only for a moment. The only way to get to heaven and enjoy God's presence is to be absolutely perfect. We are tainted by sin (thanks, Adam and Eve!) so that is not possible. But God made it possible through Jesus. He did not have to do this, but He did. We didn't deserve it one bit. Just because you don't like it or it doesn't seem right to you doesn't mean that it's not true. Your opinion will not change the truth on iota.

Hell is a place where eternal judgement and punishment occurs. There will be no administering to the poor souls there, or enjoying of the opposite sex in hell. Contrary to popular belief, there will be no "rocking out" with the Rolling Stones, and the devil does not run the place. He has also offended God and there is a place reserved for him as well.

As to your question of the validity of heaven being a wonderful place with the knowledge of loved ones being tormented in hell, I don't think anyone totally has the answer. However, the Bible does talk about the way sinners respond to God when they encounter Him. People who have not been forgiven by the blood of Jesus and remain in their sinful state would be worse off in the presence of Almighty God. The focus in heaven will not be ourselves, our lives, or our loved ones. It will be God, who is perfect in every way and is without fault. Heaven is a place where we will see God for who He truly is, and worship Him forever. We will no longer see through the same eyes, or think the way we do now.

Because I couldn't live with myself if I let one person go that "unfortunate place", I choose to tell the good news now and try to prevent it from happening. But everyone is responsible for their own soul. It may seem that people go there because of no fault of their own, but that is only an illusion. Of course, we all think we are good people who make mistakes. But according to God, we are at emnity with Him, and we live everyday in rebellion to His laws. Not everyone ever born is a child of God (except in the sense that He is the Creator of all things). We are enemies of God until we come to the Cross.

I realize that all this probably sounds like religious mumbo jumbo, but your question is valid, and is probably shared by many who think that the God of the Christians is a big meany who is unfair and unjust. But if you look a little further into it, you will discover that it is we as humans that are the offenders and have no right to gripe at God. By the way, I appreciate your honesty and sincerety! It is better to openly oppose and question, than to pretend to go along and become a bitter hipocrite.

Lisa

I feel that the tenor of the Catholic Church is very depressing. I'm Catholic, I practice my religion and attend church regularly, but I've elected to be optimistic when it comes to my relationship with God. I don't cling to the notion that I'm a disappointment from birth to my Father in Heaven. I wake up every day believeing he's been watching me sleep and waiting for me to wake up so that we can begin another day together. The Catholic Church needs to get over the long standing tradition of shaming it's members and start a dialogue that builds us up. I recommend the book, "Your Best Life Now", by Joel Osteen, for a more positive outlook on your individual relationship with God. Also, for any Catholics who would dispute my sideways glance into an off-shoot of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Catechism tells us not to turn our backs on the churches that have cropped up in rebellion to the Church Jesus established, but to look into them and learn what we can. There was a reason these churches were formed. The folks that broke away and gave up on the Catholic Church were wrong to not see it through, and the Catholic Church is missing out on some great growth as a result of the loss of those members. God has way more to offer us than his never-ending disappointment in our choices.

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Celiachap-Your question is not new, and your perception of hell is not yours alone. But it is an inaccurate one. When "Judgement Day" comes, we will all realize that we have sinned against a Holy God, and we are all deserving of punishment. I know it seems harsh, but it's the truth. It Lisa

You do not have the slightest bit of evidence that anything you are saying is true. Neither do the priests, rabbis, mullahs, or other con-men/women that are fleecing the government and the taxpayers - not to mention the mass destruction, waste and many millions of lives that they have taken in the name of their deity.

Religion is like a cancer, and if we do not stop it soon, it's going to eat away the world from the inside out - just as celiac can do if left untreated. It's happening already, big time, and the human race is not going to get a "second chance" for a very long time, if ever, when the species is extinct due to ignorance and superstition. Your fire and brimstone is not going to happen after we’re dead – it’s going to happen as soon as some religious lunatics with beliefs like yours obtain nuclear weapons and decide that they are going to listen to their bible and take out as much of humanity as possible.

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Your fire and brimstone is not going to happen after we’re dead – it’s going to happen as soon as some religious lunatics with beliefs like yours obtain nuclear weapons and decide that they are going to listen to their bible and take out as much of humanity as possible.

People are more dangerous than any religious text. It's the deliberate perversion of religious writings by egomaniacs, *Hitler and Bin Laden to name two of the more recent lunatics* that inspire "religious" cleansing/killings. (although, I want to stress that all religions have histories of "justifiable" murder).

Religion offers more than the modern day media prefers to report. We are fed a steady stream of negative reports on all of the different religious groups. The good that they do doesn't garner the ratings preferred. Even NOT believeing in a God or Heaven or Hell, is a kind of "religion". A group of nutty atheists could rise up and *justify* slaughtering Christians to prevent more murders for "God". Just boils down to the insane reasonings of people. Can't really blame any specific deity... just the fool with the blood on his hands.

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People are more dangerous than any religious text. It's the deliberate perversion of religious writings by egomaniacs, *Hitler and Bin Laden to name two of the more recent lunatics* that inspire "religious" cleansing/killings. (although, I want to stress that all religions have histories of "justifiable" murder).

Religion offers more than the modern day media prefers to report. We are fed a steady stream of negative reports on all of the different religious groups. The good that they do doesn't garner the ratings preferred. Even NOT believeing in a God or Heaven or Hell, is a kind of "religion". A group of nutty atheists could rise up and *justify* slaughtering Christians to prevent more murders for "God". Just boils down to the insane reasonings of people. Can't really blame any specific deity... just the fool with the blood on his hands.

I am not "blaming" a deity - simply because there is no evidence that any such things exist.

Celiac robs the body of nutrition, vitamins, etc., as well as causing a myriad of other problems including brain fog, skin problems, even cancer – which is probably the worst result. Religion robs the mind of reason, and causes various symptoms such as guilt, hate, decadence, ignorance, perversions and other undesirable traits and behaviors.

The greatest threat to the human race is the monotheistic Abrahmic religions - and until these destructive, life destroying creeds are laid to rest, we will not have peace, or security, in the world.

You can claim that you “feel good” from the crap in the bible(s) till you’re blue in the face, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. Heroin does the same thing until you get addicted, can no longer function without it, and will do almost anything to get more.

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Religion is like a cancer, and if we do not stop it soon, it's going to eat away the world from the inside out - just as celiac can do if left untreated. It's happening already, big time, and the human race is not going to get a "second chance" for a very long time, if ever, when the species is extinct due to ignorance and superstition. Your fire and brimstone is not going to happen after we’re dead – it’s going to happen as soon as some religious lunatics with beliefs like yours obtain nuclear weapons and decide that they are going to listen to their bible and take out as much of humanity as possible.

Interesting addendum to this one:

I happen to be atheist. (Weak atheist, meaning that I don't say "I belive there is no g/God" but I do say "I don't think there is g/God; I could be wrong, but I don't think so." More of the "don't have enough evidence to say otherwise" camp if you were comparing it to research science.) My coworkers at the least know that I'm not religious, and most of them can deduce from there. One of my coworkers, who I've talked to about morality quite a bit, noted to me one day "I didn't think you could be moral and not religious. You're the first person I've met like that." (Side note: this coworker is NOT christian.)

*THIS* I think is the problem - there's an assumption by many people that religion is where our morals come from. That religion is the only place our morals come from. And that religion is the only place our morals MUST come from. But it simply isn't true. Morality does not require religion.

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I'm amazed that this is even an issue.

I mean, I realize that sometimes God is "in the details" and that certain traditions and rituals within the church need to be kept to a certain standard. I'm certainly not advocating that the church should just "chill out" and get rid of all the rules and doctrines that aren't "cool" anymore.

But it's also important to note that during the sixties, Pope Paul VI instituted (is that the right term?) Vatican II in an attempt to make the church more accessible to its followers. As a result, a lot of traditions were thrown out or made optional like masses said in Latin and the "no meat on Friday" dietary rule. Sure, Communion is probably a different issue, but I don't see how it's not possible for the church to allow Celiacs to take Communion. With the pedophilia scandals and people leaving the church in droves (and celibate gay priests who don't molest children being purged to boot!), you'd think the church would want to hold on to the few followers it still has!

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Religion robs the mind of reason, and causes various symptoms such as guilt, hate, decadence, ignorance, perversions and other undesirable traits and behaviors.

I find it hard to believe that a discussion based on the sacrments of faith and of our understanding of God and his response to our suffering has turned into a debate on whether our faith is reasonable. If you want a reasonable explanation about the Christian faith then maybe a statement by CS Lewis could help. His contention in Mere Christianity" is that because we have a basic understanding of right and wrong then we can reasonably say that this moral standard came from a higher authority. I cannot say that a watch found on a beach formed all its' intricate detailed parts without a watchmaker so I and billions of others in the world cannot see all the miraculous workings of nature and say there is no maker. However, I (and think all of us) respect your right to not believe. But to assert that "perversions" and "undesirable traits" are the effects of faith is not a rational thought. That's my two cents.

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I find it hard to believe that a discussion based on the sacrments of faith and of our understanding of God and his response to our suffering has turned into a debate on whether our faith is reasonable. If you want a reasonable explanation about the Christian faith then maybe a statement by CS Lewis could help. His contention in Mere Christianity" is that because we have a basic understanding of right and wrong then we can reasonably say that this moral standard came from a higher authority. I cannot say that a watch found on a beach formed all its' intricate detailed parts without a watchmaker so I and billions of others in the world cannot see all the miraculous workings of nature and say there is no maker. However, I (and think all of us) respect your right to not believe. But to assert that "perversions" and "undesirable traits" are the effects of faith is not a rational thought. That's my two cents.

The rate of active pederasty among Catholic priests is four percent. No other professional group that I know of has that many, and if you don't consider them to be perverted degenerates, then I think you're shy a few brain cells. What's even more disgraceful is the cover-ups that their superiors, almost uniformly, performed.

Before you drag out G.K. Chesterson, Thomas Aquinas, or other notable Catholic writers and philosophers, take a look at the settlements that the dioceses have had to make to their victims. A number of priests have gone to prison, as well.

That’s not the only thing - it’s just one of many symptoms of this sickness.

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The rate of active pederasty among Catholic priests is four percent. No other professional group that I know of has that many, and if you don't consider them to be perverted degenerates, then I think you're shy a few brain cells. What's even more disgraceful is the cover-ups that their superiors, almost uniformly, performed.

Before you drag out G.K. Chesterson, Thomas Aquinas, or other notable Catholic writers and philosophers, take a look at the settlements that the dioceses have had to make to their victims. A number of priests have gone to prison, as well.

That’s not the only thing - it’s just one of many symptoms of this sickness.

There are a number of things I have issue with the Catholic Church for, and don't often defend them, but you're showing the all-too-common lack of logic that is confusing correlation with causality. There are a number of reasons why the Catholic priesthood would not be a fair population distribution for statistical comparisons, but none of them are evidence that a belief in any sort of religion, even Catholicism, causes "this sickness".

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I am not "blaming" a deity - simply because there is no evidence that any such things exist.

Celiac robs the body of nutrition, vitamins, etc., as well as causing a myriad of other problems including brain fog, skin problems, even cancer – which is probably the worst result. Religion robs the mind of reason, and causes various symptoms such as guilt, hate, decadence, ignorance, perversions and other undesirable traits and behaviors.

The greatest threat to the human race is the monotheistic Abrahmic religions - and until these destructive, life destroying creeds are laid to rest, we will not have peace, or security, in the world.

You can claim that you “feel good” from the crap in the bible(s) till you’re blue in the face, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. Heroin does the same thing until you get addicted, can no longer function without it, and will do almost anything to get more.

Interesting addendum to this one:

I happen to be atheist. (Weak atheist, meaning that I don't say "I belive there is no g/God" but I do say "I don't think there is g/God; I could be wrong, but I don't think so." More of the "don't have enough evidence to say otherwise" camp if you were comparing it to research science.) My coworkers at the least know that I'm not religious, and most of them can deduce from there. One of my coworkers, who I've talked to about morality quite a bit, noted to me one day "I didn't think you could be moral and not religious. You're the first person I've met like that." (Side note: this coworker is NOT christian.)

*THIS* I think is the problem - there's an assumption by many people that religion is where our morals come from. That religion is the only place our morals come from. And that religion is the only place our morals MUST come from. But it simply isn't true. Morality does not require religion.

I hate to lump these two posts together and imply they contain similar povs-

But to Celiachap, did I claim I "feel good" from the "crap" in the bible? I might have, I just don't see where I did and why you quoted it as if I did.... I actually DO feel good about it when I read it, but some days when I FEEL like crap, <_< I don't get as much from it.

Also, as much as you point out you need proof of the existence of God, I think you should be tasked to prove He doesn't exist. And that Heaven and Hell don't exist. You can't prove what you believe any more than I can prove to you what I believe. I have faith that God exists. That doesn't require you to believe along with me. :)

You made sweeping accusations against "religion" and don't seem to care that your myopic view of "religion" leaves out all the benefits of the many and varied religions. I won't itemize the list and refute it out, but c'mon- that was lame of you. :o

I think you're really smart, your pov is well thought out and not half-assed *except for that last bit*, but do you really expect to get away with blaming religion for everything wrong with society? Do you really think your logic in denying the existence of a God (ie-where's the proof?) is profound enough to shake the faith of those who believe? Have you considered that the concept of "faith" requires no proof!? See, believers have all sorts of tricks to avoid the "scientific proof" nonsense non-believers like to toss out. :) ALTHOUGH, you conveniently forget to show the scientific proof you've discovered to prove God, etc, doesn't exist. Seriously, have you contemplated the enormity of eradicating all religion from the planet with your conviction that God doesn't exist? I would definitely need proof. And it would have to be like, really incredible proof. ;)

I was raised by a *devout* agnostic.... Tarnalberry, you think you might be leaning a bit away from atheist and more towards agnosist? In any case, I agree that you don't need to believe in a God in order to have morals. I had no well defined God growing up, but I had morals. Along with my morals, I slowly developed faith. Which was surprising to me, to say the least! *not to mention the shock my mother underwent!* But what are you going to do? So the person who told you they didn't think you could have morals and not be religious.... some people live under rocks. That co-worker needs to get out more often. There's a whole bunch of people out there with no religious affiliations that are the most decent, honest, caring bunch you'd ever want to meet.... and then there's a whole bunch of "religious" people out there who are scum. And vice versa. Even Jesus pointed that out *quite scandalously* when he said some of the high priests wouldn't be fit to enter Heaven and then pointed out some low-lifes hanging around where he was preaching and said they were more worthy to enter Heaven.

For anyone who is into the Bible, have you picked up on the quirky humor of God? I mean, sometimes I just laugh out loud at some of the remarks Jesus makes. He was really very funny.

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