Dishonest clergy members?
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19-02-2013, 11:52 AM
Dishonest clergy members?
I've been thinking...
(Oh my god, no not that!)

Many of us here first began doubting after reading the Bible for the first time. So how is it that religious clergy members can read that same stuff - and not just read it, but study it in depth - and still buy into it hook, line, and sinker? Catholic priests, for example, spend something like 12 years in seminary. The Bible has to be a major part of what they spend time studying. Ok, I can accept a few who don't question it because there will always be some very gullible people who simply believe anything they are told. But surely there are many quite rationale people among the various clergies.

So that got me to wondering how many clergy-members-in-training really do have misgivings while studying, but continue on anyway out of convenience. Maybe they don't want to throw away their time investment or they don't want to admit to family or friends that their faith isn't as strong anymore (or doesn't exist at all anymore). If this is true, then how many clergy members just simply lie from day to day to each parishioner that they talk with and to the whole congregation on worship days..?

It would explain a lot. I have often wondered how pedophile priests could do what they do "knowing" that their god is watching. Well, maybe they don't actually believe there is a god watching at all.

In fact, when I was still going to a Catholic church, I remember they used to rotate priests every 10 or 12 years and I wondered why? I was told it was so we got to hear from different people which would possibly give new insights. But now I wonder if it had more to do with the need to keep moving all those pedophiles to different churches. I'm not saying they're all pedophiles, but there may be far more than we know - and maybe the church does know.

And then they just keep on collecting all that money to support their lies, child abuse, and all the rest of the crap...

Well, I'll end my ramblings here, but I was starting to feel quite angry at my old church with these thoughts. I was just wondering what anyone else thinks about this.

Silence is only golden when it's not synonymous with a failure to speak out against injustice.

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." --Gene Roddenberry
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19-02-2013, 03:29 PM (This post was last modified: 19-02-2013 03:38 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Dishonest clergy members?
(19-02-2013 11:52 AM)Impulse Wrote:  I've been thinking...
(Oh my god, no not that!)

Many of us here first began doubting after reading the Bible for the first time. So how is it that religious clergy members can read that same stuff - and not just read it, but study it in depth - and still buy into it hook, line, and sinker? Catholic priests, for example, spend something like 12 years in seminary. The Bible has to be a major part of what they spend time studying. Ok, I can accept a few who don't question it because there will always be some very gullible people who simply believe anything they are told. But surely there are many quite rationale people among the various clergies.

So that got me to wondering how many clergy-members-in-training really do have misgivings while studying, but continue on anyway out of convenience. Maybe they don't want to throw away their time investment or they don't want to admit to family or friends that their faith isn't as strong anymore (or doesn't exist at all anymore). If this is true, then how many clergy members just simply lie from day to day to each parishioner that they talk with and to the whole congregation on worship days..?

It would explain a lot. I have often wondered how pedophile priests could do what they do "knowing" that their god is watching. Well, maybe they don't actually believe there is a god watching at all.

In fact, when I was still going to a Catholic church, I remember they used to rotate priests every 10 or 12 years and I wondered why? I was told it was so we got to hear from different people which would possibly give new insights. But now I wonder if it had more to do with the need to keep moving all those pedophiles to different churches. I'm not saying they're all pedophiles, but there may be far more than we know - and maybe the church does know.

And then they just keep on collecting all that money to support their lies, child abuse, and all the rest of the crap...

Well, I'll end my ramblings here, but I was starting to feel quite angry at my old church with these thoughts. I was just wondering what anyone else thinks about this.
Good post. I totally agree. Here's my version of what you've said.

Ignorance and Dishonesty


“The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible”



“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”

(Leonard Cohen)


It’s astonishing that churches get away with promoting the Bible as “God’s word.” The Catholic Church didn’t let the average person read it in their native language for about twelve hundred years, maybe because they were quietly embarrassed by the content. William Tyndale was strangled and then burned at the stake in 1536 because he translated it into English. (http://www.tyndale.org/DeCoursey/life.html). In the last 450–odd years people have been
allowed to read the bible, but most of us have yet to put it in correct perspective.

We should also read about the Bible. There have been literally thousands of objective, scholarly books written about the bible over the last 300 years. An Internet connection and an open mind give access to much of this information. The most vocal and the highest-ranking church people usually don’t bother to seriously study any history that might compromise their positions. They promote the idea the bible is God’s revelation to man, so why read history, which is, after all, only man’s opinion?

These men, who hope to preserve the vestiges of primitive theology, and who dread objective study, preferring faith instead, are as disconnected from the twenty first century as the crumbling dust of ancient Jewish bones. They ignore secular scientists, archaeologists, philosophers, linguists, some biblical scholars and liberal theologians, and thereby quash the naturally inquisitive human spirit. They disparage people who discuss details not part of their own superficial understanding. Empty vessels make the most noise. If their myths are questioned they sometimes promote the old wives’ tail of a force of evil, Satan, working against them. They typically ignore large bits of the bible.

Consequently, the average Christian is unaware that their core beliefs are fictions, a mishmash of ideas borrowed from other religions, and that gentle Jesus was an angry Jew, not a Christian. That matters, because beliefs based on
bullshit are worse than useless.

I’m sure that deep down, many better - read believers are skeptical. Behind closed doors, or in the depths of their own minds, educated intelligent Christian leaders must have serious doubts. Yet that rarely stops them pretending it’s all in a good cause, as they won’t bite the hand that feeds them.

If they were to admit the bible is baloney Christianity would become something else, something not Christian, and that
would be too big a hurdle for even the most innovative among them. They’re trapped, unable to move forward, because there’s a millstone around their necks – an obsolete book.

We no longer believe in sacrifices to appease gods, that epileptics and schizophrenics are possessed by demons, or that God punishes us with floods and infections. The real reason churches still promote the Bible as the truth is obvious.

Power and Money

If their flocks figured out Jesus wasn’t a god, church leaders would be exposed as fools and the gravy train derailed. Most priests, preachers and bean counters, at least the ones in high places, are aware of the danger. The mythical God man Jesus is a mascot, and his image mustn’t be questioned. Power favors faith over truth.

As in all businesses, they don’t like losing customers. Their primary priority is pulling people in and preventing them parting. The happiness and health of the individual is secondary.

Businesses need cash. It’s sometimes claimed currency collected is for people in need, which might be true, but most of the money lines priest’s and preacher’s pockets.
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20-02-2013, 10:08 AM
RE: Dishonest clergy members?
Mark, that's a very good point that we should not only read the Bible, but read about the Bible. After spending the past several months here, I have become increasingly aware of how important that is and how much more I need to learn myself.

It wouldn't surprise me if clergy members didn't spend much time learning about the history of the Bible. As you said, they believe it came from God and so much would fall apart for them if they discovered it really didn't, so why would they go looking for trouble? But, on the other hand, they would need to be prepared for refutations coming from people that have learned about the Bible and its history. So I would think at least the highest officials in the various religious organizations that it applies to have learned about the history of the Bible. And so they must know it's crap.

That's a large part of what was getting me angry yesterday when I wrote this. Thinking about these high clergy members perpetuating what they must know is nothing but lies just to maintain power and to continue raking in all kinds of money. And carefully filtering information even to their own clergy to ensure the flocks don't disperse. Dodgy

Silence is only golden when it's not synonymous with a failure to speak out against injustice.

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." --Gene Roddenberry
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20-02-2013, 11:54 AM
RE: Dishonest clergy members?
You won't get an honest answer from very many people still active in their clergy. They're either fooling themselves or fooling you or both. Maybe some of them truly believe, but you won't be able to tell which is which.
Somewhere out there is the Clergy Project (http://www.clergyproject.org). I didn't seea forum on the site, but I bet this would be a good question for them. They actually are ALL ex-clergy. It would be interesting to find out how many of them had real doubts during their entire clergy years rather than just there at the end when they lost their faith and found reality.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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20-02-2013, 12:49 PM
RE: Dishonest clergy members?
Aseptic Skeptic, that's an interesting website. And maybe a little encouraging. Smile It looks like you have to join before there would be a forum or some equivalent. It also appears that they check your background before allowing you to join. So I guess there is no way to ask anything on that site. I agree though it would be interesting to hear from ex-clergy on whether they had doubts long before they lost their faith or lost their faith long before they admitted it to anyone else.

This quote on the front page of the site sounds like at least some probably do:

Quote:Teresa MacBain has a secret, one she’s terrified to reveal. “I’m currently an active pastor and I’m also an atheist,” she says. “I live a double life. I feel pretty good on Monday, but by Thursday — when Sunday’s right around the corner — I start having stomachaches, headaches, just knowing that I got to stand up and say things that I no longer believe in and portray myself in a way that’s totally false.

Silence is only golden when it's not synonymous with a failure to speak out against injustice.

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." --Gene Roddenberry
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21-02-2013, 03:17 AM
RE: Dishonest clergy members?
(20-02-2013 10:08 AM)Impulse Wrote:  Mark, that's a very good point that we should not only read the Bible, but read about the Bible. After spending the past several months here, I have become increasingly aware of how important that is and how much more I need to learn myself.

It wouldn't surprise me if clergy members didn't spend much time learning about the history of the Bible. As you said, they believe it came from God and so much would fall apart for them if they discovered it really didn't, so why would they go looking for trouble? But, on the other hand, they would need to be prepared for refutations coming from people that have learned about the Bible and its history. So I would think at least the highest officials in the various religious organizations that it applies to have learned about the history of the Bible. And so they must know it's crap.

That's a large part of what was getting me angry yesterday when I wrote this. Thinking about these high clergy members perpetuating what they must know is nothing but lies just to maintain power and to continue raking in all kinds of money. And carefully filtering information even to their own clergy to ensure the flocks don't disperse. Dodgy
JACKPOT! Now....how do we tell the 99%?
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21-02-2013, 03:37 AM (This post was last modified: 21-02-2013 03:41 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Dishonest clergy members?
These things give me hope about the situation...

The Clergy Project, a private website and forum for former and current clergy who no longer believe. Where they can come out in a safe environment with other who truly understand their situation.

Professor Bart D. Erhman, a very intelligent New Testament scholar and former protege of William Lane Craig that has gone on to blow his former mentor out of the water. Just watch one of his presentations or lectures on the historicity of the Gospels.





:EDIT: AsepticSkeptic beat me to the Clergy Project reference... Tongue


And from the aforementioned Teresea MacBain.




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