Friday, October 31, 2008

Priest Talking Straight

Catholic priest Father Peter Dresser of Bathurst in Australia has just published a book called God is Big. Real Big, which, aside from the grammatical disaster on the cover, seems pretty interesting. For those who don't know, the Catholic religion is based on the idea that a man named Jesus of Nazareth who lived about two thousand years ago was actually the fleshy embodiment of God--physical, but not quite human. Father Dresser says this is nonsense. “This whole matter regarding Jesus being God ... not only does violence to my own intelligence, but must be a sticking point,” he says. “For millions of people trying to make some kind of sense of the Christian religion ... No human being can ever be God, and Jesus was a human being. It is as simple as that.” Which isn't to put down any of Jesus' teachings. Father Dresser's only point is that believing in a sort-of-man/sort-of-god demi-being stretches the suspension of disbelief to a breaking point. This reminds me a lot of Superman II, actually. I'll buy that Superman can lose and regain his powers in some sort of crystal sun chamber, but throwing a Saran wrap "S" shield? Please. Anyway, the rest of the Catholic church is none too happy with Father Dresser's ideas. At least one fellow priest has even compared to the infamous German rabble-rouser and paper nailer Martin Luther. Although I wouldn't be surprised if a fair number of Catholic priests share Father Dresser's opinion of the Bible, contenting themselves with a life of ritual, dress-up, and making people feel better about their dirty, dirty sinnin'. More details here.

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