Verdun wrote (see)
For so many people to worship one man with so much fervour cannot be right. To see that same man gliding along in his pope mobile and standing in it in all his "splendour" surrounded by thousands of screaming weeping people just makes me see how ridiculous it all is. Gardening matters are so much more relevant and genuine
Lots of pretentious twaddle on this and some quite insulting unnecessary comments but this was I find quite distasteful-you may not understand but there are many believers in this country and Catholics- perhaps many on this board- who are upset by such comments.
"Gardening matters are so much more relevant and genuine"-get over yourself for chrissakes- gardening is just a means to and end -according to that statement it is another religion-which it isn't
I wish Alan had never started this-it has no place on a friendly gardening forum.
Verdun also said the kindest most sincere people are not religious. I have found exactly the opposite. The pope is not worshipped, but he is admired and looked up to by the Catholics he is head of - not the same thing.
As I said, I am not a Catholic and there are certainly things about the Catholic church that I don't agree with at all. However, I would point out that if you think that man should look to himself for the salvation of the world, then he hasn't done much of a job so far. Atheistic countries have the worst record of all in terrms of human rights, and this has to do with their view of the value of the individual. If we are no more than intelligent animals, then there is no logical reason that we should not cull human beings the way we might cull seals of badgers or even exterminate rats. One reason that Hitler was able to get away with so much in Germany may have been because German liberal theologians had undermined so much of traditional Christian teaching about the origins and value of man as created in the image of God. Man became a more-or-less intelligent animal. Yet if we do away with God, we make ourselves the highest and most intelligent beings in the universe, capable of creating morality and purpose and virtue. This is about the most hope-free philosophy I can imagine - and I am a teacher of philosophy. People have done terrible things in the name of religion, but at least they recognised that there is an absolute morality, even if they did not adhere to it.Iin the past, there was no concept of a 'secular world' and so evil, power-hungry men seized control of religious institutions because religion was part of everything. Those who did such things were not behaving in a Christian or godly way, but rather using and abusing the religions they dominated. It is no good lumping all religions together, either, because they have a different concepts of God and therefore different views of the value of the individual.
Most religions, and many religious figures show a greater respect for nature, and their fellow men, than many modern gardeners. I'm thinking of Buddhism, St Francis, european Pagan traditions, native North Americans, etc. Some of those people lived very close to nature.A religion helps people to understand their place in the world, and their relationship to other people and to nature.Those who don't have a religion tend to have a utilitarian view of nature - as a commodity to be used. They think that the only 'point' of nature is to serve us. You can see this at work in many people's gardens today. Some gardeners think that gardening is about production, and anything that gets in the way of production can be destroyed.Incidentally, the pope is not worshipped by Catholics. He is respected. It's a different thing. It's similar to the way that Queen Elizabeth is respected as head of the state. The pope (and the Queen) are human; they are not divine. (I was typing my humble piece while Grandma was entering hers. I completely agree with what Grandma says.)
May I also comment that where Christian 'superstition' has been done away with, something worse has followed it. The history of the twentieth century was not a story of moral advance! It did bring increased liberalism. Being liberal and tolerant, while very good in some respects, is not good if it means tolerating morally murky acts as equal with good ones and simply resorting to 'everyone has their own beliefs' as if all beliefs were equal. For example, Stalin believed that he had the right to kill millions of his own countrymen and Hitler, whose symbol (the swastika) was a broken cross, believed that Dionysian strength was paramount, and that it did not matter who suffered in the process.He followed the philosopher Nietzsche. Bad beliefs bring bad actions. Bigoted beliefs bring words and acts of prejudice and persecution.
Also, I notice that liberal toleration only extends so far and - if some comments on this forum are any indication - are being less and less extended to Christians. We need to reach out for the highest and the best ideals and to live by them. These ideals go beyond ourselves and are much greater than ourselves. We may not be able to live up to them, but we can at least commit ourselves to try. Catholics respect the Pope beca\use, to them, he represents the highest and best ideals that they know.
Well Lazy gardener if you read my original post i just wished the old man good luck for his retirement and that was all,, at 85 i think he deserves a rest,i made No comments on religion nor will i except i remember i was sent to Sunday school untill i was 13 never missed,and yet my mum and dad now gone were not even religious and it wasnt untill mum was very ill that in a conversation i actualy asked her why i was sent to Sunday school ?she smiled at me and said "when you and your brother and sister went to Sunday school that was the only time your dad and i had to ourselves ""i smile even today when i think about mum and dads sunday afternoons, and you wish i hadnt brought this up ,,i didnt did i, the very first reply did ,mycomments were all in good taste and best wishes for a fellow human and im told he was a very keen gardener Good luck all
You are absolutely right, Alan. you made no comments that were in bad taste, and if my words seemed like an attack on you, they were not. Unlike you, I was never sent to Sunday School or any church. I arrived at my views as an adult. I hope the Pope is able to enjoy some retirement and peace before he dies and that he gets joy from gardens. He has said that he is mentally and physically too weak to do the job properly and this makes me wonder whether he has been diagnosed with alzheimers or a similar disorder - I hope not.But if so, then at least he has faith that he will go to a better place when he dies.