In case you are wondering: the Catholic Church’s laws of fasting and abstinence.

It is now officially the first day of Lent that begins on Ash Wednesday (today) and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial. During Lent, many Christians commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. (source) It appears to be considerably less demanding than Ramadan.





Categories: Christianity

5 replies

  1. A very interesting post there, i have to wonder though how many actually practise this?

    Considering so few Catholics who actually attend Mass (which is considered a sin).

    With that in mind i have been enjoying a few visits to my local cathedral. I have to say it is a wonderful place for prayer or just quiet contemplation. Not too sure how i feel about all the statues though…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. what are your thoughts on Richard Carrier?

    recently he wrote the following :

    Fundamentalist Islam does the same thing. As this former jihadist explains, the fundamentalists also ignore passages that contradict them, thus fabricating much of the interpretation Harris thinks is literally in the Quran but actually, in context, isn’t.

    As I noted in my article about Islamophobia: fact is, literal reading of the Quran is not causing it. The people joining ISIS haven’t even read the Quran half the time—they are motivated by a larger philosophical conflict over economic systems, the distribution of power, and the organization of society. Likewise, there is no law in the Quran calling for the execution of gays; ISIS are enacting Levitical law. They are even correctly following Jewish Mishnah (hence, Talmudic law): throwing someone condemned to stoning off a high place as the first attempt on their life before actually using stones was explicitly stated in the Oral Torah of Moses in the Mishnah tractate Sanhedrin. Beheading is also in the Mishnah (and thus the Talmud) as one of the four methods of execution, the others being fire and strangling and stoning (firing squad may have replaced fire, but I don’t know; ISIS might be burning people alive like the Jews’ own holy books instruct Jews to do), each separated by type of crime, a typology ISIS is using—this is not in the Quran. ISIS is realizing Judaism as-written. So why aren’t the Jews doing this? It can’t be because “Their books don’t say to do this.” Because they do. So something else is going on.

    As I wrote in that article (and there are now several links added with supporting analyses from experts and journalists): “ISIS is not actually recruiting fighters on a platform of sharia law, but simply absorbing dispossessed men on a revenge kick, most of whom actually don’t give a shit about sharia law. They just have nothing else to live for; or we fucked them over too many times; or both.” One of the accounts in my linked articles, relates a conversation from intercepted battlefield communications, revealing how ISIS commanders are just using these men as fodder for their war, that they don’t really care about sharia law or even the afterlife—the soldiers don’t really even believe in it, and the commanders just use it to generate fear and thus compliance (and satisfy the otherwise unchanneled bloodlust of angry men).
    Although I know you of all people need no encouragement on this front, if you do publish a more formal criticism of Harris about this — and you seem eminently qualified to do it — I hope that you will rely on the source, not my characterization of it.

    Harris is too slippery to do that. He can’t actually be pinned down on anything. Even his own statements as given are vague or unclear on key points. And as soon as you criticize anything he says, he claims he meant something else.

    If ever he says “x is the actual problem, and y is what we should do about it” let me know; point me to that. But so far as I can tell, in all his hundreds of thousands of words on “the Islamic problem” he still has never clearly stated what precisely the problem is, or what actually we should do about it (or why…that is, why he thinks that would work). As you yourself note, even you could not say whether he was saying “the Quran” is “the problem.”

    Nor does he say in any clear terms what we should do about that, if in fact that is the problem. But making the case that it is the problem is already hard to do. Because we have already run a controlled experiment on that kind of social dynamic hypothesis…at least twice! Israel and Christendom. And they don’t support the contention that “the Book” is the problem. It may be a minor player in the system of causes, as a vector for certain ideas when activated, but why are some ideas activated and not others? Why are Christians calling for gays to be killed while still eating bacon? Why is ISIS executing Levitical violators even though the Quran never says to do that, while not seeking (and obeying) peace treaties, as the Quran does command them to do? (Quran 2:190ff. 60:8ff. 8:61ff. 42:40ff.)

    So I have no material to work with. Harris seems more intent on just drumming up a vague fear of Muslims and Islam, while contemplating the hypothetical possibility that we might have to nuke them, that we should racially profile them all at airports (while simultaneously admitting Islam isn’t a race, which makes his desire for racial profiling of Muslims perplexing), and that we should never allow any of them into our country (at least if they are running away from Islamic extremists, because like sympathetic magic, that proximity to extremists makes it too likely you are an extremist to be deserving of any charity). Or not. Because he simultaneously argues for these things and then denies having done so.



  3. what has this comment got to do with the post on Lent?


  4. well then it should not be here.


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