Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hot Air Blog Post Attacks Catholics as Shallow and Unbiblical...

At Hot Air's "Greenroom," in a post slamming Bill Maher for being a repulsive, amoral, hedonistic jerk, blogger The Other McCain concluded his post with an amazingly ignorant attack on the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation:

"At the beginning, you see Maher mocking the Catholic notion of transubstantiation and, at the end, you see an excerpt of Religulous in which Maher interrogates his mother, who married into the Catholic Church. The refutation of transubstantiation is simple enough: When Jesus spoke to the apostles about bread as symbolic of his body and wine as symbolic of his blood, Jesus was still sitting there among them, alive. Obviously, then, the expression was symbolic in meaning and the famous phrase, “This do in remembrance of me,” captures Jesus’ intention of this as a memorial ritual, not as a miraculous feat whereby the bread and wine literally became his flesh and blood.

That Maher would think it a serious critique of Christianity to mock a clearly unbiblical belief like transubstantion tells you a lot about his shallowness. And the fact that he felt the need to bring his mother into it tells you a lot about the childish resentments that motivate him."

So The Other McCain thinks that this is a clearly shallow, unbiblical belief. What a gratitutous slam on Catholics. I can't understand why this was done. Note, this isn't a blog comment, it's a post at Hot Air's "Greenroom" which is a collection of other bloggers posting at a separate area on Hot Air.

A commentor sets him straight:

“That Maher would think it a serious critique of Christianity to mock a clearly unbiblical belief like transubstantion tells you a lot about his shallowness.”

No. I think I’ve found out something about *your* shallowness via this gratuitous statement of anti-Catholic belief which does nothing to add to the point of your essay. Transubstantiation has far more biblical warrant than the 16th century Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura. Please point out for me one lengthy section of Scripture that can back up sola scriptura to the degree that transubstantiation can be backed up by the sixth chapter of John. Which part of “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” don’t you understand?

Do you have some problem with sussing out the meaning of the word “is” in the following passage? “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mt 26)

Or is 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 too unscriptural for you? “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.”

Your statement is without foundation. But the doctrine has always caused trouble. From John 6: “Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me…Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”…As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Look, if God Incarnate could do it (transubstantiation), if God Incarnate said He’d do it, why don’t you believe that He did it? If He could pull off the Incarnation, I’m sure He’d have little trouble with transubstantiation. You believe the former (presumably) but why not the latter? You only thereby cut yourself off from a great source of grace for eternal life. God wnats to be far more one with you than you imagine. He offers you His very flesh, His very substance, and you spurn it as superstition and somehow “unbiblical”. If so, it is your loss.

Matteo on April 26, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Even if The Other McCain doesn't believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, what is the point behind that idiotic attack on Catholics? It does nothing to support his argument that Bill Maher is a shallow person. Instead, he ends up saying that all Catholics are just as shallow as Bill Maher. It is incredibly insulting. Score another one for anti-Catholicism at Hot Air, this time by a sorta-kinda-co-blogger.

What's even more odd is that on his regular blog, The Other McCain has nothing but praise for Catholics:

When you actually examined Sager's book, however, you discovered that his argument was like the Rio Grande, a mile wide and six inches deep. He tended to treat all pro-lifers and social conservatives as if they were evangelicals -- i.e., conservative Protestants.

In fact, Catholics have always been the backbone of the pro-life movement, as anyone familiar with the movement could tell you. And this was especially true with the Terry Schiavo case, which Sager (and many others) cited as evidence of the undue influence exercised by "the Religious Right" within the GOP. But it was Father Frank Pavone and Priests for Life who led the Schiavo crusade. Terry Schiavo was Catholic, her family was Catholic, and end-of-life issues are part of an elaborately developed Catholic doctrine on the sanctity of human life.

As with the Schiavo case, as with opposition to abortion, so also with opposition to the gay-rights agenda -- the Catholic Church has been firmly on the conservative side, and yet Sager (again, like many others) continue to single out evangelicals when they want to slam "the Religious Right." Why?

It is an appeal to prejudice.

Of course, he's noting that Catholics are at the core of the pro-life movement only to protest against an attack by some RINO on sterotypes involving protestant fundamentalists. Still, given this kind of political support that The Other McCain finds valuable to conservativism, you'd think he'd be more circumspect in his comments. He shouldn't be so quick to equate fundamental Catholic doctrine with something "shallow" or "unbiblical," especially when it is not.

It'd be nice if other Christian conservatives didn't merely see Catholics as political allies...

UPDATE: Whattya know, the guy who corrected The Other MccAin has a blog. Hi Matteo! Nice blog you have there. Thanks for the smackdown. I enjoyed it immensely.


Dave C said...

you would think the symbolism of communion wouldn't be lost on you as a Catholic.

Sydney Carton said...

What symbolism? Communion isn't a symbol. It literally is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. That's classic catholic doctrine. There's no symbol, there is REALITY.

Besides, even if you dispute that doctrine, what's the point of such a gratuitous slam in a completely unrelated post about Bill Maher?

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

That's quite a defense of the Real Presence Matteo had there. Thanks for linking it!

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I'd like to point out that Lutherans also believe that the body and blood of Jesus Christ are truly present in the Eucharist, so I also felt slammed by that post.