You may have heard of TheDaily, the new Ipad "paper," which was rolled out last week with great Murdochian fanfare.  In any event, they asked me to write a short piece on my experiences blogging, tweeting and Facebooking for God.  The results are here, under "Following Jesus," which I'm now blogging about, to complete the circle.  The article is here.

Comments

Anonymous | 2/9/2011 - 1:57am
Si, Padre: are the commenters hateful, as you descrived them, or are the comments made helpful. Important distinction, in the service of Charity, don't you think??
Anonymous | 2/8/2011 - 10:32am
''as atheists have a belief, a faith that there is no God, just as we have a belief there is''
 
About 5 years ago I came across a debate on evolution between Will Provine, an avowed atheist and one of the top people in evolutionary biology at Cornell, and Philip Johnson, who wrote the book,  Darwin on Trial.  Johnson found religion late in life and was an accomplished law professor and decided to look into the evidence for evolution which led to his book.  The debate took place at Stanford in 1994.  You can find the videos on the internet of the debate as well as transcripts or mp3 files.  Just google ''provine johnson stanford.''
 
The most interesting thing about the debate is that the scientist, Provine, used only religious arguments against Johnson and never brought up any science while Johnson used only science to back his claims.  At the end Provine admitted that his beliefs were based on faith.  
 
The conventional wisdom is that atheist's beliefs are based on science and that those who believe in a creator are solely faith based.  While there is no certainty in any science, the overwhelming predominance of the evidence is that at some point in time there were more than one creative act by an entity with a massive intelligence and almost no evidence that what we see in the universe today could have arisen strictly due to natural causes.  So yes, one can say that both points of view are based on faith but one has massive amounts of logic and science behind it while the other is at best conjecture.  So if anyone who espouses atheistic positions claims that they have the evidence behind them, it is pure nonsense.
Craig McKee | 2/7/2011 - 11:12pm
The comments on use of the term HERESY reminded me of 2 of my favorite quotes:

“If you must make a choice between heresy and schism, always choose heresy,
for as a heretic, you are only guilty of a wrong opinion, as a schismatic, you have torn and divided the body of Christ. Choose heresy every time.”
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/jan/31/20040131-120323-2290r/print/


''Often, the difference between a heretic and prophet is time.''- Bishop Carlton Pearson of Tulsa, Okla., who has been condemned for his belief in universal salvation
People seem to forget that even Saint THOMAS AQUINAS' theological twitterings were condemned by THE CHURCH shortly after his death.
http://www.gpuri.com/wp/t/Thomas_Aquinas.htm

NORMA NUNAG | 2/7/2011 - 10:51pm
Bravo! Ole!  I love post #7.    Thank you Anne.   I can't stop cheering!!!!!
JIM MCCREA | 2/7/2011 - 6:59pm
I've heard "The Daily" (I have not logged on myself) described as "USA Today Lite"!

Now that is about as damning a comment that could be made.
Anonymous | 2/7/2011 - 3:55pm
Fr. Martin,

You should know that your message has reached Antarctica or at least the islands off the Antarctic Peninsula.  I was on a cruise ship a few weeks ago and a great treat happened.  They announced that a priest was on board and he would say Mass on Saturday evening.  At that time the ship was in the Admiralty Bay off the Antarctic Peninsula.  


During the homily he pointed to your book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything as source on how to live our daily lives.  At some time later in the homily he mentioned de La Salle which hit me as unusual.  After Mass I told him I too was taught by the Christian Brothers and the Jesuits.  He said he went to Manhattan Prep and then on to Fordham before entering the seminary.  He gave an extremely good homily.  We weren't expecting to have Mass so it doubly nice that he was there and we had a common background.  But not the seminary.


So tweeting and a book, the old fashion way of communicating, is getting around the world.
Anonymous | 2/7/2011 - 1:56pm
Well, arguably, this is not so much a religious site as it is a political site (notwithstanding the publishing body), so I can understand why a claimed atheist, such as Matt, would visit here. 

That said, I think that there are those who call themselves atheists who are really agnostics, the latter being the type of individual of which Anne speaks.  But I don't think they are the ones on Huffington Post and elsewhere making mocking references to a "bearded sky magician" (God) and peoples' "inherited security blankets" (religion).
J B | 2/7/2011 - 11:16am
Perhaps, Michael B, athiests come to this site and read other religious sites and literature because they too are seeking. They criticize often because  there is a internal war going on - between their heads and their hearts. Perhaps for some of them, they are secretly hoping to find something that will convince their hearts and that they might learn then to put the head into its proper place.  Even if they firmly believe themselves that they are ''true and forever'' athiests, something draws them, does it not? An unacknowledged longing? Augustine was wrong about many things, but was right that our hearts are restless, and that this restlessness continues until resting in God.

 Who would be attracted by the acrimony and discord seen today in many exchanges among Catholics themselves (true of other religious groups also)?  This need to be ''right'', whether the need of the neo-orthodox or the progressives has totally obscured  the message of God as love, as mercy, as compassion, and also obscures the message of Jesus's life and teachings  - especially because there seems often to be so much emphasis on the human - the human institution, the ''rules'' of the human institution, and the open antagonism between those whose priority is the institution and obedience to the men and the rules and laws made by those men, because they truly believe that these rules and laws and interpretations made by men will lead them to God, and those who are also looking for God, but for many reasons find that the human institution and the insistence on the laws and rules made by the human beings at the head of them have become obstacles in the spiritual journey.

No believer in God can ''prove'' the existence of God, nor can any believer in God ''prove'' that what he or she believes about God is 100% ''truth.''  That's why it is called faith.  We are human.  It is arrogant and presumptious to assume that our fallible human understanding of that which is, by definition, not understandable to human minds, the Mystery, is the fully ''correct'' understanding.  Perhaps a bit more understanding of a different kind of those with whom we disagree, including athiests, would move all of us closer to a more lived understanding of God's will.  It is not about the head - it is not about dogma and doctrine. It is about heart - it is about relationship.

Athiests cannot ''prove'' that there is no God; neither can believers ''prove'' that there is.
Anonymous | 2/7/2011 - 10:03am
Atheists read the Religion section because most atheists are merely religious critics and cannot otherwise account for their lack of a belief in God.  They come to criticize.
Matthew Pettigrew | 2/7/2011 - 9:49am
Why shouldn't atheists be reading the religious page?  I haven't attended a sporting event or watched one on television for years, but I read the sports pages enough to know that there was a big football game last night and that the Eagles didn't win it.
Anonymous | 2/6/2011 - 10:47pm
"Heresy" invoked is invoked with frequency on All Things?

Hmm, I can't remember the last time I have seen that terminology on this blog; I think David Smith has the right idea of what the non-liberal Catholics are trying to do on here.
Margaret Riordan | 2/6/2011 - 10:42pm
I notice that I have been 'captured' on your page with my KiwiNomad alias in your twitter feed. Thank you for my moment of fame :-)
Anonymous | 2/6/2011 - 1:01pm
Nice!  The daily seems like an interesting concept - perhaps you will be a regular on there?

(sure beats the HuffPo ;)
Matthew Pettigrew | 2/7/2011 - 12:03pm
Thank you Anne and Winifred.  I can't speak for all atheists, but I assure you that I do not come to this and other blog sites to criticize.  I come here and to sites that cover legal matters, history, politics, current events, and science to learn what smart, open-minded, and tolerant people have to say.  I keep coming back because I learn things and because I (usually) feel welcome here.
Winifred Holloway | 2/7/2011 - 11:47am
Thank you, Anne Chapman, for your thoughtful, clear post.  Why, indeed, this need to be right?  Especially when it involves "things unseen."   I am sure I have posted  this before on this site and probably others:  We call our faith "Faith"  we don't call it "Certainty."