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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Samantha Thomas on November 20, 2010 at 1:40pm
Yes, Claudia, there are a lot of different interpretations of the dogma of transubstantiation. Your Franciscan friend was describing a version of 'consubstantiation,' favored by Martin Luther. Consubstantiation is a philosophical, rather than mystical, interpretation of the dogma. It never ceases to amaze me how people argue about disagreements in their personal interpretations of sh*t they made up from the outset. Cracks me up.
Comment by Joseph P on November 20, 2010 at 12:32am
@ Mike K.
Yeah, that's Catholicism, but that's a huge chunk of the Christian world. Due to the authoritarian nature of the Catholic church (even more so than the rest of Christianity) what the Pope hands down is what all Catholics believe ... in theory. In reality, Catholics are a bunch of backsliders who just go through the motions. A lot of them are borderline atheists, and I think they'll be a great source of new atheists, once it becomes a socially acceptable option.
Comment by Susan Stanko on November 19, 2010 at 8:55am
@Ron both Jesus and Elijah were the only two who BODILY ascended into heaven. And regarding alter vs altar. it isn't like you are just misspelling a word. You are using the WRONG word. And in regards to your religion is black and white theory, NOTHING about human behavior is black and white. If that were the case issues would be easy to solve but, they aren't.
Comment by Geraldo Cienmarcos on November 19, 2010 at 8:52am

"... the brain links the literal and the metaphorical..."

"So where did this facility with symbolism come from? It strikes me that the human brain has evolved a necessary shortcut for doing so, and with some major implications."

The Stone: This Is Your Brain on Metaphors

By ROBERT SAPOLSKY Despite rumors to the contrary, there are many ways in which the human brain isn't all that fancy. Let's compare it to the nervous system ...
Comment by Martinson on November 19, 2010 at 5:26am
Yeah it's silly to say that all christians believe in transubstantiation (I can't believe spell check knows that word and insists that christians is capitalized)
It's especially ridiculous to say that specific people must believe in it because they identify as christian or have taken communion while in office. (Clinton, Obama, Bush) None of these men are catholic, and most catholics don't know or don't believe it anyway.

Here's the plan: call your local police station on Sunday to report large groups of people engaging in acts of cannibalism. Give them the address of the nearest catholic church.
Comment by Tony Davis on November 18, 2010 at 9:49pm
OK, really last note tonight from me. :-)

As I said earlier, and Gregg corroborated, it is official Catholic dogma that the wafer and wine literally ARE the body and blood of Christ, not symbolic. But the ONE time we ever did it in my Baptist church the pastor told us it was symbolic.

Good night all. :-)
Comment by Gregg Deering on November 18, 2010 at 9:46pm
Well, catholics are supposed to be one body (so to speak). Their theology gives us transubstantiation. I have found that the only thing Christians hate more than atheists are theologians.
Comment by Tony Davis on November 18, 2010 at 9:43pm
And before I crash (have to get up early)....

Susan - I like your point about Christianity being destroyed if they found the body of Christ but I REALLY REALLY disagree. And that's not at attack on ya, I like your though process. It is just that I've met so many Christians, even debated a few, who I thought would have no choice but to concede defeat when I would show them direct contradictions in the Bible. For example, I even showed one apologist the Project Reason chart ( and the response was "That doesn't bother me at all. I don't need the Bible to be accurate to have faith in Christ. I am convinced (and I might be wrong) that a huge percentage of Christians would just chalk up the body of Christ to "God works in mysterious ways".
Comment by Robert Tobin on November 18, 2010 at 9:36pm
When I was being indoctrinated into the "Holy" Roman Catholic Church in a jesuit 'concentration camp". Xavier College, we were told the wafer IS the body of Jesus Christ, not a symbol or representation. We had to believe it OR ELSE
Comment by Tony Davis on November 18, 2010 at 9:35pm
On the issue of "what Christians really believe" and the whole "is the wafer really Jesus' body and the wine really his blood... The idea of transubstantiation is official doctrine that it really does become the body and blood. Now, how many people REALLY believe that? I have no idea. It is a challenge I am facing while trying to write this book. I have to be VERY careful saying "Christians believe...." because as soon as I do I meet one who says "I don't believe that". And that happens on some pretty BIG issues! I am generally using the "guidelines" found in C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" when talking about what Christians believe. If it's not in there I try to qualify it with "some" or "many". Hope that all makes sense.

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