RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sympathy for the Devil

Lots of people are astonished, or are feigning astonishment, that Antonin Scalia believes in the Devil. This is either disingenuousness or ignorance. The existence of the Devil is part of the teaching of the Catholic Church, and any orthodox Catholic (and Scalia is certainly that) is obliged to believe in him. Moreover 6 of 9 current Supreme Court justices are nominally Catholic, and should also believe in the Devil; I suspect several of them actually don't, but all that means is that they are cafeteria Catholics.

Why belief in the Devil should be considered especially odd escapes me anyway. If Jesus Christ was the personification of good, why shouldn't there be a personification of evil?

In case the sidebar isn't clear enough, I believe in neither. But what I find curious are atheists who pick and choose what parts of Christianity are stranger than others. It all starts with a talking snake, for heavens' sake. If you don't accept what's in the Catholic catechism, but instead in some sort of amorphous universal love thingy, you're not actually a Catholic, and I see no reason why you should be acknowledged as one. Conversely, if you pick and choose some parts of the doctrine to be sneered at as especially odd, be prepared to be branded intolerant of Catholicism. Me, I think all religion is odd, but it would be foolish to consider embrace of religion as a irremediable personal flaw.

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