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Thread: Is The Catholic Church A Force For Good In The World

  1. #25
    Heavenly Creature Editor aman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brynhyffryd
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    I get the impression hearabouts that a lot of people would agree with that statement, but that many of them have considerable difficulty in suppressing a seething rage with the world and its ways, or their personal situation.
    I think a lot of people are frightened. Fear can come from ignorance and ignorance + fear can = rage.

    We are going through a terrible time at the moment. We see things happening in the world and in our own country that we do not agree with or scare us but we feel unable to question them or challenge them for fear of being labelled a bigot.

    We need to be able to discuss these things rationally and in the open so we can gain greater understanding and reduce ignorance and fear. Religion is just one of those subjects that always seems to put people on the defensive.

    Paul
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  2. #26
    Heavenly Creature Wulfie's Avatar
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    You'll never be able to discuss Islam with the hardcore muslims as they are so brainwashed that their only dialogue is with an AK47 or a bomb. If you're not one you're the enemy and even if you are one you can still be the enemy. At least with Christianity nowadays, unless you're in the bible belt you can at least question their beliefs without a 'wottheycallit' being levelled against you.
    Not all who wander are lost
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  3. #27
    Heavenly Creature itinerant child's Avatar
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    There is good and bad in almost every belief system-religion and as long as people do not try to push it upon others and do not use it to the detriment of others and feel happier because of it,then good luck to them. I wish them all love and positivity in finding their way.

    One of the greatest lines I have heard spoken by any religious leader which showed a very open mind and respect to all beliefs was when the dalai lama said to everyone " practise your religion".

    Before responding quickly in an anti religious manner,give thought to these words !!
    anything is possible,that my friends is a mathematical certainty ;-)
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  4. #28
    Heavenly Creature Editor aman's Avatar
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    I am very happy for people to do whatever they like as long as they understand that it is not for everyone and not to vilify those of us who do not have the same interests.

    Last night I saw part of a program about men (I think it was mainly men) who dressed up in latex lady skin suits and masks and wandered around like human dolls. I think they are called '
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    '.

    I do not understand this behavior in the slightest in fact I found it particularly creepy but they are not doing anyone any harm as long as they don't start flaying real women and wearing their skin then good on em but don't expect me to join in.

    Paul
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  5. #29
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    Originally Posted by itinerant child
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    There is good and bad in almost every belief system-religion and as long as people do not try to push it upon others and do not use it to the detriment of others and feel happier because of it,then good luck to them. I wish them all love and positivity in finding their way.

    One of the greatest lines I have heard spoken by any religious leader which showed a very open mind and respect to all beliefs was when the dalai lama said to everyone " practise your religion".

    Before responding quickly in an anti religious manner,give thought to these words !!
    A nice saying, but it depends entirely on how people see their religion.

    Some practice their take on their own religion by making war on other religions, others by helping wherever they can and helping whoever they can.

    Almost all religions have had in the past, or do have today, followers of both sides of the coin.

  6. #30
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    Originally Posted by Brynhyffryd
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    Sorry m8, you mentioned "freedoms hard-won from the religious past", I thought you were talking about legal persecution, not your internal landscape.

    I will withdraw from this discussion, as it seems to be a vehicle for hatred, directed at a former oppressor whom I never experienced, which can only be appreciated by fellow sufferers.
    It was all done legally, you can read about it in the history books, if you do not know the religious past. Ordinary people taken and burnt in the fire because maybe they had warts, and thereby qualified as witches or warlocks. Old women who lived alone with their pet animals and did not attend church perhaps, also taken to the fire. And much else, all done absolutely legally by the legal power at the time, the authority of the Church.

    So you see we are dealing with historical facts here, nothing to do with my internal landscape.

    It is obvious that you have never suffered under any religion, as you say. But try to broaden your mind by reading about those who have, so that you too will have experience of religious oppression, even second-hand, and then hopefully you will better understand the subject.
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  7. #31
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    Originally Posted by oldkeith
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    It was all done legally, you can read about it in the history books, if you do not know the religious past. Ordinary people taken and burnt in the fire because maybe they had warts, and thereby qualified as witches or warlocks. Old women who lived alone with their pet animals and did not attend church perhaps, also taken to the fire. And much else, all done absolutely legally by the legal power at the time, the authority of the Church.
    Oh right, when you said

    Until you have lived under it, or read or talked with those who have, you have no idea of how thinking and living is stultified under a strict religious authority, and the paranoia that it generates in the minds of those who may suspect they are not true believers.
    I thought you were talking about your personal experience.

    So you see we are dealing with historical facts here, nothing to do with my internal landscape.
    I'm feeling a little confused. I think you got started on historical facts and got carried away by your own enthusiasm.

    So for example, what was the legal change which conferred the following freedoms?

    Freedom from the false religious fear of an hereafter peopled with events and characters from a religious fantasy.
    Freedom from the straitjacket of religious thinking that was made to pervade every nook and cranny of the human mind in daily life.
    It is obvious that you have never suffered under any religion, as you say. But try to broaden your mind by reading about those who have, so that you too will have experience of religious oppression, even second-hand, and then hopefully you will better understand the subject.
    Your hatred of the Roman Catholic Church is almost tangible, keith, and you need to do something with it. I'm a very imperfect human who has no view and no axe to grind, and doesn't need to wallow in anyone else's misery, and doesn't feel guilty about that.

    No hatefest for me, thanks!

  8. #32
    Whats up Bryn?

    Powerful forces, institutions and belief systems are claiming control over most peoples lives.

    There are far more informed points of view and indeed technological advances have already surpassed the draconion methods by which humans are forced to suffer the experience of life.

    Catchup isnt happening. Denial and subjugation are tenuously accepted by scientists/technologists/citizens/slaves who are acutely aware that the status quo is unfounded.
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  9. #33
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    Originally Posted by zendaze
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    Powerful forces, institutions and belief systems are claiming control over most peoples lives.

    There are far more informed points of view and indeed technological advances have already surpassed the draconion methods by which humans are forced to suffer the experience of life.

    Catchup isnt happening. Denial and subjugation are tenuously accepted by scientists/technologists/citizens/slaves who are acutely aware that the status quo is unfounded.
    I don't see any future for me as a selfish individual in espousing your views, whatever they are (I'm never quite sure) because if they make you so darn miserable they might do the same for me. I might as well take Largactyl. Nor oldkeiths, as he seems to be consumed by anger and hate because of things which he can do nothing about. Much as I have compassion for you both!

    I want to live to 100 and die with a smile on my face, not one of relief but of satisfaction, and I don't think that is compatible with negative attitudes to my life.

  10. #34
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    Originally Posted by Brynhyffryd
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    Oh right, when you said

    I thought you were talking about your personal experience.
    (So what if it was? That is my personal experience of hearing of it, and reading about it, from people who have directly known it.)

    I'm feeling a little confused. I think you got started on historical facts and got carried away by your own enthusiasm.

    So for example, what was the legal change which conferred the following freedoms?
    (These freedoms were slowly gained when the Church lost it's authority to be the only teaching authority; when new ideas were able to be talked about freely, and disseminated by learned men without the fear of being put to the stake. These changes came partly as a result of newer more liberal offshoots of the RC Church arising and founding and declaring new churches of their own. Surely you have some general knowledge of European and English religious history?)


    Your hatred of the Roman Catholic Church is almost tangible, keith, and you need to do something with it. I'm a very imperfect human who has no view and no axe to grind, and doesn't need to wallow in anyone else's misery, and doesn't feel guilty about that.
    (This thread is about the Roman Catholic Church, is it not? Therefore some of the history of that church is bound to come to light here and be reflected and discussed. Why personally sound so shocked? Are you an RC? Is not the history of that church a very shocking history itself?)

    No hatefest for me, thanks!
    (We do not feast on hate, but we do well to remember it, and who is and was responsible for it, because we do not want it to happen again).
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  11. #35
    Afloat ... or adrift? marshlander's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brynhyffryd
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    I'm amazed again at the intolerant attitudes of people hereabouts. Think of the misery which your opinion would impose if it was made law, particularly in countries where religion is part of daily life and religious festivals are enthusiastically observed. Maybe Stalin's USSR would have suited you?
    I've been thinking about this post for a few days. I have looked in from time to time and can't even remember if I have already commented on it, but there must be some reason your comment has caused to to think again.

    First of all I shall assume some of the guilt of being one of the intolerant people to whom you refer. Am I intolerant? Probably. Is it reasonable? Probably. Would my opinion cause misery? Perhaps, but probably not. I do not, though, think my opinion amounts to anything that should be made law, so that argument is like one I have heard so many times, i.e. that it would be be the end of the species if everyone were gay. They are not and never will be. Neither will my opinions be codified into law. I suspect, Bryn, that you were looking towards some kind of logical projection. It doesn't work for me though.

    From what I have read I would not be at all happy in Stalin's USSR. I would like to think I would be strong enough to dissent. I fear it likely, though, I would have been cowed into submission like many.

    Having heard from and spoken personally to victims of abuse from within the Catholic Church and having looked at the church's efforts over many years to keep people under the thumb through violence, emotional abuse, guilt, shame, poverty, ignorance and well, the list goes on, but you get my drift, I think there has to come a time when intolerance is an honourable stand to take.

    On a personal level I can only look at the effect that institution had on my father and it was horrible. He wasn't even an active committed member of their congregation. He just went to their school, thought violent correction was acceptable and normal and assumed that everything was his fault. In my own life my mother listened to the Mormon missionaries in an attempt to prevent me having to endure the same thing. Somehow she assumed that things would turn out okay if they both joined a third religion (she was C of E) together. Up to a point she was right.

    It is only when people find out the lies that are required to be perpetuated that the pain kicks in. The lies are, of course, required to keep people parting with their hard-earned belongings (including time, talents and cash) so that a privileged, and tiny, elite might continue to live to a level of comfort to which they have become accustomed. Again, I can only speak from personal experience of my religion of upbringing but I have no reason to believe it varies greatly from many others. I would not be at all surprised to learn that the money members of my immediate family have donated to the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (thinking they were donating to a church in response to commandments from God) amounts to a seven figure sum over the past fifty years. No one in my family is "rich". Some are struggling to join the "just getting by" group. It's not just the money, though, despite the fact that they could all have used it to make their families more secure. For me it is this devastating misuse of power to keep the believers believing.

    Back to the RCC, the last pope committed criminal offences and should be answerable in law. Instead he was pensioned off (the first pope still living in six hundred years to resign and see a successor appointed) and there are more lies, cover-ups, denials and refusals to face the music.

    Of course, there are many good people of belief who are wonderful and inspiring examples of humankind. I think that most people have it within them to be good without god though.
    Last edited by marshlander; 15-01--2017 at 04:51 PM.
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  12. #36
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    Originally Posted by marshlander
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    ... there must be some reason your comment has caused to to think again.
    Ma, the tablets are working!
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    There are over a billion Roman Catholics on this earth.

    Every culture has its own particular flavour, and there is always something to object to about the culture and location that you live in, your occupation, your genes, and so on. Some of these objections are totally reasonable because the boundaries of acceptable behaviour are crossed, or something criminal is going on, and so on, and for sure, these things should be put right. However, when they are used as an argument to overthrow the whole edifice, I wonder about the effect on everybody else, most of whom haven't uttered a word of complaint and for many of whom the Church is a splendid institution, central to their lives, even with some faults admitted they identify with it and are proud of their identity. Whisk all this away on account of the aforenamed faults and everybody is left floundering, leaderless, unsure of thir neighbours, etc etc. So I would think of this demolition job as a selfish action which would have a negative effect on the lives of the majority of followers. I say "followers" because like your father, you don't have to be devout to be inside the Catholic culture.

    What would you replace the RCC with? You know that many people would return to religion of some sort. Would they get a better deal? Remember those wealthy Mormons?

    So,

    Against: internal corruption, bad priests, congregation stressed Church's by lack of understanding of modern life.

    For: The principal Christian church. Social cohesion, 2000 years of tradition, guidance, solace and support from clergy and lay helpers, an institution which will mediate with government (in some parts of the world). The brilliance of Pope Francis (even this non-Christian can see that!)

    To do: much.

    Yes, I'm a social conservative. That's not a Conservative BTW...and rinse.
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  13. #37
    exiled cornishman wandering gypsy's Avatar
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    or as dave allen use to say. may YOUR god go with you
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  14. #38
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    "So,

    Against: internal corruption, bad priests, congregation stressed Church's by lack of understanding of modern life."

    This does very little to list and address what is wrong with the Catholic Church.It does not touch the questions of history, or wealth, for example.

    "
    For: The principal Christian church. Social cohesion, 2000 years of tradition, guidance, solace and support from clergy and lay helpers, an institution which will mediate with government (in some parts of the world). The brilliance of Pope Francis (even this non-Christian can see that!)"

    Most of this is whitewash. Social cohesion supported by a tyrannical authority during 2000 years of living in a cave of invented beliefs made into a tradition. The authority of the church imposed upon all persons, whether believers or not, in whatever country the church governed or invaded. Ruthless subjugation of rival sects and religions. An institution that has to mediate with governments nowadays, because it is no longer in control.

    I will let you off Pope Francis, he is not such a bombastic prat as some of his predecessors, and appears to try to do his best in what must be a very difficult job.
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  15. #39
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    Originally Posted by oldkeith
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    Against: internal corruption, bad priests, congregation stressed Church's by lack of understanding of modern life."

    This does very little to list and address what is wrong with the Catholic Church.It does not touch the questions of history, or wealth, for example.
    If the Catholic church was a UK rail franchise, it would be in deep doodoo. But it isn't! We have to be realistic. No-one is going to take the franchise off them. History is history. Wealth is not of itself a bad thing.

    [QUOTE]"
    For: The principal Christian church. Social cohesion, 2000 years of tradition, guidance, solace and support from clergy and lay helpers, an institution which will mediate with government (in some parts of the world). The brilliance of Pope Francis (even this non-Christian can see that!)"

    Most of this is whitewash. Social cohesion supported by a tyrannical authority during 2000 years of living in a cave of invented beliefs made into a tradition.
    a) you can't turn the clock back b) what were the alternatives. You can seeth about the wrongs of the past but you can't alter anything. The term "futile rage" springs to mind.

    The authority of the church imposed upon all persons, whether believers or not, in whatever country the church governed or invaded. Ruthless subjugation of rival sects and religions.
    That goes with the territory of being the dominant religion.

    An institution that has to mediate with governments nowadays, because it is no longer in control.
    Surely that pleases you?

    I will let you off Pope Francis, he is not such a bombastic prat as some of his predecessors, and appears to try to do his best in what must be a very difficult job.
    As a human I am proud of him! If I was a Catholic I would be bloody proud of him.

  16. #40
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    "a) you can't turn the clock back."
    No, but the RC church has shown no guilt for what it has done as an organised religion in the past. None of its popes have ever apologised to any of the countries the church invaded and looted, nor to any of the invaded races and the Christian sects that were decimated or, in some cases, totally destroyed.

    "b) what were the alternatives?"
    Civilised behavior would be a good start. Some of the societies preceding Roman Catholicism were more tolerant and free-thinking, and sensibly philosophical.

    "That goes with the territory of being the dominant religion."
    Not at all. In countries where there is a dominant religion, that religion is not necessarily a ruthless authority subjugating other religions or sects.

    "Surely that pleases you?"
    But of course. But an eye still has to be kept upon them, considering the lessons of the past.

    "As a human I am proud of him! If I was a Catholic I would be bloody proud of him."
    I find the idea of pride in a religious leader amusing. It is like having pride in a prime minister, or in the head of some other bunch of con-men.
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  17. #41
    'Opiate of the masses' continues to spring to mind.

    Sure if people need a club to join for social/psychological/spiritual reasons .......then why not right?

    Problem is that the continuation of religious dogma is hobbling the realisation and actualisation of a more enlightened solution to alienation based on the story of evolution as percieved now.

    The tradition of mysticism and cosmological unknowing is unhelpful and a massive lie in the face of current culture, stories, study and scientific explanation.

    If there was a reset button.....then the gods would surely press it.
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  18. #42
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    Originally Posted by zendaze
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    'Opiate of the masses' continues to spring to mind.

    Sure if people need a club to join for social/psychological/spiritual reasons .......then why not right?

    Problem is that the continuation of religious dogma is hobbling the realisation and actualisation of a more enlightened solution to alienation based on the story of evolution as percieved now.

    The tradition of mysticism and cosmological unknowing is unhelpful and a massive lie in the face of current culture, stories, study and scientific explanation.

    If there was a reset button.....then the gods would surely press it.
    Yes, but that's "religion" and the topic is the "Catholic Church", etc.

  19. #43
    Afloat ... or adrift? marshlander's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brynhyffryd
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    ... I wonder about the effect on everybody else, most of whom haven't uttered a word of complaint and for many of whom the Church is a splendid institution, central to their lives, even with some faults admitted they identify with it and are proud of their identity. Whisk all this away on account of the aforenamed faults and everybody is left floundering, leaderless, unsure of thir neighbours, etc etc. So I would think of this demolition job as a selfish action which would have a negative effect on the lives of the majority of followers. ...
    What keeps people compliant is what keeps them enslaved. The conditioning within any religious organisation tends to weigh heavily towards obedience, through imposing a centralised teaching and a hierarchical structure. One thing we can most certainly agree on is the devastating effect of having a belief system and all the support mechanism that goes with it whipped away. Whether that internal chaos is brought about through personal research, enlightenment, realisation and acceptance (gradual and grudging as it may be) of a new "normal" or whether it is imposed from without the pain is still there. In four years of counselling I was shocked that I spent the first two years trying to come to terms with a religion I thought I had out grown twenty-five years previously. I never suspected the roots were buried so deep.

    I do not happen to think that the results of beliefs or traditions imposed or removed by external forces are as productive. I would sooner we all choose for ourselves. My contribution is to rant (or in my usual case, sing) occasionally and sow a seed that someone may one day begin to consider. I "believe" that change is more effective when sought and thought through by the changing individual. Massed and forced change is devastating. Let these systems whither on the vine - although it won't happen in my lifetime (the one here and now, I mean
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    . Sometimes, though, it is handy if dissenters are protected from the missionary zeal of the believers. That is one useful role for the law.

    The red pill or the blue one?
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  20. #44
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    Originally Posted by marshlander
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    What keeps people compliant is what keeps them enslaved. The conditioning within any religious organisation tends to weigh heavily towards obedience, through imposing a centralised teaching and a hierarchical structure.

    In four years of counselling I was shocked that I spent the first two years trying to come to terms with a religion I thought I had out grown twenty-five years previously. I never suspected the roots were buried so deep.
    Obedience and ignorance. They are tools of power and enslavement.

    First you keep learning for the elite in the hierarchy, and ensure that you have a book of rules to which the masses do not have access. For a long time bibles and other holy texts were written in Latin, and the masses were spoken/sung in Latin. The ordinary folk, were unable to understand this, they were rarely able even to read and write in their own tongue. Next you convince them that can not be trusted with their own spirituality; you cannot talk directly to your god, but need a priest to intervene on your behalf, and to seek divine intervention (confession and absolution) for your sins.

    Tell people that they are born sinful and that their god sent his son to be tortured and murdered on their behalf, so that they will always feel guilty. Of course power needs money, so you tithe as well. A tenth of your belongings, wages goes to the church in power in your life. This was actually enshrined in law and still is in places.

    As for your thinking you had long since dealt with the religious dogma which had been imposed on you, Marshlander; the Jesuits say, "Give me a child until the age of eight, and he will be mine for life".

    Nobody needs religion. There is no excuse for it, people are more moral without it than with it. It is responsible for war, theft, keeping poverty as a tool of enslavement, torture and death in the name of the father. It is an awful form of politics, and the victims should be treated gently and helped to deal with their brainwashing as we do with people who are rescued from smaller cults.
    If men bore wings and had black feathers, few would be intelligent enough to be crows.
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  21. #45
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    be quiet everyone, I'm listening to a light hearted debate, programme name - the philosophers arms on radio 4 as to wether a Jaffa cake is a cake or a biscuit, thats far more important than religion.

  22. #46
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    Originally Posted by wizard1luv
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    be quiet everyone, I'm listening to a light hearted debate, programme name - the philosophers arms on radio 4 as to wether a Jaffa cake is a cake or a biscuit, thats far more important than religion.
    Cake attracts less tax!

  23. #47
    Heavenly Creature
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    Originally Posted by ma bungo
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    Cake attracts less tax!
    Than religion?
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  24. #48
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Uncle jhad
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    Than religion?
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    Religion is all about tax
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