Comments: Why the Eucharist is Not Simply a "Frackin' Cracker"


I grew up Catholic but it was only in adulthood that I discovered the doctrine of transubstantiation. At fist I couldn't believe it--surely no sane person can accept that although the eucharistic wafer gives every appearance of being the same throughout the mass, official doctrine has it that the wafer undergoes a physical change. In other words, you could do appropriate chemical experiments and discover that the wafer was no longer unleavened bread, but the muscle tissue (viscera, etc.) and blood (white blood cells, etc.) of a human being, indeed, of Jesus himself. But still, I thought, this must be symbolic, not literal. It OBVIOUSLY doesn't transmute into anything.

But alas, I was to discover that human credulity has reached a manic pitch with this doctrine: some people actively believe that the communion host physically changes.

This is one of the reasons I could never go back to the Catholic church. A deep seated moral and intellectual corruption is the only logical explanation for belief in this absurdity.

This message was no actually typed on a computer, but on a smooth-surfaced rock. It's a mystery then how it actually worked, but because it's a mystery asserted by a trusted authority, we can be absolutely sure it's correct and without error in any way.

D. Stone

Posted by D. Stone at July 14, 2008 02:31 PM

Mr Stone:

You misstate the Church's position on transubstantiation, which addresses many of your points. A good summary of this may be seen here:

Not that it will change your mind any, but there it is.

I did not write my post with the idea of changing anyone's mind about Christian doctrine, but rather to explain why many Roman Catholics would get upset about people treating the Host in a light manner. It is one thing if one chooses not to believe in transubstantiation, but another entirely to belittle those that do. Doing that lacks a certain ... politeness.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at July 14, 2008 11:07 PM

I am similar to D. Stone but then ended up on the opposite end of the spectrum. I didn't discover until adulthood the true meaning of transubstantiation. However, for me it has been a revelation. After reading John 6, I realized that if I accept the Bible as the Word of God that I must also accept the Eucharist. Please D. Stone, read the early church Fathers. They were closest in time to Jesus' apostles and you will see that they believed as the Catholic Church believes now. At that time, others believed human sacrifice was being performed because they didn't understand the Eucharist. That belief has not been corrupted, but rather preserved. Catholics have a wonderful tradition of intellectually questioning everything, and if you read you'll find not corruption, but logic beautifully laid out for you.

Posted by Tess at July 17, 2008 09:48 PM

It's still a frackin' cracker.

Would you care to address or condemn the death threats that both Mr. Cook and Dr. Myers have received, or are you only interested in justification?

PS: And yes, I am aware of the irony of having my current atheistic beliefs and also half of the Gospel writers in my name.

Posted by John Mark at July 18, 2008 04:31 PM

John Mark --

No it isn't.

As for the death threats issued against Mr Cook and Dr Myers, I unequivocally condemn them. Anyone who made such threats should be ashamed of themselves, as such acts are ridiculous, cowardly and completely uncalled for. Also, they're un-Christian.

That said, I fail to see how you think my post would somehow justify such things.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at July 18, 2008 07:21 PM

PZ Myers has committed the perfect crime. After all, PZ Myers Has Killed Jesus Christ, and seems to have gotten away with it.

Posted by Paul Thoreau at August 4, 2008 03:01 PM

Mr Thoreau --

My apologies, but there is no way I -- nor anyone else born after 1970 -- can take seriously a man who named his blog after "Imagine."

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at August 4, 2008 11:55 PM

Mr. Kepple:

Because I so desperately need you to take me seriously please tell me the name of one of your favorite songs. I will change the name of my blog as soon as possible.

"It is one thing if one chooses not to believe in" the lyrics of a song, "but another entirely to belittle those that do. Doing that lacks a certain ... politeness."

Posted by Paul Thoreau at August 5, 2008 11:11 AM

Mr Thoreau --

Really? REALLY? OK, deal.

"People Are Like Suns." Crowded House. From their new album out this year. Google the lyrics. You might actually like them. For that matter, you might actually like Crowded House. They're from New Zealand. New Zealand is very advanced. Plus, the title might even fit in with your blog.

Alternatively, if you don't like that, how about "Flagpole Sitta" from Harvey Danger? But I think "People Are Like Suns" would work.

At least listen to the album, for Pete's sake -- it's a great band. :-D

(I was tempted to pick MacArthur Park, but that would have been wrong).

As for the rest of it -- nice try, but you're comparing apples and oranges.

-- All best,

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at August 5, 2008 10:37 PM

Mr. Kepple:

Have you changed your mind and decided to take me seriously?

I have seen apples, oranges, and the lyrics to Imagine. I can't say the same thing about the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ.

Posted by Paul Thoreau at August 6, 2008 09:01 AM
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