2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Communist shill film,
This review is from: There Be Dragons (DVD)All you need to know about this film can be discerned in the fact of the cover art (front and back) for the DVD case being images of, no, not Josemaría Escrivá, the Roman Catholic priest from Spain who founded Opus Dei, nor the journalist played by actor Dougray Scott, but instead the images are of a left-wing militia leader named Oriol fighting to uphold a communist "republic". The story of Josemaría Escrivá and everybody else in this epic, excepting Oriol and his lover (played by Olga Kurylenko), are really just the background against which screenwriter and director Roland Joffé plays out the real drama and message of this film - that drama being the holy crusade of world-wide socialism to wipe right-wingers, capitalists and reactionaries from from the face of the earth; a crusade Joffe carries forward in this film.
"The coming world war will cause not only reactionary classes and dynasties, but entire reactionary peoples, to disappear from the face of the earth. And that will be progress." - Friedrich Engels
Leftists worldwide love to use the Spanish Civil War as a backdrop to communicate surreptitious support for socialism/communism - at the time, and to this day, Leftists understand the Spanish Civil War to have been a dramatic and romantic clash (prelude to the worldwide clash) of the forces of good (Leftism/Communism/Socialism) verses the forces of evil (anybody with political leanings right-of-center). If you understand this, then you will understand the reason this film was made, and why it is nothing more than propaganda masquerading as historical epic.
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Initial post: Feb 28, 2012 10:21:18 AM PST
That seems a bit melodramatic. I think the only message the writer portrayed about that war was that like all wars, it was full of chaos and violence. Not being well read on the Spanish Civil War I have no opinion on the political backdrop of Spain when this happened. The movie is not about the Spanish War but the people in it. If you can't sit back and enjoy a historical movie without going "AHHA! they had him drive a Ford. Stupid Right-Wing Commies!" or whatever, I feel bad.
No hard feelings or anything, I find that when I do notice a discrepancy it does pull away from the movie or book I'm enjoying. However, the movie was about the characters and their struggles during the Spanish Civil War, not the war itself.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2012 4:49:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 28, 2012 4:54:48 PM PST
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 3:23:05 PM PST
Ok, I will try to answer/defend Joffe here.
1) yes Manolo defends the commies to his father with the classic line "they only want to feed their families. blah, blah, blah" every side in a war has its reasons for fighting, whether they were correct or not. I'm sure that some of the revolutionarys were just looking for food for tomorrow. Though I'm sure that many were using it as an excuse to pillage and do violence and the leaders used it to bring their communist agenda to Spain. The reason that Joffe had those lines about how great their movement seemed and how noble blah blah et cetera, was to give the character Manolo reasons to betray his father and his origins.
He defiantly showed the bad sides of both armies though, with the shooting of the priest in the street as an example. All wars are like that, both sides have good men and bad. One may be fighting for something obviously good (the downfall of Hitler or independence from a foreign nation) or something much more ambiguous. In the case of the Spanish Civil War there was some things drastically wrong in their country, but the revolutions and chaos and different political groups taking advantage of the unrest and anger of the Spanish people, that was overkill to put it blandly. Joffe did a good job portraying the violence of war and the men on both sides of the battlefield, as well as those who were above it. While you can't help but sympathize with the impossible dreams of Olga and Oriol, you don't necessarily agree with their politics. And throughout the movie, there is Josemaria, while in the world and suffering and fighting in his own way, he is not of that world.
2) Again the Spanish Civil War was filled with evil on both sides. In fact, I disagreed with both, as they were both seriously flawed. However, if the leftist really do think that this war makes all who oppose Nazis, that's kinda comical. The Nazis were extreme socialists, and socialism is just a nicer way of bringing about communism! So, the two sides, one could say, were one and the same thing. As a rather famous person once said, "A house divided, cannot stand."
3)Ernest Hemingway. Man was he depressing! I have yet to read a story by him that I enjoyed. However, if Joffe based part of this movie of one of his stories, then all the power to him. he has done a much better adaption then most movies-based-on-books i have seem ;) However, I don't think that, if he did base that part of the movie on Hemingway's story, he did so to forward the Communist agenda. If you were to write a story about the Spanish Civil war who would you make the good guys? On one hand you have the communist revolutionaries and on the other you have the fat cat thugs who were supported by the Nazis. It makes a more interesting story and is easier for American viewers to sympathize with the peasant freedom fighters, with their great (if flawed and impossible) dreams, then the rich generals who treated with someone so tabooed as the Nazis.
4) And last but not least, the war for our souls and the battle for the universe. It's big, scary and true. I agree that many, if not most, Hollywood films advocate and help spread evil in this world. usually subtly and without fanfare. However, the evil we face has many faces and communism is just one. and like many of its faces, communism seems like a good thing. If only for a short time. Many great men have been sucked into the false hopes and promises of communism and socialism, while others have known from the start and used it to their advantage. But it is so easy to be swamped down into the quagmire that is the individual fights going on. Though this movie may, look kindly on, and sympathize with, some of the communist men and women, it does not promote any political view. It gives the early years in the life of a great and holy man, seen partly through the flawed vision of a very hurt man. The ultimate message that I got from this movie was that, no matter how much you have (pardon the expression) screwed up, no matter what horrible things you have done in this war that is life, God forgives and there is hope.
I have the optimism of youth. Maybe I am too optimistic about the effect my generation will have once we hits the streets, but what is life without hope? And this movie was one of those movie that gave me hope. It is nice to see a story that not only gives a fair account of a great man and his life, but also shows how an evil man can be redeemed.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2012 4:30:25 AM PST
Joffe does depict atrocities against priests (10,000 were murdered) but I don't recall him making it clear it was the Leftists who were doing the killing. He kept that truth hidden, while making clear his admiration for Oriol.
I think you are too idealistic. I think if you actually found yourself fighting side by side with a person like Oriol the reality would be much different than depicted in the film. Most of these lefty "freedom" fighters are no more than amoral thugs.
Also, your comment on the hopes you have for your generation...it sounds to me like you think there is some sort of middle way between Left and Right, good and evil. The "middle way" is, by definition, not a place of conviction, it is a place of compromise. If there was a way to compromise with evil, Jesus would not have had to die on the cross.
I do have hope, but it is not based on any hope of finding common ground with the Left or evil, but in he workings of God in history.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2012 2:15:28 PM PST
I think it was pretty clear that it was the communists executing the priest in that scene. I think we will have to agree to disagree on that one.
Yes most harbingers of war are thugs. That doesn't mean all of them are.
When I speak of hope I am not hoping for compromise with the devil or other evils. There can and will never be compromise on moral things. However, between Left and Right factions in a government, there will always be compromise. As long as the issue does not have a fundamentally right and wrong to it, then there can be reasonable discussion. What I meant when I said I was hopeful about my generation is that more of us seem to understand the gravity of the situation our culture is in, and are willing to do something about it. As an example, I was in DC for the March for Life on the 23rd. Of the five hundred thousand people there, way over half, if not more, my age or younger. And that was just one example!
I think we both agree about many things, and that's good. To go back on topic again, I think the only thing I disagree with you on is that, when I saw the movie I found it an uplifting tale about redemption and God's love, set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and the love story of Oriol and Olga. From you comments, you seem to think that the Love story played a role that took away from the story of Manolo and Josemaria, and that the writer's view of the Spanish Civil War was leftist and bleed through the story to much. I think what we both seem to be overlooking the fact that, Movie are made to entertain and make money. excuse me, most movies. and this movie, like most, is meant to entertain. Great movies not only entertain, but also leave you thinking. This movie did that for me and all the people I saw it with. But, like many things, entertainment is subjective. I may find British humorists like GK Chesterton and PG Wodehouse hysterical, while a friend of mine just doesn't get them. I may have found this movie uplifting and worth seeing again and again, while you found it too left wing in underlying political views and therefore, unenjoyable.
However, we both agree on the things that are Objective and True. There is a God. He Loves us. He became man and died for us. There is a Heaven and Hell. Eternal life. We are called to be God's children, and to bring with us all those around us. No matter what we THINK, these are unchangable. Things like whether we enjoyed a movie, that is subjective. That is the sort of thing we can have long arguments via Amazon reviews ;)
Not to make this sound like a essay, but, "in conclusion", we both disagree on the writers intention and whether this movie worth seeing, but for all the viewers who stuck through to the end of this LONG conversation, I really did enjoy this movie, I found it entertaining AND enlightening, and they should just go watch it and come to their own conclusions.
p.s. (wow, now i make it look like a letter ;P) My sister says that the best parts of the movie were the ones with Saint Josemaria and she thinks it would have been a better movie if it was more centered on him and his work. She still like the movie but she says it would have been better with less Oriol and Olga.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2012 4:41:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 2, 2012 4:48:00 PM PST
Feel no need to excuse the length or your argumentation - how ever many words needed to make a point...There are snipes out there who might criticize; the same type who think nothing of wasting hours per week of their lives watching TV.
I think Joffe felt he needed to acknowledge the mass murder of priests, since to omit it in a film about Josemaria would expose him to justified ridicule...but I do think he obscured who the murderers were. So we disagree.
Re. your generation - For example, while one could point to increasing aversion to abortion as a hopeful sign, that progress is nullified by the fact that many in your generation avoid abortion by choosing to have the child out of wedlock. Is God impressed?
You know, I was born in the 1950's and abhorred the cultural revolution of the 1960's, but with the Left in charge of academia, the media, and Congress (for most of the time), resistance is impossible by human agency. This is the age-old problem: evil always has numbers on its side. That is why God worked so diligently to train His followers to not lean on what man can do. In short, I don't believe your generation, being mere men, can make a difference. I do think that God working through them can make a difference, if God so chooses, and your generation is willing. I also think that if you look hard enough you will find you can boil most motivations, and most people, down to either good or evil.
Now, of course, God is pure good, the devil pure evil, and men are alloys of the two. But there is no "middle" destination in the afterlife. We are headed for heaven OR hell. Christians, who are an alloy of good and evil, are justified by Christ, and go to heaven. Non-beleivers, who are also an alloy of good and evil, are not justified and go to hell.
Finally, here is a difficult point to comprehend or accept - many Leftists (god-haters, humanists, secularists - pick your term) are delightful people to spend time with - funny, friendly, generous, tolerant, etc. Oriol may fit in this category (heroic, etc.). We men agonize over how God will judge such men. We agonize because we refuse to embrace, or perhaps understand, that Jesus is the pinnacle of all creation - all men rise or fall depending on their acceptance of rejection of Him. For example, lot of really cool, nice people cheered Him, and laid palm branches down for Him during His final entry into Jerusalem. And those same people were condemned by God for not recognizing His son for who He is. Full acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior is the standard that must be met for eternal life, and not one iota of compromise is tolerated. It's an easy thing really - just believe, but most can't, or refuse, to pass that test.
So, no matter how dashing and heroic Oriol, his acceptance of communism, which by definition is atheistic, and the fruits of which have only been destruction wherever it has gained ascendancy; his acceptance of communism reveal his heart, and that heart is opposed to God. Of course it was only fiction, but I am talking about what Joffe was trying to communicate in this movie.
Finally, no, entertainment is no longer the main objective in much, if not most, of film-making, television. Surveys have demonstrated that the American public overwhelmingly believes most of what Hollywood produces does not reflect their values. The producers know this, but persist with what they produce anyway. Why? Because they have an agenda. Most Americans hold journalists in lower esteem (literally) than used car salesman, but the mainstream media continues to spew out a biased product. They have an agenda. Joffe has an agenda.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 3:07:57 PM PST
I took the time to see what other reviews you wrote and am glad at the results. I liked John Adams by David Mccullough and several other books you had reviewed. They were thick books, but worth the effort. I also took the time to look up Joffe, and I have to concide that he is a liberal nutcase. However, considering this still doesn't effect the fact i enjoyed the movie. I think that he did a good job portraying St. Josemaria (and the actor did a spectacular job). I mulled over what you said and I have to say, I personally disliked Olga and Oriol, more then I thought. My sister reminded me, again, that the love story took away from the rest of the story, and as much as i liked the movie I guess I'm going to agree with her. She also said that she personally could not tell who were the good guys & bad guys in the war. As neither of us can get into the head of Joffe, we cannot be certain what his aims were with the movie. I still think that he chose to glorify the communists mainly to give Olga and Oriol a side that didn't make them bad people. We will have to agree to disagree.
Yes, many of the kids my age are messed up. I played football the last 3 years for my highschool, and I can count on one hand the good Christian guys. However, I find that though we are not the majority, we hold more influence. and yes, Having kids out of wedlock is better then killing them. It would be much better to wait until after marriage to become that intimate, but it is the state of the country right now. with all the garbage and lies coming from the media, and yes, Hollywood is included in that, kids these days are told what to think about that from an early age. What gives me hope about this is that, despite the efforts of the devil, so many of us understand the truth and we choose to do something about it. Today we focus on saving the lives of millions, tomorrow we'll focus on re-teaching what sex is about. The love between a man and a woman, till death parts, freely open to new life. This will be a long and hard battle and I just hope I'm alive when we start winning.
Leftists. Not all Leftists are evil. Im sure some are just misinformed or too lazy to find out what their leaders' vision for America is. Though I do agree that, The leaders of Left government has had a pretty bad record recently. And yes, communism is evil. But only because it doesn't work. It looks great on paper. I mean, Socrates thought it would be the pinnacle of government. What he didn't realize, and what communists ignore, is that, man is flawed. We cannot govern ourselves without oversight from God. That was the one flaw with Constitution and our Founding Fathers' plan: Without God and God's rules, we will ruin everything. The Jews of the Old Testament did this many times, and God had to step in and intervene throughout. And even after Jesus was born of flesh, taught us how to live then died to redeem us, we still go off and do our own thing and cause all sorts of trouble. I think even a pure democracy would be a disaster, which is probably why the Founding Fathers gave us a Constitutional Republic.
So though communism is an evil government, to some it looks like perfection. though if they really think that, they do not know their history.
Yes many nice people have crazy politics. But by "nice" people I do not mean people it is "nice" to hang out with. I had lots of fun with my football team, on and off the field. That did not make them good people. They drank and some did drugs so we can never really be friends. Now I'm sure there is some scenario that could be made that says "oh, but it's not his fault he gets drunk every week." Well, great, that one person out of thousands I have yet to meet. The people I know who do thinks like that do so because it makes them "feel good". And that, is the downfall of our civilization. "if it feels good, do it." That expression came straight from the devil. There is more to life then what makes us "feel good". This sense of entitlement and selfishness is one of the symptoms of the sickness we have. and yes, Media and Hollywood were some tools used to inflict this mentality on us..... That was a long tangent, important, but of topic. Back to my point. When I said there are good people who are in the left spectrum of politics, I was not refering to how nice they are to invite to dinner parties or football games. There are many people who really are good people, i would even say holy people, who are liberal. I believe that if one is not privy to information, they cannot be held accountable for it. Now, this doesn't mean that it's just a blanket-excuse for liberals. If you should have looked for the truth, and didn't you are being irresponsible. And if you know the truth, and ignore it you are even more accountable then ever! I disagree with you only in the sense that not everyone is this or is that. These are humans we are talking about, and it is impossible to put us in a box.
Back to the Movie. As I think about it more, I really didn't like Oriol, for multiple reasons. First he stole the girl from Manolo, who I liked despite all the things he did. I was so glad with the last scene in the mountains with the sniper. I found it helped redeem Manolo for me. That, despite all he was doing, he still saved St. Josemaria.
Oriol was a bit too focused on the his goals, but HE redeemed himself for me through his love for Olga. I don't remember what I thought about her, She didn't stick out in my memory. But even so, they both seemed like freedom fighters who firmly believed what they were fighting for was good.
And yes, as I have admitted already, you are correct about Hollywood having an agenda. Or rather, the people in Hollywood having one. I didn't find this movie to be like that though. It stuck out because its message was not like that of so many movies.
Lastly, There is a Heaven and Hell and one goes to one or the other. I do not think I said anything about a "middle" ground. There is none. You are either with Him or against Him. to speak of people as an alloy of good and evil is a fairly good comparison. Although separating good and evil is a task for God and God alone. There is more to obtaining eternal life then just accepting Jesus as our Savior. We must act upon it. This is the pitfall many Protestants fall in to. But that is a discussion for another time and place.
Back to the movie (again), if Joffe meant his movie to forward communism, he was way to subtle, half the people who saw it didn't see any signs of communism being the main idea or even an important factor, and if he really was so keen on communism, why write a movie about the life a Saint? He could have had an easier time proving communism and would have had better reviews, publicity, and backing from the Hollywood machine. which didn't want to touch this movie on account of how it portrayed St. Josemaria and Opus Dei and Forgiveness and Religion etc. If the whole movie was really about Communism, he did a bad job of writing it. ;)
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2012 4:48:06 PM PST
Jack, thanks for making your thoughts known. You strike me as the sort of person who is determined to remain rational; to not allow yourself to take a position without facts to back up that position; you wish to avoid blanket condemnations or approvals of people; avoid a stark black and white perspective on a complex world full of complex people.
I have read every word and will not attempt to respond here to every point you made; that does not mean I don't have an opinion; this format just won't allow exponential growth unless one has unlimited time.
What I do have to say to you is this - I think that if you will be honest about it, Jesus took very decisive stands; did issue blanket condemnations and approvals; was very "black and white" on most issues he addressed; and denounced many people as "evil" to their face. And, it will be no good for you to reply that Jesus could do that because He is God - the scripture says that we are to have "the mind" of Christ, and to expect to suffer worse condemnation that He did.
I was half-expecting you to poo-poo my sizing up salvation by faith (grace alone), and you have acknowledged your Catholicism. But let us not quibble - I want to reiterate a point that has nothing to do with Protestant v. Catholic. I spoke about Christ as "the pinnacle" of creation. It's clear you didn't exactly fathom my meaning. My point was, and scripture confirms, that in the person of Jesus of Nazareth we find the sum total of the reason for, the purpose of, the creator of, the Universe. Jesus made this clear over and over again. Jesus told the religious leaders that all the blood of the prophets who had been rejected and killed before Him over centuries would come down on the head of that generation of leaders since they had rejected One far greater than any and all the prophets. Also, Jesus said it was fitting to fast and mourn while John the Baptist (whom Jesus said was the greatest man born of women save Himself) was ministering, but that One greater than John had come and so it was fitting for His disciples to eat and be merry (the Pharisees accused Jesus and disciples of gluttony, etc.). I could use dozens and dozens more examples.
So, therefore, a person can refresh you, Jack, with a cool drink of water when you are perishing from thirst, but if in the next moment that person encounters Christ or His message and reject it than they are "evil". As you live your life you will have many encounters with people who may not know God, but who make your life easier, more blessed, so-to-speak: a person who yields a contested parking spot to you; a near-stranger who goes the extra mile to help you in some way. But if, and when any of those "saints" at last hears the gospel and rejects it, then they are "evil", the true nature of their hearts is revealed - the nature that Christ cares about and measures by. You might as well extol the charity of one flea to another, and wonder why God would condemn the charitable flea for not acknowledging the the existence of the Sun. Jesus is the Sun in the sky that must be acknowledged, and if rejected, our works - no matter how good - are burned up by its heat.
I want you to think of the words of Christ; some of your favorites. Now imagine a person who was just kind to you hearing or reading those same words of Jesus just a few minutes later and rejecting them. This is why Jesus was unmoved by the so-called triumphal reception He got upon His last entry into Jerusalem. He got a joyous reception but the people were not acknowledging Him as the Son of God, but something else. Jesus warned the crowd to expect judgment, which did come. You can't call the sun in the sky a piece of chopped liver and get away with it.
All this is why I can, and you should, be - stark; black & white; quick to recognize good; quick to condemn evil: Jesus was. When you are ready to take that step, THEN Jesus will enable you to discern good from bad and call a spade a spade.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2012 12:43:59 PM PST
I took a day to think over what you said. I find we agree on many issues, thoughts and things and disagree on a few. It would take days to discuss all these things which are present to this conversation, let alone discuss it via amazon reviews. besides, I find I am better at articulating thing speaking then through written word.
About the faith alone issue: I understand what you are saying and agree in a way. Without faith, one cannot be saved. What I mentioned about actions being necessary, was a little vague. A better way of saying this is that if one has a true relationship with our Lord, his actions will show it. "By the fruit of the tree you shall know them." Contrary to what some Protestants think of Catholics, we do not mean that we can redeem ourselves through penitential works or good deeds. This means that, if you has faith, you will do good deeds etc. Either through your love of God, or fear of Hell. I pointed out that there are people that use the "faith alone" argument to justify their actions. What I'm trying to say is if you have faith, then the actions follow.
Jesus is the center of the Universe: Yes he is! not only that, but he is created it! He was the center of whatever was around before we existed. The fact he humbled himself to become man and die for us is awe-inspiring. Our Lord died for us out of love. One could spend a lifetime (and many have) contemplating that.
In response to people being evil who reject God. Yes this is true. But there is so much more to it. One of the pit-falls we creations of God can fall into is trying to play judge. We see many things that we know are evil and other things and we assume that the person is going to hell. But we forget that, God is merciful as well as just. To point to an obvious case, Saul, who became Paul. He not only was not Christian, he hated us! He hunted us down and had us killed. It took God knocking off his ass and onto his ass before his eyes were opened. Which is ironic, because he was blinded (physically) by the truth. What I'm trying to say is that some people just haven't seen the truth yet. If they truly reject God and are un-repentant at death, then yes, they go to hell. But we, as humans, cannot pass judgement on really anyone. Yes, the harsh reality needs to be said, the black and whiteness of Truth, but we should leave the judgment to God. From your reiews, and the conversation we have had, you tell the truth, no matter the harshness. And that is necessarily. But sometimes the harshness alienates people. Yes, we need to spread truth, but not beat them over the head with it! God founded his church upon the rock of Peter and has stayed with her through two thousand years, and those who left his church have separated themselves from him. And if you aren't with him, you are going to hell. No matter how much you love our Lord, if you disobey him for whatever reason, you are not being Christian. The whole protestant movement has caused the loss of many good people and has caused damage to the very bride of Christ. What you and other Protestants have done is disobey our Lord and ignored the truth. If you don't repent, and believe all things that our Lord has said and instituted for us, you will go to Hell.
Now this is a harsh statement and may cause you or others to stop reading this, or disbelieve what I say because not only do my words go against what you believe, but they do so with an edge that turns away many people. I don't want to tell you that you are evil and not going to heaven, when obviously you are a smart, capable man with what I believe is a good relationship with our Lord. But, as harsh as it sounds, if you pick and choose with the precepts of Jesus, you will not have eternal life. I am praying for you and I really believe that, if you try, you will find that Catholicism is the true religion of Jesus Christ. As I do not personally know you, I do not know why you are Christian or why you aren't Catholic, if you were Agnostic before, or have firmly believed in Christ since the cradle. What I do know is that, the biggest cause for non-Catholics to turn away from the Faith and dis-believe it, is us. They see many Catholics living immorally, or who are unable to defend our Faith or ambivalent to God. We practicing Catholics call these "CINOs", Catholics In Name Only. or "High Holiday Catholics", they show up around Easter and Christmas and are never seen again till next year. What I'm trying to say is that, Maybe you have not seen an actual Catholic who can tell you why the Catholic Church is the true Church, or you may have some deep-rooted hatred of the Catholic Church founded on false information or some personal experience. You could even have never really looked into Catholicism because you firmly believe you already have the truth and there is nothing to add. Whatever the case may be, the fact you have not fully accepted Christ does not make you evil. Unless of course, you have been exposed to the truth, saw that it was and ignored it and choose to follow only those things that you liked. But you do not strike me as the kind of person who would ignore the truth. The sort of malice involved in a decision like that is missing in you words and I think you are a reasonable person. What I was trying to say previously, and what I'm trying to say now, is that, sometimes there are good people who are not in full union with God. For one reason or another, they have not seen and excepted the truth. Some take years to overcome a lifetime of biased, while others have been searching for this and accept Christ willingly. I really try not to be harsh with the truth, but I hope that this helps you not only understand what I meant, but also come into full union with Christ through his Church. This is something that you have to pray and search and find yourself, and this is not the forum for me to try and convert you. Just know that, I am praying for you and your family (however little my prayers will help) and to have an open mind.
An interesting side note: Angels. Because they were created outside of time and are pure spirit, they choose to obey or disobey God once. At the moment of there existence they choose either to follow God with their whole being and essence, or to leave him and disobey him. They don't have any second doubts about their decision, in fact they can't. We on the other hand, have our whole life, all 80 or so (some more, some much less) to make the one important decision of our existence. We may spend 92 years running away from the Lord, travelling to distant lands to hide from him, yet in the end realize his love and find him at our death bed. Or spend our whole life, in the grace of God, then leave him before we die. Though the first is less likely then the second they do happen. And no matter how sure we are, we can never be sure of someone else's soul. Jesus said, "Take the log out your own eye before you remove the splinter in your brother's" and "He that has not sinned, throw the first stone." If we were perfect judges of other's souls and incapable of fault concerning moral issues, God wouldn't have needed to found The Church to guide humanity through time.
Again, I understand what you mean about calling a spade a spade, and condemning evil, but sometimes there are times when a gentler push in the right direction is needed. I just hope this was not one of those times....
If you want to read about Catholicism from a more verbose and eloquent writer, I highly suggest Scott Hahn. He converted to Catholicism Right in the prime of his life. He went from being a, I believe it was Methodist, minister to one of the top contemporary theologians of the Catholic Church. I highly recommend him, he is a holy and smart man, and being a convert he also knows what opposes many Protestants from joining the Catholic Church. I have found that the greatest Christians have been converts. Maybe they appreciate the gift that is our Faith more then we do, since they have lived without it.
Thank you for reading this and for a very lively debate over some key issues and I hope that we both have learned from this exchange. I believe it was Chesterton who said something along these lines, but it may have been Tolkien: A really good conversation never stays on one topic, but covers more then can be remembered. This one certainly has.
Posted on Mar 12, 2012 2:10:48 PM PDT