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Old 01-18-2020, 08:40 AM
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Holy Water


Having read this thread and having seen these shoes for sale, I wanted to discuss the issue of Holy Water and other magical items a little more generally & didn't want to hijack the other thread.

The Problem, as I see it, with any magical item, Holy Water being one, is that if you say it has special powers, you immediately have the problem of dealing with the real world. People will want to see the magic trick.

To keep from having to perform the trick, access to magic items is always limited. Nobody but the Bishop gets to touch the artifact or the water only stays Holy for a week after being blessed or whatever limiting feature you can imagine. There's a Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia to which access is very limited, indeed. The linked article says that this Ark is a false one, which rather feeds into my main point.

If it were the real Ark, you'd think it would be available for examination.

So, the hierarchy independently over many years, use physical objects to inspire the faithful and keep the objects away from the faithful lest the faithful learn more about the objects... and then, in these modern times, you get people trying to gain access to the lower hanging fruit and (by doing so) revealing what a peculiar arrangement it has all been from the start.

People start spraying Holy Water from crop dusters and injecting Holy Water into shoes. People say that the concept of Holy Objects is being cheapened by such events. Defenders say that such things do no harm. Non-believers say that they would treat being sprayed by Holy Water as assault. You have nobody, anywhere, with any evidence that the magic worked for anyone. It is, as far as I can tell, essentially Marketing. People are trying to sell a product and are using magical thinking to push the pallets out the door. In this way, I see it as a sibling of the whole GMO or Organic Food phenomena. It's just more magical thinking with even less doctrine behind it.

If the magic doesn't work for everyone, it isn't magic in my book. You can keep your $2000 shoes.
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:52 AM
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To keep from having to perform the trick, access to magic items is always limited. Nobody but the Bishop gets to touch the artifact or the water only stays Holy for a week after being blessed or whatever limiting feature you can imagine.
There's a bucket of it at the front door of every Roman Catholic church for dippin' your fingers in. The water itself is blessed via prayer; no shards of the One True Cross or other artifacts required.

Last edited by Jophiel; 01-18-2020 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:54 AM
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...If the magic doesn't work for everyone, it isn't magic in my book. You can keep your $2000 shoes.
So you are willing to pay up for real magic, you just don't want to be ripped off by someone selling fake magic?
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:01 AM
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So you are willing to pay up for real magic, you just don't want to be ripped off by someone selling fake magic?
Sure. Absolutely.

Computers would've seemed magical not even 100 years ago. They're pretty magical as far as I am concerned. They work for everyone. I paid for mine.

So, yeah, if you had an amulet, for example, that really could cure my lumbago, I'd be willing to shell out a few quid.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:31 AM
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There's a bucket of it at the front door of every Roman Catholic church for dippin' your fingers in. The water itself is blessed via prayer; no shards of the One True Cross or other artifacts required.
Are claims being made about the water in this context?

If the answer is no, there's no need to restrict access.

If the answer is yes, well, I'd love to hear the details.

If the answer is that no explicit claims have been made, but the church officials wouldn't be overly concerned if the parishioners chose on their own to believe that the water is magical... Well, this seems to me to be most likely.

It is my guess - and it is just a guess - is that the Catholics have an emotional attachment to the water as an aesthetic of the church. Just as the pews aren't chairs, the Holy Water in an official Church Fluid Containment Vessel isn't water in a bucket.

And, it is this emotional attachment that some people are exploiting.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:31 AM
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Are claims being made about the water in this context?
It's holy water. What claims are you looking for? The only "supernatural" claims I've ever heard about holy water pertain to fighting demons and the undead and I doubt the Church is super worried about someone testing those.

In any event, you're the one who started a thread about and mentioned how it was restricted and only bishops were able to access it so no one can evaluate it. It's not restricted and you can evaluate it all you want.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:31 AM
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But, pews aren't chairs, they're glamorized benches. And every bit as uncomfortable as regular benches.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:50 AM
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There's a bucket of it at the front door of every Roman Catholic church for dippin' your fingers in. The water itself is blessed via prayer; no shards of the One True Cross or other artifacts required.
Not really a bucket. Most holy water fonts I've encountered in church were shallow vessels mounted by the entrances for churchgoers to dip their fingers in and make the Sign of the Cross as they enter.

https://www.churchsupplies.com/store...-font-h271.jpg
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:06 AM
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It's holy water. What claims are you looking for?
An excellent question. I, too, am curious. If it has no special powers, what, then, is the allure? Obviously, someone thinks it's special stuff.

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It's not restricted and you can evaluate it all you want.
As I said in an earlier post, if there are claims, those claims may be investigated, precisely, as you indicate, some Holy Water is available for investigation. And, thus, we are right back to what those claims might actually be, so we can get on with it. If we carefully construct a narrative in which an item is special or magical but without making any specific claims, we remove the possibility of investigation and - in my view - reveal that what we're really talking about is sentimentality.

For example, and I don't want to write a whole treatise here, but, for example Lourdes. They're careful to say that it's not officially endorsed by the church, because of exactly what I have been on about in the above posts.

The bookshelves constructed by my grandfather aren't particularly well constructed or made from any particularly rare materials, but they do mean a great deal more to me than they ever would to you. They're sentimental, not magical. There are no claims & no divine origin.

If someone starts dropping bookshelves from airplanes onto crowds of people, I am no legal scholar, but, yes, I think that would probably be illegal, I don't care how sentimental the bookshelves might be.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:11 AM
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What if the shoes were $70.00? Maybe a money making opportunity? How much is holy water anyway?



I guess you're paying for the Nike brand.

Last edited by Personal; 01-18-2020 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:14 AM
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As far as I know, the Catholic Church makes no claims that holy water has any special properties. It is a "sacramental", that is, something intended to remind people of their devotion.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:47 AM
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Instead of focusing on holy water, you should address cases where the church really does claim supernatural occurrences. Get a consecrated Host and have it tested for Christ's DNA.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:11 PM
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went to Catholic school for a few years in the 60s. They told us if we ever saw someone who might be dying (in a car wreck for example) To use any water nearby even if it was dirty to baptize the person. Don't know if they still teach that.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:44 PM
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You'd think a church trying to appeal to rational, smart people in the 21st century would minimize the amount of "Just turn your brain off and don't question our magic objects".

As an Assistant (to the) Minister, I serve Communion at our church. So glad it's a rational church and I don't have to believe that the water literally turns into blood.

I mean, no DNA test needed. A quick check for hemoglobin and the scam's all over, right?

We've had a Catholic church sharing our church while their cathedral's being renovated (wasn't sufficiently over-the-top). They do a study group on Sunday nights, and I've caught bits of it. The presentation on Holy Water (and other Blessed Items) was jaw-droppingly crazy. It was equal parts Unbelievable Magic and Wishful Thinking.

If you can get a Bishop to consecrate a juice glass, a sip from that will take the place of any vitamins or pain-relievers you're taking (or other meds? Could get dangerous...). Seriously, they discussed many formerly-mundane objects, from Blessed Boots to Holy Ball-Point Pens.

(The pen was intimated to help with prosperity..."Yo, padre, I gots this wallet what's usually empty...")
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:52 PM
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In my Catholic high school, my Religion teacher, Brother William, said that certainly, if you tested the bread and wine scientifically, they would still appear to be bread and wine. Nevertheless, during the Transubstantiation, they did literally turn into the body and blood of Christ. How do you explain that discrepancy? You can't explain it; it's a miracle!
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Old 01-18-2020, 05:25 PM
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In my Catholic high school, my Religion teacher, Brother William, said that certainly, if you tested the bread and wine scientifically, they would still appear to be bread and wine. Nevertheless, during the Transubstantiation, they did literally turn into the body and blood of Christ. How do you explain that discrepancy? You can't explain it; it's a miracle!
Well, it's certainly a miracle that anybody believes it.
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Old 01-18-2020, 05:57 PM
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You'd think a church trying to appeal to rational, smart people in the 21st century would minimize the amount of "Just turn your brain off and don't question our magic objects".

As an Assistant (to the) Minister, I serve Communion at our church. So glad it's a rational church and I don't have to believe that the water literally turns into blood.

I mean, no DNA test needed. A quick check for hemoglobin and the scam's all over, right?

We've had a Catholic church sharing our church while their cathedral's being renovated (wasn't sufficiently over-the-top). They do a study group on Sunday nights, and I've caught bits of it. The presentation on Holy Water (and other Blessed Items) was jaw-droppingly crazy. It was equal parts Unbelievable Magic and Wishful Thinking.

If you can get a Bishop to consecrate a juice glass, a sip from that will take the place of any vitamins or pain-relievers you're taking (or other meds? Could get dangerous...). Seriously, they discussed many formerly-mundane objects, from Blessed Boots to Holy Ball-Point Pens.

(The pen was intimated to help with prosperity..."Yo, padre, I gots this wallet what's usually empty...")
It seems you live in a glass house...
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Old 01-18-2020, 05:59 PM
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A Catholic priest once told me how to make holy water: you put a pot of plain, ordinary, regular water on a stove and boil the Hell out of it.


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Old 01-18-2020, 06:19 PM
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Not really a bucket. Most holy water fonts I've encountered in church were shallow vessels mounted by the entrances for churchgoers to dip their fingers in and make the Sign of the Cross as they enter.
Wonder just how bacteriologically inert that water is after 100 unwashed finger dips.
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:30 PM
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If the magic doesn't work for everyone, it isn't magic in my book. You can keep your $2000 shoes.
Staying out of most of this ------ note that the shoes are filled with holy water from the River Jordan and not Holy Water. Holy Water, blessed and used for ceremonial purposes in a few different Christian churches, really doesn't carry much in the way of power other than being central to some particular moment. Small HW holy water, be it from the Jordan or Ganges ----- mileage varies. The Jordan is special to Christians because that is where tradition claims John baptized Jesus but I don't know many denominations that really look to it for anything special; there are other springs and sites for that. Now the Hindu on the other hand, with seven holy rivers each holding special significance ------- a lot of chances for shoe sales there. And mix in some of Uncle Bob's ashes and now we're talking walking!
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:34 PM
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Wonder just how bacteriologically inert that water is after 100 unwashed finger dips.
I don't think anybody gives it that much thought. They probably think, "Hey, it is holy water. It's been blessed, after all."
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:40 PM
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Wonder just how bacteriologically inert that water is after 100 unwashed finger dips.
If you think that is unsanitary, watch Orthodox Christians standing in line to kiss some holy icon . I've personally watched it in a monastery of Meteora and I was close to vomiting. Blech!
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:42 PM
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Probably as much threat as the communal Communion cup.

It's a germy, germy world, just amazing that human beings survive.


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Old 01-18-2020, 06:57 PM
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I don't think anybody gives it that much thought. They probably think, "Hey, it is holy water. It's been blessed, after all."
Think of how much easier it would be to have a priest bless and sterilize surgical instruments. Put the autoclave manufacturers out of business.
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:10 PM
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I usually stay out of threads on religious topics because they're so often vents or rants against religion--which is fine, just not something I find particularly illuminating.. Within the evident disdain of the OP lies a legitimate question, however; hence my reply.

The significance of holy water has its roots in ancient Judaism, when people ritually purified (washed) themselves before entering the temple. Water was also sprinkled on houses and other buildings to purify them. In Catholicism, those dipping their fingertips in holy water are symbolically linking themselves with this ancient tradition.

Hinduism, Islam, and other religions also use water for ritual purification.

The holy water Catholics dip their fingertips into when entering a church is not there for magical purposes. It's there to confer sacramental grace and to remind them of their union with Jesus through baptism. There's nothing "magical" about either.
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:26 PM
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The holy water Catholics dip their fingertips into when entering a church is not there for magical purposes. It's there to confer sacramental grace and to remind them of their union with Jesus through baptism. There's nothing "magical" about either.
I am letting my ignorance show, I know, but I am genuinely curious how we get from the concept you have described to injecting the water into shoes or spraying it onto crowds of people in a crop duster?

My disdain isn't intended to be aimed at religious practice. I understand the emotional attachment. It's the idea of selling shoes for $2000 - or maybe the idea of buying shoes for $2000 - that seems to just explode the whole idea of what it means for something to be sacred.

In my mind, it's a little like sex. Bear with me.

Sex is meant to be special / intimate / personal. Like religious practices. Prostitutes and/or pornography discard the entire concept of intimacy. Like injecting holy water into shoes.

I'm the alien looking at the pornography scratching my head, wondering how we ever got to this point.
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:29 PM
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Instead of focusing on holy water, you should address cases where the church really does claim supernatural occurrences. Get a consecrated Host and have it tested for Christ's DNA.
Ignorant atheists yukking it up with same.

It doesn't work like that and never has.
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:35 PM
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The holy water Catholics dip their fingertips into when entering a church is not there for magical purposes. It's there to confer sacramental grace and to remind them of their union with Jesus through baptism. There's nothing "magical" about either.
Not having been raised Catholic, I don't know the answer to this question.

Do Catholics believe, or does the priest tell them, that the water in the entry font is holy or treated in any way (spiritual or otherwise)? Or do they assume it is tap (or drinking) water, with no special properties and merely placed there for appearance and convenience, and a plumbed sink or bottle of Dasani could perform the same social/religious function?
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:43 PM
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I've been ordained a few times so I'm authorized to bless anything and everything. With nothing better to do today, I'll bless Earth's hydrosphere, every single fucking drop of water anywhere. Inhale to be purified. Inhale again. Yah!
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:12 PM
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RioRico, I think you not only Ninja'd every priest in the world (who can now all retire), but the Supreme Holiness as well, Mr. God!
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:36 PM
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Not having been raised Catholic, I don't know the answer to this question.

Do Catholics believe, or does the priest tell them, that the water in the entry font is holy or treated in any way (spiritual or otherwise)? Or do they assume it is tap (or drinking) water, with no special properties and merely placed there for appearance and convenience, and a plumbed sink or bottle of Dasani could perform the same social/religious function?
Holy water is holy because it's been blessed by a priest. The water is, AFAIK, tap water in most cases. I guess technically it could be Dasani, though that would get expensive. Catholics do trust that a priest has actually blessed the water. "Holy" means something that has been made sacred; that is, something that is not used for secular purposes. You wouldn't brush your teeth with holy water, for instance.

When I said in my earlier post that holy water has its roots in ancient Judaism, I didn't mean to imply the holy water fonts are there strictly to commemorate the Jewish roots of Catholicism, merely to explain the history of the practice of having fonts. One uses holy water when entering church for that reason.

Catholics do not merely dip their fingers in the water. They use those fingers to make the sign of the cross, thereby blessing themselves. In addition to reaffirming baptism, the use of holy water in this way is believed to cleanse one of venial sin (Venial sins are thought to be those sins which injure the person's relationship with God but are not a complete turning away from God.) and, it's thought, helps protect one from evil This last is, again, not magical thinking; it's more the faith that in reaffirming one's relationship with God, one is less vulnerable to evil.

Please note I'm not a theologist. I merely believe in studying religious beliefs instead of scoffing at them.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:43 PM
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RioRico, I think you not only Ninja'd every priest in the world (who can now all retire), but the Supreme Holiness as well, Mr. God!
I'd request donations but must warn you that my post office box is #666.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:57 PM
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Probably as much threat as the communal Communion cup.

It's a germy, germy world, just amazing that human beings survive.


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Priests used to drop the host directly into a communicant's mouth with their fingers. Now communicants are allowed cup their hands and have the priest place the host in them.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:13 PM
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Priests used to drop the host directly into a communicant's mouth with their fingers. Now communicants are allowed cup their hands and have the priest place the host in them.
I remember that from when I was a Catholic. Always wondered if the impetus for that change came from parishioners who didn't want a priest putting his dirty fingers in their mouth, or priests who didn't want to put their fingers in a communicant's stinky mouth.
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Old 01-19-2020, 12:08 AM
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I merely believe in studying religious beliefs instead of scoffing at them.

I study religious beliefs too, which is why I scoff at them.
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Old 01-19-2020, 12:08 AM
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Holy water is holy because it's been blessed by a priest. The water is, AFAIK, tap water in most cases. I guess technically it could be Dasani, though that would get expensive. Catholics do trust that a priest has actually blessed the water.
The church where I was an altar boy for a while used gallon jugs of IIRC distilled water. I assume the benefit was not building up a bunch of mineral scale in the holy water fonts. Otherwise they could have just filled up the jug from the tap.

The full jugs of holy water were stored in a cabinet in back. IIRC next to, but not in, the same cabinet where the sacramental wine was locked up. After a priest blessed them the jugs were marked with the not so holy marker. Disposal once the water was blessed was not to be done in regular plumbing. There was a special disposal with a drain straight into the ground. I don't recall if I knew it was referred to as the sacrarium but that seems to be the Catholic frame of reference for it.

The blessing and handling after blessing bits were the special part. Before that it was just a gallon jug of water from the grocery store.

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Old 01-19-2020, 12:27 AM
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I don't think anybody gives it that much thought. They probably think, "Hey, it is holy water. It's been blessed, after all."
I never gave it much thought because you'd dip your fingers, make a sign of the cross and it was pretty much dried off by then. If you were drinking the water, you had a whole different set of problems than just bacterial counts.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:19 AM
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Was that load of jet fuel that got dropped on the school yard full of kids all properly blessed Holy Jet Fuel?

Did the infidel children among them get divinely incinerated?

(The Lamestream Media won't tell you details like that.)
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:56 AM
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I merely believe in studying religious beliefs instead of scoffing at them.

I study religious beliefs too, which is why I scoff at them.

Scoff at them, but don't berate those who believe. The small outward symbols of belief are a great comfort to many.

Absolute science is not something you can touch and hold and draw comfort from when your life is in turmoil. An outside threat to a family, the crumbling of the world you know, and the critical health of a much-beloved family member shakes you to your very foundation. Normal reasoning skills become fractured, and it is oh so difficult to drag yourself through each day.

Religious belief can be a great source of comfort, of stability then. To have those beliefs slammed by a nonbeliever is cruel, especially when the nonbeliever is doing so simply for the entertainment factor.


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Old 01-19-2020, 10:05 AM
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Scoff at them, but don't berate those who believe. The small outward symbols of belief are a great comfort to many.

Absolute science is not something you can touch and hold and draw comfort from when your life is in turmoil. An outside threat to a family, the crumbling of the world you know, and the critical health of a much-beloved family member shakes you to your very foundation. Normal reasoning skills become fractured, and it is oh so difficult to drag yourself through each day.

Religious belief can be a great source of comfort, of stability then. To have those beliefs slammed by a nonbeliever is cruel, especially when the nonbeliever is doing so simply for the entertainment factor.


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Old 01-19-2020, 10:36 AM
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You didn't use the word "foxhole", I'll give you that.

How about "hospital waiting room"?


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Old 01-19-2020, 10:59 AM
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How about "hospital waiting room"?


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Or "morgue"?
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:12 AM
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I'm just impressed that someone is selling shoes to let people "walk on (holy) water".
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:15 AM
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Or "morgue"?

My husband had a heart attack Friday evening. I prefer not to discuss morgues at this time.

You are welcome to tease about foolish superstitions, though.


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Old 01-19-2020, 12:17 PM
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So, there's an evangelical minister named Peter Popoff, who is pretty clearly a scam artist.

He runs TV ads (mostly on late night TV) for his "Miracle Spring Water." Take a look at the "claims" being made by people in the ad on this page -- one woman claims that she was cured of paralysis after drinking the water, and another one claims that after "anointing" her checkbook with the water, she received a check for $45,000.

Sending for the spring water (which Popoff says he'll send you at no charge) gets you on his mailing list, with lots of prophecies about monetary windfalls that will come your way, if you only send him some money.
  #46  
Old 01-19-2020, 12:21 PM
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I bet he's known as Peter Jerkoff behind his back.


~VOW
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  #47  
Old 01-19-2020, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
So, there's an evangelical minister named Peter Popoff, who is pretty clearly a scam artist...
I'd worry that if I anointed my sensitive spots with his water, it might make my peter pop off.
  #48  
Old 01-19-2020, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by VOW View Post
How about "hospital waiting room"?


~VOW
There is a surprisingly skeptical saying from Hispanic countries:

"If the patient died, it was the doctor's fault; if it survived, it was the Virgin..." Well, maybe not very as I usually saw it in doctor's offices in the old country.
  #49  
Old 01-19-2020, 01:52 PM
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I don't think anybody gives it that much thought. They probably think, "Hey, it is holy water. It's been blessed, after all."
This reminded of a very old tv show, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, in The Werewolf episode Kolchak discovers a murderous werewolf in a cruise ship and goes to find about how to eliminate a werewolf, he found about the bit about silver bullets and that they need to be blessed. Only that there was no priest on the cruise ship, Kolchak only managed to find a guy that had left the church to do the blessing, and as it was an emergency he hoped and prayed that it would do.

SPOILER:

Well, they were blessed after all, the bullets did work against the werewolf.
  #50  
Old 01-19-2020, 01:58 PM
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Sure. Absolutely.

Computers would've seemed magical not even 100 years ago. They're pretty magical as far as I am concerned. They work for everyone. I paid for mine.

So, yeah, if you had an amulet, for example, that really could cure my lumbago, I'd be willing to shell out a few quid.
You know a medical treatment for lumbago thats 100 effective for everyone who tries it?
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