Friday, March 11, 2011

There's One in Every Crowd.

On the first Saturday of each month, a group of us get together to pray the Rosary as requested by the Blessed Mother at Fatima. There is also a social component to our gathering together; the women in our group are, for the most part, Filipinas who have emigrated from their homeland and this is an opportunity for them to spend time with others with whom they share so much.

There is always lots of food.

After the Rosary, Filipinas who are not Catholic (yes, there are a few) will show up with husbands in tow. The women will take over one part of the house while the men will end outside -if the weather permits- or in another area of the house, if the weather isn't so nice.

Lord knows what the women talk about; they're speaking either Visayan or Tagalog, depending on who's present.

Of course, the men will attempt to solve the world's problems.

This past Saturday, a couple whom I had never met, arrived after the Rosary. Soon enough, the wife was off to join the other Filipinas while the husband joined the men in the living room. Things seemed to be going well enough until the newcomer decided to bring up the subject of religion. He belongs to unnamed adventist type denomination and I'm quite certain he hadn't counted on finding himself in the midst of a den of vipers Catholics.....more especially, one like myself who takes no Protestant prisoners.

His discussion was, basically, a rambling mishmash until it hit upon the age of the earth. About 6000 years old, he said. Someone mentioned dinosaurs whereupon he made the claim that dinosaurs were mentioned in the Bible. He could prove it, he added, if someone would produce a Bible. Our host had more than one version and asked which he preferred. King James, naturally.

His "proof" comes from the Book of Job, Chapter 40 which speaks of Behemoth:

" Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares."

I was not impressed. There is nothing in these verses that would indicate to me that "behemoth" is a dinosaur.

I went to the host's bookshelf for a Catholic Bible.

" See, besides you I made Behemoth, that feeds on grass like an ox.
Behold the strength in his loins, and his vigor in the sinews of his belly.
He carries his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are like cables.
His bones are like tubes of bronze; his frame is like iron rods.
He came at the beginning of God's ways, and was made the taskmaster of his fellows;
For the produce of the mountains is brought to him, and of all wild animals he makes sport.
Under the lotus trees he lies, in coverts of the reedy swamp.
The lotus trees cover him with their shade; all about him are the poplars on the bank.
If the river grows violent, he is not disturbed; he is tranquil though the torrent surges about his mouth.
Who can capture him by his eyes, or pierce his nose with a trap?"

The footnote in the Catholic Bible says that the creature in question is a hippopotamus. Certainly, anyone - except the most die hard Protestant- would see this as a logical explanation.

This did not end the discussion, however. His religious ideas went from pillar to post.

The thing that did end the discussion was his claim that Christ died on a Thursday. I would not allow the talk to go any further. I made it plain that I had never in my life heard anyone make such a ridiculous comment. I'm familiar with the views of nearly every Protestant denomination under the sun and I have never heard any that agreed with that. I could not take seriously any further statements from someone who believed something as outlandish as that.

As it turns out, there are groups that believe Jesus died on Thursday - while some others say he was crucified on Wednesday (Google Jesus died on Thursday). If either of those claims were true (and only recently discovered) the story of Christ's death and resurrection, as told by Catholics and Protestants, would be incorrect. 2000 years of Tradition stood on it's head.

For my part, I'm inclined to believe the story as told by those who follow the Apostolic tradition. I don't put too much stock in "newly discovered findings".

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