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April 14, 2005

Bidding on the Host

While I'm not Catholic, I'm pretty sure I understand enough of Catholic teachings to explain the uproar about the eBay action of the communion element. Catholics take literally the verse in the Bible when Jesus, presenting the elements of the Lord's Supper said, “This is my body...” and “This is my blood...”. They teach that when the priest blesses the wafer and wine, than it literally becomes the flesh and blood of Jesus. Therefore to them, selling those elements on eBay is outrageous and offensive.

The wafer was offered on Saturday by a seller in Sloan, Iowa, and sold on Monday for $2,000 to a man in Cupertino, Calif.

I suspect that the buyer may have been motivated by a desire to respect the dignity he felt the wafer was owed, but then I don't really know.

Yes, I think the belief is silly, but it is their belief, and treating it in such a way was cruel. EBay also deserves criticism for not showing more respect. The seller deserves criticism for being such a rectal opening. Let's hope the buyers motivation was honorable.

It really bugs me, this idea of taunting others over their beliefs, and tossing it in their face. What's the rational behind that? Does the taunter really think that someday someone won't return the favor? Most of the time I see this done by agnostics who imagine that since they embrace an ambivalence toward religion that they are then immune from any sort of emotional attack in that area — but religion is only one of many areas people feel passionate about, and thus become a chink in our emotional armor. If you are human, there will be something that you hold dear — something that would tear at you if others laughed at. Why would there be any difference?

What if instead of a Communion wafer it had been a body part from one of your loved one's, possible sneaked out of the autopsy room by a unscrupulous medical assistant? Would you join in the laughter at someone selling your deceased wife's gall bladder on eBay? You dead mother's ears in a flea market? How about your murdered child's eye's on a necklace?

Yes, those are strong images, but I use them only to get across the point that Catholics feel just as strongly about what they believe is the flesh of Jesus Christ being auctioned to the highest bidder, while millions stand around and laugh.

Like I said, I'm not Catholic, and don't believe that the Communion elements really to become Jesus flesh and blood other than symbolically, and that only for those to whom the symbolism will speak to. But that doesn't prevent me from sympathizing with how they feel.

Related coverage (religious tolerance): WizBang, Jawa Report

Posted by Danny Carlton at April 14, 2005 11:22 AM

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It is obviously apparent that biblical scripture is to be taken "symbolically", metaphorically, and/or as parable in some instances........ but yet, on the other hand, very literally in other instances(not suprisingly, at the discretion of whatever denomination's faith is being defended). Question: A family member as come down with leprosy, of all things. According to the OT (Leviticus 14:1-8), the first step in curing leprosy is to have the priests or rabbis kill a dove and spill it's blood into an earthen bowl. And then they take a live dove, and dip it into the bowl of the first dove. Then the live dove is to be loosed in the fields. Prescription, wive's tale...or symbolic?

Posted by: boomSLANG at April 15, 2005 11:01 PM

You'd have to ask a Jewish person about that since that's from the Old Testament and the Old Testament law is no longer applicable to Christians.

Romans 3:28 -- Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at April 16, 2005 10:09 AM

Oh, so God's law is unchanging, that's why there's a "new" testament.....got it.

Posted by: boomSLANG at April 18, 2005 03:02 PM

The Mosaic law was given so God's people would see that it is impossible to obey the law. Jesus came to provide us a solution. Under the law we will always fail. Under Grace we can succeed. The law didn't change, we have been offered Grace, under a New Promise, a New Covenant or a New Testament.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at April 18, 2005 03:10 PM

Hmmmm.......how arbitrary to keep one part, and yet, not another. If we were talking *logically here, it would seem that if the Torah was handed down by god unto Moses at Mt. Sinai, then it would be impossible to separate "natural" from "mosaic" law. It begs the question then, of why do Christians not keep kosher.

*But then again, we're not talking logically here or we wouldn't be talking about an invisible man in the sky who watches over us.

Posted by: boomSLANG at April 18, 2005 05:36 PM

In one ear...out the other. It really does no good to answer your questions if you simply ignore the answer.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at April 19, 2005 10:38 AM

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