----- Original Message -----
From: Gil Hardwick <[log in to unmask]>
> That those remaining in what you refer to as "the Celtic lands" being
> "pretty devout Christians" is not relevant to Celtic belief,
I don't mean to be argumentative....but I find this really, well, absurd.
This sentance basically says the belief of a people has nothing to with
> since the Church was instrumental in forcing the diaspora on religious
This isn't accurate. First the term the "the Church" can be defined as the
entire body of Christ-every person on the planet who identifies themeselves
as Christian or, more commonly, to refer to the Catholic Church. Given these
definitions "the Church" did not force any diaspora of Celtic populations.
Perhaps, and only perhaps, the arguement might be applied to
Ireland--unfortunately, in order to do so you would have to ignore every
other factor of cultural unease. In Scotland and Wales, "the Church" meaning
the Catholic variety, didn't play represent the largest portion of the
population at the time of the Dispora (Wild goosing, whatever).
Apart from the early Celtic Church long since subsumed in the
> Roman and Anglican faiths by Spanish and Anglo-Saxon invaders, there
> is little to suggest that Christianity is any more Celtic than that, as
> I have already argued, Celts have taken it up. So what?
Then you have argued inacurrately. There are a great number of traits
inherent in the faith of Welsh, Gaelic and Irish Christians today---little
of which has anything to do with nature or pre-Christians goddesses. We have
only to look at the similarities in the languaged used by these groups to
describe their religious expression to see the similarities. However, I do
agree Christianity itself isn't Celtic--the religion certainly developed as
a sect of Judiasm. Once the religion spread, just like any other religion,
adherents adapted the tenants of the faith to suit their own cultural needs.
Also, in regards to Spanish and Anglo-Saxon invaders----I would appreciate
being enlightened as to when Spanish people invaded the Western Isles,
Ireland and Wales. I would also be interested in when Anglo-Saxons invaded
the Western Isles. I would understand a reference to Viking invaders---for
certainly there were many and the cultural fingerprints remain today. But
Spanish and Anglo-Saxon invaders haven't popped up in any of my studies.
Quite the opposite, in fact. There were several monsteries of the early
Celtic church located in Spain, and through out the Contient. The
Benedictine order is, of course, of Spanish origin, but I'd be hard pressed
to call them invaders, and they didn't really get established in Scotland
and Ireland pretty late.
> And no, I have not discounted a bunch of 12C Christian monks, merely
> pointed out to you that their manuscripts only represent their own point
> of view, not those of their countrymen. I remind you that Christianity
> is a Middle Eastern religion derived from the Laws of Moses. Moses was
> a Jew (nothing against Jews) raised in the Egyptian royal household.
And your point is? Are you trying to say that the ideology of a Jewish sect
could not be adopted by non-Jews? If so, you may want to look
around----every person who call themselves Christian or Muslim has done just
that. Or that cultures can't assimilate new ideas and beliefs?
> I have no argument whether it is good or bad, merely relate facts.
> >And who exactly has said that they didn't?
> No idea . . .
> >No. There is a very set list of what a true Catholic believes, much of
> >which is dictated by the Pope. It is a sin to disagree with the Pope
> >according to the Catechism. So, while a Catholic may disagree with the
> >Pope, he or she is encouraged to confess that disagreement & atone for
I'm sorry, but that represents what is know as "high" church doctrine. (The
terms high church and low church are commonly used in the study of religion
to separate the established doctrines of the hierarchy of the churches
versus the actual beliefs of the adherents.) We have only too look at Sinead
OConnor-now an ordained as a Catholic priest, to see that not all people
identifiying themselves as Catholic espouse the doctrines of the
Pope....based on her interview and the Bishop's interviews I doubt they have
confessed or asked for atonement for her ordination.
> Oh, a TRUE Catholic. Not being a Catholic at all, I don't give a fig
> what the Pope thinks, preferring to trust my own judgement.
This statement is personal in nature and not academic in any respect: Gill,
I personally don't care what you believe; however, if any religion is to be
sustained or acquire adherents there must be a core ideology to attract
people. Saying I believe my own judgment doesn't attract anyone---unless, of
course, you contend you are the founder of a faith, such as Jesus, Mohammed,
the Brahim. You pretty much have to explain your beliefs if you want people
to understand and respect what you believe....if you don't care what we
think, don't bring it up.
> >Funny, most religions define their beliefs pretty rigidly. And they
> >have no problem pinning them down. "I believe in God, the Father, the
>Almighty, Creator of Heaven & Earth" sounds pretty specific to me.
> Sorry, "religions" do nothing of the sort. Church assemblies of one
> order or another come together periodically to do this; that is, it
> is PEOPLE who write this sort of stuff down, while their followers in
> turn chose to believe it.
> Granted, you may well have thought intelligently about what you want
> to believe, and made a conscious, informed decision to take what has
> been written by somebody else to be your belief.
> Fine. No problem.
> We ourselves are as free to commune directly with God, or the Goddess,
> or whoever, to chose NOT to believe in what other people as fallible
> as we are chose to write. Good grief, I write heaps, but I would be
> appalled to find anybody taking it up as their belief.
Then if you don't care to share your faith, why do you keep bringing it up?
> For my part, personally, my belief has nothing to do with what gets
> written at all. I repeat, the attempt to fix belief by writing it down
> is of Mosaic origin, not Celtic. Celts and non-Celts alike have been
> arguing and warring over that for millenia now.
Beliefs were written down long before the time of Moses. The Celts may or
may not have written down beliefs----we assume not, but then that assumption
just might be overturned with the discovery of a new inscription. Such a
discovery changed the way Egyptologists looked at mummification.
> >Have you ever even talked to a Theologian of any faith? Most belief
>systems, including some Pagans ones, are pretty well laid out.
> I am a theologian myself, as a core part of my anthropology. I am in
> regular contact with others. Most belief systems have had a very great
> deal written about them, but let me assure you (again) that what is
> written is not the belief except in the particular case where persons
> chose to take up what has been written as their belief.
Written versus non written really has little to do with the establishment of
belief systems. Whether the tenets are written down or not, a faith must
have tenets which separate it from other belief systems. In fact, we have
only to look at the Highlands in the early modern period to see that
non-literate communities were able to share and propogate their faith
without written word. (Neil, help me with the date---wasn't the first Gaelic
Bible sometime around 1705? ) Some communities were able to obtain scraps of
the Bible-when I say scraps I mean torn pieces that might consist of as
little as one verse. If they were very fortunate, once a year or so, a
minister or one of the Men would come to the village and read that scrap to
them. Otherwise, they relied on memorization and basic understand of their