15 April 2012

Cardinals, not St Louisian

Barney Zwartz reported in the Sydney Morning Herald (Friday),  "Cardinal George Pell has moved to clarify demeaning remarks he made about Jews on TV, calling them intellectually lesser than the Egyptians, including Jesus Christ. During the ABC's Q&A TV debate, with atheist advocate Richard Dawkins on Monday night, he also suggested that ''no people in history were [as severely] punished as the Germans were'', apparently ignoring the Holocaust, for which the Germans were punished.

After the Executive Council of Australian Jewry conveyed its ''serious concern'', Cardinal Pell released a statement saying he was sorry the points did not come out as he preferred."
The Australian Jewish News reported Thursday, "During a wide-ranging discussion on Monday night’s program, Pell – the Archbishop of Sydney – alluded to ancient Jewish people being intellectually inferior to ancient Egyptians and Persians, while also making the extraordinary claim that no people in history had been punished like the Germans." Whichever angle Cardinal Pell wants to try to make things sound, he's stuck. He clearly believes that the simple Abraham, and the earliest of my ancestors were uneducated shepherds. The Egyptians and Persians were much smarter, he intended to say.  I'm glad that intellect is not what God requires. God provides it to be sure, and helps us learn in so many ways. However, what God requires of us as he required of Abraham and Moses and Isaiah and you and me is faith.  Three times in the Newer Testament, Paul and James quote the book of Genesis regarding Abraham: “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED (or accounted) TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Romans 4.3, Galatians 3.6, James 2.23) Surely that's the book the good cardinal believes and endorses. Intellect was not counted to Abraham as righteousness. Anti-intellect was not counted to the good Father of Faith as righteousness. Nowhere do we see that quality, interesting as it is, informing the right standing Abraham had with God.
Where do you stand with God?

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