Dim Stanley, blogger, journalist, historian and Catholic

Jesus, who definitely existed, and was god, is being mocked by some irrelevant Brazilian film makers.

Films that mock Jesus, who definitely existed and was god, or Mohammed, who definitely existed, are often mocked by third rate, so called, self styled satirists. But we religious can take it. Christianity has been subjected to the most thorough scrutiny for 2,000 years and has always been found to be absolutely correct in every aspect. Even the hundreds of mutually contradictory versions of it.

We poor, persecuted, Christians, know how to endure suffering and bear it with silent stoicism. We can take mockery. We can take criticism. And no, you may not comment on or reply to any of this.

12 thoughts on “Dim Stanley, blogger, journalist, historian and Catholic

  1. Would a christian be wonderfully happy and fulfilled if everyone, and I mean everyone, 100% of humanity, became a christian of the same type as he?

    And I mean the exact same kind of christian. Would he then shut the **** up and leave me alone?

    Or is it that christians, and I think this has some foundation in fact, have a fundamental need to feel persecuted? I am sure that they would be bored to tears if they had no “sinners” to rail against, no sinners to preach at and no sinners to persecute them?

    Gone too would be their grounds for smuggness in feeling part of a small misunderstood exclusive club. Life for them would be insufferable, so unendurably insufferable that some would set themselves apart as a new really truely christian cult just to set off the cycle of evangelism and imaginary persecution that is as necessary to them as oxygen is to me.


    1. I think that history shows what would happen – sooner or later (probably sooner) there would be a schism or two, creating two or more factions who place a very slighly different interpretation on some aspect of their beliefs, and are prepared to resort to wars in the futile attempt to establish the ascendancy of their faction.


  2. Dim Stanley asserts that, over time, Christianity has been ‘subjected to the most rigorous examination’. Hardly! All those who tried it, back in the day, were condemned as blasphemers or heretics and put to death, often in ways that were just as nasty as the one that was made up about Bartholomew. To this day, academic theologians worldwide come down hard on any of the tribe who try to question their dogmas and assumptions. Ancient historians have more freedom of mind, but few of them are interested in what many would regard as an unhistorical subject.

    But we do have the internet, and although some basic Intelligence is needed to distinguish truth from fantasy, much more information is now out there about the historical context in which the Jesus cult was invented. No doubt Dim’s spiritual leaders, if not Dim himself, would greatly like to shut down such sources of heresy, but they’re too late. There is no going back.

    Meanwhile, good on the Brazilian Supreme Court!


    1. Thanks for that. I’m extremely surprised by that story. Even at junior seminary we were constantly reminded that the seal of the confessional was absolute. For any ordained Catholic priest this should be so instinctive that to break it would be unthinkable. The penalty is supposed to be instant laicisation and excommunication, not mention a certain amount of supernatural displeasure.

      It’s the only case I’ve ever come across. Yet the fact that it took the intervention of Cardinal Hume to stop it suggests that it happened regularly and was considered normal.

      I can’t see past the Times paywall. Does the full story reveal any more details?


      1. If you live in the UK and have a public library card you can probably get access at home to ProQuest, a website that publishes transcriptions of newspapers and magazines in Europe. Most public libraries subscribe. The best news: it’s free.
        Using the simple search, “Sunday Times” “Johnny Mercer” 2020 should bring up the story.
        Paywall, what paywall? Libraries are wonderful.


  3. Some of it happened as part of their general pastoral care, as well as in the confessional, which isn’t much better. Pity you can’t see it. The posts of the Catholic apologists are funny.


  4. From the comments.
    “This was a different era.

    And it makes no sense to bring it up again today.”

    “It is pretty basic. If you are going to be asked to share close quarters then you need to know if someone is likely to take a bizarre sexual interest in you.”


  5. ‘According to the [Jesus] Seminar, Jesus was a mortal man born of two human parents, who did not perform nature miracles nor die as a substitute for sinners nor rise bodily from the dead. Sightings of a risen Jesus represented the visionary experiences of some of his disciples rather than physical encounters.’ (Wikipedia)

    The Jesus Seminar was a scholarly project which investigated the claims regarding Jesus Christ, tried to sort out the fact from the fiction, and discover the historical, rather than the mythological, Christ. Many of its claims were controversial, but ‘while these claims, not accepted by conservative Christian laity, have been repeatedly made in various forms since the 18th Century, what was unique about the Jesus Seminar was its consensual research methodology.’ (Wikipedia). (The Seminar ceased meeting not long after its founder, Robert Funk, died in 2005. The Wikipedia article about the Seminar is well worth reading.)

    It seems unlikely that Tim Stanley is unaware of the shaky grounds upon which Christianity stands and the scholarly research which has challenged the conventional claims about Jesus and his ministry. Back in the 1840s, George Eliot, the famous nineteenth century novelist, translated Strauss’s ‘The Life of Jesus’ into English. Strauss was a liberal Protestant theologian who nearly two centuries ago denied the divinity of Christ. And yet, the various Christian churches and their assorted leaders and followers continue to meddle the myth as fact, and are variously bemused, shocked or outraged when anyone dares to challenge them. Which just goes to show that people believe what they want to believe.


    1. “Which just goes to show that people believe what they want to believe.”

      Or in some cases what it is expedient for them to believe! Hence it’s pretty rare for clergy to question such things, especially those who have risen to senior positions in the hierarchy.


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