The Catholic Church was a thousand years old before it took a real stand in favour of celibacy in the twelfth century at the Second Lateran Council held in 1139, when a rule was approved forbidding priests to marry. But it wasn’t until the Council of Trent in 1563, when it definitively adopted the tradition of celibacy.
Protestants took exception to celibacy early on, arguing that it promoted masturbation, homosexuality and illicit fornication. Martin Luther singled out masturbation as one of the gravest offences likely to be committed by those who were celibate.”Nature never lets up,” Luther warned, “we are all driven to the secret sin. To say it crudely but honestly, if it doesn’t go into a woman, it goes into your shirt.”
“We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation.” ― Lily Tomlin
American Protestants in the 17th century, fearful of radical religious sects like the Shakers that celebrated celibacy, came out foursquare against the practice.
‘It is often said that it is reasonable to believe that the Bible is the word of God because many of the events recounted in the New Testament confirm Old Testament prophecy. But ask yourself, how difficult would it have been for the Gospel writers to tell the story of Jesus’ life so as to make it conform to Old Testament prophecy? Wouldn’t it have been within the power of any mortal to write a book that confirms the predictions of a previous book? In fact, we know on the basis of textual evidence that this is what the Gospel writers did.
The writers of Luke and Matthew, for instance, declare that Mary conceived as a virgin, relying upon the Greek rendering of Isaiah 7:14. The Hebrew text of Isaiah uses the word ‘alma’, however, which simply means “young woman,” without any implication of virginity. It seems all but certain that the dogma of the virgin birth, and much of the Christian world’s resulting anxiety about sex, was a product of a mistranslation from the Hebrew. Another strike against the doctrine of the virgin birth is that the other evangelists have not heard of it. Mark and John both appear uncomfortable with accusations of Jesus’ illegitimacy, but never mention his miraculous origins. Paul refers to Jesus as being “born of the seed of David according to the flesh” and “born of woman,” without referring to Mary’s virginity at all.
And the evangelists made other errors of scholarship. Matthew 27:9-10, for instance, claims to fulfill a saying that it attributes to Jeremiah. The saying actually appears in Zechariah 11:12-13.
The Gospels also contradict one another outright. John tells us that Jesus was crucified the day before the Passover meal was eaten; Mark says it happened the day after. In light of such discrepancies, how is it possible for you to believe that the Bible is perfect in all its parts? What do you think of Muslims, Mormons, and Sikhs who ignore similar contradictions in their holy books? They also say things like “the Holy Spirit has an eye only to substance and is not bound by words” (Luther). Does this make you even slightly more likely to accept their scriptures as the perfect word of the creator of the universe?’
The sound of a wave breaking is actually that of hundreds of millions of air bubbles bursting at the shoreline.
Martin Luther believed the mentally challenged were the work of the devil.
Archaeological evidence suggest that the earliest known purposefully fermented drink, specifically beer, was made all the way back in the late Stone Age around 10,000 BCE, making it one of the earliest known prepared food substance along with bread, which also dates back to around 10,000 BCE. The earliest references to wine being made are found in Egypt around 4000 BCE.
As a Dutchman, you are almost 10 times more likely to commit suicide than to be murdered.
‘They are our public enemies. They do not stop blaspheming our Lord Christ, calling the Virgin Mary a whore, Christ, a bastard, and us changelings or abortions. If they could kill us all, they would gladly do it. They do it often, especially those who pose as physicians—though sometimes they help—for the devil helps to finish it in the end. They can also practice medicine as in French Switzerland. They administer poison to someone from which he could die in an hour, a month, a year, ten or twenty years. They are able to practice this art.’
– Walch. J.G. (1883) Dr. Martin Luthers Sämmtliche Schriften [The Collected Works of Martin Luther] St. Louis, United States: Concordia, Volume 12, p. 1264-1267
‘[Luther’s] opposition to the Jews, which ultimately was regarded as irreconcilable, was in its nucleus of a religious and theological nature that had to do with belief in Christ and justification, and it was associated with the understanding of the people of God and the interpretation of the Old Testament. Economic and social motives played only a subordinate role. Luther’s animosity toward the Jews cannot be interpreted either in a psychological way as a pathological hatred or in a political way as an extension of the anti-Judaism of the territorial princes. But he certainly demanded that measures provided in the laws against heretics be employed to expel the Jews—similarly to their use against the Anabaptists—because, in view of the Jewish polemics against Christ, he saw no possibilities for religious coexistence. In advising the use of force, he advocated means that were essentially incompatible with his faith in Christ. In addition, his criticism of the rabbinic interpretation of the Scriptures in part violated his own exegetical principles. Therefore, his attitude toward the Jews can appropriately be criticized both for his methods and also from the center of his theology.’
– Brecht. M. (1993) Martin Luther – The Preservation of the Church 1532-1546 Minneapolis, United States: Fortress Press, Volume 3, p. 350-351
The word geranium is spelt the same in French, Latin and Dutch. It comes from geranos, the Greek word for ‘crane’.
Gerald Ford in 1974
There are more than 300 species of geranium. Over 100 million geranium plants are grown and sold commercially every year.
Gerald Rudolph Ford (1913-2006), who served as 38th President of the USA, is the only US President who was never elected as either President or Vice President. His real name was Leslie Lynch King Jr. He didn’t find this out until he was 17, when his real father confronted him in a cafe.
During the Second World War, 70,000 tons of German bombs fell on Britain, killing 60,000 people.
In 2003, a poll of three million Germans voted Konrad Adenauer the greatest German of all time. Martin Luther came second and Karl Marx came third. No one was allowed to vote for Adolf Hitler.
A Latin term that is perhaps best-known for being used in the first of the Ninety-Five Theses of Martin Luther. It is often translated into English as ‘repent’ or ‘do penance’.
1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.
Luther was not the first person to use this term; according to the 4th century Vulgate translation of the Bible by St. Jerome, the term was used by John the Baptist and repeated by Jesus of Nazareth: “Repent: the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).