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Paul Mallon wrote:
> A Christian festival celebrated by Catholics the world over.
> The faithful's foreheads are crossed with ash created from
> the burned palms used to celebrate the previous Palm Sunday.
> The ash is a reminder of our mortality of our body's eventual
> return to ash. We are also asked to abstain from meat and to
> fast by not eating in between meals.

Actually, I seem to remember the abstinence from eating meat was only on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays during Lent. I remember being told that fish was okay as a replacement. The spreading of ashes was not a reminder of mortality but as a way of showing repentence for one's sins during lent. Fasting is not about eating between meals, but actually going without eating meals or snacks for as long as healthily possible on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. I could be wrong as it has been some time.

> Perhaps the lesson is humility. Perhaps the lesson is merely
> to focus our temporal minds on our immortal souls lasting
> importance.

Lent is a cleansing of the soul from sin.

> A question: how many posters celebrated this festival today?
> How many of you would profess to be Christians. It is an
> innocent question.

I don't think that this is a relevant question to ask but my family has been catholic for about 400 years or more, even when it cost them their home and their wealth.

> I have noticed that some posters seem hell bent (pardon the
> pun) on putting down Christianity. They would even to so far
> as to deny Jesus ever walked this Earth. A very arrogant
> claim considering the huge weight of historical and
> contemporary evidence to support His existence. But we all
> chose our own paths.

There are many different religions out there in the world and most of these other religions do not believe that Jesus was the messiah at all. It does not make these religions any less. Whether or not a person believes in Jesus or not is a personal matter and as of yet, the scientific jury is still pretty much out on whether he historically existed or not. Hence why the recent ossuary was so important. If it had been authentic, it would've been evidence that Jesus existed. Unfortunately, it was deemed a fake.

> I am curious how many of those who would deny his existence
> were brought up by Christian parents in a Christian country?
> I would hazard a wild guess at most of them. But I bet again
> that most of them (pardon the use of the word them) didn't
> know the significance of Ash Wednesday. A very telling point!

This question, I feel, has no place in a debate. It is highly personal and could simply be used to seperate people by beliefs. Throughout history, such seperatism never did bode well for good.

> In my experience those who would find cause and time to
> criticise Christianity are people who nurture a great
> ignorance of the religion while enthusiastically embracing
> ill conceived factitious stories that basically go a long the
> lines what all those religious people who have spent time
> studying their religion in an informed manner are wrong and
> this wild idea from this philosophical conjurer who is
> probably got as many good intentions as a paedophile on heat.

You are assuming a great deal here. There are many people who study Christianity without being Christian themselves. I was friends with a rabbi once, who was also a survivor of a concentration camp. He knew a surprisingly great deal about Christianity. There are others, also, who once were practicing Christians who, by their studies, no longer have faith. It is too easy to make a blanket statement in regards to the posters on this board by making assumptions and generalizations about their own personal beliefs. If anything, those people are the ones that would be less likely to suffer from bias. These forums are for debate of evidence. You would be better suited to provide contrary evidence outside of your own personal belief to anything that you perceive as "ill conceived factitious stories".

Please keep in mind that this is a multicultural board, with posters coming from all over the world and all walks of faith. The posters on this board have the freedom to choose which debates they wish or do not wish to participate in. Threads on religion can be awkward for some posters but we do not discourage discussion unless the code of conduct has been broken.

Stephanie aka ArmchairObserver

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Lent: Ash Wednesday 383 Paul Mallon 25-Feb-04 19:57
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 131 Mark Staab 26-Feb-04 03:38
Mod Comment 144 ArmchairObserver 26-Feb-04 06:14
Re: Mod Comment 124 Mark Staab 26-Feb-04 06:49
Re: Mod Comment 131 ArmchairObserver 26-Feb-04 06:56
Thanks for that, too! n/t 186 Saorsa 26-Feb-04 08:14
Thanks for that, Stephanie. n/t 177 Saorsa 26-Feb-04 08:13
Christian fundamentalism? 149 Kees 26-Feb-04 08:45
LOL! Teasing, Kees? 161 Mark Staab 26-Feb-04 10:38
Dead serious Mark 129 Kees 26-Feb-04 11:16
Re: Dead serious Mark 115 Mark Staab 26-Feb-04 18:25
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 131 Paul Mallon 04-Mar-04 10:16
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 124 ArmchairObserver 26-Feb-04 06:54
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 122 Paul Mallon 04-Mar-04 10:41
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 140 ArmchairObserver 04-Mar-04 16:33
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 127 Paul Mallon 05-Mar-04 10:10
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 124 ArmchairObserver 05-Mar-04 17:13
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 226 Paul Mallon 05-Mar-04 18:18
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 147 Lee McGiffen 26-Feb-04 07:56
Mod remark 138 Kees 26-Feb-04 08:47
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 127 Shawnzi 26-Feb-04 17:12
Mod remark 133 Kees 26-Feb-04 17:15
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 141 Paul Mallon 04-Mar-04 10:46
Mod remark 131 ArmchairObserver 04-Mar-04 16:35
Re: Mod remark 132 Paul Mallon 05-Mar-04 10:16
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 138 Lee McGiffen 05-Mar-04 13:05
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 230 Nebankh 26-Feb-04 13:15
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 157 Paul Mallon 04-Mar-04 10:54
Memes, Creeds and Needs 149 Thirdwave 04-Mar-04 12:18
Re: Memes, Creeds and Needs 133 Paul Mallon 05-Mar-04 10:13
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 124 Paul Mallon 26-Feb-04 17:42
Re: Lent: Ash Wednesday 133 Ahatmose 04-Mar-04 21:21
Hey, moderator!!!!! 150 Archietype 05-Mar-04 06:08
Re: Hey, moderator!!!!! 132 ArmchairObserver 05-Mar-04 06:43
Re: Hey, moderator!!!!! 109 Paul Mallon 05-Mar-04 10:07
Re: Hey, moderator!!!!! 133 Ahatmose 05-Mar-04 13:14
Re: Hey, moderator!!!!! 177 Paul Mallon 05-Mar-04 14:25
Re: Hey, moderator!!!!! 110 Lee McGiffen 05-Mar-04 13:29
Historical fact: 130 Paul Mallon 05-Mar-04 13:56
Re: Historical fact: 128 Lee McGiffen 05-Mar-04 14:50
Re: Historical fact: 132 Paul Mallon 05-Mar-04 14:56
Re: Historical fact: 125 Lee McGiffen 05-Mar-04 15:09

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