The Blessed Virgin
Here are some general comments about modern fundamentalists' rejection of all traditional Marian doctrines and dogmas.
Perhaps the first interesting thing to note is how radical the departure is, not just from Catholicism, but even from the Protestantism of the "Reformers", who were sensible enough to retain most of the doctrines about & general attitude towards the Blessed Virgin. Yes, of course, you eschew any relationship to Protestantism at all, but in reality you sit on their theological base completely: sola scriptura, rejection of the visible Church, the notion that authority belongs with individual believers, rejections of the Eucharist, the priesthood, intercessory prayer, purgation, and more - all of these were *brand-new* teachings in the 16th century and you adopt them all.
If you doubt any of that, find any support whatever for any of these teachings from any group before the Reformation! (It's true that Wycliffe dabbled in sola scriptura in the 14th century; he was sort of the first there, but it went nowhere.)
It just turns out that modern Protestantism drifted - largely unknowingly and unwittingly - from that which the pretended Reformers intended.
It's only because fundamentalists know so very little about the history of Christianity and the early Church that they don't see how glaringly wrong it must be to throw out everything the *only Christian Church in existence* taught & believed from the earliest days. We Catholics read of saints & Fathers, hundreds of them, from every single century from Christ until now; we read the writings of Fathers that knew Apostles and studied under them in some cases, and to say that what they taught & believed is not relevant is simply pure idiocy.
Then, of course, there's that one Really Big Problem: You trust the Catholic Church to give you the Bible, for it is She that defined the New Testament Canon that you believe *infallible* (if the canon itself is not defined infallibly the books therein are not!). You trust (implicitly, because you prefer not to think about it) that the Church was led infallibly by the Spirit in this one task, but no other. This is completely and totally illogical.
Now, on to the Bible & Mary. It is true, of course, that none of the Marian doctrines are laid out strongly in black & white in Scripture - and that is what the deniers cling to. (But, of course, neither are some very critical doctrines, such as that of the Holy Trinity, and even the Incarnation - and these have their deniers too.)
Why is this? Well, first of all, it must be pointed out that the Protestant assumption of sola scriptura is completely false - un-Biblical and completely at odds with history and logic. So their foundation is wrong out of the gate. The early Christians had no Bible. They had not a single Gospel for almost a decade, the four canonical Gospels were not widely recognized as such until at least 70 years after the Resurrection, and 100 years after that there was still no defined canon at all, with many books (such as James, Hebrews, and Revelation) not read or used by many churches and others (such as the Didache and Pope Clement's 97 AD letter to the church at Antioch) copied & read with Scripture by others).
Ever wonder by the Bible does indeed *leave so much out*? Why doesn't it just tell us in black & white who Jesus' relatives were, and where Joseph was at the time of His ministry?! Does it read like a novel? Hardly! It leaves much out because the people it was written for already knew the story. And when the canon was formed people still knew that. And 1,000 years later people *still* knew that! They knew it because it's plain from the text Itself.
Still, this doesn't completely explain why Scripture does only hint at some of the Marian doctrines, and does not explain them fully.
There are at least two reasons that can be suggested for this. The first is that the Blessed Virgin was still alive when the Gospels and many of the epistles were written, and her desire for humility was respected!
The second is that these doctrines are not as critical to the faith as the Christological ones. This is why the Church tackled those first, with Her definitions of the Hypostatic Union and the Trinity in the fourth century, soon after coming out of the period of Roman persecution.
However, these things are immaterial to the Truth of what the Church teaches. The Church, the "pillar and foundation of Truth", is from whence all Christian teaching originates. The Church produced the Bible, which non-Catholics accept without thinking or being able to understand why. The Church, given the power to "bind and loose" that Heaven respects, according to St. Paul, teaches even the angels (Eph 3:10)!
Non-Catholics attack the Marian doctrines mainly out of misunderstanding of them and out of their desire to put down everything the Church teaches. They do this not via careful, holistic exegesis, but by "hunting" for lone verses they believe contradict what the Church teaches, and ignoring or misinterpreting what they wish. (I'm not saying that some who deny the Marian doctrines are not sincere, because it is relatively easy to be led astray on these matters, if studying Scripture alone and in a vacuum.)
Some who will not give honor to the Mother of God do have a holy motivation at heart: a desire to love no other but Christ. But, although the motivation is holy, to refuse to honor who God honors is a sign of confusion or a thin, shallow spirituality. It is understood by those who love Christ that to honor those who love & serve Him best is holy, as God does, and to honor His Mother, the first and most perfect Christian, who Scripture says has no fault, who bore the very Creator of the Universe in her whom, is a very holy and proper thing indeed.
Christ Insulted His Mother???
This notion that Scripture *insults* Jesus' Mother, and that *He Himself* does so, is certainly rich indeed! How sad and amazing it is that people could actually believe such things!
Sad, because to insult her is to insult the God that created her, the God that was borne of her, and the fact that self-professed Christians in certain sects will do this with wild abandon is a sign of the power the prince of this world holds.
Let's take a look at the "evidence" these anti-Catholics bring forth. (For attempting to destroy the Catholic position is the motivator for this lie to begin with! It's the reason for the whole exercise... search those Scriptures for *anything* we can use against Her!)
In John 2:4, Jesus calls Mary "woman" - a dismissive, insulting word, they say. But, do these Protestants reading in English in the 21st century have much grasp of the original languages and culture? No, not really. The word for woman here, "gynai", is title of *respect*, used in Matt 15:28 and Luke 13:12:
Then Jesus answering, said to her: O woman, great is thy faith: be it done to thee as thou wilt: and her daughter was cured from that hour.
Whom when Jesus saw, he called her unto him, and said to her: Woman, thou art delivered from thy infirmity.
The common interpretation of the *early Church* (you know, those Christians closest to the Apostles) was that Christ used this word in reference to His Mother to suggest that she is the "woman" of Genesis 3:15:
I will put enmity between you and the woman...
(According to Irenaeus and others, Mary is the "New Eve" - the Second Woman as Christ is the Second Man (1 Cor 15:47.)
Then there is Luke 11:27-28:
And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck. But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
(According to many experts in Greek , "menoun" is better rendered in English as "and" rather than "rather", making this completely moot, but since even Doauy-Rheims uses "rather", we will work with that.)
Jesus is saying that those who keep the Word of God are blessed. But, does this *really* mean that He is saying that His Mother is *not* blessed on account of that Motherhood? Do those who assert this think about it, at all? Would Christ contradict the inspired Word of God?
Mary is called "blessed" at least six times in Scripture - once by an angel of God. So, if Jesus is implying that His Mother is *not* blessed, he is quite directly contradicting writings that the Holy Catholic Church has declared to be inspired Word of God. (Of course, Protestants agree with Catholics about the inspiration of Scripture, and accept the Catholic canon of the New Testament fist defined at the Council of Rome in 382 as well. But most have no real idea where that canon came from.)
In fact, Mary makes a famous prophecy regarding herself:
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
"All generations" shall call her blessed? And they have, and they do - those Christians in full communion with the Church that Christ founded do! Essentially all Christians before the "Reformation" did! After all, this inspired prophecy cannot be false! But, today, there are indeed many people who will not call her "blessed".
In fact, Scripture goes much farther than merely calling Mary "blessed" - it calls her "full of grace**" (and this coming from an angel). The Greek word thus translated - kecharitomene - essentially means that Mary is as full of grace as is possible and also implies (based on the state of the verb) that this is a permanent state. Mary is as full as possible of grace - leaving no room for sin - and always will be. In fact, kecharitomene is used not only as a salutation to Mary but as her very title.
"Kecharitomene", actually means that she is as full of grace as is possible - leaving no possible room for anything but grace. That has some very deep implications - and in fact Scripture uses this word in only one other place, and that is in reference to Christ.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about those who assert that Jesus Christ did not fully and completely honor His Mother is that they are implying that He did not obey the Ten Commandments! That is, they are saying that Jesus Christ, God and Man, who gave these commandments to the world, did not obey them completely & totally.
**In fact, the title that the angel gives Mary at the Annunciation, "kecharitomene ", directly implies here perpetual sinlessness. This word is used nowhere else in Scripture to refer to anyone but Mary or Christ. Here is an excerpt from Dave Armstrong's "The Catholic Verses" explaining how the doctrine can be proved from that verse alone based on *Protestant assumptions* only:
"1. Grace saves us.
2. Grace gives us the power to be holy and righteous and without sin.
Therefore, for a person to be full of grace is both to be saved and to be completely, exceptionally holy. It's a "zero-sum game": the more grace one has, the less sin. One might look at grace as water, and sin as the air in an empty glass (us). When you pour in the water (grace), the sin (air) is displaced. A full glass of water, therefore, contains no air (see also, similar zero-sum game concepts in 1 John 1:7,9; 3:6,9; 5:18). To be full of grace is to be devoid of sin. Thus we might re-apply the above two propositions:
1. To be full of the grace that saves is surely to be saved.
2. To be full of the grace that gives us the power to be holy, righteous, and without sin is to be fully without sin, by that same grace.
A deductive, biblical argument for the Immaculate Conception, with premises derived directly from Scripture, might look like this
1. The Bible teaches that we are saved by God's grace.
2. To be "full of" God's grace, then, is to be saved.
3. Therefore, Mary is saved (Luke 1:28)
4. The Bible teaches that we need God's grace to live a holy life, free from sin.
5. To be "full of" God's grace is thus to be so holy that one is sinless.
6. Therefore, Mary is holy and sinless
7. The essence of the Immaculate Conception is sinlessness.
8. Therefore, the Immaculate Conception, in its essence, can be directly deduced from Scripture.
The only way out of the logic would be to deny one of the two premises, and hold either that grace does not save or that grace is not that power which enables one to be sinless and holy. It is highly unlikely that any Evangelical Protestant would take such a position, so the argument is a very strong one, because it proceeds upon their own premises.
In this fashion, the essence of the Immaculate Conception (i.e., the sinlessness of Mary) is proven from biblical principles and doctrines accepted by every orthodox Protestant. Certainly all mainstream Christians agree that grace is required both for salvation and to overcome sin. So in a sense my argument is only one of degree, deduced (almost by common sense, I would say) from notions that all Christians hold in common.”
Mary's Perpetual (not "perceptual"!) Virginity
The denial of Mary's perpetual virginity arises from misunderstanding of Scripture as well as a lack of knowledge of both the valid importance of Apostolic Tradition and knowledge of what the One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic Church has taught from her beginnings.
We'll look at Scripture first.
The fact that non-Catholics will even bring forth the argument that because their English Bibles speak of Christ's "brothers", He must have had biological brothers born of Mary, reveals a level of naivety that ought to embarrass them.
It is well-known (yet missed by nearly all of these people) that many cultures in the world have a very different sense of the importance of the extended family then do modern Americans. In many of these cultures it is very common to call first cousins and even second cousins "brother" and "sister", even when the language does have words that allow a distinction between these levels of relation.
Neither Hebrew nor Aramaic have words for "cousin" that are distinct from "brother" - in those languages, and cultures, cousins were brothers. The biological distinction was not meaningful enough for those people to even have separate words for them.
While Greek, the language of the New Testament, does have a word for brother, adelphoi, that is distinct from cousin, anyone fluent in 1st-century Greek will tell you that adelphoi can mean "cousin" too. Furthermore, more importantly, a Greek writer who was properly preserving the culture of the peoples he was writing of would have followed their idioms and referred to family members as they did. Thus do modern Indians speak of their cousins as "brothers" even when speaking in English.
Furthermore, as usual, anti-Catholics are not at all consistent or thorough in how they read Scripture regarding this issue - they aren't consistent in how "brother" must be interpreted.
For instance, take a look at Acts 1:15, which speaks of 120 of Jesus' "brethren". Or Luke 22:32, where Jesus tells Peter to strengthen his "brethren" - was Christ referring only to Peter's biological brothers?! Then, here is 1 Cor 15:6, where Christ appeared to over 500 "brethren"!
And, it turns out, there is direct evidence in Scripture that those referred to as Jesus' "brothers" were actually cousins. Look at Matthew 27:56, speaking of those present at the Crucifixion:
Among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
As well as Matthew 28:1, speaking of witnesses to the Resurrection:
And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.
In fact, it is clear that Mary Magdalen and the "other" Mary are the mothers of Jesus' "brothers" - see these non-Catholic references:
And we can even quote the first "Reformers". Calvin: "Helvidius has shown himself too ignorant, in saying that Mary had several sons, because mention is made in some passages to the brothers of Christ" [Leeming, Protestants and Our Lady]. Luther and Zwingli were both in agreement.
Along with the "brother" issue, those who insist that the Scripture that says Joseph had no relations with Mary "until" the birth of Christ bely a lack of understanding of the original text and a modern English bias to their exegesis (but every single believer is qualified to infallibly interpret all of Scripture, right?)
Heos, according to people who know Greek, does not necessarily specify anything at all about what happens after the period of time indicated, but only during it. There are many examples in Scripture where reading "until" as Protestants insist on doing in this case leads to a nonsensical conclusion. Consider Hebrews 1:13:
But to which of the angels said he at any time: Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool?
Will Christ cease to sit at the Right Hand of the Father after His enemies are defeated?!
Or 1 Timothy 4:13:
Till I come, attend unto reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine.
Was Timothy to stop attending to reading & doctrine after Paul's visit?!
See also 2 Samuel 6:23 for a similar example.
We see from things like this that Protestants are merely "fishing" for "evidence", not reading Scripture holistically and accurately.
[Is virginity "bad" or unnatural? Of course, that is another argument non-Catholics make - the "Reformation" having been born partly out of a frustrated and aborted attempt at celibacy - but this again reveals a lack of understanding of both Christian history and Judaism before that. for it was a common practice for certain Old Testament Jewish women (who felt called to it) to give up sexual relations and child-bearing for God, dedicating themselves to service in the Temple. Mary was one such Temple virgin, according to Apostolic Tradition (more below).
Furthermore, of course in the Old Testament there are examples of people abstaining from sexual activity because of service to God. The Temple priests did so, and Moses imposed such a rule on all Israelites when he ascended Mt. Sinai.]
Church Fathers likened Mary's holy Womb, which bore God Incarnate, to the Eastern Gate of Ezekiel 44, which was fit for only the Lord to enter! Need anything more be said?
But we have much more evidence from this from the early Church that Mary's perpetual virginity was part of the Apostolic Tradition (meaning it was taught to Christians, in general, by the Church, from the beginning, including the time before the Bible existed).
There is a document of the Church known as the "Protoevangelium of James" written about 120, or about 60 years past the Blessed Virgin's death. According to the famous early Christian scholar Johannes Quasten, "The principal aim of the whole writing is to prove the perpetual and inviolate virginity of Mary before, in, and after the birth of Christ." Now, it sure is curious that the Church - tiny and persecuted, and just barely out of the Apostolic age - would do such a thing, isn't it? Read more here:
To people who believe that the Mother of God bore other children, the Incarnation of God, the pivotal event in the universe, is really kind of "no big deal". The womb that bore Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, is not even as holy, spotless, and untouchable as that first Ark, the mere prototype of the Blessed Virgin, which bore only tablets that came from God, rather than God Himself, yet which which when so much as touched to those not worthy brought instant death!
What thin Christian theology this is! What ignorance, and what insult to God!
Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with thee, blessed are you among women, blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, AMEN!
I love Mary. She always points to Jesus.
Mary IS the "Mother of God"
This is just some notes - not finished yet:
- Luke 1:43 - Elizabeth's use of "Mother of my Lord" (in Hebrew, Elizabeth used "Adonai" which means Lord God) is the equivalent of "Holy Mary, Mother of God" which Catholics pray in the Rosary. The formula is simple: Jesus is a divine person, and this person is God. Mary is Jesus' Mother, so Mary is the mother of God (Mary is not just the Mother of Jesus' human nature - mothers are mothers of persons, not natures).
- 1 Chron. 13:9-10 - this is another account of Uzzah and the Ark. For God to dwell within Mary the Ark, Mary had to be conceived without sin. For Protestants to argue otherwise would be to say that God would let the finger of Satan touch His Son made flesh. This is incomprehensible.
- Luke 1:39 / 2 Sam. 6:2 - Luke's conspicuous comparison's between Mary and the Ark described by Samuel underscores the reality of Mary as the undefiled and immaculate Ark of the New Covenant. In these verses, Mary (the Ark) arose and went / David arose and went to the Ark. There is a clear parallel between the Ark of the Old and the Ark of the New Covenant.
- Rev 11:19 - at this point in history, the Ark of the Old Covenant was not seen for six centuries (see 2 Macc. 2:7), and now it is finally seen in heaven. The Jewish people would have been absolutely amazed at this. However, John immediately passes over this fact and describes the "woman" clothed with the sun in Rev. 12:1. John is emphasizing that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant and who, like the Old ark, is now worthy of veneration and praise. Also remember that Rev. 11:19 and Rev. 12:1 are tied together because there was no chapter and verse at the time these texts were written.
- If Mary is Mother of Christ She is Mother of God because Christ is God! Protestants pick & choose what dogmatic teachings of even early Catholic councils they accept. Cheat themselves out of the full beauty of the faith out of ignorance and prejudice. "The Council of Ephesus decreed in 431 that Mary is Theotokos because her son Jesus is one person who is both God and man, divine and human." "Theotokos thus refers to the Incarnation, when the Second Person of the Holy Trinity took on human nature in addition to his pre-existing divine nature, this being made possible through the cooperation of Mary." If Mary is not the Mother of God then God was not Incarnate.
- Cyril of Alexandria wrote, "I am amazed that there are some who are entirely in doubt as to whether the holy Virgin should be called Theotokos or not. For if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how is the holy Virgin who gave [Him] birth, not [Theotokos]?" (Epistle 1, to the monks of Egypt; PG 77:13B). Thus the significance of Theotokos lies more in what it says about Jesus than any declaration about Mary. Opposition from Thetokos came from those who denied the hypostatic union! Thus it betrays a serious lack of understanding of the most basic Christian theology.
If Church cannot settle theological questions with certainty it is useless and the Canon non-Catholics use is not certain either!
I suppose anti-Mary anti-Catholics cannot appreciate the beauty of a flower, either, for that would "take away" from Christ! Such sad confusion.
How come nobody's posted a mountain of totally unrelated Scripture they want to use to "undo" other Scripture and the teachings of the Apostles yet?
We do know it's coming. Go ahead, obfuscate. The truth will still get through.
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I read it. Thanks for taking the time to write it up
Not really sure what to think of it all. A few things seemed pretty deep and good to ponder, A few things rubbed me wrong, but don't want to be negative on a thread you intended to educate on.
So if Mary's the mirror pointing to Jesus, are we sposed to go to Jesus via Mary each time?
Yeah, interesting read alright
Type till you're blue in the face, CT....
....but pictures speak 1000 words. From another thread:
The Monstrance of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy:
CT, I don't post this stuff to be intentionally nasty or trying to butt heads with you. I post it because you clearly don't understand why someone like me would be very cautious of embracing the RCC and all it's teachings, traditions, dogmas, and practices.....
....This stuff doesn't bother you even in the slightest?
"Hail, bright star of ocean, God's own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin, Gate of heavenly rest.
Taking that sweet Ave, Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us, Changing Eva's name.
Break the captives' fetters, Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling, Every bliss implore.
Show thyself a Mother; May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant, Hear our prayers through thine.
Virgin all excelling, Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us, Pure and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless, Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus, Joy forevermore.
Through the highest heaven, To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit, One same glory be. Amen."
So who is the Key to the Father...Jesus, not Mary that I know of.
Who is Way...not Mary that I know of.
How do we possess salvation gifted by the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour...not by Mary that I know of.
Jesus, the Way to the Father
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.
12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, obey[d] my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[e] who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.[f] 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, “Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?”
23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. 24 Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. 25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. 28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. 29 I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.
30 “I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, 31 but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going.
So the way to the Father is by Jesus, need something, He and ONLY He is the One to ask. No mention or suggestion that Mary is in that equation that I know of.
The only other advocate/representative mentioned is the HOLY SPIRIT. The HOLY SPIRIT is not Mary that I know of.
This really isn't that complicated, but the fabricated alternative sure is complicated. Most lies get more tangled in the web.
Test all things, search the Scriptures, use the Scriptures to verify the Scriptures.
Far as I know, who was a mother of an only child? Not Mary that I'm aware of.
Stupid question: why the hell don't you just pray to Jesus instead of wasting time with Mary if she "just points to Jesus" as you claim? If she's really pointing to Jesus, then you should pray to HIM!
This seems like a big fat "DUH!".
Methinks there is a lot more to this than simply "pointing to Jesus".
I said I was giving up the whole Catholic "bashing" ( ) thing around here....
....but ever since CT came here and started bashing all of us on the head with the Catholic hammer...inundating this section with Catholic heretic hunts and such....
....I have to point out some things......hopefully I'm stilled allowed to express my personal beliefs and observations as much as CT is......
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