Father Claude Burns is Catholic priest at Holy Spirit Church in Evansville, Indiana. I first became aware of him when a teacher at my son's school (Radical Secularists, don't panic - he attends a Catholic High School) played for the students the viral rap video "Why I hate religion but love Jesus" and followed that bit by Father Burns' response. His video hammered away at every point brought up in the "Why I hate religion...” video and also provided very strong arguments in support of the necessity of organization in religion.
Firstly, a brief background on what started this:
Jefferson Bethke, a 22 year-old man, is apparently a Christian Evangelical or a Fundamentalist. A common theme of such organizations is that what they teach and believe is not religion. Religion is a term that they use to denigrate the beliefs of others. Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Mainline Protestantism, and other systems of faith are labeled as religion, while that to which they hold is spared that classification.
While Christianity and Judaism have developed their understandings over the centuries, always building on what was believed prior to them, the three groups named above do no such thing.
Evangelical and Fundamentalists, for example, start off with the assumption that doctrinal positions such as the definition of Jesus as God incarnate (Fully God and fully man), the person of Jesus being animated by a human soul, the belief that the Son (The person of the Trinity to become incarnate with man in Jesus) was not created by the Father, the Trinity itself, (Three persons in one God), the personhood of the Holy Spirit, et al, were all done deals for true believing Christians. All of these are held to have been believed by early Christians; no debate or Church proclamation was necessary.
This of course ignores the massive amount of time, labor, prayer, debate, and arguments that went into getting these doctrines defined in the manner that they are today. One account has our St. Nicholas of Myra (Yes Santa Claus) punching an advocate of Arianism (Belief that the Son was created by the Father and thus challenging the concept of the Trinity - not to be confused with "Aryan" people) at a Church Council (One of the reasons that I still like Santa). If my memory serves me correctly, the brawl was at the Council of Chalcedon. Many believers were terribly persecuted by other Christians who held to heretical beliefs in the early Church. St Athanasius of Alexandria, for example, was a wanted man for a long time due to his defense of the Son's proceeding from the Father without being created.
Even the Bible was far from a done deal. The general claim by Evangelicals/Fundamentalists that, even with all the books that were being written, read, and used for preaching, real Christians just knew what books belonged in the Bible. This ignores all the debates that went on at Church Councils, ending with the Council of Carthage, which centered on what books were to be considered inspired by God and thus to become parts of our Bibles. The question as to what books were to be included the Bible was determined by a religious body.
With Leftists, the assumption is that everything is and has been about class struggle. Nothing about the history of societal, cultural, or economic development is taken into account unless it is to demonize it.
Islam starts off with the assumption that the Koran is the perfect collection of God’s word. Contrary to the willingness of Christians and Jews to allow for critical research into the origins Old and New Testaments, no such allowance can be made in Islamic thought. This even despite the tremendous amount of evidence now known that the Koran appears to have a Syro-Aramaic Christian basis that existed long before Mohammed.
Ok, back to Jefferson’s ‘Why I hate religion…” video.
Jefferson holds that his beliefs, and presumably those of the local Church with which he probably has fellowship, do not count as religion. This ignores the very meaning of the word religion. The root of the word means “Binding” or “to bind”. Jesus, in whom Jefferson professes belief, states that his “yoke is light”. A yoke binds an animal to service. When Jesus said that his yoke is light, he was not saying that his teachings do not bind but that the burdens of his teachings are minuscule compared to those of the first century Jews, especially that of the Pharisees, who loaded all sorts of regulations on Jews to keep them from violating Jewish Law. They even sought to “build a fence around the Law” to help people avoid even coming near to breaking Jewish Law. So, Jesus never indicated that his teachings did not bind, but actually stated that they did as he used the word “yoke". Therefore, if one adheres to the teachings of Jesus, he is bound, and he thusly adheres to a religion.
At top is the video that body-slams atheistic thought. Note that he mentions the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch trials and contrasts those to the many tens of millions who have been murdered by Atheistic Marxist governments and movements. One may be shocked that 3,000 people in total were killed by the Inquisition, but the historical record actually shows a maximum of 3,000 people (Those who were part of Inquisition meticulously kept detailed records). The millions claimed by many through the years have been traced to anti-Catholic pamphleteers of the Netherlands and England in the days when Spain was hated up there and had to be demonized. There was an ongoing war as Spain was trying to assert her royal authority over the Netherlands. That event led to the launching of the Armada against England. The most precious of Inquisition-death claims is the often-cited 95,000,000 people. That number cannot work as the entire Continent of Europe did not have have that many people until the beginning of the 20th century. In fairness, Father Claude could have included the Witch trials of Protestant England and the Protestant regions of Germany. These were far worse. In the case of the latter, some sources hold that 100,000 went to the stake for witchcraft. Even if one includes those, though, we are still looking at a drop in the bucket when we compare these to the murders committed by Atheists tthroughout hisorty.