Triumph of Nature's God in my Life
by former Catholic Priest and current Deist, Ray Fontaine, Ph.D.
When Mexicans first welcome people into their home, they often say "my home is your home". In that spirit I welcome you to my home page. Consider it yours. You may print and copy, publish and disseminate all or part of it and its linked pages with or without attribution. What matters is that the truth about Nature's God enlighten the world like sunshine. It belongs to everyone.
My home page comprises four sections:
My transformation from priest to deist.
My autobiography - (published in
print in the year 2000)
a. for a brief account of my life, click here.
b. for nine excerpts from my book, click here
c. to order my autobiography, My Life With God IN and OUT of the Church, click here
My dialogues, essays, e-mails
- (all published on the Internet starting in 2002)
a. for a general introduction to these articles, click here.
b. for the dialogues, click here.
c. for the essays, click here.
d. for fictional e-mails from and to Pope Benedict 16 (starting in June 2005) and poems, click here.
My website - my memorial, click here.
Metamorphosis from Priest to Deist
1564 - 1642
The greatest inspiration for my metamorphosis from priest to deist came from my hero, the great astronomer and physicist, Galileo. We shared the same nemesis, the self-proclaimed infallible Roman Catholic Church.
Born in 1564, Galileo was raised Roman Catholic. At 10 years old, he began his formal education in a monastery with monks in charge. Thereafter, all through life, Galileo accepted the Church's teaching about supernatural entities and events, all of which defied human observation and verification.
For physical and natural realities, however, the scientist relied upon his mind. With his homemade telescopes, Galileo observed celestial phenomena that conflicted with Ptolemy's ancient theory that the sun rotates around a stationary earth. Galileo promoted the contrary theory of the Polish astronomer Copernicus (d. 1543) who believed that the earth circles around the sun.
After consulting with the Pope's theologians, the Inquisition, under the Pope's direct control, declared Galileo's theory heretical because the Bible clearly states that "the sun rises and the sun goes down." The Pope's court silenced Galileo and put him under house arrest for life.
Before his death, Galileo boldly broke his enforced silence and wrote a book entitled "The Dialogue" expressing his unshaken belief that the earth circles around the sun. He was right, of course, and the Pope was wrong.
Like Galileo, I was born and bred in a Catholic home. Later, nuns provided my entire primary education. At 13, I entered a seminary where I lived with priests during 14 years, secluded from the world. When I studied theology, the professor stressed that the infallibility of the Pope was like the keystone of an arch. It held up all the Catholic doctrines, one tenet on the other. When my Catholic indoctrination was complete, a bishop ordained me priest, forever bound by obedience to the Pope. I began preaching the Roman Catholic doctrine with confidence because I believed in the infallibility of the Pope.
When I started hearing confessions, however, penitents revealed the anguish caused them by several harsh regulations of the Church. The most troubling was its condemnation of all birth control devices, such as condoms and pills. Before long I began to question the Church's authority in such matters.
At that time, I lacked the leisure for a serious review of the Church's teaching authority and infallibility. Later, however, during five years of missionary work in Africa, I spent many evenings under the stars recalling the most egregious errors of the Church. For example, the Church organized a crusade to destroy Albigensian heretics. The Church exchanged spiritual indulgences for money. The Church created the Inquisition to eliminate heretics by all possible means including torture and execution . The Church arrested Galileo and forbade him to teach that the earth most probably circles around the sun.
Normally the teaching of the Church dealt with supernatural phenomena, all beyond human perception and verification. These could not be disproved. They could only be believed or not. Confident that the rotation of the sun around the earth could never be disproved scientifically, the Papal Inquisition declared it the truth. Unfortunately for the Church and luckily for mankind, science eventually proved that Galileo was right and the Pope was wrong.
After five years of review and reflection, I no longer believed in the infallibility of the Pope and his Church. When this keystone of my faith cracked and smashed into smithereens, all the doctrines that I had believed solely on the Church's authority also crumbled into rubble. But my belief in God remained intact because nature, not the Pope, had revealed to my mind his existence, intelligence and power.
Galileo never needed the Pope and his Church to tell him the relationship between the sun and the earth. The universe revealed itself and its Creator to Galileo. So did nature reveal its all powerful and intelligent Creator to my mind. Like Galileo I did not need the Church to tell me that.
Nor do I depend upon the Church to instruct me how and where and when to worship my Creator. Among my roses during the day and under the stars in the evening, I can whisper a simple "Alleluia" which means "Praise the Lord". God does not need more; nor do I.
After Galileo's death in 1642, not one of the 29 successive popes during 350 years ever admitted any wrongdoing against Galileo. In 1992, however, Pope John Paul II formally acknowledged that the Church had made a mistake in condemning Galileo.
Eight years later, on March 12, 2000, the Pope offered a public apology for the abuses of power of the Church. Between 1000-1750, myriads of Jews and Christians died at the hands of Catholic inquisitors and crusaders. The Pope acknowledged that the Church had made mistakes, terrible mistakes, sins of devastating consequences.
After the Pope publicly admitted the gross errors and crimes of the Catholic Church, I felt free to speak about them in my autobiography. They were the reason that I no longer believed in her infallibility and teaching authority. I had to leave the Church and the priesthood.
End of section one.
To return to beginning of home page, click here.
The title of my book is: My Life with God IN and OUT of the Church
The cover portrays the gist of my story. Like a bird that escapes from a man-made cage and returns to nature, so too I fled the Roman Catholic Church, leaving behind its unverifiable teaching of an entire supernatural world. Like the bird, I returned to nature and, lo and behold, its structures and laws presuppose an intelligent Creator. Nature reveals the existence of God.
If this book had been published around the year 1500, in the heyday of the Inquisition, I would have been hauled into an ecclesiastical court. There, cardinals and bishops would have charged me with heresy. If I did not retract my statements about the Church and her dogmas, the court would have used torture to change my mind. Had I remained steadfast, I would have been burned at the stake, as was Savonarola in 1498.
Savonarola’s preaching focused on the Roman Catholic Church and exposed its corruption and crimes. He wanted to reform the Church. That is not my aim. My book is about me and my life with God in and out of the Church. It does not attack the Church and its doctrine. I simply want to answer the frequent questions of relatives, neighbors and friends. They ask, "Why did you leave the priesthood and the Church?" Until now in conversations and letters, I never provided an adequate response to their query. This book should put that question to rest.
After reading the reasons why I left the priesthood, my friends will be relieved to learn that I never abandoned God. My belief in the Creator is now based not on the word of other people but on the universe that he created. Looking at the wonders in the sky and on earth, I see that the Creator is almighty, intelligent and good. In my heart I praise and thank God. For this basic and pristine religion, I do not need preachers or priests or popes telling me what to believe.
If my friends and readers believe in organized religion and find comfort and strength in its teaching, I am happy for them. I remember the inspiration, solace and peace that I received in Church. Such faith enriches life on earth and promises eternal happiness in heaven. I held on to it as long as I could and most probably so will they.
But if the teaching of their Religious Body should ever become burdensome, it might help to know that many people remain close to God on their own. My story could encourage some who have become disenchanted with their religious group to establish an independent and personal relationship with God.
A Brief Account of My Life
(You can skip this brief bio and hasten to subsection 2b for excerpts from my book or to section 3 for my essays and dialogs all related to Deism)
1. My Birth and Early Childhood (1917-1922) - [ 7 pages].
Seven hours after my birth and a bath, I was rushed to the Church for baptism. By this ritual, I reportedly received the grace of faith to believe the doctrine of the Church. This is what my parents had learned from the priest in Church. Then my parents passed it along to me while also teaching me how to walk and talk and how to play and pray.
2. My Early Environment (1922-1931) - [12 pages].
In my childhood environment, the dominant influences in my Catholic indoctrination, besides my family, were the nuns teaching in school, the priest preaching in church, and my numerous Catholic relatives. I socialized only with them, never with non-Catholics. My early social environment was 100% pure Catholic with no one questioning the Church's authority and teaching.
3. Minor Seminary (1931-1937) - [17 pages].
At thirteen years old, I entered a seminary which provided free bed and board and a high school and college education to teenagers who were interested in becoming priests. Contact with the outside world was limited to my family. Every Sunday, I wrote a letter to my parents. They visited me a few hours once a month and in the summer I spent two months at home. Within the seminary walls, I was cut off from the world: no radio, no newspaper. I could have left the seminary at any time but this was the only way for me to become a priest.
4. Temptation and Initiation (1937-1939) - [12pages].
In 1937, on my way to the priesthood, I had to choose between romance headed for marriage or the religious life leading to the priesthood. I chose the latter and entered the novitiate of a religious order. I endured two years of training similar in some respects to the initiation practices of primitive cultures. They included: isolation from family, indoctrination and hardship. Both initiations ended in a celebration. While the primitive youth danced and chanted with exuberant joy, I knelt motionless and silent before the solemn and serious Father Superior representing the Pope himself.
5. The Study of Philosophy (1939-1941) - [12 pages].
During two years, totally secluded from the world, I probed the basic principles of being. Without using any revelations reputedly from God, I relied upon my mind as did the Greek philosopher Aristotle (322 BC). After reflecting upon the wonders of nature, I concluded that an eternal, powerful, intelligent and good being, who has always existed, created our universe. On that basis alone, God deserves reverence, gratitude, and praise - the quintessence of religion.
6. My Study of Christ's Revelation (1941-1945) - [16 pages].
Besides the entire physical world of planets and stars and besides all natural life on earth, there is, says the Church, the non-physical world of heaven and hell and the supernatural life of humans on earth. The Church bases its doctrines on the teaching of Jesus which the evangelist Mark recorded in a few pages. Later the Church's theologians revealed the implications and ramifications of Christ's simple message in thousands of tomes. I read Mark's compact report in four minutes and spent four years thumbing through the Church's elaborate theology.
7. Priest and Professor in Cleveland (1948-1955) - [11 pages].
After becoming a priest in 1945 and a PhD in 1948, I began teaching philosophy to candidates for the priesthood. I disregarded the Church's wishes that I teach philosophy in Latin (a dead language) and taught the seminarians in English. For the next 20 years, the Church insisted that I pray the mass and administer most sacraments, like Baptism, in Latin. I had to comply or face suspension.
While advising troubled persons in and out of the confessional, I realized their hopeless plight caused by the Church's rigid laws against birth control devices and second marriages for divorced Catholics. Unable to suggest that the distraught ignore the Church, I advised them to follow their conscience. Doubts about the Church's authority crossed my mind but I dismissed them quickly fearing their logical conclusion.
8. Rector of a Minor Seminary (1955-1961) - [9 pages].
During these years, while administering a seminary, I continued my priestly ministry on weekends. One day, a young lady, whom an alcoholic husband had abandoned, came to my office with two young children and asked for help. Before long, my compassion turned into passion. For two years I led a double life: that of a priest and that of a lover. The affair stopped when my superior assigned me to work in the Philippines.
9. The Snake Pit of Hypocrisy (June 1961) - [14 pages].
Two months later, I headed for Manila. During the weeklong trip by train and ship, I read Sinclair Lewis's caricature of the religious hypocrite, Elmer Gantry. Then I reread Christ's stern condemnation of hypocrites. I had become what Jesus and I hated most - a hypocrite. My natural love of woman and my vow of celibacy were irreconcilable. Deliberately I chose the natural life which includes physical love as created by God rather than the unnatural life of celibacy imposed by the Church on its priests. Upon arriving in Hawaii, I exchanged my airplane ticket to Manila for a return ticket to New York.
10. A Fish out of Water (May 1961- March 1962) - [10 pages].
After a long lonely trip, I arrived in Albany, N.Y. with little money, no work experience, no references and no social support. A kind Jew offered me a job. Within days, my life changed from the noble ministry of a priest to the humble labor of a carpenter. My co-workers changed from cultured priests to uncouth laborers. My activities changed from offering holy mass to sawing wood and banging nails. My social life dwindled from a flock of friends to only one, my lover. Within weeks an overwhelming depression smothered all emotions and interests. My friend remarked that I resembled a fish out of water flapping about, slowly dying. Fearing the worst, she suggested that I best flap back into the Church and try to revive my faith. Believing she was right, I called my religious superior and was welcomed back into the Church like the prodigal son.
11. My Mission in Africa (April 1962- August 1967) - [38 pages].
Assigned to missionary work in Africa, I built a school complex during the day and tried to rebuild my Catholic faith in the evening. The basis for the Church's doctrines is supernatural, all of them beyond human perception and verification. It cannot be proven right nor proven wrong. All Catholic doctrines are simply believed on the credibility of the Church which claims infallibility.
The Church's credibility itself became incredible as I reviewed its long history of humongous errors. The same people, who proclaimed supernatural dogmas like Christ's divinity, committed crimes against humanity. Popes organized crusades to kill infidels and created the Inquisition to torture and execute heretics. The Pope's henchmen condemned Galileo for proposing that the earth circled around the sun. My review of the Church's innumerable errors continued for months.
At the end, the Church's credibility had dissolved into nothing, allowing me to leave the Church definitively without any doubt and guilt. My mind was finally free of the supernatural. I was content with the natural world which included all my fellow-creatures in the universe with one thing in common - our Creator.
12. Refugee relief work in Vietnam (1968-April 1975) - .
After six months of drudgery, I found satisfying work in war torn Vietnam. During the day, I provided shelter and food to countless refugees driven from their homes by battle. In the evening I wondered about God's role in refugee relief.
In camps, where the relief workers were caring and diligent, the refugees fared well. Many of them credited God for these blessings. In other camps, where refugee relief workers were lazy and negligent, the refugees were miserable. Many among them blamed God for not answering their prayers for help.
Was God responsible for the success or failure of refugee relief? Did God intervene and alter the normal course of events in this situation? Did he intervene elsewhere on earth? Or did he allow all his creatures to develop and operate with their innate forces?
After seven years of reflection, I came to the conclusion that most probably God does not intervene and alter the normal course of nature - not even upon the request of humans. He lets his creatures exploit their resources, while getting help from and giving help to their fellow-creatures. Nevertheless, as Creator of this world, God deserves praise and gratitude for what his creatures helping one another can accomplish.
13. A Helping Hand to my Neighbors (1976-2000) - .
When I left Vietnam, after reviewing God's role in refugee relief there, I believed that God expected creatures to survive by exploiting their full potential and also by relying on one another for help. On the helicopter fleeing Vietnam, I resolved to play my part in God's Providence by lending a hand to my fellow- humans.
Some months later, I helped to get wells drilled for the poor Chadians near the Sahara Desert. Then I helped to save a struggling day care center of 90 children. Later I hurried to help my brother, Robert, a victim of cancer. With others I helped to make his last days comfortable and pleasant. Finally, since May 20, 1995 until now September 18, 2001, I have spent every day caring for my paralyzed wife. I have not asked God to intervene and restore Minh's health. I believe that he expects me to take care of Minh until death. I willingly and proudly participate in God's grand plan of providing for his creatures.
14. The Last Sunset (2000-20??) - .
While perusing books in the Seal Beach library, I chanced upon Michelangelo's grandiose painting of The Last Judgment. It portrays Jesus banishing the sinners to hell while beckoning the righteous to heaven. The righteous are stretching out their arms to help others reach heaven.
Then I opened St. Matthews's Gospel and read Christ's description of the Last Judgment. He too separates the righteous from the damned. The sole criterion for his judgment is whether or not people have helped their neighbor in need.
So, if the Church is right and I am wrong about the eventuality of a last judgment, I still have nothing to fear because I have spent my entire life helping my neighbor.
End of Subsection 2a
To return to the beginning of home page, click here.
Nine Excerpts of My Book
My book exposes many blunders of the Roman Catholic Church. It claims infallibility in its doctrines. It bans birth control. It annuls marriages. It bans divorce. It entices teenagers into minor seminaries. It imposes clerical celibacy. It will not ordain women to serve as priests.
Copies of the book can be purchased by sending a money order or check for ten dollars which includes the cost of delivery by media mail in the US. Send orders to: P.O. Box 4052, Clearwater, FL 33758. Or to order online, please click here. To return to the beginning of home page, click here
My Dialogues and Essays and E-Mails all Related to Deism
(updated in December 2007)
in the year 2000
Introduction to My Articles
The purpose of my book was to comfort and hearten people who have become disenchanted with their religious group. My story could show them how to establish a personal and independent relationship with Nature's God.
At my age in the eighties and occupied with giving care to my paralyzed wife, I lack the time to write another book or even lengthy treatises about Deism. But I can manage to write a brief monthly article and deliver a set of triplets on the Internet every quarter. This I will do as I can.
By September 2005, I had published forty-five articles all related to Deism. At first I rambled a bit looking for the best way for me, in my present situation, to proclaim Nature's God. Now I have established my personalized method to make known our Creator.
From the start, I acknowledge that my understanding of God is limited to what my reason can observe and verify in Nature with the help of great scientists. I then focus on the amazing structures and laws in Nature. Just as a painting clearly requires a painter, I am sure that the designs in Nature call for a Designer.
Besides God's existence, can my reason know something more about him? Yes! It took great minds to uncover the basic structures and laws of Nature. Only a genius like Einstein could figure out that everywhere in this universe energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. Two other scientists, Crick and Watson, determined the double helix structure of the DNA molecule. If it took great intelligence simply to identify these structures and laws, it required even greater intelligence to design and embed them chemically and organically in Nature.
If Nature shows us that its Creator is supremely intelligent, by the same token it seems to me, Nature indicates that God is supremely powerful. If the Creator fashioned these structures and laws in Nature, he must be able to achieve much, much more on earth. For God, it's not a question of power but of will.
For all Deists, God has the knowledge and the power to alter the normal course of Nature. Believing this at Valley Forge, George Washington, a Deist, prayed to God for victory, hoping against hope that God would intervene. Despite huge obstacles, the Americans won that battle and the war. But nobody ever knew whether or not God directly intervened.
As for Washington, so for me, another Deist, I prayed to God in my distress after leaving the Church and the priesthood. During my metamorphosis from priest to deist, many good things happened to me. But I could never trace any of them back to God. Always, people and events could account for my blessings. After sometime, I stopped asking God for help, relying on my resources and those of other people and the environment. I now firmly believe that God does not intervene in the normal course of nature and in human affairs. In a word, I am grateful for his creation of the world and I respect his will that to survive on earth all creatures must get help from and give help to one another. On earth, direct, divine intervention is not in God's plan.
Before revealing my personalized method to promote Deism, let me make a further observation. For several millenniums between 4500 B.C.-100 A.D., humans commonly believed in many gods. Then around 2000 B.C., a small group of humans, the Israelites, embraced the idea of only one God. By 500 A.D. monotheism had replaced polytheism in the world.
Oppressed by enemies, the Israelites turned to their God for help. According to legends, later compiled in the Bible, God made revelations about his predilection for the Israelites. The Bible also revealed how God helped the Israelites in many ways.
In the first century A.D., a new collection of books appeared reporting new revelations from God. The hero of these tales was the Israelite called Jesus and his followers were called Christians. This group considered themselves God's newest preferred people.
The Israelites were the descendents of Abraham through his son, Isaac. Other descendents of Abraham through a second son, Ishmael, were the Arabs. Around 600 A.D., one of these, named Mohammed, claimed to have received a new revelation from God. As recorded in the Koran, the Arabs considered themselves the new favorites of God.
These three separate revelations were later interpreted by their followers in various ways, multiplying God's reputed revelations a hundredfold.
What humans had now was not a multiplicity of gods but a multiplicity of revelations from the same one God. These revelations differed from each other not only in style but in substance.
These varying and often contradictory revelations all stemming from the same God boggle my mind. They lead me to believe that those disparate revelations did not come from God but from different humans all with agendas of their own. This accounts for the confusion and conflict between the Jews, the Arabs and the Christians down the ages to the present.
If and when, some of their members no longer believe in the truth of those contrary, questionable and unverifiable revelations, they may be ready to embrace the one verifiable revelation of God in Nature. Using his reason, any Jew, Arab and Christian can accept what true scientists observe and verify in Nature: namely, its structures and laws presuppose an intelligent Creator. All humans could then believe in the one and the same God who is responsible for the existence of all his creatures.
The odds of my influencing many to abandon their religious preference and embrace Nature's God are well nigh zero. But if I can help 10 persons, each of whom can assist 10 others and so forth, the word will spread slowly at first and then exponentially. That's my dream.
A born optimist, I dislike the negative attitude. I much prefer the positive approach to everything including our knowledge of God. He is the Creator of Nature whose structures and laws presuppose an intelligent Maker.
Since Nature reveals nothing more about its Creator, my knowledge of God is simple: He exists and He is supremely intelligent and undoubtedly supremely powerful, period!
While writing my first articles on the Internet, trying to keep them positive, I remembered my metamorphosis from priest to deist. After being brainwashed in Catholicism for many years, I found it impossible to reconcile the Catholic Church's condemnation of birth control and divorce with my idea of a loving God. So I carefully researched the history of the Church and uncovered humongous errors in her behavior and doctrines. Soon I no longer believed in her teaching authority. So I logically rejected what she said about God and I relied on my reason for my idea of the Creator. As much as I would have preferred to hold on to the Church's grandiose portrayal of God, I could not ignore her errors. Pondering on them for months I was able to break away from the Church's clutches and embrace the Deist concept of God.
Billions continue to hold on to their beliefs in God as falsely presented by the Catholic Church and other Christian Churches as well as by Jewish and Muslim clergymen. Most of those billion believers cannot shake off their religious chains by themselves. Only if someone takes a hard look at the errors of his religious leaders, some of whom are guilty of gross misconduct, can he lose confidence in their teaching authority and leadership. Their doctrines will tumble with their disgrace.
After months of reflection and considering my age and full-time care of my paralyzed spouse, I have chosen the following method for spreading the truth of Deism. I will give priority to the positive approach and choose happy news and write optimistic articles about Nature's God.
I will never dig up scandals and the disgraceful conduct of persons who promote revealed religions. I will never be the first to disclose their errors and discredit their authority and doctrines. However, when their misconduct and errors are made public by the press on papers, in magazines, on TV and over the Internet, when the whole world knows about their misconduct, I will feel free to make comments in articles. Whenever possible, I will let Nature's God appearing in my dreams express his mind on the subject. Coming from the benevolent Creator, His disapproval will be more acceptable than mine.
Since Nature's God does not intervene directly in human affairs but lets humans help one another, I write these articles to inform people about God. If people choose not to read my articles or, having read them, to disregard and discard them, I respect their right to believe what they please. Since Nature's God does not pressure them to believe in Him, nor will I. If not now, perhaps later, someone can take another look. The structures and laws created by God will remain in nature forever and so will my articles stay on the Web, not forever but indefinitely. Both are waiting for people who want to know God as revealed in Nature.
To return to the beginning of home page, click here.
dialogues appear here in the order they were written:
the oldest, first; the newest, last. They can be clicked as desired.
1. How Best Promote Deism
Aesop suggests and God approves that, like the successful fables of Aesop, my dialogues about Deism should be brief stories, featuring lively conversations between remarkable characters, about a single simple message. For this dialogue, click Aesop.
2. God and Einstein Hold that Nature Reveals its Creator
In a heart to heart conversation with Einstein, God agrees that the structures and laws in nature suffice to reveal the existence and intelligence of its Maker. Moreover Einstein does not require further divine revelations to inspire a rapturous amazement of God's work. Nor does God desire a greater religious reaction and rituals from Einstein and mankind. For this dialogue, click Einstein
3. Papal Infallibility is a Fraud
In a dialogue with the Pope, God denies having assumed Mary into heaven and having guaranteed infallibility to Popes. He tells the Pope that he should admit publicly the falsehood of that claim. The Pope first balks, then he promises to comply but never does. For this dialogue, click Pope
4.The Canonization of Saints is a Sham
Conversing with the Pope, God
reminds him that the validity of canonizing saints rests on a complex
structure of presuppositions, none of which can be verified. They do not
exist. The Pope should scrap the practice of canonization. The Pope protests
but God prevails. For this dialogue,
click John Paul II.
5. The One True God and His One
God commends Abraham for rejecting
the diverse deities and believing in one God. What the world in conflict needs
now, God says, is to let go of their beliefs in divergent divine revelations
that divide people. Diverse religious revelations do not come from God who
cannot contradict himself. The only true revelation of God's existence and
intelligence is in the structures and laws of nature. This single and simple
belief in God could unite humans and help them live together in peace. For
this dialogue, click Abraham.
6. God and the Pope Discuss
When the Episcopalian Church recently confirmed an
openly gay minister as bishop, the Pope declared anew that homosexuality is
immoral and contrary to nature. In my dream, God reminded the Pope that nature
routinely produces variations that are equally physical and biological.
Homosexuality is not simply psychological and a matter of choice. For this
dialogue, click homosexuality.
7. The Misconduct of Preachers
Undermines Their Authority and Message
The misconduct of medieval
Catholic bishops destroyed the confidence of thousands in their integrity and
message. Today the misconduct of pedophile priests has shaken the confidence
of many people not only in the priests but also in their bishops and the
Church. They are looking elsewhere for enlightenment. They can find it in
nature. The designs and structures and laws of nature presuppose the existence
and intelligence of a Supreme Being. Nature is the only reliable revelation of
God. For this dialogue, click nature
8. The Pope Perpetuates His
Legacy by Stacking the College of Cardinals
During his reign, Pope John
Paul II controlled with a iron hand all the doctrines and regulations of the
Church. To ensure that his legacy will survive after his death, the Pope
carefully selected and appointed only cardinals that fully embraced his
policies. After the Pope's death, the college of cardinals will surely elect
someone who holds the same views as the current Pope. In mid-October the Pope
added 31 cardinals to ensure the required majority. That is a fail-safe system
that perpetuates legacies for centuries. For this dialogue,
click stacking the college of
9. God and Jesus Swap Stories about Themselves
God denies any involvement in the events reported in the Bible and in their publication. Jesus says that he cannot recall any of the miracles and preaching attributed to him in the Gospels. For this dialogue, click stories about Jesus and God.
10. Mel Gibson's "The Passion of
God and the Pope discuss the
film and settle whether or not the Pope said, "It is as it was". For this
dialogue, click God and Gibson.
11. What God Thinks about Same-Sex Marriages
God discusses with Thomas Jefferson the differences between what the Bible falsely says and what Nature truly reveals. For this dialogue, click God and Jefferson.
12. Today, as Yesterday, Jesus
Teaches a Vital Lesson
God and Thomas Jefferson agree that, like Jesus, Deists should teach the simple message of Deism with short stories from nature and today's world. For that dialogue, click here.
13. No Communion for Pro-Choice Politicians and Their Supporters
God and Pope Paul VI, buried in 1978, discuss this injunction of Pope John Paul II. For that dialogue, click here.
14. The After-Life of President Ronald Reagan
God reminds the President that the only after-life for humans is to live in the mind and heart of living humans. For that dialogue, click here.
15. Was Egypt's King Ikhnaton a Deist?
God discusses this question with Ikhnaton himself and determines that the King qualified. For that dialogue, click here.
16. Is There a Heaven for Humans?
The Pope answers, "Yes". I say, "No" and so does Nature's God in a dream of mine. For that dialogue, click here.
17. Does Nature Let Humans Know that God Exists?
Like Einstein, Deists believe that the designs in nature presuppose a supremely intelligent Designer. He exists. For this dialogue, click here.
To return to beginning of home page, click here.
essays appear here in the order they were written:
the oldest, first; the newest, last. They can be clicked as desired.
1. The Scandal of Pedophile
The current scandal of pedophile
priests, like earlier scandals in the Medieval Church, will surely shake the
faith of many Catholics who will quietly drift away from the Church. Like me
they can find enlightenment and comfort in the structures and laws of nature
that presuppose an intelligent Creator. That is the only verifiable revelation
of God. For the complete text, click
2. Designs in Nature as Those in
Caves required a Designer
In 1940, cave paintings dating
back 17,000 years were discovered in Southern France. The paintings do not
reveal who the artist was, nor how he looked but simply that he existed. No
one doubts that. There are designs, structures and laws everywhere in nature.
They presuppose a super intelligent Maker. He exists.
For the full text, click Nature's God.
3. The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving in
With the help of the Indians, the Pilgrims produced a great harvest that saved them from starvation. Together they celebrated their success. They feasted, danced, played games and gave thanks to the Indians' Great Spirit and to the Christians' God who were one and the same benefactor. There were no rituals, no public prayers, no priests - only a heartfelt sentiment of gratitude for God's handiwork in nature. For the complete text, click Thanksgiving.
4. Paradise Lost
After I stopped believing in the Church's dogmas, friends asked which did I miss most. It was the loss of an after-life in paradise. The prospect of ceasing to exist was hard to swallow at first. Now I accept the law of nature that all living things on earth, including me, will die. For the full text, click paradise lost.
5. Pope John Paul II versus Albert Einstein`
To summarize the supernatural revelation of God proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope wrote a book of 2865 paragraphs in 688 pages. Einstein expressed nature's revelation of God in one sentence. For the complete text, click Pope John Paul II versus Albert Einstein in the Revelation of God
6. How I Relate to my Living God and to my Deceased Dad
To God and my dad, I owe my existence. For both I have feelings of reverence and gratitude. To honor my dad, I do not go to a shrine; I do not need rituals, incense and chants; I do not need priests to tell me how to do this. Nor do I need all that to honor and thank God. A whispered "alleluia" suffices for God and for me. For the full text, click God and Dad.
7. When I Lost Faith in the Church,
I Lost Hope for an Afterlife
God makes it clear that the only true revelation of God is that of nature. Its structures and laws presuppose an Intelligent Creator. All other revelations are fabricated, such as that of an afterlife for humans. For the complete text, click afterlife.
8. Two Different Paintings of God
Michelangelo portrays the belief of most humans that they owe their existence to the Creator of the universe. Weistling depicts the belief of a minority of humans that, when Mary caressed her child, she was kissing the face of God. For this essay, click two paintings of God.
9. The Role of Santa Claus in my Life
As a child, I believed in Santa for a few years. Later as a priest, I never mentioned Santa in my preaching because the Church considered him irrelevant to salvation and a distraction from Jesus and God. After I left the priesthood and the Church, I frequently played the role of Santa, dressed like him, for the innocent amusement of children. For this essay, click Santa in my life.
10. Human Life as Originated by God and Terminated at Death
Nature's structures and laws presupposes an
intelligent creator. Nature reveals THAT God exists but not What he is. Nature
shows that all living organisms eventually die. Nature says nothing about an
afterlife for humans. For this essay,
click no evidence of an afterlife for humans.
11. The Bible's God is Losing
Ground, Making Room for Nature's God
Despite the formidable assets
of the Roman Catholic Church: its organization, personnel, finances and
physical property, the Church has suffered a severe decline in the last 50
years. People are leaving the Church in droves. Many are finding refuge in the
revelation of nature that God exists and can be reached without the Church and
its priests, bishops and Pope. For this essay,
12. Obeying God, a Mother Stoned
Her Children to Death
In the Bible, when God orders the stoning of disobedient and stubborn children, he reveals himself as the grotesque creation of a sick mind. But the Pope insists that the Bible reveals only the truth. For this essay, click here.
13. Thomas Paine about Existence
Thomas Paine's desire for an afterlife turned into a belief, even a conviction while all of Nature indicated the opposite. For this essay, click here.
14. A Nature's Bible for All Who
Believe in Nature's God
Every National Geographic Magazine reports the wonders of Nature whose structures and laws reveal the existence of its intelligent and powerful Creator. For this essay, click here.
15. Not a Prophet but a Lowly
Voice for Nature's God
For my information on God and the future, I rely only on what Nature reveals and on what true scientists observe and predict. For this essay, click here.
16. Is God in Our Genes?
From the human gene VMAT2, the scientist Dean Hamer does not know if God exists but as a deist philosopher I do. For this essay, click here
17. As I Think, So I Act.
All my life I acted as I thought best, first as a priest and then as a deist. For this essay, click here
18. An Ex-atheist and an Ex-priest Embrace Deism
Two philosophers in their eighties, who were poles apart in their thoughts about God for a half-century, finally agree that the designs and structures in nature presuppose and required at their origin a Being of supreme intelligence. For this essay, click here.
19. Theories of Origin:
Creationism, Evolution, and Intelligent Design
Should science teachers in high schools mention to their students the theory of Intelligent Design? For the pros and cons, click here.
20. Pope John Paul II Said that
Priests Change Bread into Christ's Living Body.
After becoming a priest in 1945, I celebrated Mass about 8,000 times and consecrated about 500,000 hosts for Communion. When I left the priesthood in 1967, I no longer believed in the Catholic Church and its doctrines including that about my changing bread into the living Body of Christ. For this essay, click here.
21. The Smile and Soul of Pope
John Paul II
Pope John Paul II knew that he had a smile and believed that he also had a spiritual and immortal soul. As regards the final resurrection of all mankind, the Pope thought and taught that his soul will reanimate his former body and restore his smile for all eternity. Millions believe that he was right, while billions, including myself, think he was mistaken. For this essay, click here.
To return to beginning of home page, click here
E-mails to and from the Pope
After revealing my relationship with God in my autobiography published in the year 2000, I continued to express my thoughts about God in essays and dialogues published on the Internet. As of today, June 15, 2005, I will be adding a third format for expressing thoughts about Nature's God. I will use e-mails.
I have reserved the e-mails in subsection 3c for colloquies between two persons: Pope Benedict 16 and myself. Since I cannot converse with the Pope in his chambers, I will do so in reveries at my computer. To keep these day-dreams well-informed about the Pope, I will closely follow the news about him: what he says, where he goes and also what he's doing.
I trust that my reveries will reflect my true self. I want the TRUTH about God and of the world especially about humankind. At my age nearing 90, I don't have time for reputed divine revelations originated millenniums ago and later elaborated in many different ways.
Perhaps by chance the Pope will read my e-mails as he did my autobiography five years ago. If that happens, my e-mails may influence him to focus more attention on God who created the world and not on the god that humans have created and exalted in pseudo holy books. If the Pope is not enlightened by my e-mails, other people will be. My essays and dialogues mentioned above have already enlightened many readers who were searching the Internet for the truth about God. I often receive e-mails thanking me for my help. The e-mails between Pope Benedict 16 and myself should succeed as well. I will never stop believing in the eventual triumph of Nature's God and striving to hasten the dawn of that happy day.
Let me repeat that the e-mails attributed here to Pope Benedict 16 are wholly fictions of mine based on what I have read in the press and what I have seen on television. If anything here seems disrespectful of the Pope to some people, I'm sorry. His Holiness has my full respect, as he deserves, for following his personal sincere beliefs.
1. The Pope and I
agree on Discussions by E-mails
June 15, 2005
After following the news reporting the ceremonies of Pope Benedict 16's inauguration, I retired and tossed about in bed for a while and finally fell asleep. Soon my subconscious portrayed the Pope sitting at his computer writing me an e-mail. He was alone. To read his message and my response, click here
2. The Pope and I Discuss Papal
Infallibility and Mary's Assumption
June 17, 2005
At the Pope's request, I have chosen the topic of our first discussion. A fundamental question is that of papal infallibility. To prove that the Pope is or is not infallible, we could thumb through the old and new testaments of the Bible and the history of the Church. But within the constrictions of an e-mail, it will suffice to give one glaring example of a daring infallible declaration of a Pope on a shaky basis. One error would shatter his repute as infallible. To read this exchange of ideas, click here.
3. The Pope and I Discuss the
The Co-authorship of our E-mails
July 30, 2005
The Pope asks why I chose him to co-author my e-mails and to express anew my purpose in writing such articles. To read this exchange of e-mails, click here.
4. The Pope and I Discuss the
Existence of Spiritual Human Souls
August 15, 2005
I remind the Pope that nothing in nature requires spiritual human souls. The Pope holds on to the belief of human spiritual souls because they are immortal, living on in heaven where Mary and Jesus live with God. This idea is comforting, inspiring and beautiful. For this discussion, click here.
5. Who are Better Off: Believers
or Nonbelievers in the Supernatural?
September 2, 2005
I compare the life of the Pope with mine. We shared a similar first half of our lives as priests, both believing in a lot of supernatural. In midlife, I went through a stage of transformation. Reflecting upon the heinous crimes of the Church in the middle ages and its present irrational opposition to birth control, divorce and a married clergy, I concluded that the Church was clearly a human institution. I no longer believed in its supernatural teachings. Now I believe in the Intelligence that is evident in the designs of nature. I also consider myself better off now than when I believed in the supernatural complexities of the Church. For this e-mail, click here.
6. The Pope and I Discuss God's
Hand in Hurricane Katrina
September 13, 2005
Someone asked the question: Why Didn't God Divert Katrina Offshore? I answer that Nature reveals that the designs in nature presuppose a Supreme Intelligence and says nothing about that Intelligence's connection to Katrina. The Pope agrees with me, adding that the Bible's description of the flood in Noah's time may throw some light on the possible connection between God and Katrina. God may have let it happen as a warning to humans to stop the violence worldwide. What happened in ancient times can happen again! For this e-mail, click here.
7. Do Miracles on Earth Require
a Supernatural Miracle Worker?
September 18, 2005
Pope Benedict 16 submits a theory patterned on that of Intelligent Design. Just as intelligent designs in nature presuppose a Supreme Intelligent Agent, so do true miracles beyond the potential of nature require a Supreme Miracle-Maker. The task is to establish miracles that are beyond the potential of nature. For these two e-mails, click here.
8. The Teaching of Intelligent Design in
the Science Classes of Public High Schools.
November 19, 2005
Pope Benedict 16 and I discuss the theory of Intelligent Design and agree that the Pope should wait until after the federal judge determines whether or not I.D. may be taught in the science classes of Dover's public high school. After that happens, the Pope may and should express publicly his endorsement of the theory of Intelligent Design. For this e-mail, click here.
E-mails to and from persons other than the Pope
1. The Pope, an Ex-priest and an
Ex-Methodist Recognize Nature's God
November 25, 2005
In a series of e-mails to each other, the above trio concur that they can correspond amicably because of the basic bond that holds them together - all believe in Nature's God. For these three e-mails, click here.
2. An E-mail From a Deist to the Judge
Who Ruled on the Intelligent Design Case
December 28, 2005
This e-mail addresses the decision by Judge John E. Jones who ruled that Intelligent Design cannot be taught in public school biology classes. It offers a fresh perspective on Intelligent Design. For this e-mail, click here.
3. An E-mail from a Deist to Pat
Robertson about Ariel Sharon's stroke.
This e-mail contrasts the opinion of Pat Robertson who believes in God as reputedly revealed in the Bible - a god capable of destroying humans who divide his land and as a warning to others who are thinking of doing the same. I believe in the Supreme Intelligence who is revealed in nature's designs and who does not intervene in the normal course of nature nor in human affairs. Creatures exploit their own potential getting help from and giving help to their fellow-creatures. For this e-mail, click here.
4. An E-mail in response to a question
implying Deism is too tough on the "revealed" religions.
Many basic but often overlooked principles are brought to the surface regarding the beautiful simplicity of Deism and which is in sharp contrast with the claims of the "revealed" religions of Christianity and Judaism. For this email, click here.
5. Gay Men Must Not Be Ordained Priests
As reported on the Internet by the Associated Press on Nov.12 and on Nov.29, and in an essay of Times Dec.12, the Pope ordered seminaries to oust all gay students and to refuse admission to all new gay aspirants. These are not suited to become priests. For this combination of e-mails, click here.
6. Hellfire Awaits Unrepentant
In declaring this condemnation, the Church seriously undermined its teaching authority. For this page, click here.
7. Albert Einstein, a Biologist, and a Deist All Agree on Nature's Supreme Intelligence
An e-mail exchange with a biologist brings out the Supreme Intelligence that makes Nature possible. For this page, click here.
8. Designs Embedded in Nature Presuppose Intelligence
I received an e-mail asking for my ideas on the theory of Intelligent Design. Here is my answer. For this page, click here.
9. A nine year old child corresponds with me.
It's great to be able to reach youngsters with Deism! For this page, click here.
10. The Triumph of Nature's God
A pessimist corresponds with me, an optimistic Deist. For this page, click here.
11. Replacing the Pope's God With Nature's God
A mother writes me with very serious life problems and questions. I direct her away from revealed religion and towards natural religion, Deism. For this page, click here.
12. The Notion of an Afterlife for Humans
A reader questions my belief that there is no afterlife for humans and my response. For this page, click here.
13. A Theologian Proposes a Colloquy with Me
A friendly exchange of ideas on God and religion with a fellow former Catholic Priest. For this page, click here.
14. How to Raise Children in Deism
A mother asks for advice on bringing her two children up as Deists. For this page, click here.
15. The Finale of My Life
A person who read my book asks how I'm going to spend the remainder of my life promoting Nature's God. He or she seems fixated on the ways of the "revealed" religions, not realizing that Deism is different. For this page, click here.
16. Deism Websites Are Like Lighthouses
The undying reason-based optimistic spirit of Deism comes out in this e-mail exchange! For this page, click here.
17. Simply Knowing That Nature's God Exists is Enough
The simple, beautiful and profound knowledge that God exists that we have by applying our God-given reason to the design in nature is central to the distinction of Deist from atheist and agnostic. For this page, click here.
18. Why Is Suffering Built Into Nature's Designs?
A rational suggested answer to this age-old question of why is there suffering. For this page, click here.
19. Seeing God in a New Light
An encouraging reason based response to a woman who was born with multiple disabilities who is seeking peace of mind. For this page, click here.
20. Nature's God is Best Taught to Children by Parents - Not by Priests
The very important topic of raising children as Deists, free of the guilt ridden dogmas of Christianity or any of the various "revealed" religions, is brought out in this beautiful email exchange. For this page, click here.
21. Belief In Nature's God is a
Realistic Balm in Trying Times
(An e-mail to the World Union of Deists and response)
Deism offers a truly profound reason based peace of mind that simply isn't there in any of the "revealed" religions. This e-mail exchange addresses this point and more. For this page, click here.
22. Nature's Designer is as Real as
Nature's Designs and Laws
(An e-mail to the World Union of Deists and response)
The beautiful and powerful simplicity of Deism which embraces the realization that Nature's designs presuppose a Designer is brought forward in these e-mails. For this page, click here.
23. A Deist at the Dawn and Sunset of My Life
Yesterday, out of the blue and in a flash, I realized that I began my life as a Deist and would end it as a Deist. To read this e-mail and response from the World Union of Deists, click here.
24. To Hell With Satan
The nonsensical Biblical character of Satan is just as meaningless as the Bible that spawned it. The myth of Satan has disturbed a reader. I point him to the only way out: to embrace and employ the beautiful gift or reason given to us by Nature's God! To read this e-mail exchange, click here.
25. Freedom of Religion
The percentage of Deists is still low, but our potential for serious growth is limitless. Much is owed to the Deistic character of America's key founders and the Deistic document they produced, the Declaration of Independence! To read this email and response from the World Union of Deists, click here.
26. Einstein's Belief in God
This e-mail to the World Union of Deists and response covers Albert Einstein's Deistic belief in Nature's God. Excerpts from the best selling biography on Einstein by Walter Isaacson which concern Einstein's strong belief in a Designer of Nature's designs are included. To read this email and the response, click here.
27. United We Stand, Divided We Fall
If individual Deists stand together, they can reshape the world based on reason and Deism. It is all up to individual Deists if Deism succeeds in reaching its full beautiful potential. To read this email exchange with the World Union of Deists, click here.
28. Universal Belief in Nature's God Would End All Conflicts Due to Religious Differences
Honesty and sincerity in recognizing how little we all know about God would bring down the dogmatic walls of the "revealed" religions of the world, which would soon be followed by progress and peace! To read this email exchange with the World Union of Deists, click here.
29. The Union of Deists Worldwide Via the Internet
The simplicity of Deism does not require the same things as are prevalent in the various "revealed" religions. To read this email exchange with the World Union of Deists, click here.
30. A True Teacher Seeks and Imparts the Truth
It's very important that young people learn about Nature's God. Here's an email that offers new and various ways for teachers to accomplish this in the class room. To read this email, click here.
31. The United Nations and Nature's God
Here's a thought provoking idea that's grounded on fact and reality. Belief in Nature's God is a common quality of all three Abrahamic religions. If we can get the followers of those religions to focus on this one common reality and get them to admit that God doesn't love them more than their neighbors, we will be light-years closer to world peace! To read this email, click here.
32. Global Warming
Deism is a natural religion/philosophy and therefore the environment is of great importance to Deists. The important issue of global warming is addressed in this email exchange. To read this email exchange with the World Union of Deists, click here.
33. My Thanksgiving Meal With Catholics
Thought provoking email exchange about a Deist having his Thanksgiving meal with his Catholic family. Interesting insight! To read this email exchange with the World Union of Deists, click here.
34. Two Opposite Teachings of God
Christianity and the Catholic Church make many supernatural claims. Deism doesn't. Which brings us closer to God? To read this email exchange with the World Union of Deists, click here.
For Deistic poems, please click here.
My Website - My Memorial
Realizing that in the near future, I could die or become incapacitated, I hereby arrange for the survival of my website. I have chosen a young friend who will perpetuate my website as long as it is visited. This article shows how my website will memorialize my life and my thoughts, especially those regarding Nature's God. To learn about this and also how my website could possibly make their lives more memorable, readers can click here.
To return to foreword on home-page, click here
A Parting Memento
If you search the Internet for information on Deism, Google will offer you 865,000 web sites for perusal and Yahoo will offer you 482,000. If you should want guidance as where to start, let me suggest this excellent web site:
The World Union of Deists. For this web, click here.
World Union of Deists' Thomas Paine essay contest for high school students. You could win $1,000.00! Click here to learn more!
Thanks for your visit. Come again.
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