An Open Letter to a Roman Catholic Priest
Friend and to all Clergy of Good Will
By Raymond Fontaine, Ph.D.
How are you? I presume you are well or you would have let me know. Before I become incapable of writing any more (I'm now 89 years old) I want to leave you my last thoughts about priests who are in a situation similar to ours. Let me summarize my experience that may comfort you in your unusual position.
As you remember, I left the Church and the priesthood in 1967 after serving as a priest during twenty-two years. After my affair with Claire, I thoroughly reviewed the Church's stand on birth control, divorce and the celibacy of priests. I found out that the Church is wrong - dead wrong. Knowing that the Church will never admit its error and change its policy, I left the Church definitively.
Almost penniless, I quickly grabbed a humble job of repair carpenter. Within months, however, I landed work in Vietnam taking care of refugees, as I worked for the US State Department.
What was my state of mind during those difficult times? I felt alone - no relatives and no friends. My co-workers had their own lives: with their wives and children and their circle of friends. I had no one.
After some months, I met a Vietnamese woman, who had followed in her father's footsteps and become a lapsed Catholic just like me. Her name is Minh. Her entire family and relatives accepted me completely and I never felt alone again.
During all those years, until I published my biography in 2002, I thought about God occasionally - not about God as preached by priests but the God as presupposed by the structures or designs that are observed in nature.
With that notion of God in mind, while surfing the Internet, I came across the website of The World Union of Deists at: www.Deism.com. It is entirely devoted to Nature's God. I read its many pages and soon began to write my own articles centered on Nature's God.
My mind is completely at peace because I have accepted the world as the human mind can grasp it. The supernatural and the spiritual is beyond human ken. Period! I'm not interested in nor concerned about all the spiritual stuff that the Church teaches because I don't believe it at all.
Enough about me. Now you. For many years, you have lived with a very fine woman whom I admire a lot. She has children whom you love as your own.
For many years now, you have worked with the homeless helping them and comforting them the best you can. Good for you and good for them.
I assume that you are still living what some would call a double life. If it does not cause you any mental conflict and uneasiness, just carry on. But if you are bothered by the dualism, you might consider leaving the Church and your religious Order as I did. You might also want to embrace the Creator of the universe. The structures and designs in nature point to a Supreme Intelligence who lets us live our lives as we see fit and as we like while respecting our neighbor's rights. We can forget all the spiritual stuff of the Church and enjoy the life that nature and its Maker provides.
Besides what happened to you and me, there are other priests who are living double lives. They may have tried to straighten out only to fall again and again. They too may be looking for a way out. Replacing the concept of God as preached by the Pope and his priests with God as revealed in the intelligent designs observed in nature is the best way to an honest life. Nowadays the Church will release them of their priestly vows and help them financially while they find a gainful employment. I know several priests who did that successfully.
Finally I come to priests who are still loyal to the Church and who are priests of good will. If not for themselves, then to help a fellow-priest in trouble, they may suggest a way out. The best available is to rely on God as observed in the intelligent structures and designs of Nature. This God suffices for humans as He does for all creatures on earth. IN NATURE'S GOD WE TRUST.
Raymond Fontaine, Ph.D.
Ray's site has been moved to our site. You can visit his site by clicking here. You can also order his outstanding and thought provoking book about his evolution from a Catholic priest to a Deist by clicking here. Or, you can get Ray's book for free as a thank you gift by subscribing to the Deist monthly webzine Deistic Thought & Action! By clicking here.
This page has received a lot of attention from revealed religionists who tell me it is inaccurate. It seems they've looked up the Bible verses found below in their Bibles, but the references to the Bible monsters and fictional creatures are not found. That is because they're not looking in the King James Version of the Bible. More recent versions of "the word of God" have changed these ridiculous creatures to more reasonable creatures, such as oxen, etc.
The fact that the changes were made, proves the Deist position that the Bible, or any proclaimed "holy" book, cannot be the word of God. To take a quote from Thomas Paine that he wrote in his outstanding book on God, religion, and Deism, The Age of Reason: ". . . the idea or belief of a Word of God existing in print, or in writing, or in speech, is inconsistent in itself for reasons already assigned. These reasons, among many others, are the want of a universal language; the mutability of language; the errors to which translations are subject; the possibility of totally suppressing such a word; the probability of altering it, or of fabricating the whole, and imposing it upon the world."
The changes in the Bible that the objections to this page have brought to light, make it clear Thomas Paine was correct in his above quote. Taking a look around us, at the beautiful sun rising or setting, the blue sky and the night stars, we see and experience the real Word of God. We don't need any other. And that's good, because there isn't any other!
As Deists know through the exercise of our God-given reason, monsters are not real. And any book or writing that tries to portray such creatures as being real, is itself false. The Bible has numerous examples of attempting to portray various monsters as being real. Therefore, the Bible is false.
A satyr, pictured at left, is a creature of Greek mythology. It is supposed to be a man with a goat's legs, ears and horns.
In the Old Testament we find reference to these mythical creatures as if they were real. In Isaiah 13:21 we read, "But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there."
It's probably for text like this that the Catholic Church had forbidden people from reading the Bible! The Church leaders knew if this garbage was generally known, no one would be a Christian!
In Numbers 21:6 we find the lord of the Bible sending "fiery serpents" to torment the people. What a great guy this Bible god must be! It reads, "And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died." And God is love??? To date, there never has been "fiery serpents." And I don't think there ever will be.
In another case of the Bible god letting anger and hatred get the best of him is Jeremiah 8:17 - "For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices (pictured at left), among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord." A cockatrice, pictured at right, is another mythological creature. It is supposed to be a serpent that can kill just by looking at someone. Guess what - they're not real. And neither is the Bible - thank God!
Unicorns (pictured below) - now there's something you wouldn't expect to find in the word of God! But it is! And not just one time but three times!
In Isaiah 34:7 it is written, "And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls, and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness." Like the overwhelming majority of the Bible this is pure nonsense! To try and tie the Bible to God is an insult to our Creator!
Probably the best known of all the mythical monsters that is found in the Bible is the dragon. There are 16 separate references to this mythological beast! And they're not only mentioned in a figurative way. Malachi 1:3 states: "And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness." Again, another mythological creature in a book of myth.
After these absurdities were brought to my attention I was even more embarrassed that at one time I was a Bible believing Christian. You can't be a Christian and still embrace your God-given reason.
It's time for society to shed myth. We need to bring our spiritual beliefs up to date with our society and technology. Deism is doing that. Please take the time and make the effort to join the revolution in religion! Click here and print and complete the World Union of Deists Membership Application! We look forward to welcoming you as a fellow Deist.
Also, please print this page and circulate it as much as possible! The more people are aware of Biblical absurdities the quicker they will break the hold of superstition and fear.