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Old 11th August 2009, 02:40 PM   #1
cafetimes1991
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Question Marian Apparitions

Does anyone here have some good arguments against (or for) Marian apparitions, such as Lourdes, Fatima etc?
I have done some Googleing, but have not found much really so far.
There were apparitions in my area, and I just don't get why those who claimed to see St. Mary would lie like that.

Thanks
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Old 11th August 2009, 02:45 PM   #2
laca
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The Flying Pink Unicorn appeared to me and told me that the Marian apparitions are all fake.
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Old 11th August 2009, 02:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cafetimes1991 View Post

There were apparitions in my area, and I just don't get why those who claimed to see St. Mary would lie like that.
Who says they were lying?

Humans are easily fooled. All of us are capable of thinking we see something that isn't really there.
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Old 11th August 2009, 02:50 PM   #4
cafetimes1991
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Originally Posted by laca View Post
The Flying Pink Unicorn appeared to me and told me that the Marian apparitions are all fake.
Unproductive, but funny.
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Old 11th August 2009, 02:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
Who says they were lying?

Humans are easily fooled. All of us are capable of thinking we see something that isn't really there.
Ah, good point.
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Old 11th August 2009, 02:59 PM   #6
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One of the many times that I was living in Salt Lake City, a tree was lightning blasted, and then scheduled for removal as part of a new building project. While inspecting the tree someone (I have no idea who) noticed that where the branch was blasted away, an image of Mary had appeared. A set of stairs was built and a petition created to try to save the tree. My friend and I went to have a look, and there was a lot of adherents there, some praying, many candles lit and unlit, some folk handing out pamphlets. We waited in the rather short line, walked up, took a gander and walked back down.

My friend, a Mormon, asked, "What did you think?"
I replied, "You can't say it's not."

That's pretty much how I regard most of these claims. It certainly looked like a silhouette image of Mary. But it could just as easily been Zorro in his cape, or Guido hauling away a body in a bag.

As godless dave pointed out, humans are easily fooled, and some of us want to be. I have no doubt that (generally) anyone who claims to see an image of a religious figure believes they saw it. Proving they didn't is an exercise in futility.
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Old 11th August 2009, 03:08 PM   #7
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I have spent a lot of time discussing Medjugorje with a True Believer.

A good piece is here:
http://www.csicop.org/si/2002-11/medjugorje.html

One of the best arguments I have in my skeptical arsenal is how bloody banal the VM's messages are.

Her latest:
Quote:
Message of July 25, 2009 "Dear children! May this time be a time of prayer for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." 07/2009
They are all like this -- as they were when the Muslims and the Catholics were busy slaughtering each other a decade or so ago. You would think She could do better.
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Old 11th August 2009, 03:10 PM   #8
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Common expectations tend to be met. When Victorians believed that women were mentally weak and prone to vapours, they were, for the most part; there were always exceptions to that, but they were exceptions, not the rule.

Similarly, when Christians (and especially Roman Catholics, when it comes to Mary) expect to see her, then indeed they do. That it actually happened in a dream or while intoxicated or in other cases where the mind is allowed to free-wheel, they see what they expect to see and that is reality to them, as much as the chair we are sitting upon. Give me circumstantial evidence any day.
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Old 11th August 2009, 03:34 PM   #9
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Thumbs up

Good quality posts. Thanks.
Let's make it better than on the David Icke forum.
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Old 11th August 2009, 03:49 PM   #10
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I've never looked into the stories really, but they don't always stop with the visions. But the Lourdes one sounded very improbable to me. Young and very poor, and sick?

http://catholic-apostle.blogspot.com...vision-of.html

The story of Bernadette is reknowned worldwide. St. Bernadette was one of six children born to a poor family in France, in the year 1844. After Bernadette recieved her first Communion, she was witness to several visions by the Virgin Mother of God to enter the Convent of the Sister at Lourdes. There, she was tended for by the Sisters due to her severe sickness. Even during this time she was constantly visited by Christians hearing of her beautiful visions of the Holy Mary and asking for her blessing. Bernadette died in prayer at the age of 34. 30 years after Bernadette passed away, her coffin was exumed because Pope Pius XI wished to offer Bernadette beautifucation due to her piousness and visions of the Holy Mother. What was found was truly a miracle, which almost immediately led to her canonization as a Saint. Saint Bernadette looked exactly the same as the day of her death. Not even the smallest hint of decay or smell was present.
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Old 11th August 2009, 03:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by shandyjan View Post
I've never looked into the stories really, but they don't always stop with the visions. But the Lourdes one sounded very improbable to me. Young and very poor, and sick?
Wait, wait, wait. You find it improbable that Mary would visit someone because they were young, poor and sick? Or you find it improbable that someone young (and thus impressionable, prone to fantasy, etc.), very poor (so likely not eating well, living in poor conditions) and sick (all of the combined, plus illness of fever or chills) might have a "vision" of a matronly figure known for her kindness and perhaps healing abilities?

This all jives to me!
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Old 11th August 2009, 05:21 PM   #12
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During the height of the Medjugorje business, one of our local news services sent a team over to interview folks. One obviously-enthusiastic lady was describing how a large cross on top of a nearby hill would suddenly spin around.
"Look, look, it's doing it now!" She exclaimed. The camera was on the cross the whole time, and it didn't move a whit....
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Old 11th August 2009, 06:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
Who says they were lying?

Humans are easily fooled. All of us are capable of thinking we see something that isn't really there.
Okay, this is hardly a Marian vision, but it is a good example how people can be fooled by expectation and mob mentality. In the eighteenth century, stories of vampires and similar revenants began to become widely circulated in western Europe. One of the most interesting and skeptical accounts was by French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort. He witnessed the examination of a reputed vrykolakas (Greek vampire) on Mykonos:

Quote:
The butcher of the town, quite old and very maladroit, began by opening the belly rather than the chest. [Eventually the butcher is set right]. The heart was torn out to the admiration of all the bystanders. But the body stank so terribly that incense had to be burned, but the smoke, mixed with the exhalations of this carrion, did nothing but increase the stench, and it began to inflame the minds of these poor people. Their imagination, struck by the spectacle, filled with visions. They took it into their heads that a thick smoke was coming from the body, and we did not dare say that it was the incense. People kept calling out nothing but "Vrykolakas!" in the chapel and in the square before it. . . . Several of the bystanders claimed that the blood of this unfortunate man was quite red, and the butcher swore that the body was still warm, from which they concluded that the deceased had the severe defect of not being quite dead, or, to state it better, of letting himself be reanimated by the devil. . . . And then there arrived a crowd of people who professed loudly that they had plainly seen that the corpse had not become stiff. . . .

I do not doubt that they would have maintained that the body did not stink, if we had not been present, so stunned were these poor people from the business, and so persuaded of the return of the dead. . . . When they asked us what we thought of the deceased, we answered that we thought him quite adequately dead. But because we wanted to cure--or at the least not to irritate their stricken imaginations--we represented to them that it was not surprising if the butcher had perceived some warmth in rummaging about in the entrails, which were putrefying; that it was not extraordinary if fumes were emitted, just as such emerge from a dung heap when one stirs it up; and as for the pretended red blood it was still evident on the hands of the butcher that this was nothing but a stinking mess.
(Quoted in Paul Barber, Vampires, Burial and Death: Folklore and
Reality
, p. 22)

Despite de Tournnefort's reasoning, the people remained convinced that the corpse was a vrykolakas.
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Old 11th August 2009, 07:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cafetimes1991 View Post
Good quality posts. Thanks.
Let's make it better than on the David Icke forum.
All too easy!
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Old 11th August 2009, 08:36 PM   #15
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The Saucerites have a whole classification devoted to her visitations, abbreviated to BVMs.

My endlessly-entertaining (no, "insane" implies that she's depressing to be around) wife has occasional visits while she's asleep with a Black Madonna who is always "weeping" because she's allergic to something on Earth. She sometimes shows up in goggles and a gas mask, but she isn't crying then.

ETA: In Wife's favor, she was hanging around the Eagle River, WI, neighborhood back when aliens were passing out pancakes, but never ran into one of them.

Last edited by dropzone; 11th August 2009 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 11th August 2009, 08:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
The Saucerites have a whole classification devoted to her visitations, abbreviated to BVMs.

My endlessly-entertaining (no, "insane" implies that she's depressing to be around) wife has occasional visits while she's asleep with a Black Madonna who is always "weeping" because she's allergic to something on Earth. She sometimes shows up in goggles and a gas mask, but she isn't crying then.

ETA: In Wife's favor, she was hanging around the Eagle River, WI, neighborhood back when aliens were passing out pancakes, but never ran into one of them.
Whoa! Goggles and a Gas Mask?
This sounds like a religion I could get behind. A blessed (ahem) virgin (ahem ahem) in Laura Croft kit? Could we get her into some Frederick's of Hollywood?
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Old 11th August 2009, 08:44 PM   #17
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Here's one way - and I'm totally serious about this.

If someone shows you a piece of burnt toast, or a stain on concrete, or a fence post, and says that it looks like the Virgin Mary, reply with the following words:

I think it looks more like Darth Vader.
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Old 11th August 2009, 09:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Whoa! Goggles and a Gas Mask?
This sounds like a religion I could get behind. A blessed (ahem) virgin (ahem ahem) in Laura Croft kit? Could we get her into some Frederick's of Hollywood?
I've tried. Didn't work.
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Old 11th August 2009, 10:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cafetimes1991 View Post
Unproductive, but funny.
Actually, if you realize that both claims are essentially the same, it is not unproductive at all.
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Old 12th August 2009, 05:07 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by laca View Post
Actually, if you realize that both claims are essentially the same, it is not unproductive at all.
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Old 12th August 2009, 05:23 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by cafetimes1991 View Post
Yeah, that is along the lines what I first intended to reply to the OP, but decided to be a bit more productive...
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Old 12th August 2009, 07:21 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
Who says they were lying?

Humans are easily fooled. All of us are capable of thinking we see something that isn't really there.
See this is a real easy throw away answer. Regardless of peoples perceptions, understandings, beliefs....Something definately happened at Fatima.

The two stangest elements of the day was the lack of consitency in the vision. If it was a mob mentality at work, everyone would have seen pretty much the same thing with the sun.

The other element is people well away from the group, reportedly a couple of miles, also saw the sun do strange things that day.

A lot of the reporting at the time is horribily deficient. One reporter, who would be a hard core athiest by todays standards, reports what other saw on the day. However as far as I am aware, he never said what he saw, didn't see etc etc.

With Catholics it must be remembered we are not required to believe anything occured at Fatima, Lourdes etc. The Church characterises these events as 'personal revelations' and it is optional how we feel about them.
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Old 12th August 2009, 07:35 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
See this is a real easy throw away answer. Regardless of peoples perceptions, understandings, beliefs....Something definately happened at Fatima.
Yes, a bunch of people had a shared delusion.

Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
The two stangest elements of the day was the lack of consitency in the vision. If it was a mob mentality at work, everyone would have seen pretty much the same thing with the sun.
That doesn't follow at all.

Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
The other element is people well away from the group, reportedly a couple of miles, also saw the sun do strange things that day.
And that's significant how?
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Old 12th August 2009, 08:13 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post


That doesn't follow at all.
I dont understand what you mean

Quote:
And that's significant how?
Because it means the chances are high they are not being infected by the same mob delusion. For example I point to a cloud and say - Hey there is JFK and he is talking to me

And someone a mile away, with no contact to me or my observations says...Hey look there is JFK and he is talking to me. Then rather than a shared group thing, we need to look at something more physical that is triggering the mutual observations
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Old 12th August 2009, 08:31 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
I dont understand what you mean
You wouldn't expect everybody to imagine they're seeing the same thing.

Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
Because it means the chances are high they are not being infected by the same mob delusion. For example I point to a cloud and say - Hey there is JFK and he is talking to me

And someone a mile away, with no contact to me or my observations says...
How do you know the people a mile away had no contact with the others?
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Old 12th August 2009, 09:01 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by cafetimes1991 View Post
Does anyone here have some good arguments against (or for) Marian apparitions, such as Lourdes, Fatima etc?
I have done some Googleing, but have not found much really so far.
There were apparitions in my area, and I just don't get why those who claimed to see St. Mary would lie like that.

Thanks
I'm an atheist. I have been an atheist for over 50 of my 62 years of life but I once saw this. I saw a little, scowling, hairy man walk a few inches above my parents living room floor. I wasn't using drugs and I wasn't intoxicated. The apparition appeared to see me looking at him and he hid behind an easy chair. I got up and looked behind the chair and no one was there. My Psychiatrist said that our minds try to entertain us when we are deathly bored and thats what had happened to me.

Ok someone prays and they think they met something. It happens to the best of us.
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Old 12th August 2009, 09:06 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by cafetimes1991 View Post
Does anyone here have some good arguments against (or for) Marian apparitions, such as Lourdes, Fatima etc?
I have done some Googleing, but have not found much really so far.
There were apparitions in my area, and I just don't get why those who claimed to see St. Mary would lie like that.

Thanks
I live in Conyers Ga and a woman named Mary Fowler said she had a vision of Mary at her farm. Several different kinds of people went there and when she said she was having her visions the atheists saw nothing. Some of the Catholics there shared her vision and some did not. Nothing happened at Conyers and nothing happened at fatima or Medgigoria either.
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Old 12th August 2009, 09:15 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
You wouldn't expect everybody to imagine they're seeing the same thing.
But many didn't see anything that could be considered biblical or religious under any circumstances. Especially those who only saw the sun change colour from yellow to silver to blue

Quote:

How do you know the people a mile away had no contact with the others?
We have a number of accounts from various sources. One in particular Afonso Lopes Vieira and schoolteacher Delfina Lopes saw it from a reported distance of 40 k away. Even in the group they were in, not everyone even saw anything.

There are reports that scientists were on hand, and an article often referenced appeared in the Journal of Meteorology, Vol. 14, no. 142, October 1988. Unfortunately I have not been able to find if these scientists published any observations, and as far as I can tell, no web presence of the Journal quoted.

The event at the time was highly reported, the front pages of various newspapers at the time are easy to access on the web. And a lot people with no vested interest in the event were present. Sadly it seems, there writings, and a lot of the Catholic Churches investigations are not accessble from the wrong end of Kansas armed with no more than an internet connection

Dr. Joseph Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University wrote a report for something called De Marchi, in which he detailed a lot of ancilery information like crowd size etc. Again I have not been able to access this information to find out what his thoughts were.
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Old 12th August 2009, 09:21 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by cafetimes1991 View Post
Does anyone here have some good arguments against (or for) Marian apparitions, such as Lourdes, Fatima etc?
I have done some Googleing, but have not found much really so far.
There were apparitions in my area, and I just don't get why those who claimed to see St. Mary would lie like that.

Thanks
Ever hear of paradolia...



and another example that I will only link to...

http://yoism.reality-movement.org/im...gButtJesus.gif
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Old 12th August 2009, 09:40 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by ~enigma~ View Post
Ever hear of paradolia...
I dont think paradolia covers covers events like Fatima. Paradolia usually require people to identify the pattern, and generally the pattern replicates through suggestion
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Old 12th August 2009, 09:43 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
I dont think paradolia covers covers events like Fatima. Paradolia usually require people to identify the pattern, and generally the pattern replicates through suggestion
Which is what happened with the first sighting.
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Old 12th August 2009, 10:31 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by ~enigma~ View Post
Which is what happened with the first sighting.
My main interest is the phenomena refered to as the "Miracle Of The Sun" This had the most diverse and dispersed observations
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Old 12th August 2009, 10:32 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
Common expectations tend to be met. When Victorians believed that women were mentally weak and prone to vapours, they were, for the most part; there were always exceptions to that, but they were exceptions, not the rule.
Actually, you have to also remember that during the Victorian era, women were:

1. Squeezed in a corset which, in at least one case, went to the extreme of a 14 inch circumference waist. Yes, not diameter. We're talking a little over 4 inches thickness for that waist. It not only squeezed internal organs, but pressed vertebrae, deformed ribs and caused problems breathing and circulation problems.

2. Often suffering from chronic arsenic poisoning. It was fashionable for one's complexion, see?

So, yes, women were weak and needed "fainting rooms" (no, literally!) everywhere they went. Do you need any other explanation than the above? If you stuff anyone full of arsenic and into a corset that tight, they'll be weak, have their mind clouded by pain and lack of oxygen, and will faint all over the place.

Basically you don't have to assume that it was _all_ learned behaviour. There were very good physiological causes too.
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Old 12th August 2009, 10:48 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
My main interest is the phenomena refered to as the "Miracle Of The Sun" This had the most diverse and dispersed observations
I'm really trying to understand this: a lot of people saw something, but the particulars of what they saw varies widely, and some people saw bugger-all. It sounds to me like a classic example of mass delusion or pareidolia or a misinterpretation of natural phenomena.
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Old 12th August 2009, 10:53 AM   #35
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http://articles.latimes.com/1998/oct/14/news/mn-32435

Go here to see a mary Apparition in my home town of Conyers Ga.
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Old 12th August 2009, 11:03 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
http://articles.latimes.com/1998/oct/14/news/mn-32435

Go here to see a mary Apparition in my home town of Conyers Ga.
So the BVM has left Georgia? Bummer. I just moved to Atlanta. Now what am I going to do for fun?
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Old 12th August 2009, 12:11 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Lucian View Post
So the BVM has left Georgia? Bummer. I just moved to Atlanta. Now what am I going to do for fun?
I wonder why she seems appear only to Catholics? I'd think she'd get more mileage out of picking some hardcore Muslims or atheists.
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Old 12th August 2009, 01:16 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
I wonder why she seems appear only to Catholics? I'd think she'd get more mileage out of picking some hardcore Muslims or atheists.
Especially if she showed up naked
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Old 12th August 2009, 01:22 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
I wonder why she seems appear only to Catholics? I'd think she'd get more mileage out of picking some hardcore Muslims or atheists.
There are more of them. It's a numbers game in the appearances racket.
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Old 12th August 2009, 01:35 PM   #40
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I've often wondered why many Latin-American depictions of La Virgen de Guadalupe have such a strong resemblance to a woman's ... <ahem> ... "Private Parts". On the one hand, they are depicting the Virgin Mary. On the other hand, they're projecting a strong subliminal message of sexuality. On the gripping hand, it must put more people in the pews and thus more coins in the collection plate.

Sex sells - it even sells religion!
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