Friday, September 22, 2006

Either You're an Orthodox Catholic or You're Lost


File the following into the “Why religion is divisive” file.

I recently a mailing from the Catholic Resource center which is convinced for some reason that I’m a faithful Catholic.  Since they are convinced, they feel comfortable in speaking to me frankly.

This month’s plea for money was a campaign to save “Catholics on the brink.”  Not the brink of doing something terrible or harmful, but on the brink of being something other than very “orthodox” Catholics.

Yes, it goes, “It’s hard to believe, but millions of Catholics have ‘jumped off the ship’ into the shark-infested waters of doubt, unbelief, heresy, and outright denial of our Holy Faith!”

Obviously this implies that there is something wrong with doubt, unbelief, heresy and denial of their religion, even if, I would submit, these things are entirely natural, often justified and in many cases, the only intellectually honest course.

But what does Catholic orthodoxy believe to be behind such wavering by Catholics?

They list several possibilities: these doubters are either divorcing, using contraceptives, fornicating, having abortions, or are gay.

Many, they believe, are being turned into atheists by “godless” professors at college or are under the “spell” of feminists.  Some others are turned because of scandals in the church (which they blame on gays as well.)

NOWHERE is to be found more realistic reasoning in this plea for support: they never even consider that many former Catholics find the claims of the church to be unconvincing and after serious thought, reject all supernatural-based claims.  No mention is made that despite their claims to moral authority, the Church has often been involved in outright immorality, such as the cover-up of pedophilia, nun abuse, and numerous political and moral atrocities over the centuries.

This deliberate obtuseness reflects a greater problem – just think about how such a person immersed in such orthodoxy views the non-Catholic world in general: everyone else must have an ulterior motive for rejecting the Church.  No one, other than Roman Catholics, can have a sincere, rational opinion.

Here is the closing line from this financial appeal: “God reward you for teaching souls why the Church is Christ’s One True Church!”

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