It is interesting being a Catholic; we sort of get it from everybody. Atheist gleefully bring up the church’s history, which is of course is checkered, its past filled not only with the good it has accomplished, but also the evil it has also committed; which cannot be downplayed. Those in the New Age movement also love to denigrate the church, loving to bring up hair raising stories of abuse, both physical and emotional, which is also true. The best are some types of fundamentalist, not all of course, who usually have their set spiel. You know “you all are idol worshippers”, or my favorite “the pope is the antichrist”, with scriptures to prove it. I have always found that interesting, since the antichrist is supposed to deny Christ, yet the Pope and the Catholic Church have taught the divinity of Christ for two thousand years. Chick publication comes to mind, how anyone with any intelligence can believe the stuff he publishes is beyond me, yet there you have it. I guess it is too difficult for them to pick up a book and simply read it. God forbid that their minds should be stretched a bit. Perhaps it would be too painful, headaches are a b****.
Here is another one, “if it is not in the Word then it cannot be part of Christianity”. People who say this tend to forget, or simply do not know, that the Canon of the New Testament was not collated until the 3rd century. Also that the letters of St Paul and all the other Epistles were written for the most part to deal with specific problems in the early church. I doubt that those who wrote the Epistles thought that they were writing scripture. They were letters; it was much later that they were considered inspired. I can just see St. Paul telling some friends, that he had to go and write something for the New Testament. Long before the third century, the liturgy, the sacraments, the Eucharist in particular, was central to the church; in fact they were from the beginning. Early Christian writings attest to this. So both scripture and tradition are two pillars on which the church is built. Though I know it is a waste of time to bring this up. I can see it now, someone seeking quotes to throw at me, from the very New Testament put together by the church that they hate…..we are a strange species, best to have a sense of humor. I suppose God does, or we would have been toast long ago.
The idol worship charge is always funny to me. The statures of the saints, or just that, representations of human beings, not of God, so how that is idol worship is beyond me. Catholics and many Christian in other Christian bodies, believe that death only brings one deeper into the body, the one body of Christ. I think many Christian’s think there are really two bodies of Christ. When you die, you are cut off from those remaining in the world, which is absurd to me. We are surrounded by a crowd of witnesses. Why it is wrong to ask a ‘saint’ to pray for me is something of a mystery. How that can somehow replace Christ, or dishonor Christ is another mystery to me. For Catholic’s, to ask a saint to pray with us, or for us, is no different than asking a Christian friend to pray for me. What gets me is that you can explain that until you are blue in the face, and in the end, you will get the same answerer, “you are an idol worshipper”. So I have given up arguing religion, I let people think what they will. Arguing with atheist, new agers, fundies of a certain bent, is a waste of time and energy. Again I am not talking about everyone in these categories; there are many, many exceptions. It is just that ignorance, like evil stands out, makes more of an impression that simple goodness and intelligence and tolerance. Tolerance is not agreement, it is simply respecting another enough to simply listen, learn, perhaps change a little in the process.
People fail, it is called sin. An act that is self destructive for the one who commits it, and also causes harm to others, without regard for their rights, or in many cases their humanity. Something good is desired, the problem is how far one will go to get that good. Theft, murder, control, torture, sexual abuse, etc, the list goes on and on. So why it should surprise anyone that people in religion fail is another mystery to me. The will to power is probably the greatest source of suffering in the world. People who seek power for its own sake rise to the top. They have the desire and the will to dominate others, it is again, called sin; another unpopular word in today’s world. Well for me, the failures of the church, our government, well everybody, myself of course included, is not a surprise. It amazes me how people get all hot and bothered when someone fails, falls, sins etc. Well if sin is denied, then people can be scandalized easily.
Religion, government, family structure, is not the problem. Well what is the problem, hmmmmm let me guess; perhaps it is just us. If only religion would go away the world would be a better place. Well in North Korea there is no religion, it does not look like a good place to live for me. In a Godless state, eventually, it is the government who will have to step in to make decisions for others. Read the book 1984, it is an eye opener. Talk about the will to power run wild. Ok this is petty, bringing up North Korea, but I will keep it here anyway. I can be very petty; this is after all a rant of sorts, a mindless one.
Sin simply means I am free to do whatever I want, the problem is that consequences follow, all one has to do is look at the newspaper, yeah full of consequences. If the concept of sin is embraced then it is possible to take responsibility for ones failures. If sin is not accepted then everyone is a victim.
Ok I also know that at times Catholics can be on the other end also. New Agers can be driven to distraction by Christians and Catholic’s in particular. Also atheists, many who are kind, gentle, open minded people also get clobbered. Also fundies get it from atheist in a big way; it is all spread around, shared. You know the saying, “sometimes you are the fly, at others the windshield”. Remember this is a rant, so I can’t be held accountable for anything I have said………I am a victim, which is of course bull hockey of the deepest sort.