The Greatest Force of Evil in the World Today


I have a problem with the Catholic church, which for nearly two-thousand years has been a dark blight of ignorance on the otherwise bright mind of humanity. I don’t have any problem with individual Catholics, who can be good and decent people, but their church is the greatest force for evil in the world.

There are a number of things about the church that have been good, I suppose. They did provide some continuity of government after the fall of Rome, and there have certainly been individual Catholics out there who have done considerable good in the name of science and morality.

However, there’s also piles of evil the church has done. I’m not just talking offenses of the Dark Ages, like the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition (I bet you didn’t expect to see that here!), or the church’s cruades against science. No, I’m talking about more modern evils the church commits.

First, let us consider the Catholic policy on birth control. What a barbaric, fundamentally ignorant policy. This removes the woman’s right to control her own body; to decide when/if she wants to have children. The pressure from the church against governments in Africa to not allow condom distribution is part of why AIDS became such a major crisis there. Much of the poverty there, as well as in Central and South America can be directly attributed to the fact that people don’t have families; they have litters. It is not healthy for a woman to have five or six kids. It’s not ecnomically healthy for a poor family to be that large.

There’s also the church’s complicit involvement in the Holocaust. This was an outgrowth of the various evil things the church had done to Jews through the centuries, and was really no surprise. Hitler, after all, was Catholic, though I think what he mostly believed in, and wanted as a god, was himself. If the church really was the bastion of goodness and light it pretends to be, they would’ve gone out of their way to get as many Jews as possible out of the way of the Nazis and off to places of safety. But, hey, in the end, they came out ahead. Places like Poland, which is majority Catholic, now no longer had Jews to worry about. Win/win for the church, huh? (please note, btw: that I am not making any issue of Pope Benny XVI‘s involvement in the Hitler Youth as a child. Lots of kids belonged to that, and it didn’t mean anything to them long-term, so I don’t hold it against him)

Another evil of the church is their continuing support for poverty. That’s the only way I can think of to describe a situation where they urge/require even the poor people to give them 10% of their income while the Pope lives in a palatial art museum. Surely if the church had any decency, they’d be selling their artwork and using the money to build schools, hospitals and homes.

Then there’s the whole abuse scandal, where not only were priests molesting children, they were doing so with, occaisonally, the full knowledge of their superiors! Rather than turn the priests over to face temporal justice (whatever happened to rendering unto Caesar?), they instead played “Hide the Priest!” and moved them around to other diosces. This is shameful in the extreme, but even more shameful was them lying about it later and trying to pretend it never happened.

Then we have the church’s attempts to stop gay marriage, abortion and pornography, the general oppresion of women, as well as Benny 16 making comments about justice being dependant on God (who, as anyone has read the Bible knows, is not the most just being in the universe). There’s other things, as well, that I don’t have enough documentation on to really write about, like the support of the Rwandan genocide, which was sometimes done with the full support of various priests.

None of this of course touches on some of the bizzarre theological positions of the chuch, like the Trinity, Original Sin (an evil little concept if I’ve ever heard of one), the transformation of Mary Magdalne into a prostitute (The da Vinci Code was fiction, but the church really did present her as a whore), and the concept of the Pope, which doesn’t seem to be supported in any Biblical verse I’ve come across.

Some people say the church can be a source of good in the world. They point to Mother Teresa as a favorite example, and I’ll admit that even now criticizing her is like kicking a puppy. But we cannot ignore the problems she caused the world. Interestingly, as we recently learned, she was experiencing great issues of faith, and was having trouble believing in God. This didn’t stop her form telling other people they should still believe, mind you. It also didn’t help her wake up to the real issues of poverty in Calcutta and allow her to start distributing condoms and educations to the people around her. She, in fact, as we’ve learned over the last few years, was more into pain and suffering than in helping people. An account of this can be read here, in an article which was actually written before she died. Guess we should’ve all paid more attention then.

I look longingly forward to the day when the Popes are a forgotten and ignored relic of an earlier, more ignorant age, and the Vatican is regarded as the greatest art treasure in the world, holding no religious significance at all. It’ll probably not happen until after I’m dead, but it’s still something to hope for.

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17 Responses to “The Greatest Force of Evil in the World Today”

  1. Erin Says:

    “Women should not be enlightened or educated in any way. They should, in fact, be segregated as they are the cause of hideous and involuntary erections in holy men.”

    ~St. Augustine

    One of my favorite rediculous quotes!

  2. Chris Says:

    Yeah, I’m thinking of writing a whole article about good ole Augy and some of the stupid things he said.

  3. SirEdwardCoke Says:

    There’s something to a lot of what you say, and some of it is just a matter of opinion on certain current issues, but there are also a lot of errors and some of what you say reeks of a double standard.

    First, the Catholic Church is not into tithing. It is occasionally suggested as a goal for total charitable and religious giving, perhaps even including sums you spend to support your aged parents, for example, but there is no Church teaching or policy that you should give ten percent to the Church. That’s only the teaching or policy of certain Protestant groups and, I believe, of the Mormons.

    Second, the argument about selling artwork is silly. Do you claim that every institution with some purpose of caring for others should divest of all artwork and similar cultural wealth? Well, should the federal government and all the cities of the country sell all the collections of our historical and art museums? Should we shut down the Smithsonian and sell its contents so we can do something about poverty in D.C.? Should the federal government sell all the national parks to resort operators to generate funds for health care for the uninsured? It’s all land stolen from the Native Americans anyway!

    Speaking of which, if you’re going to use an institution’s history, even if repudiated by that institution, to judge it today, would you be willing to start out a blog by saying that the U.S is the greatest force of evil in at least North America today, given its history of treatment of Native Americans and African Americans, just for starters? I suppose we could go on from there to the history of discrimination against Catholics (on not near the same level, admittedly), but that might be inconvenient for you to acknowledge.

  4. Chris Says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful and well-reasoned reply!

    I had been under the impression the Catholic church encouraged tithing. Thanks for clearing up that error for me! Do they still actively request donations from their congregations?

    The selling of artwork isn’t silly. The Pope lives in a giant palace surrounded by some of the most valuable art work in history, a lot of which is off-limits to the general public. He took a vow of poverty, which seems to run counter to the oppulent life-style he leads. For him to preach about the need to help the poor of the world, which is certainly a laudable goal, and yet live in that kind of luxury is a crime.

    The Smithsonian would be different. People are allowed to tour through it and at least see the art on display. Its also not run by the spiritual leader of hundreds of millions of people.

    As far as judging an institution by its history… has the church ever apologized for the crimes it has comitted? Did they ever issue any formal apology for involvement in the slave trade, turning a blind-eye to the Holocaust, the Inquisition, the Crusades, etc? As far as I know they haven’t, and they did those things under an aura of God-given infaliability.

    I guess that’s the main difference between the sins of the church and the sins (which there are many), of the United States. Yes, we’ve done some incredibly stupid and wrong and evil things. Generally we’ve ‘fessed up and apologized, though often far later than we should, and we haven’t usually had the excuse of “God wanted us to!” (though, yes, that was part of the rational for slavery and certainly part of the whole “Mainifest Destiny” thing). I don’t think, though, that we ever had a point where we said our government was infaliable because it was put into place by God. That’s an advantage to democracy.

    And, yes, I’m aware there has been discrimination against Catholics in this country. There’s also been discrimination against the Irish, the Italians, the Mormons, the blacks, the Asians, the American Indians, the Jews, etc. Much of that has been rectified, though not as much as it should be. There is, however, constant and continuious discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans-genders and atheists. Almost all of that is rooted in the kinds of intolerance the Catholic church has preached.

    (and, for the record, pretty much all of what I say is rather biased opinion, but I do at least try to get the facts as correct as I can)

  5. SirEdwardCoke Says:

    Yes, of course, the church encourages contributions by its members. That’s how it operates, like every church.

    You have got a lot of facts wrong.

    The Pope has not taken a vow of poverty. Only a minority of priests, who belong to certain orders, take vows of poverty. The vast majority of priests, the ordinary diocesan priests (called “secular” priests) do not. That’s why Andrew Greeley is a millionaire from his writing. Catholics generally are well aware of the lifestyles of their leaders, most of whom have very modest salaries even if they do have fancy houses, which usually belong to all of us, not to them. (I believe the Pope has no salary at all. Most recent Popes, when they die, have owned nothing but a few books and pens and things like that. To my knowledge, the ones with family money, like Pius XII, gave it all away to the Church’s charities.) Most Catholics give nothing to anybody other than their local parish and diocese. There is one collection a year for the Vatican, called Peter’s Pence, which is used to support the largest set of charitable operations on the Earth. I give because I know what it’s used for. Those who think the Vatican already has too much don’t give. It’s that simple. The Catholic Church by and large is one of the weakest of all the Christian denominations in terms of the force of its solicitation from its members, and it shows up in the average annual contributions, which are considerably lower than for Protestants.

    Have you even been to the Vatican museum? It sounds like you haven’t. Much of the artwork in the Vatican is on display for the world to see, including most of the most valuable and famous stuff, and the Church’s position is that the art is held in trust for the world. In most museums, including the Smithosonian or the Met or the Louvre or the Hermitage or you name it, the majority — often the vast majority — of the collection is off display and is available only to scholars and special guests, so if that’s true of the Vatican, then it’s no different than any museum, and there is no difference between it and the Smithsonian in terms of public access. If they had more room, they’d put more on display if they could afford to keep it all up. And you still haven’t explained why a government whose explicit, self-proclaimed obligation is to provide for the common welfare is somehow justified in amassing a vast fortune in cultural treasures in the face of millions living in poverty a few blocks away from its great museums, while a church whose purpose is primarily spiritual, a purpose in which art has always played a tremendous inspirational role, is not. Why is being a spiritual institution that has an enormous role in education inconsistent with having art for the world to see? Other than the fact that you are a part owner of the Smithsonian but not of the Vatican, I don’t see the difference, and since I’m part of the Church and a part owner of the Vatican, I consider it and the Smithsonian, or the Met in my home city of New York, all the same — irreplaceable cultural treasures that should never, ever, ever be sold. And I don’t consider the Pope’s living where he does to be any greater “scandal” than the President living where he does given the vast seas of poverty in D.C., the Bronx, South Chicago, Los Angeles, or any other city you’d like to name. What’s good for my goose is good for your gander. Governments are more about eliminating poverty than churches.

    The evidence of the Church’s involvement with the Holocaust is quite mixed. People routinely vastly overestimate the power of the Church and particularly of the Vatican in the 20th Century whenever they think it should have done something it didn’t but then mock its impotence when it does something that seems to have no effect. While Pope Pius XII did not do what some think he should have, all the while Nazi troops had occupied St. Peter’s Square, there is considerable evidence that the Vatican and many, many clergy throughout Europe, with the quiet encouragement of the Church’s leadership, saved many from the Holocaust. There was a very large number of Catholic clergy who went to the ovens, too, because of their opposition to the Nazis, although we’re talking thousands not millions, but there were only thousands of them to begin with. There is also no doubt that, from Hitler on down, some of the Germans and many of the collaborators from other countries such as France and Austria, were at least nominally Catholic.

    The Church has repudiated and apoligized for a lot of things in its history, although not for as much as it could or should. The U.S. certainly has hardly ever apologized for anything that I know of, including turning a blind eye to the Holocaust as you put it. The Allied refusal to bomb the trainlines to the death camps even though they knew what was going on is well documented. (The relative silence for many months, perhaps a couple of years of most of the American Jewish leadership despite what they knew is also well documented. That’s excused because they feared for their political situation despite the physical safety of this country, but the Pope’s inaction in the face of troops in his front yard is not. That’s interesting.) I know there was an apology to the Japanese interned in WWII. I can’t think of another one. I don’t remember that there has ever been one for slavery or for what was done to the Native Americans, which are the two most evil events of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially when you look at the sheer numbers of people victimized by death and otherwise.

    You are also obviously uninformed about the doctrine of infallibility. It did not come along until the late 1800s and, at least to date, applies only to a very, very few matters of dogma. There has never been a claim that any of the stuff you’re talking about had anything to do with infallibility. That’s a silly myth that’s part of a vast edifice of anti-Catholic prejudice. Ironically, you must know the primary reason the Irish were discriminated against was that they were Catholic. And I would love to hear the response of Native Americans to your claim that much of the discrimination against them has been remedied. That’s a patently ridiculous statement.

    I’d say you need to do a lot more work on the facts.

  6. Chris Says:

    Clearly you are right, and there are quite a few things I was mistaken on. I do appreciate being corrected.

    For the record, no, I’ve never been to the Vatican museum, though believe me, I long to go. As far as me being a part owner of the Smithsonian, I was under the impression it was a private institution? I could be mistaken, though.

    I do contend that much of the descrimintation against American Indians has been rectified, at least as much as it can be without us all buggering off the continent, which clearly won’t happen. One can certainly argue we haven’t done as much as we should to make life better for them. I know there are reservations out there that are basically like the third world, and that needs to change.

    As for the Doctorine of Infaliability, correct me if I’m wrong, and I have no doubt you will ;), but doesn’t it say the Pope is infaliable in all matters relating to the faith?

    I do, btw, still stand by my original points that the church is causing great misery by thwarting efforts at reproductive control in the third world (well, everywhere, but it impacts the third world a lot more).

    Thanks again for clearing up my errors!

  7. SirEdwardCoke Says:

    LOL The Smithsonian Institution is a part of the U.S. federal government and always has been. It was created by an act of Congress and we, the citizens of the U.S., own it lock, stock and barrel. Its Board of Regents is made up of the Vice President, the Chief Justice, three Senators, three member of the House, and several citizens appointed by the Board itself. Why do you think it sits on federal land in D.C.?

    The doctrine of infallibility, which dates from 1870, says that when the Pope speaks as the Pope “ex cathedra” (from his chair, in other words, as the Church’s head and chief teacher) on a matter of faith and morals AND says that the doctrine proclaimed must be regarded by the entire Church as binding then he is infallible. It has been invoked exactly once, when the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary was proclaimed in 1950. There are some theologians who teach that there are a small handful of pre-1870 announcements that qualify, but the Vatican has not endorsed that position.

    I would suggest that if you went and found every atheist in the museum and library business and polled them, they would by an overwhelming majority — probably unanimously — tell you that the idea of the Vatican’s selling their collections is insane and if carried out would probably constitute the greatest cultural tragedy in the history of the planet. There was a quote a couple of days ago in the New York Times by a Russian Jewish artist, Alexandar Melamid (probably an atheist since most of them are), who said that “Without the Catholic Church, there would be no art as we know it.” (While I suppose here in isolation, it sounds like it could be ambiguous, if you go read the article, you’ll see it was clearly meant as a positive statement.) So it’s only culturally appropriate that the Church have art and display it for the world to see.

    Atheists would have a lot more credibility if the movement weren’t so burdened by what are clearly ignorant, ill-informed, emotional, irrational positions on a lot of matters concerning religious institutions, in particular the Catholic Church.

  8. Chris Says:

    Thank you again for the corrections! They are very appreciated. :)

    I do notice you haven’t offered any feedback on my opinion of the Catholic church’s stance on birth control. What’s your take on that?

    Meantime, religion would have a lot more credibility if it weren’t so burderned by what are clearly ignorant, ill-informed, emotional, irrational belief systems based on superstitions, elderly books and things that either are unproven or proven wrong. Just a thought. :)

  9. SirEdwardCoke Says:

    First, I’m glad we’ve settled that atheism does indeed resemble many aspects of many religious movements, which suggests there’s a heavy helping of the irrational side human nature in both as they are practiced, setting aside for the moment how they are conceived. ;-)

    And that word is a nice segue to your question. As for birth control and related doctrines, my own view of those was largely arrived at during a time when I was a fallen-away agnostic, earning two degrees in zoology from a major research university and at a time when I knew little of the Church’s reasoning behind its ultimate teaching on the issue. I started from the secular premise that the ultimate value is human life. The question then becomes: When does life begin? And that question means: At what point is there a life separate from the mother’s? The ever earlier moment of viability meant to me that it has to be sometime well before that moment and, for the sake of the seriousness of the issue and its consequences, it needed to be a well-defined point in time. (I also don’t consider the newborn child to be sufficiently less dependent on another for continued existence to conclude that the moment of actual birth should have much significance to this issue.) The ultimate reason that individuals differ is their unique genetic complement, and that is present from conception, which is when I concluded a separate life begins, because the fertilized egg from that moment on has a full genetic complement different from the mother’s, as different as mine is from my mother’s today (her 77th birthday was yesterday). What about spontaneous abortions, still-births and all that? My answer is no different for a five day old embryo than for a fifty year old man (slightly younger than I am): nature is free to end a life, because that is inherent in the nature of life (pun intended), but man should not be. The potential of a centurian to die any minute does not in the slightest mean to me that there is any more justification for ending that life than the life of a five year old or a fifty year old if life is to be the ultimate value. And I also concluded that, if human life is to be an absolute value, it needs to trump autonomy on the issue of its continuation.

    As you can see, for abortion and any form of birth control that acts post-conception, along with suicide and euthanasia, the conclusion from all this is pretty much the same as the Church teaches, so my return to the fold has brought limited angst. My secular reasoning left room, however, for deciding in the mother’s favor if a situation resulted for any reason — usually as a result of nature — in which one or the other life had to end, but didn’t automatically lead to that result. You could on an entirely secular basis conclude, however, that a young, albeit fragile, life is worth more than an older, established life. I find that this particular issue and that of rape are profoundly problematic and that there is no conclusion for either that does not pose a serious threat to one or another extremely important if not consensus ultimate values.

    On the issue of sex for recreation vs. procreation (if you’ll pardon the simplistic formulation just to get the discussion started), while I used to think the Church was way too hung up on the latter, I have come to the conclusion that the former has shown itself over our last few decades of experimentation of having such a strong tendency to dehumanize the people involved, particularly women in heterosexual sex, that I give much more credence to what the Church says. In fact, the tragedy of the modern world is that there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground on this issue, which I find more and more troubling the older I get. Sex is one of the ultimate acts of person-to-person intimacy and as such poses enormous implications for human dignity. Sex should only occur in situations in which both people fully grasp and appreciate the profound nature of the act, and nothing about the act should detract in the slightest from either its profundity, part of which is the fact that it evolved for the purpose of reproduction but which goes beyond that because of human concsiousness, or either person’s dignity. For the life of me, however, I have no idea how to turn that principle into a guideline that can be practically understood by people not of a permanently philosophical bent. While the Church’s teaching on the subject goes beyond this, at least it is clear, and a perfectly secular argument based on concepts of human dignity can be constructed for it.

    I guess the one issue not really addressed yet is condom use in some situations not covered above. I take what comfort I can in the fact that there has been open discussion of more than one view on this at very high levels in the Church.

    Don’t know if I’ve covered the whole waterfront, but I’ll add that I am deathly opposed, pun intended, to capital punishment, for a long list and to my mind powerful combination of secular and religious reasons.

    Not quite what you expected, I imagine.

  10. Chris Says:

    Actually, I find atheism to be much more centered and based in reality, since it derives from actual obersable evidence instead of simple belief. It’s also open to input from new information, like what I got from you in your previous posts. :)

    Also, happy birthday to your mum!

    As far as the discussion of when life begins, well, clearly LIFE actually begins not at conception, but prior to ejaculation. Sperm is, after all, “alive”, as is the egg. For when human life begins, I’ll admit that’s a bit trickier, but I would generally say that up until the first couple months are past, I can’t view an embryo as being human anymore than I can view a fertilized egg as being a chicken.

    I would generally say that I support a woman’s right to choose, regardless of wheather or not I favor people getting abortions. As it is, I don’t have a real problem with them up until the a few months have gone past, and I certainly feel the mother’s heal trumps all else.

    As far as suicide and euthanasia go, I certainly don’t think people should kill themselves or allow doctors to kill them. That said, if you’ve got incurable cancer and you’re going to die in less than a month anyhow, and that month will be painful and miserable and horrible, then why not allow someone a safe, legal way to die? I generally favor life above all else, but when it comes to something like that, people have the right to die.

    I have been encouraged by the church at least talking about allowing condoms when one or the other people in a marriage is HIV+ and the other isn’t. That’s a plus, but wouldn’t it be much better for them to say, “We don’t want you having sex before, or outside of, marriage. But if you do, please, please, PLEASE protect yourself, because life is precious.”

    Of course, the cynical part of me believes the church simply doesn’t want people to use birth control so there can be more Catholics, since so few people seem to actually covert to the faith.

    As well as you, btw, I am entirely opposed to the death penalty under any and all circumstances. I keep hoping its the Brits are the ones to capture bin Ladden, cause I know they aren’t allowed to kill him, or send him to us so we can kill him. The death penalty is always barbaric and always wrong. One of the few places where me and the Catholic (following the teachings of Cathol, as Eddie Izzard said… I’ve been wanting to use that joke for a while!), church do see eye-to-eye is on the issue of the death penalty.

    Lastly, as far as the expectations… I try never to pre-expect what people will say or believe. :)

  11. SirEdwardCoke Says:

    Sadly, while atheism as an idea by itself is obviously one based on a rather purist rationality, I find that the atheist movement members, particularly as they express themselves on the web, rival fundamentalist, evangelical Protestants in their emotion and error laden approach to many issues. They have their “high priests”, most questioning of whom is greeted by near lynch mob vituperation that can fairly be characterized as condemnation; they have their martyrs and myths, like Galileo and the exaggerations and outright errors concerning his trial (as just one example); they have their blind spots, like making fun of clerical vestments while oblivious to the direct ties to the academic garb in which many of them parade around or their own other use of symbolism that may have meaning to them but seems silly to outsiders; and they have an extraordinary tendency to unquestioningly believe, repeat and irrationally cling to anything that anybody else says that accords with their world view, even if the source is one they don’t believe about anything else, like having largely swallowed whole many of the myths, distortions, lies and slanders about the Catholic Church, all of which originated with those same Protestants! As in intellectual, I am saddened by the squandering of a claim to reason; as a Catholic, I am insulted and disgusted by the extent of the bigotry, and that is both a fair and an overly polite term for what it is.

    Yes, I probably should have been talking about “individual human life” rather than just “life”. As for the egg, I had never thought of that comparison and, to some extent, it’s consistent with my reasoning, since it sure isn’t the hen any more. I guess the problem is that the secular world has no well-developed framework for reasoning about how to characterize or regard an individual life at that stage. Roe v. Wade has been effective not because it was particularly well-reasoned, but because it remains one of the very few relatively comprehensive reasoned approaches to the issue.

  12. Chris Says:

    Hmmm… I’m not sure what atheist websites you’ve been reading. I strongly suggest you check out http://www.daylightatheism.com. It has some very good, well-written essays on all sorts of religious issues, and doesn’t seem to have the flaws you find with atheist sites in general.

    I would point out that the Galileo story is one that almost everyone gets wrong, faithful and faithless alike. I’m not sure who you think our “high priests” are. At a guess, Harris, Dawkins and Hitchens, none of whom I agree with 100% (Hitchens drives me bonkers with some of his political views). The swipe at clothing seems particularly odd. I’m partial to jeans and tshirts myself. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a suit and tie.

    Here’s the thing, though. Atheism, being grounded in rationality and self-examination, can and does change fairly easily. If we look at something we think is true, and find out it isn’t, we can change our minds on it, cause what choice do you have, really?

    Also, the main reason, I think, the Catholic church is most offten the target of atheists is simply that it’s the largest and oldest target out there. Yes, there are several religions that are older, but they don’t tend to be quite as unified as the Catholic church. The church has done a great deal of evil through history and in modern times, and while they have corrected some of it, they have a fair distance to go.

    That said, I’m not fond of Protestantism, Islam, Judism, Bhuddism, Hinduism, Wicca, Zoroastrianism or any other faiths. As far as I’m concerned they’re all built on a fundamental foundation of superstitions (at best), and lies (at worst). I do recognize there are many, many individuals of faith who are perfectly fine people (my family, for example), but that doesn’t change that I think they are wrong.

    It’s interesting you note the secular framework has no reasoning for how to characterize or regard an individual life at a very early stage. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Catholic church holds life begins at conception, yeah? And develops a soul right then? But what happens if there’s a miscarriage? I remember reading somewhere that 50 – 80% of all pregnancies end without birth. What happens to that little embryo soul? Having not been baptised, does it go to Purgatory, or just straight on to Heaven?

  13. Chris Says:

    Well, I didn’t know that when I typed in the site ID up there, it would turn it into an unusable link, since I put a . at the end of it. :( Well, here we are again: http://www.daylightatheism.com

  14. Chris Says:

    Or… I can give the correct site ID of http://www.daylightatheism.org:) Sorry, it’s been a long week. :)

  15. Chris Says:

    I still stand by this post, and I’ve just added the picture up there which I got from http://freethoughtfortwayne.org/2008/09/13/from-altar-boy-to-atheist-a-coming-out-story/ . If you go there, you can read about someone escaping Catholicism.

  16. Andy Says:

    Chris,

    Thanks for the link — I’m the one who wrote that post, and my refer links told me about this post. Great post, and equally great comments.

    I just wanted to let you know that this is not an original picture of mine, that I just stole it from Google. (-:

    Also, I wanted to point out that most of the good, decent Catholics out there are people like my parents who don’t really intellectually engage with their religion. Yeah, they may go to church and take communion, but I honestly think that in their heart, deep down, they don’t actually believe that the bread is the real body of Christ, and the wine isn’t the real blood. Therefore, they aren’t true Catholics.

    I think it is the people who are very much into it, and who intellectually engage with the religious dogma and tenants of the Catholic church who are the detriment to society. Their critical thinking skills and mental processes are skewed, and this is where the disconnect comes in.

    Thanks for letting me put in my two cents — and thanks for the refer link!

    -Andy
    http://www.freethoughtfortwayne.org

  17. Chris Says:

    I do tend to agree. I think most people don’t really believe, they just think they believe, and that’s an important difference, even if it’s one that’s a little hard to understand.


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