Monday, November 8, 2010

Mind's Made Up About Catholicism? Don't Read This

In some of America's more 'sophisticated' circles, it's 'well-known' that the Catholic Church does hateful things. Like make the Manhattan Declaration and say that people should marry someone of the opposite sex - and only marry within their species.

You'd think we didn't want people to have any fun. And that's another topic.

Then there are other folks who seem equally certain that when they pass a Catholic church, it's a whore house.

I think they're both wrong: but I'm one of those people, so I would say that.

Hatred? Yes, It Exists

I've referred to the "first church of holy hate" a few times. (October 29, 2010, January 22, 2010, August 1, 2009) You won't find it in the phone book. To my knowledge, there isn't an organization that calls itself that.

But there are a few that seem determined to earn the description. Like Fred Phelps' "Westboro Baptist Church" (WBC) of Topeka Kansas:" which has nothing to do with the Westboro Baptist Church of Westboro, Ontario - apart from the name.

Frothing Preachers, Assumptions, and the Catholic Church

I think one reason that so many folks react strongly against the Catholic Church is that they've heard about the Vatican's disapproval of homosexual behavior. 'Just like' frothing preachers of the Fred Phelps variety. I'll get back to that.

Fred Phelps and the WBC are in the news again.1 This time because they didn't manage to disrupt a funeral. Or, from their point of view, exercise their free-speech rights of public assembly.

Malignant Virtue

The WBC has been around for a while. I wrote about them in Another War-0n-Terror Blog, three years ago. (November, 2007)

I'm not surprised that they're still around. Their sort of malignant virtue seems to have a lasting appeal among a small but loyal slice of the population. At least, I hope it's small. Fred Phelps and company seem convinced that 'God hates fags' - as a URL registered by them says:

It might be polite to ignore the WBC's statements. But I've learned to be cautious when reading paraphrases made by others. I think Mr. Phelps deserves to have his ideas presented in his own words. For his sake, I hope that Mr. Phelps actually believes what he writes:
"Since 1955, WBC has taken forth the precious from the vile, and so is as the mouth of God (Jer. 15:19). In 1991, WBC began conducting peaceful demonstrations opposing the fag lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth.

"In response, america bombed WBC, sued WBC, prosecuted WBC, burned WBC. God is now america's enemy: 5,790 dead soldiers; 218,400,000+ gals. of oil in the Gulf; $13.7 trillion+ national debt. 'Arise, O LORD, in thine anger...because of the rage of mine enemies...' (Ps 7:6)

"america crossed the line on June 26, 2003, when the Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that we must respect sodomy. WBC's gospel message is your last hope."
(, November 8, 2010)

"...WBC engages in daily peaceful sidewalk demonstrations opposing the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth. We display large, colorful signs containing Bible words and sentiments, including: GOD HATES FAGS, FAGS HATE GOD, AIDS CURES FAGS, THANK GOD FOR AIDS, FAGS BURN IN HELL, GOD IS NOT MOCKED, FAGS ARE NATURE FREAKS, GOD GAVE FAGS UP, NO SPECIAL LAWS FOR FAGS, FAGS DOOM NATIONS, THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS, FAG TROOPS, GOD BLEW UP THE TROOPS, GOD HATES AMERICA, AMERICA IS DOOMED, THE WORLD IS DOOMED, etc...."
("About Us,
It might seem that Mr. Phelps is simply repeating the Catholic Church's policy regarding homosexuality. Even if that were true, Mr. Phelps is emphatically not a practicing Catholic:
"...We will say every time we come to a catholic church (aka whore house) we will remind you that Priests Rape Children...."
("Westboro Baptist Church Picket Schedule,", (from Google cache November 8, 2010))
Yes, I know about the pedophile priests. Moving on.

I shouldn't have to write this, but - there are significant differences between the philosophy and what the Holy See teaches. I've discussed this before.

Quite a bit, I see. Including these posts:

'I Must Love Those [Expletives]'

Actually, yes: I am commanded to love homosexuals. Also drug addicts, bank robbers, grocery clerks, senators, and my wife.

Not all in the same way, of course.

Since I'm a practicing Catholic, the way I treat people I love doesn't quite conform to America's cultural mores. For example, if a person I love is doing something that's self-destructive, I'm supposed to help that person stop.

Think of it this way. If I walked into a room and saw my wife with a gun to her head, about to kill herself, would it be a loving act to be 'supportive,' and say something like 'you go, girl!' - or maybe help her pull the trigger?

Oh, boy - that's not such an obvious example these days. And that's yet another topic.

Related posts:I've written about strange twists on Christianity before:
1 From WDAF-TV FOX 4, Kansas City, Missouri:
"Supporters Block Funeral Protest in Weston" (November 6, 2010)

"People in Weston, Missouri banded together on Saturday. They wanted to protect loved ones who were saying goodbye to a fallen soldier and stood up to members of the Westboro Baptist Church who planned to protest at Sgt. First Class C.J. Sadell's funeral.

"Sadell died October 24 from injuries he suffered in a surprise attack in Afghanistan. On Saturday, there was quite a turnout of people who wanted to keep the protesters away from the funeral.

" 'I'd say probably half the people in Weston are here,' said Eric Moser, Marine Corp veteran.

"Weston has less than 2,000 residents, and hundreds of people showed up to support the family of First Sgt. Sadell....

"...'If you think about it, they've all gone to serve just so we could be able to do this,' said Rebecca Rooney who organized the supporters. 'He didn't die in vain.'

"Rebecca Rooney is a Weston resident who wanted to stand up against Fred Phelps and his followers....

"..Supporters came armed with patriotic music and American flags. The protesters didn't stick around long once they saw the supporters...."

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.