Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Catholic Teachings: Not Fashionable

'Everybody knows' what those Catholics are like.

'Catholics are Stupid and the Church is Icky'

Details vary, depending on who the 'everybody' is.

For many American Bible-thumpers, the Catholic Church is the epitome of evil. Dedicated secularists and folks who want to be very up-to-date with the latest intellectual fashions seem convinced that the Catholic Church is the fountainhead from which comes all intolerance, hatred, and - for all I know - climate change.1

Whatever the trimmings, the basic idea is that the Catholic Church is icky, and that Catholics are pretty much stupid, deluded, or pedophile priests.

That's an oversimplification, and there are folks in this country who aren't particularly near either of those extremes.

Self-Control and Other 'Shameful' Ideas

It's not just America, apparently. Here's something I found on an op-ed website:
"While the world is joining hands to find better ways to curb the spread of the killer HIV/Aids pandemic, the Pope's comments on condom use in 2009 provoked shame and dismay over the church's role in issues relating to sexual health.

"On his journey to Africa in 2009 - where 22,4 million people are reportedly infected with HIV, two- thirds of the world total - the Pope seemed very clear that condom use was the cause of more infections across the globe...."
"Where Does Pope Benedict XVI Stand On Condom Use?"
Munesu Benjamin Shoko, NewsTime (May 31, 2011)
That's on the newstime.co.za website - presumably based in South Africa, given the .za country code.

The second paragraph is sort of true. The Pope was in Africa, and did mention condoms. What he said didn't assume that
  • People have no self-control
  • Condoms solve all problems
Hence, in my opinion, the standard-issue "shame and dismay" claim. I've been over this before.
Again, I'm over-simplifying - but not, I think, by much.

Free Will and Responsibility

Me? I'm a practicing Catholic. I assume that free will exists,2 that people can decide what they do and what they don't do - within certain parameters - and that technology won't solve all our problems. Not even if the technology is that mainstay of grooviness, the condom.

I've put a couple links to articles with a somewhat more informed look at what Father Juan Jose Perez-Soba - and the Vatican's representative to the United Nations in Geneva - said, under News and views.

Freedom of Religion - No, Really

I'm a practicing Catholic, so I have to believe that freedom of religion is important.2 That's "freedom of," not "freedom from," and I've been over that before.

About the Church, AIDS, and assumptions? That's for another post.
Update (June 8, 2011)

The Church, AIDS, and assumptions:
Related posts:
News and views:

1 See:2 Background and sources:
  • Free will: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1730
  • Freedom of religion: Catechism, 2104-2109
Not an exhaustive list.


Brigid said...

I think there's a word missing: "and Catholics pretty much stupid"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

P.S. These people who are shocked and dismayed do realize that condoms and other methods of birth control do no protect against sexually transmitted diseases, right?

Brian Gill said...


Thanks, and changed. As in the other blog, I could argue correct syntax: but in this case, parallel construction is clearly the better choice.

Re. P.S. They may, and they may not. Note the disclaimers for non-barrier contraceptives in television advertising. Quite a few folks are astonishingly unburdened by common sense, when it comes to connecting knowledge of germ theory and disease transmission vectors to behavior.

Also, although they are not effective in stopping the spread of infections, they do slow it down. It's sort of like the difference between "fire proof" and "fire resistant."

Which is not to say that I disagree with the Church's positions.

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More


Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

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.