Marcel, a campus ministry colleague of mine over at Texas A&M, posted today about the new versions of common Catholic myths and misconceptions. Traditionally, people have argued that Catholics worship Mary and a piece of bread, or made up purgatory, and so on. Now, as Marcel points out, people are far more likely to object to the Church’s position on homosexuality or the priestly sex abuse scandal.
He has a point. He writes, “modern people are more secular in their thinking.” For the most part, that’s true. Catholicism is not seen so much as an affront to the Protestant sensibilities that founded most of the country (but not my home state!) as an affront to the secularism that the most vocal nonreligious people want us to think is ubiquitous. Being religious seems to offend nonreligious people.
The biggest crime here is that all these anti-Catholic myths, even the old ones that still remain, are perpetuated in the name of “tolerance.” The only thing that really seems to be tolerated is accepting everything. There’s no room for the right to dislike anything, and that seems to be a much more serious problem than any other.
This post was submitted to Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival.
As a professional Catholic (more or less), I would say I am most intrigued by Judaism and atheism. Agnostics I can understand: making a concrete religious choice is a big deal, and as someone who is often indecisive, I identify with choosing not to make that choice. I love Judaism’s cultural connections and epic history.
It’s harder to wrap my head around atheism. While studying astronomy in high school, I found out that astronomers and biologists are the scientists most likely to believe in God. The origins of the universe and the building blocks of life are so precise that it becomes harder to believe that they are simply accidents.
I read in the CERC newsletter last week an atheist creation story of sorts. It was tricky to keep all the characters straight, but somehow fascinating at the same time. I also felt that it was a fair parody, one that tries to be heartfelt while still being real and poking a little bit of fun (but not too much).
I do not, however, enjoy the atheist creation story as much as I like “Candlelight,” which is now one of my favorite songs ever, winter holiday season or otherwise. It is one of the few songs I have ever immediately known I must download. Who doesn’t love talented, well-dressed, sincere Jewish boys? (Answer: No one.)