Annoying Religion Rant

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by JacksonsMom, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    My step-dad tends to be REALLY annoying in his debates. He cannot debate me about religion PERIOD without getting way too defensive.

    Tonight, with the Pope's resignation, the topic of child molesting and priests came up. All I was saying is that I don't understand how this keeps happening, and it's sickening, etc, etc. I don't feel like getting into the whole story again of what we argued about.

    But basically.... he keeps saying that mostly they are homosexuals and know they can get away with it in that type of place, and take advantage of kids because they are more vulnerable or whatever. Of course he thinks it's absolutely horrible and disgusting, he's not denying that, but I kept getting SO frustrated with his constant comparison to being homosexual and being a effin' pedophile! The two just DO NOT compare, IMO. I mean, c'mon, there's tons of straight guys who rape little girls, and vice versa. And I FULLY realize that not ALL priests are bad.... just because SOME do it, does not mean they all do. Keep in mind, he has a personal connection because he grew up in Catholic schools with a very Catholic family (heh, he's one of 12 kids). He had a lot of great priests that he looks back with fond memories, etc. I GET that! However, let me not fail to mention that he is certainly no "saint" lol. This is a man who does not live like someone who is trying to be a practicing Catholic.

    I was astounded by the number of priests that have been in trouble for this. But I admittedly, don't feel I have the right amount of information to be in a good debate, so I just kind of "whatever"ed it, knowing he's not going to change his mind anyway.

    But I would like to inform myself on religion a bit more so he can stop using the "you can't argue something you know nothing about!" argument, even though he refuses to see the other side of things either. I've always considered myself fairly open minded about everything. I can listen to two sides and hear good in both (usually). It's just frustrating because he tells ME that I'm so "one-sided" and apparently, immediately when something about the church is spoken of, I don't look at the good, yet he is the same way and he doesn't look at the "other side" of the argument either! The first time a "bad" story about a gay person comes out he is the first to say "see?! this is why this isn't good..."

    Does anyone have a lot of first hand knowledge about Catholicism, or a good read? I'm curious on the downfall, it seems a lot of people are abandoning ship or at least losing faith in the church itself. I personally don't like the Catholic church from what I've experienced, but again, I haven't had a whole lot of it. I was baptized catholic as a baby, went to church on certain holidays, etc, but other than that, no never been into 'organized religion'.

    I, myself, consider to be somewhat agnostic. I'm spiritual, I do believe there's some kind of higher power *somewhere* but I believe we'll never know anything either way. I'd rather appreciate my life, be a good person while I'm here, continue to have good morals, and appreciate things like the nature and animals.

    I know us at Chaz are good at discussing things like this, so I hope it remains civil. I'm just looking for opinions, facts, ideas, any good reads.
     
  2. Airn

    Airn New Member

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    I feel exactly the same way.

    It's hard to talk about religion with several 'religious' people. I've met a few who can explain why they believe, but for the most part, I get "faith".

    As for learning more about the religion... Do you feel comfortable asking one of the church leaders to tell you about it? Some are very in your face, but some just simply want to educate others about THEIR religion and not push it on you. Depending on how interested you are, you might consider taking a class or something at the church. I know most, if not all, churches here have several different types of services and Wednesday night stuff.

    It's nice of you to not rage at him. :D
     
  3. sparks19

    sparks19 I'd rather be at Disney

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    Not catholic here. I am a Christian but that is not the same as catholic. There is a poster on here who doesn't get on much anymore and for some reason i am totally drawing a blank on her name... I know it but can't think of it. She has a daughter Katie and just had another baby recently. Help me out here lol but she is a Catholic and I feel she could probably help with a lot of your questions :)

    I get the same thing from my dad only opposite. He mocks my faith at every opportunity and it's a hard thing to get past

    I GOT IT... M&ms mommy ;) lol
     
  4. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Catholicism, just like any sects, has a wide variety of what it is. I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic schools for 13 years, my whole family is Catholic etc. HOwever, my family and area is very liberal and non fundamental Catholic. My views growing up, what I was taught, what I was shown, are VERY different than someone who is a traditional Catholic.
     
  5. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    I'm Christian but not Catholic.

    But I will say that most of my catholic friends get annoyed whenever someone brings up the molestation thing. It's not that they don't think it's horrible and something that needs to be take care of it's more that people think Catholic = child molesters.

    Fact is any time there are jobs where adults are over kids you're going to have some sick people do things to the kids. It could be a priest, it could be a teacher, it could be a daycare worker but SO many see the word Catholic the only thing they ever associate with that word is 'child molesters'.

    Whenever someone talks about a teacher I don't hear a ton of people jumping up and questioning why there have been so many teacher sleeping with students *It's happening a lot around here*

    I know there are Christians who don't act like Christians and people talk about being mistreated by Christians during their life.

    But being a Christian isn't easy either. There are a LOT of aggressive in your face atheists too. And speaking from a Christian *not Catholic* stand point I understand why someone would be defensive after being constantly told by popular media and peers that you are stupid for believing in a bedtime story and automatically being associated with sexual predators.

    I'm not saying that is what you are doing. I'm just saying my Catholic friends are constantly put on the spot when they mention they are Catholic and I understand how annoyed they get.

    I wouldn't say a TON of people are jumping ship. But I do think it is a lot harder to tell people that you are Christian when the mob mentality tells you it isn't right or cool.
     
  6. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Eh, the issue MOST have with Catholics is NOT that they think they are all child molesters etc BUT that they are still supporting (giving money to) a church that is STILL hiding and covering up child abuse and molestation.

    I wish more Catholics were out there actually fighting their churches, their pastors, the vatican to get real, effective change.
     
  7. sparks19

    sparks19 I'd rather be at Disney

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    This is a great post with excellent points

    Thank you
     
  8. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Well, Catholic is Christian, they fit the definition (at least what I consider the definition of Christianity).

    I have no evidence to back this up, but I suspect that many pedophile priests went into the priesthood because they had these feelings and they thought being a priest would somehow "cure" it and they would not have to be under pressure to marry then. Obviously it didn't work out that way. I'm not making excuses for the behavior, that's just my own theory.

    I had two grandmas that were devout Catholics, and my grandpa (died when I was young) converted to the Catholic church and was a serious Catholic. He went to mass daily and even had a rosary hanging off his rear view and would say the rosary while driving (not a good plan, he got into a fender bender that way). I now having it hanging in my car-lol.

    The thing is that the Church tends to be very traditional--the hierarchy is pretty centralized from the Pope down so there is not a whole lot of room for more progressive congregations. If you look at other denominations you will find much more variety--from conservative to progressive. Nothing to do with the sex scandal but could have something to do with people leaving the church (at least in my experience around this area)
     
  9. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    The problem is that they can totally disagree with what is going on within other churches but why should they not support their church?

    I don't know if you go to church but most people consider that a safe place and place where there is a close knit community. It's not something that you say 'I disagree with what other people are doing at their churches. I'm going to quit going to my church to show them'.

    Yes they all follow the same teachings but I don't think that world wide they are as close knit and connected as you think. If they're contributing to their community and youth in the area I don't think they need to punish their community to get the word across to another community they will never meet.

    I mean yes they should speak out against it but most churches don't have much say when it comes to other churches a town over let alone different states or countries.
     
  10. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Good post!
     
  11. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    But every single parish sends money to the local diocese, archdiocese AND the vatican. It is centralized and each Catholic church is connected to each other. So, yes, if one gives money to their local parish they are in fact supporting the higher ups covering up the sex abuse. If one church is doing it, the other churches are in fact supporting it. It was never about individual parishes covering it up...it's about higher ups covering it up.

    Each parish is not independent. Priests are pulled all the time. For example, St. Louis has a big Catholic community. Growing up all the Catholics I personally knew were progressive, parishes included. Guess we got to "out there" because they started switching priests around and moved in more conservative bishops who started preaching politics.

    Also, the school I went to as a child, run by the local parish....one of the priests who was all the kids favorites because he was so fun and "cool"...he got moved suddenly. Yep, he was molesting a child at my school. The church and archdiocese pretty much convinced EVERYONE to keep it hush hush while they quietly moved him to a new parish. I found out a decade or more later while watching the news one night because his name came up...yep, he was molesting children that whole time!!!! So yes, supporting any Catholic church monetarily is currently supporting that.

    I can guarantee that if right now, the majority of Catholics said "Yes, we are Catholic, but we are no longer giving ANY money until you get this taken care of" it would be a top priority. The faith itself I have no (ok little lol) problem with....its the corruption of the controlling people of it.
     
  12. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Meh, it happens in other churches too.

    In my town of about 60,000 I know of at least two churches (one "non-denominational/baptist" the other church of christ) where patrons of the church either molested a child or helped cover up the molestation of a child.

    For whatever reason the catholic church just gets the brunt of the media coverage. These two particular instances that I know of were never handled legally, the church and its members covered up one instance and the other one was just not followed up on. The particular person in the second case moved away and the family of the child (or children) just decided to leave it alone.
     
  13. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Oh it happens other places as well for sure. For me though, as a former Catholic, the level of abuse and denial and covering up was just so huge and deep that, yeah, not cool.

    If someone knew their personal church covered a case up, and still supported the people in charge of doing it, I would have the same issue with them.

    Also, for those parishes that are deemed "safe"...never know when the higher ups will move in a new priest because he molested someone somewhere else, so yes, all connected.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  14. TahlzK

    TahlzK New Member

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    For people who are meant to be so godly and good, they commit one of the biggest sins. I just don't understand it.. It's pathetic. These people shouldn't get the chance to do this, this needs to stop.
     
  15. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    I miss the days when the offering/ donation money went to help those in need :(
     
  16. Jenne

    Jenne Ball Thrower

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    This may not be a popular opinion, but... A growing group of psychologists are stating that pedophilia is a sexual orientation. I think that a lot of pedophiles know their "orientation" is unacceptable so they turn to the church hoping to be "cured" of their affliction. Catholic priests are supposed to be celibate and I'm sure that drew a lot of pedophiles to the priesthood. I don't think they became priests to find victims, but to find a way to save themselves. But because they failed to address or acknowledge the underlying issue of their attraction for children they set themselves up to fail. It was wrong of the catholic church to hide and cover-up these crimes and had they addressed the issues earlier they would have prevented a lot of anguish for those children.

    Being a victim of sexual abuse is one of the most soul-destroying and shame-filled thing that can happen. The community pities you, your friends and family don't know what to say or do and as a child you don't completely understand. Often the child isn't even sure what occurred is wrong, just that it felt weird. The reactions of the adults (parents and family) are often more traumatizing than the actual incident.

    As for religion, I tend not to subscribe to any one belief system. I find too many people use their beliefs to bludgeon/hate/murder others. I think that if you look through many religions you'll find universal truths that they all contain and those are what I base my life on. Religions are fascinating to me because despite all the differences between them, the similarities are astounding.
     
  17. CatStina

    CatStina SBT Lover!!

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    The OH's mom is a nutjob Catholic. She said that you can't fault the church for the child molestation, because it happens in all sorts of organizations and not just the church...
     
  18. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    This line of reasoning is ridiculous (I know you said nutjob but still...it's mind boggling).

    This is what gets me about the Catholic Church pedophilia debate - it's not such a big deal because other places do it and cover it up too? No, it's still a big deal. And it's an even bigger deal because it's a HUGE organization that is supposed to have things like morals and ethics covering up the exploitation and physical/mental trauma of children. I would have so much more respect for the Catholic Church if they'd step up and say "Hey we screwed up. All the priests that are suspected of pedophilia, we're turning over all evidence to the local police and will cooperate fully in any investigations. We're providing counseling for all victims and we're issuing a statement that we don't support this and we think it's wrong. And we were wrong for covering it up for so long." And yes, Catholic Churches are all connected, like Greenmagick said. Supporting one basically means supporting the entire organization - and when that organization at best turns a blind eye to pedophilia and at worst supports/enables it...it's not something I'd want to be associated with, even on a small scale.

    To answer the original question - I was Christian until high school (around age 15 or so). A lot of the knowledge I have about religion came from the church and the rest is from reading on my own and/or debating with religious friends. The thing about religious debates though...you have to go into them knowing that the odds of you actually changing someone's mind are miniscule at best. So you can be fully prepared and make good points and KNOW what you're talking about but it doesn't really matter. Nothing will change. And your stepdad doesn't sound like the most open minded person to begin with. :|
     
  19. MinPinOwner

    MinPinOwner Member

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    If I decided to conceal what I knew about the sexual abuse of children and not report it to the police, I could possibly end up in prison myself. I was baptized Catholic and did go to a local church several times as a kid. I'm an atheist now.
     
  20. tzigane

    tzigane New Member

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    Nobody I've ever met thinks that all Catholics are child molesters, regardless of their belief system. The problem that they have is that the Catholic church (not Catholics, but the Catholic church and its administrators) is that they seem to just brush this stuff under the rug and ignore it. Plus, there were little to no consequences.

    Yes, it could happen in any job, and I can't say that it is or isn't more prevalent in the Catholic church because the church is more in the spotlight than, say, a daycare job. The reason it gets so much flack is because the Catholic church claims to be a source of morality and a direct connection to god. They claim to be THE moral compass, the highest role model, and pedophilia is about as far away from morality as you can get. And again, when people association Catholicism with child molesters, we're not thinking that every Catholic is a child molester, but that we're disgusted that the higher-ups in the church could stand to just turn the other cheek while this stuff happens. Not to mention with your school example, those people are prosecuted by the law, but that doesn't happen with the church.

    Do you realize how many "in your face atheists" there are compared to in your face Christians? Do you realize the level of in-your-face Christianity versus in-your-face atheists? There's a comic somewhere that compares militants in various belief/non-belief systems: militant Muslims and Christians resort to anywhere from violence and killing to going door-to-door, picking you out, and telling you you're going to hell, you're a horrible person, you're a-moral, you're not trust-worthy. A militant atheist sits around drinking beer talking with other atheists about the state of religion and morality. Have you ever had an atheist approach you (without prompt) and tell you that you're a horrible person or you deserve to be tortured for eternity? Or that you're not a worthy human because you don't have a relationship with an invisible man in the sky? Some atheists are becoming more vocal, and we're coming out about the corruption and hate that religion spews. We're coming out against bigotry and hatred, dismissing science, blocking progress, and such things. We're coming out against blind faith and the hatred against and distrust that comes with not accepting such blind faith.

    If you think there's a "war on Christianity", take a step back and look at how completely engulfed in Christianity this country is. Despite having a separation of church and state, we still have a National Day of Prayer, and a National Prayer Breakfast. We still have the addendum in the Pledge of Allegiance that says "under god", even though it wasn't added until the 1950s in response to the communism scare. Everything around is religious.

    Atheists are the most distrusted group of people in America (http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2006/UR_RELEASE_MIG_2816.html). Why? We haven't done anything. We haven't bombed women's clinics or murdered gynecologists, we haven't done any kind of terrorist act in the name of atheism. No, not every religious person is a bigot or a terrorist. Most are perfectly good people. If you don't want us to judge you because of your beliefs, why are you going to judge us on our lack of belief?

    If you get aggravated or annoyed with someone challenging your beliefs, maybe you should take another look at your beliefs. Beliefs should be challenged: either you'll come to a new realization or your beliefs with be further strengthened. Either way, it's win-win, right?

    Popular media and peers are very pro-religion. They largely support these "bedtime stories" as you called them.

    As the one study I linked to showed (there are many more like it, all with the same conclusion), religion is the right and cool thing. Being a bad person isn't, though. :)

    DISCLAIMER: A lot of the things that I said in there - especially in my big huge rant - are not directed at you or anyone here in general. They are general rants about being an atheist that I commonly run into, similar to your rants about being a Christian/Catholic. Just wanted to give some input from the perspective on the other side of the fence! I am a staunch atheist and VP of the largest grassroots Atheist community in NC, so I'm pretty passionate about defending atheism, equality for all, and separation of church and state, hence my ranting about lots of that stuff. :)
     

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