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.