Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reason #1037 Why I Don't Go To Church Any More

If all you read was the headline and the first couple of paragraphs here, you might think that that the University of Notre Dame's invitation to President Obama to speak at its commencement is the greatest threat to the Catholic Church since the Reformation. You have to read the complete article to realize that the so-called divide is the invention of an overwrought headline writer, a reporter who put manufactured controversy over accurate reporting, and a loudmouthed conservative minority that claims to speak for the entire church.

Read the entire article, and you'll find that there's no division at all. White Catholics -- who approve of Obama's job to date by 57-33 per cent -- are in fact among the president's staunchest supporters. (White Protestants, by comparison, actually do split 44-42.) Not only, the president is popular among the Notre Dame student body, which supported him last fall by 57-41.

What you have in opposition are apoplectic bishops and lay conservatives who oppose Obama's appearance at the country's flagship Catholic university because he is pro-choice and supports stem cell research. Never mind that Obama has ordered the closing of Gitmo and put an end to state-sanctioned torture or that he wants to expand health care access to the 50 million Americans -- many of the Catholic -- who don't have it. Never mind that he's trying to pursue an enlightened and humane policy toward illegal immigrants -- the vast majority of whom are Catholic -- that doesn't demonize them and that recognizes their contributions to our economy. Nope, none of that matters compared to his positions on two issues where rank-and-file Catholic opinion is indistinguishable from the views of the public at large.

Too bad the bishops didn't bring this level of outrage to bear against child-molesting priests. People might actually pay attention to them if they had...

Just what is it with Republicans and sex scandals?...

The Seahawks have made a big deal out of changing to a zone-blocking scheme. Clare Farnsworth explains what that means to both sides of the football...

The Red Sox have called up Daniel Bard and his 100-mph fastball. Can't wait to see this kid pitch!...

Obama tourism booms in Chicago:
Obama tourism in the president's home town is growing as visitors search for signs of his personality in places where he lived, worked, walked, dined, played hoops -- and first kissed his wife, Michelle. Enterprising business people are rising to meet the demand and nudge it along.

Screw You, Katrina, and the Army Corps of Engineers You Rode In On: When Madrid, a Spanish restaurant, opened for business in New Orleans' Lakeview area last month, it became the 1,000th restaurant in the city, the most ever...


New Orleans Ladder said...

Hey K.
I probably shouldn't comment here, really... you don'wanna get me started... stop it, you can't make me... well ok damnit, since I have long felt that all Seriously God Peoples (SGPs) should be rounded up, put on barges and sent back to the Holy Land --so they can work out their "Problem" amongst themselves Over There, away from our Democracy.
And for on board entertainment, we could throw in every pedophile, pederast, closeted airport stall glory-holing freako and redressed redrum'in pig in a Freudian slip... don't get me started... ya'got me started... butt oh! That would be the entire Republican Party and half of the Libertarian Menschekteque...grrr...

So I won't comment about any of that boo'rah.

1000 Restaurants! Now that spanks!
Indeed, screw the Exquisite Corps...

We the Antibody Politic?
Editilla~New Orleans Ladder

K. said...

What I don't like about what has happened to the American Church is that it has made common cause with looney tunes fundamentalists who have no small amount of anti-Catholicism in their histories. But they're anti-choice, by God, and that more than compensates for intolerance and no-nothingism.

It's dreadful to watch the American Catholic church head down a path of anti-intellectualism. Think about it for minute. The same gang that opposes Obama speaking at Notre Dame -- and it's really Notre Dame's business -- would have welcomed Bush in a second. That is, they'd oppose the appearance a genuine intellectual and support a guy who is so poorly informed that he thinks the jury is out on Darwinian theory. (The Catholic church made its peace with Darwin years ago.)

And I'm supposed to follow these guys as spiritual leaders through the twists and turns of modern life?

ZenYenta said...

I'm thinking that, like the Republican party, there is an increasing percentage of crazy in most religious institutions. There are logical enough reasons for this but it doesn't change the fact that the nuttiness gets louder and the voice of reason quieter.

K. said...

Fifteen years ago, I considered myself a religious person. Today, while recognizing its benign role in many lives -- I believe that religion does more harm than good and that it has always been thus. Seeing the nature of fundamentalism at work in everything from the American religious right to 9/11 and watching the church I was raised in turn away from its best ideals to protect a bunch of child molesters did me in. Sadly, too much of religion has reached the place where dogma supercedes decency and compassion instead of showing the way to both.

Scrumpy's Baker said...

I can't even get started on the religion issue.

My sister is coming to Chicago for Memorial Day. Maybe we'll have to go on one of those Obama tours. :)

Ima Wizer said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, loud and clear, "WHEN GEORGE W BUSH SAID THAT GOD SPOKE TO HIM, I DECIDED I WAS GOING TO THE WRONG CHURCH!" Hrrmph!

Kathy said...

The 1,000th restaurant just opened in New Orleans? That's nice, but it seems to me I read that hundreds of people still live in FEMA trailers and they're getting evicted at the end of this month, and the majority of them are old and disabled.

Couldn't they have built some low-income housing for these people?

Anonymous said...

The church getting involved in politics is always painful at best. It's about like when athletes and beauty queens run their mouths on social and political issues, you have to cringe. Obama at Notre Dame is such a non-issue made into a tempest by the usual gang of idiots. My favorite was Newt the 3 time loser and ad hoc Catholic chiming in as if he's some quoteable sheep from the Catholic flock. I wonder what his ex-wives have to say about his Catholic conversion.

Foxessa said...

Have you watched Jesus Camp (2006)?

We all should watch that thing.

Be afraid, very, very, very afraid.

The Born Agains are not going away quietly. They are building this national movement, targeting children, to create their own suicidal lock-step warriors in order to fight satan here and everywhere else.

This is as much child abuse and beating and sexual exploitation.

The central male figure -- I think he's 10, or maybe 12 -- it's as though he were a child actor playing the fascist world dictator, er savior hero warrior pince as a child -- he's that self-possessed, dressed in camo gear, prowling the stage with his mic sword, working the other kids into a frenzy for the lord, while the adults watching him are drooling with gratification at their leader-in-training.

It doesn't look as though Guantánamo is going to be closed any time soon, alas.

Love, C.

K. said...

C: Ditto on Jesus Camp. That kid was chilling. I do think that those people are on the wrong side of history. Plus, they're not up to continued thrashings at the polls. Another couple of elections like the last two and they will withdraw from the public arena. In its overall history, American fundamentalism as a political movement is an anomaly.

Rasta: It is a perfectly defensible position morally and politically for a Catholic to believe that the Church has as much business being involved in secular politics as secular politicians have in telling the Church what to do. I'm not quite there because I admire liberation theology. That's different, I guess, because it represents the interests of oppressed people.

Foxessa said...

Jesus Camp is our time's version of Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here.

But it can happen here.

28% is definitely a large enough springboard to bring it on.

Especially with a charismatic young good looking talented smart very well trained spokesman-leader.

It's not over, not by any means.

Love, C.

Anonymous said...

AS an atheist living in the Bible Belt, I see this sort of madness everyday - even in my workplace.

It drives me nuts if I let it. And believe me, the Bible Belt is real and it's scary.

Pattie in Texas

K. said...

Moving to South Texas from the midwest was a real eye-opener, even for a 12-year old. I had never heard so many people talk about their church and I had never greeted a Jehovah's Witness proselytizing at the front door.

When I told my mother about the JW, she advised me to tell the next one that we were Catholics. Mysteriously (to me), this worked like a charm. Or maybe like a rosary waved in their faces. I didn't realize at the time that to the extreme fundamentalist sects, Catholics were one step removed from Jews in terms of being the anti-Christ.