Writing for the Catholic World Report, Thomas M. Doran argues that “we’d all be Catholic if we really thought about it.”
As someone who’s thought about it… no thank you. I can do much, much better than that.
But what evidence does Doran offer for why Catholicism totally makes sense?
• Catholicism insists that every person is created to be great, a hero, to rise above human weaknesses and mistakes, to be more than just a smart animal, and that becoming this hero has permanent significance.
• Catholics are convinced that heaven is a glorious adventure, not eternal boredom or conformity or mindless obedience, and if heaven is real, as Catholics believe, even the longest and most fruitful life on Earth is just a speck compared to life in heaven as your best self.
So… Catholics have some really awesome delusions. We’re all great! The afterlife is so great!
Are you convinced yet?
• While Catholicism holds firm and fixed beliefs, every race and culture in the world has found its own unique expression of Catholicism in art, music, prayer, and traditions.
It’s true when world leaders commit violence in the name of your faith, you might be able to spread your beliefs much more quickly. Being popular isn’t the same as being right.
• Catholicism is anything but anti-intellectual. Brilliant men and women in every age and in every field have embraced Catholicism. Nothing about rightly understood Catholicism is incompatible with honest (versus speculative or ideologically-driven) science. Many of the most acclaimed scientists in history were believing Catholics; also true of art, music, literature, poetry, sculpture, architecture; you name it.
Shocking, isn’t it, how so many brilliant people embraced Catholicism when the Church was the major (if not only) source of funding for them? As one commenter notes, plenty of brilliant people have rejected Catholicism. By Doran’s logic, doesn’t that mean we should all head away from the Church?
• The only rational alternative to Catholicism is fatalism-hedonism…
He defines fatalism as accepting we’re not going to live forever and hedonism as seeking pleasure.
He argues that both of these things are, for some reason, horrible.
Nowhere in his piece does he bother defending the Church’s stance against homosexuality, its demonization of contraception (even in cases where it could save lives), its belief that consecrated wafers are literally the body of Christ, the pedophilia scandals, the treatment of women, and the mounds and mounds of money that the Church is sitting on.
Forget becoming a Catholic because you “really thought about it.” Thinking goes against everything the Church stands for. They don’t want critical thinkers. Thinkers ask questions. Questions make the Church look bad. They want sheep. They want people who will recite prayers from memory, and attend Mass regularly, and give money as a habit. Those are the people who keep the Church afloat. Not thinkers who have the guts to challenge the Church hierarchy when it’s warranted.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Randy for the link)