I got sidetracked, though, by another comment to which I started composing a rebuttal, then decided instead to deal with it here in my own blog. So, I left my original comment and prepared the following public service to my dear friends and readers.
The comment that sidetracked me (color-coded for the discussion below):
I'm catholic. I do not agree and do not approve the more aggressive approach to publicly deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, warn Catholic voters they should never vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights under any circumstances and reining in prominent dissenters in their dioceses. And I understand their reasons and justifications. But it's not something Jesus Christ would do. It's not worse than a priest giving mass and abuse children sexually. To then be forgiven for abusing children sexually without truly repenting to later abuse children sexually again. The church leadership has to take care of their own priests and superficial faithful corruption and the government has to take care of their own corruption. Yes I agree that abortion must be illegal. But not impose on others one sin over other. There are worst sins. The church makes a big mistake by focusing on the pro life agenda to protect the unborn child who does not have a voice or someone to defend him. And because of that focus they are indifferent to other negative influences or sin behaviors that occur that affect us and hurts much more. Peace & love.
This comment, despite its total desecration of the English language, is actually quite useful as an example of what I call "the 4-point polemic".
- Jesus Loves Dissenters, Too.
- Priest Scandal Trumps All
- Seamless Garment Theory Revisited--Badly
- I'm a Catholic; Peace & Love
1. Jesus Loves Dissenters, Too. See, Jesus was really all about love, which means we don't judge, or tell people they're doing wrong. Forget that Christ is King, Lord of Heaven and Earth and Judge of all of humanity at the end of time. He just wants us all to get along. A Rodney King of the Ancient world, if you will; our buddy; our homie; our cosmic BFF.
2. Priest Scandal Trumps All. No priest anywhere can make any comment or statement ever about faith, morals, sin, right and wrong. All Catholic priests, no matter what anyone says, are exactly the same and must be strictly stereotyped as abusive and dangerous. Forget the actual statistics or facts about the scandal. This catch-all rebuttal can be thrown in anyone's face at any time, in any context.
3. Seamless Garment Theory Revisited--Badly. One sin isn't any worse than another, and the worst sins are putting one sin over another as being worse. When we try to fight one type of sin, we're really not fighting sin at all, because we're taking one sin and focusing on it and not focusing on it in light of all sins, which are the worst sins than the worst sins that are worse than the sins of the worst kind.
4. I'm a Catholic; Peace & Love. Because I said it, it is true. All that matters is that I say the words. I don't have to actually believe, or even know, what Catholicism teaches. I don't actually have to be peaceful or loving, either. My post, comment or article can be as inaccurate, uninformed, vitriolic, insulting, rebellious, nonsensical or ungrammatical as I feel like, as long as I say I'm a Catholic and get those words "peace & love" in there. I'm a Catholic not because of what I believe, but because I say I am. Peace & love don't hinge on my propagating truth, logic, morality and compassion, but on my simply saying or writing the words.
For all faithful Catholic bloggers, directly refuting the 4-point polemic would be a total waste of time. Instead pray for the 4-point commenter/writer/blogger. Pray especially that he or she is freed from the shackles of irrational thinking born of secular idealism, and is given the wisdom of God, and a deep desire to learn the faith that Christ gave to us. Also pray for those who continue to fight the good fight, like Abp. Dolan, and all those who preach the real good news.
Then put on the Armor of God and fight the good fight yourself through constant, diligent dedication to the truth in all you say and do.