No True Catholics?

The post is somewhat of a response to The Rockin' Traddy's new blog post. I've responded to many of his ideas in comments on his blog, but will address this idea of "what a true Catholic is."

I'll do my best to accurately represent the Rockin' Traddy's views, but if I miss something or misrepresent his position, I'll certainly modify this post.

The basic jist of The Rockin' Traddy's blog is simple: The Catholic Church is the only true church. Catholics should stick to the "old time religion" and all should follow very conservative views. The current form of Catholicism should be reverted to the Latin Mass and older doctrine.

The Rockin' Traddy is a believer in God who doesn't cut corners. While I don't think that "conservative Christianity" is a tenable position, he's at least honest about what he believes and is quite consistent.

When I have discussions with various theists, people note that they don't believe in the literal truth of the Bible. Some say that it's just an inspirational book.

Some theists say that they believe in God, but don't attend church services.

Many theists say that they don't agree with The Vatican at all and simply go to church because they think that it's "the right thing to do."

Some say that religion is just a way of looking at the same god and that all religions are true.

Some say that they don't really care about religion, but they just believe.

Let's face the facts. Religions change. Theology changes. Science progresses. Historians discover new information. With the passage of time, new advances in human knowledge force us to relinquish previously held positions like "the earth is less than 10,000 years old" and "The Bible is an inerrant document inspired by God." If we're intellectually honest, we should allow ALL of our beliefs to be open to change and change our beliefs when new information comes in instead of trying to hold on to our positions when they're untenable.

We can't hold on to old positions like "homosexuals are disordered and there is no such thing as being born gay" when a tremendous amount of evidence suggests that homosexuals are well-adjusted people and that people exhibit signs of sexual preference at a young age.

We shouldn't complain about women being priests and hide behind tradition. Not allowing women priests is simply discrimination on the basis of gender.

We also ought not try to ban contraceptives, insist that people shouldn't have early sex education, teach abstinence-only information, and then be against abortions. The conclusion is quite obvious: safe sex and education are the best ways to lower the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies. Abstinence-only education has dramatically failed.

We shouldn't hold on to the idea that "marriage is only between a man and women - protect marriage" when marriage has already been redefined to allow for interracial marriage. Marriage laws have changed with time and so has the family structure. Homosexuals want the same rights as heterosexuals.

It's also silly to insist that America is a "Christian nation" when we are a secular democracy that was founded by people who were mostly deists. We also ought not look at something the Bible says and say, "This is how America should be!"

Catholics can be Catholics without being super-pro-life, anti-women priests, "traditional," and anti-homosexual. To insist that stances like this disqualify someone from being a Catholic is absurd and fallacious.

At this point, some detractors might say something like "If you're going to join the Catholic Church and believe in God, you have to follow the rules that the Catholic Church has set up." I disagree. We have all sorts of republicans, democrats, socialists, etc who have various different positions on issues, but do share something in common.

The Rockin' Traddy and I will agree that many Catholics are very dishonest, but we will hold this position for drastically different reasons. The idea that a Catholic is inconsistent or dishonest and not disqualify someone from being a Catholic.

You should be very suspicious when you hear the term "true believer," "true Catholic," "true faith," etc when distinguishing one Catholic from another Catholic.

I guess I'll have to work harder to win the "Scumbag of the Day" award from Traddy. Perhaps honest discussion will do it.