Friday, May 9, 2014

Thank you Pope Francis for reminding me why I'm not Catholic.

I didn't grow up in any kind of church and came to faith as a young man and basically I'm of a Protestant bent in my beliefs. Not any particular denomination, just sort of a general Evangelical I suppose (minus the Churchianity nonsense infecting modern Evangelicalism). But even I admit that despite my issues with Catholic theology, there are a number of things about Catholicism I admire. I find many of their rituals absolutely beautiful, and many of my favorite political thinkers of the libertarian/alternative right are Catholics. But I was recently reminded why I could never call myself a Catholic.

It seems that Pope Francis has tipped his progressive/socialist hand yet again, calling for more "legitimate income redistribution" throughout the world. Now, the idiotic statements of this old man do not in and of themselves disqualify Catholicism in my mind, after all as I've pointed out before, Evangelicalism is certainly full of some rather questionable leaders. But what really points out why I can't be a Catholic is demonstrated in some of the mental gymnastics conservative and libertarian Catholics have had to do to defend this man's idiocy. And there in lies my biggest issue with Catholicism, it places its faith not just in God, but in a man and in an office. When one of the leaders of Evangelical culture says something stupid, I don't have to have a crisis of faith the way some Catholics are over this Pope. Because that person is just a man. A fallible fallen man. For all its faults Evangelical culture doesn't claim that any of our leaders act as the voice of God, and therefore we don't have to worry about our faith being shaken because an old man in Italy said some evil and stupid things.

For all the things I admire about the Catholic Church, I can't overlook that to me it seems like the way they regard a fallible man in the Vatican crosses the line from faith into the realm of superstition.


  1. The funny thing is, the last Pope tried to be a conservative, and they blamed him for everything that his predecessor let slip by. (Ie. child molestation) The message of the media is clear: vote in a conservative Pope, and we'll accuse him of everything from the holocaust to the Inquisition. Vote in a liberal pope, and we'll include him in our victory rally. Notice how none of them blamed John Paul II for the sex abuse crisis, it's always blaming the conservative Benedict XVI. John Paul II was the guy who fell asleep on the wheel after battling the Commies and let the sex abuse crisis run wild. (Though unintentionally) They elect a conservative Pope, and NOBODY on your side defends him even though he was trying to wipe out the gay and liberal priests that have caused so much pain. So they threw their arms up in the air, said "fuck it," and decided that if they can't beat them, they'll join them.

    Plus, you do realize even Francis spent time battling Marxists in Argentina, right? Your article even says so.

    And pray tell, is there any Church today not overrun by Marxist-feminist ideology? At the very least even liberal Popes like Francis and John Paul II DID fight REAL Communists. All the Protestants did was hide behind their side of the curtain while Catholics fought communists in Hungary, Poland, and Argentina. And given how many of today's leading wealthy supports the Democrat Party, and allows for stupid shit like the trillion-dollar stimulus to happen after they crashed our economy, perhaps the Pope is right to ask for wealth to be taken away from them. The Republicans have a badger stuck up their ass about serving and protecting the interests of the rich, but what they don't understand is that the rich ARE ALL DEMOCRATS. They all want more socialism. Why? Because it kills competition from the lower classes. A wealth redistribution right now would take money away from the top 1% who are spoon-in-their-mouth democrats and give them to the average blue-collar worker who's a Republican.

    And no, we don't recognize him as infallible in everything he says. Popes back in the day even trumpeted statements like "the Pope is lower than God but higher than men, who judges all and is judged by no one." And “Indeed we declare, say, pronounce, and define that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” And guess who put them back in line? Who beat up guys like Pope Boniface VIII and put the likes of him back on the end of the proverbial bus? Us Catholics did. By the time of the Protestant Revolt, the Papacy was nothing more than a guy in a chair who said nice things now and then; lacking the mechanisms to challenge the populist-supported absolute monarchies of France and Spain. Part of the reason the English world is Protestant is because the Pope was too afraid of Spanish influence to offend their king in favor of letting the King of England divorce his wife.

  2. My main point here is that Catholics put too much stock in the office and man of the Pope. I'm not trying to demonize Francis, I'm sure he's done a lot of good, but these pro socialist statements are stupid and evil, and like I said my point is that Catholics simply put too much stock in the Pope. Yes I realize most Catholics do not see the Pope as infallible, but like I said, too much stock is put into an old man in Italy. The fact that conservative Catholics are so distraught over his statements kinds shows that.

  3. I've defended a lot of Francis' statements on the grounds that they're only lefty on the surface, while if you read them in greater detail they're traditional right-wing stuff, but this one... oy.

    All I can say is that A) Economics is a distinct field of study, and the Pope doesn't know what he's talking about here. He's an ignoramus, who thinks it's easy to figure out, a result of the Dunning-Kruger effect. B) He's right that something's extremely messed up with our economy, but what he fails to note is that it's a combination of socialism mixed with globalism. Put simply, India was better off under British rule, than under McDonald's rule.

  4. You do realize most Catholics who oppose Francis are the kind that believe
    A) All gays burn in hell
    B) All non-Catholics burn in hell
    C) Any diplomatic attempt by the Church towards other religions is blasphemy.

    Francis has literally said nothing new. In fact, most conservative Catholics that hate the man also hate John Paul II for being so nice to people of other faiths.

    And pretty much, both Capitalism and Communism are evil in the papacy's eyes. THEY HATE THEM BOTH. Even Francis spent time in Argentina battling Marxism and Liberation Theology. What he despises about Capitalism lies in its nature as a materialist force that supplants religion. Nobody cares about Jesus anymore because they're all too busy focusing on the next blow, the next product, the next big thing. They lose what it means to be human; the fact that Limbaugh is toting the iPhone craze with iPhones made in China is in itself a failure; the IPhones should be made in America for Americans. Not by wage-slaves in a country that is at political odds with America.

    Even if you go back to the golden age of robber barons, the reason why they and their slave-owning counterparts in the South preferred uneducated immigrants and lifetime slaves to decent, honest, WASP workers was because they can abuse the living shit out of these people and pay them the most minimal wages as possible. (Or in the slave owner's case, not even pay them at all.) That's actually what the original Republicans were about; they hated slavery AND immigrant workers because it puts the average A,Erica's WASP laborer out of business. They'd be horrified by how everything is made in China now.

    They'd agree with Pope Francis that modern capitalism is evil, and they'd even go as far as to say it's a betrayal of old capitalist values and the ethos of capitalism. Capitalism, at its core, is investing in your community to make something productive out of it. Capitalism today is about selling you the cheapest products for the most money. Gone is the ethos of self-improvement. You can't blame everything n socialists, because the ones that gave them so much ammo in the first place are these idiotic robber barons who create more arguments for socialism through their actions even faster than the socialists themselves could make them. Hell, if you dig deeper enough, you'll find that even the Communists were funded by Wall Street bankers. The same capitalists who accused their enemies of being Soviet spies were the same dildos tossing money at the Reds during World War I.

    You have some required reading to do:
    Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution.

  5. Also, this:
    THAT'S why the Popes have hated both capitalism and communism.

    1. While I agree that our modern so called capitalism (like Aurini said more a twisted hybrid of socialism and globalism) is no good, the answer certainly isn't more "income redistribution".

      Also, like I said that wasn't the main point I was making here. My main point is that all the stock put into the Pope is the my biggest problem with Catholicism. Too much stock is put in one man. And I kinda think the reaction I've received proves that point.

    2. Not really. The last Pope had way too LITTLE stock put in him by his own people. Many prelates and laypeople openly defied him on contraceptives and even abortions. He was trying to get rid of the people who started the sex scandals, yet even Catholics blamed him for everything his predecessor let slide. This whole notion you put by saying that the Catholics put too much stock in the pope, which you describe as a problem with Catholicism, actually doesn't exist. It didn't exist in the Middle Ages, when Catholics freely disagreed with the Pope and sometimes even tried to kill/replace him when he said something they didn't like. It didn't exist in the Renaissance, when the Pope had to go to war with other Catholics who called him a pimp who hangs around with prostitutes. Even after the Reformation, when the Catholics hardened their hearts against Protestantism, the Papacy continued to lose power in the face of Absolute Catholic monarchs and the churchmen who support crown over church. The Spanish Church prosecuted Jews and Muslims under real guidance, despite the condemnations O's Pope Sixtus IV. The French Church threw their support behind the king of France and even laid the groundwork for the absolute monarchy of Louis XIV, whose power base was nurtured before his birth and ascension to the throne by French Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin. You can be a good Catholic and still disagree with the Pope. Majority of Catholics even in the Catholic Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation eras all thought so.

      So the flaw isn't with Catholicism. It's their over-attachment to capitalism, which has been historically controlled by a small cadre of business owners who buy out their competitors and squash local economies in favor of their international power bases. They even had Wall Street bankers and interests fund the Bolshevik Revolution, all the while turning around and accusing anyone who condemns their bully tactics against small property owners and businesses as Communists.

      They're scum, Christopher. You shouldn't support them. The reason why this country is so socialist is because the fat cats who win at the game of capitalism want it that way. And whether you vote Republican or Democrat, they will win. If the Republicans win, then they will take over from the shrinking government and bully around small businesses that compete with them. If the Democrats win, then the fat cats support jacking up the taxes to drive the smaller businesses out of order.

      What the Pope wants is for the playing field to be leveled; so that everyone has a chance of being the next Bill Gates, the next Walmart, the next Steve Jobs. He wants everyone to have property and businesses they can make money of. He wants a larger amount of capitalists, because the way capitalism runs now, it inevitably ends with FEWER capitalists who monopolize all the power in a small cadre of elites who have no accountability to the public, the same elites who convinced President Woodrow Wilson to create the Federal Reserve. And that will never happen so long as the corporate capitalism of this era keeps its stranglehold. So go ahead, support American capitalism. Just don't expect to be able to own your own business and compete with the big guys anytime soon.

    3. "Many prelates and laypeople openly defied him on contraceptives and even abortions."

      Oh yeah the opposition to non abortive birth control is the other big reason I couldn't be a Catholic You mean to tell me a married couple who is actually responsible and has the good sense to not have more kids than they afford should be told wearing a rubber is evil? That's insane. As Aaron Clarey likes to say, having more children than you can actually afford is the number one cause of poverty.

      In any case, I feel like this is sort of going in circles, so I'm kinda done with this topic. Take the final word if you wish.

    4. There is a saying that goes:

      "God provides but doesn't make you breakfast"

  6. As I've said, MANY good Catholics opposed the last Pope on contraception, and if this Pope's any indication, he might even change the papal position on it. 98% OF THE LAITY, according to Church polls, opposed Benedict XVI on contraceptives. And there were thousands of the clergy and prelates who joined the laity in voicing their displeasure. Hell, I once knew a Monsignor who used to say mass at a Church school where I graduated High School from, and he was one of the first to protest against the Pope Paul VI's contraceptives mandate.

    As for the Church's position on contraceptives itself, even secular outlets like Business Insider sees the logic behind it:

    "Today's injunctions against birth control were re-affirmed in a 1968 document by Pope Paul VI called Humanae Vitae. He warned of four results if the widespread use of contraceptives was accepted:

    General lowering of moral standards
    A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy
    The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men.
    Government coercion in reproductive matters.
    Does that sound familiar?

    Because it sure sounds like what's been happening for the past 40 years.

    Instead of two parents being responsible for the children they conceive, an expectation that was held up by social norms and by the law, we now take it for granted that neither parent is necessarily responsible for their children. Men are now considered to be fulfilling their duties merely by paying court-ordered child-support. That's a pretty dramatic lowering of standards for "fatherhood."
    How else are we doing since this great sexual revolution? Kim Kardashian's marriage lasted 72 days. Illegitimacy: way up. In 1960, 5.3% of all births in America were to unmarried women. By 2010, it was 40.8% [PDF]. In 1960 married families made up almost three-quarters of all households; but by the census of 2010 they accounted for just 48 percent of them. Cohabitation has increased tenfold since 1960.
    And if you don't think women are being reduced to objects to satisfy men, welcome to the internet, how long have you been here? Government coercion: just look to China (or America, where a government rule on contraception coverage is the reason why we're talking about this right now).

    So is the notion that it's just OBVIOUSLY SILLY to get your moral cues from a venerable faith (as opposed to what? Britney Spears?).

    But let's turn to another aspect of this. The reason our editor thinks Catholics shouldn't be fruitful and multiply doesn't hold up, either. The world's population, he writes, is on an "unsustainable" growth path.

    The Population Bureau of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations sees (PDF, h/t Pax Dickinson) the rate of population growth slowing over the next decades and stabilizing around 9 billion in 2050…and holding there until 2300. (And note that the UN, which promotes birth control and abortions around the world, isn't exactly in the be-fruitful-and-multiply camp.)

    More broadly, the Malthusian view of population growth has been resilient despite having been proven wrong time and time again and causing lots of unnecessary human suffering. For example, China is headed for a demographic crunch and social dislocation due to its misguided one-child policy.

    Human progress is people. Everything that makes life better, from democracy to the economy to the internet to penicillin was either discovered and built by people. More people means more progress. The inventor of the cure for cancer might be someone's fourth child that they decided not to have.

    So, just to sum up:

    It's a good idea for people to be fruitful and multiply; and
    Regardless of how you feel about the Church's stance on birth control, it's proven pretty prophetic."
    Read more:

  7. Drifting off topic - Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, likely didn't take the sex abuse crisis as seriously as he should have because of his background. He was raised and worked in Communist Poland, and one of the favorite tricks of the Communists to attack the Church was to accuse them of sex crimes, with the accusations made up out of thin air. Priestly celibacy is *hard*, and in laxer times, many fail to keep their vows strictly. Also, there's an unfortunate tendency of men with disordered sexuality to enter the priesthood in an attempt to control their desires, hoping that the support for celibacy will keep them from doing things they intellectually don't want to do. Actual support for celibacy and for priests' struggles isn't always consistent, either, so Catholic countries have cultural memories of priests who are sexually immoral. This makes the Communists' accusations more powerful. A man in that environment will naturally discount accusations of sexual immorality leveled against priests, because his experience tells him that the accusations usually aren't true.