I was brought up in a liberal Christian church, which is stunning considering this is a small town in the south. Then as I got older, I left the church to start attending the Catholic church. My reason is I think Mass is a beautiful service, the Catholic church is one of the oldest running institutions in the world with a lot of history behind it, and they do good things such as give to the poor.
I continue to have progressive religious beliefs, but at the same time want to be associated with the Catholic church in particular, which puts me in a tight spot.
Protestants say ‘Catholics do stuff that isn’t in the Bible.’ That might be true, but I’ve seen tons of Protestant churches do the same, and the Catholics came up with the Bible themselves, to begin with. These reasons and several others are what led me to their church.
Nonetheless, they have their flaws. Every church in the world has flaws because it is made up of human beings, who are less than perfect.
One particular problem I have is they make it sound like really arbitrary things are ‘sins of lust that will lead your path a down of destruction’ such as porn, flirting with people at a bar, or even if you go home with them for that matter.
The Catholic church has had priests who use their position of power to molest children. If that can happen, I don’t think someone should be guilt tripped out of God’s house because they looked up pictures of beautiful women on the internet.
They teach “all sins are equal in the eyes of God, ” but I simply don’t think that’s true.
I’m even willing to accept ‘porn and lusting are sins in the eyes of God’, but some guy jerking off in his room is not the same thing as another man who rapes, leaves his victims scarred for life, all to satisfy his urges. I don’t think the creator of the universe could be that stupid, and if he is, I’d rather spend my time with the devil than with an unreasonable dumbass.
This is like saying an 8 year old who steals a pack of Yu-Gi-Oh cards from a convenient store is the same as a grown man who goes to a bank, holds a gun to the bank teller, walks out with a million dollars, and leaves the bank teller hyperventilating and with a traumatic case of PTSD.
I mean, the concept is the same, they both stole. But those are not the same scenarios.
Then the church (as well as some feminists groups) would argue ‘porn will lead down to that path of destruction,’ but even this I dispute.
First, there are tons of guys who have a playboy subscription who are law abiding citizens. They are obviously perverts, but not necessarily monsters. Second, ‘porn’ was not even around for 99% of humanities existence, and women have been treated like shit the whole time. Third, even in some parts of the world where porn is contra banned (especially in middle eastern countries, for example) they’ve got 13-year-old girls marrying 40-year-old men and nobody thinks anything of it.
I’m not even disputing that porn probably causes guys to objectify women more than they already would and that the porn industry is filled with misogyny. But nearly every industry on earth is full of misogyny, and porn is one of the few where women make more than men rather than the other way around. You’d really be walking on thin ice to say porn is their number one problem.
The Catholic church lambastes people for things that barely mean anything, such as getting a divorce or being gay, but then turns a blind eye to some things that are utterly despicable.
Of course, the church as an organization is not all like this. Am I cherry picking? Maybe. But some of these priests with their incredibly judgmental sermons over the smallest things are cherry picking even worse than I am.
In fact, I’d argue teaching ‘all sins are the same in the eyes of God’, is a dangerous thing for obvious reasons.
I still actually go to the church for reasons I’ll talk about later, but we can agree to disagree sometimes.