Monday, August 13, 2012

I don't often like visiting web sites that feature philosophies I strongly disagree with

Usually they're so rich with content I disagree with, I'd burn up the remainder of my soul trying to beat the host and his supporters with arguments about the truth of the Church and what all.  I don't want to do that, and don't like it when I feel myself so inclined, because what I should be doing is trying to convert them and win them over with love, instead of turning it into a fight.  Sometimes I'll visit a few, but I try not to comment or anything so I don't get too caught up in it.

I do get one mass e-mailing from some outfit that warns about some conspiracy between Rome and the UN creating a world government (a refreshing change from both being part of the same Jesuit plot although sometimes they go there, too), but they have a mix of silly stuff that doesn't bother me too much yet (I may get my fill after a few more missives like what I've received lately, though) and criticisms of the culture I actually agree with, so I can stomach the few nuggets of bigotry and misplaced paranoia, turn them into post fodder.  Although recently they attempted to Biblically deconstruct the "Catholics Come Home" ad campaign; they did such a grade school job on that "maybe a world bank wouldn't be a bad idea, eh?" article from whichever Vatican dicastery that it would have killed any faith I might have still had in their ability to exegete weightier subjects like the Bible itself.  You've probably seen the type; they talk about being among the mere tens of thousands of true Christians, write off all ecumenism as false ecumenism and put out articles and DVDs about how the "Bible Church" cannot "merge" with Rome, get it right on isolated topics like prosperity theology (I wish a few of them had the historical memory to attack residual liberation theology, but maybe the Jesus-Marxists are too far out there to show up on their radar), and then spend a great deal of effort going around debunking the messages of specific Protestant celebrities along side Masonry and Rome and other bogeymen.

I read an editorial by Richard Dawkins from last fall, though, that really made me want to add my drop to the bucket of challengers to his comfortable misconceptions.  I won't go into all of it, because I'm lazy and because his caricatures are only convincing to people who want to have an exotic, bureaucratic boogeyman to rage against.  The supporters in his combox, however, were perhaps more alarming.

Dawkins was talking about how the Church--the Latin Rite, at least--was a viable contender for the title of greatest evil force in the world, something like that.  Gave "examples" by referring to the teachings on chastity as lies about condoms that kill Africans with AIDS.  I wanted to go all Robert Louis Stevenson and point out that, even though federal monies sometimes make their way to Catholic hospitals in the US, the Church (and other religious groups) actually have boots on the ground trying to help the people who have AIDS now and are starving and in poverty now, instead of issuing shrill criticisms from his comfortably distant laptop computer.  But I doubt I have the charism to prick his conscience, if no other opponent of his has managed to do so, either.  Time to pray for him and for patience and humility for myself along the way.

Naturally the defenders of the Faith made their various and sundry contributions and efforts, and Dawkins' fan club chimed in with insults, compliments to his clarity of thought I found oddly uniform, and eerily disconnected as well as brazen affronts to all things Catholic, such as suspicion about Benedict's sexuality, the tenacious delusion that Benedict really was a Nazi sympathizer, and my personal favorite, an assertion that Rome had active agents involved in African genocide, supported only by a link to, to the page listing nothing but the bishops of Rwanda.

That was all.  Merely pointing out that there are bishops in a country that currently experiences genocide and expecting others to assume there's a deliberate connection.  You know what's also in Rwanda, buddy?  Trees and water.  Maybe they're also contributing factors.  You know who else had a genocide?  Germany in World War Two.  You know what else Germany had?  Sauerkraut and beer.  Maybe they're also contributing factors.  You know what else?  Rome has bishops for every square inch of land; most of them occupy their territories but some only have virtual or potential jurisdiction, like Timothy P. Broglio for the American military or whoever indirectly responsible for Antarctica whom my Google-fu is failing to identify.  Do you really think any attempt to assign contributing factors to these fellows would in any way be fruitful or meaningful?

I mean, this is what we're up against.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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