Catholicism: The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad religion.
Alright. Hold up. Stop right there.
Before you get your knickers all bunched up, let me clarify something. I don’t believe that Catholicism is terrible, horrible, no good or very bad. (Obviously, if I’m thinking of joining the church…) The thing is… a lot of people do. A lot of people see Catholicism as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad religion.
Misinformation, people. It’s everywhere.
Do a Google search for Roman Catholicism sometime. See what pops up. Even worse? Do a Google search for Roman Catholicism + Cults sometime and see what pops up. Good. Grief. Ya’ll. There’s a whole slew of crazies out there spouting a bunch of misinformation as if it were true. And everyone believes it.
Because it’s the same misinformation they’ve been hearing for the past 500+ years. So, if it’s still floating around, it must be true, right?
Not so much. You see, the equation looks a little like this:
Misinformation + Time = Really Bad PR
You can’t really blame people, though. If our parents have heard the same misinformation and then pass it along to us, we’re going to believe it because it came from our parents, and our parents would never lie. And of course, our parents believed the same misinformation they passed on to us because they heard it from their parents and so on and so forth back to the 16th Century. The Catholic discourse has turned into a fable, a piece of folklore, an old wives’ tale. Repeat it enough times for it to become part of the historical/philosophical/theological landscape and no one questions it. People soon just brush it off as a strange anomaly. “Oh, yeah… Catholics.”
The dumb thing is… Catholicism is the furthest thing from a strange anomaly. In fact… Catholicism is the foundation for the strange anomaly that is now Protestantism. There would be no Protestantism if there were no Catholicism first. I hate to break it to everyone, but the early church was Catholic. Not some strange conglomeration of Patriotic American Protestantism draped in a flag, wrapped in Manifest Destiny, and topped off with a star spangled bow. (Because somehow, someway, American Protestantism has become more about political affiliation than religion. But that’s another blog post for another time…)
Protestants were originally Catholics. But Protestants don’t know this. Instead, a lot of Protestants act like they have no idea where Catholicism even came from… with its “Mary Worship” and “Salvation through Works” and “Infallible Pope”. (None of which is true, but the way. But I’ll expound on this another time…) The most disheartening part is that so many Protestants refuse to do the research – to actually find out just what it is that Catholics believe. Instead, they’re content to simply regurgitate what their father’s father’s grandfather said because he didn’t like his Irish-Catholic neighbors. And then they puff out their chests and act all “holier than thou” with their stories about what great-great-great Grand Daddy used to say about those “Pagans”.
It’s all just so… stupid.
And maybe, just maybe, this blog will help dispel some of the misinformation floating around out there regarding Catholicism. Even if I don’t become Catholic, at least I can give some straight facts about the beauty, reverence, and ritual of the Early Christian Church – The Catholic Church.