Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H

Pick and Mix Catholicism  

Religious faith can never be a means to an end (eg inner peace etc) but an end in itself for it is the worship of God. Faith is not about you.  It is yours but not about you.

It doesnít matter if a religion is from God or a religion made by man. It has to have a standard. To accuse that standard of being wrong in anything or lying is to open the door to questioning the rest. It makes it possible. It replaces faith with guesswork.  Belief is the defining or a defining part of what you must be to have the right to identify as being part of the religion.  You are not really a Catholic if you reject faith.  If the faith is wrong then the faith rejects you.  But if it might be right no matter how unlikely that is you are rejecting it.


A contradictory religion and a contradictory Bible are cherry-picking themselves and produce cherry-pickers.  A cherry-picker can decide to follow the nasty bits and often do that.  The religion as a religion and the Bible as an alleged revelation from God are responsible for making it possible for people to cherry pick them and do harm.  There is no justice without truth and the cherry-picker is no friend of truth.  You never know if a cherry-picker religion really should be called a religion or just described as something acting like a religion.

The Roman Catholic Church is based on the Magisterium. This is a body of teaching from the Bible and tradition regarded as objectively true and therefore unchangeable. Dissent from the Magisterium makes one a Protestant. The Catholic Church holds that anybody who is baptised including Protestants is baptised into the Catholic Church.  The heretical Catholic is a Protestant for it is clear that people were expelled from the Church for becoming Protestant even though they had no intention of leaving the body of the Church.  Expelling did not make them Protestant.  They were expelled because they were Protestant.  Pope Pius IX decreed, "Hence, if anyone shall dare -- which God forbid! -- to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should are to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he think in his heart."  This statement has never been annulled by the Church and indeed cannot be for it is logical when you think of how a Church is a commitment to a body of teaching allegedly that came from God.


A person who picks and chooses what they like out of their religion has no right to present as a believing member.  Even if the religion is a pix and mix itself it turns what it picks into a standard.  It does not imply a permission for you to do the same.  Every religion has the right to a standard of deciding what its criteria for a member is and what the member is to do and believe.  No matter how repulsive the religion is it has this right. It is up to the members to do the right thing and leave.  Though a religion can set up its standards and has the right to nothing in this implies that the standards are necessarily right or that the members have valid membership from a moral viewpoint.
The Catholic faith is more important than the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is about the faith which informs you what to believe and what to hope for and how to live A Church without a standard of belief and practice is only a label. To be in a religion when you think you can believe what you want about its doctrines and morals is really just turning the religion into a sectarian label. Most people want the Catholic Church but not the Catholic faith.
The person who rejects any aspect of the Catholic faith cannot belong to the Catholic Church properly.
The true Catholic refuses to deliberately reject the faith and what it teaches. Through and because of his faith he is a member of the Church. He is a member in Church law as well. Those who reject the view that the shepherds of the Church the bishops and the popes know best and can exercise infallibility are not acting as Catholics even if they are Catholics. The believing Catholics accepts that there is only a single and united and sacred and apostolic and Catholic Church through which Jesus teaches us the truth today. Even atheists must agree with that. If you want to speak as a Mormon then you must speak in line with what your religion teaches. Your religion is bigger than you.
If Catholicism is fundamentalist, the liberal Catholics are drawing people to it. The converts find out that the liberals are dishonestly watering down and inventing their own standards. They want to be really Catholic and they end up fundamentalist.
The Church teaches that freedom of conscience is a human right. But they say that real freedom of conscience means that the conscience must be informed and guided by Godís one true religion, the Catholic Church. A conscience is not free if it has no instruction and guidance and is forced to guess.

The Catholics who pick and choose what they like out of Church teaching are ultimately saying that there is no sin but merely having a bad motive. They may say you can cohabit with your partner and have a baby without a male partner being there to assist you if you wish as long as you mean well. That leads to total religious permissiveness.

Catholics say that if we cannot accept Godís teaching we must pray for understanding. In other words, we try to accept it. There is no sin in this if we are really trying.

When religion enrols you as a baby, when it conditions you as a child to believe its doctrines and obey it, you have the right to be very critical and speak your mind about religion. Those who are part of the system that got you baptised, that means all Catholics, have no right to complain if you are.

I have no sympathy for Catholics who are divorced and remarried or in gay relationships who expect the Church to change its teaching for them. Psychopaths believe they are right to be willing to kill and maim. Is the Church meant to suit them as well?

Those who can find a Church that suits them and who want the Catholic Church to change to suit them are not Catholics. A religion cannot stand if it allows you to believe whatever you want and accepts you as a member. Such Catholics are also bigots if they think Protestant ministers should not be allowed to say mass in Catholic chapels. So they acknowledge the infallibility of the Church after all. The Church is right according to them when it bans Protestant ministers and it cannot be trusted in other things. This translates as, "The Church teaches without error only when I agree with it!"

Bad Catholic means you are less of a Catholic than a good Catholic. So this idea indicates that it is possible to be ďbadĒ enough to cease to be a Catholic.

If you pick and choose from your Catholic religion, you cannot seriously expect your kids to go to Mass if they donít wish to go. You canít object if they decide they have a right to be unkind to people.
The Roman Catholic Church pretends to be infallible - that is able to speak without error when it intends to declare something revealed by God and intends to declare it to the whole Church for all time and forever.
The Church says it cannot teach error for Jesus promised that the gates of Hell would never prevail over his Church. But if the Church taught many errors that would not mean that the gates of Hell had prevailed. There could be enough truth taught to help any person get to Heaven.
Jesusí promised that the apostles would be led into all truth. That does not say that the Church will enjoy this truth as well.
The Church replies that as there are many interpretations of the Bible, we should only accept the interpretations endorsed by God's Church. The pick and mix "Catholic" cannot object to an ordinary person deciding they are a bishop and doing confirmations without being a hypocrite. Pick and Mix religion ruins the rationale for having the Church at all.
The Church is said to be welcoming to all who truly want to be part of it. That is what it means to be Catholic. Even the simplest person can understand that Jesus is God and does not tell lies and speaks to us today through the pope and the bishops and the Bible and must be obeyed. And that is Catholicism in a nutshell.
If you are required to believe in Catholic doctrine and refuse, even if you are still Catholic you are not a believing one. You cannot expect the Church to accept you as wanting to be truly a part of it.
The Greatest Commandment, according to Jesus, is to love God with all ones heart and soul and mind and self. This by implication says truth comes first. It claims to be a truth. It claims to be the supreme truth. It condemns religious cherry-picking.
Jesus Christ said you are either for him or against him and that you must believe in what he teaches to be saved . The Catholic Church says he is with his Church today and teaches us. He left his teaching authority with the apostles. Today the Roman Catholic bishops united with the pope are the successors of the apostles. The stark choice Jesus gave shows there should be no compromise and no cherry-picking.
The Pick and Mix Catholic is not an honest person. He or she claims to be a real Roman Catholic when he or she as far as faith goes, is not. A religion must have standards to be a religion. People have a right to know what real Catholicism is. The Pick and Mix donít care about that. They spread confusion and therefore upset among believers and demand to have equal rights with those who do not cherry-pick (eg they expect to be treated as Catholics in union with the faith just like those who really are in union with the faith are) and misrepresent the faith. The Pick and Mix Catholic thinks that religion should suit him rather than him suiting religion. He deserves no honour if he wonít admit that he is a hypocrite. Beliefs are not about us but are meant to be attempts to recognise the truth and grow in knowledge.
The honest person will always try to know and follow his religionís teaching. He will not stay in a religion if he thinks or knows its not true. If he is an atheist and sees that the Church is untrue he will walk.
You pay taxes to your country. Those taxes will be used for abortion if it is legal or for unjustifiable wars. If you regard these as extremely and intolerably immoral you will still pay. If you could easily move to a more moral country you should. You are a hypocrite if you stay. If you stay in a bad religion you are validating its badness and declaring it tolerable.
The Church says it is a Hell-deserving sin to corrupt Church doctrine or to misrepresent it. The theologians would agree with the teaching that the reason that people stay in the torment of Hell forever is that they wonít stop thinking they are right and that God is wrong! According to them, contradicting the Church or believing in it while refusing to join it is clear preparation for damnation.
The Church itself says that if you think it is not the true religion that you have a duty to leave it. Catholicism says that there is no hope of salvation for anybody unless they sincerely think they have the true religion.
The Church says that there is no salvation for the person who sees or suspects that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church of God and who will not join or investigate it. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. The doctrine is: outside the Church there is no salvation. The Church says it is only people who suspect the Church might be God's one true religion and therefore the best road to Heaven and who do not unite with it or those who believe and leave the Church or corrupt their faith have to worry about the doctrine. To corrupt or abandon the faith is to abandon the Church even if the person outwardly acts like a member - the Church is based on faith in its doctrines. To keep out of the Church is to refuse to support it and its teaching properly. Being a member and staying a member is support in itself. The person who believes and stays out of the Church is banned from Heaven. Imagine what it must be like for the person who is in the Church and who cherry-picks. If you can cherry-pick then it does not matter what religion you join.
Suppose you are outside the Church and believe in it and won't become part of it. You are depriving yourself Ė and others by your example Ė of the chance to enjoy finding the meaning of life which is said to be only fully attainable in the true religion.
It is blasphemous and seriously wrong to belong to the Catholic religion unless you have very strong proof that its from God. It is serious for it means you prefer the ways and word of men to the word to God and to honesty and to truth.
The truth sets one free and gives one responsibility to declare the truth and live by it and to be an example for others. Those Catholics who refuse to live up to the standards make scandal and give bad example to others and seduce them into everlasting condemnation of Hell in the eyes of the genuine Catholics. They do not respect the feelings of the true believers. They say they uphold freedom of religion. Their actions speak louder than their words. They uphold their own freedom to defy religion and claim that their faith is Catholic. They undermine truth which is necessary for religious freedom to flourish. Anybody can pick and choose from a religion and call the result Catholic faith. They have no right to call it Catholic when they do not respect the standards set for determining what is really Catholic doctrine. Jesus called the Jews who wanted a miracle from him faithless. Surely a person who claims to be Catholic and a believer and who cherrypicks is far worse?
You are part of a religious community and religion causes division. This can only be excused if the religion is the one true one or you have reasonable grounds for saying it is.
The religion teaches that certain sinners go to Hell forever that is a very serious claim and it would be vicious to take manís word for that not Godís. The religion would need to be truly from God.
Catholics who disagree with Church doctrine are refusing to admit that they are Protestants. Protestants claim to be Catholic too. In the creed they say, ďWe believe in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.Ē What makes them Protestants is their doctrine that each person can be their own pope or that conscience matters most.
Most people who are members of religion tend to be uncomfortable or disapproving of those who are more religious than they are and/or members of other religions. They have suspicions about very religious people and people outside their religion. That shows how they feel about their own deep down. They do not really think itís a good thing. It is that climate that cherry-picking becomes rife.
A la carte religion is an amoral crutch and can only lead to fear of other religions or of those who will not cherry-pick or who see through cherry-pickers.
If you know Catholicism is not from God then walk out of it. Catholics who oppose Church doctrine may be popular but they are dishonest. They often barely know theology. There are rebels and stubborn contrarians in every field. The religious rebels and contrarians cannot be taken seriously. People will say, "Their religion must be right after all when they are so attached to it though they say they disagree with it. They are probably wrong. They are just arrogant. There will always be dissenters who think they know what they are talking about." Human nature is notoriously inconsistent. We expect it and therefore dissenters in the Church are an advertisement for the Church perhaps as much as the loyal and obedient sheep in the Church are. Dissenters are not so much a sign that the Church may be wrong as a sign of human inconsistency.
The Church says that God does not create the Church with physical bonds but with the bonds of hearts and wills united in love. If you discard doctrines of the Church then you break the bonds.
In relation to man-made religious systems or anything resembling a religion that is man-made Jesus said, "Do not join them". See Luke 21.
You have an obligation to divorce unreal or fictitious obligations and religion is the major source of those! Do it for yourself and for the sake of real obligations.
Religious error and refusal to see the truth gets validation from the public presence of religion and seeing others congregating in its name. Letting your name stay on a religion's membership books and attending its worship as a worshipper (attending as a spectator is fine) is taking a pro-error stance. Society has prejudices against religious freedom. Step out of line and assert and use your right of freedom. Do not be tainted with the hypocrisy of society and the hypocrisy of people who want religion to be about what they want and not the truth.
Even if Catholics are wonderful as neighbours and friends, the fact remains that their religion is bad in principle and is to be discarded for that reason. A belief or religious faith may be inherently bad. It is wrong to follow it no matter how the supporters of that faith or religion live their lives.
Some Catholics do not feel they are enabling the evils done by the Church system - such as the denial of diaphragms to women in danger of being raped. They feel okay about being in the Church because the parish seems lukewarm or disinterested in promoting the worst of Catholicism. But if the parish does not believe it should not be trying to act so Catholic. It is pretending. Also, if the parish does not speak out against the human rights that Church teaching bans, is this out of conviction or cowardice? If it is cowardice you are in fact enabling the evil of the Church by being part of the parish.

Austin Cline wrote, "There's a lot of criticism of what churches and religious organizations do, but maybe not quite so much of what they are. This is only natural since it's easier to point out flaws or problems in behaviour than it is to argue that there is something inherently or intrinsically wrong in something's very nature. It's an issue that's worth approaching, though, because such an argument, if successful, will be much more devastating."
The good deeds of a few individual priests or nuns cannot be cited as overall evidence that the Church is benign and good as a Church or system. Is it any wonder parents let their children be molested on the grounds that the abuser is sometimes kind?
The core doctrine of a real religion is that God has given infallible truth.  Nothing changes the fact that man has no right to speak for God unless God authorises him.  Religion when it claims to be revealed by God, necessarily gets its power and authority from a heavenly or divine source and it answers to no one on earth. It is a dictatorship based on God even if it is a seemingly benevolent one. Nevertheless it is intrinsically evil if this claim is NOT TRUE. Cherry pickers in the religion are not in it as regards their intentions for their intention is not to accept this authority. They oppose the very core of their religion.  People talk about rejecting some doctrines but not core ones but if this rejecting involves contradicting God then they are throwing out the biggest core of all.  And what is core is not always clear but that is clear.
The Bible - the Word of God for Christians, 1 Corinthians 1:10 "And so, I beg you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that every one of you speak in the same way, and that there be no schisms among you. So may you become perfect, with the same mind and with the same judgment."
This speaks of religious conformity in the required teachings of the faith not conformity of opinion. Schism is when believers split up into different Churches. Tacit schism is when schism is not like this but is merely understood or implied without being stated. It is when you have a faith of your own for example that differs from Catholic though you act like a Catholic.
Red letter Christians are crowd of cherry-pickers who use the excuse, "The Bible has many horrible teachings but I am only bound to accept the teaching of Jesus." Gay "Christians" use that for an excuse for saying, "Jesus never condemned homosexuality so I can be gay and be a good Christian though the Bible condemns it." That is irrational for why pick out Jesus' sayings and taken only those seriously? And Jesus did make it clear that the Old Testament was the word of God as much as anything he said . His apostle Paul wrote that all scripture is inspired and breathed out by God and fit for teaching people. The sayings of Moses banning homosexuality are as much the word of God as the sayings of Jesus. If Christianity is irrational in the absence of cherry-picking, it would be expected to lead to the irrational practice of cherry-picking.
The Epistle of James states that religious faith or trust in the doctrines revealed by God is dead and useless unless one acts out what one says one believes. A la carte religion then according to the Bible is utterly useless and its probably safer to be an outright unbeliever instead of one who deceives himself that he is a believer. James also said that whoever breaks God's law in one point breaks all of it in the sense that he denies the importance of law. God's law is based on faith and demands faith in many doctrines so to deny one doctrine is to deny all.

Cherry-picking happens most among religionists who know or suspect that the religion is man-made. For example, they give themselves away when they say something like, "Our Church leaders have used religion to condemn homosexuality." In other words, Church teaching is sincere and purely human.

If it is okay to cherry pick a religion that is the one true one then why not cherry pick morality as well? Why not let Amy's baby starve and lavish food on Joan's baby?

The implicit and explicit side of cherry-picking is as disgusting as it is dishonest.