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?

 


Being gay or atheistic are incompatible with Catholicism. The stupid would argue that to refuse to tick Catholic on a census form and to leave the Church formally or get the parish to strike your name off is polarising religion and sexuality/atheism!

Quick answer: "I am not turning my back on the Catholic Church but on the bad baggage that comes with it and the bloodshed."  No Catholic bigot could fail to be in awe of such an answer.


Yet it is clear that if your beliefs and the way you live your life is against a religion's required teaching you are not polarising but being true to yourself by leaving the religion. If polarising happens that is not down to your decision. It is still the right decision. If a religion is not infallible or the truth it claims to be then you should not be in it. Your devotion to truth is non-existent or poor if you stay.

"Refusing to check the box on the census or leaving the religion seems to be to be running away from the problem and not embracing your true self at all. It is only asking people to continue polarising religion and belief/sexual orientation."
 
Is it running away from the problem?
 
Not necessarily. It is dealing with the problem by protesting with your feet. Sometimes the only way to deal with a problem is to protest with your feet.

Would Fianna Fail supporters see giving up and voting for another party as running away from a problem Fianna Fail has? It depends.

In the light of the Catholic doctrine that nobody must force themselves to be members of the Church if they think it is man-made or has serious errors walking is doing the right thing and not polarising.
 
What is running away from the problem is pretending that a religion's official teaching that atheism or same-sex sexual activity should be warred against is either changeable or just its current opinion which might change in time.

Catholicism vehemently denies that its teaching can be changed or that it is mere opinion and up for debate. The Church has declared the war if there is a war.
 
It takes two to polarise. Take the homosexual thing. The argument is saying then that the Church will repulse gay relationships if the gays decide the religion does not suit them and they walk away! To want to be in a religion like that is internal homophobia. At least it is showing that it likes the bigotry of the Church and regards it as bigoted. Whoever uses the argument is no true friend of the gay community.
 
Its a free country. If you don't agree with your religion's teachings get another religion. Or are you too sectarian to do that? If it is a free country then stand up for that freedom by being consistent with it. If your religion is about you and not God then you are just a hypocrite if you stay in a religion that you think was not set up by God as the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
 
LGBT rights and rights as atheists are in conflict with the rights of Christians. Don't try to paper over that. Whose rights should trump? I would say sexuality is more important than one's religion. And should be. That is the answer.

Catholic teaching says gay sex or atheism is a grave sin. A Protestant just has the Bible condemnation of gay sex and atheism to focus on, but the Catholic has more than that. The tradition of the Church is said to preserve the teaching of Christ and that tradition condemns gay sex and atheism is seen as a form of idolatry. In terms of the quantity of anti-gay and anti-atheist sources of doctrine, it would be less homophobic or less bigoted to be a Protestant than a Catholic. Christian teaching says that atheism is a grave sin which is probably worse than homosexuality for atheism opposes a relationship with God which is a fundamental principle for Christians.

People stopping going to Mass and vehemently criticising Church teaching has forced the Church to be less forceful and strident. The Church and even the pope pussyfoots around the Old Testament God's assertion that its an abomination for a man to abandon faith in God or lie with a man and that he who does this is an abomination. Jesus remember said the whole Old Testament was written by God through men and continually quoted it and put its teaching first. I'd rather the Church be allowed to state its teaching and if people don't like it they can find a new religion.
 
According to some, atheist or LGBT people who tick the No Religion box for the sake of atheist or LGBT rights are running away from the problem. Maybe those Catholics who defected from Scientology or Fundamentalist Christianity should reconsider and go back to their faiths. They ran away from the problem - shame on them! The worse the religion the worse it is then to run away from it. To try to be a member of a Church with harmful teachings is really saying, "You are so credible and so good that I need to be part of you." Outsiders see you as indicating that the faith is true and they think you are a bit mixed up if you live or preach in some way that differs from that faith. They take your attachment as a strange testimonial in favour of the religion but still a testimonial. And indeed they should! The Catholic religion after all sees itself as a hospital for sinners and rebels. Dissent and disobedience then are expected by the Church.
 
And is it a problem?  
 
A problem is something with the potential to be fixed. A religion stands for the concept of reason informed by faith. Even atheists have faith that there is no God. The idea is that if a teaching seems absurd or even unfair it must be accepted simply because faith is supposed to inform us on things we cannot know or work out for ourselves. The gay activist or atheist who claims to be truly Catholic does not have as much respect as he pretends when he wants to take away the religious freedom of the Church and get it to alter its teaching to suit him.
 
To stay in a religion to cause trouble for it and disagreement with its authentic teaching is being a problem yourself for that religion. How does a gay man or atheist expect staying in a Church while opposing its official teaching will help with the problem of how the Church views LGBT sexuality or atheist activism when he is a problem himself?
 
To refer to religious disapproval that leads to atheist or LGBT getting depressed and perhaps committing suicide and suffering other ills as a problem is a seriously insensitive understatement. Its more than a problem. It's worse than that.
 
Some atheist or LGBT people kill themselves in the hope of going into oblivion for they do not want to be part of an existence where there is thought to be a God who opposes atheist rights and LGBT love and condemns the sex as sinful. The Church has directly killed those people. If it is indirect then what does that matter? Indirect or direct does not matter much when the result is loss of life. The LGBT and atheists feel too excluded from the Christian society and that poses grave dangers too.
 
There are those who see Christianity's opposition to homosexuality as an abuse of religion. That is stupid. If religion were merely a system of ethics there could be a fair point. But religion is not just a heap of ethics. It claims to go beyond ethics to create further obligations. Religion comes from a word meaning to bind or obligate. Sensible people would agree that having a code of ethics is fine as long as you don't start adding in rules you can do without. It is ethical for Catholicism to say we must not murder but its unethical for it to say that only priests can celebrate Mass or forgive sins. That's taking away from the essentials.
 
The person who claims that being actively gay and Catholic are compatible and even complimentary will get a lot of tolerance and even respect for his sexuality from Catholics who don't know their religion well. They may think gay sex is not a serious sin in the Catholic faith or they may think the Church lets the individual Catholic decide for themselves. It is foolish of him if he regards the acceptance as proving he fits in the Church. Acceptance that is based on ignorance is artificial, dangerous and unsatisfactory. It cannot last - its sneaky of him to welcome it for it means he is encouraging people not to be their true Catholic selves. The reality is that the Church sees a gay person's conscience as distorted if it fails to see that God's teaching that gay sex is a sin is correct. Catholic respect for conscience does not mean the Church ever accepts a Catholic conscience that endorses gay sex as sensible or acceptable.
 
Some people "stay" in a religion when they should not. Don't try to justify the unjustifiable - if one sincerely disagrees with a religion one should not be in it - for one has left it anyway in one's heart and mind - and no religion however bad deserves people who class themselves as members though objectively speaking they are unbelievers. Agreeing with the Church a lot does not make you a true Catholic any more than it would make you a Mormon. The Church is either infallible or it is not.
 
A person who takes a census form and declares themselves to be a member of a faith and Church they have fallen away from is not being true to themselves. The Catholic who accepts atheist or LGBT people as moral people has become his own version of Catholicism but is not Roman Catholic.
 
If religious belief and practice do not matter, then why not declare yourself any religion at random? There is no difference between a person who rejects the Church and its faith declaring themselves Mormon on the census form or Catholic. One is just as untrue as the other.
 
And what if you state that it would be polarising religion and sexuality?
 
How black and white! LGBT have rights. The Church does not recognise them. Who is doing the polarising? Your statement implies that LGBT people who tick the No Religion box are as big into polarising as the Church is. It is an insulting statement.
 
Polarising whether slight or strong is a fact of life. If I drink tea, I polarise the makers of all other kinds of drinks.
 
If LGBT people are right to assert LGBT rights and the Catholic religion objects then the religion is what is doing the polarising. The argument that ticking No Religion is polarising is taking the Church's side. If you believe that LGBT people ceasing to declare themselves Catholic means they are polarising then you need to think again. Its only polarising if the break is based on hostility. This need not be the case. Again you slander my viewpoint and twist things. You show that your truly loyalties are not with LGBT people who break with the Church and you judge them.
 
If LGBT people want to enjoy their sexuality and the Church is against this, who is doing the polarising? It is not LGBT people. If you think you are an LGBT person who wants the Church to accept committed loving gay relationships, ask yourself if you want to polarise LGBT people who don't adhere to or want to adhere to this model. They will certainly never be accepted.
 
Many people who call themselves Catholic do not go to Mass, do not pay the Church any money and hate Catholic beliefs and they are members of our community. This terrifying polarisation you fear between LGBT/atheists and Catholics is not going to happen just because LGBT's/atheists tick the No Religion box or defect from the Church. It may happen for other reasons but not that. I could attend a Mormon chapel despite being an atheist just because I like the people and the service. Separating from Church membership need not involve warfare.
 
There will always be strident homophobes and atheist haters in the Church and involved in running it. Some were popes and some were saints. Some want the church to accept LGBT and atheist rights and polarise them even if those monsters become popes. Be honest. Jesus said that if a kingdom is divided against itself it cannot stand so you are going against him in your disobedience. The Church is commanded to be one heart and one soul (Acts 4:32). How can it be and how can it be a Church and how can it teach if people like you campaigning for it to change its doctrine to suit you? You say having the honesty to walk away from the Church if you disagree with it is running away from the problem. Unity in doctrine is the basic trait the Church must have in order to be one in organisation and fellowship, holy, Catholic and apostolic. Walking away can be a sign of respect for the Church.
 
That's the strident homophobes covered about what about the "milder" ones who do not want Gay relationships encouraged or supported? In fact the homophobe who is nice and refuses support to committed gay relationships is worse than the nasty gobby homophobe. The niceness is just tactical.
 
The gay "Catholic" can have a seeming addiction to Jesus Christ and their wanting others to be trapped into that assumes that Jesus was and would be pro-gay. What comes first then if he wasn't or isn't? If it is not Jesus then maybe this "Catholic" should quit the Church.
 
Some declare that LGBT Catholics who do not tick the Roman Catholic box are polarising sexuality and religion and making the problems far worse. This is a blatant lie because many LGBT people refuse to tick the box for reasons that have nothing to do with their sexuality at all. Or at least there is little to do. They might be unbelievers or born-again Christians or want to be undenominational for example. Unless a person is required to state why they don't tick the Roman Catholic box and they state then there is no problem. And would it be a problem even if they did? Some want the LGBT minority not to polarise their sexuality and the huge Catholic religion. In terms of size and influence surely the Church will come out the winner? Or at least it has the best chance. We don't know if in ten years the LGBT community will get less or more acceptance than it gets today. Things can change quickly. Is it right then to consort with a body that condemns LGBT people as sinners for exercising their sexuality?
 
If one is worried about the polarising, is it because one thinks LGBT influence will be taken out of the Church or reduced? But the Church might also say, "Let us not exclude LGBT people for if we are nice to them they may come to see the error of their ways and see that valid heterosexual marriage is the only moral avenue for sexual activity." The only reason the Church might be nice is so that it does not drive LGBT people further into a forbidden lifestyle and does not anger people in the closet so that they will come out and join the cause. To be at peace with that is to become as manipulative as the Church.
 
Most Catholics do not care if you leave the box unticked and tick no religion. Despite their Church, they will not take it as an insult or see it as any of their business. There will be no polarising at all unless LGBT go to Mass and tick the No Religion box and make a ceremony of it. Most Catholics won't know or ask.The objectordon't be so stupid - your desperation to bully those who don't want to support an organisation that does not support them is horrendous.
 
Jesus said he came not to cause peace but to cause division and the father would hate his son and the son his father. If Christianity fits modern secular thinking - and to the extent that it starts to accept LGBT rights - then what Jesus said made no sense. Jesus was saying his true followers go not with the flow but against it.