Look at those Christians, how they
love, er, shove one another!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been demoralized lately by the constant harping and haranguing that goes on in the Catholic blogosphere.
Consider the Duggars:
A large Christian family brings their message of family values to the small screen, and social media erupts with screaming voices. “What responsible parent would expose their children to public scrutiny like that?” they demand to know.
The Duggars welcome a large family (19 kids, to be exact), and enraged Catholics–who really, if you’ll recall, are supposed to refrain from use of contraception and to embrace the children God gives them as gifts–hit social media to expose the errors of Bill Gothard’s sexuality teaching and the Quiverfull movement.
Others, those who reject Church teaching regarding the nuptial meaning of the body and who disregard admonitions against contraception, rage against the Duggars for polluting the planet with their excessive headcount.
Helicopter parents step in to remind us that they can’t possibly give sufficient attention to each child’s particular needs.
The Duggars, with 21 mouths to feed, accept payment for opening their home to film crews and sharing a segment of their lives with the American viewing public, and haters cry “foul” because they’re benefiting–Imagine that! Benefiting!–financially from the gospel. I suppose the same self-styled critics believe that priests should not be paid, nor should teachers in Catholic schools, physicians and medical staff in Catholic hospitals, and employees in nonprofit organizations.
Then consider Bruce/Caitlyn:
The poor soul is obviously delusional, and disreputable physicians are willing to benefit from his emotional trauma by doing unnecessary surgery. The mainstream media and the adoring public heap misguided praise on him for his “heroism.” That’s all silly, but what do the Catholics and other Christians do?
They scream at him, spewing self-righteous epithets and making dire predictions about his eternal destiny.
They resort to name-calling, hurling cheap shots at the already traumatized man.
They condemn him to hell, presuming to know what God has planned for Jenner and his ilk.
Lastly, consider the Patheos Forum on “Why I Am Still Catholic”:After a recent post by journalist Mark Judge on his departure from the Catholic Faith, and after the Pew Research Institute published a study showing a decline in church-attending Catholics, the Catholic bloggers at Patheos joined in an effort to explain “Why I Am Still Catholic.”
At the urging of Elizabeth Scalia, other bloggers joined in the effort to explain the Faith to an unbelieving world. The responses were enlightening, heartwarming, honest. Bloggers wrote about doubts resolved, questions answered, pride overcome, and especially the grace and the overwhelming joy of being united for the first time with Christ in the Eucharist.
And what happened?
At least two bloggers I know–probably others–went straight for the jugular, criticizing Patheos’ bloggers for “deriving profit from the gospel” and for “making the Church out to be a product.”
Traditionalists seem to be incensed that some of the Patheos Catholics are less strident than they, more willing to accept the changes wrought by Vatican II or the social gospel.
This is really nasty, folks.
Out there in the world, people read what you write.
You are Christ’s emissaries, the face of the Church in the world; but instead of seeing evidence of God’s love, of what Faith can do in the heart of the believer, people who read your words see roiling anger and ceaseless bitching about inconsequential things.
They see rudeness and name-calling and ill tempered ALL-CAPS internet shouting.
I can’t imagine why ANYONE would care to join a people who are so bitter, so full of themselves, that they would take out their anger on their neighbor who hasn’t been given the great gift of Faith, or besmirch the good intentions of their fellow Christians.
My sincere apologies if you are reading this and you are not among the Maddened Classes; but I’m sure you know someone who is. Remind him of this: When Jesus met the adulterous woman, the Samaritan woman, the rich young man, he spoke softly. He spoke the truth, called them to something higher; but he didn’t raise his voice. He treated them with respect, then let them go to continue in their sin, if that was their choice. But his demeanor, his love, was a powerful attractant, and many turned to him because of his healing words.
Go and do likewise.