One weird phenomenon I’ve noticed on Catholic boards…

is the strange compulsion so many ex-Catholics (especially Fundamentalists) have to linger around the Catholic Church saying “I’m so glad I’m not Catholic anymore. I used to be in bondage to the Church but now I’m free! Free! I’m living in the liberty of the Holy Spirit and I don’t have to pay any more attention at all to the Catholic Church with its false doctrines and dogmas (which I have carefully documented at my website and which I hope you will send to as many people as possible). Nosiree, I don’t think about the Catholic Church at all anymore. I don’t dwell one little bit on the 2148 unbiblical innovations of Romanism which I have thoroughly documented on my website. I’m no longer obsessed in the slightest with the Roman Church and the Awful Crimes of the Inquisition, and I can prove it by my thousands of posts to Catholic bulletin boards about this. I am living in complete Christian liberty and am not tied in any way to the Catholic Church… or to the False Gospel of Justification by Works that it teaches–a false gospel that I am in the process of analyzing in minute detail in my upcoming web treatise.”

Now I see Catholic converts arguing with critics of their faith, of course. What I don’t see is this odd need to linger around the old neighborhood throwing stones through the allegedly shattered windows of an allegedly discredited Church. Indeed, what typically marks Catholic conversion stories such as Thomas Howard’s, Scott Hahn’s, Steve Ray’s or virtually any of the wave of recent conversion accounts is gratitude for their Protestant roots. Virtually all of them have nothing but good things to say about their Protestant backgrounds even while they are contentedly Catholic. But there is a curious assymetry between these guys and people who leave the Catholic Church and then start writing polemics against it or lingering on boards to do battle with it. For these folks, there seems to be nothing good about the Catholic Church. There also seems to be a peculiar need to proclaim one’s “liberation” from it, while simultaneously remaining in a weird form of unconscious bondage to it. It sticks in their craw. I want to ask such people why they are lingering about the Church throwing rocks and not actually embarking on their new and glorious life in Christ that they keep telling me they have while they are spray painting “The Pope sucks!” on every BBS they can find.

All this musing is prompted by a ditty a friend sent me in response to some guy who was doing his version of the patented “I’m an ex-Catholic and I’m free and now let me spend my life obsessing over the Catholic Church on every board there is” schtick:

Trolling, trolling

Over the Catholic boards!

Though free from Rome,

We fume and foam

At all those Papist hordes!

Trolling, trolling…

Never let up a smidgen!

We’d rather bait

The Church we hate

Than practice our own religion!

Happily, my blog seems to be free of very many people engaging in this odd form of self-medication. But it is peculiar.

Oh, and by the way, I don’t think every ex-Catholic does this. But I do note that it is a disturbingly common phenomenon in cyber-space.