“I love Jesus but Not Religion”

In my youth I did some time embracing the “I love Jesus but not religion,” thing, but ultimately, it was unsatisfying; it felt like a glass half-full, and moreover it was way “too easy.” And it didn’t make sense to me, because Jesus clearly liked religion, himself — he was an observant Jew and when he healed people he told them to go to the priest, and do what Moses commanded.

Then again, I’ve always loved the sacrament of confession, too, so clearly I feel better when I have to face up to things in real time. I don’t like it. But I feel better when I have to do it. If that makes sense.

So, there is this video going around and it’s creating quite a storm between the Catholics and Evangelical youths.

Regular readers know I am no apologist–it’s one scuffle I don’t cotton to–but plenty of others relish the battle, among them young Marc Barnes (the brilliant scrapper of a Bad Catholic) and he all but holds up the sword and cries “battle!” ala John Travolta in Michael before wading into the thick of things:

It’s worth beginning with this: I agree with this guy on a lot of points. He reminds us Catholics of a striking truth; that without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, religion is a joke. He speaks the truth that Christ died for all sins, once and for all. . . . nevertheless, there are two main problems with this video. 1. Jesus Christ would strongly disagree with it. That is to say, the creator of this video is very, very wrong. 2. He’s very, very wrong with some great video editing, good background music, a strong emotional appeal, catchy rhyme, and all in relatively well-timed YouTube moment . . . but rebut I must, for it is the duty of the Catholic to resist fashion and fads, no matter how unfashionable he looks doing it.

Marc then wastes no time getting down to it, and it really can’t be excerpted, you have to read the whole thing, yourself.

Marcel LeJeune, over at Mary’s Aggies also rebuts the video. And is worth reading.

Oh, it’s going to be a tussle. But “we know all things work to the glory of God…” Let us pray!

Related (both via New Advent):
A nice conversion story
to wash it all down with!
Perhaps the church fathers can help!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://seasonsofgrace.net Kathy Schiffer

    Yes, yes! This is wrong like Anna Quindlen’s glorious writing is elegant but wrong, like the movie “Cider House Rules” is well made and entertaining but wrong. And that kind of well-presented, professionally produced wrongness is dangerous to souls.

  • zmama

    If “religion” means what the hierarchy is doing to all of us lay Catholic faithful in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia right now, then I am one step closer to simply saying “I love Jesus but not religion”. Between the clergy abuse scandals, 2 grand jury reports on the subject, the upcoming trial of a msgr and a couple priests and lay teacher, and now the systematic destruction of our beautiful parochial school system throughout the 5 county archdiocese, there will be no one left soon but the ones dictating their authority. I say this as someone who has tried very hard to be faithful to the churches teachings, as a wife, mother, and teacher within the system and daughter of the universal church. A year ago I said they would not force me out if I spoke up about the coverups because the church belongs to all of us. Now I realize they do not want anyone but themselves in the church. The hearts of the laity are breaking here and we are being blamed by our leadership for the problems. Contrast this with Cardinal Sean OMalley’s recent compassionate post on his blog re. the 10th anniversary of the scandals in the Boston Archdiocese. If only all of our hierarchy would respond to the people as he has. Sorry for my rant Anchoress. Thank you for the gift of your writing. Your blog has sustained me through a great deal, esp. in the past year.

  • vox borealis

    and now the systematic destruction of our beautiful parochial school system throughout the 5 county archdiocese

    The systematic destruction has been underway for at least four decades, and has not much to do with hierarchy. Rather, it seems to involve plummeting enrollments and plummeting religious vocations (i.e., fewer religious available to teach). Perhaps if more Catholic parents sent their kids to Catholic schools, the parochial system would not be in a death spiral.

    Sorry for my off-topic response.

  • jill e

    Thanks so much for the conversion story. “Being Catholic is like being in love…”

    That’s it exactly for me!!

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  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    “I love Jesus but not religion” Reminds me of the phrase, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Someone on a Catholic blog told me that when she hears that she responds “I’m religious but not spiritual,” and that usually throws them for a loop. :D

    By the way, that video clip was obnoxious.

  • zmama

    I don’t see the video as obnoxious. It makes me think of the way Jesus Himself spoke out against the leaders of the Jewish faith in His time on earth.

    The young man states halfway through the video that he in fact loves the church, along with Jesus. I think he is challenging us as Christians to practice what we preach and to actually live our faith every day and not just at church on Sundays.

    At least that was my interpretation.