There is an interesting trend in American Christianity of people joining Christian churches and then objecting to what the churches believe. Gay Catholic Andrew Sullivan seems to think he can be a member of the Catholic church club and the club rules don’t apply to him and others like him. In a post about a male Catholic teacher being fired for marrying his partner, Sullivan had this to say:
…What does it say about the twisted, absurd view of homosexual persons that the Catholic Church should demand that they divorce their spouses as a condition of working for a Catholic organization? It tells you so much. What the church is saying by this is that homosexuals should be punished for constructing stable, committed relationships of mutual care and support. If they stay single or have some kind of down-low commitment ceremony, all will be ignored…
…Go read the story and see if a school is insane for firing such dedicated professionals simply for committing to another human being for life. The Pope recently warned against treating a diverse society, and a diverse catholic community, with such hostility or misunderstanding that the church delivers a “vaccine against faith.” Here’s what I know. Eastside Catholic should be proud of itself for attracting such gifted teachers and for producing a young student body able to stand up for the marginalized and persecuted. It should be ashamed for the way it is treating all of them…
I too, am outraged over the firing of the school teacher. What I have a problem with is Christians who are “outraged’ when their church club follows the club rules. If I join a club, I am expected to follow the rules of the club. If the club grants one person dictatorial power over the club, say someone like the pope, then by joining the club I am agreeing with this one person having dictatorial power over the club. How can I express outrage over something I knew before I joined the club?
Liberal Catholics like Andrew Sullivan want to think that Pope Francis is a new and improved Pope. After all, look at all the wonderful pronouncements he has made since becoming Pope. However, I learned a long time ago that you don’t pay attention to what a person says, you pay attention to what they do. (have we not learned this with President Obama?) Yes, the Pope has said a lot of nice things about homosexuals and atheists. Woo-hoo, right? But, has he changed ONE policy of the Catholic church? Of course not. Until Pope Francis actually issues an official edict about homosexuality, same-sex marriage, etc., no one should think for one moment that the Catholic church has changed.
Sullivan knows this, but he lives in a delusional world where people think power-hungry, authoritarian churches clubs like the Catholic church will change if enough people express outrage. I admire Sullivan for voicing his outrage, but the real answer for people like him is for them to take their money and leave the club they are in and join a new club. And, above all, make sure they can abide by the club rules BEFORE they join the new club.
The Catholic church hasn’t changed but the American people have. The best thing that American Catholics can do is tell Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic church goodbye (and maybe give them the finger as they are leaving). They won’t do this, of course, because they believe there is only one true church, the Roman Catholic church, and to leave the church means purgatory or hell.
On a totally unrelated note, have you seen the Catholic TV ad featuring former Notre Dame coach, Lou Holtz? If not, enjoy! Please feel free to puke afterward.