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The Hidden Fortress

What's With Those Wacky CAtholics?


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I was going to post this in the DaVinci Code thread but don't want to muddy up that conversation.

 

I'm curious as to why alot of people don't like Catholics. We're all absolutely charming, really! :lol: Well, I am anyway, and Kate is. :joy:

The thing is, she mostly hung around other Catholics, except for a few close friends, untill this year at college.

She would be chatting with friends between classes or while waiting to run through some lines for the play and the topic would turn to religion. Someone would make a comment like, "well, at least he isn't Catholic!" and she would suddenly feel odd-man-out. One day she just told them that she was Catholic. They looked surprised and said something lke , " well, you're nice though!". As if they expected a weirdo priss trying to convert them.

 

She has a really good friend who is Lutheran and Kate goes to her friend's "youth group" meeting sometimes with her. They discuss all religions and they don't think much of Catholics. When Kate "reveals" herself, they look kind of pitying and wary at her at first.

 

Her former boyfriend was an Evangelical Christian (hard core!) and in his youth group they seemed to consider CAtholics as the enemy.

 

This hasn't effected Kates friendships with these people, she doesn't ever push or try to convert people and they , over time, see that she is a good egg. It's just, we are both surprised at this feeling from others.

I guess I shouldn't be, my son Joe has friends that tease him about being Catholic, like it's a skin condition or something. :lol: It's almost like they are fans of differnt sports teams.

 

I have heard, over the years, that people who are not CAtholic often think all Catholics are rich. I think that is from the private school thing. They don't realize that we pay the outlandish tuition INSTEAD of gong to Disney Land or getting a new car & that the kids work all summer to help.

 

And I understand the horror at the whole priest sex scalndal, but why do many people dislike ordinary Catholics even without knowing them?

 

Please feel free to speak absolutely candidly. I won't get insulted. I just want to know.

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i'll come back to this as soon as i have more than one functioning brain cell. :yes:

 

(and no, that is not supposed to mean "never" :p )

 

at first i was a little :huh: about the question, Jude, but thinking again i guess you do have a point. i guess there is a load of prejudice around. it is too late for me to get into theis any deeper, but i will, promise.

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why do many people dislike ordinary Catholics even without knowing them?

 

Please feel free to speak absolutely candidly. I won't get insulted. I just want to know.

 

Speaking absolutely candidly, I really think you would have to ask one of those people where they are coming from if you want an answer to that particular question. And I think the answer would be likely to vary with the person.

 

There IS a difference between holding a low opinion of the Catholic church as an institution, which, frankly, I do, and disliking ordinary Catholics without knowing them, which, honestly, I do not.

 

We could speculate here, of course, about the reasons for this particular form of prejudice, but that's all it would be - speculation.

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Well, I know you all here don't judge that way but thought that maybe you had had discussions with people over the years who felt that way.

You see the problem with asking them, as a Catholic, and we have, is they get all polite and gloss overish & change the subject. They have these preconceptions and ideas but when faced with a real live Catholic right there before them, who they are sipping coke with, they don't want to offend & so change the subject.

 

And, yes, to dislike people you do need to get to know them well...then it's easy! LOL!

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They have these preconceptions and ideas but when faced with a real live Catholic right there before them, who they are sipping coke with, they don't want to offend & so change the subject.

 

Interesting that they are NOT prepared to defend what they believe, then, isn't it? Either that, or they honestly do not KNOW why they believe what they believe.

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Yes, that is one possible interpretation. They are just sort of "programmed" to feel as they do. Like many people. I think a big part of it is basic politeness. And a deep distaste for confrontation. Which in ordinary life is probably a good thing else we'd all be in the ER a lot more often. Or the slammer.

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it's a prejudice. like racism and communalism. and like with all these -isms, people forget where it comes from and just stick with the prejudice.

 

there has been a lot of scandal surrounding the catholic church and i think the fact that the response of pushing it under the carpet is what creates bad rep for catholicism. like the vatican refused to acknowledge for DECADES that young priests in training were sodomised by their superiors. then there was the huge scandal which resulted in TONS of media attention and the vatican simply couldn't ignore it so about six priests were excommunicated or something. sorry, don't remember the details! plus i don't think choosing a cardinal known as the right-wing rottweiler as pope did too much for the progressive image.

 

i think there's a stereotype of hypocrisy that has come to be attached with catholicism. also, there's a prevalent notion that being catholic means being sort of antiquated in one's ethics. for example, the no-contraception thing. of course, this is just me speculating from what i've seen around me.

 

but i find this is like any other prejudice. like people asking me if my marriage was decided when i was 5. like the security guard at JFK airport being more strict with me than with the white, german couple in front of me. you can't scientifically explain it because there is no explanation.

 

here in india, for example, there is a certain amount of resentment against missionaries in general because the accusation is that they convert with 'bribes' of food and jobs and ultimately, end up treating the 'natives' as their servants. it's true in certain cases but then the missionaries have done some of the most PHENOMENAL rural development work in the field of education. not just rural. most of the best schools in the country are institutions started by missionaries.

 

obviously, it makes absolutely no difference to me what religion or religious sect someone adheres to, so long as they are not coming at me with a pickaxe. :lol:

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I quite agree with Jana about the prejudice thing.

 

I don't know how it is in the States, but here (and by here i mean a catholic state [in, more or less, a half catholic, half protestant country], the area where i live) for a very long time, Catholics have been seen, by Protestants; as backwards in terms of economy(more rural compare to more industrial Protestants area [which for a long time was true in Switzerland and maybe other countries]) but also in terms of mentality. Catholics were also looked down because of their supposed uncleanliness and jokes were told and so on, feeding the prejudices.

On the other hand, as Catholics kids, we were told that Protestants were bad... Don't really remember what the reasons were, but must have been connected with them not wanting to acknowledge the power of the Pope and the Saints and ... but still prejudices were there too and i believe that mostly they were fed by the ignorance and lack of interest on both sides.

If i think of it thoroughly, we were not told Protestants were "bad", but it was more like a silent understanding of it.

 

I do hope that things are not like that anymore, but i'm not sure. In Switzerland and maybe i can extend that to Europe, people don't talk much about their religion, it has become a really private affair (either you have one or not, practice or not...), but it's not because we don't talk about it, that the prejudices are not there anymore... and maybe prejudices are not so strong beetween catholics and protestants, cause we seem to have find a new scapegoat with the muslims !?!?

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... maybe prejudices are not so strong beetween catholics and protestants, cause we seem to have find a new scapegoat with the muslims !?!?

 

very interesting point, didi.

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I remember reading that in early Oregon the Klu Klux Klan would sttack and try to drive out Blacks & Jewish settlers and Catholics. Even now, ocassionally , the church will get warnings to be on the alert because of threats . by white supremesists, to burn churches. Scary. These threats also come in more often againts Synagogues and Black churches.

I remember as a kid being taught that non-Catholics wouldn't go to heaven because they weren't baptised. From about the age of 9 we would question this, always trying to come up with a scenario in which thee would be an exception.

We would ask "what about a very good person living in a remote jungle who never heard of Jesus?" No, not saved.

"What about a hero who gives his life for many others, but isn't a Catholic?" Nope, not saved. There never was a satisfactory answer as to why or where these folks WOULD go. It didn't take long to become very suspicious of all this exclusion. ( especially when the very word "Catholic" means universal :lol: )

We would also try to test the iron clad abortion policy. "What about a woman with 8 other kids and this pregnancy would surely kill her?" Sorry. "What about the 13 victim of a rape by her father?" No!

It just made no sense either logically or humanely.

Hobbie, I can see how some might think of catholics as lower in class and rural, many still tend to have huge families. We know lots of 6, 7, 8 & 9 kids families and a few with 12 or even 15.

I feel like our 4 kids show great restraint! :lol: Even so, some people think that's alot.

Missionaries....by all means go and help improve things if you can, but trying to convert the "heathens" is just rather arrogant.

 

I guess most people have some prejudices ( as in literally pre-judging) . I know I like to think I don't but I do. If I'm walking alone I tend to tense up if I cross paths with a group of young men. I know logically it is baseless as usually they end up holding the door for me or stepping aside so I can get on the escalator first.

I tend to expect anyone with a British accent to be charming and witty. :lol: In general this has proved to be true.

We do all have these pre-conceptions, but I guess we just need to realize it and question them. When we recognize them in ourselves, stop and try to figure out why, where did we pick them up.

Try to see each individual we come across as just that, and not as a set of labels. There is so much "us vs them" in the world today and it seems to be so encouraged by many of our governments & much of our media.

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the archbishop of northern india was one of the professors in my college. he used to always be really exasperated with me because i kept saying things like jesus christs' disciples were like his groupies. :p he used to constantly be telling me that the pearly gates would be closed for me (and not as a joke, mind you). at which point i'd ask him asinine things like, "are you sure it's pearly?" or "maybe heathens have a backdoor entry to heaven that the faithful aren't told about". he was particularly pssed off when i asked him once whether the lord was planning to donate some heavenly land to hell since with china and india's population, hell was going to be severely overpopulated. :manic:

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I have heard, over the years, that people who are not Catholic often think all Catholics are rich. I think that is from the private school thing. They don't realize that we pay the outlandish tuition INSTEAD of gong to Disney Land or getting a new car & that the kids work all summer to help.

 

From what I've heard in various discussions with Christians of "lower" churches here in the UK, a big part of the prejudice against the Catholic church is to do with money, or rather with the riches on display in Catholic churches. The Church of England have the same accusations levelled at them, as they are also a "high" church - that they hoard gold in their grand churches while the people of their parishes struggle to make ends meet. But that's a valid argument against the Catholic Church, rather than a prejudice against an individual because of their beliefs. I have huge issues with the Catholic Church - with the continued stance against condoms, despite 2million deaths a year from AIDS in Africa (remember the "permeable condom" story backed by the Vatican, which claimed that the HIV virus could pass through tiny holes in the rubber as it was smaller than sperm?); with the concept of Original Sin; with the attitude to abortion. But as much as those things rattle me, I just don't see any reason to think less of another person for believing in some or even all of the Catholic teachings.

 

As a half-Scot, I realised quite young that my mother was a minority in her family, because she had no interest whatsoever in what religion a person had. The first thing that any other Scot in my family asked when any of the girls met someone was "what religion is he?" just in case he was a Catholic (if he were, he wouldn't be allowed in the house). Even those with better manners would ask which team a potential beau supported "Celtic or Rangers?" because that would give you the same information, Celtic being the Catholic club.

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:lol: I'm a somewhat more than half-Scot myself (my father was born in Glasgow but the family was from Lewis, and there are at least two clans, Fraser and MacGregor that I know of, on my mother's side). My father was a militant atheist, but then, politically, he was an historical Marxist although he greatly resented my "pigeon-holing" his thought processes that way, so atheism very much went with that territory. He insisted that atheism was the only logical opinion regarding religion. (I disagreed, as to state categorically that there is no God is just as illogical as to state categorically that there IS a God, and we know just what "He" looks like.) I always used to joke that his worst nightmare would be me bringing home a good Christian, Young Republican.

 

I have always been a militant feminist, so the whole Christianity thing lost me from the get-go with its "god the father, god the son, and god the holy spirit" trinity which unaccountably leaves out half of the human race. Excuse me, where was Goddess the Mother, Goddess the Daughter, and GODDESS the Holy Spirit? I can never remember, even as a very little child, ever believing in the "Jesus saves" thing, and I do remember how truly laughable I thought it when our downstairs neighbor, a very nice little Lutheran, informed me that I was going to hell because I hadn't been baptized. (When I was forced to visit their church with them, I signed the guest book with "Druid" in the place for home church or whatever.)

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The whole "Father" slant of the church has always bothered me, that's why I find Julian of Norwich interesting. She routinely referred to and prayed to "God" as the father/mother.

 

Maybe the gold is hidden in the cathedral in Portland. Our local church has a leaky roof and wonky furnace and cracked baptismal font. :lol: It's really pretty though, all gingerbready inside and light and airy feeling. People come from all over to get hitched there. One of my favorite things about it is the smell: faint inscence, flowers, candles & Murphy's Oil Soap.

Oh, and the bell has a lovely tone...deep and mellow. That is one unisex thing in our church. I've gotten to ring it a couple of times and was kind of bragging about it to a fellow woman parishioner. She said she has done it several times ( she is 78!) and actually has "flipped" it twice. I forget the proper word, but it/s when you pull too hard and it gets stuck upside down. Someone has to climb up and rock it loose. She was very proud of that! LOL! The bell was made for the original parrish of the settlers here, back in Minnesota, and they stole it and brought it out here in 1884. They also stole the body of their former priest, but that's another story.

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