Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Catholic Apologetics

A few responses to common misconceptions about the Catholic Church. I retrieved and am quoting the black text from the Westboro Baptist Church's website, priestsrapeboys.com. I won't even link there due to the libel. Seriously, I know the people who attend the WBC are in the minority belief-wise, but they take the cake on crazy. My responses are in red.

1. Baptism -The priest baptizes anyone including babies by sprinkling, pouring, or immersing a person with water, thus entering that person into the Catholic Church. Furthermore, by the act of Baptism, one’s sins are instantaneously forgiven and you get to go to Heaven. Babies are unconscious of their duty to serve God, and they can’t talk or think logically about anything when they are born. Therefore, they cannot make a profession of faith or bring forth fruits (that is, works) meet for Repentance. [There is] no [such thing as] baptismal regeneration: Christ’s Blood is the only thing that can cover your sins, so even if you have baptism and still lack His blood, guess what? YOU’RE GOING TO HELL!

I’m not sure I understand what WBC is driving at with this rant. Are they upset about infants being baptized, or are they saying no baptism is valid unless you also share in communion? The whole blood part confuses me. If WBC denounces transubstantiation (see #3), they wouldn’t accept Christ as being fully present in communion, therefore no one can have Christ’s blood but Christ Himself, and then no one can be saved. I know many groups are against infant baptism as it “isn’t biblical,” but entire households including children were baptized in the Book of Acts. Infants have been baptized since the beginning of baptisms, and St. Paul suggested that infant baptism is a substitute for circumcision. I’m also not saying that a profession of faith isn’t important (not a bad idea at all), but simply professing your faith at the top of your lungs isn’t going to cut it salvation-wise. And dare I say that the WBC agrees with the Catholic Church regarding the necessity of works?

2. Confirmation – The priest pours “chrism,” or “holy oil,” on the forehead of a person, symbolizing the spiritual growth of a person and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon a baptized member of the Catholic Church. There is no scripture for this anywhere. It was concocted by liars! If the Lord doesn’t send you the Holy Spirit, then you can’t serve God with courage, let alone believe on His Name!

Um, Sacred Tradition anyone? Even if you don’t believe in tradition, it’s not hard to imagine Confirmation as a prayer over someone to continue receiving the Holy Spirit. Acts 8 and Acts 19 both contain scripture references to hands being laid upon someone who then receives the Holy Spirit (taken in context, of course). I also think the WBC states exactly what they’re against: the Lord sends the Holy Spirit! Of course! This happens at baptisms, confirmations, and any sacrament. The holy oil bit is traditional and smells good, so why even balk at it?

3. Eucharist – In Catholicism, this is the holiest sacrament of the Seven Sacraments where all attendees are welcome to eat of wafers and grape juice, usually available in small packets, at every meeting. Transubstantiation, additionally, is the doctrine which states that, when the priest blesses the wafer and the juice, that these two items literally become the flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only baptized, walking-in-good-standing members are allowed to eat of the unleavened loaf of bread and wine, and they eat and drink from the same loaf and glass of wine. This is the pattern after which the Lord Jesus Christ established this ordinance, the “Lord’s Supper.” [There is] no [such thing as] transubstantiation, no vampires or zombies here, thank you! That’s a classic Catholic lie, with no scripture whatsoever to support it.

First, there are no packets. I have never, ever heard of communion packets. Catholics don’t go to “meetings,” we go to Mass. And there are NO packets. I might also mention the zero-tolerance policy on grape juice: it’s wine or bust. The wafer bit is true, though, and some taste better than others. The wafers are always unleavened wheat bread in about 1” discs. As far as transubstantiation, well, I could take an entire blog to explain that one, but for the sake of time and space, let’s just say John 6. All four gospels affirm the literality of transubstantiation, not to mention belief in the Real Presence being a matter of deep faith. For your sufferings and lack of understanding, I suggest you offer it up.

4. Penance – Or “Confession,” where a member of the Catholic Church “confesses” their sins to a priest, who will forgive them “in God’s name.” The priest is assuming the office of Christ. There is no mediator between man and God except Christ, you dumb brutes! This priest can’t take away your sins! In 1 John 1:8-10, the words say “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That’s God, you liars!

Whoa, whoa, whoa there WBC. Whatever happened to God forgiving all sins we are truly repentant for? Why does it matter if we confess to a priest or directly to God? God can’t hear us in the confessional and forgive our sins through the mouth of the priest? Oh, and the asking for forgiveness isn’t from the priest: we only ask forgiveness from the Father. And I think the Bible mentions something about telling our sins to one another… reducing confession to a purely spiritual realm kind of negates the whole church thing anyway. Why even have a church in the first place?

5. Holy Orders – Men are chosen by the Catholic Church to become members of the Catholic Hierarchy and administer these same seven sacraments. These doctrines are taught by, and cooked-up in the hearts of devils, or demon spirits who abide in the bottomless pit. Furthermore, the men who hold these offices are filthy perverts who rape children! There’s nothing holy about it!

Wow, overgeneralization, misrepresentation, and lies. Not bad for such a short pile of words. One, men aren’t chosen to become members of the Church, they choose to become members. A man freely accepts his responsibility to become a deacon or priest. Only higher levels are promoted, and those take votes just like a democracy. The doctrines were “cooked up” by Christ Himself and passed on to the apostles and disciples one-by-one long before your church arrived on the planet. Should I mention that only Christ can defeat Satan, oh, and that he did? About that whole raping children bit: yes, there have been some awful things done to good people by clergy. However, bad people exist just as much outside the church as inside. ALL sins can be forgiven. Even yours (lying much?). My experience with priests and deacons has been entirely positive, and I walked in exceedingly hesitant and skeptical… so I think I can say with confidence that the vast majority of the clergy is outstanding!

6. Marriage – One man and one woman is the standard. They have not yet begun marrying filthy fags or dykes yet, but they will gladly annul your marriage, or, declare your marriage null and void, that it never was a marriage. So, this means that they will let you remarry within the Catholic Church as often as you want to. DIVORCE + REMARRIAGE = ADULTERY. God hates divorce, and he hates all of these liars and frauds who teach you to be filthy perverts. They take the Name of God into their mouth, and they BLASPHEME his Holy Name, telling you that you can live like the very devil himself and still go to Heaven! The Catholics have no authority to tell the fags they can’t marry: the Catholics are hypocrites, saying that men and women can divorce and remarry, breaking God’s Law, and then denying the fags that capacity. It won’t be long now, and then they will bow down and kiss the fag juggernaut; they won’t have a choice.

Aside from the blatant bigotry and endless lies, this one is actually not too wrong. The Catholic Church only allows marriage between one man and one woman. Annulments are difficult and can take years to get (if at all). I won’t even address the rest of the lies here: not worth it.

7. Anointing of the sick – the priest anoints a dying or very old person with oil, a sign of “curing,” and prays that the person will receive the Holy Spirit, be freed from their sins, comforted and strengthened in soul, and restored to health. If you serve God IN DEED AND IN TRUTH, then, and only then, the fervent prayers of a righteous man avail much. This is a bastardized version of James 5:14-15, where the writer James (a close relative to Jesus Christ, according to the flesh) advises the servants of God about what to do if another servant of God becomes grievously ill. However, the Catholic priests cannot administer this function because THEY AREN’T RIGHTEOUS IN THE EYES OF GOD.

Anointing is not curing. Anointing is not curing. Anointing is not curing. Get it through your heads, please. Remember what I said about confirmation being a sort of special prayer over someone? Same thing here with a slightly different oil. It’s a prayer that a person’s soul be found free of unrepented sin at the time of their death (which is usually imminent). It’s not a cure, not a quick fix. If it was a cure or a quick fix, then no one would be dying, now would they?

Okay, Jaggy here again. I actually chopped off the rest of the text after that as the author became too irate and incomprehensible. If you'd like to go read the lies, be my guest. I have never visited a website and had chills go down my spine like I did on these sites. I'm sure the author would argue that I was "seeing the light," but honestly, all I felt was pity and sadness for how brainwashed the author has become. The site delves into other common areas of concern: vestments, mariology, and the oh-so-controversial holy water.

I considered not even responding to the website, but then I realized I'd be missing out on potentially helping one person realize that not everything spread about Catholics these days is true. Think before you speak... that's all I'm after here.

1 comment:

MissKris said...

The attacks on fundamentalist religions, one of which I'm a member of, are just as scary and lunatic-y, Jaggy. It's just the signs of the times.