Did the Catholic Church Corrupt Me (or you)?

In defense of anyone who was raised in a Catholic denomination (there are approximately 24 different Rites or brands), or converted to one, I find it insulting that some ignoramus knuckleheads insist that such persons are corrupted or stupid. Frankly, that is bull shit. I will push back against such nonsense. Since the accusing parties are atheists, their stance is hypocritical, or the pot calling the kettle, etc. Holier than thou atheism? No wonder some of us prefer agnostic.

How I got here

When I was a practicing Catholic of the Roman Rite, I often came to the defense of atheists and atheism. Now an unapologetic atheist, I find myself taking a stance that opposes the position of some atheists (anti-theists, as I see them) who seem to think all Catholics should immediately abandon their faith because church history is unclean. Religion is about God, not history.

Anti-theist atheists, and many others, struggle to deal with the fact that I did not embrace atheism because I rejected religion or embraced evolutionary science. I did neither. Nor did I reject God, as many believers are wanting to think. I simply concluded that it is all man-made nonsense. Since I find no reason to believe a god of any kind exists, religion is pointless for me. But not so for everyone.

A Cultural or Excommunicated Catholic?

I am a baptized Catholic who is an apostate, heretic, and to a lesser degree, a schismatic. I have been automatically excommunicated. Until the excommunication is lifted, it’s forbidden for me to have any ministerial part in the celebration of a Mass or other official worship ceremony. But anyone may attend Mass. I may not celebrate or receive the sacraments or to exercise any formal Church functions. I wouldn’t. I am good with that and I understand it.

I am not a cultural catholic who identifies with Catholic traditions. However, if invited, I would attend church at special occasions like Christmas, Easter, baptisms, weddings, funerals, and such.

What it means to be, or to, corrupt

If someone or something is corrupt, they’re broken morally or in some other way. Corrupt people perform immoral or illegal acts for personal gain, without apology. I have been accused of this because I was raised Catholic. I experienced much more informal corrupting influences outside of the Church in the secular world.

The irony here is that this is the same form of name-calling error believers make regarding atheists. We are corrupt and without a moral compass. Right?

In my case, I was labeled corrupt (indoctrinated would have worked) by a nonbeliever because I spent so many years in religion, particularly as a child. The same person also diagnosed me with cognitive dissonance because I do not regret my Catholic religious roots. He does not understand why I don’t see things his way.

When you corrupt someone, you convince them to do something wrong or even illegal. If you talk your little brother into stealing cookies from the cookie jar, you’re corrupting him. Something corrupt is rotten, spoiled, or out of commission, like a file that makes your computer crash.

To imply, or to directly state, that I was corrupted by the Church is fucking nonsense. In no way was I ever encouraged to do anything wrong or illegal by a Catholic church official or layman. If anything, it seemed to me that everything I wanted to do was morally wrong, according to the Church. In many cases, they had a point.

Should any religion be rejected?

I don’t know. That’s a personal decision. There certainly are a lot of things that should change in virtually every religion and within the minds of believers as well as skeptics. I have concluded that it is highly probable that no god exists, so I do reject all religion since the reason for it does not exist. Religions have done much harm, but also some good. It’s the people that count, not the dogma.

I struggle more with atheists behaving like ass holes, since atheist is how I currently identify. The same person accused me of guilt by association. I worry more about the association issue regarding my skepticism than anything in my past religious affiliations.

In Conclusion

I do not expect the Catholic Church or its people to take all their marbles and report to Saint Peter anytime soon. I don’t expect atheists or any other group to suddenly be enlightened or to behave better. I don’t anticipate any of us will stop criticizing religion. I don’t expect a perfect world.

I do hope that most of us can follow the ancient tradition of treating each other respectfully. I also expect that when I see an innocent group being wrongfully maligned, I will take up the golden rule banner. If that fails, I don’t know what I might do.

Bill

15 thoughts on “Did the Catholic Church Corrupt Me (or you)?

  1. I had an assortment of religious influence throughout my young life, which led me to the conclusion that I should study on my own when I got older. What I have determined from my own experience is that anyone of any label can be good or bad. I collect the good, hm? Do good, embrace good — from all labels.

    I don’t like the idea that we all must agree on things in order to respect or love or care for one another.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I struggle more with atheists behaving like ass holes … Yup! Agree with that one!

    Religion — or lack thereof — can often bring out the best AND the worst in us. 🙂

    Be Happy today … and Thankful. 🦃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I’ll put my hand up as it was obviously our dialogue that inspired this piece.You said as much over at Jim’s spot.

    First, I stand by what I said regarding the Catholic Church. It is a corrupt organisation.

    There. That’s got that out of the way.

    Second. The doctrine it teaches is also corrupt, and like all religious doctrine it is unsubstantiated, superstitious garbage.
    So revolting is it that it can be shown, through evidence, to be directly responsible for some of the most heinous crimes perpetrated in the Name of God.

    Through it’s teachings/ laws/ edicts it created corrupt adherents who carried out innumerable crimes in its name, convinced they were doing God’s Work(sic)

    Consider the Cathars and the internecine Christian wars.

    From Martin Luther’s stance against the Jews and the belief they were ”Christ killers” to the Church’s stance on contraception and HIV/AIDS.

    The Church is on record recognizing its culpability in many such actions and apologizing for some..

    So yes, the corrupt Church corrupted adherents, and it still does.

    Regards

    Ark

    Like

    1. A one-sided cherry picked history. To say that people who follow any religion are corrupt because they do, or that the Catholic Church is intentionally corrupt is nonsense. But I repeat myself. Thanks for the inspiration. Take care.

      Like

      1. One sided?
        If you have evidence that refutes what I have asserted. then please offer it.

        They are corrupted by religion.

        And yes, the Catholic Church is corrupt.
        Its doctrine is immoral and its stance on such things as contraception and HIV/AIDS has caused untold misery and death of countless thousand/millions of people.

        Like

      2. One sided. I don’t dispute the history, but you have intentionally served your purpose by not telling the complete history.
        I am aware of the position on birth control. I am also aware of the percentage of Catholics who follow it. I have a joke about that, but not the time for it now.
        If there is a “doctrine” regarding aids, I’m not aware of it. I am aware of the Pope’s comment regarding the use of condoms in Africa. I think that was stupid. But, you sound like you blame him for the disease. Protestants get aids too ya’know.
        What you seem to not get is that I am not defending the Catholic Church (I’m atheist for Christ’s sake), I am defending the people you call corrupt. They are not. As you said, cross purposes.

        Like

      3. If you feel my assessment is one-sided then please provide evidence that refutes anything I have asserted or at least provide a more ”complete history”.
        I presume you wish to present what you would consider a more balanced picture?
        Be my guest …

        Furthermore, I did not say there was a specific doctrine regarding HIV/AIDS. and I certainly did not as much as allude that I blame the Pope for the disease which, quite frankly, is a bloody stupid thing to even suggest.
        However, the Church’s stance on contraception can be linked to the death of thousands from HIV/AIDS and that is not in dispute.

        I know you are an atheist. You have informed me several times.

        And yet you persist in not acknowledging that the Catholic Church and its doctrine ( and all this encompasses) is corrupt, and thus those it has indoctrinated are corrupted by it.
        For example, you cannot possibly defend the action of those who liquidated the Cathars, or the Inquisition, or Martin Luther and his stance on the Jews, all of which stemmed from Church teaching , edicts etc.

        I am sure you are aware of this quote.

        With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion.

        Like

  4. That’s a great meme. Not sure how this argument turned that direction. Ultimately I take the blame for some sweeping generalizations. I don’t get the same kickback for some of my, what you would call woo woo statements, but I think because it’s just an exploration and a conversation. Monotheism really rubs some people to become as equally divisive as what they despise.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder how religion ever got started in the first place and also why wasn’t or didn’t evolve to a more deist approach (seeing god in nature, but not a personal god).

    I guess it was early man’s fear when lightening would strike, a terrific storm or fire would occur and they early on wondered…”what did I do wrong to deserve this?” And the answer became something along the lines of “you didn’t follow god’s commanded laws correctly and now you shall be punished.”

    So fear morphs into guilt and then into blind obedience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They probably did. But those gods were seen as different than monotheists see Jehovah, with responsibilities for things like weather and love. Pre-science, it makes sense to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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