I’ve been busy helping my dad bring his music career into the 21st century, so I’m going to offer this old post I wrote. It was originally a Diaspora* post made after the FFRF unveiled their It’s time to quit the Catholic Church campaign, which is still ongoing. Some recent events have brought the issue back up, and I’m going to discuss those, so I’m providing this post as background.
Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), has written an open letter to “moderate”, “nominal”, “liberal” and “cafeteria” Catholics, ‘It’s time to quit the Catholic Church‘, throwing down the gauntlet by challenging them to realize that they are tacitly supporting the misogyny of the Catholic Church.
I agree with the idea, in theory; I have always been quite critical of people who try to sit on the sidelines of these human rights battles. However, I think the letter should have been much broader. Misogyny is only one of the Catholic Church’s laundry list of crimes, which includes homophobia, enabling of paedophilia, abetting perpetrators of war crimes, and much, much more. I would have thought that Catholics, moral as they claim to be, would have stood up and spoken out about all of these problems on their own long before now, but there seems little point in waiting for them to take the initiative anymore.
So we should challenge every single Catholic that claims to be liberal in any fashion, and ask them to justify sitting in the pews every Sunday – or even just ticking the “Catholic” box on a census form – rather that walking out in protest and demanding the Church leadership be held accountable. It’s not a ridiculous thing to expect, after all; if one discovered that their employer/government were acting unethically, isn’t standing firm and demanding correction and accountability the proper thing to do? To put it in stark terms, if you still call yourself a Catholic, even in the face of all the evil the Church leaders have been proven to have done, that means one of three things:
- You don’t care about the Church’s misogyny, homophobia, protection of paedophile priests or other crimes.
- You support the Church’s misogyny, homophobia, protection of paedophile priests and other crimes.
- Someone or something is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to keep supporting the evil the church has done. (And, if so… how?)
Naturally this request will be called “militant” or “aggressive”, since it is a criticism of religion made by an atheist. But atheism has nothing to do with this. What I am asking for is something that any moral person, Catholic or otherwise, should do, in any situation. You are propping up criminal, misogynistic, homophobic thugs who have no qualms about trampling on the rights of other people… so why haven’t you walked away yourself? If there is a reason you continue to wear the badge of Catholicism, what is it? And, is it really worth supporting people who are trying to usurp women’s rights to control their own bodies, who have shielded child rapists from prosecution and allowed them to continue to rape for decades, who treat people as depraved sub-human monsters just because they prefer lovers of their own sex, and more?