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Old 11-27-2013, 08:42 PM
 
77 posts, read 198,540 times
Reputation: 35

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Hi. I'm Roman Catholic and I suppose I don't belong here, but I'm sincerely looking for an Atheist viewpoint so I thought I'd try. Please pardon me if I really shouldn't be posting this. I'll remove the question if that's the case.

I've read some comments and articles written by Atheists over the years. While of course there is a variety of opinions and points-of-view, there is a general opinion that many Christian churches hold a hatred for certain groups (e.g., homosexual people, non-Christians, basically those who don't conform to a narrow way of life). It's made me think of the churches I've belonged to and perhaps I've been lucky or sheltered, but besides some extreme churches I've read about, I've never encountered these type of hateful churches personally. Our ordained deacon is openly gay, as is our choir director, and many parishioners. In class it's taught that while there is apparently a hell, we don't think anyone is necessarily there. We don't believe that non-Catholics go to hell or are condemned in any way. Our parishioners work on two things mainly as a group: stopping torture of people and assisting those who are ill at the hospital next door, no matter their faith/lack thereof. There are certainly many problems with the Catholic Church historically and currently, but on the day-to-day of an average person like myself, it's just this kind of boring stuff. So, here's the question: is this the kind of congregation that is seen as 'hateful' or is that the outlandish type of church that protests abortion clinics or says so-and-so is going to hell, etc.? I realize on a fundamental level why an Atheist completely disagrees with any church. But that's not what I'm addressing here. I'm just trying to understand better if there's a delineation of extreme churches vs. a church like the one I go to. Or are we all viewed as hating a bunch of people? Thank you for helping me understand better.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,988 posts, read 4,633,787 times
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When I picture hateful churches, usually the stereotypical southern baptist comes to mind. I don't think I've ever met a hateful Catholic. Even the most devout ones that I know personally don't give a fig about other people's beliefs.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,984 posts, read 8,410,669 times
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I don't view the two day to day activities that you describe as hateful.

But the Catholic Church as a political entity campaigns against gay marriage, contraception, and abortion. They use their religious exemption to labor laws to treat some of their employees horribly. They systematically shelter pedophiles. All of these things ARE hateful, and by supporting the Catholic Church in any manner you are essentially stating that this behaviour is acceptable.

Since this is the A&A portion of the forum....

There is also no proof that any of catholicisms supernatural claims are true. With that being the case, wouldn't it make more sense to get involved with amnesty international?
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,862 posts, read 3,787,690 times
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Personally no I don't view Christians in general as a hateful bunch of people at all. Quite the opposite. I view the vast majority as regular people just like me just trying to do the right thing.
I was brought up in Liverpool (England) amongst a roughly 50/50 Protestant / Catholic mix of people (a few atheists sprinkled in). They all got along great.
My first long standing boyfriend was Catholic and his family were lovely to me.
My sister in law is Catholic, her husband is atheist.

I think the Catholic church however got it massively wrong and stayed too long in the past with its ridiculous rules about condoms and suchlike. All the Catholics I have ever known have basically ignored doing what they were told to do by the church, even though they are all regular church goers and live their lives as they see fit.

Religion has never really impacted my life to any great degree so I have no problem with peoples faith as long as they are hurting nobody. Happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,114,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
They systematically shelter pedophiles.
THAT is the main problem I have with the Catholic church. Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston routinely transferred pedophile priests from one parish to another after they had been found molesting young boys. After this knowledge became public, Pope John Paul gave Law an important position in the Vatican.

I am glad the Catholic church has been sued for billions of dollars and I hope they are sued for billions more.

To address your question, I personally have a much higher opinion of Protestant churches than I do Catholic.

Last edited by hiker45; 11-27-2013 at 09:41 PM..
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:52 PM
 
77 posts, read 198,540 times
Reputation: 35
Thank you for your responses. It does help me understand better. I really do appreciate it.

As far as the other topic of the larger Catholic Church goes, like I said, there are problems there. Not defending those issues. And as far as money goes, our congregation is so poor our money stays at our little church, nothing is funneled up. So I'm not supporting that.

If I'm being honest, I'm not worried about any of your souls, but I mean that in the nicest way possible ; ) I just honestly doubt any Atheist is going to 'hell.' I wouldn't want to love any god that is petty and mean, looking for reasons to send people to hell. If that's how he really is, then I'll probably be burning next to you. I think most people are good and fine just the way they are. If I'm wrong about the whole God thing, oh well, I wasted some of my time. But honestly, like 90% of my life is wasting time so what's difference. Wish I were completely joking there : )

Thanks again.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:06 PM
 
9,801 posts, read 6,731,943 times
Reputation: 2485
Quote:
Originally Posted by llgg View Post
Hi. I'm Roman Catholic and I suppose I don't belong here, but I'm sincerely looking for an Atheist viewpoint so I thought I'd try. Please pardon me if I really shouldn't be posting this. I'll remove the question if that's the case.

I've read some comments and articles written by Atheists over the years. While of course there is a variety of opinions and points-of-view, there is a general opinion that many Christian churches hold a hatred for certain groups (e.g., homosexual people, non-Christians, basically those who don't conform to a narrow way of life). It's made me think of the churches I've belonged to and perhaps I've been lucky or sheltered, but besides some extreme churches I've read about, I've never encountered these type of hateful churches personally. Our ordained deacon is openly gay, as is our choir director, and many parishioners. In class it's taught that while there is apparently a hell, we don't think anyone is necessarily there. We don't believe that non-Catholics go to hell or are condemned in any way. Our parishioners work on two things mainly as a group: stopping torture of people and assisting those who are ill at the hospital next door, no matter their faith/lack thereof. There are certainly many problems with the Catholic Church historically and currently, but on the day-to-day of an average person like myself, it's just this kind of boring stuff. So, here's the question: is this the kind of congregation that is seen as 'hateful' or is that the outlandish type of church that protests abortion clinics or says so-and-so is going to hell, etc.? I realize on a fundamental level why an Atheist completely disagrees with any church. But that's not what I'm addressing here. I'm just trying to understand better if there's a delineation of extreme churches vs. a church like the one I go to. Or are we all viewed as hating a bunch of people? Thank you for helping me understand better.
The overwhelming majority of Catholics are nothing like the Bible belt folks and they are usually very tolerant despite the official position of Rome. For many Catholicism is part of the culture.

As a Catholic I would say most of my friends are agnostic or Atheists and I see nothing wrong with them. I don't know any militant Catholic; in fact they tend to be more liberal and laid back that my atheists friends.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:11 PM
 
Location: TX
6,491 posts, read 5,239,688 times
Reputation: 2619
Sometimes I have to remind myself:

Christians and Catholics in the "real world" are not like those on the message boards or on the news. Having had some experience with churches when I was younger, I was fortunate enough to learn that the religious are like any other group of people. They are mostly decent, rational-minded, respectable human beings. But every now and then one of the few crazy members of the group get in the spotlight and misrepresent the whole lot of 'em.

Though I do prefer it for myself, I get ashamed to be an atheist just like I used to get ashamed to be a Christian... because there's no finding a group with no hateful people in it. Unfortunately.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,668,169 times
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As a person raised as a Jew growing up in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood at one time I remember being told by my friends I would be going to Hell because I didn't believe in Christ. They said it was nothing personal, in fact one friend was truly sad for me and worried about it. That didn't bother me because as Jew, I didn't believe in Hell so I told her not to fret.

I never really felt any animosity against Catholics as to any regarding how they may have felt towards me as an atheist or a Jew. Those who showed me the most outright hostility for being Jewish were always of a Protestant denomination.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,862 posts, read 3,787,690 times
Reputation: 4594
Quote:
Originally Posted by llgg View Post
Thank you for your responses. It does help me understand better. I really do appreciate it.

As far as the other topic of the larger Catholic Church goes, like I said, there are problems there. Not defending those issues. And as far as money goes, our congregation is so poor our money stays at our little church, nothing is funneled up. So I'm not supporting that.

If I'm being honest, I'm not worried about any of your souls, but I mean that in the nicest way possible ; ) I just honestly doubt any Atheist is going to 'hell.' I wouldn't want to love any god that is petty and mean, looking for reasons to send people to hell. If that's how he really is, then I'll probably be burning next to you. I think most people are good and fine just the way they are. If I'm wrong about the whole God thing, oh well, I wasted some of my time. But honestly, like 90% of my life is wasting time so what's difference. Wish I were completely joking there : )

Thanks again.
Haha. Made me giggle.
I like your style llgg.


Last edited by Cruithne; 11-28-2013 at 12:20 AM..
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