40 Myths About the Catholic Church–Catholic Politicians

john kennedy with john montiniI don’t know about you but I’m old enough to remember when John Kennedy ran for the presidency. His opponents warned us that if Kennedy were elected he would take his marching orders from the Vatican. Of course he was elected and no such thing happened. In fact, some said that JFK went out of his way to prove that he wasn’t influenced by Rome.

Of course, it’s been more than 1/2 century since his election and there hasn’t been another Catholic president since. The old anti-Catholic prejudices are alive and well in twenty-first century America. Unfortunately it’s not so easy today to tell who is who. For example:

What do they have in common?  Two things.  They all call themselves Catholic and they all support abortion.  At least two of the five have run for or are planning to run for president.  I doubt that anyone believes that if any of them were to become Commander in Chief that the Vatican would be calling the shots.  On the contrary, all five of them, and many, many more nominal Catholic politicians have made it clear that they have no intention of taking instructions from Rome either in their private lives or in their political lives.

Let’s say that an actual, practicing, faithful Catholic would decide to run for president.  First we know that the mainstream media would dredge up all the old Kennedy era lies.  They would most likely help defeat the true Catholic candidate unless………Catholic voters would wake up and help put him or her in office.  Ah, there’s the rub.  The majority of Catholics don’t vote their faith.  If they did, Mitt Romney would be in the White House.

No, a truly Catholic president wouldn’t take orders from anyone, but he would run the country according to his faith.  He would be pro life.  He would be pro Christian marriage, he would be pro religious freedom.  Ironically our US bishops are urging us to pray for these three things right now.

A true Catholic presidential candidate would run on his record and not be afraid to stand up for what he believes in.  No more of this “I’m opposed to abortion myself but I don’t believe in imposing my views on anyone else” nonsense.    Either you’re for killing babies or you’re not.  Whether you’re Catholic or not, at least with such a candidate you’d know what to expect and could vote accordingly.  There would be no surprises, certainly no curriers showing up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with envelopes from the Pope.

This whole idea of “separation of church and state” has gotten entirely out of hand.  This is just my opinion but I’m pretty sure that Romney would have won the White House if he weren’t a mormon with a Catholic running mate.  Who did win?  Someone of undetermined religious affiliation; someone who doesn’t go to church because he doesn’t want to disrupt the services.  This from a guy who’s constantly putting himself in the limelight.

Any politician who follows his faith religiously (pun intended) at least lets the voters know what he or she believes in.  Whether he/she is a Catholic, a protestant, a mormon, or a Jew, if that person follows their faith then the rest of us know what to expect.  Sadly we do know what to expect from nominal Catholics like those listed above.  Whatever the Church teaches, they will probably go the opposite way.

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Mindless Sheep

Actual Irish sheep taken by yours truly in 2008.

It’s been my experience that when people discuss a controversial issue concerning the Catholic Church, sooner or later, someone in opposition to the Church will argue that Catholic are “mindless sheep”.  We’re not capable of independent thought and we follow whatever the Church teaches without thinking it through for ourselves.  I’ve personally been called a “mindless sheep” more times than I can count.

This pseudo-argument puzzles me.  Many of these same people who will vote to reelect the current occupant of the White House because they’re still waiting for “hope and change” think I’m a sheep because I choose to believe the Son of God and the Church He created.

I’m curious.  At what point does a faithful follower cross the line into “sheephood?   Surely my belief in the Ten Commandments isn’t it.  Even people who have no religious faith at all are against murder.  (Unless the victim hasn’t been born yet, but that’s a topic for another day.)

I believe that Jesus became one of us, died, and was crucified to save us from our sins.  Billions of people share that belief.  Are we all mindless sheep?  I think even our moth ruthless detractors would give us that one.

So, when does one become a sheep?  I think a lot of haters believe that agreeing with the Church and disagreeing  with them qualifies us for sheepdom.  To pro-abortionists, the fact that we believe in the sacredness of ALL human life is sheeplike.  Despite the fact that our support of all life comes directly from the before-mentioned Commandments, somehow extending the prohibition against murder to our future citizens puts us into some brainless caste.

Here’s the thing.  I (and I hope you) believe what the Church teaches.  I don’t fall thoughtlessly in line with every word that comes out of the Vatican (or from my local ordinary) but I’m committed to learning everything I can about an issue.  When I do, the truth invariable comes down on the side of the Church.  How can this be?  Maybe it has something to do with Jesus’ statement to Peter and the other Apostles, “whoever hears you, hears me.”  Could it be that He wasn’t kidding?  Did He really mean it?

I believe that He did.  Does that make me mindless?  I don’t think so.  Not anymore mindless than anyone who chooses to put their faith in something outside themselves.

 I don’t think that anti-Catholics are mindless.  I just think they’re wrong.