Saturday, May 28, 2011

You and me versus the world

Modern media allows us to see the world in ways unthinkable a generation ago. Think about that. What did the world of 1971 look like in comparison to today? There were no push button phones, much less cell phones. The internet and the personal computer could not even have been imagined. The remote control on the television consisted of the father yelling for his son or daughter to get up and change the channels until something more suitable could be found. Fortunately, this wouldn't take long because there were only 13 of them. If you needed information, you went to the library and came back with a stack of books.

Let's be clear. The kid growing up in 1971 (as I did) had a very small window on the world. The world was what your parents, your teachers and Walter Kronkite told you it was.

Yet, even in my small corner of the world, at my young age, I understood that my family was Catholic and that there were people who hated me for it. The 40 years since have only widened the scope of my view but the hatred is still there. If anything, it has increased.

Flipping through the channels (that now number in the hundreds), I chanced by an episode of "Two and a half men". One of the characters on this insipid show, asked another if the Charlie Sheen character took him for granted, or something like that. I don't remember the exact context- it isn't important. It was the sarcastic response from the woman character that struck me- "Do Catholic Priests make poor baby sitters?" if it was a given that all Catholic Priests are child molesters.

Considering the hatred, bigotry and poor taste of such a corrosive retort, I could not help but wonder what the response would have been by substituting "Catholic Priest" with "Protestant Minister", "Jewish Rabbi" or "Muslim Imam", or even "Public School teacher", "Boy Scout leader", "Congressman" or "CPS Caseworker" or even "Homosexual Male". Every one of those vocations would be statistically more likely to fit this caustic stereotype than "Catholic Priest", so why did this comedy show choose to take a gratuitous shot at Catholicism by raising the horrific crime of pedophilia to a punch line?

It's very simple. If you had assaulted any of those groups in such a way, the outcry would be immediate and overwhelming. However, it is open season on Catholics because the whole world hates Catholics.

Just look around you. The media hates Catholics and constantly interjects their venom into stories at every opportunity. A recent AP story referred to the beatification of Pope John Paul II as "a needed boost for a church still stinging from the sex abuse scandal". One of the big cable networks commented on the Pope calling the space station as ironic coming from the church that "Condemned Galileo for asserting that the earth revolved around the sun" (an untrue assertion by the way). Many recent other stories have deliberately miss-stated the Church's position on condoms, evolution, the Eucharist and even technology. A recent media story asserted that an I-Phone/ Android application could replace Sacramental confession.

The entertainment industry is no different. From comedian Dayne Cook's derision of the Eucharist as the "crouton de Christ" to ventriloquist Jeff Dunham's disgusting remark about Catholic Priests and small boys. In movies, Catholics are portrayed as ignorant buffoons and Catholic Priests as intolerant or even evil. Examples include Saturday Night fever, Home Alone, The last temptation of Christ, the Seventh Sign, All the Right moves and The Da Vinci code.

Lawmakers clearly hate the catholic church, crafting proposed laws making it a crime to be Catholic. If you are a Catholic praying the Rosary in front of an abortion clinic or even at a supposedly Catholic university, you are cited as a trespasser and arrested. Those who hold the opposite view are left alone.

The Abortion lobby, itself, explicitly hates the Catholic Church as does the education system. In fact, the Abortion lobby, the radical homosexual lobby, the education system and government have formed an unholy alliance to foist upon our children the idea that standing up for life, the sanctity of marriage, smaller, less intrusive government and freedom of speech and religion are actually examples of bigotry and intolerance that cannot be tolerated.

That Catholicism is viscerally hated by the Social and Religious left- the secularists, the atheists, the free-sexers, the abortionists, homosexual advocates and big government liberal tyrants, it is just as viscerally hated by the right. Evangelical Christians, united with us in opposing gay marriage, Government mandated control of our lives and the suppression of our freedoms, nevertheless, are each day, creating new books, blogs, web sites and Facebook pages deriding Catholicism as an evil cult, worshipers of Mary, Angels, Saints, the Pope...even statues! These, supposedly Christian, people accuse us regularly of supporting the most attrocious crimes including pedophilia and genocide.

Now, it may be true that there are Youtube sites and Facebook pages and blogs that deride atheists and liberals, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and Evangelicals but the difference is that strong numbers of all of those groups hate the Catholic Church.

Hatred of Catholicism can be found in every walk of life, from the Intelligentsia to the blue collar carpenter, Left wing, right wing and moderate, Jew, Muslim, Evangelical protestant, Mormon or Secular Humanist atheist.

They all hate us.

In fact, the Roman Catholic Church is the one and only institution that the whole world hates. This is exactly what proves we are the true Church.

John 15
18 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 It is to fulfill the word that is written in their law, 'They hated me without a cause.'

What an honor and privilege it is to be hated for Jesus.

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