A Catholic Backlash Brews

While religious freedom is a keystone of this country, there are places where the will of the majority will trump a religious system.

We, as a country, have decided that contraception is a necessary and valuable thing.

It is a health issue.

The Catholic Church has sued the Obama Administration for the right to go without Contraception. They may be setting themselves up for a double backlash. (Link)

The Church isn’t what it once was as it hemorrhages membership. There is a Catholic undercurrent brewing. The rumblings are there if you listen closely.

At my grade school reunion a few years ago I was pretty shocked at the number of folks who left the faith. People I never dreamed who would leave The Church were gone. They had us for at least 8 years, some for 12. They lost us as a generation. For whatever hard, harsh reasons many of my 50-something peers have gone – along with their kids.

My kids would never attend Catholic school. If they choose to go to a Catholic College, it would be their choice. Their faith has been home-schooled. It won’t be the same church going forward.

Last weekend I went to an engagement party. One of my aunts was a nun, a teacher. My earliest memories of her are going to the convent and getting candy or holy cards or what not. She left the convent; I was the 8 year-old ringer bearer at her wedding a few years later. Her career after the convent is one of living her faith, but today she looks at how The Church treats women and is angry.

She would have been a damn fine priest.

One of the other ladies at the party talked about how she did 50 years of being a Catholic, but looks back dumbfounded at how it was hammered into everyone about The Catholic way being the ONLY right way. The realization of knowing that the Catholic way wasn’t the only one has left her with scarring.

These are not isolated people. It is happening all over as people begin to question what it was we believed in.

With each pronouncement from the hierarchy about same-sex marriage, or the fraud of priestly celibacy (yes it is a fraud being exposed in open court), or a lawsuit from Notre Dame more and more ex-Catholics’ resentment grows. It is an internal tide rising.

Every year The Church begs for vocations, but who would volunteer their child to go a seminary? There is a reason Catholic schools and churches are closing and consolidating – it is that The Catholic Church is more interested in being a political player rather than fishers of men. We don’t want to be caught in their nets. This is the first backlash.

The second backlash will be an external one. It will come from those looking in from the outside The Church. These folks have a legitimate reason to become concerned that we are becoming a Catholic Theocracy. As the Church pushes every boundary it can, those non-Catholics can rightly total up all the Catholics on the Supreme Court and wonder who can stop this.

The words of John Kennedy in Houston are being ignored. Conservative Catholic Lawmakers are taking their marching orders from Rome; as Rick Santorum alluded to himself.

The United States are not to be the realm of one religious group. There are places where the will of the majority will trump a religious system. Other groups have had to bend to join.

We do not allow bigamy in this country. I guess it is too confusing to keep track of all the wives and the kids. (Besides, if it one guy and 5 wives – isn’t that like a same sex marriage for the wives?)

If Utah wanted to become a state, they had to forgo the extra wives.

The Mormon management back at that time realized that if there were to become part of a larger country, they would have to bend.

The Catholic Church may find IT has to bend as both those who have left The Church start to stand up and are joined by those who feel the Church is tipping the balance too far in its favor.

When I see The Church, or any religious group start to exert political force a voice inside my head whispers to me, “How great can a religion be if it needs man’s laws to enforce their version of God’s Laws?”

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