Uncivil Discourse

Because civility is overrated.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I'm Sorry, Mother Church, But I Just Need Some Space

Look, Catholic Church, it's not you, it's me. You're just doing what you've been doing. I recognize this now. You've always meddled in politics before, but I've overlooked it. Why? Because you accept evolution and have stroven at least for improving understanding between different religious groups, if not outright tolerance at times. At the least, you've been generally consistent; anti-war, anti-death penalty, and so on.

And for that, I've given you any number of things I don't accord other religious groups. I've fully respected your organization (your faith goes without saying) and defended it. I've refused to say anything about the new Pope or the old (whom, while I didn't necessarily agree with him, I always respected), giving you the respect you deserve from me as a non-Catholic. And I understand you have an influence on things that affect me, from my Catholic friends to politics in the country, and I've always thought we could at least talk about it.

But you've stabbed me in the back, Catholic Church. I understand William Donohue doesn't represent you, much less even the most batshit insane Catholics, the same way James "If Only I Could Beat My Kids Like My Dog" Dobson isn't representative of most evangelical Protestants. But here, you crossed a line. You betrayed my trust. How could you do something like this to me?

Evangelical Protestants have led the way in portraying Democrats as enemies of God, but the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has chimed in on the issue of judicial nominees in a mass mailing to parishioners timed to yield constituent letters just as the matter comes to a vote.

See, Catholic Church, I don't mind you taking official stances on issues which are political, such as abortion and stem-cell research, because these are issues on which faith can help factor into how people feel, and like I said, I respect that. But then you took sides during the election, even though it meant supporting a pro-death penalty instigator of an unjust war (by your standards). That I thought was uncalled for, and it began this strain in our relationship. But I thought, in light of everything else, maybe we could work it out.

Now you've just shown me we can't. Despite forbidding priests to get involved in politics, you've just done it, and you've further alienated many of your own here, who have managed to look past the fact that we in America, unlike you, tend to like things like contraceptives and having our kids be free of molestation (as opposed to just moving around offenders). Is it only an issue of priests get involved if they're liberal? How is siding with these nutjobs, who would round you into camps with Hindus and Muslims (as they tend to think you're the one of the villains of Revelation) not political? How is explicitly working with those in a campaign to label those of a particular political persuasion, one which agrees with you on a good many things, not political? What does this have to do with religion or morality? How the fuck can this be justified as anything but sheer partisanship?

So that's it. We're done. You just can't change, can you? It's kind of comical how pathetically incorrigible you are.

And no, I'm not going to say I hope we can still be friends. Because frankly, I don't want to be your friend anymore. We're through. I need to move on. And you need to mature before you try this again. Otherwise, every other relationship you're in may end up this sour.

(Notes: The Times story was via Digby, and also see Rude Pundit's breakup note, which I'm sure caused this to be my first reaction to this news, concerning the election of the Pope and how it's likely to further distance the Church from most American Catholics).