Saturday, January 19, 2008

Skewer until well-done

Any Way Saturday
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W
here will it end? Or, will it ever end? The links below tell quite a story. There is a current raging movement of Christianophobia: Irrational fear or hatred of Christians.
Even a spokesman for the Vatican conceded this to be the case. Vatican officials, including Archbishop Dominique Mamberti of the Vatican Secretariat of State, have supported the recognition of the term and acknowledge the phenomenon.
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We are all walking around with a collection of concentric circles on our back - we are targets for everybody. Even National Public Radio (NPR) got in on the act.
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dateline
SALT LAKE CITY (CNA) - A January 7 public radio skit that made disparaging remarks about the Eucharist while attacking Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. In the radio skit, a man’s voice then says:

“Tired of bland unsatisfying Eucharists? Try this Huckabee family favorite. Deep-Fried Body of Christ--boring holy wafers no more. Take one Eucharist. Preferably post transubstantiation. Deep-fry in fat, not vegetable oil, ladies, until crispy. Serve piping hot. Mike likes to top his Christ with whipped cream and sprinkles. But his wife Janet and the boys like theirs with heavy gravy and cream puffs. It goes great with red wine.”

After the outrage among Catholic listeners became apparent,
an official from Public Radio International, the parent organization that carries the radio show, contacted the Catholic League. The official said that the offensive skit was pulled from the company’s website and that an on-air apology was given.

Get that? AFTER the skit aired and people complained, they said they were 'sorry'.
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Why are Catholics so thin-skinned anyways?
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Yesterday, I had a conversation with a construction consultant at a local 'big-box' DIY store regarding materials costs for a project in which I may be involved in the near future. As conversations sometimes go, this one drifted off topic. He began telling me of some church mission experiences in which he has been involved over the years. I tried to be a polite listener, finding his tales interesting, and we were standing in a very public space at a counter in the store. Most of the efforts had been in various Caribbean Island locations.

I mentioned I had recently met a Catholic priest from Haiti who was now in the USA doing graduate work at a University here. His response wasn't one of interest, though. His response was almost hateful. He responded that the Catholic Church was the biggest obstacle the groups he missioned with had to face in the various islands. "They're a bunch of idolaters!" he stated. "And they go around trying to get other Christians to worship statues of Mary with them. It is really confusing to the people, who are so poor and in need of our assistance. Mary needed salvation just like the rest of us; she was human, and they want to make some kind of god out of her."

I commented that Catholics don't worship statues. He insisted he knew otherwise, because he had talked to a number of these superstitious ignorant Catholics while he was there. They had told him that they prayed to Mary, embodied in the statue. I think there was something lost in the translation.

Before we got into a verbal tete-a-tete, he quickly decided to get back on topic and talk about the project again. I left wondering how many people are infected by some ignorant view of Catholicism they got from some ignorant Protestant pastor, or some ignorant Catholic.
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2 comments:

Adrienne said...

You can thank Loraine Boettner’s book, Roman Catholicism, for most of today's nonsense. It is the "bible" of anti-Catholicism. Most books that came after just quote Boettner (usually without giving him credit.)

Boettner list no sources for what are really no more than opinions. I believe the entire book has just 2 or 3 footnotes.

Melody said...

Bishop Fulton Sheen is quoted as saying, "There are not over a hundred people...who hate the Roman Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church". I think people like your acquaintance are somewhat afraid to consider their preconceived notions in light of the facts; it might mean an uncomfortable change in the way they see the world.
And as you say, something may have been lost in the translation. The personal pieties of a culture not our own are easily misunderstood.