Friday, December 10, 2010

Writers and Comedians Lighten Up on the Catholic Church

Let me preface this writing I was brought up Catholic; am not a practicing Catholic; and am not a recovering Catholic. My spiritual and social views are different than the church I was brought up in. I have chosen, not out of any bad Catholic experiences, to seek my spirituality elsewhere. I believe in God, and have no real opinions on what religion a person chooses to follow or not follow.

The priests I knew were good men and several are now married. Our pastor died a good man with a true love of the Catholic Church. Some nuns were good women with a sense of humor and some typified the ruler hand-smacking nut case that many in my generation experienced.

The Catholic clergy and religious I encountered and remembered were diverse but did not damage my psyche.

My father one-day remarked that the Catholic Church could be bashed in the news media without much consequence. I never really appreciated his comment until I grew up and think he is likely correct.

In this era of political correctness, if a person writes controversial comments regarding Jewsih, Muslim, or conservative Christian beliefs, they are fast back tracking and offering apologies to the entire world about their remarks. If the person is lucky, the apology will allow him or her to retain their job or political post.

But the same standards are not being held for commentaries regarding the Catholic Church. The pope continues to be fair game for attacks by the media. Comedians and social commentators to justify anti-Catholic bantering use the Church scandals regarding its priests and ignore the good priest just trying to do a good job.

Catholics of my generation and earlier know some good and bad stories about growing up Catholic. We know the stories,  let us tell them. But those of you, who did not have the Catholic experience, please lighten up with the attacks.

The Church of today is a real promoter for human rights and champions fights against social injustices. Church beliefs and traditions are not stagnant and though slowly sometimes, the Catholic Church does review and changes on some of its theological opinions.

Most importantly for millions of people, the Catholic Church still continues to serve as a good moral compass for people to follow.

So writers and comedians be more sensitive to your Catholic audience as you have been for those who follow the Jewish, Muslim, and other Christian beliefs.

Edward Houghton

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