The following is a not unexpected response to the FFRF full page ad in the New York Times via the Catholic News Agency.
“Not a single Catholic who reads this ad will be impelled to leave the Church. That is not the issue. The issue is the increase in hate speech directed at Catholics.”
Bill Donohue, Professional Blowhard
I recently wrote a post about claims of atheist bigotry, intolerance, etc. against religions. Obviously I reject this accusation as a fallacy and a tactic to shift the conversation away from the topic at hand. In this case Donohue, once again, thinks he speaks for all Catholics and that there is no possible way anyone would doubt or challenge their faith or, at the very least, one’s allegiance to the Catholic Church. First, how can Donohue be so sure? There have always been people on the fence falling one way or the other. Second, Annie Laurie Gaylor’s critique is reasoned and a well thought out argument against the participation in an archaic institution. She writes:
“If you imagine you can change the church from within — get it to lighten up on birth control, gay rights, marriage equality, embryonic stem-cell research — you are deluding yourself.”
The Catholic faithful and their interfaith supporters can bleat about “hate speech” and “intolerance” all they want, but the one thing they never do is provide a reasoned counterargument. Why is Gaylor’s request for people to leave the Church unreasonable? What is the Church’s defense to the clear and unequivocal criticisms? They have none! They just call everything “hate speech” and play the victim card as if they have no power. Additionally, the simplest way to shut us up is for the Church to not dictate how Catholics and non-Catholics run their own private lives. What is it with a religion based on the concept of free will that so steadfastly tries to kill it?
I wholeheartedly agree with and co-sign Gaylor’s call for people to quit the Catholic Church. It is has little, if any, redeeming qualities. I can’t outline that better than Gaylor did.* As Stephen Fry has stated “The Catholic Church is not a force for good in this world.”
*I wrote something similar a few months ago that was more aimed at the apathy of liberal Christians to stand up to the religious Right in the political process. Open Letter to America's Liberal Christians