« Links With Your Coffee - Monday | Main | CPAC After Party »

Clinging to Religion

Why would anyone maintain membership in an organization that they believed was wrong in so many ways?



"Why would anyone maintain membership in an organization that they believed was wrong in so many ways." Each of the Catholics here gave responses to this question. And I thought that they were fairly forthright in responding to being challenged. PJ made the point that the "organization" is a product of mortals, so of course it's flawed (but one imagines that doesn't nullify for him what he perceives to be the truths that inspire the organization). Gavin, in a rather unfortunate choice of words that I imagine y'all appreciate, said it was beaten into him and, because of guilt and whatever, he can't get away from it. I suspect he has additional rationales for his belief, but, sad as it may be, that explanation goes a long way toward explaining why many people stick with the organization, despite (as Gavin also noted) having a myriad of disagreements with it. One may disagree with these opinions and/or consider them stupid and misguided, but they did attempt to answer the question.

You know, I use to be a Catholic for 23 it's not like I am speaking as someone who hasn't seen this type of behavior before, I've lived it(as many of us have)...But you need not be a Christian, Catholic, nor former of the such to see the obvious lack of faith, and disapproval of their chosen religion that these two men clearly posses.

Gavin is a career politician by the way, so one can understand his resistance in fully out-right rejecting his cowardly as that excuse may be.

By the way...although I say I was Catholic for 23 years, looking back I was actually only a believer for about 15 of them. The last eight years of that were spent trying to some how rationalize(much like these two gentlemen are)a way for my religion to still be relevant in my life. As you can see though, time cures all things and eventually even I had to come to my senses.


I certainly see some "disapproval of their chosen religion", but (in this clip -- I haven't seen the show) didn't notice any "obvious lack of faith". It would seem that a guy like PJ (as well as guys like Andrew Sullivan and Francis Collins) have a fair amount of "intellectual curiosity". Plus, one would assume PJ's had a lot more than 23 years to get beyond Catholicism if that's where he's headed. It just seems to me that, along with the great number of people who fall into the unreflective group you're referring to, one must somehow also account for a significant number who see the flaws in whatever their church or religion is, have rational 21st-Century opinions about all sorts of things and yet still are believers. It would seem to me from this brief exchange that these are two of them.

No one's suggesting that these men do not posses any intellectual curiosity, just not a great amount of it on this particular issue(from what I have seen from this clip).
However what they do lack in Great amount is out-rage. How can you openly acknowledge all of these falsehoods and missuses of your belief system and not take those responsible to task? Not ask your self, why is the pope granting passes into "Heaven", and more importantly, what does it all mean?
If you believe in the Bible that's is one thing, but you can not for a second support the notion that Jesus would approve of what the Vatican is doing(with Faith or with out). So I ask you,"Where's the Out-Rage?"

These men clearly don't have any.


I agree that they don't express outrage. However, they're on a comedy show that's hosted by an atheist -- I doubt they have any interest in discussing their faith or religion whatsoever in this setting. Being it's a comedy show and they're on the defensive, they mostly try to joke about the whole thing. I can't imagine that either of them takes indulgences too seriously, but I think their main goal in this discussion is to hope that the subject of the conversation is changed from Catholicism as soon as possible.

They don't seem to take it seriously is exactly the point! The reason the church is able to get away with doing such horrible things is because people like these men and your self "turn the other cheek."


In the past on this site, I've seen the response thread go down to where the final response was a long line of single letters that actually LOOKED like a thread. Uh, that's not my goal here. I'll conclude my commentary by noting that Gavin listed a number of things in which he is in flagrant opposition to church teaching. There are plenty like him, but they have no effect on the Pope or the heirarchy. Nor do the many Catholics who have left the church. Before he was Pope, this Pope said something to the effect that a smaller, more devout church would be fine with him. So it seems to me that "The reason the church is able to get away with doing such horrible things" is because, for the most part, it's the Pope's ballgame and there's enough people around who support him and his way of doing things that he's not really all that concerned about the others. PJ and Gavin could have shouted to the rafters that indulgences are beyond the pale, or whatever, and I don't imgagine it would have had any effect on anyone who didn't already agree with them.

You know, it's clear all four of these men are really Atheists. Just two are openly Atheists, and the other two are simply not willing to admit it to them selves yet. Some people are so lacking in intellectual curiosity and outrage over this subject though, that they may never fully come to this acknowledgement. I know tons of people like this, I'm sure we all do.

I would like to subscribe to the newsletters of politicjunky and Alan Cumming.

I think the term "atheist" is too heavy, too weighted, and too mired in bias.

However, I have no doubt all 4 of these people would admit "I honestly don't know for sure".

I think the first step on the path to atheism is the acceptance of what we do not know. It is a major challenge to an ego-driven individual, but far more socially accepted than jumping directly from "Team C" to "Team A".

Do you think atheism is the same as secular humanism? Have you heard of igtheists?

What would you consider to be Team B?

Bobby Jindal. His real name still is Piyush Jindal. Apparently little Piyush had trouble being 'one of the gang' in school, an Indian American living in an homogenous white community in the Southern state of Louisiana.

Someone must have given him the idea at that young impressionable age that becoming a Christian would fix it. Looks like that he is still trying very hard to fit in, too hard in my opinion. That makes great comedy for the likes of John Stewart and of course we can all use a good laugh right now.

But then again, what do I know? Maybe it was harder for people of his generation that it is for mine. But then again what makes America great is that you fit in by just being yourself, not trying to be like someone else. How come he never grasped that?

He is a very intelligent man though. If I where a Conservative Republican, I would vote for him in a heart beat. But I am not, so though luck for him.

I'm sorry, I just found this clip too be way too funny, so I had to share...not everyone on here will agree I'm sure.

It's a price you pay for the security of knowing (er, "believing) that your mind will not vanish after your death. Our minds cannot simulate a state where it does not exist, so the idea of total vanishment becomes very scary, to the point where people believe irattional things like gods and whatnot.

P.J. says something quite revealing. "That's why I let Obama off easy with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as a Catholic I really can't get on someone about what theri clergy's been up too. I kept mum."

This is exactly the problem with religious moderates. They self-censor their criticisms of people they would otherwise think are crazy because they feel they would be hypocritical. Fundamentalists, extremists and any other religious wacko gets a pass.

Team C = Christians Team A = Atheists

so... Team B = Broncos

Does P.J. O'Rourke have any ideas that aren't fatuous and completely ridden with holes? He wrote not too long ago in The Atlantic that we should divest in Social Security and put the money in the stock market (among a lot of other idiotic proposals).

I'll wager he is just waiting for the right moment to jump ship and declare himself to be a liberal like Andrew Sullivan. Sorry ex-right wing shitbags, you are wlecome to vote liberal but we don't really need the rats masquerading as pundits.

They don't seem to take it seriously is exactly the point! The reason the church is able to get away with doing such horrible things is because people like these men and your self "turn the other cheek."


Support this site

Google Ads

Powered by Movable Type Pro

Copyright © 2002-2017 Norman Jenson


Commenting Policy

note: non-authenticated comments are moderated, you can avoid the delay by registering.

Random Quotation

Individual Archives

Monthly Archives