“Catholicism is logical.” That was the warning uttered by Daniel Webster to Orestes Brownson when the lawyer saw young Orestes browsing a Catholic work in a bookstore. The Protetant Webster was telling him, “Don’t wander too deep into those waters, or you might find yourself sucked into Popery. The nonsense actually makes sense.”
I love stuff like that. It reminds me of one of my favorite anecdotes. A college professor asked a Catholic in his class whether the student really believed that God is present in the bread and wine. The student responded, “Yes.” The professor then asked him how often he attended Mass. The student said, “Every week.” The professor responded, “If I believed that, I’d be there every day.”
A similar incident occurred recently on CNN. I didn’t realize that Piers Morgan is “Catholic.” He recently interviewed an atheist (Penn Jillette), who was befuddled by Morgan’s Catholicity:
MORGAN: I don’t remember reading Jesus Christ saying you cannot use condoms to prevent diseases. I don’t remember him saying priests — Catholic priests can’t get married. I don’t remember him saying divorced Catholics can’t remarry in church. Or that female priests can’t be ordained. None of these things have actually come from Jesus Christ’s own mouth.
JILLETTE: Absolutely. But now you’re talking Martin Luther. That was Martin Luther saying that an individual — I don’t think he actually mentioned you by name, but an individual could interpret the Bible themselves. The idea, as I understand it, of the Catholic church is that it’s not interpreting the Bible yourself. You have somebody who is actually able to do that.
Once you have somebody that is telling you, we are interpreting God for you, it seems like you either agree or you don’t. You either say, like Martin Luther, I’m going to have a direct relationship with the word of God, or I’m going to go through a conduit of God on Earth, which would be the Pope.
MORGAN: I can’t believe I have Penn Jillette in front of me actually defending my church against my own criticisms of it. Anyway —
JILLETTE: You’re getting more Martin Luther
Again, rat own. This is America. Catholics and Protestants can co-exist, do business with one another, love one another. And if you find yourself no longer in line with your church’s beliefs, you’re welcome to leave. It’s that simple. It’s a great arrangement. You only need to have a little Websterian logic to make it work.
Choose your side, then go support it. But stop the straddling.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList