We MUST speak out against clear evil. We always must, even if it upsets people and even when no one wants to hear it; however, we must resist another related evil.
We must resist the evil that is seeing ourselves as holy and upright because we boldly and bravely condemn evil.
We must not fall prey to the temptation to be cruel and malign other sinners simply because we are not guilty of the sin they commit. We must not give in to the temptation to purposefully be offensive because we believe anti-political correctness a virtue. Rudeness is not of God. His followers are meek and kind, full of grace.
Do not accept the truth in such a way that it allows Satan to sit between your heart and the truth, distorting the message turning you bitter, hateful, and arrogant. Satan doesn’t fear you having the truth. He fears you disseminating it with charity and compassion, for who would be turned from that truth?
Yes, we must have compassion. Compassion is not “being nice” or “not being offensive” but to suffer with someone. It is co-suffering. You cannot suffer with someone whom you do not know or with whom you have not spent any time. You cannot co-suffer with someone whom you are busy wounding.
The Pharisee did not mistake Jesus for condoning the sin of the sinners with which he spent time, and likewise you to can go out as salt and light preaching a message of truthful love and understanding. No one is converted by prideful grandstanding and vitriolous judgement.
Beat your chest before the chests of other wounded sinners, “mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!”
Myth#1: We hate science. For some Christian denominations, I have no doubt there exists a hatred of science, but for many mainstream groups, including the Catholic Church, science is beloved.
The Big Bang Theory was hypothesized by a Catholic priest. The father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel, was an Augustinian monk. The first doctor of computer sciences was a Catholic nun. Louis Pasteur, who laid the ground work for vaccines, was a devout Catholic dedicating his life’s work to the mother of Jesus. Heisenberg, the Nobel Laureate in physics, can be quoted saying, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” I can’t speak for all denominations, as I am Catholic, but I can tell you, some Christian denominations embrace science.
Myth #2: Christians are homophobic. Again, I cannot speak for all Christian denominations, but from a common Christian and Catholic perspective. For Christians, sex has a function and there is natural law. The fundamental purposes of the sexual union are bonding and babies.
Those are the recognized purposes. One cannot be divorced from the other, though taking advantage of infertile periods is lauded as responsible when having more children is not prudent. For this reason, they do not recognize naturally sterile sexual acts to be moral. Believing an action to be immoral does not justify cruelty toward those who identify as gay. On the contrary, they are to be loved and respected.
Somewhere along the line, popular culture and media became confused about hatred and intolerance, believing any disagreement to be an issue of bigotry.
Fortunately, this is not a factual assertion. If it were, the logical conclusion would be devastating. It would be to say every parent disapproving of their child’s actions would be guilty of bigotry or hatred. Obviously, this isn’t true, because humans can disagree or disapprove of something without hating or maligning one another. The real intolerance and hatred would be to say we must stomp out anyone who does not believe as I believe, which is happening to Christians, today.
This is not to say there are no Christians who have acted with hatred and intolerance, which must be condemned. For their actions, I wish to offer a heartfelt apology that will fall laughably short of the penitence you are owed. No evil should ever be enacted toward another. By the very action, they have not behaved as a Christian. We MUST love one another, love being a verb.
Myth #3: Christians only hate abortion because of the Bible. There are references in the Bible to humanity and personhood, as is the en vogue distinguishing feature; however, for most Christians/Catholics, the objection is NOT dependent upon the Bible.
I have often said, “If I became an atheist again, tomorrow, I would stay pro-life.” Embryology and other sciences have shown a distinct other exists at the moment of conception, possessing it’s own DNA. As that DNA is human, it logically follows that the life in that entity would be human.
“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization… is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.
Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Miller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.
Surely, we can disagree about what this fact means, but do not assume I believe something simply “because the Bible says it.” To do so would be erroneous, an untruth. The Bible being in agreement with embryology certainly spoke to the truth of Christianity for me, but the Bible is not a stand alone reason.
He is the author of The Protestant’s Dilemma and Navigating the Tiber, both published by Catholic Answers. You can find them at Catholic Answers, Amazon, and your local Catholic book store!
We discuss his books, evangelizing to protestants and atheists, talking about the faith with family, and more!
The following is intended to be comedic. Please do not take it too seriously. Enjoy!
The Motherhood Corporal Works of Mercy:
Give drink to the thirsty = Breastfeeding
I don’t have to tell any mother that breastfeeding and rocking a baby back and forth, at all hours of the night, makes her some kind of martyr! From cracked nipples to plugged ducts to supply struggles, you have a lot of suffering uniting you with Christ, mama.
Feed the hungry = Breastfeeding; Enduring kids begging, “can I have a snack yet”, approximately, 234134782193471280973489012 times a day.
The breastfeeding is conveniently both, feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty, but it doesn’t end there.
As a mom, you will be made a saint by enduring some broken record version of, “I’m hungry! I need a snack!” Maybe I should auto-tune them for fun? Imagine Akon harping after you, “I’m staAAaaaaaAAAAaaaarving, Ma!” On second thought, no.
Shelter the homeless = Skipping the designer purse and shoes
You give yourself a damn pat on the back! You may have to hold back the tears as you put that fancy, designer, leather handbag on the shelf whilst holding your stained and torn diaper bag, but you have allowed your children to keep their home by being a good steward of your family finances! Good on you mama. Offer it up, and enjoy the roof over your head with your beautiful children.
Visit the sick = BOOGERS EVERYWHERE
Have you met a toddler?! Adorable and comedic petri dishes of the booger plague, they are! This corporal work comes to YOU! Johnny may have just licked the floor in that public restroom or eaten m&m’s off the floor of the subway train, making that vein in your forehead throb a little, but don’t worry! You get to exercise this corporal work of mercy, soon! You needn’t even go to the hospital.
Visit the prisoners = Discipline
Whether you had to take your teens phone and computer, making them feel like a prisoner 🙄, or you are sitting in front of a toddler preventing them from leaving timeout, you definitely got this one done.
Bury the dead = Pets; Toys
I recently attended a heartfelt burial at sea (the toilet) for our goldfish, complete with a loudly wailing child, music, and a eulogy. We have even had to say goodbye to a hedgehog. Don’t laugh. I deserve an Oscar for playing my part as funeral officiant and sad mourner. I did get choked up when we had to let a dog go as a family. Death is always hard on a family. Consider that lovingly attending to your children and getting this right means your kids will know how to cope later on in life. Your role is important, mama!
I must periodically go through and find all the ‘dead’ or broken toys and take them to the dump. Is this a burial? I submit that it is!
Give alms to the poor = Rice Bowl; Chore tithing
Parishes nationwide participate in Operation Rice Bowl where people collect their change and money throughout Lent to feed the hungry. Do this with your kids. Try to give them an allowance, even just a quarter for ‘helping’ you clean. Explain to them how a tithe works and why we do it. This work is arguably one of the most important. Raising people who are in the habit of helping the poor is one of the best things you can offer the world and the church, as a mother!
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