I’m looking for some responses to a letter which was printed in a local newspaper recently. This is the letter-writer’s third letter to the paper in about 6 weeks and their first letter attacked the Church’s response to Amnesty’s decision re abortion. Following their first 2 letters I responded (I may post these letters & responses at a later stage!) but in the letter in this weeks’ paper the writer attempts to end the debate about Amnesty by attacking the Church with something. Here are some extracts from their letter (I am omitting the initial paragraphs which deal with abortion and Amnesty as I can say plenty about that myself :
after contradicting themselves by saying that abortion is a personal matter better dealt with by an individual's conscience, ethicists and medical professionals, they write: "...The idea that the Catholic Church, an organisation which for so long treated women as second-class humans, and which actively protected priests who were involved in the horrors of child abuse, should have any say in the lives of women and children...is wholly disgusting to me." they continue: "Finally, from where did I get the idea that Christians should believe what they like in private, but keep their 'mouths shut' on government policy and public morality?...from Jesus of Nazareth... Jesus taught that Christians should expect mockery for their beliefs... Christians must turn the other cheek... Saint Paul ordered Christians to accept the laws of their heathen rulers...because all authorities...are put there by God." "Of course there are many biblical quotes which might contradict all of this. That, however, is my point. The Gospels, and the Bible, as well as religious tradition as a whole, is so full of hypocrisy, contradictions and errors that they cannot be taken seriously as a guide to the moral life. To those Christians who disagree with me and oppose my views I can only ask that they do as their God demanded and 'forgive' me."
So that’s it! I don’t think it’s forgiveness they need, as much as they need clarification and the truth on the issues they have raised. I would be most interested to hear your views on the accusation of the Church’s treatment of women and children, how to explain apparent contradictions of the Bible, or can we say without doubt that Church tradition does not contradict itself? Personally I don’t see conflicts in the Bible or Tradition, but this person needs ‘hard evidence’! By the way, in another letter the writer pointed out that they have a degree in Theology - but I don’t know how they got through 3 years of theology without an understanding of the concept of faith!