Controversial Catholicism

You can be a good person without professing any belief in a Higher Power. When it comes the controversial issues like abortion, gay marriage, etc. I do not know what to say. I do not know enough about most issues to give an opinion. I generally just listen. Sometimes it seems like people who are more liberal cannot comprehend why some people would oppose any of those issues. Anyone who disagrees is a close-minded, backwards bigot. I feel ambivalent. If I feel like I am lying to myself I say I fully support those issues.

For me, one of the things that helped in clarifying my own beliefs and allowing me to aticulate them to others when challenged was learning why the Catholic Church believed and taught as it did. I don’t believe blindly; I believe because I believe this is the truth.

Now, when the conversation arises, i can intelligently articulate my position and why I hold that position, and if others want to disagree with me, they are free to do so - but my positions are sound.

Well, that all depends on how you define “a good person”.

And, therein is the problem. Morality is external to us, it is authored by God himself. We conform to it, not create it ourselves.

That is why a person who favors killing babies can say that they are a “good person”-- because they have defined what a “good person” is and what a “good person” does. Apparently, good people kill babies in their estimation of “good”.

But, no, there is only one who is good-- God alone. He tells us what is good and what is evil.

If it is not God who decides what is good, then it is those with the greatest might to impose their will on others.

Yeah - I’ve found that reading the CCC has help me a lot.

Honestly, some people on my facebook page are there so I can practice arguing and refining my arguments. I know that I’m never going to change their minds - until they are open to the Holy Spirit.

However, I’ve challenged myself to speak up more on these issues because lately I’ve gotten the impression that I’m the only practicing Catholic/Christian in some circles and if I stay silent then they’ll never know why people like me believe what we do. In my some of my circles, it’s not weird to be pro-life or anti-gay marriage. In other circles, they just don’t care one way or another and just want to be left alone. We’ve all got different ideas.

Honestly, it’s about baby steps and getting confident standing up on these issues. Knowing why you believe what you believe.

I’ve lost a few (Liberal) friends because I didn’t fully 100% support their lifestyle or values, but I’m not going to pretend that I support all of their ideas either. Their loss.

In the end, God’s position on marriage or abortion isn’t going to change, regardless of where the political winds blow. Either we tell people the truth (and risk sounding dumb and uneducated) or they keep on believing what the secular world tells them. If we don’t witness for Christ - who will, if nobody else is? I’ve opted for trying to tell people the truth. I pray and hope that others will do the same.

Hi Cratus.
Don’t be afraid of being called a bigot. It doesn’t really mean anything. It just means, “I don’t agree with what you say but I’m not going to discuss it with you.”

I invite you to dialogue here and tell us what about any of these issues gives you reservations either to accept or reject them. :o

I believe that is untrue. Can you please provide some proof?

I think he is probably using the term “good” to mean “being a generally nice person.”

What’s strange to me is how people can think Pro-Abortion Pete counts as a nice person if he thinks that dismembering babies is okay. He’s nice to some people, sure, but other people he thinks you can torture and kill, and I don’t think he counts as a nice person because of that fact.

Sometimes I think when people say “he’s a good person,” what they mean is, “I like that person.” But that’s not the same thing. You can like bad people. And people who think some babies should be tortured and killed, to me, count as bad people.

Unless perhaps they don’t know that’s what abortion is.

This is where you are making the mistake from the Catholic perspective.

If you don’t believe in a higher power, or rather if you aren’t a Catholic that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church you’re not a good person. You can certainly be nice; Hitler was known to be very nice to his pet German Shepard but that didn’t make him good.

In the Catholic view Jesus demanded total obedience to the Catholic Church, and disobeying Jesus is evil. A good person must follow Jesus’ commandments, and one of them also happens to be to believe in his claim to divinity and his alone.

I just this week found this excellent preface from the Preface of radio Replies Volume 3. I think it sums up this topic very well.

PREFACE by Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, D.D.
Once there were lost islands, but most of them have been found; once there were lost causes, but many of them have been retrieved; but there is one lost art that has not been definitely recovered, and without which no civilization can long survive, and that is the art of controversy. The hardest thing to find in the world today is an argument. Because so few are thinking, naturally there are found but few to argue. Prejudice there is in abundance and sentiment too, for these things are born of enthusiasms without the pain of labour. Thinking, on the contrary, is a difficult task; it is the hardest work a man can do that is perhaps why so few indulge in it. Thought-saving devices have been invented that rival labor-saving devices in their ingenuity. Fine-sounding phrases like “Life is bigger than logic,” or “Progress is the spirit of the age,” go rattling by us like express trains, carrying the burden of those who are too lazy to think for themselves.

Not even philosophers argue today; they only explain away. A book full of bad logic, advocating all manner of moral laxity, is not refuted by critics; it is merely called “bold, honest, and fearless.” Even those periodicals which pride themselves upon their open-mindedness on all questions are far from practicing the lost art of controversy. Their pages contain no controversies, but only presentations of points of view; these never rise to the level of abstract thought in which argument clashes with argument like steel with steel, but rather they content themselves with the personal reflections of one who has lost his faith, writing against the sanctity of marriage, and of another who has kept his faith, writing in favor of it. Both sides are shooting off firecrackers, making all the noise of an intellectual warfare and creating the illusion of conflict, but it is only a sham battle in which there are no casualties; there are plenty of explosions,but never an exploded argument.

The causes underlying this decline in the art of controversy are twofold: religious and philosophical. Modern religion has enunciated one great and fundamental dogma that is at the basis of all the other dogmas, and that is, that religion must be freed from dogmas. Creeds and confessions of faith are no longer the fashion; religious leaders have agreed not to disagree and those beliefs for which some of our ancestors would have died they have melted into a spineless Humanism. Like other Pilates they have turned their backs on the uniqueness of truth and have opened their arms wide to all the moods and fancies the hour might dictate. The passing of creeds and dogmas means the passing of controversies. Creeds and dogmas are social; prejudices are private. Believers bump into one another at a thousand different angles, but bigots keep out of one another’s way, because prejudice is anti-social. I can imagine an old-fashioned Calvinist who holds that the word “damn” has a tremendous dogmatic significance, coming to intellectual blows with an old-fashioned Methodist who holds that it is only a curse word; but I cannot imagine a controversy if both decide to damn damnation, like our Modernists who no longer believe in Hell.

The second cause, which is philosophical, bases itself on that peculiar American philosophy called “Pragmatism,” the aim of which is to prove that all proofs are useless. Hegel, of Germany, rationalized error; James, of America, derationalized truth. As a result, there has sprung up a disturbing indifference to truth, and a tendency to regard the useful as the true, and the impractical as the false. The man who can make up his mind when proofs are presented to him is looked upon as a bigot, and the man who ignores proofs and the search for truth is looked upon as broad-minded and tolerant.

[/FONT]Be sure to read it all.

Pretty much correct…but I don’t think you’re responding to what the poster actually meant.

I don’t think he was making a statement of anything other than the fact that there can be “good” behavior by unbelievers which is not a point of controversy in this thread. If goodness apart from faith was salvific then we’d all be out of luck.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit