Defending traditional values to relatives who say they're Catholic

I am not Catholic, but I agree with the Church’s stance on marriage and life issues. Surprisingly, I feel like some of my Catholic relatives view my beliefs as bigoted.

Our state is in the process of passing a freedom of religious law similar to the law that the Supreme Court used to rule that Hobby Lobby did not have to submit to the HHS mandate. It’s modeled after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. There is a lot of misinformation floating around that medical personnel would be able to deny care to people who are gay, which is so far fetched. The law says that the religious belief must be sincerely held, and also that the government can burden the exercise of that belief if it has a compelling state interest that cannot easily be achieved in any other way.

Anyways, I tried to debunk it, but my relative would hear nothing of it. I guess she thinks religious people have to let homosexuals marry and adopt, or else we are violating their rights. I am just dumbfounded as she is Catholic, but I’m the bad guy for defending religious freedom. She thinks we’re (those who want religious freedom) are ruining society for her children because we don’t want “equal rights,” i.e. marriage and adoption rights.

I am really frustrated, more so because I am discouraged with how my own Catholic relatives act like I am an awful person for believing as their very Church does! I get more respect from my atheist friends than my own family. I know it is a sign of the times and Christ predicted it, but I feel so discouraged.

I’m a Protestant, and this kind of thing drives me nuts, too. There are so many Catholics in the United States who are either poorly catechized or who just don’t give a darn. When I was in the Army about 12 years ago, I had a buddy in my unit who was a “cradle Catholic.” Aside from a vague interest in “saints,” he didn’t articulate much about his faith, and what he did articulate was rank heresy, e.g.: “I think that God is more worried about us being happy than in praying, going to church, etc.” If you’re going to reject a big chunk of the moral teaching that’s coming from the magisterium, then become a Protestant or something.

I have relatives who say they are Catholic, yet don’t go to Mass (unless it is a special occasssion like a funeral or baptism) and are pro homosexual marriage. They were never properly catechized before or after their confirmations. It is sad because people they encounter in the world may think that is what all Catholics believe. :shrug:

Yes, I think it’s a result of being poorly catechized. How else could particular political candidates get the “Catholic vote” when the candidate’s views/policies are the complete opposite of their faith? What is it that makes them “Catholic” vs a Protestant?

But that is not the case with just Catholics. Yes you see it more just because we are a bigger group. You mentioned some good stuff, we are poorly catechized, some of it its us not doing a good job of it, but also the people sometimes are lazy and selfish and don’t want to learn.

I say this happens with everyone because, Christian churches say, oh its wrong to do this this and this, the pastor shows there people the information, and the people still go out and do it.

I don’t think its just them being catechized, they can go to church and listen to the priest, if they listen closely they will know what is right and wrong.

First, it’s important to realize that a lot of persecution on Catholic values comes, ironically, from other Catholics. :rolleyes:

Secondly, I would pray to God and assess how navigate these kinds of conversations. Do you feel obligated to do this? If you were Catholic, I don’t think that would be the case.

I don’t think its just them being catechized, they can go to church and listen to the priest, if they listen closely they will know what is right and wrong.

I think that Catholics have to take an interest in their faith, want to know what the church teaches, and seek it out. I don’t believe that you can learn very much at all going to mass. In the past ten plus years of going to mass I have heard hell and the devil mentioned once, abortion never, the problem of same sex attraction never, and pornography maybe once that I can recall.

In 2012 the priest preached a lot about against abortion, gay marriages, contraception for the election.

He still does, but he also talks about getting married, if your living together, to being a good parent not just buying your kids stuff.

I have never been to your church but I do believe the priests there have been a little bit more conservative in his sermons.

This is a good point. I don’t think trying to argue the Christian/Catholic view on marriage would do any good to change their minds. But, at the same time, I wonder how much we are obligated to defend the Christian worldview.

  I guess you should not have these discussions with them, People will call you bigoted because they think you are and its not likely that you will change that. They are probably as frustrated about your stance as you are about theirs .  I guess you should focus on other things when you are with them, and discuss this with like minded people.
  I am not a perfect Catholic, if anybody is going to lecture me on what kinds of things I am supposed to believe and tell me why I am wrong or sinning they better be saints, because you will get what you are giving.

Honestly,part of the problem is that people can’t believe that we actually believe in what the church teaches and strive to actually live our lives that way.

It’s one thing to say you are a Christian/Catholic, but another to actually live the lifestyle.

I won’t touch this issue if I’m in a crowd of mostly secularists or Liberal Christians because their worldview is so different. They don’t understand what (or care) about what the church actually teaches, but they’ve made their minds up that traditional Christians need to learn how to live in “their world”.

I’ve shared this story before, but a friend couldn’t figure out why there was declining numbers at her church. She went through a list of things and the obvious answer never came to her - which was that people don’t go to church to be confronted with a statement on gay rights every time they see the “P-flag” (gay pride, rainbow flag) on the flag pole. Most people aren’t ideological and don’t want make a political/social statement by where they go to church.

If I’m with other people who I know will back me up, then I’m a little more willing to have the discussion.

Personally, I’d leave it at “traditional Christianity” is a valid lifestyle choice and drop the topic. There are reasons why the church teaches what she does and it’s not out of bigotry and hate.

When I have these arguments, I try to point out trends or facts. Christians kind of screwed up w/not allowing civil unions because it’s not marriage. It is reasonable for gay couples to want and have some of the protections that hetero couples have. However, Christians have lost a lot of authority on the issue because they tend to divorce as readily as the general public. Marriage, in the end, is a Sacrament and two gay people are never going to have a traditional marriage in the Catholic church, regardless what civil society decides. If you are going to be religious, be religious. But don’t expect the church to act like a bunch of Pagans.

1M1W was totally radical in ancient times. Adultery, everyone sleeping around, not so much…

I tend to find it ironic that we have Christians who want to act like Pagans and then run around telling everyone what good Christians they are. :rolleyes:

That’s one of the reasons why I’m a Catholic. I’m a Christian and I think the Roman Catholic Church is teaching the correct things on the social stuff.

I agree, I don’t think having this conversation with somebody not interested in the church teachings helps anything. It is not worth putting stress on relationships. The most profound evangelization moments I have ever expierenced have been by other people’s example. They showed a great kindness and compassion for others and I would be interested in what they had to say and what they believed. I would listen and it would affect me profoundly, and change my heart.
I don’t think people intend to sound judgmental and self righteous but it comes off that way. People who are gay don’t choose it and often are in seriouse turmoil and pain. The people that love them are in pain too. Imagine if you were told to stop loving your spouse, or best friend, that you would have to go through life denying your feelings and single. There is a lack of compassion toward the struggle gay people have. It doesn’t help anything.

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