How to Deal with Anti-Catholic Comments on the Internet

I have a rule: never look at the comments section of anything on the Internet. I always remind myself that it’s just full of stupid people making baseless remarks.

But sometimes I break that rule because sometimes I disagree with an article I read and want some closure in the comments. And then I encounter an anti-Catholic remark which just adds to my uncertainty. For example, there’s this non-Catholic Christian in this one article and his comment was totally unrelated to it. However I was annoyed and hurt by what he said about how we shouldn’t need the Church because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit blah blah blah and how the Church describes itself as Holy Mother just so that priests would want the laity to depend on them more and nothing else blah blah blah and we should depend on ourselves and our faith alone blah blah blah

I know what he said is totally wrong, but no one rebutted his argument and I’m still finding a way to justify that he is wrong. Which takes up a lot of my time. Which annoys me even more. This is true for all anti-Catholic comments I encounter - heck even some in these forums.

I’m really really sensitive to comments such as the one I told you about before. How do you guys deal with such comments and find spiritual peace? And can anyone help me rebut his argument?

Hmmm. Um. I’ve thought about this one a little bit. Here’s what came to my mind to suggest for you to consider.

I can hear that you are saying that you are “annoyed” and “hurt.” Why you feel that way – I have no idea. Whatever they are saying cannot be about you – simply because what they are saying about you or the Church is not true. Therefore, they are making comments in their ignorance about something that does not exist.

Famous quotes from Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen –

“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

and

**“Criticism of others is thus an oblique form of self-commendation. We think we make the picture hang straight on our wall by telling our neighbors that all his pictures are crooked.” **

:wink:

May I humbly suggest that it would remove a bunch of your consternation if you decided to not refer to others as “stupid people.” They may be ignorant of the truth. Of the facts. That’s not their fault. They just don’t know. They may be intending to harm you in some way. To insult you.

But your debasing their intelligence only ADDS to your stress. That’s what Satan wants for you to do. Satan wants you to judge others. Please try not to?

As for an action plan particular to this kind of thing -->

Remember Jesus. On the cross. Mutilated from words and actions by others. In continuing pain. People intending to humiliate him. He, the King – Himself, innocent.

What did he do? He continued to offer himself up.

He said --> (um… this is my suggestion that you consider in prayer to say this, yourself -->

"Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do."

===================

Yup. That one works for me. All the time!

Helps me to “let go” of attacks that may be only imagined. Yet that feel so real. As well as for those attacks that ARE real

The situations that you described, after all, are not against you personally. Even if they were – take a breath. Take a moment. And pray -->

"Forgive them, Lord. They know not what they do."

That and – say -->

"Come, Holy Spirit."

Yup. That’ll do it!

:thumbsup:

First – it is NOT up to YOU to rebut some argument or other. Just because someone throws down a gauntlet in your perceived direction does NOT meant that you must pick it up. Really. It doesn’t. Let it roll off you back. Turn the other cheek - and all that.

After all, your audience must be willing to listen. Otherwise, it’s a slap-fight, at best.

:slapfight:

At worst, real damage is done. By each of you to the other. All in the “name of God” and all that.

:blackeye::crutches::stretcher:

And Satan laughs. After all, Satan IS the Great Liar.

Nothing he likes better than for people to get into fights over their beliefs. Rebutting arguments as if they are the Debate Club kind-of-thing.

Remember – the Church PRO-poses. She does not IM-pose.

The way you respond to such comments is to first determine whether the other person will choose to listen to you. If not, then there’s no reason to give any kind of answer. Falling on deaf ears, and all that. Any seed you sow will be falling on hard ground.

Again. It’s not necessary that you “rebut” every argument. It really isn’t. Really.

Turn your cheek. Walk away.

God will send someone at the best time to address your concerns about these kinds of things. I’m just a little bit – LITTLE bit – concerned that you are saying that you are “really, really sensitive about this kind of thing.”

That’s not healthy, I don’t think? :confused:

Yeah it is kinda unhealthy. I have this tendency to overthink things. :frowning:
You know what they say, it’s best not to feed the trolls. :stuck_out_tongue:

I know what you mean. Someone once told me to keep repeating this line from Voltaire to myself -->

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
~~ Voltaire

==============================
Um. I don’t consider or label anybody a “troll.” That would be calling someone a name. Not good.

Helloo Veronica Anne

Veronica , there`s nothing wrong in politely putting a very short and sublime retort to at least that sort of remark you gave your post as a paradigm.The really obvious thing to reply to it with is " Does G-od talk to you " , , and relax. ( He might also have a point but none the less its a very satirical retort also " the answer could be interesting or confusing for many Christian catholics are listening to themselves rather than the alternative of logic and testing of the spirits , , blah blah blah .

Enjoy your day Marm ( Your no different to most faithful Christians )

There are some truly vile comments, especially in relation to news articles. I have seen hideous racism, hatred of women, attacks against God and various ‘he/she deserved it’ comments related to the death of someone. Everything is blamed on politics, too. I believe that no one should be able to make any comment on the internet anonymously. If you had to put your full name and address in all public comments, a lot of that nonesense would stop. :eek:

Stick with your first rule. These are people who have nothing better to do than try to get someone riled up enough to answer them. Don’t take ths bait. Avoid reading the comments. Instead of relying on strangers to validate how to feel about a news article, speak with a friend or family member. That’s the attraction. We want to know that everyone else feels like we do about a story. There is no need to fall for the instant gratification by reading the comments. Be patient enough to wait until you can speak with someone whose opinion you value.

While we’re on the subject, if you see a really sad headline, you have enough information to pray for those souls. Reading the gory details will not enrich your life or honor the victims. Be kind to yourself and avoid the details of hideous news stories. Especially when it’s already over and done with. If there isn’t a picture of some bad guy to watch for, read the headline, say a prayer for the victims, and move on. Just my humble opinion.

My criteria is:

  1. Why is an anti Catholic comment so important to me?
    A. Would my response be defensive or explanatory (can be both)?
    B. Am I posting from anger, hurt, righteous anger, to clarify a point?
    C. What makes MY response so important? (I learned this lesson when I gave up FB for Lent.)
    D. Should I let others weigh in first and draw from their responses?
    E. Am I trolling, looking for a debate or argument?

  2. I will allot x minutes to write / post a response. I have other things to do.

  3. Am I going to respond to responses to my post, or just say my peace and shake the dust from my keyboard?

  4. If no one else has responded, is this the best use of my time? Just because no one has responded, it may not be my responsibility to engage.

  5. I’m not the Catholic Apologist of All the Internet. I’ll say it again: I am not the Catholic Apologist of All the Internet.

  6. Am I posting with the intention to refute or to “plant a seed?” (It doesn’t have to be either/or.)

I’ve never engaged on FB groups or YouTube. I try to model my behavior regarding what I’d say or do if I were face to face with the writer. Some folks can only be commended to God.

How to deal with it?

Give thanks to God in prayer for having that person bring into your life one what is half of what is one of the beatitudes talked of in the sermon on the mount, for we are blessed by exposure to misery if we react by not letting it rock our faith.

Today’s gospel (the parable of the sower) is a good reflection on the problem! Perhaps using it for Lectio Divina will bring you peace in regard to your concern.

Peace and all good!

As far as the misinformed response you described, there is simply too much that they need to learn. If they call themselves Catholic, a gentle comment saying that they aren’t representing the teachings of the Church and a link to an official Catholic website that addresses their mistakes should suffice.

I Forgot , ( sort of ) to mention a retort is really not uncommon when Christ is your life , but only the one reply or youll fall in to self promotion ( But Im sure you know this ) .

Listen to Catholic radio more. Catholic Answers live, EWTN Open Line, There is a great new show on EWTN Called to Communion. Many have shows specifically for non Catholics to call in. In fact this show from five days ago Tim Staples gave a great answer to that very same misguided opinion and more…

catholic.com/radio/shows/open-forum-for-non-catholics-25754

Learn your Faith and how to defend it. You will read on these forums sometimes that the best way to evangelize is to live your Faith. Not true…it’s one way to evangelize but it’s not an either/or thing as in protestantism, it is both/and. Dialogue is key.

My own initial thought when I hear that particular comment about not needing a church is… then your argument is with Jesus because He founded a Church.

God Bless!

In general, it’s probably best not to bother correcting people unless you have a glint of hope that they might actually consider what you say. Otherwise, you are wasting your time and stressing yourself out for nothing.

I get that most of the time unfortunately, especially since I’m in college and requirements get piled up almost everyday. :frowning:

This actually isn’t the first time this issue has emerged.

I think it’s good practice to know when you are advancing the Kingdom of God and when you are just wasting your time.

I wouldn’t spend a lot of time arguing with people on facebook, for instance, unless you’re somehow in a unique position to change their behavior.

I’ve even noticed on here it’s best to report people making trouble than to try and reason with them. Either they’ll learn thier lesson and get some humility or they will be gone sooner rather later.

I can say in my experience that this is the only site I pay significant attention to because I think I can make a difference of sorts on here.

It’s really easy to waste time on-line.

To put it into perspective, Jesus didn’t waste time with the elites, I suppose because He knew they refused to change. :shrug: And these days, a lot of people want to be elite or pretend they are. :tsktsk:

Simply: Weep.

Jesus did not weep for Lazarus, but for the crowd that did not see him to be the resurrection and the life, for those who did not know who he was.

So, weep, for these who do not know who you are, who the Church is, and that there is life in the Church, which is Christ in their midst. They did not see Jesus as who he is, nor you, nor us (his Body).

John Martin

First, thank him for his comment, because if he is thinking along those lines, there are others thinking the same thing. This is an opportunity for you not to defend, but to explain. This person is in the dark and needs the light. And even if he were a heckler, you can reach others who will listen to your explaination and profit from it. It is a door opener and an opportunity to spread the truth to everyone.

Just to start with, there were presbyters mentioned in the new testament…priests. And Peter and the rest of the apostles are in the Acts and were men who were doing church services in Antioch, Jerusalem, and elsewhere. And then develope this showing that others were appointed in their places as time and history moved on. That they were an important part of Christ’s church to guide it and appointed by Christ himself. And from there develope the idea different gifts given to the church to help those in the church, one of which is … preaching. And then there is the idea of the mystical body of Christ, where members make up the church and it just isn’t like everyone is a lone ranger. And so much more.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

First, you already understand that some people are just trolling in comboxes like that.

Second, you realize that some people are just ignorant of what Catholicism really believes.

Third, you hang out hear where you can post questions about anything that rattles you.

So, when in doubt, air it out here in the forum, and we’ll help you with good Catholic Answers.! :thumbsup:

I LOVE this…I’m going to print it and hang it up where I can be reminded next time something on the internet gets my hackles up!

another thought or two based on my personal experience. I was involved in a forum where different people supported different programs in that subject area. Some people would misrepresent or tear into another program and I found myself getting very upset, and sometimes doubting my own program because of it.

Then I asked myself…why am I doing this? What does it serve? What good did it do me to be upset by someone I don’t know who doesn’t know what they are talking about and saying things that I know by personal experience to be untrue?

So, I stopped going there. And now I have time to build myself up, learn my own program, and not be upset or waste time on that which only tore me down.

And now I spend more time building myself and others up through my participation in informative discussions rather than debates and arguments.

I understand completely…having fallen into that trap…and having taken bait by responding to things that I thought were people with misunderstandings that I could easily correct…
I was shocked and dismayed to find people who claimed to be Christians making those kinds of remarks. (Discovered a whole new brand of Christianity…hate jews, hate catholics, hate muslims…yipes.)

Well, I found out that trying to offer up any kind of response was just taking the bait.

I found a good deal of wisdom in YOUR post tho:

“I have a rule: never look at the comments section of anything on the Internet.”
“I always remind myself that it’s just full of stupid people making baseless remarks.”

And it’s good to remember:
“Which takes up a lot of my time.”
“Which annoys me even more.”

I finally woke up and figured out it wasn’t helping anyone, and putting a dent in my serenity.

I think I agree with the wisdom others have offered…that we just let these things go.
It’s people venting their hate, and nothing we say will do anything but feed their habit.

Think of it as handing dope to an addict.
Makes it easier to refrain.
:wink:

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