Since when has turning people off become a goal?

Hopefully this won’t be long. However, strange as this sounds, this question has been on mind recently as I’ve been arguing with people lately with regards to fiction.

Now I don’t like to compare myself to Jesus but if there was one thing I did that He did too was that he hung out with sinners. And these weren’t just ordinary sinners. These people were deemed to be the worse of sinners of his time. The same is with me. I’m friends with a lot of liberal-minded Protestants, cafeteria Catholics, agnostics, pantheists, and even a couple of atheists. Like me though, they’re into fiction (be they writers or readers).

Unlike Jesus though, I am neither holy or charismatic enough to convert any one of them and maybe that’s a good thing (heck I HOPE it’s a good thing). The next best thing I can do though is understand how they think. From there, at least I know what it is they see in us that turn them off from the Church (and pretty much religion in general).

Now in some cases, the things they’ve got against us are too stupid to begin with. There are other cases though when their hostility is legit.

In the context of this Popular Media category, one such case is regards to our alleged attitude towards fiction.

Now I’m not gonna go into details but threads such as the recent ones on DnD and Harry Potter are just filled with examples that could prove them right.

However, whenever I go in the defense of fiction, whenever I go and dispel the so many fallacious notions that even Catholics have about it, I get labeled as:

A.) A modernist
B.) Promoter of the occult
C.) A lost and soul whose spiritual blindness makes him unaware of the 'devil’s snares’
D.) Any mix of the three or even more (which can get worse even).

Furthermore, whenever I go on the offensive and challenge the claims of so-called “spiritual warriors” regarding fiction, they get all accusatory. They ask why am I so hostile? Why do I attack they who only care for their eternal souls?

I think it’s pretty obvious that with my actual experience hearing what people from the outside say about us, I have every right to attack these claims because it’ll only prove those people right. It’ll prove them right that we are an irrational, superstitious bunch of prudes.

I don’t want that!

Does anyone else really want that?

Oh wait, I forgot. There are some people here who actually do. You know what they say? “Let them think we are stupid. They are already convicted. God did say the road to heaven was narrow. God did say only few would believe blah blah blah” or anything else along those stupid lines. You know who else has a persecution complex? Terrorists and their imams.

I thought that when God commanded us to evangelize, we were supposed to guide people to the faith, not give 'em a reason to turn around with their noses up and say “Hah! It’s as I thought!” I thought the saints were all about trying to get people to love God and the Faith, not hate them.

I mean true we shouldn’t compromise but there’s a fine line between putting your foot down on an issue after an exhausting debate and just simply covering your ears and shouting out your opponent without even putting up much of a decent argument.

"Unlike Jesus though, I am neither holy or charismatic enough to convert any one of them and maybe that's a good thing"

This is the fallacy in your reasoning.

Now that you've had your rant, please realize that not everyone's spirituality is on the same level and, just because they cannot understand yours, is not a good reason to call them 'prudes'.
Does your spirituality depend on their acceptance?

I didn’t call anyone prudes. That goes especially since nobody has even posted yet. Did you read my entire post thoroughly? My issue is about people who think we should be so cut-off from the outside, we oughta to be deliberate in turning people off from our religion in every intellectually offensive way possible.

And kindly tell me how knowing my place and acknowledging I’m way to imperfect to convert people is a fallacy.

[quote="Lost_Wanderer, post:3, topic:220925"]
And kindly tell me how knowing my place and acknowledging I'm way to imperfect to convert people is a fallacy.

[/quote]

You don't have to be "perfect" to be a good witness. Converting people is God's job, but we are commanded to let our light shine before other people, and don't hide it under a barrel. :)

Let your friends know that you're Catholic - the kind who goes to Mass every Sunday and thinks everyone is supposed to behave like decent human beings.

It's true that nobody's perfect - so why are you expecting perfection from other Catholics who are just like yourself, trying to figure things out as they go along? :o

So, some of the things they say make you cringe - guess what, some of the things you say make them cringe, too - we are all on the same journey, and none of us is "there" yet - most of us won't be, until we've completed our time in Purgatory. Meanwhile, we all say things that other people wish we wouldn't. Oh, well. :shrug:

Believe me, if your friends are being called by God to become Catholics, the things some people write on the Internet won't stand in their way. :)

[quote="Lost_Wanderer, post:1, topic:220925"]
... There are other cases though when their hostility is legit.

In the context of this Popular Media category, one such case is regards to our alleged attitude towards fiction.

Now I'm not gonna go into details but threads such as the recent ones on DnD and Harry Potter are just filled with examples that could prove them right.....

[/quote]

That's a good point.

[quote="Reservoir_Dog, post:5, topic:220925"]
That's a good point.

[/quote]

Actually, all it proves is that some Catholics don't like Harry Potter or D&D, and think they're quite probably demonic. (I don't necessarily think they're demonic, but they're not for the sensitive.)

The fact that they think so doesn't make it "official Catholic teaching" or even the prevailing opinion of most Catholics. But I suppose if someone needs an excuse to resist God's call to become a Catholic, such people make for a good excuse - not a very good reason, but a handy excuse, to be sure. :shrug: ;)

Well, be prepared to get flamed for this one. :rolleyes:

The odd thing... You never encounter people this crazy in real life.
Get on the internet? Woah boy. You get on the internet, and you're told you're on a slippery slope because you happen to like a fictional serial killer.

But as you stated, you chill with the sinners. So do I.
Bless you for that, not enough people do.

Just the other day I saw a thread on another forum here, where a woman said she hated her sons girlfriend because she was a stripper. I couldn't believe it. Here was a so called Catholic bad mouthing someone for their sins, and refusing to have anything to do with them.

But, after twitching abit, I realized "No... I believe it, and it doesn't surprise me at all"
Why? Because Religion is full of hypocrites, who don't follow what they preach unless it's relevant to them.

I didn't see it first hand, but someone else I know who used to frequent these forums, and left them, because they made her ill, saw someone post about art once...
Apparently this poster said they always thought being an artist was a "dangerous" profession.
They said that if people would stand back and look at it with a real Catholic perspective then they'd understand.

Uh huh. So they say, completely ignoring the whole fact that the Catholic church has SAINTS for artists. I ain't even Catholic and I know that.

In the defense of fiction, people will get up in arms if the characters aren't totally righteous.
What actual person on earth fits that description? None.

Just because a fictional character is behaving sinfully doesn't mean the novel is advocating the sin. If anything, it's shining light on the suffering who have yet to be saved. :shrug:

You know, if people call be "foolish" because I believe in God, then that's their issue.
But if people believe Christians to be foolish for idiocy that our Religion doesn't even TEACH...? That bothers me.

It bothers me because people are being shown the worst side of Christianity, and none of the hypocrites on this forum make it better.
Frankly, if the majority of Catholics in the world were anything like the couple of NUTJOBS I've met on here.... If the majority of them were like those crazies, we'd have witch trials and crusades on our hands again.

Don't try to deny it.

[quote="jmcrae, post:6, topic:220925"]
Actually, all it proves is that some Catholics don't like Harry Potter or D&D, and think they're quite probably demonic. (I don't necessarily think they're demonic, but they're not for the sensitive.)

The fact that they think so doesn't make it "official Catholic teaching" or even the prevailing opinion of most Catholics. But I suppose if someone needs an excuse to resist God's call to become a Catholic, such people make for a good excuse - not a very good reason, but a handy excuse, to be sure. :shrug: ;)

[/quote]

That kind of hard line, everything-a-sin, is not an inviting image of your church, even though its not CC teaching.

[quote="jmcrae, post:4, topic:220925"]
Let your friends know that you're Catholic - the kind who goes to Mass every Sunday and thinks everyone is supposed to behave like decent human beings.

It's true that nobody's perfect - so why are you expecting perfection from other Catholics who are just like yourself, trying to figure things out as they go along? :o

[/quote]

I dunno, I don't think they ever said they DIDN'T make that clear to their friends. My friends know what I am.
I just don't shove it in their face, and tell them they're wrong and going to hell if they don't find God.

I'm sure that's all they meant to.

I think a lot of us are just tired of the high levels of hypocrisy you see here, like people who won't even have anything to do with non Christians, which is just... Wrong, and too far against what the Bible teaches to even be called a simple mistake. :shrug:

Eh, I dunno.

We have to love and try to understand those people, too. Don’t we? :shrug:

It makes no sense to consider yourself a tolerant and loving person, if the only people you tolerate or love are the people who mostly agree with you, and who are easy to get along with. :slight_smile:

[quote="jmcrae, post:10, topic:220925"]
We have to love and try to understand those people, too. Don't we? :shrug:

It makes no sense to consider yourself a tolerant and loving person, if the only people you tolerate or love are the people who mostly agree with you, and who are easy to get along with. :)

[/quote]

I was just commenting on how non-Catholics might view the Church unfavorably, if their impression is formed by the strident anti-HP/ Halloween voices.

[quote="Reservoir_Dog, post:11, topic:220925"]
I was just commenting on how non-Catholics might view the Church unfavorably, if their impression is formed by the strident anti-HP/ Halloween voices.

[/quote]

And my point is, it is themselves who are allowing themselves to be informed by that opinion. We all have the choice of which voices to listen to, and which voices to screen out.

That they are choosing to listen to the voices of immature hysteria, while not hearing the Pope or the Bishops, or even the members of their local Catholic parish, shows that they aren't looking for reasons to become Catholic, but rather, they are looking for reasons to say "See? Look! Catholicism is bad!"

Hallowe'en is a Catholic holiday, anyway - and if you're not terrifying your Fundamentalist neighbors into boarding up their windows and hiding in their basement, you aren't celebrating it correctly. ;)

[quote="jmcrae, post:12, topic:220925"]
And my point is, it is themselves who are allowing themselves to be informed by that opinion. We all have the choice of which voices to listen to, and which voices to screen out.

That they are choosing to listen to the voices of immature hysteria, while not hearing the Pope or the Bishops, or even the members of their local Catholic parish, shows that they aren't looking for reasons to become Catholic, but rather, they are looking for reasons to say "See? Look! Catholicism is bad!"

[/quote]

Let me narrow my point, I'm speaking speaking about non-Catholics who don't have a strong opinion about the Church, one way or the other. Meaning they're no more inclined to listen to the Pope or local bishop any more than they would give credence to a rabid anti-Catholic. And specifically I'm talking about first impressions. And this is a bad first impression.

[quote="Reservoir_Dog, post:13, topic:220925"]
Let me narrow my point, I'm speaking speaking about non-Catholics who don't have a strong opinion about the Church, one way or the other. Meaning they're no more inclined to listen to the Pope or local bishop any more than they would give credence to a rabid anti-Catholic. And specifically I'm talking about first impressions. And this is a bad first impression.

[/quote]

I do understand your point - but the only way it's a "bad impression" of the whole Church is if people are thinking that these folks are spokespersons for the Church. They aren't. They're just random people on the Internet who are expressing their opinions, right along with the people who believe in the Mayan calendar, and the people who think there are aliens, etc.

If you can page through the Internet and discern that people who think there are aliens don't speak on behalf of Astrophysics, or that people who believe in the Mayan calendar are experts in Archaeology, then surely you can discern who speaks for the Church, and who does not. Right? :shrug:

I see ourselves as called on to be public representatives of our respective beliefs (or professions). So there’s always a public face to worry about.

Do you think this forum is, on balance, a good face for Catholicism? My impression is that, overall, it is, but there are threads that would drive me away from the CC if I were seriously inquiring.

[quote="Reservoir_Dog, post:15, topic:220925"]
I see ourselves as called on to be public representatives of our respective beliefs (or professions). So there's always a public face to worry about.

[/quote]

Yes, that's true, but not everyone has arrived at that level of maturity, yet, and some never will.

Do you think this forum is, on balance, a good face for Catholicism? My impression is that, overall, it is, but there are threads that would drive me away from the CC if I were seriously inquiring.

It's a discussion forum that anyone can join - no one's credentials are checked at the door, and people are free to express whatever opinions they may have.

If you're looking for something that's more strictly moderated, you might look into the Catholics On-line, which is way more concerned about public image. It's a better forum for learning the facts of the Faith, but there are restrictions on who can join, and limits on what you are allowed to post - if you aren't paraphrasing or quoting the Catechism, your post will be deleted; personal opinions are not really welcomed, very much, and if you have questions, there are certain rules about how they are to be formatted - anything that smells like a "jab" would also be deleted. So, there are definitely trade-offs - we couldn't be having this particular conversation on COL, but the conversation we would be having would definitely be a lot more educational, and neither Harry Potter nor Hallowe'en would figure into it very much. ;)

[quote="jmcrae, post:16, topic:220925"]
Yes, that's true, but not everyone has arrived at that level of maturity, yet, and some never will.

It's a discussion forum that anyone can join - no one's credentials are checked at the door, and people are free to express whatever opinions they may have.

If you're looking for something that's more strictly moderated, you might look into the Catholics On-line, which is way more concerned about public image. It's a better forum for learning the facts of the Faith, but there are restrictions on who can join, and limits on what you are allowed to post - if you aren't paraphrasing or quoting the Catechism, your post will be deleted; personal opinions are not really welcomed, very much, and if you have questions, there are certain rules about how they are to be formatted - anything that smells like a "jab" would also be deleted. So, there are definitely trade-offs - we couldn't be having this particular conversation on COL, but the conversation we would be having would definitely be a lot more educational, and neither Harry Potter nor Hallowe'en would figure into it very much. ;)

[/quote]

Thank you much for the insights.

[quote="jmcrae, post:4, topic:220925"]
You don't have to be "perfect" to be a good witness. Converting people is God's job, but we are commanded to let our light shine before other people, and don't hide it under a barrel. :)

Let your friends know that you're Catholic - the kind who goes to Mass every Sunday and thinks everyone is supposed to behave like decent human beings.

[/quote]

[quote="jmcrae, post:6, topic:220925"]
The fact that they think so doesn't make it "official Catholic teaching" or even the prevailing opinion of most Catholics. But I suppose if someone needs an excuse to resist God's call to become a Catholic, such people make for a good excuse - not a very good reason, but a handy excuse, to be sure. :shrug: ;)

[/quote]

Hey now, if going to Mass as faithfully as possible and trying one's best to live like a decent human being is all it takes to show you're Catholic (and I actually believe that, to be honest), then I think you're being a bit unfair to say I'm making some sort of excuse. ;)

Seriously though, whenever I see an opportunity to insert human decency into my less-than-decent social environment, I take it.

However, that's not really the problem of this thread.

How do I say this um... okay let's try this.

I've seen people who have an erroneous view of Catholicism yet at the same time, that erroneous view is actually justified by some Catholics.

Now how am I going to address this problem most efficiently? The solution would seem to be to go after the Catholics perpetuating this false image of us no? :shrug:

[quote="jmcrae, post:4, topic:220925"]
It's true that nobody's perfect - so why are you expecting perfection from other Catholics who are just like yourself, trying to figure things out as they go along? :o

[/quote]

Yes well aren't we called to rebuke and reprove our fellows when they are acting to the detriment of the faith? I believe that includes people who give us a bad and false rep regarding our attitude towards fiction.

[quote="jmcrae, post:4, topic:220925"]
Believe me, if your friends are being called by God to become Catholics, the things some people write on the Internet won't stand in their way. :)

[/quote]

That sounds naive to be honest. I mean, I can't imagine someone thinking differently about our views towards fiction if the opinions of those who often rail against it remain unaddressed.

I mean, when I first encountered Protestantism in a school that was run by fundamentalists, I actually thought that all of them were a bunch of anti-fantasy prudes too who thought me demonic for reading Harry Potter and watching Digimon.

However, when I returned to a Catholic campus in high school, a single encounter with a Protestant who thought otherwise was enough to destabilize my bias entirely.

[quote="Lost_Wanderer, post:18, topic:220925"]
Now how am I going to address this problem most efficiently? The solution would seem to be to go after the Catholics perpetuating this false image of us no? :shrug:

[/quote]

Right, and there's certainly a place for that - I've been known to point out one or two naked emperors, in my own right, even just this past week - I'm not saying you just let it ride, but if you're going to call them out, make sure you've got your flame retardant suit on - don't expect people to "see the light" all at once. ;)

Yes well aren't we called to rebuke and reprove our fellows when they are acting to the detriment of the faith? I believe that includes people who give us a bad and false rep regarding our attitude towards fiction.

There is also the option of ignoring those threads, and letting them fade to the 25th page of the Forum, where the newbies can't find them. ;)

However, when I returned to a Catholic campus in high school, a single encounter with a Protestant who thought otherwise was enough to destabilize my bias entirely.

Probably because you instinctively recognized the truth when you saw it. The good news is, everyone has this instinct. Don't worry - your non-Catholic friends will some day meet someone who doesn't believe that Harry Potter is demonic - oh, hey, wait - they already have. :)

[quote="jmcrae, post:19, topic:220925"]
Right, and there's certainly a place for that - I've been known to point out one or two naked emperors, in my own right, even just this past week - I'm not saying you just let it ride, but if you're going to call them out, make sure you've got your flame retardant suit on - don't expect people to "see the light" all at once. ;)

[/quote]

Indeed, I don't. I just hoped that with a thread like this, I might be able to say out loud, "Hey before we go out and convert people, shouldn't do something about folks who act like they may not actually want that?"

Honestly, with the way I've seen posts about the 'narrow road' and the twisted optimism towards diminishing numbers, how can I not help but fear these people actually want Catholicism to revert back to those days where Christianity was minute and all of us hid in catacombs? It kinda tells me how sick and distorted a persecution complex can be.

[quote="jmcrae, post:19, topic:220925"]
There is also the option of ignoring those threads, and letting them fade to the 25th page of the Forum, where the newbies can't find them. ;)

[/quote]

Yes well with the way that even the most obscure web page can get a hundred hits in just a day, I'm not sure it's worth risking since it would take around half a week at least to slide into page two. :\

[quote="jmcrae, post:19, topic:220925"]
Probably because you instinctively recognized the truth when you saw it. The good news is, everyone has this instinct. Don't worry - your non-Catholic friends will some day meet someone who doesn't believe that Harry Potter is demonic - oh, hey, wait - they already have. :)

[/quote]

Sadly (and I say this with the gravity of utmost seriousness), that has not been my case. Many of my friends held beliefs that I thought a simple google search would fix but no. They had to be that lazy with where they get their information (or *mis*information in this case). I had an idiot who actually confused fundamentalism with pre-Vat II. -_-''

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