See, you did that thing where you opened yourself up to fire. I wasn't even considering it until you brought it up.
I'm sorry, but the first link only tells of the singular isolated incident that has been investigated. Although it is admirable that they have investigated this case, there are still several other cases worldwide in which there are still people covering up these cases.
Of course there will be bad apples in every bunch. I'm not saying that a church should comprise solely of saints, but it is up to the group as a whole to do something about those bad apples, not just a small faction. For example, the Occupy movement gained a reputation for attracting criminals to their campsites near its conception. They rectified that by, as a whole, detaching themselves from those criminals and regularly policing themselves. This is in contrast to I am not like that. Despite how you as an individual feel about that trait of a group, that stigma will remain until the group as a whole actively roots it out.
I do appreciate you for understanding the purpose of a religion. It's the spiritual truth within one's self. Should that entail helping out your fellow man then so be it. I also feel that politicians should stop turning religion into a political battlefield. Gay marriage, gay rights, and women's reproductive rights shouldn't even have a place on capital hill as they only serve to mold the world in the shape that the Christian faith wants to see. To further comment on this issue, I find your ideal for a happy whole family sincerely touching. Should a gay couple want to adopt or surrogate their child, they should not be denied the privilege to do so. Same deal with women. If they feel that they are not in a position where they can support a happy family, but still want to have sex, because sex is natural and it feels good, then they should be able to receive readily available birth control as to ensure that when they do form a family, it will be in an environment free of hostility or financial burden. I can see how the issue of family togetherness might be a personal issue for you, but I feel that you should also see that while your family situation might not have been ideal, promoting legislation that tries to deny the right for a happy "non-traditional" family to exist might be something you want to avoid.
Also, atheists being violent in the name of atheism? Does that happen? Even the most militant atheists fight with facts, not fists. Being violent and being violent in the name of something are two entirely different animals. One is because of your own ideas. The other is adapted from the ideas of a group's teaching. Just saying.
I can dig the whole idea of love your neighbor and tolerate and stuff. It just seems as though it only applies to them though. Atheist heathens shall going to hell. Pray for (pity) their souls. Muslims and Jews have not seen the light. Pray for (pity) their souls so that they may see the light. Gay people? Pray for etc. Sexually active women? P(ry. I'm all for tolerance, but most other Christians should practice what they preach.
As for privilege, you live in a country where about 80 percent of the population identifies with a Christian denomination. Your identity lines up with the cultural norm. Thus, you will be favored amongst elders and potential careers because of your identity. You will not have to fear discrimination on the national level. Compare your situation to, say, muslims. Thanks to the intense amount of distrust created due to the 9/11 attacks, muslims face discrimination at jobs and at airports for their religion. You as a Christian do not have to fear this as you are the norm. Even if you're rejected from a job because of your religion, there are maybe a million more that will take you. Your stereotypes are not as negative as those of other religions. Christians are often-portrayed as obnoxious goody-two-shoes who tell people to believe in the word of god. Compare to muslims who are portrayed as terrorists or jews who are displayed as patriarchates of the big-nose, Brooklyn accent. While you may be stereotyped, it most of the time is not painted in an overly negative light. I myself didn't identify as atheist until late last year. Before then, I was a catholic because my catholic parents forced me to. I fear coming out to them because their faith is very important to them and I'm not yet ready to fully support myself. Christian privilege lies in that you don't have to feel uncomfortable with who you are. White-straight-cis-christian-male privilege is so engrained within our society, that most people don't even realize it, so I don't mind explaining it, really. Just glad you wanted to ask.
As for the call for me to take action and write letters and do something about it...
What you are asking me to do, basically, is to tell people that are horrific bigots to be nicer, and to stop being bigots.
If it were that easy, I doubt we'd be having this conversation.
Yes, the Church does proclaim Jesus, love, and Christianity. Yes, there are people in the Church who are idiots (4. But I'm Not Like That - Stop Stereotying!, before you can say it. Yes, I'm a crappy conversation partner. I understand that), but that's true of roughly every human organization.
The problem is, what you're essentially calling for me to do is write sternly worded letters to every bigot in the world, and ask them to stop. That won't happen, and it would do no good.
Imagine that the Catholic church is like... say... the police. By itself, the idea of a police department is a good thing. It serves to keep the streets clean, and people safe. However, as the good policemen get rewarded and become leaders and friends of the community, a lot of people get attracted to the idea of power and influence that being a policemen can give. In short, some people are only in it for the badge and authority.
Of course, not all policemen are corrupt (well, outside of cities), because if the entire system was rotten to the core in every city in America, we wouldn't still have police.
However, if you try to weed out the bad, you'll end up with standards so high that not even Good Guy Greg (was going to say Jesus, but I fear the fallout) would get through.
If the Church accepted only those who were saints, then it would pretty much kill of the point of a Church.
Yes, you get some bad apples. In fact, we openly acknowledge that we've had some bad popes (including the tracing of the political deals that led to them becoming Pope). Proving that people in the Church are bigots does nothing.
People misunderstand the point of religion. Religious people included. The point of religion isn't to create a theocracy, or mold the world to suit your needs. And that's what's lost on most people. Look at the Middle East. Look at the Balkans. Look at Asia.
In fact, look at the psychopaths who speak in the name of God in the United States. Westboro. Pelosi. Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
The point of a religion is to point to spiritual truth, and guide people on the right path.
Yes, the Church should be involved in work on earth (Catholic charities, for example), but the Church isn't just a soup kitchen. This notion that has taken root, that a good church should sit down, shut up, and feed everyone for free, is utterly ridiculous.
Yes, Catholics have things we believe in. Personally, I believe that a happy, whole family (two parents and their children) is a happy family. However, my parents are divorced. However, I still love them both, and, surprisingly enough, aren't condemning either of them to Hell for it.
Mainly because I can't.
And no Catholic can.
However. I will do my utmost to do my part to end bigotry with sternly worded letters. I will try to convince the man I look up to, one of the most serene and charismatic men I know, that what he has done with his life, all the good and mercy, is all worthless.
In fact, no. I will not answer for the sins and bigotry, because I'm not demanding you answer for the atheists who have bombed Catholic churches. I'm not demanding you answer for all the evil done by godless men, simply because they aren't your sins to answer for.
Do I acknowledge that evil things have been done in the name of the Church (seeing as how, you know, the actual message of love and tolerance hasn't hurt anyone, but that gets ignored a lot nowadays)? Yes I do. Do I try to do my part by promoting tolerance and urging people to take a more accepting and loving view of things (IRL, I mean. Not "hurrdurr, but you're mean to people on the internetz!")? I try my utmost. I'm not perfect, and I don't claim to be.
What else can I do to fight bigotry and intolerance in the Church? Educate people, first of all. Speak with fellow Christians, and try to help them understand that God doesn't hate X, and that sinning doesn't mean an automatic one-way ticket to Hell.
In fact, I will write letters. Give me the names of people who are being hateful and intolerant, and I will write letters. Of course, I can't write a letter to every pastor in America, simply due to the sheer amount of mailing that would involve, but I can do my best.
However. I still disagree with your opinion that the bad apples spoil the bunch.
Now, the next question is meant as an honest question, rather than a snappish remark. It's not meant that way, so please do not take it that way. Yet more limitations of conversing on the Internet...
Additionally, how are Catholics privileged? This isn't meant to say they aren't, this is meant to say "As a Catholic, it's hard for me to get a non-Catholic perspective, so please help me out here." I'm consistently reminded that not everybody knows as much about the Church, for example, seeing as how that's all I've known most of my life. It's like trying to understand why everybody hates America with a burning passion, when to me it's just the place I've lived all my life, and nothing really special.
Now, proceed with telling me how many times I've derailed this conversation.
Hm... Maybe think of an argument as a dish spinning on a rod. Just giving it light spins with intent to keep it going but hard enough to keep up its inertia is essential to keep it in motion. Spin too hard and it will go out of control where it will require much harder forces in order to keep it up longer. Push it too light and it will not be able to accomplish anything. Push randomly with no intent to keep it going and it will fly off to who knows where. In order to argue and put your viewpoints out there, there needs to be a balance of assertion, curiosity, and intent. Know what you're trying to do and why.
Yes, I do mean the stuff kind of like that. Less crusades and inquisition, more Westboro Baptist Church and otherwise active in practicing bigotry. This is what your organization is doing and perpetuating as "OK". There's no outcry from the pope or the otherwise catholic faith as a whole actively denouncing and investigating church molestations, the anti-LGBT actions of WBC, or otherwise marginalizing actions towards those who do not follow the doctrine of the Christian faith. Too often I hear, "well not all Christians are like that" or "not all conservatives are like that". To that, I say "ACTIVELY CHANGE IT THEN. WRITE TO YOUR PASTORS. YOUR REPRESENTATIVES. THE POPE. DON'T JUST SIT IDLY BY WHILE OTHERS USE YOUR DENOMINATION TO COMMIT SUCH HEINOUS ACTS UNDER THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD." Acknowledge that there are negative aspects to how you identify and either try to actively show that you are indeed not like that, show that THE GROUP is indeed not like that, or accept it.
tl;dr: 4. But I'm Not Like That - Stop Stereotying! (If you don't like that others point out the privileged aspects of your group, then actively try to change it rather than just writing your group's faults off as if being associated with them is not your problem)
"This thread sucks" is taking a militant tone, immediately making it known that you're unhappy with the very thread's existence. I've been slapped so many times on PC for not being spinelessly nice that I fail to see how to be "brutally honest" and still make a point without having my nonexistent ovaries ripped out.
Also, I'm specifically referring to this:
I don't mind religious people as long as they aren't trying to convert me, be apologetic for their religion, or detach themselves from the negative aspects of their religion as if it's not their problem.
Specifically, the last one. I think I'm misinterpreting you, but I take that to mean the usual, "You Catholics started the Inquisition, the Crusades, the pedophilia, etc. etc.", and I wanted to know if that was what you meant, and why.
On concision, try not to defend yourself from arguments, assumptions, or insults that haven't already been made yet. For example: 1) A girl logs on to a multiplayer game server. She plays the game. Nobody makes a big deal about anything. 2) A girl logs on to a multiplayer game server. She immediately makes it known that she is, in fact, a girl, and that she, in fact, does play video games. Immediately, other players start getting on her case about it. See the kind of difference concision in omission makes? Try to stay on point with the topic and avoid assumptions of others based on their identifications (assumptions OF identifications are sort-of OK though, ex: Nerds wear glasses vs. You must be a nerd because you wear glasses).
On brutal honesty, I say it's good to be honest as long as you're trying to make a point instead of excusing yourself. Like, I say "This thread sucks because of these reasons". That's brutally honest, but I've made a point and have backed it up in hopes of seeing change. This as opposed to another person who says "Yeah, this thread sucks and I don't care". Sure that's brutally honest, but are you proud that you choose to remain in ignorance just because it suits you? It neither refutes the argument nor raises any points. It just allows the latter to stay in their bubble of ignorance. Honesty is best used when trying to fight apathy, not stay in it.
This country's domestic job market is pretty f bad in that all of our jobs have been outsourced and those companies are getting rewarded for it. Unless you HAVE to work in order to sustain yourself, I wouldn't worry too much about work and focus more on studies since you're still in school.
Taking responsibility for the faults of others? I don't think it's something that grand. I always like to think of myself as selfish and protecting my own interests. Maybe it's because I see something I don't like and I want it to be fixed, possibly?
Also, where should I draw the line between concision and tact? While it's bad to beat around the bush, PC has taught me to cover my rear from as much as I can, lest I be reported because my statement be perceived as offensive.
Or, as I will never forget, I once said I wished homosexuals would stop screaming in my face, because I care nothing either way about them.
You would think I'd formed the new Klan.
Also, I'm against brutal honesty. It's honestly brutality, and too many use it as an excuse to simply say whatever they want under its guise, which was IIRC, mentioned in the D4D guide.
On a side note, it's like the Catch-22 of applying for a job. I get hammered on for inexperience, but nobody bothers telling me what I'm doing wrong.
So, once again, I do appreciate this.
And that's simple appreciation in an informal conversation.
Concision. Don't beat around the bush with various feelings or redundant justifications. Be concise. Let others know what's more important or it will be lost amongst the tangents and noise.
Realize your own faults. Realize your own privilege. Work towards changing it. It's one thing to detach yourself from faults, of yourself and others, in words. It's an entirely different animal in action. So long as you see your mistake and are willing to learn and progress from it.
This world is give and take. Give others underhanded spite and that is what you will get. Give others understanding and that is what you will get. True understanding shows in action, not in "I understand, but..."
And no, that wasn't sarcasm. I honestly apologize for being over zealous. I shouldn't get carried away, and I too often do. Most of this stuff isn't worth arguing, especially not over the Internet, and especially not to the point where I get emotional from it.
I had a longer post that got lost thanks to refresh. It's not worth retying on a mobile device. I'll just summarize it.
I'm pretty much undergoing a chain reaction of emotional breakdowns recently, thanks to family, school, college, people... Whatever. The specifics don't matter.
However, I don't want to sound egotistical, but I feel as if, to some degree, my problems matter. Perhaps not much, an I understand vmeveryone goes through hard times, much harder than mine, but it's still not easy for me.
It's funny, actually. I'm a white male Catholic Conservative, and I can still find something to complain about. The fact that I should be perfectly happy only serves to make it sting even more.
I know that I'm in the upper X percent of America, but I still bleed, I still cry. I can turn to almost nobody IRL simply because those that understand it are suffering alongside me, and those that don't... Simply don't.
I try to keep my personal life off of PC, as I'm sure you do.
However. Please, don't see this as a constant thing where I'm always looking to stomp my boot into someone else. I was peeved once, and it is, obviously, still biting me in the ass.
I don't take "tough love" very well, simply exhaust cause it reminds me of my boss who never forgot to remind me that I was incompetent and unfit for the most basic of tasks. Not something I should do, but not something easy to forget.
To get back in topic (I know. I'm derailing. Please, please don't hammer me for this post), I apologize and there really is no excuse, but please don't see me as that idiot bastard from hell.
I'm still trying to learn, as hard as it is, how to coexist with others. Hiding failed. Asserting myself failed. I'm tryin to adapt, so please don't be too harsh.
Actually I wasn't, because I hadn't even looked at it at the time, but whatever. People can disagree with me all they want. That's the how discussion is sparked. The problem is that you're NOT ARGUING THE POINT. Instead, you are creating strawmen and using derails in order to paint yourself in the right rather than using actual arguments with facts or evidential backup. First step you need to do is to STOP DERAILING. You have done, in order of the derailing list:
1. You're Being Hostile (Instead of arguing the point, you're telling them they have no right to be angry with the status quo and that they should just accept it)
2. You're Being Overemotional (See 1)
3. I'm Just Saying What Other People Believe. I Never Said I Agree (Then why bring it up in the first place? It's essentially preaching to the choir)
4. But I'm Not Like That - Stop Stereotying! (If you don't like that others point out the privileged aspects of your group, then actively try to change it rather than just writing your group's faults off as if being associated with them is not your problem)
5. You Are Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry (See 1 again)
6. You're As Bad As They Are! (See 1 AGAIN)
Read and learn why these and other tactics are effective but counterproductive to discussion.
Alright, I'll agree with you there. I was peeved, and trying to blow off some steam.
However, I don't think getting extremely worked up and angry whenever someone mentions religion is the best thing in the world. Screw the morality, it's bad for your health.
Then again, I openly admit that I have Berserk Buttons.
But even then, I try not to absolutely and totally go off on people just because I feel like it. I fail sometimes, as evidenced in the Atheist Alliance thread, but I still realize that's it's a Bad Thing to Do.
There's a lot to be said for not flipping out on someone every time they say something you don't like. I've had response posts three miles long that I've deleted simply because I realize that it's not worth getting hateful and vitriolic over.
In all honesty, I'm eager to see yours. You write some entertaining things, and I wouldn't miss this for the world.