Written by Sherry
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 08:17
In relationship to my earlier blog post this week on "Catholics are Dead. Protestants are Stupid.", I wanted to point you to a comment on the Archdiocese of Washington's blog. Susan Timoney writes a very thoughtful commentary on the appropriate response of Catholics to the sneering comments by Richard Dawkins on the Vatican's overture to traditional Anglicans.
"A friend asked me if I had seen a comment in the Washington Post’s On Faith section about the recent announcement by the Vatican of its Anglican Provision. The comment is by Richard Dawkins, the author of The God Delusion. The title of the commentary is “Give us your misogynists and bigots”. I’m sorry to say it only gets worse. It can be found here."
A Lutheran reader writes in:
"As a faithful Lutheran, married to a faithful Catholic, I’ve developed a respect for the Catholic church. I find anti-Catholic sentiment appalling.
That said, I have to point out that Catholics aren’t guiltless in terms of religious bigotry. On this site, and in my own parish, I’ve seen and heard snarky comments whose theme is Poor Stupid Ignorant Protest-ants. I think many priests and deacons forget – or don’t care that – not all of those sitting in front of them are cradle Catholics. I don’t think telling someone that s/he is stupid and ignorant serves one’s pastoral role well."
Non-Catholics, non-Christians, pagans, agnostics, and atheists and every sort of wandering soul move and in out of our large, relatively anonymous parishes all the time. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, despite everything we know, we still tend to presume that in our parishes, we are dealing only with life-time practicing cradle Catholics.
And that Protestants are "stupid".
When we do that, we can come across to non-Catholics the way Dawkins comes across to us. As sneering bigots. Even when we don't intend to. Even when we ourselves do not consciously hold those opinions and would be horrified if someone else pointed out that was what we were communicating.
So strong and subtle is the power of culture. Especially a culture that assumes that "Protestants are stupid."