So today I was minding my own business on Twitter, just kidding I was reading stuff like normal, and came across this dude offering any “Practising Catholic” $1000 if they had had pre-marital sex and were still happily married. So I poked that hornet’s nest because the shaming of teenagers and adults who want to exercise their right to fuck, by suggesting that they are somehow stained, dirty, sinful, abhorrent fornicators is fucking gross.
Disclosure, I grew up Catholic, I spent many years of my life Catholic, I have studied the bible, read most of it, did bible studies with Baptists, was in a Catholic youth group, and have done a lot of my own reading on Christian thought. I know stuff, I’m not formally qualified in any of this, and I wouldn’t want to be because omg that would be tiresome, but I have been immersed enough in this bullshit to know it’s bullshit.
Anyway, I poked the tweep and said that despite my husband and I now being atheists, we both had pre-marital sex and have been happily married for over 25 years, but probably didn’t count because we weren’t Catholic any more. The tweep congratulated us and hoped that we would find god again soon – sure, no.
And this then started a long discussion, with lots of other randos also piling on the original tweeter and other people espousing the same position, about what a “practising Catholic” actually meant, the nature of sin, and why pre-martial sex is actually bad. All things considered it was actually a fairly polite conversation, I only ended up blocking one person who decided that because of my twitter bio, I was incapable of knowing what I was talking about when it came to Catholicism.
The reason I’m dusting off the blog post, is that because this train of thought is way too long for a twitter thread, so I’m posting it here.
The first thing is the whole idea of “mortal sins“. Now mortal sins for those who don’t have a background in Catholicism is where you do a bad thing that is so bad you threaten your relationship with god. So the obvious ones are murder, rape, torture… no wait torture isn’t a grave/mortal sin… The less obvious ones are abortion, “scandal”, theft, masturbation, pre-marital sex, blasphemy, participating in Freemasonry (no really), divorce and contraception, among others.
And I really have a big problem with murder being on par with masturbation. And this is one of my biggest problems with the Catholic Church, they decided that they had to rank bad things, but then they rank them so badly, that masturbating, a perfectly normal human activity, is as threatening to your relationship with god as murdering another person. One gives you a moment of pleasure, another results in someone’s life being taken away from them. I mean seriously, what the fuck.
This is the same Church that put the sexual abuse and rape of children in their care on par with the ordination of women. One of these seriously harms a person for the rest of their life, the other means that a woman might be able to be a priest.
We also talked about the Catholic Catechism, which seems to only have been relatively recently codified in it’s current form in about 1985, and before that existed in several different documents. These are all the rules that govern what it is to be Catholic apparently. I’ve never read the document, I have no idea of its content, despite being a Catholic for about 30ish years.
The original tweep said that a true Catholic follows all the rules of the church, which is simply impossible. I asked him who could possibly do that, and he answered Saints, which is also hilarious because no, they didn’t all follow all those rules, no one does.
I’m all for people attempting to live life by a set of rules that they voluntarily accept, as long as they don’t also attempt to make me also follow their rules. If they want to aspire to be the best Catholic good for them, but they shouldn’t beat themselves up when they fail. I felt sorry for the original tweep in the end, because he said that when he failed the rules, he was no longer a “practising Catholic” and had to rectify that, and seriously that is an unhealthy way to live. I suggested that if he calls himself Catholic, then he gets to do that, and his god wouldn’t take that away from him. Me, the atheist, comforting the believer because he was being mean to himself.
So yeah… Catholics…
I fully expect to wake up to my mentions being a massive bushfire tomorrow, because I was responding to the US tweep late in his night, and there is the potential for this to be a huge mess during their day while I am asleep. This is what the block button is for.