Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A dirty little girl, her head hanging in shame

A dirty little girl, her head hanging in shame

Catholic childhood religious indoctrination is chillingly effective. Its most powerful weapons are guilt and the fear of a literal hell. When a child is taught that the simple act of doubting or questioning any of the Church’s teachings is a sin, and that even the tiniest of sins can result in an eternity spent in a literal hell, they quickly learn to suppress those doubts and to feel intense shame, guilt, and fear when they fail to do so.

Think for a second about how cruel that is. To ensure that the Catholic mind virus is passed down through the generations, the Church is willing to crush children’s curiosity and to stifle or completely destroy their ability to think critically.


  1. Not only that, but since doubt is a form of rational addressability, which is in turn a prerequisite for sanity, the Catholic church is, in effect, decreeing itself to be a mental illnes.

  2. My Catholic childhood religious indoctrination was a good deal different from yours. I have no interest here in arguing for or against that church as a whole. I only mean to address your categorical statements about Catholic Indoctrination.

    Besides my own upbringing and mostly Catholic education I am reflecting on the Polish Solidarity movement and various other strongly subversive movements in recent history wherein that church was anything from a strong ally to an actual nexus.

    I don't think these historical facts--involving millions of Catholics, with clerical support or leadership--can exist in the same world with your notion of the Catholic rank and file as helpless cattle driven by shame to obey, obey, obey.

    And all of that history is given. It isn't going away.

    My Catholic education never so much as suggested that to doubt is to sin. The Catholic literature on doubt is probably more extensive and rich than any other, with many of its authors canonized.

    This literature begins in the Bible, where the very human doubt if the supposed inarnate God is featured very prominently. That church teaches that Jesus doubted. It also teaches that Jesus never sinned. Nothing could be more clear than that doubt in spiritual matters, doubt as regards the teachings of that Church, cannot be sinful.

    Read any of the Mystics. Doubt featured prominently with every one I have read. Far from being condemned these writing areapproved and republished generation after generation.

    That church gave us libraries as we know them, universities as well, li raries and universities where doubt was recognized and discussion of divergent opinion was the order of the day for a thousand years and remains so.

    And quite contrary to your hyperbolic talk about the merest sin leading to damnation, that church teaches that even a lifetime of the gravest sin needn't result in damnation. Anyone genuinely contrite who asks their God's forgivenesss and be saved from spiritual death.

    Please continue criticism of that institution where warranted. Plenty of opportunities present themselves, sadly. But the sort of fact-intolerant rant atop this page fails as effective criticism and paints the ranger as simply that.

  3. You should probably post this comment on the original author's blog; the link is in my post.

  4. Also note: The original author appears to be speaking from personal experience. Personal experiences do differ, as do their interpretations, but unless you want to call the author a liar, the "fact-intolerant rant" comment would seem itself dishonest and intolerant.

    Personally, I consider all religions to be entirely ridiculous, and I blame the exploited as much or more than the exploiters: if you really are willing to believe that a Nazi in a dress has anything at all to say about morality... well, there's a sucker born every minute and two to take him.


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