Red Hot Catholic Love

The Holy Document of Vatican Law can’t be changed.


Because the Queen Spider declares it can’t.

This is about as much sense as organised Christianity makes to the layperson.

The South Park creators blessedly hold nothing sacred in their attempt to tell the truth. In an episode which deals head on with the sex abuse scandals of the Catholic Church, the viewer is not allowed to imagine that the Atheist is any more immune to falsehood, graphically illustrated by a scene where textbook Atheist clichés about the idea of God “poisoning the children’s minds” and Atheists being a “persecuted minority” in America are accompanied by literal crap coming out of people’s mouths.

Between the reactionary rhetoric of Liberal America and the obfuscated inner life of church hierarchy, the South Park writers forge a new place for faith in the life of individuals and communities.

These are just stories, stories that are meant to help guide people in the right direction; ‘love your neighbour, be a good person. Thats it! And when you start turning these stories into literal translations of hierarchies and power… well you end up with THIS.

people are losing faith because they don’t see how what you’ve turned the religion into applies to them. They’ve lost touch with any kind of religion and when they have no mythology to try and live their lives by they just start spewing a bunch of crap out of their mouths.

I’ll admit that for a moment this speech made my Protestant pride swell. However these statements can only be made in ignorance.

Only someone who has never read the Bible could say that the stories in it are there to make us be good people.

  • Adam blamed Eve for their collective disobedience.
  • Abraham is “justified before God” yet abuses the relationship he had with his wife for his own survival.
  • Moses commits murder to gain justice.
  • David murders a man to steal his wife and secure his power.
  • Jonah objects to God showing mercy to sinners.

Even in the New Testament, the morality of a story is not clear. Why did the Good Samaritan not seek to catch the mob who mugged the wounded man? Or what kind of morality would encourage people to become complicit with the authoritarian dictatorship of Rome (Romans 13:1). the wholesale slaughter of the population of the world at the hand of God as prophesied in the Revelation of Saint John can hardly be called peaceable.

The South Park Priest seems satisfied with belief qua belief. That is, faith only facilitates conversation about ethics, and the ethics are what society needs to agree on. It doesn’t matter what you believe, so long as you are a good person at the end of it. To accomplish this, belief must be disentangled from archaic and abusive systems. So one argument goes.

South park are throwing a line to the religious person, allowing them a seat at the new ethical table, permitting them to speak into our secular morality. All it will cost is the Church.

Herein lies why I reject that place at the table: The invitation commands that I lie.

I must lie about the Church and pretend that she does not matter. I must reimagine religion divorced from the Church which bore it to me. Without the Church, Secular society can get on with reconstructing Pagan morality without a visible alternative. Church exists in this world as a community who live by an ethics founded not upon a vague story of good triumphing over evil, but of Jesus triumphing over Satan and death and power.

With such a defined story, the Christian cannot be so easily sucked into the abstract language of “good vs evil” and will continue to be ultimately unintelligible to the watching world.

If the world looks and sees a giant, arbitrary and morally dubious Spider behind the life of the Church, then this is the necessary cost of existing in the way made possible by the confession of Jesus as the resurrected son of God.

“For us the world has ended. We may have thought that Jesus came to make nice people even nicer, that Jesus hoped to make a democratic caesar just a bit more democratic, to make the world a bit better place for the poor. The Sermon [on the Mount], however, collides with such accomodationist thinking. It drives us back to a completely new conception of what it means for people to live with one another. That completely new conception is the church. All that we have heard said of old is thrown up for grabs, demands to be reexamined, and pushed back to square one. Square one is that the colony made up of those who are special, different, alien, and distinctive only in the sense that they are those who have heard Jesus say “Follow me,” and have come forth to be part of a new people, a colony formed by hearing his invitation and saying yes.

Hauerwas & Willimon, Resident Aliens.

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