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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spewing hate?

When you leave a comment on a blogger blog, sometimes you get notified when someone else comments after you. Today I received such a comment in my email. This is a comment from a blogger who visited my other blog, but I gather she visited here as well.


Candy does stand up against the lies of Catholicism, but she makes a loud, clear statement that she loves Catholics as people. The website I viewed spewed hatred and contempt for "protestants" and I was immediately turned off. I continue to pray for that dear woman.
I almost viewed that site as a hatred for people in general. At the very least when Candy speaks of sola scripture (by God's Word alone), she does so with respect, not hatred for Catholics.
Love the sinner, hate the sin. Sadly, the blog I viewed promoted hating everything.
I have no room for debate in that area either.


It just made me feel... tired.


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38 comments:

Erika S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy Parode said...

I am totally confused. I don't think this blog spews hate. In fact, I've seen moderators ask readers to remove comments that don't meet the guidelines, and the readers have done so.

Candy professes to love Catholics, but then publishes untrue statements about what Catholics supposedly believe - is that love?

Sometimes it seems like there are two Candys, the one who writes useful, helpful home management articles and the one who seems to feel compelled to say incorrect things about the Catholic Church, and then refuses to let commenters set the record straight.

Perhaps your commenter wasn't talking about this blog at all!

Kelly said...

I am at a loss with comments such as that. I really don't see how they could see that in this blog.

Divers and Sundry said...

I'm Methodist, and I'm not seeing any hate here. Lots of information about Catholicism from a Catholic perspective and how that differs from the Fundamentalist view of Catholicism. But no hate.

Elena said...

After I left a comment on her blog, this lady dug into my archives and left a comment here.
So maybe she thinks My Domestic Church is spewing hate and hates everyone! I don't see it that way but I'm surprised anyone else does!

Elena said...

This was my reply:

Hello Mrs. Gunning,

I got this piece of email with your comment on Far Above the Rubies that said:

Candy does stand up against the lies of Catholicism, but she makes a loud, clear statement that she loves Catholics as people. The website I viewed spewed hatred and contempt for "protestants" and I was immediately turned off. I continue to pray for that dear woman.
I almost viewed that site as a hatred for people in general. At the very least when Candy speaks of sola scripture (by God's Word alone), she does so with respect, not hatred for Catholics. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Sadly, the blog I viewed promoted hating everything.


I remembered that you had left a very nice comment on my blog and I hoped that you weren't referring to me!
I blog at
My Domestic Church
and
Visits to Candyland

Do you have any examples, because I was totally shocked to read that you felt that I "spewed hatred and contempt" for anyone!

The Visits to Candyland Blog was born out of the frustration many of us felt from not being able to correct or comment on Candy's posts regarding Catholicism. We try to allow everyone to have a voice, (which we do NOT get on Candy's blog) but still keep down the personal attacks out of it. We remove comments that go against our commenting guidelines frequently. if you found something to be offensive, please let me know and I will review it with an eye towards removing it.

Thanks in advance,

Elena

Blondie said...

Yeah, I'm totally confused too. There is no hatred on this blog. Frustration, because Catholics are constantly being misrepresented and lied about? Sure! But, hatred? I wish those who say that would actually give some examples, because I sure don't see it.

Perplexity said...

She already has a predetermined opinion about this site so I would bet dollars to donuts she didn't actually read anything. Not. A. Thing. Her opinion was formed long before she visited the site; if she really did to begin with.

There aren't too many people who can read posts about the truths of Catholicism and see Protestant hatred instead - unless that is exactly what they want to see.

It is very, very hard for people to see facts and accept them when those facts go against everything they already believe. The truth and validity of facts are irrelevant when someone's existing thought system is threatened.

Saved Sinner said...

Makes no sense to me.

Unashamed said...

Well, you know that I am sympathetic to you ladies and I personally don't think that you hate Protestants, but I have to be honest and tell you that sometimes I feel that you are guilty of the same things that you accuse Candy of.

I'll give you an example: You are understandably upset when Candy posts something that misrepresents what the Catholic church teaches and believes, and you take her to task for her inaccuracies (as you should). So it's kind of disheartening for me, as a Protestant, when things are posted here that are inaccurate and misrepresent what my church teaches.

For example: On Wednesday April 23 there is a post that misrepresented the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. It goes to ridiculous lengths to demonstrate that sola scriptura is untenable because the average person simply could not ever interpret the Bible on his own. The problem is, what this article is describing is not sola scriptura but SOLO Scriptura - that is, the private interpretation of the Bible by an individual. That is NOT what the Reformers understood the principle sola scriptura to be. The Reformers did not, as this article implies, intend that the Bible should be interpreted apart from the Church, but rather that Scripture and not Tradition should be the final arbiter of all doctrine. Note too, that the Reformers did not discard Tradition, but rather returned it to it's proper place - as having authority in determining doctrine, but behind the final authority of recorded Scripture. (And look, I don't want this to turn into a debate over the correctness of sola scriptura, I'm just trying to correct your faulty understanding of what sola scriptura actually is.)

Now, I'm sure that this was an unintentional mistake on behalf of the bloggers here. But I've seen comments in the com box saying the fact that Candy doesn't bother to check her facts before posting something inflammatory is proof that she hates Catholics and doesn't want to know the truth. I don't think it's fair to allow that statement to stand unless you're willing to live by it yourselves. You certainly have the same opportunity as Candy does to check your facts before you post something that makes assumptions about Protestant doctrine - does the fact that you failed to in this case mean that you hate Protestants? Of course not, but you see my point.

Look, don't get me wrong, I understand the purpose of this blog and I commend you for it. And I certainly don't think that what you post is "hate". But I think that if you are going to take the position that what Candy posts about Catholics is hate, then it is encumbent on you to ensure that what is posted here is absolutely without reproach.

And just so we're clear - I say all that in Christian love :)

Elena said...

Actually Unashamed, that article was written by Jim Akin, who is an Evangelical convert to Catholicism. He was studying to become a Protestant minister but then converted to Catholicism instead. His story is in the book Surprised by the Truth.

As there is no universal Protestant authority that says "This is what Protestants believe" or sure norm for what Protestants believe, I don't think you can have one authority that speaks for all of Protestantism. For that reason I think Mr. Akin's article is valid. What's more it is logical.

But it certainly isn't peppered with the "those poor deluded people" comments that Candy's posts most certainly are.

Elena said...

I also had this thought.

That is NOT what the Reformers understood the principle sola scriptura to be. The Reformers did not, as this article implies, intend that the Bible should be interpreted apart from the Church, but rather that Scripture and not Tradition should be the final arbiter of all doctrine. Note too, that the Reformers did not discard Tradition, but rather returned it to it's proper place - as having authority in determining doctrine, but behind the final authority of recorded Scripture. (And look, I don't want this to turn into a debate over the correctness of sola scriptura, I'm just trying to correct your faulty understanding of what sola scriptura actually is.)

Candy et al really don't care what the Reformers wanted, what they thought, or what they intended. It seems to me that their form of Christianity is very far removed from the Reformation. Candy and friends most certainly do believe in interpretation apart from the church and they have tossed "Tradition" out completely. Their form of Christianity seems to be completely different from Lutheranism or any other church that came immediately after the Reformation.

You might remember too that before that one blog recently imploded, that blogger wrote a post about how it was possible to be on an island with a bible and still know about God. Well.. yes if you can read,and if you have a printed bible, in your language.

It was for that flavor of Protestantism (which is what we are mainly dealing with here at VTC) that I think the Akin article was spot on.

Unashamed said...

Nor did I say that it made derogatory comments about Protestants; still, as a Protestant I objected to its condescending tone and its inaccurate premise. I can appreciate that it's hard to pin down the "official" Protestant position because there's no denying that it varies. But you're missing the point: you posted an article, based on a faulty premise that presented sola scriptura to be something other than it actually is. When Candy does that, you object. But I can't? Why not? Should I start my own blog about the inaccuracies about Protestants that are promulgated here?

I'll bet that Candy thinks the material she posts is "valid" and "logical". You can't have it both ways Elena.

Sal said...

I'm with Elena, Unashamed. We don't mean to scatter-shoot and misrepresent various Protestant denominations, but really- how can we possibly cover them all?

Candy and friends accept traditions when it suits them and discard them when it doesn't- they are their own final arbiters.

And I think it's obvious that determining Tradition by one's own interpretation of Scripture is exactly why there are so many denominations today. They may not take the practice to the extreme as Candy and friends, but the basic idea is the same.

Unashamed said...

Re: your second comment -

Candy et al really don't care what the Reformers wanted, what they thought, or what they intended. It seems to me that their form of Christianity is very far removed from the Reformation. Candy and friends most certainly do believe in interpretation apart from the church and they have tossed "Tradition" out completely. Their form of Christianity seems to be completely different from Lutheranism or any other church that came immediately after the Reformation.

Then might I suggest that when you choose to print material that paints Protestantism with a wide brush that you qualify it by indicating that it pertains only to Candy's "brand". It just does not seem right to me that in addressing her errors that you then present an inaccurate picture about the vast majority of Protestants.

Elena said...

you posted an article, based on a faulty premise that presented sola scriptura to be something other than it actually is.

Something than it actually is to you perhaps. But that's not a universal for ALL Protestants. Certainly it wasn't for Mr. Akin (who was an Evangelical) and I think it is very close to the Candy's understanding of SS.


When Candy does that, you object. But I can't? Why not?

You can. You are!

Should I start my own blog about the inaccuracies about Protestants that are promulgated here?

Well you can if you want to. I only started this one because I couldn't object over at Candy's!

I'll bet that Candy thinks the material she posts is "valid" and "logical". You can't have it both ways Elena.

Actually, I can. Because the Catholic Church, as a teaching authority, has a "sure norm." The catechism. Which is why Kelly and I went to great lengths to quote from it.

Elena said...

Then might I suggest that when you choose to print material that paints Protestantism with a wide brush that you qualify it by indicating that it pertains only to Candy's "brand".

Um... isn't that implied by the blog title, Visits to Candyland? But I will in the future try to be more specific...

and now I'm still tired...

Unashamed said...

Re: I'm with Elena, Unashamed. We don't mean to scatter-shoot and misrepresent various Protestant denominations, but really- how can we possibly cover them all?

But the fact is you DO at times misrepresent various Protestant denominations and again, I think you're missing the point: it's ok for this blog to print inaccuracies, but not Candy?

I'm sure that's not what you intend...but it is what you have accomplished. It seems to me that you could have a higher standard and not stoop to her level.

Elena said...

But the fact is you DO at times misrepresent various Protestant denominations and again, I think you're missing the point: it's ok for this blog to print inaccuracies, but not Candy?

When and if that happens, feel free to step in and present the Lutheran position! We are more than open to that!

Unashamed said...
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Unashamed said...
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Unashamed said...
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Kelly said...

Unashamed, I'm coming in a bit late to reply to every single comment, but I did want to put in my two cents.

Although Elena and I haven't sat down and written out a focus for the blog, as far as I know, I generally post the "protestant" view as that brand of fundamentalism which Candy represents. Since she is criticizing the Catholic Church from that perspective, then that is what I try to address.

I remember that you took issue with another article that I posted a few weeks ago, and I agreed with your comment that it really didn't take into account the views of other non-Catholic Christians, such as Lutherans.

I would agree with what others have already pointed out, that while with the Catholic Church, you can point out what the actual doctrine is in the Catechism, you really can't do that with other denominations. I know the Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, at least, also use catechisms, but there isn't ONE specific definition for Sola Scriptura. You and other Lutheran commenters have said that our definition is wrong, but I have had fundamentalist Christians give me that definition as Sola Scriptura, and not Solo Scriptura.

Be aware that you're more than welcome to keep pointing out the Lutheran perspective in comments. I would have loved to heard the Lutheran perspective on the chapters of John that we went through, as Candy did, because I know that our understanding of Baptism would have been similar there.

I will try to be more specific about indicating that articles I post are refuting Candy's brand of fundamentalism in the future, so that there isn't confusion that we might think that perspective is shared by all of "protestantism," which I understand is not its own denomination, but many groups with varied beliefs, some similar and some dissimilar to our own.

Unashamed said...

Thanks, I appreciate the offer.

Let me say that I DO recognize that much of American Evangelicalism is miles away from what the Reformers taught and confessed. That's part of the reason why it is so frustrating for me to be "lumped in" with Protestantism in general. So much of that stuff doesn't even come near to what I believe and I always feel like, "wait a minute, not ALL Protestants reject the Sacraments, or the Real Presence or baptismal regeneration, etc." Sometimes it's hard being a Lutheran - nobody "gets" us!

Blondie said...

Lutherans and Catholics do have a lot in common. My husband grew up Lutheran, and when we first began studying the Catholic church, he just didn't see any obvious differences at first, other than the Catholic view of Mary.

Perplexity said...

Unashamed, I think that if you comment on topics or statements you disagree with, in the comments for that post, an open, honest discussion can be had rather than misunderstanding, assumptions and in the end, unpleasantness.

A comment on the sola scripture post, indicating that not all Protestants believe that way, or the differences between solo and sola would have been much more productive than waiting until a later date, like now.

At one time, I know Kelly wondered why there were so many comments on personal focused posts and few on those that involved research about the faith. I just think you'd bring a lot to the discussion if you commented on the topics when they are posted; it could open some real dialog instead of going back and forth and people having to justify themselves.

Perplexity said...

I do not think anyone is in the position to determine what another is thinking.

That, I think, is in a very big way the purpose of this entire blog. Candy posts lies about the Catholic church, and Catholic people; claiming time and again that someone in front of a statue is worshipping said statue, etc. She is stating that she knows what others are thinking, where there heart is, what their motivations are, and what their belief system is. She is stating her misinformed beliefs as fact, and making assumptions about people without knowing a single thing. In a nutshell, she is claiming to know what every Catholic on the planet is thinking.

Thus, this blog came about to refute the false assumptions about what people think.

And, people who disagree have every opportunity to refute, in turn, right here on this blog. The problem I see, usually, is that when it gets to that point, it not about refuting what is said in the post or by the author of the link or reference, but about feelings. Starting out on the defensive immediately, and that leads to all sorts of misunderstanding, and worse.

Maggii said...

But I've seen comments in the com box saying the fact that Candy doesn't bother to check her facts before posting something inflammatory is proof that she hates Catholics and doesn't want to know the truth. I don't think it's fair to allow that statement to stand unless you're willing to live by it yourselves.
****
IMO it's not so much that she posts without checking her facts that makes her a Catholic hater....it's that AFTER she's presented with the facts she STILL insists on posting the misinformation. I feel that Elena and others are usually quite gracious in admitting they were mistaken when corrected about Protestant issues.

Unashamed said...

Perplexity - I hear what you are saying, but I'd like to point out that my comments in this thread were in response to Elena's question "Spewing hate?" in the title of her post. She asked; I answered.

I have, in the past, commented about a generalization that I objected to. Kelly responded to my concern and was quite gracious. And she and Elena have both extended the invitation that I may provide a Lutheran perspective, which I appreciate. I've been hesitant to interject too often because this is a Catholic apologetics blog after all. *grin*

It was not my intention to start a debate over sola scriptura (or any other matter of doctrine) in this thread. I was simply providing a concrete example to the blog authors of an example of what I, personally, felt was a bit of an inconsistency in how they present dissenting viewpoints. I'm not sure they would entirely agree with my assessment, but again, I was simply offering my opinion to the original question.

And I appreciate, btw, that my comment got posted and discussed :) because when I offered a dissenting opinion yesterday on you-know-who's blog it was not even allowed through.

Saved Sinner said...

Just for the record, I am a protestant who reads this blog and I do not feel attacked in any way. It has helped me to learn about some of my misconceptions about Catholicism and understand it a bit better and it also helps me to think through what I believe (whether that agrees or not with the posts here) more clearly. I would describe myself as "evangelical" but based on what I read at Candy's site I think that "evangelical" in the US is not quite the same as "evangelical" in the UK. I also agree with magii's point which is that it's the ignoring the corrections rather than the original posting which is the issue.

motherofmany said...

Perplexity,

I read your last comment and stopped to think for a while. I think you have really hit the nail on the head as far as people getting emotional. It is also very, very difficult to accurately determine someone's tone from a comment. While I may simply be begging the question, it may sound angry to others. I am a very forceful writer.

Putting the feelings aside, take what you said about Candy thinking she knows what every Catholic is thinking. Could that same statement not apply to some of the discussion here and the assumptions made about not only Candy, but all fundamentalists, or as has been pointed out, all of Protestants? Can anyone make statements about what someone else believes?

Protestants and Catholics agree onmuchmore than they disagree on. The major difference is that in order to know what the Catholic church teaches, you would go to the catechism. While not all Catholics agree with the teachings of the church, it is possible to make a generalized statement about doctrines based on the catechism.

Nancy Parode said...

Unashamed,

I am not one of the writers on this blog...but I'm very glad you speak up when you feel called to do so. Is there a book (or books) you could recommend to those of us who would like to learn more about various Protestant denominations, or about Lutheranism in particular?

I took a History of Religion in the U.S. course in college - but that was (!) decades ago, and we studied Catholicism, Judaism, Puritanism, a few other denominations all lumped together - obviously things get left out. We didn't learn about the LDS church at all, for ex. (I have taken the time to read up on them, as my daughter has LDS friends.)

I've learned a lot of things through my participation here, and one of them is how little I really know of other denominations' teachings.

Kelly said...

Putting the feelings aside, take what you said about Candy thinking she knows what every Catholic is thinking. Could that same statement not apply to some of the discussion here and the assumptions made about not only Candy, but all fundamentalists, or as has been pointed out, all of Protestants? Can anyone make statements about what someone else believes?

Well, to a certain extent, we have to make assumptions about Candy's beliefs because we can't just ask her to clarify things. She has quite a lot of her theology available on her various posts, so often we have a pretty good idea of what her theology is or would be on a subject. I also try to clearly state when I am making an assumption.

The vast majority of our posts aren't really about refuting a non-Catholic belief, but rather are spelling out the Catholic doctrine. At times I may lay out an opposing view as a springboard for stating the Catholic view.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that sometimes we need to make assumptions for generalizations in order to further discussion, as such. But I try to clearly label it when I do that (Candy's post on baptism in the John series is one that comes to mind), and if someone points out an error to me, I try to acknowledge that and change the post if necessary to clarify.

On the other hand, Candy once stated that she knew what was in the hearts of the Catholics at the Mass she attended because the Holy Spirit gave her that knowledge. Do I really need to say anything more? I think there is a vast difference there.

Elena said...

In addition to what Kelly just said, we also have access to the stuff Candy reads. I read the entire Samuel Gipp book that she was promoting on her blog last summer. I have visited Jesus is Lord more times than I care to count and then of course there were all the nun stories. After all that I think we are pretty clear about paradigm/ religious view we are working with.

motherofmany said...

Well, to a certain extent, we have to make assumptions about Candy's beliefs because we can't just ask her to clarify things. She has quite a lot of her theology available on her various posts, so often we have a pretty good idea of what her theology is or would be on a subject.

But then you must allow for people to take the sum totaly of the catechism and other catholic theological writings and make assumptions as to your beliefs. I mean, that's completely different than trying to determine the beliefs of a diverse group based on the writings of one person as opposed to determinig the theology of a group who must follow a written (albeit changable) guide.

I wasn't saying not to compare when necessary. But if you do not accept the word of a former Catholic as good and credibleinto the faults of the Catholic church, why should we accept the word of a former Protestant in that way? Why become outraged when conversion stories about former Cathiolics are posted, but then turn around and post conversion stories of former Protestants?

The question was whether the blog demonstrates hate, and the truth is that, to many, it does at times. You may not see it as hateful because you agree with it, but that is how Candy says she feels about her view of things, as do many of her readers. Disagreeing with something does not equal hate.

Elena said...

Disagreeing with something does not equal hate.

No it doesn't Amy. That was a point I tried to make with you some time ago.

Erika S. said...

Mother of Many-
"Why become outraged when conversion stories about former Catholics are posted, but then turn around and post conversion stories of former Protestants?"

Outraged is a very strong word, and I think annoyed would be the more appropriate word. Outrage sounds so dramatic.
I think we post conversion stories and the opinions of former Protestants because they help explain why they became Catholic. Most of the ones we post have done so for theological, well thought out reasons and most, in the case of Scott Hahn, Jimmy Akin, Steve Ray and the like are well educated, well spoken, and easily accessible via their web sites and other venues.
The stories of the nuns and priests that Candy puts up are so full of dramatic nonsense, and errors over the way things are in the Catholic Church and are NOT easily accessible.
What I am trying to say is if you doubt that any of the former Protestants were Protestant then you could VERY easily go and ask them or read their books, and thus far I have never seen anything that questions the truth about any of the men that converted to Catholicism that we featured on our blog but the stories that Candy puts up are Very questionable and you can barely find any supporting evidence that is not second hand drivel. The converts we feature just seem so much more credible.

Take note I am not taking about her commenter’s who state their personal experience with leaving the Catholic Church, I am speaking of the stories she features in her posts.

I am sorry that people feel offended at our posts. I for one do not wish to offend. I still fail to see the Hate that people keep talking about. If we have miss written about your beliefs we are here and ready to discuss your point of view, which in my mind makes that a difference of opinion not hate. There is no dialog on Candy’s blog. She states lies and still does even when she is told the truth. She ignores what Catholics really believe and tells us how we feel, and all I can say to that is wow, I wish I could read minds, but I digress.

Elena said...

Additionally Erika, it seems to me that the types of conversion stories I have read from Candy's links always take some type of dig at the Catholic church - as if the church was "hiding" something from them or was intentionally set on hurting them. I have also read conversion stories where the "converted" will say something about being deceived or being blind. More often than not there is usually a paragraph or two that distorts Catholic teaching (which always makes me question their catachesis in the first place).

Stories like the Hahns, or the Rays, or Jim Akin tend to look fondly, even lovingly at their Protestant roots, even gratefully. The steps to their conversion to Catholicism are stated as logical, progressive steps.

I have posted conversions from former pastors here because conversion stories of former clergy members seems to carry a lot of weight with Candy and her readers.