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Monday, June 16, 2008

Repost: Providing a little perspective

This is a repost of most of an article that I wrote for this blog over six months ago. I thought it might fit in well with our recent discussions. Besides, once we get to over 40 comments on a single post, it's nice to have a new post for comments.

Reading through the comments both on her site, and on this one, I despair that we can ever truly discuss what is involved. On her site, you read about "gossip" and "a website devoted to bashing one person" while here you read about "anti-Catholicism" and "hatred." On this post, I would like to put us on the same page.

First, this blog does not exist to bash Candy. It exists to refute her claims about Catholicism, because she does not allow Catholics to post comments at her page, no matter how polite or well-reasoned. If Candy has concerns about Catholic doctrine, we would like to be able to address them.

Well, you might say, why not just stop going to her page? Why create this page at all? To answer that, let us look at some of the claims of Candy about Catholicism.

In various posts, she has said that the Catholic Church:

* Murders people to keep its secrets and stay in power, even today, and including babies.

* Does not worship God alone, but Mary, the saints, statues, etc.

* Promotes the worship of Satan, and in fact, a Satanic black Mass is more reverent to God than a Catholic Mass

* Knowingly leads millions of souls to Hell

If this is true of Catholicism, then truly, who would not hate such an institution? That is why there is talk of hatred on this site. Candy may not hate Catholics as individuals, but surely, as a Christian, she must hate Catholicism as an institution.

If some told you those things about YOUR church, read it over again and insert Baptist, Lutheran, etc, go ahead . . . if someone told you those things about your church, would you not have a moral obligation to correct them? Catholics believe that the Catholic Church is the one true Church established by God, and if you say those things about the Catholic Church, then you are saying them about God himself. It would be a sin for us to remain silent in face of such accusations. THAT is why we get so upset, not because it is true, but because it is such a serious falsehood.

On the other hand, we as Catholics must understand Candy's reasons for posting as she does. If we take her at her word, she REALLY thinks this is true. Our souls are in danger, and she is trying to save us. If Catholics really did believe that about a particular church, then I think we would have the same obligation to try and help them to understand their error. Our methods might differ, but we would have to try.

That is why so many of the non-Catholic visitors to her site do not see Candy as full of hatred, because they focus on her intention of saving. Likewise, they do not see her as "anti-Catholic" because that, to them, would mean that she hates Catholics as individuals.

Has there been "gossip" or personal attacks on Candy at this site? At times, yes. We do apologize for that. When something as near and dear to your heart as your religion is being discussed, people tend to lose their temper. Catholics are only human, too. But we can only discourage personal comments, apologize, and move on. Because what we are really here to discuss is Catholicism. The concerns and the glory, depending on your perspective.

Respectful comments are welcome. Please let the discussion begin.


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30 comments:

Blondie said...

Excellent post, Kelly. I really hope this clears the air for anyone who doesn't understand the purpose of this blog. Hopefully any newcomers here will take the time to read through at least the first page and the comments to get to know what this blog is truly about. Sometimes I believe people make assumptions about it without ever reading through anything.

Tracy said...

Excellent Kelly!! I know for me, I need to get back to asking myself "would I say this if I was facing Candy face to face right now?" if I can't say yes to that, then I can't post it either. It is very easy to get heated up and very hurt but that is not doing myself any good. But, when I stick to the facts and just discuss topic at hand, I don't feel upset at all. I just want to apologize to anyone here or at candy's site if I have attacked Candy personally, that was wrong, I don't want to do that anymore, I want to keep it on discussing the Catholic church, defending the Church and not bashing Candy. Thank you Kelly for such a good post:) Blessings!!

Blondie said...

Tracy, that is a good rule to go by. I'll try to remember that for myself.

A while back when this blog first began, I did write some things that weren't very charitable because I was hurt and frustrated by the things Candy was saying on her blog. However, my conscience got to me and I went back and deleted any questionable comments. I now try to be much more careful.

My mom used to always tell me, it is do unto others as you would like them to do unto you, not as they do unto you. We need let our lights shine because we are representatives of Christ.

Elena said...

I find that if I write out what I want to say, (complete with expletives and over-kill on the punctuation) but don't send it or post it I feel MUCH better. I have a private place where I keep all of that stuff and sometimes it is even funny to look at those things and wonder why I was so upset. Then I can delete it and it's all over!

angie said...

Great post- I think many people have the wrong idea about this blog. As a Catholic, I love the information because it just backs up everything I've always believed to be true. At the same time, there are a lot of Catholics out there that are living in a society that is very unsupportive. I think for some it's easier to abandon their Catholic faith for something more acceptable to their friends and neighbors so they feel that sense of belonging. If they knew there was a large community of people that do continue to embrace their Catholic faith, they might not be so ready to give that up.

I would think that non-Catholics would also benefit greatly from reading here if they regularly read Candy's blog. She publishes a lot of untrue things on her blog, and by just buying it hook, line and sinker, I'm sure many of her readers have gotten themselves into awkward situations. Can you imagine being at a summer barbecue and hearing someone bring up Catholic priests cutting people up into pieces in Serbia? That would be a bit, um, uncomfortable to say the least.

I have read comments asking clarification from Candy because they have parents or grandparents that are Catholic, and they want to share "the truth" with them. The rift that could cause could be irrepairable.

If anything, people can come here, see the other side, then go do their own research.

BA1968 said...

Could you have this website without having to use Candy's name? You could still refute her and write about Catholic beliefs.

Sal said...

Kelly, I love your calm and well-reasoned way of putting things. An excellent post.

I've been wondering if we couldn't save a lot of comment space of the 'well, my denomination doesn't believe that, so why are you lumping us all together?' kind if we had a big disclaimer somewhere.
It could explain that due to the many types of non-Catholic Christianity, some of our concerns may not apply to the reader personally. Kind of an "if the shoe doesn't fit, please don't put it on" message.

I know this had been discussed in comments, but a permanent notice might not be a bad idea. I really like the format at "Coffee with Candy", for instance.
I'll even volunteer to write it!

Elena said...

No BA we couldn't. This blog exists because of Candy and I will take it down or change it if and when she quits writing erroneously about Catholicism.

Tracy said...

I often wonder how anyone could just listen to one person (especially a person they have never met personally) and that is enough for them to make a choice about something.. they don't even bother doing their own research or going to someone who might know more than them.. I guess I can't wrap my mind around that.. I would never just blindly follow one person ever, but that's just me I guess.

Blondie said...

BA, what would the purpose of that be? One reason Candy's name should be used is that hopefully people will find their way here through a search engine. Anything that refers to Candy's site is helpful.

Sal said...

Hi, BA
I thought about that as well. My conclusion was that it's a matter of personal accountability: if Candy insists on publishing this stuff, especially after having been factually corrected, then let her be responsible for it.

It's not punishment, just natural consequences.

I'd go one step further: I'd put "Keeping the Home" somewhere in the title and drop the 'Candyland'. Not as succint as the present one, but we'd get more hits.

Saved Sinner said...

Has there been "gossip" or personal attacks on Candy at this site? At times, yes. We do apologize for that. When something as near and dear to your heart as your religion is being discussed, people tend to lose their temper. Catholics are only human, too. But we can only discourage personal comments, apologize, and move on.
Your open recognition of this is one of the reasons I like and admire this blog.
Angie said, "I would think that non-Catholics would also benefit greatly from reading here if they regularly read Candy's blog.
You are right. My view of Catholicism has improved greatly as a result of Candy's blog because it led me here. I still do not presume to know anywhere near enough about it to make any judgements about the correctness or otherwise of the Catholic Church as a whole but I do know that many things I did think about it (which were generally based on second hand information) are not true and that is thanks to reading this blog.

Oh and in answer to Tracy's comment, some (but not all) of what Candy says about Catholicism is the same as things I have heard all my life and are considered to just be "common knowledge" and undisputed facts so in some aspects she is just confirming to people what they already "know". An example would be what my mum told me when (aged about 5 and having just been to a birthday party held in the Catholic Church Hall) I asked the difference between our church (Anglican) and the Catholic church. (My mum is not a Christian and has nothing against any particular denomination but sent me to the Anglican Sunday School.) One of the things she told me was that Catholics pray to Mary. Of course at that age you don't usually look into it yourself or require proofs and as until I read your blog, it had never been refuted by anybody, I had never thought to question it or check if it was true. In a way I guess it's a bit like geocentricity in the Middle Ages - everyone believed it even though nobody had proven it.

Unashamed said...

I remember this post when it was originally published. There was a time when visitors to this blog might have had a legitimate reason to say that it was a "bashing" site (although the "bashing" represented a small fraction of the whole) but since that time, I've seen a progressive effort to minimize those posts and comments. I commend you for that and encourage you to strive for the highest level of integrity in your posts and your interaction with commenters.

Elena said...

I actually think comment moderation helps in that regard. People still get to write their thoughts, I get to read them, and I think that is cathartic. Not all of it has to be on the blog though and I think that's fine.

I did have someone write me yesterday just to vent some frustration and that's fine too!

Rachel said...

Saved Sinner..thank you for posting and learning about our faith! Thank you for coming with an open mind and accepting what we have to say and taking it with you - and not continuing to spread wrong information. I'm always floored when other religions ask me things they were taught about Catholics. The majority of it is wrong.. and i cannot help but think what kind of church spreads lies!? Is that the one they are attending?? I can honestly say the only thing i "know" about Baptists is they don't drink and dance. Well.. some... LOL And that was not taught to me in my church, but rather thru friends telling me why X's wedding will be having no alcohol and no band! My church has never provided me with information about other religions in that manner. We just spend our time discussing other matters. Thanks again for seeking information from the horses mouth and not spreading lies.. or wouldn't that be gossip, which is a sin; especially if you continue to say these falsehoods after being instructed about them.

Anywhoo... thanks again for coming with an open heart and mind. I do hope you continue to learn about our wonderful religion :)

Blondie said...

I also want to say thank you to saved sinner...reading what you wrote is so refreshing! I hope you never feel that Catholics here are trying to "convert" you here or coming on strong, but just that we want people to know the truth about our faith and beliefs, and not gossip.

I think much of what non-Catholics think they know about the Catholic church can be traced back to a book called Roman Catholicism by Lorraine Boettner, written in the 50's or 60's. It is chock full of misconceptions, misunderstandings, and outright lies about the Catholic church. I see so many things "taught" that seem to be quoted straight from this book, or summarized - for example, the information on jesusislord.org, chick.com, and of course, Candy herself. I'm not sure what Mr. Boettner's intentions were when he wrote the book but it is a work of complete dishonesty and fabrications. A very good rebuttal to his accusations is a book called Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating, if anyone is interested.

Fruit of the Spirit said...

What is being said about the Catholic "religion" is true. It is a cult. You can keep trying to defend your position but it doesn't stand up.

Elena said...

You can keep trying to defend your position but it doesn't stand up.

He who asserts must prove. I anxiously await your logical, compelling and persuasive presentation on why the Catholic Church is a cult.

Elena said...

Oh never mind White Daisy. I understand where you're coming from.

Tracy said...

fruit of the spirit, unlike Candy, Elena allows you to post and discuss all sides, so please enlighten us, I am anxious to hear what you have to say, thankfully, we are allowed to speak on this blog, like your post is totally allowed where as if I tried to write that at Candy's blog (Candy, your religion is a cult) it would never get posted and I mean never... hmmm.. something weird about that!

Perplexity said...

Fruit of the spirit, please, enlighten me. I'm not Catholic but I read here to educate myself. If my education is going astry, I'd like to know.

Drive by posts do nothing, for anyone. You've got a forum to explain your beliefs, and a personal invitation to do so.

lindsay said...

I find that if I write out what I want to say, (complete with expletives and over-kill on the punctuation) but don't send it or post it I feel MUCH better. I have a private place where I keep all of that stuff and sometimes it is even funny to look at those things and wonder why I was so upset. Then I can delete it and it's all over

I think it's sad that you so freely admit that you have so much anger in your heart. That goes against everything Jesus ever taught. Matthew 5:21-22 says that anser is a terrible sin. Maybe the hours you've spent here would be better suited to something more productive, like prayer or service? Why not try writing for a real Catholic apologetics website or magazine? I think this post has really thrown real light on how you feel. I'll pray for you to be able to let go of your anger and move forward from this pointless endeavour.

Elena said...

I do let go of my anger Lindsey, that's the point. In fact the longer I live, the easier it gets to be able to let go of stuff and concentrate on what really matters.

Thanks for coming by.

Nancy Parode said...

Lindsay,

Anger itself isn't bad. Jesus was very angry with the moneychangers in the temple, and if He can be angry, so can we. It's all about what we do with our anger.

Elena's method (write down your feelings and never let anyone look at what you write) is actually a very appropriate way to handle angry feelings without harming anyone.

Also, I believe this blog is a real Catholic apologetics website. It is definitely not the pointless endeavour you claim it is.

Saved Sinner said...

We all (rightly or wrongly) get angry about things. Elena was just sharing a useful method she has found of dealing with it. It shows that rather than posting in anger, she deals with the anger by putting her angry response somewhere else so she can then be calm and objective instead. If you read Elena's "real" blog you would find she does pray and serve aside from what she does with this blog.

Kelly said...

Could you have this website without having to use Candy's name? You could still refute her and write about Catholic beliefs.

I'm coming in a little late on this one, but I wanted to add to what others have said.

Personally, I think it would not be honest (I'm not sure that's the right word) to write about Candy's comments in an anonymous sort of way.

When we quote her, we do link to her page so that you can go and read it yourself, to see if we are getting her arguments correct, or quoting her out of context.

To give a recent example, Candy responded to a comment from saved sinner without printing the actual comment. When saved sinner put the comment up on her blog, it sounded quite different from how Candy made it sound.

Now, Candy's theological views are quite different from mine. It is possible that I might misunderstand what she is saying. There have been a few times when I said that I was only guessing at what she meant, because I truly can't ask her to explain.

By using Candy's name, and linking to her site, we are giving her credit for her words, and providing accountability for what we write. It is a way of showing in good faith, that we are not trying to exaggerate or make false claims while hiding behind "a fundamentalist blogger writes . . ."

Plus, Candy doesn't seem to mind, as she has said that she doesn't mind our blog, because we send lots of Catholics over to her blog, and she tells them the Gospel, and gets them to "come out of her."

Perplexity said...

Actually, from a psychological standpoint, writing out your feelings is one of the healthiest things a person can do. Even if no one ever reads your words, the point is to get it out and not let it build up.

That's why private journaling is such an important part of the lives of people who do it.

I have done it most of my life. I write letters to people I am angry or upset with, or hurt by; I write long lists of things that need to be dealt with; I write lists of things I want - from basics to extravagant and everything in between. Just writing it puts it in focus. Often, what is in your mind is not the same when it comes out, on paper or when spoken. How many times have any of us asked a question and as soon as we spoke the words, the answer came to us?

Kelly said...

Fruit of the Spirit,

I wrote in May on the criteria for using the term cult, and discussed how Catholicism met or did not meet that criteria. Perhaps you could review the article and tell me why you feel the term applies to Catholicism.

http://mdcalexatestblog.blogspot.com/2008/05/catholic-cult.html

Saved Sinner said...

She has written somthing about ut ion her blog but qith a different definition: http://www.homesteadblogger.com/fruitofthespiritg/101652/
excuse typos am breasfeeding wriggly toddler who is competing with me fr ketyboard access

Tracy said...

savedsinner, I went and read her post and it was laughable at best... ALL of these claims are totally fruitless... we have the proof to prove her wrong but she won't come to this blog and discuss it.. and why exactly is that? Because she knows that we can prove her wrong.. she is scared to face the truth.. it is far easier to leave a quick post and run.. but really, what does that tell you? If she is so convinced she is right, she would come right back here and have a nice discussion and Kelly and Elena would make sure that both sides were heard and that the conversation would stay on topic and not get ugly.. so what is her excuse?