If you venture into the Catholics Answers Forum on catholic.com, you’ll see people who talk about the “stereotypes” of Catholicism and how they’re wrong and so on.

I, too, defend Catholicism quite often, most often from strange Protestant attacks on Catholicism.

But one stereotype that’s interesting had to do with guilt.

Now, you have to remember- this isn’t true for EVERY CATHOLIC- no stereotype is true for EVERYONE in a particular group.

I recently read an excerpt from St. Augustine’s Confessions and was absolutely appalled to see the list of things he mentioned were sins.

Apparently, ANXIETY is a sin- it falls into the category of “distrust.”

In other words, if you experience anxiety, it means you don’t believe in God enough.

I felt guilt pouring into me just reading the list.

So St. Augustine definitely had issues with guilt.

However, I don’t really and truly care for St. Augustine for many reasons- he’s literally one of the biggest hypocrites that has ever existed in the history of the world. While he isn’t without his merit, I always remember his famous statement, “Lord, give me chastity, but not yet.”

St. Augustine makes me angry for that very reason. He is the epitome of Christian hypocrisy and what I see happen so often in the religious world- Christians who go live half their lives in so-called sin, doing whatever the hell they please, then having a conversion experience (which incidentally almost always lines up at the point in their life when their body is just too old to handle copious amounts of drugs, alcohol, loud music, partying, and sexuality), and THEN proceed to condemn people who are doing the exact same things they were just doing when they were younger.

I really want to blow a gasket when I see that happen.

St. Augustine argues using a lot of faulty presuppositions, and I think that’s where his ideas in general fall apart. Not all of them are terrible, but, as with anything, they shouldn’t be taken as absolutes, rather as outlines.

I find it interesting to see Christians invoke the “you’re just moral relativists” clauses when anyone challenges Christian morality while themselves being “morally relativist” when it comes to inconvenient things mentioned in Christianity such as helping the poor, taking care of the sick, stoning people who eat shrimp, and throwing women on the rag outside of the city for a week.

I mean, seriously, folks- come ON. It’s not about being a moral relativist- you can apprehend what morals make sense and which ones don’t. Obviously gay buttsex does not cause Yahweh to rain fire on people on a habitual basis, and stoning a woman who has committed adultery is just ridiculous, much less suggesting that she has to stay outside of the city while on her period.

Christianity, along with most religions, “cherry picks” from the very beginning.

But no one bothers to point out that maybe the reason people “cherry pick” is because they’re trying to make sense of things- and some ideas proscribed in the Hebrew Bible are nonsensical.

I find it strange, too, that so many ignorant Christians are quick to condemn Muslims and point out horrible things about the Koran while conveniently ignoring the Hebrew Bible. There are some PRETTY TERRIBLE THINGS IN THERE.

Again, I invoke the Gnostic approach of allegorical interpretation as the proper mode of understanding. Otherwise, we’re left with a great deal of nonsense mixed into a bit of history and a few wise sayings that quickly falls out of relevance in the modern world and produces nut-jobs that cause heavy devastation to people who are decent and actually interested in the depths of spirituality.

Going back to the original subject, I think many Catholics would stand to argue that yes, indeed, Catholicism breeds a hell of a lot guilt into an individual.

Guilt is a method of control, people. That’s the whole reason it’s a bad thing. I’m not saying guilt is never a necessary response of a person- indeed, someone who has a true moral failing may feel guilty, and the decent among us probably bear more guilt than we should- but creating guilt where it should not be and would not naturally occur is the real problem here.

Anyway, Catholicism has at least made an attempt to move forward regarding gay people. Many Catholics have no problem with gays, and many Catholics are gay- I mean the number of gay Catholics is absolutely ridiculous.

But where it’s stopped is at the relabeling “sodomites” as individuals who experience “SSA.” SSA means “Same Sex Attraction.” It’s a step in the right direction- but the tone is still one of condemnation, and ultimately gay people are disparaged because the only right and holy sex is when a man and a woman are in the missionary position and trying to make babies. Any other kind of sex, and any kind of contraception, is 100% horrible and evil and wrong- summarily, having sex for pleasure is BAD.

But that doesn’t make any sense. Using an individual, having sex with someone only for your own pleasure, leading them on and telling them that you care about them when you only want their body and have no intentions to be faithful to them after using their body- this is wrong, because it involves deceit, manipulation, and emotional abuse. You willingly and willfully hurt another human being.

Two people who are a couple aren’t doing that. They’re together because they care about each other, because they want to build a life together, because they want to experience the world in a united way. The sexuality is a nice part, an important part of a relationship, but it isn’t everything, and most people with half a brain are aware of that.

As I often say, it isn’t rocket science.

To say that if they have sex for the pleasure thereof (because it’s a natural by-product of their mutual attraction and consent with one another ) that it’s a sin is not a negotiable idea here- it’s not worthy of consideration- it’s just stupidity in the works.

Concisely, no one thrusts their hips in bed screaming, “PRAISE GOD, PRAISE GOD, WE’RE MAKING A BABY, PRAISE GOD, PRAISE GOD!” and anyone who thinks that’s actually what goes on is deceiving himself about reality.

Just some thoughts. Venting done.