I am a Catholic, but everyday, I ask myself “Why am I Catholic?” The theology takes a lot of faith without reason. The Christian teachings could just as easily be identified as Buddhist, but the Buddhist doesn’t have to deal with questions about God made man. The Buddhist ethic seems more in harmony with nature than does Christianity.

As a Catholic, there are many role models, but these role models are dismissed by the right wing “faithful.” These include such people as Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day, Bartolome de las Casas (although he made one serious suggestion that he seriously regretted). and, of course, Pope Francis. There is a website “America Needs Fatima” that is nothing but a right wing rag. It sends out these hyper stories about “blasphemy” against Jesus and Mary. One had to do with “prayer candles” for “pro-abort” and “pro gay marriage” political figures. One was Barack Hussein Obama. It was such a cheap shot slur that I unsubscribed and told them that they were the ones doing the blaspheming.

The United States is and must be a secular nation. To say that is “Judeo-Christian” is, in my view, dangerous and hypocritical. First, as much as Christians want to think they are “spiritual brethren” with the Jews, they are not. This is disrespectful given the history of antisemitism in the past as well as the all too real present exemplified by all the hyperbole these people have about George Soros). One woman compared Trump’s border wall to the wall around Jerusalem found in the Book of Nehemiah. They know the words but nothing about the context. They insert themselves in a story that is far removed from them.

Christianity works best when it is not culturally dominant. Nothing turns me off from Christianity than those who say this is a Christian nation and then deify a man who flaunts every one of the Seven Deadly Sins, marginalize people, claim that God wants you to be rich, and claim every bad thing that happens is God’s judgement against gays, abortion, Muslims or the “culture” which means Hollywood. They claim to be “pro-life” and “defend the most vulnerable” by wanting to outlaw abortion. Protecting low wage workers, the environment, those with serious medical conditions, those who are disabled, and so forth doesn’t fit their narrow view. Catholics deify Antonin Scalia for his Catholic values and being “pro-life” which, apparently, did not include those under 18 sentenced to the death.

I’m not Jewish. Many times, I honestly wish I was, but I’m a Gentile. I want a moral compass, but, above all, I want something that gives me a sense that my life is worth something because it sure as hell does not in our Calvinist Capitalist country.

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