The rise in religious fundamentalism

I consider myself to be a pretty devout Catholic. While I do not agree with all of the tenets personally, I can see why they believe them. Certain issues I am conflicted about for personal reasons but it is what it is. However, one thing I have always liked about the church is how they help the poor. Catholic Charities does a lot and so does the various other charities.

Since I am somewhat devout I decided to try a Catholic dating site. To my dismay I found many guys who are what is called Traditional or Fundamentalist Catholic. What they feel is that many of the changes since Vatican 2 in the 60s was a bad idea. They believe that women have been given too many leadership roles in the church, that women should have to wear a veil, and that feminism, gay rights, abortion, etc are worse than people starving. In fact, many of them have posted that they see nothing wrong with people starving because “they need to work hard”. They also think Romney is a great candidate because he is a self made man (forget that he was born wealthy). However they think Santorum (who is Catholic)was the greatest politician the world has ever known.

The posts I see on there attacking people on welfare (and let’s be honest I have done this myself but I know some truly fall on hard times)as lazy while putting rich people on a pedestal is NOT what the Catholic Church stands for. Let us remember that we had one Catholic president, John F Kennedy and we all know he was not a rightwing wacko. Whether one likes them or not, the Kennedys were known for their charitable efforts, such as Eunice Kennedy starting Special Olympics. Some of the Kennedys were pro life but were pro life across the board, including against the death penalty. The last Pope, John Paul 2 was opposed to the Iraq War and the death penalty. I believe the current pope has spoken out against one or both of these two. The last Cardinal of Chicago Bernardin was was I consider a good example of what I believe a good Catholic should be. He was pro life, whether it meant abortion, or the death penalty, or war. The current one, Cardinal George just seems spiteful and he is more obsessed with gay marriage than the death penalty. In fact he wrote the pope telling him not to give the current governor (a Catholic)an award for being against the death penalty because Governor Quinn is pro gay rights. I am not a fan of the governor either as I feel he wastes tax money but I do feel abolishing the death penalty was a good thing in Illinois because of the innocent people freed (though ask me how I feel when a convicted children killer/rapist just get life).

To be fair, it’s not just Catholics, but I know the most about being Catholic so I speak from that experience. I am seeing this attitude from so called religious people online from various religions. The rise in this anti woman, anti minority, and anti gay ideas really saddens me. I get being against abortion, or gay marriage, or the various other social issues and I have a few I am very conservative about myself (I am opposed to out of wedlock parenthood and the sexuality prevalent in society). However this attitude goes beyond that but to this idea that we all need to be the same. I’ve spoken to other religious people and all of them have told me they think the extremes in every religion make it rough for others.

I feel part of being a Christian is helping the poor and believing in God to help you make the right choices. Also, I believe that God forgives our sins. I’m sure he doesn’t want anyone to go hungry, or lack medical care. As for the social ills, I don’t know how he feels about abortion, gay rights, or out of wedlock babies. I’m guessing he probably isn’t happy about all of that, but then again in terms of gay people he created them so maybe he accepts. Maybe though he is far more tolerant and realizes sometimes people have no choice but to do what they feel is best. I’m sure though he doesn’t accept the idea that people with money worked harder, or that they are his chosen people, or that being rich is the most important thing.

10 thoughts on “The rise in religious fundamentalism”

  1. The megachurches do one thing well: provide an instant community for their members, but if you don’t believe what they believe, you’re shunned.

    One reason that “fundamentalist Catholicism” does so badly is that Catholics do not read the Bible, or were at least not encouraged to do so 30 years ago. Read St. Paul. He is clear that a husband has duties to his wife, and it isn’t as one-sided as many men would have you think.

    Fundamentalists religions of all stripes do better in hard economic times than good times because we need to believe that the pain that we are experiencing will be rewarded, preferably in this life (and damn soon) if not the next. As men lose status in the workplace, they want to be on top SOMEWHERE, and I don’t refer only to the missionary position!

    I will leave you with a thought from Blaise Pascal: Few men want to be free. All that they want is a just master.

  2. I got the Catholic bible for my birthday and have been reading it. The chapters on submission are interesting because they aren’t what I was told. Basically it’s about mutual submission where one gives power to another in certain things. I’ve even asked at church about some of my issues and was told that things we believe are in the bible aren’t, or in a different form. Interesting to note that Catholic weddings are famous for not including anything about obey and even the father giving away the daughter was Protestant not Catholic and usually don’t even say “who gives this woman away”. Many of the more moderate religions are taking out the obey part anyway.

    I have noticed those these guys (at least the ones of the site)has an obvious misogynist attitude towards women. I run into a lot of very devout Christians and very few are this bad. Catholics aren’t even the worse of these types of men either. Mainly, the ones I have met who were this bad in person tended to be Baptist fundamentalists. I had a friend like this who clearly believed women were meant to be submissive and serve him.

  3. People believe what they believe. The question is whether they can get what they want. If they saw their mothers be submissive in that way, it isn’t unreasonable that they expect it to be the norm. It’s like that line at the end of “Red State”, which I’m paraphrasing: People do strange things when they believe that they are entitled. But they do even stranger things when they simply believe. So it is with a lot of religion-based beliefs. You can’t argue against them rationally because they are articles of faith.

    I do have to wonder how much of the objectionable beliefs and behavior is religion-based, and how much is because the guy is just a fool. Another issue is the use of religion to coerce behavior. And they make fun of Muslims for believing that they will get however many virgins in the afterlife. My theory is that a preference for virgins reflects insecurity on the man’s part because the woman has no basis for comparison, and so doesn’t know what else is possible.

    Talking with a friend of mine a few days ago, I told him that the never-married were unmarried for a reason, and that it doesn’t flatter me to admit this. It was the best deal that we could get, as we reckoned it. One of our classmates STILL lives with his mother, and he’s in his fifties. No woman would give him as good a deal, at least not financially. His mother has paid every expense that he has ever had, and he has been in corporate accounting for 30 years. His dating days were not the best. He put a woman out of his car for eating a cookie in it, and she hunted him down and beat him with milk jugs that were filled with water. I hope that they were plastic milk jugs, and no, I wasn’t that woman. Glass would have been bad for at least two reasons. He might have been cut by broken glass, and the lady would have had a hard time getting a grip on the bottle.

    I’ve had women tell me that if their husband dies before them, they aren’t going to date again because people are just too weird. We do have historic levels of never-married people and the length of time between marriages is growing. First marriages are happening at later ages as well.

  4. I am never married myself and there are many reasons why. Did I make a mistake never getting married? perhaps but part of it was that I was so superficial. Other times I was just so wrapped up in my career that I didn’t care. Still other times I was so shy towards a guy and he was shy towards me. Then there was the times I bent over backwards for a guy, even had him come to my apartment so I could cook dinner, only to find out he was using me. That’s why I don’t judge men who haven’t been married because they might have a reason. However yes some of them do have a reason but I have seen divorced guys who are that way too for a reason. In fact most of the guys on this site looking for submissive wives are divorced with children. One guy said he married a career woman, regrets it, now looking for a woman to cater to him. I have a feeling once I go back to working or my website takes off I may not even care if I date anymore and if the one guy I am interested in isn’t interested in me I’m not bothering anymore with dating.

    These guys do resent women with education and careers and I am always attacked for having a masters. Several of them lost jobs to women or just blame women for stealing careers from them as in “if women weren’t in the workforce I’d be working”. I know when dating a man I look at his relationship with his mom and what kind of woman she is. The men with working moms tend to be more equal with women and usually know how to take care of themselves. The men with moms who didn’t work tend to want their wife to cater to them. I have a guyfriend who had a mom who was submissive to his dad and never worked. He expected his wife to be like this and he got it. The only thing is I don’t think he’s happy with her because he still emails me periodically. She’s unattractive (and that’s being nice), overweight, and not very bright but she cooks and cleans the house and takes care of their 4 (and counting)kids and plans to never have a job in her life. She is homeschooling the oldest one and plans to do this to all of them.

  5. I gave up on the Catholics after all the news about the molestations came to light.

    They also left inner city kids in the lurch in our area: we had a closing of what was one of the last remaining parochial schools left in an inner city area. There’s no way for them to get off the mean streets now. Paterson schools are horrific.

    And I feel like I am a second class citizen since I am divorced, through no fault of my own. They’re forgetting that even in Biblical times there were divorces — very very rare since all the match-ups were arranged and therefore considered legal arrangements — but divorces happened.

    I’ve been to single groups run by the Catholics and let me tell you: these men — and women — are babies trapped inside 30+, 40+ and 50+ bodies. Who ever heard of a man still lving at home at age 40 plus and age 50 plus??? Good night nurse… you think this is a viable prospect fore a marriage????

    The women are just as bad: yep, living at home at that age with parents.

    And many of these people have belonged to these groups for years. If you join thinking you are going to meet a normal prospect for marriage, forget it. They’re all like 7th and 8th graders.

    You are given the option to say “to love honor and obey” during a marriage vow. It is not a must during a Catholic ceremony of marriage. And “who gives this woman in marriage” is never said at all, not in any denomination.

    It’s now considered “the bride’s escort” and anybody can do it: a mother, a brother, a close friend, an aunt: anything goes. Or the bride can process alone.

    I am looking for another religious denomination. What I am seeing is too political and too much funkiness — I am leaning more toward one of the Eastern religions.

    They are also too too political in their outlooks and this also is not the year 1950. They seem to think the calendar is stopped dead bang in that year.

  6. And in this area, the archdiocese cannot wait to shut down a Catholic grammar school — they then lease it to a charter school and they make a gripload of money int he bargain — more so than how much they’d earn after all expenses by keeping the school open.

    It’s all politics. When the next school year rolls around the XYZ Charter School is already in that building.

    Here’s another another Catholic high school — granted they were never large, unless you look at the football factories or the very large “regional high schools” with student populations that are 2000+ plus (They’ll stay open forever since all they are are babysitting services, in essence, plus the parents are usually well off and have the 12 grand a year or more to send a kid there). Most of the student population reads and writes below grade level? Well, that is a failing school and that is where the archdiocese needs to step in and shut the school DOWN.

    It is also not the call of a group of nuns and lay faculty to pick up the ball that the public school system DROPPED. If you cannot make the grade, you do not get admitted into that school — this is what the pre admission test you took in 8th grade was FOR!!! If you didn’t pass, you didn’t get accepted to any Catholic schools on your list of choices and that is how it was.

    And you don’t take a kid because he can play basketball but cannot read or write. Close the school and be DONE with it — or scratch the entire student population, save the ones with a respectable grade point average — and start OVER next year, with an entirely new group of students.

  7. What these guys forget is what they have to offer, which often is just room and board. If that’s all that I want, with children involved, I’d become a nanny. At least I’d get a salary and days off. If they want a stay-at-home wife, they’d better make a pretty good living.

    What’s really sad is when the guy decides that he wants to dump the stay-at-home wife for a new model. I’m watching this happen second hand, as one of my friends is taking in a woman who was just dumped. This must really thrill his wife, who for some reason is convinced that I am the only woman in the human race who is not intersted in her husband. She is half right. I’m not interested in him. He’s too much work for a relationship, even if he were single.

    There is something to what you say about the expectations of men being adjusted by whether or not their mothers worked. The rise of the MILF is just making public what a lot of men have wanted for years: sex with their mothers, or at least a mother-figure.

  8. I don’t think it’s always a bad sign living with your parents, unless it means you never want to move out. I’ve had friends live with their parents until they could afford a house and if there is a set time, then I don’t think it’s an issue. Now if they are there for a free ride then yes that could be issues. Certain ethnic groups I know do live with their parents until marriage and this is normal for them. I will say though that if they had never lived on their own it would send warning vibes. Same thing if they are virgins (and yes I have found 40 and 50 year old virgins). I wouldn’t tell them that I have lived with two men because I would be branded bad things.

    I do think they are wrong on divorce to some extent. I would probably date a divorced guy though wouldn’t be my first choice (I prefer never married). I wouldn’t date a divorced dad though. I do support divorce in cases of abuse and infidelity and would not stay. I have heard of cases where a woman was told to accept cheating or abuse instead of divorce and that’s messed up. There are ways to get annulments though and I feel this is an important option.

    I’ve been speaking to a few guys who wanted housewives and I’ve come to realize that to me they are looking for a maid basically. Many of them will expect their wife to cook and clean and do most baby duties. I will admit at one time I considered it but now I don’t think so. I think it has to do with that I am getting interviews and if I became a housewife I would be angry turning down a job I wanted. Not to mention being dependent on someone else.

  9. Annullments?

    That is a joke in itself.

    Suppose you broke up with your spouse because he was gay, a cross dresser (and you could not hack his “hobby”), he had a weird fetish or something horrible happened — he was caught molesting a child or was a peeping Tom or had some other arrest when you were married and you simply do not wish to disclose to what is a stranger what happened?

    Maybe you do not wish any religious entity to be privvy to why you and your spouse broke up?

    Annullments are also expensive and time consuming.

    The Jewish get involves no sum of money nor is there any type of time period for it to happen — you both sign off on the marriage (on a religious level) and that’s that.

    A canon annulment for what? to give you the go ahead to again pay through the nose to use their church for a wedding? To receive Communion? Look: let God be the judge of it. I know plenty of hippocrites and other jerks who are not the best of people, yet they are the first up when it comes time for Eucharist during Mass. Give me a break.

    And I am somebody who was in church every Saturday at 5:30 and there for all holy days, yep, even the Easter Vigil Mass which takes upwards of 3 or 4 hours.

  10. I sing at the Easter Vigil and yes it is long. I have issues about the whole annulment because it often favors those more into church. I know a few people who did get annulments though and these were pretty good reasons why. I will say though that when I date a guy I do question men who have been divorced because I have run into a lot of problems with divorced men and remarriage.

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