“Is the pope catholic?”

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/dmataconis/status/311933474351226880″]

That’s the Tweet that summed up a lot of the nonsense surrounding American media coverage of the papal election. “What?” the media said. “You mean the new pope doesn’t support same-sex marriage and is against abortion? What kind of a pope is that?”

A Catholic one, you dummies.

Look, I’m not going to say that I’m in favor of these hardline socially conservative positions. But that is Catholic doctrine. That is what the Catholic church is about. And if you don’t like it, you can leave.

This is not the medieval era. No one has a gun to your head and is forcing you to be a Catholic. You can quit. You can leave. I’m sure there will be severe philosophical and theological problems for you in your head. I’m sure there will also be some societal pressure, notably from your family. But at the end of the day, in the Western world, you are not forced to be Catholic.

If the Catholic church still holds on to backwarded ideas of bigotry towards homosexuals, the idea that a mere embryo is an entire human being, that condoms cause AIDS, and any other number of weird things, that’s not really a cause to change the religion from the inside. That’s not a call to reform. That’s a call to leave.

Religion is religion. That’s why they call it religion. It has concrete, set beliefs. Although attempts are always made at reform, they usually just end up as a schism. And any expression of surprise towards a religious leader following his religion’s beliefs, and not the ideas of the day, is just ridiculous.

If Catholics or any other Christian have a problem with the church and the religion, maybe they just shouldn’t work within it. Maybe they should questioning the more absurd things they are being presented with. And then maybe, with a dash of critical thinking, they’ll come to realize that these things are not magical or awesome, they’re just absurd.

Anyways, that’s the end of a brief rant. In short: Is the pope Catholic? Then stop whining about things like this.

Also, this:

Author’s Note: Meant to publish this earlier, but it didn’t happen due to life intervening. Hence, why it seems out of sync with the news cycle. Oh well.