Saturday, July 30, 2005

Catholics Need Not Apply

definitely not a Catholic babySeems like there's a Christian adoption agency in Mississippi that has a " no Catholics need apply" policy. If you're a Catholic (Hex sign! Hex sign!) you do not get one of Bethany Christian Services' little babies. Theology trumps parenthood.

Subsequent to applying at this agency, Robert and Sandy Steadman got a nastygram from the director:
"It has been our understanding that Catholicism does not agree with our Statement of Faith," Bethany director Karen Stewart wrote. "Our practice to not accept applications from Catholics was an effort to be good stewards of an adoptive applicant's time, money and emotional energy."
Parse that mealy-mouthed bigotry: "don't waste our time, you Catholic heathens. No Christian babies for you. God told us you can't have any."

My mother used to talk about this practice in Ireland in the old days: when she applied for a job the signs in the windows often said "Catholics Need Not Apply." One of the ways they tested for RCs was to have you recite the Lord's Prayer. If you didn't rattle off the Protestant version you were out on your ear.

Funny me. I thought we'd become more ecumenical than that. What is this agency afraid of? Maybe these (shudder) Catholics will sprinkle holy water on the baby?

Well, saints preserve us. What a bunch of haters we Christians be. Somebody get the rope and kindling. We need a good burning at the stake to clear the air. While the heretics burn, we'll all hold hands and sing that Austin Lounge Lizards' song:

Jesus Loves Me (But He Can't Stand You)

I know you smoke, I know you drink that brew
I just can't abide a sinner like you
God can't either, that's why I know it to be true that
Jesus loves me--but he can't stand you

I'm going to heaven, boys, when I die
'Cause I've crossed every "t" and I've dotted every "i'
My preacher tell me that I'm God's kind of guy; that's why
Jesus loves me--but you're gonna fry

God loves all his children, by gum
That don't mean he won't incinerate some
Can't you feel those hot flames licking you
Woo woo woo

I'm raising my kids in a righteous way
So don't be sending your kids over to my house to play
Yours'll grow up stoned, left-leaning, and gay; I know
Jesus told me on the phone today

Jesus loves me, this I know
And he told me where you're gonna go
There's lots of room for your kind down below
Whoa whoa whoa

Jesus loves me but he can't stand you . . .

File under Disgusting and Disturbing.


At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dymphna. I will use this to fill out my Sunday Notes post, which is almost a full week late.

Also file under bigot, intolerance, and self-righteous.

At 10:07 PM, Blogger David said...

If you really want to adopt, then try Catholic Children Services. Somehow I think you simply want to use the rejection by one agency as a means to champion a misguided cause or belief.

First, it doesn't matter what you believe. What does matter is what the Bible actually says. As my wife is a former Catholic I realize that you are not encouraged to read or study the Bible. The Bible clearly states, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." That means baptism, keeping the sacraments, being a good person, etc. has any bearing on you getting to heaven and missing hell. As Catholic doctrine teaches a salvation by works, which is not Biblical, is it any wonder why they didn't want a child reared in a home that could condemn the innocent to hell because of incorrect doctrine? Get a clue!

Second, I find you mocking poem typical of those who want to engage in sin, but think that tossing a few bucks in the offering plate causes God to look the other way. The Bible says, "e not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." That's why we have cancer, abortions, wars, etc. Pain and suffering is judgment for sin in this life and hell is the judgment in the next life.

Finally, you may want to pick up a copy of the true Word of God and read it through about 10 times before you speak about that which you do not know.

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

*Brother* David:

You might want to consider changing your honorific. Your words don't feel very brotherly to me, sir. In fact, they feel judgmental and full of hatred and exclusion. You have bruised yourself jumping to so many conclusions it's a wonder you can walk at all. And there are so many out-and-out errors lodged like raisins in your bilge of poison it's hard to know where to start dissecting your screed.

Here's one: what I believe vs what the bible can lose the room on that one, son. For every believer, there is some point in the bible that some other believer disputes. In fact, he disputes it so loudly that he leaves to found another church. That's why we have denominations, Mr. Hall, remember? Different churches for different believers. Just ask Luther and Wesley.

And your 'facts' on Catholics sound like something out of a 1920 Southern Baptist tract about the evils of the papists...Come on, where have you been since 1967, out throwing rocks at the nuns?

Despite your ignorance, Catholics are indeed encouraged to read the bible. They have Bible study just like real Christians. And Catholics are so holy they even have more canonical books in their bible than you do. Regular old church-going Catholics read the whole thing through in the course of three years and then they start all over again. It's called the lectionary. Talk to some real Catholics, not one ignorant ex-Catholic. Some sampling of Catholicism you have there...

Then you start pontificating on the old faith and works, works or faith, faith only, works only, blah, blah, blah...I remind you again, that's why we have more than one denomination, sir. It's to keep our eyes from glazing over while you natter on.

There are as many varieties of Catholics as there are people of other faiths. Imagine a child having a home where they taught some wrong doctrine. The horror. The soul lost for eternity. There are any number of imams you'd get along with sound just like them. In fact, you sound like some of the fire-breathing Catholic priests I've known in my time. Everybody's going to hell but us saved folks...

My mocking song was written by that song writer because of people just like you who think God would condemn a child to hell for what his parents believe. In fact, someone who could think such a thing is a pretty rigid sadsack...ugh.

You are a spiritual bully. You won't burn in hell 'cause you're already there...a know-it-all, pontificating, judgmental twit.

You have absolutely no idea what I put in the collection plate and it's none of your business. And my sins are none of your business, God didn't assign you the task of scouring them out. Or scowling them out, for that matter.

If you comment here again, I'll simply delete you. Something I've never done before, but then again, I've never encountered anyone so thoroughly deserving of being deleted. You are a bigoted, judgmental, ignorant bully. God have mercy on you.

Your poor wife.

NB: And I've read the bible far more than ten times, so nah, nah, nah, nah. And in Greek, Latin, French and English.

Which language do you think God
talks? You must know since he seems to talk straight to you.

At 9:30 PM, Blogger a4g said...

Ha! I wonder what the agency would do with me, Dymphna? The 'devout' atheist married to the devout Catholic.

I suppose God spared us from the trouble by just giving us 5 of our own...

We have a few Brother David Hall's in our family. I always find it amusing (playing my role as Nick Carraway), their absolute faith in the literal truth of a translated text. And as you pointed out, only those passages that fit the argument at hand.

Seems to me a much better direction is to assume God is perfect in every way, and that our concept of Him is as broken as this fallen world. Our fire should always be tempered by humility (and no snarky response about me and humility-- oh, heck, lay it on me-- you had me contemplating for weeks with my last penance.)

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dymphna. It is always a valuable service to deal with the Brother David Hall's of the world. Their ilk is what Karen Armstrong writes about in her book on Fundamentalism. There are versions of BDH in all the major religions. And they do the same thing in all of them, justify persecution for all but those who agree with them. I always think what a surprise that they will have when they find out intolerance doesn't lead to Heaven.

At 11:33 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Yay, ag4! we Catholics really do reproduce don't we? Even the ex-Catholic ones retain that ability..

Just think, while all these childless boomers are enjoying their narcissism, on the demographics scale, you're holding up your end. So to speak.

The problem of the translated text: when Attaturk had the Koran translated to Turkish (brilliant move) it was certain he'd contaminated it...which he had, but it was a mish-mash anyway.

I agree: our "concept" of God is so broken that all we can find are tiny shards. Some of those little pieces shine in a baby's eyes, don't they? God *finds* us and then we spend our lives moving toward him. The Lord of the Dance.

Hey, want another penance? I got a million of 'em. I've been in more confessionals than you've had beers.


For what may be our experience after death see if you can find a slim volume by Rahner called "The Theology of Death." His description in the beginning is utterly moving.

I don't think I'm afraid of death very much. I've got another six months or so to go to be past my five year mark for cancer but I haven't spent much time thinking of it. Death comes eventually, no?
And I find since the death of my daughter that death is simply near by all the time. But it's okay. It's much, much harder on those we leave.

I'm getting it a bit skewed but what Rahner says is that in our movement away from this life we have the opportunity to see and acknowledge our own, self-created disharmony and it is this we must go through to leave life behind.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger erico said...


A little anecdote: last week my wife took our eldest son to kindergarten and engaged the wife of a protestant minister in light conversation near the monkey bars. The minister's wife, knowing that we are 'the Catholic family with four kids' offered the unsought opinion that she would never have more children than she could hold in her two arms. To which my wife replied with a smile that she often sits with all her children in her arms and on her lap and no one seems to mind.

The fifth child is on the way, I'm so happy to add.

Of interest to the faith versus works argument is the relatively recent Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.

One does begin to wonder, on the larger topic, whether there are only two options before us, whether "The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity." I mean this as a real question, to be answered in an intellectually honest way.

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I wish that Christians would not allow themselves to be so divided.

At 10:35 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Always on Watch, your wish about religious divisions must remain on that level: wishing. True believers are never so calm as to talk about "allowing." Read ol' Brother Hall's response above if you want to get the flavor of Christian division. It is every bit as ugly as anything that crawled out from under some rock marked "THE ONE TRUE WAY."

As the good brother pointed out, "it doesn't matter what you believe." He and Khomeni could have some great hell-fire conversations.

For sheer humor and dead serious observation about our all-too-human condition, I recommend Flannery O'Connor's short stories. She was the master and she would've drawn a fine picture of Brother Hall.

At 10:46 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...


THe next time your wife meets that ignorant woman, have her recite the demographic downward spiral of Christendom. If it weren't for the Catholics, we Christians would be gone in two generations.

As it is, I refer to the Episcopalians as the "incredible shrinking church." A beloved Episcopal priest I know, one who taught the Book of Common Prayer at the seminary in Alexandria, is very sad about his church. He says the bishops have much to answer for. I agree. When the current Presiding Bishop said, shortly after 9/11 that he was "ashamed to be an American" he shamed the Church to its foundations. And it shows, doesn't it?

I also refer you to an earlier post here on abortion. It's the first part of what was to have been a two-part consideration of a failed policty, but I haven't gotten to the second part yet. However, it will give you a good link to some new information.

I do not believe "the best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity..." -- Yeats is not someone on whom to build a Catholic philosophy. Try Lonergan or Gabriel Marcel's "Creative Fidelity." And, of course, Flannery O'Connor, because she took evil seriously. She looked it in the eye.

MY prayers for you and your babies. They are the only serious work in this world. The rest is whatever needs to be done to bring them up.

At 12:11 PM, Blogger AbbaGav said...

A gay-Catholic couple could be problematic though.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...


There are lots of problematic issues vis-a-vis sexuality in the Catholic Church. I dare say in the whole of humanity...

Think of all the Catholic couples who eventually practice some form of unapproved birth control and still feel they are within the framework of the Church.

The gay Catholic couple is only a problem because they insist on being so damned political about it. I have a visceral reaction to gay couples...very un-p.c., but I intuit it's hard-wired because many gays have the same reaction, they just don't have a choice about how they feel. It's what makes being gay so damnably difficult -- not being "victims" and having to hide, but just the feeling of exclusion by the very fact of their preferences.

And any church that has the numbers of pedophiles in charge of things that this church does has some seeerious housecleaning to do before they (and I use the word advisedly) pontificate about the laity's sexual mores.

Soo. Gavriel, tell me: what do you think of ol' Brother Hall? Isn't he a piece of work? Yikes.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger erico said...


It is hard not to warm to someone who wishes your children well. I thank you for your blessings.

I was not able to find the abortion debate you mentioned, perhaps you could point me to it?

As regards the Episcopal Church, I have been following the ramifications of the ordination of Gene Robinson in the news. First Things has published some articles of late, too. One I believe by R.R. Reno, of his conversion to Catholicism.

I confess to being ignorant of Gabriel Marcel, and shall give him a look. As to Lonergan, I have some history with his thought. Indeed, one needs a bit of time to let him sink in. I'm certain I've not reached full intellectual conversion. That too is a process. I'm just beginning a translation of De Verbo Incarnato, copied for me by a real Brother, Augustinian monk, that is, who helps run the Lonergan Institute at his abbey in D.C. A few of us were in a study group together reading Insight, during my theology days. I like to count him as a friend. We made it about half way through the book.

All of us want to know what's real, simply what is. I link that with conscience, as described in Gaudium Et Spes, as "man's most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths". So there is a moral side to us that is not just conventional.

I think a big step toward faith is deciding whether the world is to be accepted just as it is, neither good nor bad, or whether we can detect that it is (we are) broken. I don't accept Yeat's line, either. But when a man filled with doubt looks around at vocal adherents to different religions, each passionate for their own grasp of the truth, and condemnatory of others, the insight comes (prior to judgment)that perhaps no one has the one truth. Perhaps it is unknowable, or isn't there. One's morals devolve into relativisim. This is the state of modern academia, and perhaps the Episcopal church. The next step for the atheist, such as Christopher Hitchens, is to blame religion itself for hatred and violence, since the atheist has transcended all that nonsense and superstition. On all this I take to heart Rene Girard's analysis of the scapegoat mechanism, to which even Mr. Hitchins is subject. But beyond any Girardian anthropology one must, in order to call oneself Christian, affirm the empty tomb, and the trinity.

It seems to me that in order to pass through the temptation to chuck all this religion thing one needs humility, an awareness of one's own sinfulness, and a space for prayer. I recall Augustine's counsel that truth resides with the inner man. And perhaps his distinction between the City of God and the City of Man is adequate to the whole debate about which church is right. There will be those who cry out Lord, Lord but he will say I do not know you.

In any event, part of my project is to allow a space to exist for the doubter to have a voice, not so that he might remain there, but because he is there. To some degree, I am there too, alone. If we are really to save lost souls, we must meet them where they are. That's (one) reason I started a blog called Conversations in the Void.

I hope I haven't tried your patience. Good corresponding with you.

At 10:07 PM, Blogger OreamnosAmericanus said...

I stumbled over here some time after the dust settled.

I don't see the problem.

It's a Christian adoption agency, and in Evangelical parlance, that means Evangelical Christian. If a Catholic adoption agency restricted its services to Roman Catholics and not Old Catholics, for example, what would be the harm in that? Suppose the Jewish Adoption Service was run by Orthodox Jews: who would expect them to send kids to a Reconstructionist family? Would you expect a Roman Catholic agency to give one of its Catholic children to a Southern Baptist? It does no service to Christianity to make believe that everyone who claims the name Christian is in the same ballpark and then yell at people who take their religion very seriously.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

In all the cases you name, I would expect consideration of the parents who showed up at the door. I would *not* expect prospective clients to be told we don't serve your kind. That includes gay couples, who have a much harder time.

THere's too many homeless kids already without these restrictions. Agencies that set themselves up to dole out kids need to do it non-sectarian.

At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares?

Maybe they just don't like bible thumping nimrods...

At 12:18 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

the reason that they do not accept Catholic applicants is due to the belief of salvation by faith versus works. Catholics practice legalism.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Roman Catholic and Proud of IT said...

Being a Catholic family living in South Holland Illinois we have experienced the Christian Faith at it's finest. A few days after moving in neighbor's came over to introduce themselves with a friendship cake. Assuming we were Dutch because we are both blond and blue eyed they asked if we had joined any particular Christian Church in the neighborhood. When I informed them that we were Catholic they took the cake and left, never to speak to us for almost ten years. It's still only minimal 25 years later.

When looking to purchase flowers at a local flower shop (Docter Florist)for the first time I encountered a very pleasant sign. Just as I was about to pay for my purchase I noticed a sign in the counter that read "If your not Dutch, Your not much." I politely looked at the owner and told him to please keep his lovely flowers as my none Dutch money will go else where. Maybe that's why the shop is no longer opened once the neighborhood started to change several years back.

Then there's my cousin who married a Christian from South Holland Illinois. His parents refused to meet her or attend they marriage as she was a Catholic (none practicing) and divorced at that. This comes from a family where the mother was an alcoholic, as is her son. Who are they to judge anyone. A few years later this same cousin and her husband had a child who they send to a "Christian" school. I recieved a request for a donation from this school (contact info given by parents of the school), a school that refuses entry based on if your Catholic. I sent it back to them with a polite note declining their request for my Catholic dollars. I also noted that if they ever decided to rescind their uninformed hate based guidelines for entry I might be inclined to donate in the future.

The last straw was when one of our sons began dating a lovely Dutch Christian girl. We thought they would eventually marry. We truely loved this young woman and felt terrible for her as her parents made her life (according to her) miserable. The words spoken to her by her family were deplorable for minimal things. She had a brother and sister who would physically assault her. From what we could gather her parents never stepped in to stop this behavior during the two years my son and her were together. Her family members were extremely hostile towards my son for the mere fact that he was a Catholic. Now isn't that a nice Christian upbringing!

I've never seen such unchristian behavior from a group of individuals then the Dutch Christian community. I really don't think that God stands in front of the gates of heaven, finger on a reject button, just WAITING with anticipation to send Catholics packing. Being biased against a group of people based on their religion is not being a good Christian. Their ministers of faith are doing a great injustice and should be admonished for being hate mongers.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Kathryn said...

I think the song is hilarious - Is this a real song? if so - where can I find it?

At 10:35 PM, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Kathryn --

It most assuredly is a real song, "Jesus Loves Me (But He Can't Stand You)" by the Austin Lounge Lizards. Here's a video of it, and here's the Lounge Lizards website.


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