I’ve been a Catholic blogger for a few years now and I’ve noticed that angry atheists and just plain ol’ anti-Catholic folks can’t seem to stay out of Catholic comboxes. Like moths to a flame they just love igniting flame wars in our comboxes. I think there’s probably some good news in that because they know they’re missing something and I think part of them coming back is to fill that hole in their lives.
I think many Catholic bloggers don’t see the angry anti-Catholic coming. So I offer this as a “What to Expect when you’re expecting anti-Catholic Commenters.”
As far as I know there is no “Guide to Catholic Comboxes for Anti-Catholics” but I thought it would look something like this:
1) If the writer of a Catholic blog has raised the specter of something being immoral (like say abortion), the angry comboxer must bring up the sex abuse scandal as a way of discounting anything or everything any Catholic writer says about anything. In fact, any topic a Catholic blogger wants to discuss can be derailed by accusing them of ignoring the abuse scandal.
2) Anytime a conversation actually starts where something might be learned it’s always helpful to accuse the Pope of being a Nazi. It’s a last ditch thing but surprisingly effective. If you don’t know the name of the Pope during WWII, just say, “The Pope” helped Hitler kill Jews or something like that. And there’s always accusing Pope Benedict XVI a “Hitler Youth.” Sure, registration was mandatory but who cares? It’s a cheap shot and will have Catholics bending over backwards to explain it when the whole time you just want the word “Nazi” and “Pope” linked together as often as possible.
3) In the 21st century it’s become commonplace to accuse opponents of “hating.” These days, if someone isn’t publicly rooting for “gay marriage” you can say “You hate gays!” If the writer is male, also accuse him of being “homophobic.” After you do that, sign into the combox under another name and wonder aloud if the writer who’s now been proven to be “homophobic” may be gay himself.
4) Introduce the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Always a combox hit.
5) Confuse infallibility. Pretend to believe that when the Church says the Pope is infallible it means that Catholics believe he’s some kind of demigod. Confusion is rampant on infallibility. You should take advantage of the confusion and score some easy points. Even the Toronto Star recently had this to say about the Pope:
Though most in the Coptic Orthodox community send their children to Catholic school, they are not Catholic themselves. The differences are slight — they use the same liturgies, though Orthodox Christians differ from Roman Catholics in their belief that the Pope is a human being, not a divine figure
Ha! With help like that in the media, we’ll be scoring easy points for years.
6) Accuse Catholics of only caring about babies before they’re born. This one works quite well in that Catholics often speak out against abortion and don’t talk often about all the Church does for young people with their schools and hospitals. Use their humility against them. We should ignore all the schools, charities and hospitals and just keep accusing them of not caring about anyone outside the womb.
7) Insist that 99.999999% of what Planned Parenthood does for women has nothing to do with abortion. We all know that’s a lie but hey, as long as the media has our back on this one we would do well to continue with it. DO NOT!!! I repeat. DO NOT get into a detailed argument about abortion. The more that’s brought into the light the worse it is for us. If it starts getting too detailed just say that millions of women died from back alley abortions. Actually, just make up the number.
Oh. And don’t defend Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. She kinda’ was a racist and eugenics supporter. So just keep saying that 99.9999999% of what Planned Parenthood does has nothing to do with abortion.
8) Say that the only reason the Church is against abortion and contraception is because they want more people in the pews to donate money. It’s all about the Benjamins baby! Say this often but don’t get into an argument about it because it doesn’t really make sense because we also say that the Church’s outspokenness on these issues is what’s driving so many people out of the Church. Those two things are kinda’ mutually exclusive but as long as we leave at least five comments between them we should be fine.
9) Scream something IN CAPS about the separation of Church and state being in the Constitution. This will start a long treatise from some Catholic about how it’s not in the Constitution and how it was taken from a letter by some dead white slave owner or something blah blah blah. Let them keep arguing history while you say things like “keep your rosaries off my ovaries” or you can invent your own rhyme if you’re a creative angry person.
10) If your comment is deleted, then sign in under another name and yell about being censored or something.
11) Write “Judge not lest ye be judged!” as often as possible. And then call the Catholic a hypocrite for judging. I know we don’t like quoting the Bible but it’s awesome to use Catholics’ own book against them. There’s currently no greater sin than being caught judging. And if a Catholic says anything is a sin or evil just tell them they’re not allowed to judge.
12) If none of this works, then just string together a bunch of curses.