In surveys Catholics tend to be like everyone else and sometimes even more so. They are no different from the general population in their support of and use of artificial contraception. A majority support gay marriage. They even have many abortions just like other groups.
Of course, surveys that get these results involve cultural, but not necessarily practicing Catholics. Real Catholics know better. They know the teachings and live their lives as best they can.
Unfortunately, the majority of self-identified Catholics are not real Catholics. If they were, they would know that a Christian cannot be like everyone else. Today’s Gospel reading from the Book of Matthew talks about turning the other cheek and trying to be perfect like our Father in Heaven.
That is not how our society operates. Our modern culture is adamantly opposed to turning the other cheek and trying to be holy. America is now about getting ahead, keeping up with and exceeding the Joneses (or is it the Kardashians?), sticking it to one’s neighbor, and being all about number one.
Trust me, the number one I am talking about is not God.
If it were, we would realize that we need to place Him first, not screw over our neighbor, and practice personal sanctity.
That means we cannot have abortions or support so-called choice. We cannot use artificial birth control or have sex outside of marriage, which is between one man and one woman. Calling anything else marriage is endorsing a lie. We have to vote in accord with these beliefs. We have to be the other.
No one wants to feel excluded. I get that. I don’t. But in a society such as ours we have to be willing to be different. It is the only way we can change society. Or else society will change us as it already has so many of our brethren.
The funny thing is, since most people in this country identify as Christian, we don’t consider ourselves as outsiders. But that is what the true Christian is–we are supposed to be in the world, but not of the world.
We are told the outsiders in our society are homosexuals (who are constantly celebrated as being brave), ethnic minorities (who are constantly celebrated as being oppressed victims) and women (on whom war has allegedly been declared by the right wing). They are not outsiders but are mainstream and normal, especially if they are leftists who disdain traditional morality. Because we have been brainwashed that Christian morality is old-fashioned and not fitting with our new modern era.
So whether we like it or not, practicing Christians, especially Catholics, are the other. We are different. We should embrace it and realize we must conform ourselves to God’s will. We cannot and should not expect Him to bend His will to ours.