Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Organized religion: detractors and supporters

In his E-Letter of 11/14/06, Karl Keating begins by contrasting the two categories of 'Losers' and 'Winners' in responses to organized religion. In the former he places Elton John:
Singer Elton John says that organized religion should be banned. "Religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people," he told the London "Observer" on Sunday. "It turns people into hateful lemmings and it is not really compassionate." [London (AP) canadaeast.com]

"The reality is that organized religion doesn't seem to work," he said. The organized religion he seems to disapprove of most is the Catholic Church. In 2000 John excoriated the Church because a priest had remarked that homosexuals engage in "a lifestyle that can never respond to the deepest longings of the human heart."
Under the latter category of 'Winners' Keating includes two items, (1) an email message from Anthony Mathison of Aiken, South Carolina, and (2) a study by the Lilly Endowment. First the email message:
"I am a seventeen-year-old guy, and I just want to thank you all at Catholic Answers. I used to be a staunch Evangelical Baptist, but after years of studying the Scriptures and listening to the scholarly arguments of Catholic Answers apologists, I decided to convert to Catholicism in July of 2006. Currently I am in RCIA classes. I was originally baptized a Catholic as an infant, but I never received my confirmation or my first Eucharist. I am so very excited to be coming into the True Church!"
Keating responds by thanking Anthony for the good news and telling him that even though he may never sport as many goofy-looking sunglasses as Elton John, he has discovered something he still has no inkling of, namely that it is only in the Catholic faith that one will discover what it is that fulfills "the deepest longings of the human heart."

As to the study funded by the Lilly Endowment, he reports its discovery that "The majority of twelfth-graders in the United States--about two-thirds--do not appear to be alienated from or hostile toward organized or established religion." He surmises that this news is of little comfort to Elton John.

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