Do "Godspammers" who write converts to the Catholic faith honestly believe that they are the first people in the universe to ever suggest reading the Bible? If not, then what are they thinking?
Almost every other day, it seems, I will open my e-mail and find something like this specimen (culled from my "deleted" file):
One is terribly tempted to reply: "The Word of God? What’s that? Never heard of such a thing. Is that, like, the Bible? We used to read something called a ‘Bible,’ I think, at our old Church. But that was an awfully long time ago.
"Boy, thanks for setting me straight. I have never ever ever heard before that Jesus Christ loves me and desires to save the lost with His free gift of grace! I always thought that I had to perform magical rituals to make God love me. But now that you have so thoughtfully set me straight, I see clearly that when that big black book we used to read in my old church-that-never-taught-me-the-Bible says ‘Baptism now saves you’ (1 Pet 3:21) what it means is ‘Baptism does not save you.’
"And thanks also for explaining that when Romans 6 says, ‘All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death,’ and ‘We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life,’ this has absolutely nothing whatever to do with baptism. I really appreciate your setting me straight on that as well.
"And finally, thanks for making me see that all that stuff in John 3 about being born again of water and the Spirit really means water and the Spirit are complete opposites.
"Golly. It is so good to finally — after all these years — have somebody who really teaches the Word of God clue me in. Who would have thought that all those years of studying . . . what’s that big black book called again? Ah yes! ‘The Bible.’ Anyway, who would have thought that all those years of studying the Bible could have left me so totally ignorant of what Scripture really means? Thanks ever so much for enlightening me."
I wonder this even more when I get Godspam from people who assure me they are "writing in Christian love" and then proceed to send me a farrago of raving nonsense and/or documentable lies about what the Church teaches. When you write them back and refer them to biblical and catechetical sources which show a) the fact that Catholic teaching comports with biblical teaching and b) their lies about Catholic teaching ("Mary worship!" "The Pope is sinless!" "The Mass re-sacrifices Jesus!") are bunk, they write you back with that gooey smile of condescending "Christian love" and inform you (and I quote), "I am not interested in discussing truth issues with Catholic apologists."
Their hermetically sealed pride is both astonishing and hilariously funny, as well as very widespread in the ranks of anti-Catholic types who write in "Christian love." I discovered this when I posted "Carolyn’s" note. One Catholic reader commented with his tongue firmly planted in cheek:
When I converted to Catholicism, it was the statue worship that appealed to me the most, but banner worship has its appeal as well. Historians have been able to show that pagans also worshipped primitive banners so either one has authentic Catholic-pagan connections.
I also liked that I didn’t have to read the Bible any more and that I would have to earn my way to Heaven. Besides that, I really appreciated the fact that I could check my brain at the door and blindly follow the leaders.
It’s also cool that I can have a man forgive my sins — I don’t even have to ask God!
I especially like the vain repetitious prayers of the Rosary and the sacrilegious practice of calling priests "Father."
But for me, the best thing about being a Catholic is calling the Holy Father "Lord God the Pope" and worshipping him. That and being able to acknowledge Mary as the Fourth Member of the Trinity. You have no idea what a drag it was worshipping that all-male God of Evangelicalism!
Being a part of the corporate machine that sells salvation is the biggest reward for me. Especially since I get such a big cut of the profits.
Hopefully our next Pope will start another cold-blooded massacre like the Inquisition or the Crusades, and I can earn my justification based on my "score" of how many Protestants or Muslims I kill. I’ll stand before God . . . ATOP A PILE OF SKULLS!
You people forgot the best part about being Catholic. The priest gets to kill and re-sacrifice Jesus over and over again at every Mass, because His death on Calvary was entirely insufficient. Granted, that’s not what the Council of Trent actually said, but we all know that underneath that’s what they were really thinking.
Being a male chauvinist, what finally drew me to the Catholic Church in 1999 was the infinitely wise and completely arbitrary subjection of women in every aspect of their lives. I love the male-dominated doctrines of telling women what to do with their bodies, not "allowing" them to be ordained, etc.
I like knowing I don’t really believe what I say I believe.
I like being afraid of science and logic.
I like our plan to put cameras in everyone’s bedroom.
I like the new church the Masons invented for us in 1962.
Once in awhile, I really enjoy whipping up in myself a nice raw sense of guilt. Generally, it is about nothing in particular.
Which, of course, leads me to wonder if and when I act the same way. God save me if I do.
Mark P. Shea is a senior editor at