Guys, it’s just getting annoying.

I was born Catholic, raised Catholic, and currently attend a Catholic college. (Although as evidenced by my C+ in New Testament Literature and Theology and 13 years of public education, I don’t actually know a ton about the dogmatic part of the religion. So I’m not discussing that.) Anyhow, I’m a Catholic. I recognize that there are faults with the religion, as there are in every religion, and that no religion is perfect. This being said, I’m sick of the attacks on my religion. Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice in the United States, and it’s high time for that to end.

Recently, a video swept Facebook. It was titled, “Why I Love Jesus, but Hate Religion.” A more accurate title would have been, “Why I Love Jesus, but Hate the Catholic Church,” as the artist made several direct slams at the Church in his rap. As this post more eloquently points out, his argument is essentially invalid—without religion (and the Catholic church writing and spreading the Bible and its word) nobody would have known about Jesus. Further, Jesus clearly stated that he was going to build his Church upon Peter.  Jesus meant to start a religion—he wasn’t a one-and-done kind of guy. The majority of my Protestant friends loved the video, and the majority of my Catholic friends were definitely uneasy about it. Newsflash: the guy is mocking you.

At the 2012 Grammy Awards, artist Nicki Minaj created waves when she arrived on the red carpet dressed in a religious-esque garb with a pope look-a-like as her date. Her performance at the awards included an exorcism, mock resurrection/levitation thing, altar boy backup dancers, and a scene at a confessional. Her performance was one giant mockery of the Church. Even though the performance was nearly universally panned, it was still extremely upsetting that the producers of the Grammy’s deemed such a spectacle to be appropriate and acceptable. Had Ms. Minaj worn a hijab and showed up with Muhammad as her date—well, we all know what happened to those cartoonists.  I can’t imagine people would have been too thrilled either had she shown up wearing a sari with a Hindu god as her date, or dressed as a monk with a Buddha look-a-like.  That behavior is unacceptable.  Mocking Catholicism should be treated as such. Had she mocked any other religion, she’d be done forever in Hollywood.  Her new album drops in April, and will probably go platinum.

The media fixation on the sexual abuse scandal in the church is another symptom of the acceptability of anti-Catholic prejudice in the United States. The actions of the various priests, bishops, etc., and the subsequent cover-up were absolutely inexcusable, and they’re certainly a dark mark on the church. That being said, ponder this: schoolteachers abuse children every day, and far more children are at risk going to school then they are going to church. What’s the reaction to these cases of abuse? The popular Web site Barstool Sports publishes a column several times a month  “grading” the newest sex-scandal teacher, culminating in an “starting lineup” roster at the end of the year. There have been nearly 100 times as many people abused by their teachers than by priests, yet there’s no protest.  We collectively chuckle, or congratulate the kids for having relations with their teachers. There’s no outrage—they’re not Catholic priests.

Finally, the “ObamaCare” mandate that religious employers pay for birth control and other drugs was absolutely the last straw when it came to the Church’s silent toleration of years of prejudice. Birth control is not a right, and it’s something that I deeply disapprove of.  That being said, I don’t care if anyone else uses it, as long as I’m not forced to pay for it. Birth control pills are not needed to keep a person alive, and they’re not what insurance was made for.  If I got hit by a bus, or stricken with some terrible disease—yes, I’d need insurance then. Getting pregnant is not an accident—I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I’ve never once tripped and wound up pregnant.  If a person has sex, they’re consenting to the fact that a child might come about as the result of their actions. (Obviously, rape is an exception. Because this is an exception, this exceeds the scope of the argument and cannot be discussed. Also, a person doesn’t generally plan on being raped and wouldn’t be on birth control.)  An insurance company shouldn’t cover something a person does on purpose.  This was a direct smear at the Catholic Church and was an attempt to restrict religious freedom. I’m glad the Church has finally woken up to the evils of ObamaCare. This is only the beginning.

Catholics are normal, hardworking, everyday Americans. Let’s end the mocking of their religion. It’s not acceptable, and I’m sick of it.

Christine Rousselle :: Providence College :: Providence, Rhode Island :: @CRousselle