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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Papal Bull: An Ex-Catholic Calls Out the Catholic Church by Joe Wenke | LibraryThing

Papal Bull: An Ex-Catholic Calls Out the Catholic Church by Joe Wenke | LibraryThing:

When you run across reviews of this book some describing it as humorless, others as very funny, you know the author as struck a nerve with those suffering from confirmation bias. It won't change anyone's mind, but serves rather as a way for those who find the ridiculousness of religion, most specifically here the Catholic Church, to reinforce their views.  (Full disclosure:  I fall into this camp.)

Wenke is one of those lapsed Catholics (Catholic schools seem to churn them out by the bucketful; I know a ridiculous number) who delights in pointing out the silliness of Catholic traditions, dogma and doctrines. Now, I'm not Catholic, but I believe the church has done away with the idea of Limbo is not official Catholic doctrine, so his well-reasoned sarcastic remarks easily poking holes in the whole idea resonates, but is irrelevant.

Wenke is right to hold up many of these beliefs to ridicule. So many have little basis in the Bible, not to mention trying to decide which Bible one means: the Old Testament, New Testament, (the Gods of each being quite different)  Aryan or Athanasian view with regard to the Trinity. They all seem so arbitrary and designed to foster political control.

The bottom line is that if you are a non-believer like me, or a lapsed Catholic, you'll find the book a very quick and humorous confirmation of what you already accept, a decent source for pithy and sarcastic explanations of nonsensical religious beliefs.  Fundamentalist Protestants won't even be aware the book exists and most of them think Catholics aren't Christian anyway.  Regular Protestants will enjoy seeing the Catholic Church get skewered, but ultimately it won't have any influence on them.  Justice Scalia will find the book sacrilegious, but who cares what he thinks?  (Did I really say that?)

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a few laughs at the expense of the Catholic Church in return for an honest appraisal of the book.

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