Many Fundamentalists enjoy two of Christianity’s seven sacraments of grace: Baptism and Matrimony. Those who are baptized are part of the Christian Church, though not in full communion with her; and Catholicism affectionately recognizes their status as brothers and sisters in Christ. Their Marriages are real, too; legitimate priests are not needed to officiate their unions because it is the groom and bride who officiate the sacrament, but a valid Marriage is performed before a minister.
This post, though, is not intended to work as a celebration for the many wonderful commonalities between Catholicism and Fundamentalism; it has been a response to indicative Fundamentalist attacks on Catholic Marriage, and it is intended to provide both Catholics and Protestants a better understanding of the Church’s biblical understanding of Marriage and sex. But to better understand Fundamentalism’s approach to the subject, I believe a final note about an undergirding Protestant assumption helps establish where Fundamentalism is, so to speak, coming from. Continue reading
There is one last popular attack that Rudd, to his credit, did not repeat in his essay: Fundamentalism’s allegation that “annulment is divorce.” I suspect Rudd knows his own sect is actually quite diverse on issues of divorce, and any accusation towards the Catholic Church brings attention to his own sect’s quiet acceptance of divorce and multiple “marriages”. However, there are many voices within his sect that indicatively represent the common Fundamentalist charge. Continue reading
Most of this blog is about principles and nuanced theology; its subjects require some reasoned attention to determine the merits of the Protestant Church of Christ’s attack on Catholic theology. The subject of scandal, however, is not theological; nor does it require a persuasive, gentle tone to convince people of good will the Catholic Church is not the end-times monster; facts influence reasonable people. And so I will address people I more understand: those who accept objective facts and integrate those facts into their religion. And the acceptance of such facts are what separates Protestants from anti-Catholics; non-Catholic Christians from bigots. Continue reading
Rudd’s fourth argument for the Catholic Church’s “flawed, incomplete, and destructive” understanding of Marriage is titled, “Prohibition against church leaders marrying is a satanic doctrine” [sic]. Rudd continues:
IV. Prohibition against church leaders marrying is a satanic doctrine: [sic] Continue reading
Rudd’s third argument for the Catholic Church’s “flawed, incomplete, and destructive” understanding of Marriage is titled, “Birth Control”. Rudd continues:
III. Birth Control:
Roman Catholic church [sic] has a prohibition against birth control. Such is as [sic] anti-Biblical [sic] as it is hypocritical. This prohibition is again based upon an incomplete definition of the purpose of marriage. Hypocritically, the Roman Catholic church [sic] actually teaches birth control is OK [sic], as long as it involves nothing artificial like condoms, pills etc. [sic] The average Roman Catholic married woman is instructed to use the rhythm method where she takes her body temperature to determine the day she ovulates. Then she avoids sex for two days before and after her ovulation day. But this is not only hypocritical double talk, [sic] since birth control is the act of having sex without the desire for children, it contradicts the entire foundation upon which the Roman Catholic church [sic] forbade birth control in the first place: There [sic] are only two purposes of marriage. Since the Pope [sic] teaches the only time you can have sex is to make children, then the only time a Catholic woman could have sex, [sic] is during her “three fertile days” of the month. The Roman Catholic position on birth control is shown to be silly and outrageous because Catholic “pew dwellers” generally ignore such man made [sic] rules from leaders, who themselves are not married. But if a Catholic did follow the teaching of the Pope [sic], then she would use the thermometer to determine when she ovulates and have sex only during that fertile 4 [sic] day window. Continue reading
Rudd’s second argument for the Catholic Church’s “flawed, incomplete, and destructive” understanding of Marriage is titled, “Guilt”. Rudd continues:
Rather than sex being a wonderful communion between husband and wife to fulfill the sexual desire, The [sic] Roman Catholic view, if anyone actually listened to it, would make married partners feel guilty and dirty for having sex, for the sole purpose of a “good romp in the hay”. Continue reading
Like Restorationism, Fundamentalism is a relatively modern Protestant movement, and it was developed within a larger Americanized construct of what Marriage ought to be. That is, Marriage and its more-Americanized (thus, more-secularized) purposes were woven into American Fundamentalism’s newly-formed fabric.
The movement, remember, began as a reaction to liberal theology within Protestantism. However, the end synthesis of its understanding of Marriage—whether it pre-dates liberal Protestantism or not—is, in fact, a liberalized / secularized hybrid product of Christian Marriage and the pursuit of carnal satisfaction disjoined from the original procreative and unitive purposes of the Sacrament. Steve Rudd’s outline perfectly illustrates Fundamentalism’s understanding of not only its position, but also how it contrasts with Catholicism’s understanding of Marriage. Rudd begins: Continue reading