Exploring Catholics

At this time in history, Catholics in general are no longer one of the groups most in danger from misunderstanding and prejudice. That in itself is good news, but there are nevertheless any number of stereotypes, positive as well as negative, associated with Catholics.

The world is so rapidly changing that it’s hard for us to keep up with what’s acceptable and what is not – especially when fun is involved and no one is negatively impacted by the fun. For example, one of my good Catholic friends asks me, “Is it ok or a sin for me to play
online US slots on a website?” Most say that gambling is a sin, but is it still? I play a regular Friday night poker game with a group of friends, some of whom are Catholic, and no one seems to have a problem with it.

Complicating matters is the fact that many of the more well-known Catholic populations are also inclined to be subject to racial or cultural stereotypes. Personally, I spring from a long line of Irish Catholics, and I can attest that we have our own cultural ‘crosses to bear’ (so to speak). Just for the record, neither drinking, fighting, nor a ‘gift of the gab’ are necessarily a rule in either the Irish population or Catholicism as a whole!

Many more instances like this have assisted to create a rather skewed vision of ‘the typical Catholic’ — who, in absolute fact, is no more homogeneous than the typical Hindu or typical Jew (neither of which exists in anything but a prejudicial mental ideal)

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