Friday, January 13, 2012

Why I Hate "Why I Hate Religion and Love Jesus", but Love My Religion

Although I hesitate to bump this guy's Youtube counter, here is the video everyone is talking about if you haven't seen it yet

So we have once again been subjected to the diatribes of a guy with a video camera. Let's look at some of his statements one at a time.

"Started so many wars." - Really? Which ones? To quote David Bentley Hart "There is something inherently absurd in persistently speaking of these...wars of succession as "wars of religion" as though they were fought principally over matters of doctrine by parties whose chief concern was the propogation of one or another version of the "true faith." to paraphrase - the mercenary armies in wars throughout history have at times carried flags of different religious affiliation, but they were in name only. Never has an actual war been fought over transubstantiation or some other doctrine of religion.

He "raps" about single moms that have had a divorce - I don't even know what he's saying there, but then he says in the Old Testament God called religious people "whores." What? Was he looking for a word that rhymed with "divorce"? What could he possibly be referencing from the Old Testament that could at all be construed as demeaning religiously minded people.

"Build Churches while hungry people starve" - Oh boy, here we go again. The Catholic Church is the single largest provider of charity in the world. Mother Teresa is the greatest example of a person working with the poor, perhaps forever. Guess what - MOTHER TERESA WAS A PRACTICING CATHOLIC. Not only that, she went to Mass daily, prayed a Rosary every day, did two holy hours every day, and, the best part, when she would build a new house for her sisters in a new area the house would be DIRT POOR - EXCEPT...YOU GUESSED IT...THE CHAPEL! She would get gold chalices, nice vestments, and make sure that everything surrounding the celebration of Mass was beautiful. Why, because Beauty (note the capital B because it refers to Christ) will save the world. I celebrate Mass in a nursing home with some of the poorest of the poor in our society. We are intentional about having music, vestments, candles, a nice chalice and so forth. Should I instead sell my chalice, divide the 1,000 dollars up among the residents, and give that to them? Would that make their life any better? "Hey, Louis, here's 34 dollars, Father sold all his nice stuff he uses for Mass. Isn't this 34 dollars a life-changer?" This is absurd, ridiculous, and something uttered only by people who have never actually worked with the poor or downtrodden and think that money fixes everything.

"religion never gets to the core" - really? It does if you get out of its way! It can remain a surface-level reality - God always allows Himself to be rejected, even when people portray it as "wanting to get closer to His Son!"

"I aint judging" - no of course not (sarcasm alert) you are simply saying anyone who is a member of a religion is a buffoon and has never actually read the Bible. Where would anyone get the impression that you are actually judging someone?

"Jesus hated religion" - here we see the absolutely ridiculous claim that is the "rappers" thesis - but if Jesus hated religion, I wonder why he was a practicing Jew, and why he told Peter "on this rock, I will build my Church." Does that sound like a man who hates religion - he's founding a Church.

"If he came to your Church would they actually let him in" - Every Catholic Church I've ever been to lets everyone in. I've never seen a person turned away from Church my entire life.

"Church = Man made invention" - See Jesus (the guy who the "rapper" claims to love) telling Peter "on this rock I will build My CHURCH"

"Religion makes you blind" - what was that earlier about not judging anyone?

Here's the real deal with all of this - some people, in their naivete, can't stand the fact that bad people pretend to be good. Where better to hide if you are a bad person and want to pretend to be good than in the Church? Some people can't handle that fact, and note that neither could the people who wanted the weeds and the wheat separated in the Gospel, but Jesus said "No! It will happen at the end." Some people can't handle messes and the intermingling of good and evil, and they can't handle being in a big Church with lots of people, some of whom do really heinous things, so these types of people make their own room, a fantasy world like little children make, and they call that room "the me and Jesus room" and no one else can come in, and its just me and Jesus in there, and its warm and cozy and no bad people can get in. Problem is Jesus said "get out there in the world among people," and he prayed that we be one in His Church, but some people don't want to do that, which is why this video is viral on the internet.


  1. Thank you so much Father. I was really excited to do the critique on this video in class, but our internet wasnt working. This blog has done it for me!

  2. " I've never seen a person turned away from Church my entire life."

    My father-in-law is a deacon in the Catholic church. However, I can assure that I've been made to feel most unwelcome on many occasions in many parishes and been excluded from many things. And my father-in-law's own brother...well, he wasn't welcome in the Catholic church at all.

  3. you were turned away from the Church by the Church?

  4. I believe there are many individual cases out there Father and we could throw scripture around for days, but what it boils down to what has led to all of this. So many people out there today are searching and coming up empty handed or more confused than ever.

    I myself know what it is to be asked to leave a Catholic Church, right here in this city, after falling on hard times and not being able to pay regular tithes and struggling to pay my children's tuition. I know the Catholic Church has bills and salaries to pay, as I was informed, but the fact that I had been a faithful member there, not to mention a cathechist for over 10 years didn't matter. It was like belonging to a country club and not being able to pay me dues anymore and was nearly enough to make me leave the Church entirely. Thank Jesus that He was with me through that time.

  5. Let's remember that this is just one young man with a camera and those talking about this are probably young adults who need guidance rather than a point-by-point defensive response.
    I do not put weight in this video more than any other person on youtube, but I can understand why he may have such thoughts - many of us have been there.
    Just one point among many: He did not say that the church (by the way I don't think he is only referring to the Catholic church) performs absolutely no charity, but I have been in that place as a college student ready to change the world and wondering why we drank from an expensive, ornate challis when there were ANY poor people in the world.
    Young people questioning religion or faith need to be guided in a supportive (but challenging) environment. You lost me in your statement as soon as you made the jab about his "rap." This is not rap - it's a pretty popular form of recognized poetry but since yours is a typed statement I'm left wondering if there are some lingering stereotypes or ignorance here.
    Meet this young adult where he is and you can guide him...pick apart his points one by one and you've only pushed him farther away.

  6. As a young adult, I feel like I have to chime in here. I'm a college student and let me tell you, this video has permeated my entire campus. I do appreciate your sentiment here, but it is rather aggressive. Yes, this man is extreme--everyone knows that. He's trying to make a point, so he has to be. His spoken word is actually really well-crafted. I really admire that, but you're right in saying his ideas are a little skewed. Haven't we all been there? Haven't you ever been discouraged by the Church? Watching people show up to church with their big smiles on Sunday when you know they are only "Christians" by name? That's what he's really talking about. He is criticizing hypocrisy, and he uses the church to express it. You say a lot about the Catholic Church, which I do respect, but I have to wonder about all denominations. What if every church in the world gave up the big fancy building and the chalices and whatever else and gave all that money to God's work? Towards food for orphans and homes for the homeless? That would be truly incredible. We would change the world. I believe Jesus did want us to meet together in churches, but I struggle in my relationship with the church when I see sinful people accepted and the righteous poor rejected or discouraged because of the church's attitude. I understand your argument, but you have to acknowledge that the point he is making is valid on some level. He voices the concerns of millions who see the ornate church from the outside and haven't the courage to walk inside the doors to see its purpose. He voices the concerns of the lonely who seek Christ's love in the church and find only selfish humans. He voices the concerns of those who have experienced loss and grieving and have turned to the church only to be disappointed. He voices the concerns of those who have watched their bitterest, cruelest enemies walk inside the church as righteous men.

    He voices my concerns.

    1. "You know they are only Christians by name" - that's a situation where you are being the judge that you seem to despise elsewhere in your response. How do you know they are only Christians by name? And if you mean you've seen them sin, then do you mean that the sin you've seen them commit gives you reason to judge them as being non-Christian?

      What do you mean by "sinful people accepted and righteous people rejected"? Can you share some of the things that you've seen that lead you to that claim?

      "the lonely who seek Christ's love in the Church and find only selfish humans"? Really? ONLY SELFISH HUMANS? Are you sure this isn't hyperbole?

      I think that some of your comments could be more characterized as the poetic estimations of a collegian than actual experiences.

  7. This actually helps a lot! Thanks :)

  8. All these comments are well and good...but what about being the change you wish to see in the world. Cuz I'm pretty sure Mother Teresa said it. You don't like what you see, work on the changes because the people that just sit and complain might be worse than the people who pretend. Keep it up Father Hollowell! You inspire me to be a better Catholic!

  9. Crusades --

    As for the whores comment, read Ezekiel 16 --

    I also found some scripture about how God/Jesus dislike religion. Not to be confused with the church. That's why Jesus wanted to build a church because He didn't agree with how the Pharisees were living.

    I like best how John Hagee says it: "Religion is ritual without relationship"

    I'm just sayin'

    1. You aren't serious on the Ezekiel 16 reference are you? That's a famous passage - God says "Israel, I gave you everything, but you turned from me. You took my gifts and offered them at pagan altars." PAGAN altars. Are you suggesting that God is talking about religion in general? As a Bible guy, are you denying that the entire Torah is replete with commands and instruction for how the Jewish people were to practice their RELIGION...the same religion that Jesus, his parents, and his disciples practiced before during and after Jesus was with them on earth?

      John Hagee called the Catholic Church the whore of Babylon so it isn't a surprise that someone would be a fan of both this video and Hagee.

      The Crusades - yes, some settle for the coloring book version of history "Church = bad war mongerers motivated by religion...everyone else involved = good people" Come on man!

  10. The crusades.... The Holy War...

    Can't say I really agree with your comments father, but at the end of the day what is wrong with the video? He's a young man trying to bring people closer to Jesus.

    He's not hating on the church he's hating on religion. They aren't the same thing.

  11. That's why I made the history comment in the video. JV historians who take their entire view of history from their "western civ 101" class in college will say things like "see, religion causes wars like the crusades and holy wars." The crusades took place over approximately 500 YEARS! The motivations, people, etc. that are involved in events that span 500 years can't be reduced to a sound bite. It's the same people who never bother to look at what all really took place with Galileo, the inquisition, etc. But then again, Jesus said the victory wouldn't come this side of the veil of time.

  12. Ok, so we will go with current day. The war over the land of Israel is and always will be a battle of religions. The Jews say the land is promised to them in the Torah, but the Muslims say the Quran says the land is theirs. In the end, God will decide who the land will go to.

    I do agree with the last... "He's not hating on the church he's hating on religion. They aren't the same thing."

    1. Do you think if everyone in the Middle East was an atheist then they wouldn't be fighting? World War II wasn't motivated by religion, and it is the bloodiest war we've ever seen.

      The other interesting thing is that what this guy is rapping about IS A RELIGION! The Muslims wouldn't consider this guy to be any more acceptable than Southern Baptists, Anglicans, or Catholics - so to pretend that if we followed this guys "religion" then all war would go away is naive.

  13. I do respect you, I just do not agree with what you are saying about this video. It seems you do a great job reaching young people and I hope you reach many. Young people need someone to teach them about Jesus no matter what religious view they have on their profile.

    When I graduated RHS I was not even sure Jesus was real. Now as a Christian, I try to reflect Jesus in all ways; it is a constant struggle, but my life is better than it ever has been. I am thankful for the 12 years of Catholic schooling that kept God in my life.

    Bless all of those who know and understand why they believe what they believe and I pray for those who do not.

  14. Father,

    The title at the very top is so powerful but I feel you must remind all who come here the promise of Our Lord that goes with the rest of Matt-16:18...The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it!!!!!!

    Keep fighting the good fight Father. Keep standing up for the truth and the beautiful Bride of Christ! You do not suffer in Vain!
    For many did leave Our Lord's side when He said this is my body and blood which is true food and will be given up for you!
    Who stayed by His side when the multitude left? Peter and the twelve!

    This gift we have been given in the catholic Church is greater than we could ever imagine. I think people get confused and they see church as a building, collars, and motions mostly because they do not take the time to understand their faith. It is easier to debunk based on ones perception. I only say this because I have been in this young mans shoes, that is until I fell in absolute love with His Bride, Holy Mother Church and many others continue to do so as well.

    We praise the good God that this young man has a spark of love for Our King, so did St.Paul before he was knocked off high horse. We must trust that God will turn good out of this.

    We pray that he and many others come to know the Son of the living God through His Sacred vessel,His Mother, Mary. She holds the keys to loving her son in Truth:)

    By the way the video was awesome!

    Peace and all good to all
    and a special prayer and blessing for you Father.

    1. Why is it that your comments are so in defense of the "Catholic Church" instead of believers in general. The Catholic organization or corporation is just that. Jesus was about one on one relationships and each person being the church. He never said a church organization will save you and you must pay the church for your sins and do,do do to be saved and pray to saints and pray to Mary and only eat Fish on Friday (to benefit the fishermen) and only priests can interpret the Bible and not marry and the list goes on to what the church decides. Following Jesus all the way.

    2. My response is defensive of the Catholic Church because I am a member of the Catholic Church which is directly attacked in the video.

      I'm also defensive because people like you say "It's just a corporation." That is an attack; that is saying that I am a member of a group of people that are going AGAINST Jesus' Will.

      Jesus never said each person is the church.

      The Church doesn't say the Church will save anyone, the Church says Jesus saves people THROUGH the Church. Jesus chose to use the Church as His vehicle. Ask Him why he did that if you are curious in an answer.

      "pay the Church for your sins"??? Seriously?

      Praying to saints - do you ever pray to anyone who is dead? If your mom or dad passed away, would you occasionally offer up a prayer asking them to pray for you? That's what Catholics do - "St. Anthony, pray for me..." You all lose your minds though when it is a saint as opposed to a dead relative or friend. What is the difference though?

      "Fish on Friday" - your true colors here are shining forth. Do you know anything about the Church from first hand knowledge, or did you gain it all from John Hagee and other Protestant tracts against the Church?

      How does one follow "Jesus all the way?" Let me know. There are currently 26,000 Protestant denominations in the United States who teach vastly different things from one another. 26,000 different organizations and churches that are all "following JUST Jesus" - interesting that the "following JUST Jesus" looks vastly different depending on who you talk to. Maybe that's why Jesus founded a Church on Peter?

    3. Because the Catholic(ONE -Universal-Diverse) Church is the mystical body of Christ and when you begin to see it in that sense, especially through the Sacraments He instituted for our salvation, you will defend it at any cost. Those very Sacraments heal each broken soul including I,just the same way as Jesus did when He performed all his miracles. The Church is living out the life of Christ until He returns, and when you see how many of us suffer defending His truth you see Christ suffering in His passion. When he defended Truth all his life he was rejected by people who followed his law but did not know Him. Yes there are sinners and saints in the Church, but that should only make you feel welcomed.

      I can't give you an answer that will change you, God in all His power and wisdom will reveal these things to you. But you have to put your guards down and seek, seek, seek. Fight for truth! What is Truth nowadays? where was it, where will it be in the future.

      I used to throw rocks at the Catholic Church too, but i was attacking a HUGE Ship when all I had to do was go in and take a look at the beauty and glory of the Body of Christ and my friend I tell you now...I am in absolute love with it all!

      When you receive the body and blood of Christ nothing on this earth will fulfill you the way a loving Father gives his own flesh and blood for his children. Let alone God willing it.

      Also try to read the old testament and see the covenants God was making with the people of Isreal. The fore telling of Christ and the Church is in genesis.

      Dude it is awesome! I keep learning everyday, about Christ, His mother, the Saints(who struggled just as we did) pain, beauty, joy, laughter, hurts, sorrows, tears, knowledge, virtue, understanding, and Trust and so much more!

      I wish everyone well on their Faith journeys with God and in Christ! You can look at me as another woman at the whale.

      Lord have mercy on me a beggar and a sinner

      Peace and all good

  15. I'm not Catholic, and so do not have the experience of beautiful vestments, etc. Nonetheless, in Mark 14 there is a story about expensive offerings and the poor always being with us. I realize the context is a little different, inasmuch as He was saying that He would only be on earth a little while, but isn't that what church is about at least to some degree? Also, I have a real issue with the concept that we do not "help" poor people enough. At what point does a man not work and not eat?

  16. He's not attacking the church father 2:21 "I love the church"

    1. He says he loves the "church" but watch the whole video and tell me what he means by "church"? In talking to a class of seniors at Ritter on the videos, we were noting how words don't seem to mean very much to him, or it seems very confusing at the least. He says he's not attacking the "church" but everything he says IS an attack on the Church. The Catholic Church builds churches, the Catholic Church believes in the power of external actions, the Catholic Church has annulments, etc. etc.

      If you feel like he isn't attacking what you believe as a Catholic, that's great. But I think many Catholics that have seen the video feel a very direct attack on the Church in this video.

  17. Interesting comments here I must say. OK, so here's a couple statements... one statement I'd like some enlightenment on please...

    Here's what I'd like enlightenment on please... I say this not in mockery... I will never mock the church that Jesus Christ founded ... ever... I love Jesus, I love the church ... in all it's glory and lack thereof...

    1. The Crusades happened. Do you agree with the Crusades? Were the crusades not about commanding people to convert or die? If not, then why did the Crusades have to take place?

    The truth is... there are less than perfect people in the church and in various of other world religions who don't always respond the right way... you have the crusades and the sex abuse scandle that have rocked the church... this is part of the churches history the church needs to acknowledge and continue to repent from... but please, maybe my knowledge of the Crusades isn't a full knowledge... what were the crusades about? Was it more of a political movement where people in high ranking political position used the church and Christ's name wrongly? If so, what has the Roman Catholic church done to remove themselves from such a horrible period of history such as the Crusades? I commend the church's response to the sex abuse scandle... it's great to see the Roman Catholic church own their role in this and it's great to see the Roman Catholic church own their role within the Residential School system... what about the Crusades? Did the Roman Catholic church ever let Constantine know the Crusades are not going to be encouraged and/or endorsed by the Roman Catholic church? What was the role, if any, did the Roman Catholic church play with regards to the Crusades? Please, I'd like to understand... seriously... no really, truly, I'd like to hear from you on this...

    2. Fish on Friday to benefit the fisherman? Now I've heard everything. Ummm it's a day of fasting, some choose to not eat meat and may even choose to not eat fish but many choose to eat fish because it's not really classified as meat... I am curious as to how the tradition of eating fish on friday came about though. I was raised in a Catholic family so I grew up eating fish on friday but back then I just assumed that since we were a really large family and my father was a fisherman it just became a way of life and resourceful.

    I don't need enlightenment with regards to fish on Fridays but please share with me and others the Roman Catholic church's official teaching on the Crusades. Please... I sincerely ask.

  18. The Crusades can be simplified in this way.

    America went to WWII because Germany was rolling across Europe. If they didn't stand with France and England, the fight would eventually come to the U.S. anyway - so they made their stand against the spreading Germanic empire

    Islam was spreading rapidly throughout the East, just as Germany was rapidly spreading in the 1930's. The Church, also serving as the ruling body for most of Western Europe, recognized that if it didn't stand with Constantinople and fight the Muslims in the East, that they would topple Constantinople and Jerusalem and eventually come for Rome later anyways.

    Of course there were 5 Crusades over the course of 500 years for sometimes differing reasons each time, but I think this is a fair summary