Here’s a quick one — this is more aimed at a difference between Catholicism and most other forms of Christianity: the baptism of infants. This strikes at neither evil nor dogma, but I feel it is a personal thing for me.
The part that rubs me the wrong way is simple: once you are baptized, the Church deems you are “permanently marked.” Much like a tattoo, but invisible.
Unlike a tattoo, you can’t remove this mark in their eyes.
But unlike a tattoo, if you had the sacrament of baptism as an infant you had no say in the matter.
Now let’s take a step back for a moment. The rationale behind this is that you must be baptized to get into heaven. Until a priest dunks you in water you, having not yet sinned, are not allowed in. Of course the baptized murderer who repented on his deathbed can.
Through the years it was decided that since a human didn’t symbolically wash away sin that God would hate them. This was a good way of getting postumas indulgences in the past of course — expensive work forgiving sins after you’ve already died it was. All the poor babies just sat outside of heaven in the proverbial limbo.
Thankfully the Church recently realized their folly. In 1992 the Vatican said that God himself is not bound by sacraments. (Finally, someone admitted to the fact that man does not in fact control God! *) As recently as 2007 — just 3 1/2 years ago — they reiterated that babies have a chance to get in. Of course if you believe that your god is a merciful god then you probably reached that same conclusion without the help of the folks in Rome.
Now this is all well and good. But what if you want to be unbaptized? What if you want to cut the cerimonial ribbon that ties you the Church? The Church gives no way of getting out of it’s cult.
And that, my friends, is the problem.
Most other faiths give you until you know what’s going on before you get in for good. The Amish even have Rumspringa to let their hair down to see what it’s like on the outside. The Catholics want to get you in ASAP since you can’t say a thing about it at the time.
The likelihood that they’ll change their tune is slim though. Sacraments are expensive business don’t you know.
* – A counterargument is that god is always controlled by man, for he is its creator.