A New Catholic Manifesto?

13 04 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

A recent survey found that there are as many Americans who claim no religion, as there are evangelicals and Catholics:

For the first time “No Religion” has topped a survey of Americans’ religious identity. . . . The non-religious edged out Catholics and evangelicals. . . .[2]

Also, it has been noted that “a growing number of Americans reject organized religion,” and that “‘No Religion’ will be the largest group outright in four to six years.”[3]  These conclusions do not surprise many if not most “believers”—which is the path less traveled.

Some of us “experienced” God at one time or another in our lives[4]; and without that, it is likely that we too would not only reject organized religion, but any belief in a “Higher Power” altogether.  We might look at the cruelties, injustices and sadness in Life, and wonder how a loving God could allow this.  It seems to fly in the face of logic and rational belief systems.[5]

Indeed, to “push” our belief systems on others, or even to mention the life-changing moment we experienced, seems arrogant and pious.  Each and every human being, or animal, is a child of God . . . or so many of us believe.  We are not special because of what happened to us, but we were privileged—and yes, blessed—to have it happen.  With that comes a sense of responsibility, to help others.

Often, evangelicals proselytize, quite vigorously, which turns off others.  If the “targets” were willing to be open-minded, having religion “shoved down their throats” can be threatening and repulsive.  However well-intentioned such evangelicals may be, they can have the opposite effect, of turning away the “candidate” from any religion, which is human nature.  Each of us is on a unique path to God, or so I believe, which is not shared by anyone else.

We fall, and get up again and move on.  We are not heroes or saints or anything else except another human being.  We are no more or less than our fellow human beings.  Each day we seem to struggle with our beliefs and faith.  As I have written:

I had essentially a “near-death” experience some years ago, similar to what others have described, during which I experienced God . . . as an intense bright light at the end of a tunnel, and as Infinite Intelligence of which our own intelligence is merely a part. God was neither masculine nor feminine. My mother had died months before it happened, and I felt her presence and I knew she was with God.

From that moment forward, I have never doubted that God exists, or that God created everything—heaven and earth and everything in between. However, I continually seek to understand how God operates in my life, on a day-to-day basis. The closest I have come is my belief that God acts through us as faith, inspiration, prayer, miracles, and perhaps most of all, love. I believe that in expressing love, each of us is God in expression.[6]

Christianity is the largest religion in the world today[7]; and the Catholic Church, or the “Mother Church,” is the largest Christian denomination.[8]  In the case of some, our ancestors have been Catholics for centuries—and at least two hundred years.  We may not be “official Catholics” today, but we are drawn to the Church for a variety of reasons.  One of the most important is the Church’s stand on abortions, and its unwavering pro-life and anti-Infanticide policies.[9]

Jesus’ teachings were simple; and they are set forth in the New Testament, for anyone to read.  Was He the Messiah and Son of God?  I believe so.  In many ways, His messages were clear: to help the poorest of poor (e.g., homeless) and the downtrodden; and not to worship material things or “creature comforts.”  We come into this world with nothing, and we leave with nothing, just like the Pharaohs or monarchs of ancient Egypt.[10]

How and where has the Catholic Church gone astray, and diverged from the teachings of Jesus?[11]  How can it be brought back “on track,” so it is true to Jesus’ teachings?  For some non-believers, there is probably nothing that the Church could do that would “redeem its sins.”  Some are determined to destroy the Church, and organized religions altogether; and seemingly, nothing will change their minds or alter their paths.

Pedophilia has ripped the Church apart around the world, and in places like Ireland where the Church used to be so strong.  What can be done about this, at least with respect to those who are “open-minded” and not bent on destruction?  First, the Church needs to “clean house,” and rid its ranks of pedophiles who prey on others, and those who engage in human trafficking and slavery.  Second, there must not be more cover-ups.  Third, I believe there should be no more vows of celibacy or chastity, which are unnatural.  Fourth, the priesthood should be open and welcoming to women.

Lastly, why should I care?  Why should I or anyone else waste time writing an article like this or trying to make changes, which may be unlikely to move the Church or its adherents one single inch?  Indeed, few people may read this article, much less be moved by it.  And some may be repulsed and/or angry about what I have written.  Yet, I want to see Jesus’ wonderful teachings flourish, and for the Catholic Church to continue to promulgate such teachings far and wide—and yes, to serve God in the process.

The Church has helped millions of human beings worldwide, and it continues to do so.  This is its future.



© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele

[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/13/us/no-religion-largest-group-first-time-usa-trnd/index.html (“There are now as many Americans who claim no religion as there are evangelicals and Catholics, a survey finds”)

[3]  Id.

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”)

[5]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/#comment-426 (“For A Lovely Woman Named Cynthia Whose Faith In God Will Help Her”)

[6]  See infra n.4.

[7]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups#Largest_religious_groups (“Largest religious groups”)

[8]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church (“Catholic Church”)

[9]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticide (“Infanticide”)

As I have written:

An abortion is a criminal act: infanticide. Each of the mothers and the doctors and others who have participated—or participate in the future—in the taking of human lives should be arrested, tried, convicted and . . .

Abortion is the taking of a life!

. . .

IF any exceptions are to be made, they should only occur in the case of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is at risk.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-3298 (“55 Million American Babies Killed Since Roe v. Wade“)

[10]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharaoh (“Pharaoh”)

[11]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/the-catholic-church-at-a-crossroads/ (“The Catholic Church At A Crossroads”)


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