Stephen puts a former altar boy in his place

I found this post on the Guild Review immensely gratifying.  Stephen is responding to an attack on the Catholic Church by someone who presumes to be an expert on the subject because–you guessed it–he used to be an altar boy.

…please–please–do not begin our discussion with “I used to be an altar boy.” If you start out that way, I will stop listening.


Because it shows me that what you’re really trying to do is to forestall any criticism of your opinions. You’re trying to impress me with your credentials, rather than engaging in an honest dialog. You’re setting youself up as some kind of an authority, when you never got past a child’s understanding of the Church.

Do you realize, by the way, just how ridiculous you sound when you claim to speak authoritatively about the Church just because you were an altar boy twenty years ago? That’s like claiming you’re an expert on the theory of relativity because you won first prize in a science fair in grade school.

For some reason, everybody imagines that he or she is an expert on the Roman Catholic Church.  I’ve never met someone who didn’t think he could pontificate on this one subject without even bothering to read up on what the church actually teaches and why.  (I know, I know.  I do a lot of pontificating on Catholicism myself.  Fortunately, I’ve got my erudite readership to tell me when I get too far out of line.  I can console myself with the knowledge that I really am an expert on the theory of relativity, though.)

The Guild Review is well worth your time, by the way.  You can get to it from my list of links to the right.

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