Bad Catholic Takes Down “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus”

Marc Barnes, The Bad Catholic, does an excellent job of taking apart the misguided sentiment and illogical arguments contained in this video, Why I hate Religion, But Love Jesus (H/T The Anchoress). Excerpt:

“So onto the first bit of silliness — the idea that Jesus came to abolish religion. Unforgivable. He literally said the opposite: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” What were the Law and the Prophets? Judaism. What is Judaism? A religion. What did Jesus specifically say he was NOT going to abolish? That’s right. A religion. (Aaand you just got Kris Kringled.)

This is made apparent not only in the words, but in the actions of Jesus Christ. Whether you believe in the sacraments or not, there is no doubt that Christ established ritual. It’s one thing to ignore Christ’s statement to “eat my body.” It’s another to ignore his command to “do this in memory of me.” Christ commanded that we have ritual. The early church followed this ritual, they obeyed his command to “do this in memory of me.” We know this because Paul says: “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” Does the mere Christ-follower-religion-hater obey Christ’s command to eat his body and drink his blood, and to do it in memory of Him? I do not mean ask whether they believe in the True Presence of Christ in the bread and wine, I simply mean to ask whether they follow the ritual Christ established at all? If not, it would seem that to be a Christ-follower is to ignore the commands Christ bid you follow. And there’s more of this Christ guy being ridiculously religious.

He established a priesthood in the Apostles. If that word freaks you out, I’ll rephrase: He gave certain men very distinct roles.”

I am going to copy and paste this great post from not so Bad Catholic and keep it in my files for future reference. Read the whole post; the excerpt does not do it justice.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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4 Responses to Bad Catholic Takes Down “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus”

  1. Mike The Former Atheist says:

    I think Marc Barnes entirely misses the point of the “I hate religion, love Jesus” concept and therefore fails to provide a rebuttal. The quote is not intended to speak against “established rituals” since non-Catholic Christians also have “established rituals”. As a former atheist with a catholic background and now current Christian apologist with a theological degree from a Christian university, I can confirm that what this quote speaks against is the practice of putting excess emphasis on ritual, sacraments, legalism, etc and not necessarily “religion” itself. To illustrate, I will use my own non-Catholic, Baptist congregation as an example. My church refuses to allow contemporary music (drums, guitars, uplifting songs like Hillsong United) because of a fear that this will somehow lead to head banging music in the church. This extreme legalism is what atheists and skeptics call “religion”. As a former atheist, I can attest to this. Within the catholic church I would argue that atheists (and non-catholic Christians) call the routine, word-by-word, repetitive nature of mass as something that is “religion” when there is no personal relationship with Christ (I.E., go to church on Sundays, have no relationship with Christ Monday through Saturday).

    Therefore, the rebuttal brought about by Marc is a false rebuttal as it does not tackle what the quote addresses and is more than likely him taking the quote very personal instead of understanding what it is.

    Mike the Former Atheist


  2. Susan Kehoe says:

    Hi Mike,
    Thank you for visiting! But I think that you need to listen to the video (see link above), and then read Marc’s article in full. Marc is not addressing the quote in the header. He is addressing the specific claim that the video makes: “Jesus came to abolish religion”.

    Jesus was a Jew he participated in ritual and he established the “ritual” of the New Covenant, the Eucharist, at the last supper. As for law, as Marc points out Jesus himself said that he came to fulfill the law not abolish it.

    Please do read Marc’s post and watch the video. Then feel free to counter argue.
    God bless,


    • Mike The Former Atheist says:

      Hi Susan.

      I agree with the statements in your reply and believe non-Catholic Christians would agree with you. I was, however, replying specifically to the portion that you placed on your blog. If there is more to it, I don’t think I could take time now to read into it now. Hence, the fair thing to do would be to withdraw my rebuttal yet maintain the veracity of my argument when understood in a context other than this conversation.


      • Susan Kehoe says:

        Hi Mark,
        Well I should have taken the time to read your comment more carefully. Mea Culpa. For the record, I agree that all Christians need to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Marc begins his post agreeing with that as well.

        At the dismissal rite, my deacon husband, tells the parishioners to “Go in peace glorifying Christ with your life”. In the Eucharist we receive Christ . That is indeed an intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior. Also we are called to be Christ to others.

        As for laws: yes rigidity can be an obstacle to knowing Jesus Christ. Although IMHO anything that keeps out drums and guitars and 1970″s contemporary music is just fine with me :),

        Finally the word for word repetitive nature of Mass. Jesus and the Apostles as observant
        Jews did exactly that in the synagogue and Temple. The words of Mass are lifted from
        God Bless,


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