Friday, October 21, 2005

Catholics and Mormons (He he he)

Mark Brumely, writing on Ignatius Insight, has the idea that Catholics and members of the Latter Day Saints church tend to "talk past each other" when debating religion. Here's a (really funny!) part of what he imagines to be the typical Catholic-Mormon apologetics discussion - right down to the old "if you are defending the Catholic Church and you get frustrated, throw the Summa and St. Thomas at them! The thousands of pages will overwhelm your opponent!" trick. I admit to having done this occasionally myself (crawls away in shame). And it always helps if it's ... a ... pocket edition. Ha!:

Catholic Guy: So I don't belong to the true Church, you do, right?

Latter-Day Saints Guy: That's right.

Catholic: And what evidence do you have for this?

LDS: Well, there is the testimony of Joseph Smith and I testify as well that--

Catholic: No, I mean evidence. Show me, historically speaking, where Christianity went off the tracks. Show me where there is serious evidence of all that the LDS Church claims about ancient Christianity and about North America.

LDS: Well, there were the Gnostics who believed–

Catholic: I'm not talking about Gnostics. We know what they were and they weren't Mormons.

LDS: Have you ever read the Book of Mormon?

Catholic: No. Have you ever read the Summa Theologiae?

LDS: The what?

Catholic: The Summa Theologiae. By St. Thomas Aquinas. I just happen to have a pocket edition of the whole thing right here. Here's volume 1. Volume 2. Volume3. Volume 4. Volume 5. Volume 6. Volume 7. [A bit later.] And this is Volume 27.

LDS: As I say, I have never read it. But the Book of Mormon is a lot shorter.

Catholic: I don't know that the smallness of a book inversely correlates to the largeness of its truth.

LDS: Say what?

Catholic: Just because your book is shorter doesn't mean you're right.

LDS: Good point. But we have a lot of other Scriptures you don't have.

Catholic: And we have seven Old Testament books that you don't have, so don't start pulling this, "Our holy books have more pages than your holy books" argument. It's quality that counts here, not quantity.

LDS: True. But having lots of books is still important. Have you ever read Orson Scott Card? Look at all the books he's written. Only the true Church could produce such a great science fiction writer. He's a Mormon. Therefore, the LDS Church is the restored Church of Jesus Christ. Q.E.D.
Hilarious! The rest of it is pretty good, too. It's a good reminder to be careful that when defending Christianity we don't create more heat than light ;)

Oh, and it's true they have Orson Scott Card, but as "Catholic Guy" goes on to point out, we have G.K. Chesterton. And we J.R.R. Tolkien. So there! ;)