Kung Fu Catholics
I went to watch Kung Fu Hustle with some hipster friends last night. My ride made me run late, so in the rush to get inside the movie theater, I blindly led my friend into the wrong showing of the movie. It turns out the flick was showing on two screens, at 7 and 7:50. It was 8pm when we arrived at the theater so we thought the movie had just started. We walked in to the 7pm showing and consequently missed half of the show. We didn't realize till we walked into the lobby, to wait for our friends, who had so inconsideratly not waited for us. Ooops. Then we walked to the theater where we should have been and there they were - two seats, just waiting for us. Too bad we had already seen the 2nd half of the flick.
After the movie we went to have a couple of drinks at Manuel's, which happens to be in the same center as the theater. The conversation somehow led to religion. Two atheists and two catholics (I being a member of the latter). One of the a-friends started talking about cultural catholicism. Hmmm, I wonder if I'm a cultural catholic. This web site is pretty harsh of cultural catholics, but here's what they define it as:
The majority of Catholics in the world probably fit into the category of cultural Catholics. This group is unlike any other type we have considered above. Their identification as "Catholic" is simply more cultural and social than religious. They might rightly be called "womb to tomb Catholics." They often are born in a Hispanic, Irish, Polish, French, or Italian families -- and are therefore baptized, married, and buried in the Catholic church -- but have little or no concern about spiritual matters. Cultural Catholics do not understand Catholicism, nor do they seriously follow its ethical teaching. But they nevertheless have an emotional commitment to the Catholic church. When they attend Mass, it is out of habit or family obligation, not religious conviction. Being Catholic to them is essentially a cultural identity (they may even be secular or humanistic [or postmodernist] in their thinking). This is not unlike how some Jews are merely ethnically or culturally Jewish, rather than adherents to Judaism. It is also like the person who is Lutheran only because he happens to be born into a German family, or the Anglican who is only Anglican because she was born into a British family. You see, it happens in Protestantism as well. Nominal Catholics, like nominal Protestants, do not understand Christianity, and they do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. With all due respect, President John F. Kennedy would seem to have fit well the mold of a cultural Catholic.
The conversation was good, the different points of view interesting, and the chips and hot sauce satisfying. It made for an enjoyable evening.