Chances are good that my post title got your attention. You might even be a little angry.
Imagine how much angrier you'd get if I wrote post after post attacking Protestantism as a "false religion," wondering out loud if my Protestant friends would ever truly know Jesus, worrying that they were all going to Hell, and deriding them for having abandoned the ancient Biblical worship of Christianity for new "worship services" that are more like pop-psychology than real prayer.
Now imagine how you'd feel if you found out that my blog, where these imaginary posts had been interspersed with recipes and homeschooling ideas, had just won an award.
If you were a Protestant Christian homeschooler, I bet you'd be pretty upset about this.
Well, guess what? It happened. Only the blogger bashing somebody else's religion is a Protestant Christian, and the religion she's bashing is Roman Catholicism.
This diligent Catholic blogger has been keeping tabs on the situation. Particularly useful is Elena's list of links to specific anti-Catholic posts that the blogger, Candy, has written, since Candy has a tendency to hide her archives and make it less likely that the unwary Catholic reader will recognize her hate-filled bigotry at first glance. But as any one of Elena's links demonstrates, Candy has an ax to grind against Catholics and the Catholic church, and she isn't above some KKK-style ranting about false religions in addition to some truly ugly discourse about a "counterfeit Mary and Jesus" that is highly offensive to Catholics.
You would think that the people hosting the Homeschool Blog Awards might find some of Candy's posts to be a violation of the spirit of the awards, but you'd be wrong. Elena has documented some of her communication with them here; I can vouch for the letter she received, as it contains many of the same words and phrases as the letter I received when I wrote to complain.
And that's where I have a big problem with this. It's not about "ruffling Catholic feathers" or about Candy expressing her beliefs. I'm in favor of free speech, myself; but if I were running an awards blog, I wouldn't allow people who expressed hatred or bigotry toward any group of people to be eligible to win. It's just that simple.
After all, if Candy were "ruffling Jewish feathers" by saying that she thought Jews weren't saved, do you think the Homeschool Blog Awards people would overlook that? If Candy were "ruffling minority feathers" by expressing a belief that white people were the chosen people and other races should serve them, would the Homeschool Blog Awards people say, in effect, "Well, she's not attacking any one individual person, so it doesn't matter?" If Candy were "ruffling Muslim feathers" by...well, that's silly; Candy wouldn't dare, would she?
Homeschool Blog Awards members, why is anti-Catholic bigotry the only bigotry still generally acceptable to many other Christians? Why is it okay for people like Candy to mock our religion and show open disrespect and even hostility to our faith? Why is it that you dismiss Catholic concerns about this whole situation with condescending talk about how Catholics need to accept people who aren't "like" us and a presumptuous hope that we Catholics can "forgive" Candy for her strident, vile, ugly Catholic-baiting and Catholic-bashing? Would you talk this way to people offended by one of your award-winning bloggers' racism or anti-semitic views, if such a blogger were ever to be nominated for, and win, one of your awards?
Frankly, I can't imagine you permitting an openly racist or anti-semitic blogger to win an award; I certainly can't imagine you telling a minority or Jewish person what you told me, which was this:
I'm sure you already did the best thing you could have done since you did not agree with "Welcome to Keeping the Home"... and that was to vote against her in her category! I hope you'll participate next year so that you can nominate some great Catholic bloggers so they can be in the awards. I know there were many that were nominated this year. :) Thanks for putting your personal grievances about that one blog aside so that you could join in the fun for 2007.
Rest assured, I won't be nominating ANY Catholic bloggers for a Homeschool Blog Award next year; I won't be participating in their contest in any way at any time in the future, either. People who are not even remotely troubled by hateful bigotry against Catholics are not people with whom I choose to associate.