cafeteria Catholics

Lynne Murphy M_Lynne_Murphy at BAYLOR.EDU
Tue Nov 9 04:52:34 UTC 1999

Continuing on our discussion of religion, the cover story on Tuesday's
Salon ( is about Kevin Smith's new film _Dogma_, which the
Catholic League is protesting.  Here's a bit quoting some of the
Catholic League people, but there's lots more interesting usage of
religious terms in the article:

                                But it's still hard to understand why
Smith's movie -- or any work of any sort --
                                shouldn't be taken by Catholics on its
own terms. (To his credit, even Pat
                                Buchanan dropped into the Brooklyn Art
Museum last week to see Ofili's
                                painting. He decided it was offensive --
but noted that his training as a journalist
                                required that he see it for himself
before making any pronouncement.) When I
                                mentioned to both Donohue and McCloskey
that Kevin Smith says he is a
                                practicing Catholic -- noting that
they'd probably consider him a "cafeteria
                                Catholic," one who picks and chooses
from among the doctrines -- they both
                                dismissed his claim out of hand. "A
cafeteria Catholic is basically a person who's
                                saying that their Catholicism is their
own," McCloskey explains. "But it's not the
                                church's. And the definition of that is
the Protestant."



M. Lynne Murphy, Assistant Professor in Linguistics
Department of English, Baylor University
PO Box 97404, Waco, TX 76798 USA
Phone:  254-710-6983     Fax:  254-710-3894

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