Rally to restore the Catholic church's sanity

Last weekend, I bundled up and headed down to the National Mall for the much anticipated "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" being thrown by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. To say it was crowded would be an understatement. We couldn't get close enough to see or hear what was going on, so we settled at a Thai restaurant nearby and watched the event on television.

Many of my friends questioned the purpose of such an event. I admit, I was going more because I love Stewart and Colbert and less because I got the point. However, as I listened to them speak and watched the signs in the crowd, the purpose became clear. In a nation that has become so polarized by politics, we need a little dose of sanity. We need to remember the rational, great ideals that form the basis of our country and stop the mud-slinging.

That got me thinking: You know what else could use a dose of sanity? The Catholic church.

We, as a church, are polarized. We have forgotten the basis of our faith -- those fundamental and quite reasonable values that could make our church great, sane and fear-free.

So, I asked a bunch of people via Facebook, Twitter and a few listservs what their sign would say at a "Rally to Restore the Catholic Church's Sanity," and the response was overwhelming and often hilarious. Without further ado, I give you the top 50:

  1. I disagree with you, but I do not think you are a heretic!

  2. Catholics United for Better Wine at Mass

  3. I like to go to Latin Mass with my same-sex partner.

  4. Jesus was an immigrant.

  5. I admire your attempts to follow the Gospel, even if I find them misguided.

  6. I go to Mass on Sundays, and I vote on Tuesdays.

  7. Jesus was on the margins of his society. Where is our Church?

  8. The Catholic Church: Keeping fear and/or guilt alive for over 2000 years.

  9. Christ our hope, Benedict our pope.

  10. Nuns rock!

  11. St. Joesph has been buried in my backyard for a while. Will someone please buy my house?

  12. Really? That's what you think Jesus would do?

  13. Vote for Pedro for Pope.

  14. Pews could really be more comfortable.

  15. Cyber stoning is just as bad.

  16. Where are the women?

  17. Use condoms.

  18. God is gender-neutral!

  19. How can we be more humble and compassionate?

  20. JPII, we were ok with you!

  21. Shouldn't we be saying more about peace?

  22. You misunderstood the story. The Sanhedrin weren't the good guys!

  23. Questioning is not heresy; questioning is fidelity.

  24. Proud cafeteria Catholic.

  25. St. Anthony helped me find my keys this morning.

  26. God is love.

  27. I don't have the same political beliefs as my priest, and I'm fine with that.

  28. I pray the rosary and I like my ovaries.

  29. Keep laughing in the face of any nonsense. It is a sign of our spiritual freedom!

  30. Galatians 3:28 -- Support full equality in the Church.

  31. Whom would Jesus excommunicate?

  32. The Holy Spirit sets us all on fire!

  33. Abusing children is lame.

  34. Jesus was a Communist.

  35. I think the pope's clothes are sassy.

  36. The church is all God's people, not just the ordained ones.

  37. Ask a laywoman.

  38. It's flu season. We need a hand sanitizer break after the sign of peace.

  39. Poor (should) rule.

  40. Jesus was serious about that whole "love they neighbor" thing.

  41. Equal rites for all.

  42. I can't wait for someone to kiss my ring.

  43. Incense makes my eyes water.

  44. No man owns our church.

  45. God loves Adam and Steve.

  46. I like homilies that are under five minutes.

  47. Don't worship out of fear!

  48. Justin Bieber for pope!

  49. Melt all your gold, help the world.

  50. Free donuts!

If you think our church could use a little more sanity and a little less fear, I invite you to offer your sign suggestion in the comments or pick your favorite from above!

[Kate Childs Graham writes for ReligionDispatches.org and YoungAdultCatholics-Blog.com. She also serves on the Women’s Ordination Conference board of directors and the Call to Action Next Generation Leadership Team.]

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