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Thou shall not judge others by stereotypes

When you hear that a person is Catholic, what do you think of automatically? That the person thinks gays and transgenders are abominations? That the person thinks you can pray a person’s pain away? There are hundreds of stereotypes about Catholic people, and I am here to clarify what is real and what is fake.

To begin, not all Catholics think gay or transgender people are abominations. We do not believe that gays or transgenders are hated by God. I am Catholic and I support gay and transgender rights.

In my lifetime, I have attended and absorbed information from Sunday School classes, Bible Camps (when I was really little), CCD classes, and church sermons, and I have NEVER been told that gay or transgender people do not go to Heaven, do not deserve to be loved, or that they will go to Hell.

Another misconception about Catholics is that people think that the Catholic community is anti-women. This is unbelievably false. In fact, most of the priests I have been exposed to preach to men and young boys and tell them the importance of respecting and loving the women in their lives.

No matter where you turn, you will face sexist people. Sexist people come in all races, religions, shapes, and sizes. There are sexists in the Catholic community, just like there are sexists in the Jewish community, the Islamic community, the Presbyterian community, etcetera. Do not let false stereotypes convince you that my religion is full of sexist men.

Many believe that the Catholic faith is made up of white, pro-life followers. To begin, Catholic people are not made up of just one race. In the Roman Catholic church I attend, there are a lot of Spanish people (in fact, there is a Spanish mass every week for those who primarily speak Spanish), a few Asian families, a couple of Indian families, and a couple of black families. Catholics are not just white. The pro-life aspect is very true. Catholics are anti-abortion. We believe that every being deserves to live and every life was created for a reason.

Here is a true stereotype about the Catholic religion: we believe in giving back to our community. During Christmastime, my church has a giving tree. Around Thanksgiving, we have food drives. Throughout the year, we have soup drives and clothing drives.

We also pray A LOT. Some of us more than others. Honestly, I do not know if the way I pray is actually praying or just talking to God…but I do it anyhow. I pray over everything. I thank God for the blessings he has provided my family, my friends, and myself, and I ask him to help me achieve and maintain different things (like I ask him to somehow arrange for me to meet and fall in love with Harry Styles. Hey, you never know what could happen!).

Needless to say, most stereotypes you hear about Catholics are false. Do not judge a person by the stereotypes of their religious beliefs. What crazy stereotypes have you heard about Catholics? Do you now realize they are probably false, too?

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