We all remember high school and its cliques: the jocks, the nerds, the stoners, etc…and of course the mass of kids who just hope to survive without any embarrassing moments on their permanent record. One thing was certain: you were either a cool kid, or you wanted to be one. If you were a cool kid, you did everything in your power to remain in that position, and if you weren’t, you did everything you could to be accepted by the cool kids.
I’m reminded of this Lord of the Flies scenario by the attitude of many practicing Catholics today. Being a Catholic today is like being the last kid picked for kickball, and the kid picked before you was on crutches. This impacts how we interact with our culture: we all have a natural desire to be liked and accepted. So we have a temptation to grasp any acceptance we can find, like an insecure teenage girl who wants the quarterback to notice her. Every few weeks Catholic social media gushes over a random celebrity who said something that wasn’t completely anti-Catholic. Did you hear? Mark Wahlberg said he goes to Mass! Hey, Patricia Heaton is pro-life! Melania Trump looked at a Mary statue! Catholics end up sounding like a Sally Field acceptance speech, “They like me – they really like me!”