An open letter to Catholic Answers
I came across your site, Catholic Answers, when I was looking for agnostic sites other than my own. In fact, I had typed agnostic.ca in my web browser and was immediately redirected to your site. I found that quite surprising, and even more surprising when, in testing other possibilities, I found that atheist.ca produced the same results. Interestingly, catholic.ca (which is owned by the same person who has invested in the two non-believer domain names), does not redirect to your site, but to the Vatican.
You might find this redirection amusing and you may even be chuckling quietly to yourself as you read this, and I have to agree that it is funny. It is also consistent with the phrase in your mission statement “lead non-Catholics into the fullness of the faith.” But I ask you if it is consistent with the part in your mission statement about “bringing the fullness of Catholic truth to the world” and I deliberately emphasize the word “truth”? I find the automated redirection to be dishonest, not truthful. Perhaps a minor dishonesty in your opinion, but nevertheless factually dishonest, and dishonest in a spiritual sense.
The Catholic Church pretends (and I use pretend in both senses) to give moral guidance to all of us regardless of our religious beliefs. Does this dishonesty in advancing the faith not undermine that pretension?
It has been said by various members of the Catholic hierarchy over the years that morality is not possible without God. I’ve lived through six of your Popes who thought that. I am not impressed with the morality that comes with belief in God if you support dishonesty, however minor, to bring people to your faith.
I would not care if the two domains in question were used to host a rabid attack on atheism and agnosticism. I would not care if the two domains in question hosted a statement to the effect that agnosticism and atheism led directly to hell, and a recommendation that visitors click on a link to your site to find salvation. But no! All there is when these two domains are typed into a browser is an unsolicited automatic redirection. And that is dishonest. It is also more likely to anger someone against Catholicism than it is to open a mind to Catholic views.
I recognize that you may not be responsible directly for this. Some individual may have undertaken this in a misguided personal attempt to advance Catholicism. In view of the fact that it is dishonest and reflects badly on you, it is in your interest to stop it if you are responsible or to request the third party to stop. The owner of the domains is easily available via a simple whois search.
This open letter to you has been published on the Apathetic Agnostic website. Should you choose to respond, your answer will also be published on the website.
- As of the end of October 2009, agnostic.ca still redirects to Catholic Answers - but atheist.ca is now redirected to a book review on Catholic.net - a review of a book which attacks the views expressed in books by Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris. At least that redirection is somewhat more in line with my view expressed in para 5 of my open letter.
- I am still waiting on that answer. I can only conclude that the Catholic owners of Catholic Answers continue to support dishonesty.