Why I love the Church – A response to Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus

Today, my Newsfeed was filled with people posting the below spoken word poem by Jefferson Bethke called “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus”.  I wrote a spoken word poem in response to it and also analyzed it point by point.  Badcatholic also wrote a wicked response to it (found here) and posted his before mine, but we were both thinking the same thing.  It’s good to be Catholic, I must say.

Jefferson Bethke – Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus


The Lyrics:

What if I told you that Jesus came and established a religion?

One that could alter all of the world’s decisions

One that would heal the sick,

and bring unity where there was division

Defended the poor, the homeless, and needy

Gave them a place to call home in every city

Restores human love to it’s orginal dignity

Instead of welcoming loose-living, lust, and promiscuity

Fulfilling the law, not abolishing it away

Giving us the Bread of Life every single day

Calling you out of sin that you blame on self expression

and offers you freedom

through the Sacrament of Confession

Guaranteeing that the Deposit of the Faith remains fully intact

Now matter how many ways that the world attacks

See being Catholic means seeking accountability,

from your local priest all the way up to the Holy See

And it calls us to seek virtue instead of vice

Giving us food that will last instead of what the devil uses to entice

I’m just sayin, Catholicism demands your life,

Though there is Mercy, He requires you confess and be contrite

Mother Teresa said God doesn’t call us to be successful,

He calls us the be faithful

Just like the Blessed Virgin Mary,

forever blessed and within whom grace is full

I did not know the glories of the Catholic Life

Until I came to encounter the Eucharistic Christ,

I could admire the art, and appreciate the history,

but I had to be drawn into the Sacred Mysteries

And once I did I saw that I had incredible worth

and that I was made for more than just walking the earth

Divine Mercy is an ocean, and my sin but a drop

and of all other loves, His is over the top

It pours out from the Tabernacle, comes to lay on your tongue

Jesus Himself dwelling within you bodily while the antiphon is sung.

You see, John 6:66 still happens today

Jesus offers Himself and the majority turn away

Just like the majority of  Protestants who think they love Him the most

Yet slander every idea of God in the Host.

So you see Jesus never hated “religion”, he never even used the name

He abhored sin and hypocrisy, he demands conversion and change

The commandments He gives are truth and freedom

and to those who obey, He offers the everlasting Kingdom

He gave us the Church to defend these ancient truths

To ensure that His Divine teaching would not be misused

The Sacred Scriptures, the Church does in fact own

and therefore teach that you should not base your faith on Scripture alone

The Inerrant Word and Sacred Tradition,

This is where the Church sets her vision

Proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the earth

A Saviour is given to us through a Virgin-Birth

The Salvation of Souls is the Church’s aim

and not once-saved-always saved- that’s a stupid prot game

Holiness of life is what the Lord desires

It is not a magical salvation prayer that He requires

We profess the True faith with our lips what we believe with our lives

Not whatever an individual bible reader contrives.

Baptism gives adopted sonship and the Eucharist – salvation.

This our Blessed Lord promises, not a simple prayer of persuasion.

The birth of the Church was the death of  her Lord

its life came from His side where Blood and Water outpoured

This faith is not man made, but created by the One who made man

If you don’t believe it, read Matthew 16:18 if you can.

From the Cross he hung, and loved us to the last

His blood was enough to pay our ransom, future, present, past

But don’t forget that this horrific sight on calvary displayed

is made present on our altars every single day

If the wages of sin is death, he completely paid our wage

to ensure that He could be with us until the “end of the age”.

So come let us adore Our Blessed Eucharistic Lord

Make reparation to the heart that we pierced with a sword

Receive with hearts of love His Precious Body and Blood

letting the power of His Real presence come like a cleansing flood

Cause if God Himself declares, He said what he meant

Then I’m going to be faithful to that, unlike the protestants.

(The italics are my response) 

What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion
(Jesus came not to abolish but to fulfill the law – the Mosaic Law which
is found in a religion-Judaism)

What if I told you voting republican really wasn’t his mission
(He did not vote but he was subject to the Law of the Land – “Give to
Caesar what is Caesar’s”)

What if I told you republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian
(That is true)

And just because you call some people blind
Doesn’t automatically give you vision
(That makes sense sort of?)

I mean if religion is so great, why has it started so many wars
(“Religion” has not started wars – people have started wars)

Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor
(The Catholic Church has created large houses of worship so to give God a worthy place,
similar to what He asked for in the case of Solomon and the Temple – God
Himself required a worthy place.  And for the record, the Catholic Church
is the largest charitable organization in the world and we are known for our
service to the poor – have you ever heard of Mother Teresa?)

Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever had a divorce
(The Catholic Church has not and cannot do so, but this same Jesus you are
professing declares in Sacred Scripiture that Divorce is wrong.  God
doesn’t stop loving us because we sin.  Nevertheless, our diosobedience
can prevent us from being with Him for eternity.)

But in the old testament God actually calls religious people whores
(No, He called out the hypocrites. God praised the faithful who practiced the 
Mosaic Law)

Religion might preach grace, but another thing they practice
(The use of the word religion here becomes vague. Which religion are you
speaking of?  I’m pretty sure Buddhism does not preach grace. Also, what
does it mean to PREACH grace? I thought grace was given by God-albeit
through Mary.)

Tend to ridicule God’s people, they did it to John The Baptist
(Religious hypocrites ridiculed John the Baptist.  There were faithful
Jews that converted to Christianity – say for example, the 12 Apostles,
Mary and Joseph, Paul, etc.)

They can’t fix their problems, and so they just mask it
(Hypocrital religious people, perhaps.  Religion as a whole, as a word? 
I’m sorry but you lost me)

Not realizing religion’s like spraying perfume on a casket
(What religion?  And what is it masking?)

See the problem with religion, is it never gets to the core
(Catholicism does)

It’s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores
(The Scriptures which you say you love declares the Faith without works is
dead.  Virtue is still needed)

Like lets dress up the outside make look nice and neat
But it’s funny that’s what they use to do to mummies
While the corps rots underneath
(Mummies are an example of something you cover up to look nice.  However,
I would like to ask why you’re wearing brand names in your videos, if
there is something wrong with looking nice?)

Now I ain’t judgin, I’m just saying quit putting on a fake look
Cause there’s a problem
If people only know you’re a Christian by your Facebook
(Okay so now you’re getting to the point.  You’re mad at so-called
Christians who don’t live what they say they profess-FINALLY you’re
getting specific.  You have a valid point here)

I mean in every other aspect of life, you know that logic’s unworthy It’s
like saying you play for the Lakers just because you bought a jersey
(Just because you go to Church, doesn’t make you a Christian, just as much as
standing in a garage makes you a car- sound logic here)

You see this was me too, but no one seemed to be on to me
Acting like a church kid, while addicted to pornography
See on Sunday I’d go to church, but Saturday getting faded
Acting if I was simply created just to have sex and get wasted
See I spent my whole life building this facade of neatness
But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness

(So he shares that this was how he acted.  However is he blaming religion
for not encountering Jesus and experiencing conversion, or is he blaming
himself?  I do not know)

Because if grace is [water](undefined), then the church should be an ocean
It’s not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken
(The classic saying being that it’s not a Museum for Saints, but a
hospital for sinners… true point)

Which means I don’t have to hide my failure, I don’t have to hide my sin
(Very true – He should check out the Sacrament of Confession)

Because it doesn’t depend on me it depends on him
(We do rely on God’s grace)

See because when I was God’s enemy and certainly not a fan
He looked down and said I want, that, man
(“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”)

Which is why Jesus hated religion, and for it he called them fools
(WRONG! Now this is where the protestant heresy rears it head, and twists
scripture to suit its whims.  Jesus never once denied religion, nor did 
he decry authentic religious people, but only those who were 
absolute hypocrites. This guy needs to go back and read his Bible- and I
mean a real one, not like the Message translation, but an authentic

Don’t you see so much better than just following some rules
(Following rules for the sake of rules is wrong, however the law of love
that Christ imprints on our hearts, is done out of love for Him.  “He who
loves me will keep my commandments”)

Now let me clarify, I love the church, I love the bible, and yes I believe
in sin
(You love the church?  Obviously not THE CHURCH.  The Bible?  Who compiled
that book you’re reading?  THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!)

But if Jesus came to your church would they actually let him in
(I would hope so)

See remember he was called a glutton, and a drunkard by religious men

But the son of God never supports self righteousness not now, not then
(Very true – but He does support righteousness)

Now [back](undefined) to the point, one thing is vital to mention
How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums
See one’s the [work](undefined) of God, but one’s a man made invention
(All other religions are man-made, however the Catholic Church was
instituted by Christ and GIVEN to men to lead in His place until the end
of time – Matt 16:18)

See one is the cure, but the other’s the infection
(Jesus is the cure for death, the Catholic Church proclaims this and has
for 2000 years.  So this religion is the needle injecting the cure into
the world)

See because religion says do, Jesus says done
(Jesus says do “Keep my commandments, sell all you own, come follow me,
pick up your cross, go the the ends of the earth, DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.
Though Jesus has taken our place on that Cross, it does not mean we have
free reign to do whatever we want.  This is not the freedom Christ offers)

Religion says slave, Jesus says son
Religion puts you in bondage, while Jesus sets you [free](undefined)
Religion makes you blind, but Jesus makes you see
(This again is a vague statement that puts Jesus at odds with the Church
He founded, when the Church is at the service of her Divine Master.  The
Church, by the power of the Holy Spirit WILL set you free)

And that’s why religion and Jesus are two different clans
Religion is man searching for God, Christianity is God searching for man
(Is there something wrong with seeking after God?  “If you seek me, you
will find me- if you seek with your whole heart”.)

Which is why salvation is freely mine, and forgiveness is my own
Not based on my merits but Jesus’s obedience alone
Because he took the crown of thorns, and the blood dripped down his face
He took what we all deserved, I guess that’s why you call it grace And
while being murdered he yelled
“Father forgive them they know not what they do.”
Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you
(For the record, He didn’t yell it, thanks for the creative licence with

And he absorbed all of your sin, and buried it in the tomb
Which is why I’m kneeling at the cross, saying come on there’s room

So for religion, know I hate it, in fact I literally resent it
Because when Jesus said it is finished, I believe he meant it
(When he said it was finished, He meant the sacrifice was finished- again
protestant licence of scriptural interpretation)

There is a million more things that I could say.  But I feel BadCatholic did it best.  God Bless y’all.

In the Immaculata,



About catholichris

Catholic. Married. Secular Discalced Carmelite. Hipster. Foodie. Board Game Aficionado. Beard.

Posted on January 13, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Excellent response!!

  2. You did a great job mate. Beautifully written!

  3. i am saddened by this back and forth who said he was attacking the Catholic faith, my step father was a Catholic and was one of the best people i have ever known and i do not think Jefferson was picking on one Religion and i dont believe my father would have been offended by this. I feel Jefferson has apealed to a generation that is lost and if he brings youth and others to God and Jesus rejoice. Is this not what we need to do more of. I am not of the Catholic faith but respect all faiths and just because i may not agree with all their rules one is not better than the other

    • We disagree. It may be ‘nice’ to think all religions are equal, but it’s not sensible, and it’s not true. Obviously some are more true than others. One religion is better than all others; the one that is true, and was established by God in the person of Jesus Christ: the Catholic Church.

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