My clients and social media followers know (or if they didn’t, they do now) that I am an atheist; an opponent of organized religion; and an activist for church/state separation.
My usual response to pieces such as Esquire’s is “No kidding!”
I have friends that still keep a marginal membership in the Catholic church. Maybe they don't attend every week or tithe regularly, but they return to the fold for weddings, baptisms, funerals, and the occasional mass. Some people call this "C & E Catholicism," or being "Catholish" (actually, I just made that one up).
I don't seek to deny anyone their freedom of religion, but I do urge Catholics to think carefully about what they are enabling (I feel the same way about all religious organizations, but since the Catholic church is centralized on a global scale, there is no such thing as taking exception to Vatican dogma by splintering off).
To me, being "Catholish" the is the exact equivalent of being "Republicanish." Imagine if one of your friends told you this:
"I am a Republican, but that doesn’t mean I support the alt-right or even the Trump administration. I don't go to rallies or to the Republican National Convention, and I strongly disagree with certain Republican policies. I believe that people such as Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are doing Republicanism wrong and setting a bad example. To me they're not true Republicans. However, I do contribute a small sum of money to the Republican party every year. I realize this supports all Republicans, even the ones I disagree with, but I try not to think of it like that. Also, I teach my children to identify as Republicans and support the same Republican tenets I support."
Wouldn't you say something to this friend along the lines of, "Hey, you can’t have it both ways. When you support the Republican party, even just a little, you prop up people like Trump, McConnell, and many other environment-destroying, wealth gap-widening, misogynist, racist, anti-LGBT bigots whether you want to or not."
The same is true for Catholicism. Every time you hold a function in a Catholic building or give the church any money, you prop up EVERY part of the organization, not just the parts you like. You lend credibility and financial support to a regressive, worldwide superpower that serves up children to rapists and then covers up that child rape to protect itself. Your money goes towards paying attorney fees, relocation expenses, pensions, and whatever else it costs to keep child-raping priests controlled and quiet and prevent the public from discovering that the ordained don’t necessarily channel God after all.
Another awful truth about Catholic church leaders is that they still loudly oppose condoms, birth control, and abortion (FYI, so did the “saintly” Mother Teresa). What better way to keep the church going than to make the faithful multiply at their maximum capability? While fewer and fewer people obey the church’s most conservative dictates as time goes by, millions still do, particularly in third world countries. Encouraging women to get pregnant as early and as often as possible does tend to yield a self-perpetuating cycle of devastating poverty, but not to worry, Jesus loves the poor. If countries in Africa and elsewhere continue to have rampant HIV epidemics, it must be due to the sins of the people rather than the church’s proscription against condom use.
As a reminder, there would be no rapist priests or anti-abortion Popes and nuns in our modern world if not for the unbroken chain of tradition going back to the founding of Christianity. It wasn't the clergy that kept the Catholic church alive and powerful for all these centuries. It was the masses - families just like yours, who may not always wholeheartedly embrace church doctrine but still baptize their children into the church generation after generation after generation.
P.S. - I know some of you Catholics out there support your church come baptism and wedding time but refuse to eat at Chick-fil-A, because, you know, principles.