Therefore, based on your belief that the Catholic Church is "an apostate denomination" (stated later in this same paper), I MUST be an apostate (at least in a "theological, doctrinal" outward sense), since I accept all that teaching (and I understand perfectly well what it is that I accept: not in the sense of exhaustive knowledge, of course, but in terms of the particular tenets and doctrines that Catholics are required to accept and believe in faith). There is no logical way out of this.
I appreciate Dave’s frustration. It’s hard for a small-timer to maintain his self-esteem. It’s discouraging to know that you didn't make the cut.
But I do have standards. I’m not about to debase the coinage of “apostasy” by bestowing that label on every wannabe. Sorry, Dave, but you need to take your place at the back of the line and wait your turn.
As one can see, “apostasy” is coveted title. Clearly there’s a need for one of those “reality shows” in which contestants vie with one another for the prize of being the biggest and baddest apostate of them all.
A cross between Survivor, American Idol, The Apprentice, The Ultimate Fighter, Fear Factor, and Blind Date.
But as a consolation prize, maybe we should also distinguish between A-team apostates and B-team apostates, or senior and junior apostates.
The A-team would include the likes of Simon Magus, James Barr, Bauer, Briggs, Bultmann, Chauncy, Crowley, Darwin, Driver, George Eliot, Martin Gardner, Ingersoll, Julian, George McDonald, Henri de Navarre, Nietzsche, Priestly, Spong, Sozzini, Swedenborg, Templeton, Toland, Wellhausen, &c.
The B-team might include also-rans like Barker, Babinski, Harvey Cox, Bobby Price, Loftus, and so on.
As a personal favor to Dave, I guess I could always create a C-team: a Special Olympics of Apostasy.
But short of a Black Mass or child sacrifice, he just hasn’t done anything impressive enough to make the grade. Sorry to disappoint.
You can’t expect special treatment just because of the wonderful relationship we’ve built up over the years.
Now, I’m a fair-minded man, so I’m willing to give you a second chance if you can spice up your resume with a ritual Satanic slaying or two. But I can’t give you a social promotion with so many worthier contenders to consider.
The award will mean a lot more to you when you’ve had a chance to really earn it.