Joe Rogan and the Catholic Church

Joe Rogan often finds common ground with those he interviews, even those with which he disagrees. He’s not into identity politics and his positions are independent of the mainstream media, which is awesome. However, when he talks about religion in general and the Catholic Church specifically, he appears to demonstrate a strong bias. To his credit he did accept some of the benefits of religion when he was interviewed on Ben Shapiro's show. However, Joe hasn't yet invited a serious Catholic onto his show. We hope he does. Here we provide a list of his quotes with short responses.

Is the Catholic Church a Cult

Catholicism has like a billion people… it’s a cult.
Joe Rogan, published Dec 19, 2017

In the show where he presented that position, the secular psychologist Bret Weinstein, torpedoed it by pointing out that if a culture successfully perseveres for centuries under a particular system of belief, it's not a cult, because cults cannot compete against a better (more sensible) system over time.

What's with the wizard on a throne?

Whenever you have a guy that dresses like a wizard and is sitting on a golden throne, that is why this is a problem
Joe Rogan, published Dec 19, 2017

Priests dressed like that long before wizards did. Wizards are depicted in long robes to mimic religion rather than the vice versa. The oldest version we could find of a wizard in a robe and hat was around 1200 A.D. which is 1200 years after the Christian priesthood. The Levites in the Old Testament distinguished themselves in the way they dressed 1500 years before Christ. This is the origins of the priesthood.

The "Chair of Peter" is not gold, it is wood. It is, however, very special. It was was a gift from  Roman Emperor to Pope John VIII in 875. We would like Joe to articulate "why this is a problem". If he means that a throne indicates authority. Yes, the pope has authority to make important decisions on behalf of the Church. This role was pronounced by our founder, Jesus (Mat 16:18, Jn 21:15-17). We have a separate article about why Catholics have a Pope.

The Joe Rogan comedy routine

In a CULT its started by a guy. Its bullsh*t and he knows its bullsh*t, in a Religion that guy is dead.
Joe Rogan, published Dec 19, 2017

We understand that comedy shouldn't be taken seriously, but Joe actually used that quote during a serious discussion on his show, so it deserves a response.

If Jesus knew it was "BS" why did he die for it? Why did everybody who hung around him for 3 years seeing all the miracles die for it, penniless? People who BS others do it for money or power. Jesus gave up all that. We suggest that Joe read the C.S Lewis argument that Jesus is either (1) lunatic, (2) liar, or (3) Lord. Psychologists have studied the life of Jesus from all angles and there is no credible theory that he was either of the first two. Most people know that intuitively.

Can DMT provide the same experience as deep prayer?

Yes, its possible that a drug can bypass some of the filters that human beings have that protect them from seeing the other side. But...

  • It is physically dangerous. You can make some really dumb decisions while taking it, which may result in injury. It messes with sereotonin in the brain and at high doses can cause coma.
  • It's mentally dangerous. You can end up with a permanent psychosis.
  • It's spiritually dangerous. Think about the Lord of the Rings, when Froto put on the ring, It had incredible power. However, every time he did it, it pulled him closer to the dark side, and there is a point of no return. Wandering into the forest of the spiritual unknown without Jesus as your protector is entering into the realm of powers that are stronger than you will ever be, and without Jesus to protect you, it is very dangerous. Taking a drug to go there is saying to Jesus, "I don't need you to show me this stuff on your terms. I'm going to go it alone without your pacing and protection." That seems really dumb and dangerous. It's like trying to qualify for the Darwin awards.

Did Moses have a DMT trip to write the 10 commandments

Do you know what scholars in Jerusalem think about Moses coming down from the mountain. They think the burning bush is acacia wood which is rich in DMT. They think the metaphor of the burning bush was a psychedelic experience, where he tapped into universal principles about peace, love, positive thinking etc.
Joe Rogan, published Dec 19, 2017

It appears there is only one Israeli professor called Benny Shannon, with this hypothesis. It's full of holes and even Shannon calls it "speculative". Moses had many experiences of the Lord talking to him where there was no burning bush.

Catholic school 46 years ago had nasty teachers

I [Rogan] grew up in Catholicism ... To be with these people for 9 months. My parents were splitting up at the time, so it was very confusing, I wanted things to have order ... I wanted God to make sense. I remember annoying people with ... God wants this God says that. I was six years old. Because I was a little kid dealing with my parents splitting up and there didn’t seem to be any order in the world and I was very nervous. So finally, l was happy because I was gonna go to Catholic school. But then as I experienced it, at six I said this is ridiculous, it doesn’t make any sense.  First of all these people are so mean and nasty, they are not comforting and loving. And when I compared them with the way my grandmother was or my mother was, I felt these ladies are nasty. They represent God? This is crazy!"
Joe Rogan, Dec 3 2018

Joe Rogan had 9 months of Catholic School at 6 years old when his parents were going through a divorce. That is the extent of his direct exposure to anything Catholic. The next year his family moved to San Francisco and was in public school. His parents didn't go to Mass.

Joe went to a Catholic school 46 years ago and he is filtering his world view through handful of mean teachers who never hit him once. We have an article on the 1960's Punishing God. Things were definitely harsher then.

Joe, we're sorry your parents broke up when you were 6 and your teachers were unsympathetic. But perhaps its time to face the devastation you suffered from the divorce and not transfer your anger and pain over to the Church ... really!

Is the Catholic Church is full of kid f*ers

Interview a 2015 with Gavin McInness:

Gavin: “I quit booze for Lent. I didn’t have drinks on Thursday…”
Joe: “Are you Catholic?”
Gavin: “I just became Catholic. I…”
Joe: “What?”
Gavin: “I grew up atheist”
Joe: “How old are you?”
Gavin: “Forty-Five.”
Joe: “What the f***’s wrong with you? Why are you becoming Catholic now?”
Gavin: “I had kids. I realized there’s something else going on. That’s why I want…”
Joe: “There’s something else going on? What? A cult of child kid f***ers?”

Note: Here, Joe is doing a classic Gish Gallop.

The abuse crisis is a serious issue which should not be reduced to a slogan. We have an in-depth article on the priest abuse cases. We'll just say a few things here. There is no indication that the priesthood had higher rates of abuse than other professions. It's still a tragedy, but we'd have to banish coaches, employers, teachers, cub leaders, etc... to be consistent with Joe's comments about the priesthood. The left leaning Guardian said:

... figures from the outside world suggesting that not many professions do better. Last year, it was reported that half of the girls fostered in social democratic Sweden in the 50s and 60s had been abused; according to Camila Batmanghelidjh 550,000 children are reported to the social services in this country every year.

See also the US National Library of Health Report on the priest abuse cases which shows 80% of the victims were post pubescent teenage boys, pointing to a different problem than the popular narrative, which is inconvenient for the mainstream media who'd like to appease the gay lobby and lower the age of consent.

When I (Hugh) was a teenager, a popular TV/media personality in his 40s hit on me after I played music on a show he was hosting. I refused the offer but was devastated that it was not my talent he was interested in. Mr. Rogan's logic would be that I assume every media personality (and popular podcaster) is a predator. I don't think that is very fair.

Comparing the Resurrection to zombies

The majority of Americans also believe in a Jewish zombie. Joe Rogan on Twitter, September 2, 2010

The Resurrection predates any historical reference to "zombies", which originated in 17th century Haiti (1,600 years after Jesus rose from the dead). There is a good movie called The Case for Christ. It's a true story of an atheist investigative reporter who set out to disprove the Resurrection, and ended up converting to Christianity. There is more proof that Jesus rose from the dead than there is for Julius Caesar's existence.

Do Christians believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old?

The majority of Americans also believe ... that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. Joe Rogan on Twitter, September 2, 2010

The Catholic Church accepts the science of an old earth, the book of Genesis is not a science book. It is about the origins of our relationship to God, and his relationship to his creation. See our article on Creationism. Christianity is a huge movement of 1.5 billion people and 40,000 denominations. A small minority of which are young earth creationists.

However, it is ironic that those who ridicule these "science deniers" often can't answer this science question, which is in every grade 7 biology book.

What is inside a woman when she is 11 weeks pregnant?

  1. a blob of tissue
  2. a distinct human being with independent DNA and a heartbeat.

Here's the answer:

fetus at 11 weeks

On abortion Joe appears deeply divided. Contrary, to what his guest, Rory Albanese, asserted in the interview, prolife people donate tons of time and money trying to help pregnant women keep and raise their babies. It's a stereotype that they are angry, selfish and judgmental. They are often kind, considerate and self sacrificing, ready to roll up their sleeves and help.

Conclusion

Science can answer questions about "how" things work, Christianity answers questions about "why" they work. There is no conflict between the two, they both seek the Truth from different perspectives.

We pray Joe Rogan heals from his parent's divorce, forgives his first grade teacher(s) and stops misleading young people into forming a cult of personality around him rather than our resurrected Lord, who is actually worthy of our praise.