If we are Christians, then the implication is that we submit to Christ and His Teachings. Even the ones we don't care for.
Cafeteria Catholicism, then, seems to be the antithesis of the Christian model. It is really NOT submitting to Christ, but rather to that which only appeals to our own sensibilities.
"When I submit only when I agree, then the one to whom I submit really is me."
Cafeteria Catholicism is akin to folks in ancient Palestine following Jesus, saying, "We like what this guy says, except for His teachings on A, B and C. So we'll be His followers, but we're going to keep our own opinions about A, B and C. Yeah-- Jesus may have gotten it wrong on A, B and C."
Kind of cheeky, right?!! "Jesus, we think you're the 2nd Person of the Godhead, but you need to tweak your teachings A, B and C a bit, eh?"
I think most Cafeteria Catholics respond by saying, "We're not disagreeing with Christ when when say we reject teachings A, B and C. We're just disagreeing with the Church. Christ and the Catholic Church are not always one and the same."
On the one hand, they are correct--the Catholic Church and Christ are not always one and the same. Thus when a bad Catholic does a bad thing, that is not the same thing as Christ doing the bad thing.
And when a priest speaks, it's not necessarily Christ who is speaking.
However, it must be said that the ONLY way that Cafeteria Catholics know ANYTHING at all about God and what He has revealed is because the Catholic Church has proclaimed this.
So it's odd that a Catholic would say, "Yes, the Church got it right when she says that God is love, and that the Gospel of Matthew is inspired, and that our sins are forgiven, and that we should forgive seventy times seven..."
but then also say, "The Church gets it wrong when she says that abortion is gravely sinful, women cannot be ordained to the priesthood, non-Catholics may not receive communion..."
How do they know the Church got it right on teachings X, Y, and Z, but wrong on A, B and C?
What is the canon they use to determine when the Church is right and the Church is wrong...if not simply what they "feel" they want to agree to?
Cafeteria Christianity is nothing more than creating a Christ that conforms to our own selves.