My Maid of Mutha Fu***n Awesomeness is as Lutheran as I am Catholic. Although, and she’ll murder me if she ever reads this- she’s much more Catholic than a lot of Catholics I know. Meaning she actually has an idea of what’s actually taught by the Church, and like me is of the mind that if you believe something, you do, if you don’t you don’t, so get over it already. (Or in my words to the “progressives”: a little sojourn will do you a lot of good.)
One day when we were sitting around, chatting about religious stuff as usual, I passed a little gas. Anyone who knows me knows that when I pass gas there are two types: loud, and stinky. I continued on with the conversation as if nothing ever happened. She, however, stopped the conversation, and blurted out:
What is it with you Catholics and doing that??
I was completely confused. I had already forgotten, as the gas apparently didn’t murder my nostrils. Apparently it was working on hers, and she didn’t appreciate it. She went on to explain that it seemed like every Catholic she knew just wouldn’t even acknowledge that gas had been passed, much less apologize.
Yeah, awkward sh*t like that comes up a lot between us.
I don’t really know if Catholics tend to ignore the gas, (and if you come on here making some damned convoluted metaphor for history I *will* make sure your idiocy is shown the light of day) but we do tend to have our own etiquette.
I’ve mentioned before that something tying my fiance and I together is a shared culture in Catholicism. Even though he’s a baby Catholic, he still has that cultural base- and so do I.
So here are the 10 commandments, for those who are interested, of how to be polite in Catholic company.
- The Mass is the source and summit of all life. No, really. So, at Mass, be quiet, do what others do (except at Communion, then please be kind and don’t take the Host. We really do believe that is Jesus’ flesh. No, really. Believe it or not, but don’t disrespect.) don’t shout AMEN all the time, and avoid fondling your significant other during Mass. Especially if your significant other is gay.
- Don’t start off every theological debate with, “My Catholic friend believes…” Catholics, just like any other group of people, can believe that Pedo-Bear is out to get their children (oh never mind, that is true for real!) , and any informed Catholic will have to fight the urge to roll their eyes. There is this thing they call a Catechism, and its searchable online.
- On a similar note, don’t assume that you a) know what Catholics (are supposed to) believe and b) don’t assume that the Catholic you’re speaking with has the best grasp either. Check it in ye olde catechism.
- Don’t take your Catholic friend out to steak dinner on a Friday, especially during Lent. If you don’t know when Lent is, just watch for the funky ash marks on the heads of friends on a Wednesday. Wait until after Easter, and you’ll be good to go.
- Telling Father Pedophile, Sister Nympho, Catholic School Girl or other such jokes is kind of distasteful. Especially when you didn’t realize you were saying them to a priest who just doesn’t happen to be wearing his collar.
- The Baptismal Font is not a typeface, but often times a huge pool. Go ahead and bless yourself (everyone is welcome to it) but don’t play in it, throw your kids in it, or loudly remark about the possible unsanitary conditions of said pool (or small wall fonts).
- Just call the Priest father. Its his title, much like “Doctor”. Its disrespectful to constantly call him Mr. If you are so incredibly opposed to “call no man father” (does that ever include your own father? oh wait….) then find another way around it.
- Sisters are out in the world, Nuns are in the convent (not a nunnery, lol). Its not a huge deal, but it will help you to figure out the difference, however these words are used interchangeably even by Catholics.
- Watch your assumptions! Assuming that Catholics have “Catholic Guilt” that Sisters/Nuns are “out of touch” or even that all Catholic Priests are virgins *and* unmarried can get you into trouble. Then again, you could learn something pretty cool.
- Not all Sisters are a bunch of ruler waving sour mouthed soul suckers. Just to let you know, the age of the ruler waving sour mouthed soul sucker was back in the 50’s and 60’s where a good majority of teachers in general favored even more extreme punishment than a twisted ear or a smack from a ruler. Ask the people who went to public school about paddles, belts, and fists! Neither are all Sisters a bunch of sweet little old white grannies. The Filipinas in their 20’s and 30’s might get annoyed at that. They’re still pretty sweet though, just remember never to tick off someone who’s constantly sweet. ALWAYS a bad idea.
- Extra credit: Don’t insert yourself into any of the all out wars going on in Catholicism, whether you’re Catholic or not, at random. Topics to avoid if you’re just visiting: Merits of Liturgical Dance, Married Priesthood, Gold vs Clay for the bread and wine, Pope Benedict vs JP2, Women in the Priesthood (bats in the belfry), To Veil or Not To Veil, Fish Casserole vs After Mass Tacos. These are best learned about online, in the company of an orthodox priest, or anywhere else where there are no sharp objects to be found.
- Extra extra credit: Avoid making yourself look like an ass when you hear a Catholic happily murmuring about how Lent is coming up. (Yes, we Catholics do like a little reflection. ^_^) Don’t say something like:
- I gave up Catholicism for Lent.
- I gave up church for Lent.
- I gave up praying for Lent.
Yes, I’ve had that last one happen. It’s like telling someone who’s fasting on a Jewish/ Muslim holiday that you’re going to eat twice as much food to make up for them, or that you’re going to wear white to make up for all the black at a funeral.
Its in bad taste.
Hehee…I now have 12 commandments! Its still Biblical….right?