How to be Pro-Life

First, let me just shout this out right now: Blessed Kateri is going to be canonized to SAINT KATERI!!! !Aleluya! She just happens to be my Confirmation Saint…whether or not its legit for a Blessed to be a patron Saint or not I have no clue. Hopefully it is.

In any case, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (That’s Latin for AWESOME).

But anyway, back to the title- How to Be Pro-Life.

I’m writing this because a lady I know let me know that she had had a miscarriage. The hospital reportedly told her to just “flush it”, which she did. She then told me that she was “over it” and it wasn’t like it was a baby anyway, because it was so small. Then she went on to say that “it” didn’t deserve a burial for that reason, and why would anyone care anyways.

What the hell do you say to all that? I’m not sure if it was the right thing to do, but I did just reiterate that I was sorry for her loss, and that I treasure all people, big or small. Inasmuch as  I could, I tried to let her know that it was okay to grieve. Before some random troll jumps down my throat, she gave every indication of never having been allowed to grieve- she spoke like someone who had been brainwashed, and someone who is very defensive because of guilt that they have carried. *hint: remember that when you go to a clinic, and remember to be patient.*

Obviously, pretty much everyone knows there are two very visible ways to be pro-life. Besides, you know, not being in favor of women choosing to rid themselves of a “useless” little baby. There are prayer vigils and protests. Want to know the difference? Prayer vigils are usually out at the clinic. Protests are usually out in a more public place.

But what if you can’t make it to a prayer vigil? Well first of all I implore you to go out to the prayer vigil. The Devil (otherwise known as Mr. Flea, because I refuse to let refuse like that be referred to as something you could actually respect) will give you literally 100’s of reasons not to go, and when all else fails he’ll use fear. Go anyway. Its just fear, nothing more.

And protests? Well, they’re not for everyone but when you realize how many babies are being murdered, women being killed from “accidents” and how many lives are being ruined by this monster…its not that hard to sacrifice some comfort to go.

However, in both of these cases you may be unable to make it due to finances or to work. (Still try!)

So, what can you do to be Pro-Life?

Easy.

Step 1) Refuse to accept the craptastic science put out by Planned Parenthood and mislead (or even lying) people out there. If someone tries to tell you that a 10 week old fetus is a blob of cells (yes that one still gets thrown out there) refute it. Take along a “popcorn baby” in your pocket.

Step 2) Men: Speak up. Show your love for kids. Show that you aren’t just into women for sex. Treat women as ladies (even when we’re not being lady-like) try not to look at our boobs (even when some of the girls can’t resist letting the girls out) and make it clear that you will not debase women or yourself by buying into Maxim and Playboy culture. (And stop wearing skinny jeans like a hipster. I’m sure that’s a crime against God. Its written in the Bible somewhere, but a monk may have accidentally blocked it out.)

Step 3) Be happy. Maybe its the whole deep down in the pit of your soul thing, but I’ve noticed that the only laughter coming from the Pro-abortion crowd and the psedo-choice crowd is mocking laughter. There’s no joy to be found. I’m guessing it has nothing to do with fighting on the side of something so incredibly negative.
Step 4) See those parents there, with one kid screaming, the other crying, and another one running circles around like a maniac? Pull out a mirror and check your face. If you’re glaring and expressing disgust, remember it wasn’t long ago where you were all three of those kids. So smile, say hello to the kids, and if you can hold open a door for them. In short, stop treating children like they’re insurmountable obstacles and like they’re highly exitable human beings.

Step 5) Stop using birth control. When sex is used to be both pro-creative and unitative, amazingly babies are no longer seen as only “babies when the mother wants them”. In short, people should realize that the natural end of sex is babies, not just an orgasm.

Step 6) Donate to a women’s shelter. Not, mind you, any shelter that gives money to abortion causes (because frankly I don’t buy the argument that stupid little women like me are just to be used as sperm receptacles, and that my miraculous ability to bear life inside of me is a medical condition instead of a beautiful miracle).

Step 7) Educate yourself! Learn about child development, women’s issues, men’s issues, everything. Then use that.

Step 8) Pray. The Rosary, the Psalms, whatever, just pray. Sometimes it is the only thing that you can do. Offer up to God what is completely out of your control, and even what is in your control.

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Filed under abortion, Catholic, Political

Looking For A Recent Post?

No, it hasn’t been deleted. However, someone mentioned in that post contacted me and let me know he wasn’t too happy about the post. Normally this is the point where I’d be like “Nyuh-uh!!” and write a rant, but he had a point. And honestly, I’m shocked and amazed. Even though he probably hates me with the fire of a thousand suns (or lemons, like that nifty drink back in Japan) I nearly had a nerdy heart attack, especially considering that once, more than 10 people visited this site. Damn, Internet, you crazy!

So, I’m taking down the post until I can revise to be written better.

So, Sister Allie and 3 other people, you’re just going to have to wait. It will probably be a week or two, since the glorious time off work is coming to an end, and I’ll be beginning some brutal shifts that will hopefully leave me with *just* enough energy to get home without murdering the tar out of some stupid deer. So far I’ve been lucky…but I dare not say that because last semester I was hit by three of them, 2 of whom survived.

I’m fairly certain they both walked away mutting… “gotcha”. That’s alright. It’s hunting season, baby.

Until then, enjoy this nonsensical wierdness:

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Books, Dating, Sex- Let’s Get Our Nerdy On

Okay, per some comments written below by R.A. Salvatore, I’ve gone through and edited this thing. I meant to make it shorter, and failed. So have fun. Oh, and did all 3 of you know that I rant on this blog? I know, right? I didn’t know either.

P.S. Sister Allie, if you were the real person who left that comment, know that revenge comes in the form of photoshop, a man’s speedo, and a certain arch-bishop dancing to “My God is An Awesome God”.
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Now there’s a title to attract some people. Especially people who write things like “Mexican Perv” into the search engines and then find my little blog. Is that some sort of whacked out fetish straight from rule 34?

Even though I’m not a huge fan of Simcha Fischer’s blog over at NCR,  I still read it from time to time. Some of her stuff is pretty good. I won’t link to it here since I’m not in favor of being a traffic vacuum, but the post I read was “Dangerous Books For Teenage Girls”.

There was a comment down below the piece, in which it was implied that “you can’t judge whether a book is good or bad unless you’ve read it” which is better known as “you can’t judge a book by its cover”.

Maybe because us humans, especially American humans, are just now finally dragging ourselves out of the “let’s judge everybody by nonsensical bullshit like wealth and how many baby trees died to make my car” we have catapulted all the way over to the other, open-minded side. By open-minded I mean we’ve completely lost our minds, and now pretty much anyone can crap out a “novel” and call it good. And we still judge by wealth. Don’t believe me? Guess what one of the reasons for keeping abortion legalized is… I’m sure it has nothing at all to do with getting rid of poor people.

It seems like “open mind, insert crap” has taken hold in dating as well. I’m 24, a virgin, pretty damn proud of it, and am getting married to a beautiful man- who was also my first kiss. I have never been with anyone else, and I didn’t date in high school.

shhhhh….did you hear that? That was the sound of a thousand feminazi heads exploding….

“Open Mind” sickens me. One thing I’ve learned about books and men is that sometimes you really should judge a book by its cover. If its got some sort of rebel looking girl pretty much dressed up in a hipster’s leather fetish outfit (Girl With A Dragon Tatoo) I know I’m probably not going to like it- even if the writing is good. I’m probably going to read a lot of things that conflict with my faith, and quite frankly everything conflicts with faith once you leave the sanctuary of the Mass.

It’s okay to judge a book by its cover! How men (or women) dress themselves says a lot about who they are, and who they see themselves as. Chances are the 30 year old in cargo pants, an over-sized T-shirt, his hat hung backwards and his slang from somewhere out of an 80’s blaxploitation flim is, 999 times out of 1000, a loser. Chances are that guy in highschool who looks so hot but hangs a Confederate flag in his truck is less interested in history than he is in being a jackass. Chances are that girl who doesn’t wear underwear under her skirt that’s short enough and thin enough to see through actually is looking for nothing good. (Yeah, I know, shock right? Because women can’t possibly be just as horny as men!)

But then, there are some books, and some dates, that open your mind to things that you never thought of before. Girl With A Dragon Tatoo might put some things into light for me that I’d never have considered otherwise. Reading the Quran ended up teaching me that I love the rhythm of Arabic poetry and composition, even if I’m pretty sure Mohammed was definitely not talking to anything remotely God-like. Having an unrequited crush on an Atheist taught me that emotional love conquers good reason, and that it really is a better idea to find someone who shares your beliefs.

Then there are books and boys that seem fun at the time, but are realized to be a big waste of effort later on. Facebook, for example. A better example of this in my personal life is R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt series. I was obsessed with this series. I spent what little money I had on it. I watched for the release of every new title, scoured the libraries, viewed pages and pages and pages of horrific fan “art” and “literature”. I bemoaned the craptastic “art” that took my lovely Mary Sue (Drizzt, and I liked him as a Mary Sue) from a young, dark elf with lots of muscles and oozing teenage hawtness with his pretty purple eyes and spat him out as some old white human with wrinkles and what might possibly have been mange. I don’t even like the series anymore, and I still feel an urge to set things on fire with my mind when I see those covers.

Was I entertained by these books? Oh definitely. They even got me through some rough times, as I could connect with the outcast with a penchant for self-pity, but of course, was totally awesome secretly. Like, you have no idea how awesome. Like, yeah. So cool.  But were these books good for me? Did they nourish my soul? Get me to contemplate God and the transcendent?

I’m going to go with a no. For one thing the books seem to be extremely anti-Catholic (if not anti-organized religion), absolutely misogynist, anti-authoritarian, History Channel blunt about it. Sure, transcendence gets talked about…except the gods and goddesses are as banal as the Greek gods and goddesses. Drizzt got me through some very rough times, but would I have fared better reading Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien? Perhaps instead of listening to a lot of wine and cheese, and watching one beloved character foist his supposedly “unselfish” sacrifice unto another, I could have learned about the more realistic mutual self-giving of Arwen and Aragorn.

For the 3 or 5 (?) of you reading this lonely little blog who’ve never read the Forgotton Realms series, what basically happens is that Cattie-brie and Drizzt have a years and years long “it’s complicated” relationship. Drizzt can basically live for something like 1000 years or whatever, while poor human Cattie-brie can live maybe a hundred (although not likely, living among a world full of evil characters that would kill for a chance to make Drizzt cry). So instead of realizing that Cattie-brie has a choice in the matter, and that she can probably assess her ability to handle such a situation (perhaps her addled female mind can’t handle the stress) Drizzt does the manly thing and “sacrifices” himself. Or rather, being scared of his own insecurities and inability to control the future, yet still not trusting anyone beyond himself, he drags out the “complicated” status of the relationship for years. Its like college, only it takes a decade and a half or more.

Or, just like college.

I could have read City of God or Beowulf or Dante’s Inferno or The Dog Died At Midnight or Father Amorth’s book on posession and demons.  I could have at least been spared when the books lost their soul and became a heap of pages that equated Orcs with black people (really? The orcs get to be Black??) and settlers with the fair (and edging ever so closer to delightsome) people of Ten-Towns. There’s even a racist/species-ist group called the…*eye roll* C.C.C. I’m sure that wasn’t a reference at all to a real life consonant loving, genocidal group of idiots who are running out of slogans as fast as they are genes. Oh, and Drizzt goes from loveable, whiny Mary Sue to David Carusso.

White, Wrinkly, And Nothing Like Drizzt. Its Like The Artist Decided To Write.

Instead of reading actual literature that would have challenged my thoughts and beliefs, I ingested junk-food for the soul that confused me spiritually, and warped my view of the world. And exposed me to David Carusso. THE HORROR!

Sadly, the misogyny of the books stunk like that bog in the Labyrinth. The series begins with a female dominated society of dark elves. Bar none, they’re all pretty much horrific little harpies running around controlling the hapless males. Malice (the most subtly named character since Maleficent) is the mother of Drizzt (and his Aunt, too, and wow that was awkward when that dawned on me) who just about kills off cute baby Drizzt because he’s boy number three. She, and his sisters, are all perfectly evil, except one random female who later on kills his father, technically his sexually abused Uncle. (This hit me worse than when I figured out that Luke and Leia were twins and I couldn’t get that kissing scene out of my head. WTF LUCAS???).

Possibly due to the gender defined, hierarchical, matriarchal society, with lots of rules that make no sense (at least it doesn’t get called the “Magisterium” like Pulman did with his books, because I guess then it wouldn’t be so “subtle”) the one good sister who didn’t beat Drizzt as much when he was a little kid goes through with the human sacrifice of her brother’s (and possibly her) father. Not that this is at all similar to some sort of Christ figure, being sacrificed by a horrible oppressive society that includes lots of priests priestesses, nor is it at all similar to that tired, beaten, old straw man who cries out that Catholics are re-sacrificing Christ.

Then, on the other hand of the misogyny person…figure…thing… you have the Perfect Women. Alustriel is all pretty, all wise, and pretty much just echos Drizzt alot. Mielikki is Drizzt’s personal goddess, apparently made from thoughts, impressions, and ideals just like dragons but she’s so damn perfect there’s no real contact with her other than as a unicorn, since avatars are “too accessible” to be real. Because, you know, a personal God who came down as a man is too disgusting to fathom. Oddly enough, that sounds like an ancient Roman rant… Anyway, the one “good” woman who has a character in the books is Cattie-brie. Even she’s pretty incorruptible though, other than when she gets possessed by a crystal shard.

Then she pretty much amps up the creepy by just about raping poor Drizzt, but of course its not her, its the pretty shiny thing controlling her mind making her go all seckshy. If this sounds like a diamond commercial to you, I’ll have you know that it didn’t last forever. The pretty shiny thing, after all, was just a sword.

When Cattie-brie and Drizzt FINALLY go from “It’s complicated” to “in a relationship” and finally to “married”-she dies. After waiting until she’s pretty darn past the years when bearing a child would be a heck of a lot easier (try 20? 23? 25? 28? NO, we have to wait until 30 or above!!)  the annoying couple finally tie the knot, having earned their master’s degrees in drama. But then, poor female Catti-brie has to catch a plague and die. And then she gets stuck in another plane of existence, along with annoying little Regis (do not get me started), as a reward to Drizzt for his years of fairly blatant agnosticism service to Mielikki.

So now in this Forgotten Realms universe we girl nerds are left with pure evil pretty girl,  flat echo-y pretty girl, and absolutely gorgeous good girl who doesn’t even exist in a real body for models. Wrap it up with a few totally obvious subtle digs at the Church (The Weeping Friars, which if you read the books sounds like every lead-up to an oft repeated half-truth about indulgences or even the complete crap about a female pope) and you have a wonderful cocktail of things that maybe shouldn’t be ingested indiscriminately by a teenage young lady.

I ended my relationship with that particular book series like it was a mildly-retarded man-boy, and I had just woke up at the theater wondering “wait, I wasted how many of my years with you?”. It looked like a great idea at the time, and it brought some comfort through some difficult years. However, it was junk food for my soul. Instead of forcing me out of myself, it lead me down the selfish, depressing road of agnosticism. My agnosticism could have ended a lot quicker if someone had dropped by and perhaps handed me Orthodoxy by Chesterton, or Screwtape by C.S. Lewis.

 

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Filed under Mawidge, Mr. Serrano and other fun stuff, Random

Advent Awkwardness

Hopefully this time it doesn’t involve Mormon Undies/Garments. I have to call them garments now because some Mormon troll came on my blog (sorry, nope, I get to be Fidel and not let you write on here. Its less the Mormon stuff and more the lies and/or inability to understand the concept of a paragraph and a run-on sentence) and informed me that I never knew the actual term for them. Of course not, me being the kind of Catholic who knows how to wield her hyerbole. Besides, didn’t Vatican II specifically state that Mormons wear Holy Undies, not garments? Hey, I’m an Easter People. I can make Vatican II say whatever I damn well please.

Anyways, onto the awkwardness.

Advent. Is. Awkward. At least for someone from a non-practicing, barely Catholic back-ground. As I get closer and closer to the marriage date (12 months to go after this December!) I am thinking more and more about traditions. And by thinking about traditions, I mean thinking about the absolute derth of them in my home.

Here is my house’s tradition of Christmas (what’s Advent, again?): Agnostic Dad bitches and moans for weeks about how ungrateful kids never treated their toys well, how commercialized it is, how its all a waste of money. He’s the one person I NEVER say Merry Christmas to, because Scrooge in his pre-kidnapped-by-dead-people days would have told Agnostic Dad to lighten up. Mormon Mom frets about the Christmas party that she somehow always gets sucked into organizing (because seriously, there’s only her and maybe 2 other people who even have a clue what to do in the first place) and plays the Christmas Station on the Radio until we all puke blue and white and gold and red and green. Never-home-lucky-bastard brother starts dreaming up crap he wants, crap he wants to buy, and crap he doesn’t want. I just try to stay out of everyone’s way, and hope someone will give me a gift card to a Catholic store somewhere. I also set up my antique Nativity Set and pretty much make an altar in my room.At some point, usually last second, the tree goes up. We’ve long ago stopped putting up lights, due to it having been deemed pointless by agnostic Dad.

And why not?

We never really invited Christ into his own birthday party, and the idea of waiting in hope of Christ’s birth (the whole point of Advent) never crossed our minds. Advent wreaths? So wasteful, and besides the candles would make a mess. Singing songs and praying together as a family? The last time I remember that happening was when my Grandmother was alive, and there certainly were no songs. Going to Mass or church on Christmas day? Mormons apparently don’t find that day too important. I guess when Jesus is only one God among many, why bother?

I have always wanted to change that tradition we have. I have never really wanted a ton of presents. What I wanted was excitement, love, joy, family. Yeah, a book or two is nice. Yeah, I would appreciate a gas gift card. But what I really want has nothing to do with things, and I’m never going to get that from the family that I have.

As I get closer to getting married, I’m taking a long look at the traditions I’ve grown up with. I don’t have to make my future children suffer what I suffered. I can make new traditions, ones that are based in faith, hope, and love. And also a good sense of humor. This world needs more joy.

So, here is my plan: I have 12 months and possibly 9 or so more where I will not have kids. Let’s face it, I’d be overjoyed to “end up pregnant” my first time around. So its time to try a few traditions out. I’m hoping that I can end up with a mix of Mexican Catholic and American Catholic traditions, since 1) I’d appreciate something more familiar and 2) I don’t want my kids thinking that Mexican=Catholic rather than Catholic=Universal.

So, I’m thinking this Christmas its time to start  a real Advent wreath. I’m also thinking of giving Mr. Serrano and friends I come across every day little advent gifts of candy. In addition, I’m making a trip to the Catholic store to get me some decidedly non-inclusive Christmas cards. Not that I’m a Santa hater, but I would like people to be reminded this is actually a Christian holiday, not just a “OMG BUY ME LOTS OF SHIT” kind of day. Can you imagine showing up for Eid at a Muslim friend’s house and telling them “Happy Holidays, please lets be politically correct and not mention Allah?”.

I’m also going to actually say Merry Christmas. At work. On the phone. I don’t care.

And finally, I’m going to start researching Mexican traditions (other than the “its December so it’s time to drink yourself silly” tradition).

All in all, I think it will be a fun little journey. Hopefully by the time I have kids I’ll have some traditions set up and ready for them to pulverize.

….*note to self*: The Nativity Set has already been shattered a couple of times. Might be a good idea to invest in a terrorist-attack/toddler proof contraption to avoid having to glue all those pieces together.

 

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Mormon Undies, Laundry, And Impotence (not of the physical kind)

Mormon underwear.

Mysterious. Fuglier than a “woman priest’s” vestments. Supposedly won’t melt or catch fire or cause some serious athlete’s crotch. It induces a mixture of laughter, pity, and bewilderment. When God saw what Joseph Smith did thar, there was a mighty clap in the air, a huge sigh, and suddenly a new word entered the tender young American lexicon: facepalm.

Secret, or sacred? Does it matter? Its intensely private, but people will still feel you up to see if you’re a worthy Mormon gal or guy. No really. This poor little fish eating Catholic got the Mormon feel up the last time she went to a Mormon service…corporate meeting…thing…whatever- and that was the last time she ever felt the compulsion to enter another one of those whitewashed boring places of banality.

Did I say banality? Oh, yes, I most certainly did. Cotton Candy has more intellectual honesty and better nutrition to boot.

But the underwear…the hideous, uncomfortable underwear. Its intensely private, if only because its the only way to avoid the question: “Wait. You wear underwear under your underwear…and it is sacred/secret?” Of course, because its kept so loudly secret us horrible oppressors can do nothing but think of Mormon underwear, dream of Mormon underwear, scheme of unsexy Star Trek garment Mormon Underwear.

Actually, no. Mormon underwear doesn’t often cross my mind. If you’d like to wear magical Mormon Underwear, well, okay, have fun with that. You won’t see me stealing that…thing…in the middle of the night.

However, Mormon Underwear does cross my mind when its right there. You see, there are many hazards for a Mormon trying to maintain the sanctity/secrecy of their Mormon Undies from the rest of the family during laundry time. Especially when one member of the family is a mildly self-educated Catholic, who thinks both recent Popes are amazing in their own ways, and can’t shut up about the new Mass translation. (FINALLY!)

I don’t know if my Mother still has sex with my so-not-Mormon Father (and, for the love of all that is sanitary and holy, I’d rather not know) but I do wonder how that plays out. Do Mormons allow for a dispensation for the shedding of ye olde holy drawers for a session of love-making, and do they even use the word dispensation? If not, when the moment is right and things are hot and heavy, does the lady take a swan dive to the nearest closet so that she can reveal her body (apparently not as valued as the underwear) and satisfy her desires? These are answers I’d rather not know, other than in the most general sense. At the moment I’m picturing chipmonks and bunnies so as to maintain my sanity.

Mormon Underwear might get a break for non-Mormon husbands, but judging from the subtle (read: terrified) reactions of my Mother, it does not get a break for hell bound Papists like moi. Why do I say that?

Remember when I mentioned that actually, I have better things to think about than some hideous fashion disaster with the word “holy” slapped over it? Well, it just so happens that doing laundry can get dicey for a Mormon.

The first occasion was completely confusing. All I did was take Mormon Mother’s laundry upstairs. Sure, I saw that the undies glowed and smelled of lavender and traces of ass, but I have been well trained to take up the laundry and deliver it unto the woman who gave me birth.

Well, the reaction, rather than a “Oh thank you, dear” (words you’ll never hear come from that mouth) was a hasty snatching of the Holy of Holeys and a muttered, “You didn’t have to do that!”

Thank you for allowing me another reason to be lazy. ^_^ Sure, why not?

Well, its only gotten worse. Because the worst thing about Mormon Undies (in my Catholic opinion) is that you can’t admit you have Mormon Undies, even to request that you keep your non-believing heathen hands off of them. After all, these aren’t scapulars. Scapulars you just don’t mention because you don’t want to seem like a vain little braggart about your own personal holiness, but if someone asks you explain what its about. And Scapulars can get gross, too, so you might be wondering more what in the world possessed you to touch that thing since its covered in sweat dried from years of use. Rather than a shameful thing, its more a “ewww…germs…” thing going on there.

Mormon Undies are NOT scapulars, and besides, you can get quite a lot of unintended pleasure out of them. For example, since its clearly stupid to wait around for Mormon Mother to get her clothes out of the drier (since everyone knows that will take half a century or longer) its clearly smart to remove the obstruction and shove your own clothes in. I’m not going to sit around waiting for the corn to grow just to be respectful towards a pair of fugly-wear. I have things to do, and not a lot of clean clothes left.

Of course, the practical solution is also the more hilarious one. Nothing is funnier than watching a Mormon Mother freak out as she approaches the laundry room, eying you with suspicion, glaring at your heathen hands and eyes as she sees her sacred underwear five feet away from where her worthy Mormon hands have left it. She left that pair under the care of Moroni, or Brigham Young, or some less holy personage- you know, like Jesus Son of God or something.

And now, it is obvious that her heathen Catholic daughter’s hands have spoiled the virginity of the fashion crime. Should she yell? Scream? Spew out verbal abuse as is her usual custom? No, she cannot. A good Mormon, like a boxer in Fight Club, never mentions The Secret. And so she says nothing, becomes nervous, perhaps waiting for Joseph Smith to come down and write another 19th century livejournal post completely legit new testament of Christ and…stuff just for one such as her.

Quickly! A veil must be drawn! Throw the T-Shirt over the holey holy, tuck it in neatly, and storm away in nervous, impotent indignation. Get it away from the non-converted. Mention not a word of the sacred secret. Let it not be questioned, handled, or tried! Save it from marauding heathen hands in as dramatic a way as possible. March forward, head held high, like a reality drama queen, and don’t breathe a sigh of relief until out of sight of prying, curious eyes.

Mormon Underwear doesn’t cross my mind often; I prefer not to think about it. But sometimes, things happen, and I cannot help but wonder………

………….Seriously?

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Christian Unity

Having grown up being raised to be liberal, feminist, democrat loving, at least allowing abortion for “rape babies” and the dreaded but rarer “incest baby”, I was also raised on the crazy idea of “open-mindedness”.

Oh yeah, I just called open-mindedness crazy. Somebody contact the Politically Correct Police to come lecture me for days on end with crappy Lifetime Movies straight from Dish Network.

Let’s set the record straight: I’m all for reading and discussing just about anything. I’m no more afraid of the words “anal sex” than I am of the words “presidential debate”, although both give me cause for almighty face-palms.

However, I’m not a fan of what “open-mindedness” has done to absolutely destroy Christian unity. And by Christian unity I am including those of the Protestant persuasion, the non-denominationals, and even the non-non-non-denominationals – basically anyone who believes in the basic tenets of Christianity (the Bible, the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, etc…). Unfortunately, what once meant an ability and willingness to see the other side of an argument or belief has now come to mean the ability and willingness to take a big lump of religions and sects and mush them all together and eat it like the junk food that it is.

In short, its that most annoying of ideas “relativism”. Relativism is that annoying man-boy in your college classes who will swear up and down that its “wrong” to believe in a God, or in a God who defines right and wrong, but then will turn around and say that there is no right and wrong, therefore honor killings by Muslims are perfectly acceptable, although “distasteful”.

No, really. That kid exists, and hopefully a cosmic kick to his behind will restore or create some sanity for him.

Man-boys aside, relativism is really dealing Christians a blow.

You know what really makes Christians work together? You know what really causes peace? Seeing people for who they actually are.

If Anna is Baptist and Mary is Catholic, and they both decide to overlook and ignore their differences because they’re “just Christians”, and then decide to go to Mass or a service together, one of them is going to be made into a liar. Either Mary will have to have Communion outside of the Church, thereby wounding her soul with a possible mortal sin or Anna will have Communion in a Catholic Church- publicly negating just about everything that Baptists claim to believe. Either way, the situation can become spiritually confusing and therefore dangerous.

I’m not arguing against conversion here- if Anna decides she wants to become Catholic, then she should go through the proper channels and may she have the best of blessings and luck. What I am arguing against is the dangerous assumption that “its all the same”.

If anyone stumbling across this blog has watched the kids movie “The Incredibles”, there is a very interesting point made early on in the film. For a very basic run-down of the movie, a family of super-heroes has to act “normal” in order to avoid a whole mess of problems. One of the memorable quotes from the movie that comes back to me from time to time says “We’re all super, we’re all special. All people are special.” And if I remember right its the totally not disgustingly stereotypical teen daughter who says “If everyone is special, nobody is.”

Wow. Hollywood accidentally said something true. Amazing how that one whipped right past censors.

That is exactly what is happening with Christians. Suddenly, everybody is considered Christian, but not in the way outlined above. People are not being labeled or labeling themselves as Christians because of what they believe, other than that at some point there was this guy named Jesus who was kind of a big deal. The assumption being made is that all Christians are equally Christian in their belief. 

Want to know the damage this can do? Okay, let’s say Liberal Linda from Saint Gay-Pants Episcopal Church gets married to Moderate Marty from Saint Whiny Hippie’s Roman Catholic Church. Of course, the marriage is done at her church because at the time Moderate Marty and his bride can’t/won’t figure out what the Catholic Church’s deal is with not letting them get married there, since they both feel equally Christian (never mind facts and history, children, its feelings that matter). Now, lets say they have kids, and suddenly Moderate Marty experiences a conversion.

Suddenly Moderate Marty starts praying the rosary, going to Mass, and stops worshiping his politics. Suddenly he doesn’t want to be called Moderate Marty anymore, and says he’d just like to be called orthodox instead, and just to complicate things he starts to see some serious issues with allowing his kids to occasionally go to Saint Gay Pride and Wymn Preists EpiscopalianPalooza Church. To complicate things more, he realizes that he does have a vocation to marriage, and deeply aches for a Catholic wedding ceremony.

(My apolgies to Episcopalians out there, but your name is absolute fun to play with linguistically speaking.)

How long do you think “tolerance” and “open-mindedness” are going to last in that household? How long do you think it will take for Marty to be berated by his wife for being a “closed-minded conservative stuck in the past” and worse “a gay hater”? Granted, it could be that Marty is married to an awesome woman who doesn’t work by a double standard, but even if she is awesome what are they now to do about the kids? They are both about to be confronted about the real differences in theology in their religion, and it is going to be painful.

People divorce over stuff like this.

Why is all of this important? Why make a big deal? Because when someone says  “I’m Baptist” or “I’m Lutheran” or “I’m Catholic” it means that you are making yourself distinct. Even non-denominational people are distinct AND YES, YOU GUYS ARE SOOOOOO DENOMINATIONAL. LOOK UP THE WORD ALREADY!! Why make yourself distinct by a name if you claim you don’t believe anything different from the next guy?

Could it be because you know, deep down, below all of the propaganda, that you do believe differently than the next guy?

The unity in Moderate Marty and Linda Liberal’s marriage lasted only as long as the lie that they both believed the same things- only for as long as Moderate Marty went along with Linda Liberal’s beliefs. Her beliefs were the common denominator- she didn’t change nor did she have to according to “acceptable” society standards. Although unspoken, it was her beliefs that were “right” and so a false peace prevailed as long as Marty agreed.

Its a dishonest, sickly sweet kind of peace and its thoroughly disgusting kind of peace as well.

Instead, lets say that Moderate Marty decided he did want to explore why the Catholic Church wasn’t allowing him to just up and marry Liberal Linda. Let’s say he learns that his church doesn’t have all the answers, and they send him to another parish, where he gets a quick pamphlet on the meaning of Catholic marriage, and something in him starts to yearn for it. So he goes to his future wife, talks with her, and mentions all of this to her, including the teachings on children, religion, and the teaching on mixed-marriages (this has nothing to do with race by the way).

Let’s say Liberal Linda dumps him in a huff to go find herself an enlightened man who believes in wymyn. Moderate Marty is left heartbroken, but at least he’s not being dumped in the middle of a marriage with children, who are now thoroughly confused and scared.One less broken family, which in the end is much more of a broken heart issue.

Or, we could say that Liberal Linda is initially confused and a little angry, but comes to respect Moderate Marty’s decision, even if she doesn’t understand or like his beliefs. Together, they come up with a plan to raise the kids Catholic while maintaining respect for her Episcopalian faith- acknowledging that yes, both are Christian but that there are important differences. The kids end up learning how to deal with others of other faiths and traditions, yet still remain true to whoever they are, rather than just putting away their beliefs for any set of new ones that comes along. Difficult to do? Yes. Impossible? No.

Constantly pretending like all religions or people are exactly the same leads to intolerance of anything but the majority view. If people really want a pluralistic society with peace, they need to first understand that people are different. Women are different from men. Children are different from adults. Non-denominationals are different from Catholics. Then, people need to understand that while ideas and theology can be very wrong, somewhat right, somewhat wrong, or entirely right, its okay to hold that view. Its okay to believe one thing over another, and its okay to disagree. Its not okay to essentially force everyone to be the same. When people understand and respect that others are different, its much easier to agree not to kill one another off, either spiritually or physically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 things I used to be okay with…

Jobs do take time away from blogging, but in any case I’m still cosntantly thinking about blogging. Mr. Serrano and I have been diving right into the Bible, and are about halfway through Matthew. Reading the Bible in another language really helps me to focus on the meaning of the phrases, and I get to hear the poetry differently. Its amazing how the poetry comes through no matter what language the Bible is written in. Its taking us quite a while to get through it, because I keep pausing every so often to share what I know about a verse and the tidbits of Jewish culture I’ve managed to glean from Catholic Radio (1140 AM if you’re on the west side of Michigan), theology courses, and random blogs I read.

I’ve apparently learned A LOT. And it still isn’t enough!!

However, all this praying, Bible reading, and Mass going has Mr. Serrano convinced that I’ve always been this way. As you might have read before on this blog, that is not at all correct. In my long journey to rough on the edges Catholicism, I have gone from one end of the crazy spectrum to the other. I’ve also gone from one crazy, mislead, befuddled end to a happier middle, although the crazy, befuddled people would probably think I’ve just gone “ultra-traditional” because I toy with the idea of wearing a mantilla to Mass.

Mr. Serrano has only known post-confirmation Katoriku, before I got addicted to all things Catholic. So he kind of has an image of me as a Saint (well..a swearing, ranting, wannabe Saint anyways…). In order to help him with his faith (and to laugh at myself) here are a few of the things I used to be A-freaking-OKAY with. I mean I LOVED this stuff.

  1. Guitar/Drum/Happy-Clappy Mass: Oh yeah. I LOVED that crap. Guitar out of tune? Visiting Christian band that features lyrics that may or may not be Catholic? Drums loud enough to bust hearing aids and eardrums alike? OH BRING IT ON! Hey, at one point I actually did think the reason I came to Mass was to be entertained.
  2. The Gospel of Dr. Seuss: No, I don’t hate Dr. Seuss, but at one point I sure ate it up when Father Hippy Dippy Priest Guy read to us from “The Book of Dr. Seuss”. Oh how I gushed about that, because it was oh-so-unconventional and because I was too young and dumb to recognize severe burn-out when I see it.
  3. Holding hands/Going into Jesus Pose at the Our Father: HOLY CRAP! LOOK AT HOW FRIENDLY AND HOLY I AM! Let’s touch our hands and spread germs everywhere. Let’s find a cute boy to sit next to at Mass, because it isn’t creeping if its at Mass! Let’s go into “instant praise-and-worship”mode without really knowing what the crap we’re doing! Yay!
  4. Women Priests:  OMG, can you believe like, how behind the times the Catholic Church is? Like, women still can’t be priests, just because they lack a penis. Oh, and priests should totally marry. Because its not like they aren’t totally overworked anyways.
  5. Shorts/Jeans/Gardening Clothes to Mass: I used to think that this was a great way to show humility, or whatever. It seemed like a great excuse at the time. Because what really matters is just that you show up! And that is totally not condescending at all! Although I still slip and wear jeans to Mass its usually because all the other clothes aren’t clean, or my other clothes are too worn, and I try to make sure that the jeans are nice and new looking. Its going to be easier to dress well soon, since I’m able to set aside money for a wardrobe. Not to say that people should avoid Mass because they’re broke and can’t afford it, but this is to say that if you can, you should dress nicely.
  6. Jesus’s feet touched the earth, so why shouldn’t we use clay vessels? Yes, let’s all be “humble” and just ignore the fact that the Church Jesus founded to guide us specifically says that we better at least use metal, since we don’t want to leave bits of Him floating around to get trampled on. I used to think clay was okay, until someone pointed out to me that Jesus was also beaten to heck, and its a safe guess he doesn’t feel like going through another beating.
  7. Peace-Out: oh yeah, nothing says cool and reverent like thumping your chest and making the peace-sign to friends across the aisles. Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an irreverent type of person- I like a little humor in everything, especially my religion. However, the crazy drawn out Sign of Peace has gotten out of control. I used to love it. Now I dread it. Peaceful it is not.
  8. Christian Re-incarnation: No, really. I used to think that was totally a possible legit Christian doctrine that the Church just had to catch up on. Now, I tend to think that God could use reincarnation, just like he could suddenly decide that the Church needs 2 Popes. Possible? With God, anything is. Likely? Only if God is Mormon.
  9. All religions, at least Christian sects, are the same/ equal in truth: That lasted until I chose to pick a religion, even just Christianity. Why care about religion if all religions are equally true, even if they all contradict each other? If all of those religions are true, then doesn’t that make them false? So then I shouldn’t believe in God or any religion…only then I’ve still got a belief, even if its a negative belief. Eventually, I realized that people believe in what they find to be true, even if they’re mistaken.
  10. A mantilla is a sign that you must have been abused as a child by horrible horrible things with penises: Yeah, I believed that mantillas were a horrible sign of acceptance of male oppression. I also thought that sisters should not wear habits, even though I’ve always been drawn to them. Now I realize that mantillas are a very public statement about a personal conviction, and that the intentions are usually very good. Most women wearing mantillas (at least in the US) are doing so out of respect for tradition and a desire to feel closer to our Mother, Mary.

I used to be okay with all that, and more. All I can say is that Confirmation does change you, and in my case it wasn’t noticeable to me for quite a while. So, for anyone glancing through my blog, no I was not this horrible Catholic that I am now.

As far as the saint thing goes…le sigh. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

 

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