|I don't know, maybe this quantum science version of life after death isn't much better than the Catholic version of hell. I know it's a little big for the blog formatting, but it's really is worth reading. So is the blog I found it on, Carnival of Anarchy|
I think I mentioned in the last post I was having some technical difficulties which precluded me from posting. Tonight I've been catching up with a number of blogs I follow or have made comments on and came across the following comment to this NCR article on Pope Benedict's negative musings about the shift towards gay marriage and co habitation in the US. This comment really struck a chord with me because it brought back vivid memories of me trying to help my daughter deal with the some of the same issues during her confirmation classes. Bad theology most certainly does make for bad psychology.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mar. 12, 2012.
I've never personally heard anyone ridicule chastity. I've never heard anyone ridicule someone who chooses to wait until marriage to have sex. I've never heard anyone ridicule parents of large families but my cousin has. A devout Catholic blue collar father of eight, his friends and co-workers told him he was crazy each time he told them his wife was pregnant. He started saying "Isn't that great?" before they could.
It's rude and none of anyones business to make comments about how many children couples want to have. It's also rude for clergy and parents of large families to make comments about parents who have smaller families. The problem is that the hierarchy and those who describe themselves as "orthodox" Catholics can't shut up about our sex lives. It seems the only thing the Church is concerned with lately is sex. It seems strange that men who supposedly don't have sex are so obsessed with it. Then again as a man I know I think about sex more when I haven't had it for a while.
I think you had a poor choice of words when you said we should "ridicule poverty, sex abuse, hunger, homelessness, deadbeat dads, materialism, dictatorships, hopelessness, and drug abuse". I think you meant that we should concentrate our concern on those social ills. That's different than ridicule. Unfortunately I often hear people, mostly conservatives, ridiculing poor people, especially poor black people.
I'm disgusted by the reactionary drift of the Church, of its clergy and most devout members becoming right wing Republicans united with the Christian Right and its idiotic culture wars. The leadership of the Church and their "orthodox" fans reject the modern world. Everything about it they label "The Culture of Death". Unlike the Amish and other groups they don't remove themselves from it. They want to change it and us. They want to repeal Vatican II. "The Reform of the Reform" is doublespeak meaning "It never should have happened, we want to get rid of it, but since it was a valid Council we have to call it something else."
I used to say conservative Catholics want to go back to the 50's. Our EWTN station announced an event highlighting "the Golden Age of American Catholicism, the 1950's. I don't say that anymore because when I said it to my 87 year-old mother she told me that in the 50's they wanted to go back further.
I feel like a Democrat at a Republican rally. I don't feel at home in the Church anymore. I believe it is the original church that goes back to Christ the way I believe the United States goes back to the Revolution and President Obama is its 44th president, something some right wingers including Catholics dispute. But I've resigned myself to being a lapsed or "Christmas-Easter" Catholic. I go to mass sometimes but I no longer feel guilty when I don't. The less I think about the Church the less angry I feel but it's impossible to ignore its criminal conspiracy of child rape and cover up and the pope and bishops involving themselves in our laws and government. The only reason I give money to my parish collection is that I'm married with one child still in religious ed yet to be confirmed and my wife insists. It makes me sick to know that some of it is being used to fund the bishops' war on gays, contraception, women's rights and their all but spoken alliance with the Republican Party.
The Old Testament seems a Bronze Age myth with a brutal God. My daughter picked it up through religious ed. She told me she doesn't like God anymore, that He's mean. She said He says He loves us but then punishes us, lets bad things happen to us and sends us to hell if we don't do what He says. I said Jesus wasn't like that. She said He's God so He's mean too. She knows about the Trinity, that Jesus is one with The Father and The Holy Spirit. She doesn't let Him off the hook. He's part of the same God who killed His children in the Old Testament.
I didn't know what to tell her so I said that the Church doesn't talk anymore about hell being a place where people are burned with fire but a state of being separated from God, thinking immediately "how is that less scary?" . I said the Church changes what it says about things even though it says it doesn't. Limbo is an example. I said it to calm her down and keep her love for God. She said when she can't sleep she prays to God but He doesn't help. I said He doesn't always answer our prayers the way we want. I said all the stuff you're supposed to but God scares her.
She's going through what I did as a kid, being scared of death and going to hell if she dies with some mortal sin on her soul, of a big mean scary God who says He loves her but might punish her in the worst way possible. I've come to think it's a form of child abuse to teach kids a lot of the Bible. If it was a movie we wouldn't let them see it. I think it's abusive to scare and fill them with guilt by telling them that things like missing mass, having sex before marriage and using birth control could land them in hell.
I have mixed feelings about my responsibility as a Catholic father. The stuff she says makes me angry. It makes me want to tell the Church to stop hurting my daughter. It makes me feel protective of her. It doesn't seem what she should be getting from her faith but it's only a milder form of what I got fifty years ago when I learned that Protestants were going to hell and I would too if I committed what seemed like an endless list of mortal sins. I laid awake thinking about death and worrying I'd die in my sleep and go to hell before I could confess one.
Our faith is ruled by guilt and so much of it is about sex. In the new translation we are told to beat ourselves saying "Through my fault, through my fault, through my own grievous fault". It sounds like "Guilt, Guilt, Guilt!".
I think that deserves ridicule.
There is so much I could write about this comment, especially the sentences I put in bold type face. I'm not going to though because I think it deserves to stand alone, and sometimes silent affirmation is more powerful.