Sunday, March 08, 2009

FRB hates catholic bloggers.

well, i sometimes do. except this one.

yes, friends, welcome to lolsaints. [i've always thought there was something vaguely outrage-worthy about lolcats, but wikipedia tells me it's all okay - surely the best thing about wikipedia is its forced seriousness. and, did you know richard dawkins invented the word "meme" to talk about religion and such? that's a connection in this post that i did NOT see coming.]

so, anyway. moving on to more things i love and hate. i had a pretty bad day reading all this.

[the good]

i'm not sure i agree with this exercise of faith, in which a nurse is fired for offering to pray for a patient. although this is interesting...
"A sensitive inquiry as to whether a patient would value prayer may well be an appropriate part of a medical consultation especially in an NHS [National Health Service] where some NHS trusts actually pay spiritual healers as part of the care team," said Saunders.
anyway, the thing that really struck me was this string of responses.
1. bad christians are to blame for a bad perception of christians.
2. secularism is not the same as atheism.
3. "I want to be able to attend a public event without someone officially praying their belief over me."

remarkably fair and balanced, i thought. i was really surprised, coming from zenit. but separation of church and state! churchy people like it! yayyy!

[the bad]

this article, however, makes me want to say fuck you, you fucking fuck. [it's okay. i'm quoting the sidewalk.] phdork at pursuit of harpyness tipped me off to this [while also teaching me the word "limn," which i didn't know] and gives a really reasonable "maybe i don't know everything about catholicism, but" viewpoint on it. thanks for going for a little humility as far as recognizing that you're not an expert on catholicism, new blogfriend. [i don't always expect as much from "secular" bloggers. see below.] and thanks for making yourself look normal, because this guy is SO BAD. on so many fronts.
I completely understand that Mr. Thompson doesn’t like what these sisters stand for, and he has every right to address what I would guess he views as their heretical perversions of the One True Church’s teachings. But he’s not doing that. He’s bagging on nuns for their looks.
i'd guess she's right, yeah? and besides this clear anti-feminist crap, what i hate is this toxic hatred for the other side. i can't take it. i'm so done with people equating "faithful catholic" with "hierarchy lover" or "lockstep traditionalist." i mean, how can you have even a cursory knowledge of church history and ignore the fact that God is still speaking?

from the sisters...
But I think if we believe in what we are doing (and I definitely do) we just have to be peacefully about our business, which is announcing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, fostering the Reign of God in this world. We cannot, of course, keep [the Vatican representatives] from investigating. But we can receive them, politely and kindly, for what they are, uninvited guests who should be received in the parlor, not given the run of the house.
HONESTLY, damien thompson. compared to this, or compared to anything else, you look like an ass. the papacy doesn't need your help. i'm sure that the vatican can handle their own supposed problems. they are not being THREATENED by NUNS who want to HELP PEOPLE, and neither are you. it's not like they're kicking puppies or publicly denying the pope. they're expressing caution about the vatican representatives' visit and wondering if their form of religious life will be understood. which, you know, seems reasonable. and even if you feel threatened, can you bring yourself to have enough faith in the hierarchy you respect so much to let them decide about what these sisters are doing?

or, have i caught you thinking that you're the one in charge of doctrine and heresy? right.

and, for the record, "birthing" is a legitimate metaphor for creating something new. it takes work. it brings life. it's difficult and miraculous. [not that i'd know, but still.] the assumption that mother church has nothing to do with women is something i still argue about, even with my friends. the feminine images for God are there, guys! in the bible, in our tradition, even in the catechism that many traditionalists love so much. they make some people uncomfortable because we're not used to hearing them. because of years of patriarchy. because some men [and women, let's not forget] have unjustly kept God looking like a man. because of the inequality between genders, which, theologically speaking, is a result of the fall. not a result of God's creating man and woman both in God's own image.

[the untrue]

so time accused the catholic church of making up this whole FOCA thing, and jezebel's all over it. now, i usually love jezebel. but here's the thing. first of all, the headline - "Bishops Manufacturing Abortion Controversy To Keep Parishioners Engaged." seriously, WHERE do you get the bishops' motive out of this news story? i hear the politics and culture wars thing. maybe i hear the money thing, although i've never heard an abortion-related collection taken up in church for anything except pregnancy crisis centers. [usually it's just prayer and outrage. we're not actually collecting money for the republican party, guys.] but let's say you believe that abortion is murder, as they say. wouldn't you also overreact to actually hearing obama say that he wants to sign FOCA, as an astute commenter points out? [the youtube video is linked, and the same commenter writes about what she thinks he actually meant.] and, i mean, let's hold off on blaming the hierarchy for an email chain of over-reaction on a bill that's not actually being considered. that part's an overreaction to something you heard in the news. kind of like what's happening here, on the other side of the issue.

yes, i personally think the abortion issue is too high on the list of things on which many catholic people like to spend their money, time, and outrage. but if you believe life begins at conception [or might begin at conception and does begin before birth, which is the actual party line], then it's hard to get away from it. again, still important to temper all of this with care for women, actually-born babies, people who are poor, people who live in places other than america, all kinds of other things - but this is a faith-based and rights-based issue, on both sides, and we're going to need to find some other ways to talk about it. on both sides, i hope.


of course, i'm very lucky. i asked my students if they know any catholics who only care about abortion, and THEY DON'T. i was amazed. we pray for all kinds of things at my parish, including people who are poor, people out of jobs, politicians, soldiers, and victims of war. where i live, i hear a liberal message if i hear any slant.

but i read blogs of all catholic types, and i worry. on all sides.

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