Sunday, July 09, 2006

I feel like punching somebody in the face.

Warning: After reading this entry, some of you will stop reading my blog. You will find it disrespectful, hostile, and borderline blasphemous. If you find yourself alienated by this entry, I refer you to the title of this blog, and wish you well in the future. Buh-bye!

I just got back from Mass. For those of you who don't know, I'm playing guitar at another parish this summer, to build up my chops.

Here are the readings for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time; they are about prophesy. Ezekiel talks about prophesizing to a hostile Israelite audience; the Psalm reminds the prophet to focus on God; Corinthians tells us that the prophet's comfort is in the Lord, because it certainly is not in the world, and finally the Gospel is the one where Jesus preaches in Nazareth, where they are skeptical of him ('isn't that the carpenter's son?).

Here's the part where I get pissed off.

First, the priest started his sermon about how he has been visiting family in the Midwest or the Great Plains or whatever the heck place, where there were there are way more Catholics, and they have a big ol' megachurch 10 times bigger than the chapel we were in, with a dome and a cross, and it was just huge. And then he said that that Church was like a prophet, welcoming people to....

STOP. Prophets are voices, not buildings; certainly not megaparishes. This idea of prophecy as a welcoming building with a big dome and big population is not supported in the first reading, the psalm, the second reading or the Gospel reading.

Let's just call this what it is. The priest was trying to give the congregation an update on where he's been in the last few days, and show his enthusiasm for a big, thriving Catholic community. Inherently, there's nothing wrong with that, but it's pretty sloppy transition to the matter of prophesy. I don't like sloppy. Prophesy is too important.

The priest went on to give a summary of the readings, and then went for it, saying things to rattle our cages, the way a prophet should. I would have taken the same tactic, if I were giving the sermon. But his conclusions were so sloppy and unexamined and SEXIST and OFFENSIVE that I spent the rest of the Mass gritting my teeth.

First, he wanted to talk about abortion, and the rights of the unborn. And yes, I understand that the Catholic Church's position is against abortion, I GET IT. But the words he used were, "I don't understand why in this day and age we have so many abortions! I just don't get it!"

STOP! You are allowed to talk about abortions and the right of the unborn, but "I just don't understand" is BULLSHIT NON ARGUMENT. You want to know why there are abortions? Because there are unwanted pregnancies. Well? What the hell are you doing about unwanted pregnancies? Is the Catholic Church mobilizing it's vast network of resources to change the unwanted pregnancies situation? No. Instead, there's a priest in Seattle acting like he doesn't understand. You fucking understand, Father. What you want is a ban on abortions, and to hell with unwanted pregnancies.

By the way, SEAMLESS GARMENT. If you are going to rail against women who don't want their pregnancies, then you DAMN well better rail against the fucking DEATH PENALTY. Why didn't we hear about the death penalty, Father? I know why; because your sermon isn't really about life, compassion, or the teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. This sermon is really about YOUR NEO-CONSERVATIVE AGENDA.

Oh, and lest I forget, he also told us earnestly that "the sanctity of marriage is under attack."


Gay people aren't asking for YOU to marry them. They are asking the government to give them a legal marriage, so that they have the same rights as straight people. Because straight people don't deserve special rights. Nobody is forcing you to 'sanctify' their marriage. The Catholic Church's right to exclude homosexuals and women will remain unharmed.

You know, the Pope was in Spain this weekend, denouncing the secularization of Spanish society and their legalization of same-sex marriages. Do you think he consoled King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia? They must be devastated that their marriage is suddenly worth less, now that Spanish homos can marry each other. They must be distraught.

You know, the Church lets gay men be priests, if they haven't demonstrated any gayness for a three-year probation period. Does that mean that priestly ordination has been devalued, since they're letting the homos do it? Has stock in "priesthood" gone down? Maybe it will go down so far, that they'll let women be priests.

Hey, let's apply this three-year probation period to the vocation of marriage; let's let homosexuals marry each other if they demonstrate a lack of homosexual tendencies for three years. Have you considered that?

No, you have not. Because in your sick world, straight men are better than gay men, celibate gay men are better than sexually active gay men, and all men are better than women. And then you paper that world view with pages of the Bible and say that the only way to be holy is a) to be a celibate priest and b) to be in a man woman marriage.

Well, it's time for you to face the fact that the whole "one man and one woman" thing is a thin veil for your bigoted political agenda.

Jesus came to end the Temple system, to INSPIRE us not to sin, and to help us remember (through the Word and the Eucharist) that God loves ALL of us. And when a lamb gets lost, he will leave the flock to go looking for us. Why? Because the lamb belongs to the flock, and the flock belongs to the Shepherd. Jesus loves all the lambs, even the gay ones who want the government to recognize their commitment. You'd like to imagine that preventing someone from visiting their gay partner in the hospital is going to help the Shepherd somehow, but it doesn't. It just makes you an asshole.

Feed my lambs, Peter. All of them.

And finally, your abortion reduction program seems to be a pile of shit. Why don't you get serious and start looking for a solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancies?

Just force women to have the babies, whether they want to or not!

Oh, right, I forgot you don't give a shit about women. Now it all makes sense.


Micaela said...

Thanks, Kuyang. I link to you now...
Thanks for being my sponsor during confirmation. Those jerks never would have turned me to the dark side anyway, but it was helpful to be reminded that all their bullshit are not belong to us.

bitchphd said...

Dude, which fucking parish is this? I miss the Cathedral precisely because they don't pull this kind of nonsense.

You know, it's funny, as I started reading this entry, the second you mentioned megachurch, I thought "ick." And then the stuff you went on to talk about more specifically just reinforced my prejudice against those megachurch things. It's really disturbing that bigotry seems to be the biggest growth area in religious congregations.

john patrick said...

I was at a chapel in North Seattle with a big university student population. It's a small congregation in a small room, so someone must have noticed the look of disgust I was trying to not make.

The megaparish the priest was describing was in the Iowa or Nebraska... one of the corn states where a lot of white people are Catholic.

I love Mass at St. James Cathedral as well. And Fr. Ryan is outstanding.

As far as those mainline Protestant megachurches with mega parking lots, stadium seating....

Well, I should reserve my judgement, because I don't even understand that kind of worship. And to be fair, I'm not interested in going to a soccer stadium for Mass with the Pope, either.

I think the really sad thing is that today was all about prophesy; it was a chance scream for social change at the top of your lungs. But instead, the priest called us to a) ban abortions with out examining the issues and b) deprive people of LEGAL rights based on sexual orientation.

I said the Creed today. I don't have a problem saying the Creed and calling myself a Catholic. A liberal Catholic.

I also have to say that I believe in the separation of Church and State is best for America.

Where do people get off advocating theocracy? Jesus himself was pretty clear that the Kingdom is not of this world.

Orange said...

JP, I'm an atheist so this really isn't my area, but I appreciate your impassioned disagreement with the church.