It’s Wednesday morning and we’re set for another scorcher here in Las Vegas. Clear skies, high of 102, and I tell ya, not a Catholic in site to save my mortal soul from the wrath of hell’s sunshine that beats down on this city spawned from sin. Those pesky Catholics! Never one around when you need one.
It’s been a rough month for Catholicism, and I mean rough-like-I-ain’t-shaved-my-legs-in-seven days-while-camping-rough. Not only did the Vatican issue a paper reiterating much of Vatican II and continuing to justify the hypocrisy of the church as divine intention (and further ostracizing sects of their own faith), but they got beat-down by The Man in court to the tune of $600+ million since their “boyz” can’t keep their hands off of little boys’ toyz.
Why did the priest run down to JC Penny’s?
Because he heard little boy’s pants were half-off!
I’m disappointed, though. Really. I’m at a stage in my life where I’m open to searching, learning, and for the love of all that’s holy, there are days where I need some salvation. However, the Vatican has single-handedly ripped from my grasp all other options. Apparently (according to the literature released earlier this month), Orthodox churches are “defective” and that other Christian denominations are not true churches. Therefore, it’s pretty much sounding as if it’s “Catholicism or Bust,” and by “bust” I mean eternal damnation.
Not only that, but guess I really should just convert now, as the recent documentation also advises that any schools of religious thought other than the traditional Catholic faith, “were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the ‘means of salvation.”
I tell ya:
I go to Baskin Robbins, I want ice cream.
I go to the Honda dealer, I want to buy a car.
I go to Home Depot, I want to be overwhelmed by do-it-yourself projects.
I go to church, I want salvation, goddammit!
I mean, why the hell else would I go to church? I have never had a craving for those sticky little unleavened wafers that your have to scrape off the roof of your mouth with your tongue and wash-down with a thimble full of Ripple. Do you honestly believe that the general churchgoing public goes to service because the pews are comfy? Absolutely not. They go for the soul-cleansing kumbaya, hoping that an hour of submission will redeem them from a week’s worth of sins. Funny…a week’s worth of cake doesn’t disappear after an hour on the treadmill, but what the fuck do I know? I’m a sinner, sinner, sinner.
Now, to further complicate matters as we—-the spiritually curious masses—seek an identity in a force higher than our own 3-1/2 inch black strappy sandals, the church that attests to their sole ability to deliver me to my salvation … wants to touch me naughty.
Quite frankly, the fact that I get “touched naughty” (over…and over…and…sorry. Distracted.) — would that not be one of the reasons I’m seeking salvation and redemption in the first place? I think it’s a shitty sports book where the house gets to play both sides of the line like this. AH! We need members…membership is down. Hmmmm…I KNOW! Let’s start having our priests touch young boys, generating a firm foundation for feelings of shame and thereby an entire generation of future followers of the doctrines of Catholicism! We’re offered a group discount on guilt in exchange for letting Father Jones do the Lord’s Work by way of our Underoos: buy one indulgence, get one free! Just like in feudal times.
By the way—have you tithed this month?
This week’s landmark settlement in favor of the 580 victims abused by clergy members within the Catholic church chimed-in at $660 million.
Well, slap me and call me “saved!” What does it take to get a priest to send a little of the Lord’s lovin’ MY way? Maybe one of ’em could just graze a nipple and get my car paid-off.
(Small print disclaimer: I do acknowledge that I’m going to hell. As I’ve known this for quite some time, I already have property there. And I bought low.)
While that’s all I’ll say about that matter, I’ll move abruptly into what I consider to be the unmitigated gall of a “good ‘ol boys club” boasting membership totaling one-sixth of the world’s population (Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2005. Libreria Editrice Vaticana) to pass judgement on what IS and what is NOT valid in any sense of the word.
Pardon me, as I’m just a woman and all (not held in the highest regard by the Vatican community, I acknowledge, but please bear with me), but … weren’t you and your esteemed colleagues just ordered to pay damages for sexual misconduct, molestation, and other abuse allegations against your direct constituency, Mr. Roman Catholic Church? You’re trying to tell me that, in Western society, a child molester or convicted sex felon must report to the authorities, can have no further affiliation with children, must stay a certain distance from schools, and live a life branded by (justifiable) stigma because of his previous actions … yet you, Mr. Roman Catholic Church, can persist in your teachings, elitist pontifications, hypocritical white papers, and legacy of guilt — after having been ordered to pay over $745 million dollars in damages to the victims your religion has left in its wake? Ah yes. I see the logic now. GOD said it was OK …. (splashing acid in my eyes)
While one might be inclined to take everything that’s come out of my mouth (?) thus far in this week’s Redheaded Fury as I have a problem with Catholicism, or organized religion for that matter — I beg of you, no, no, no, no, and, um… NO! Pull off your blinders, as I’m pointing the finger at religion when it uses divine intent as an excuse for hypocrisy and elitism! I have the utmost respect for those who are committed to a personal system of beliefs that allows them to live a fuller and more enriching life. It’s the fundamental hypocrites, those who will admonish you for your deeds and then point to the distance, shrieking, “LOOK! ELVIS!” and the moment you turn to look, they’re buggering your wife and washing away the bad taste in their mouth with some of that communal wine from the big chalice that Mrs. Molasky just backwashed in, with which I have a problem.
When the leaders we entrust to perpetuate a school of thought, doctrine, or specialty violate that trust by misusing or misdirecting that knowledge for their own gain (or kink), to where are we supposed to turn? How can we ever know that our “hired hand” is being on the up-and-up with us, especially when it comes to the life-changing potential of spiritual development? It’s why cults persist, fanaticism is likened to brainwashing, and ultimately why some choose to leave the fold inside which they’ve been reared in search of other solutions.
Personally, I left the Christian fold many a year ago (for me, it wasn’t so much a single “fold” as an entire oragami experience). Have I had my challenges along the way? Most certainly. I’ve tried returning to church, wondering if there’s something I’ve missed. Was I not giving this structured environment a chance? Why are the songs always written in that key I can’t sing in? Am I overdressed? Do I believe in any of this? I could be hiking right now. Holy shit — how many times can you say “amen” in an hour? Regardless of any inner dialogue that reaffirms my choice to depart from the effervescence of ecumenical comfort, I have no ill thought for those who choose to remain.
Whatever belief system we adopt as our own throughout our years on this mortal coil, I think it’s essential to live a good life. I can’t abide by a corporation disguised as a religion (Mr. Roman Catholic Church, Mr. Southern Baptist Church, Mr. Mormon Temple!) that repeatedly adopts the practice of open admonishment of those who differ. Last I learned in Sunday School (when I wasn’t changing the words of a favorite children’s church song to, “Jesus loves me, I’m impressed—he’s a guy who wears a dress…miniskirts and formals, too…some are pink and some are blue.”) is that compassion and tolerance are two fundamental principles within the Christian faith — and many other religions as well. What religion or belief system is so superior that it bears the right to burn at the stake those who see things differently?
I’m disappointed that the Catholic Church chooses to issue edict that openly states superiority and specifically names other belief systems as “defective” since they don’t acknowledge the Pope as their main homeboy. As well, I’m quite confident that the Most Rev. Joseph Pepe D.D. of the Archdiocese of Las Vegas would fail to find the humor in one of my favorite jokes: “I’ve found Jesus…I have him in the trunk!” They don’t even want to know where I keep my Pope.
I am also disappointed that a religion has brought upon itself $745 million in collective fines in seven years on account of allegations of sexual misconduct by those entrusted with people’s souls and spiritual development. If you consider that the number of victims in the two lawsuits total 1058 persons, that renders each incident of sexual misconduct (assuming, incorrectly of course, that there was only one incident per victim) a value of $704,158.79.
Pat, I’ll take “I Left My Salvation in Little Johnny’s Pants” for $704,158.79, please. Oooooooooh! The Daily Double!
I’m faced with a quandary here as I evaluate my options for redemption, and I’m sure the redemption-seeking public-at-large is as well. It’s likely that I’m beyond redemption (as I was ex-communicated back in 2001 from associations with any entity affiliated with “Jesus” after mentioning to someone that—hey! MY gardener’s name was Jesus, too…how much does your Jesus charge and can he fix a bubble-drip irrigation system?) However, I’ve found over the past several years that just trying to live a good life has paid me dividends that I could never have imagined. I am left wondering, however, if there is a section of Purgatory reserved for those who used hypocrisy as a weapon during their lifetime, a weapon to instill guilt, a sense of inferiority, and fear. I find free will to be the most incredible gift that this human existence has to offer us, and just have a (fundamental) problem with any belief system that comes along and preaches that free will? Bah—forget about free will. You’ll be much happier as a sheep. (not a Catholic sheep, mind you…ew. Or should I say “ewe?”)
So, my Salvation-Seeking public. Scroll back up to the top of this week’s blog and show me on the Pope doll where I’ve touched you during my diatribe. If you touch the “magic spot,” you, too, could be the lucky winner of a fractionalized interest in a $660 million dollar legal settlement! This is a limited-time offer, so don’t delay. While elitist religions may persist and always be at the ready to diminish your capacity to engage in free thought, the money won’t last forever! Act now, my friends, and without delay.
Please see below for contest rules.Contestants must have accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Gardeners, bus boys, dishwashers, and other day laborers named Jesus are not eligible for this promotion. Fundamentalist Christians (aka “posers”) and other non-Orthodox Catholics and their families are also excluded from participating as you must show proof of eligibility for Salvation when claiming your prize. Promotion not valid in Utah.