Thursday, November 03, 2005
Some days are harder than others when you're Catholic. Mass can be boring. We have to listen to some lame appeals for cash from all kinds of different groups a couple times a year, which almost always disturbs my regular homily-time nap. The goat-sacrifice days are OK, but still too messy. And with the exception of about 10% of the congregation, nobody likes Guess What Father Jeff Is Wearing Under His Robe day. Sometimes it's a novelty T-shirt. Sometimes it isn't.
The worst days for me are when Catholics get all uppity and wounded and decide they have to run out and tell the world about how hard it is to be Catholic in America. That, of course, is the whole purpose of the Catholic League's existence, to find discrimination and anti-Catholic hatred where there is none. And to get Bill Donohue's big red face on TV so he can shout at people, be adorably and ironically anti-Semitic and embarrass us all. Thanks, Bill! You do God's work.
Yesterday this story came out about how Catholics at some giant church meeting got all pissy because a few (Catholic) protesters in favor of tolerance for homosexuals got more media coverage. Their rock-solid reasoning is that the synod had 8,000 people attending while there were only 75 protesters. So why all the attention for a few ne'er-do-wells who are going to totally burn in hell anyway?
See, it's simple math. 8,000 vs. 75. How on earth can anyone justify not giving the same detailed attention to 8,000 people at a meeting devoted to completely self-contained issues of theology and bureaucracy when there were less than a hundred advocating a more socially understandable position of broader inclusion?
I'm going to tell you why. As a Catholic who has never been to one of these "Eucharistic Congress" meetings, I can still say with 100% certainty that a Eucharistic Congress is boring. It might be the most boring thing ever. Think of it like Mass, except it lasts four days, is about 100 times more crowded and there's no booze at the end.
Yeah. Why weren't the reporters flocking to that? My guess is that they just weren't suicidal enough. Even in a place like St. Paul, there had to be something better to cover. How about another story about how St. Paul can't get no love? It's all Minneapolis this, Minneapolis that... it just goes to show that there's always one ugly twin.
8,000 people in a hall discussing lecture topics like "Jesus: Best Person Ever?" and "Comprehensive Genuflecting Options" doesn't make good TV. 75 people standing on steps outside a closed door holding signs, burning candles and looking oh-so-telegenically weepy-faced and sad for all the world's injustice, well... that's just local-news gold right there.
I think the best thing that ever happened to Catholics nationally was when Kennedy got shot. Not when he was elected because that was some shady business with the votes in Illinois and all that, I mean when he was shot. I'm not saying it was a good thing or that I'm glad it happened, but before that, dating all the way back to the Reformation, Catholics were viewed with a great deal of suspicion. Sort of Christian, but not really. Too much stagecraft and magic tricks in the ceremony. Weird devotion to some foreign potentate in a white dress. No fish on Fridays. What kind of a pinko commie won't eat a burger on a Friday?
Then we have us an election where Kennedy rolls back a few misconceptions himself, but he really sealed the deal by being the focal point of national mourning. I bet Larry Hagman and Tommy Lee Jones had no idea what they were getting themselves into when they plotted out his assassination. The Catholic president became everybody's president. Exclusionary anti-Catholicism faded into a general back-feeling of mistrust and eventually...
Well, let me put it this way: I was born in 1974 and I've never experienced any anti-Catholic prejudice. Except from my dad. He's a Presbyterian and sometimes forgets not to use the phrase "mackerel-snappers". And he won't write me into the will until I convert, but that's OK. He's totally broke.
Sometimes a Catholic church--or even a whole diocese--will devote a service to the acceptance of homosexuals or forward-thinking Catholic AIDS workers in Africa will loudly encourage a rethinking of the Church's stance on contraception in order to save lives. Those things make you feel a little better. And give you some hope. And improve public relations.
Today's picture of Catholicism is basically not to notice. It was a non-issue in the last presidential campaign. We live right next to you and nobody burns anything on our lawns.
Just so you know though, people should be worried. We're coming. Today the Supreme Court, tomorrow some other passive branch of ineffectual governance, like Homeland Security or Amtrak. When we take the whole national railroad system and hand it over to the Pope, you heathens will never have seen it coming.
Oh, and Kennedy isn't dead. Just part of our plan. He's older now, balding a little, not in the best of health. But he's out there, making a difference. He keeps a low profile, hiding in plain sight, in a place no American would ever, ever think to look.
This is going to get me in trouble with the Illuminati, but here, I found a picture. Look fast before they find me and tear this blog down. By the time you read this, I'll probably be dead.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
This post on the (pagan!) Narcissus Scale: [censored]