Posts Tagged 'Protestantism'

Why I No Longer…

In this case, read certain blogs or visit certain types of websites and forums.  They aren’t good for me.  They don’t benefit me in anyway.

I noticed in my paper journaling a few months ago I was expressing dissatisfaction about a certain Christian blog I was reading and how I was treated for posting a Catholic perspective.  Knowing the WWW and the way most blogs/forums work, this was concerning but not overly so. 

Blogs and whatnot go through cycles were things can get nasty for awhile but then people take notice of their behavior and apologize for the nasty and get back on track.  They get away from the tearing down and go back to the building up.  They even catch themselves when they slip and they are willing to take fraternal correction when somebody points out where/when they might be straying.  They even take breaks so that they don’t lapse back into that bad behavior.

Unfortunately, some of the Christian blogs I had been reading have gone almost completely into tearing down fellow Christians instead of building up.  Name calling, questioning someone’s sincerity in being an actual “Christian,” damning people to hell, wishing pain and suffering on people because they didn’t support a particular bloggers view, etc.  Oh, there is a lot more bad than good.  But looking at this and what I was writing in my paper journal I came to the conclusion that these blogs were no longer of benefit to me.  I was becoming more angry and upset over people’s need to tear down and justifying their tearing down as “Christian.” 

It became all about hurting and very little helping.  If you confirmed the bias of the bloggers, you were considered good Christians and saved and allowed to keep posting, especially if you put down whom the bloggers were putting down.  If you questioned, even a little, you were bullied and harassed and called names and had pain and suffering wished upon you and then eventually banned, all because of a minor fact checking. 

The bloggers themselves may argue that they allowed discussion and disagreement but it is a lie.  I’ve seen people who provided proof as to why they were questioning and still get banned with the bloggers claiming harassment and other things going on behind scenes.  Things that can’t be proved, of course, but bloggers never lie, right?

Then there is what I call the sob story effect.  It’s when somebody tells a story of hardship, harassment, bullying, even shunning all done by The Church® (which has nothing to do with the Catholic Church, just to clarify, though She might be brought in as a comparison and we have to mention those pedophile priests (gag)).  These storytellers all claim to be abused, how they have had their faith in Jesus Christ shaken so bad they no longer believe or go to church, and are telling their story to stop others from becoming victims.

First, I want to say that their are true cases where individuals have been hurt and abused by their churches.  I grieve for these victims.  Their stories are true, they are painfully real, and they seek change and healing, for themselves and the church they were/are a part of.  These stories I do not doubt or question.

However, there are stories that are patently false or are so full of lies or are only true in the very beginning but then spiral out into a great fish tale.  These are the ones where the storyteller plays the victim, is out to hurt the church or people in church they were in, or just wants to be in the spotlight (the old wanting attention schtick), or hates religion and is out to attack or those that just want to blame others for their failures.  I have a major problem with these people.  They are only in it to advance themselves and/or their agenda.  They hurt and make those that are telling true stories look bad.  Readers don’t always get all the facts so they can’t judge the truth of the story.  Liars especially rely on this.  And they rely on the emotional reaction they get.

Playing the victim card is especially notorious for playing the emotions.  They tell a sob story that must be true because it plays on the heart strings.  They may be a few truths or facts but the rest of the story is complete fiction made up to elicit an emotion.  On the one blog I was reading, it seemed more and more stories were posted mainly because they were emotional rather than true.  I would read stories and something would be off or not quite believable.  I could tell the bloggers themselves hadn’t checked the story at all.  Hence, the sob story effect.

If it seemed like a good story, it was automatically judged true.  Facts were missing.  Elements were not checked.  Things just seemed off.  But that didn’t matter to the bloggers.  They posted it as fact and if anybody questioned, it was automatic moderation and then banning. Mostly it was straight to banned. 

Even though I don’t trust most news sources, most reporters check their sources and factors because even one little lie gets you blackballed.  They don’t do it.  They check and recheck.  They verify and if things don’t make sense they keep digging and doing research.  They don’t accept at face value what they are told. 

So I am no longer reading certain websites, blogs, etc. and I won’t mention specific blogs here because I have seen supporters of those blogs go after people who don’t wholeheartedly agree with the bloggers with severe vitriol.  I don’t need my blog attacked.  I don’t mind charitable disagreement but I don’t want name calling and other deplorable behaviors either. These people prefer to tear down instead of engaging in debate.

Tearing down the Body of Christ hurts everyone.  I refuse to take part in it.  While the blogs  I refer to are Protestant, I have seen this among Catholics as well.  I may disagree with Protestant theology but I don’t agree or permit tearing.down fellow believers in Jesus.  I believe most Protestants are doing the best they can with the churches they have all in an effort to follow Jesus.  I won’t badmouth them.  That’s not loving my neighbor.

I don’t have a problem in pointing out errors or problems in teaching or beliefs or practices.  It can be done in a charitable manner that doesn’t condemn others or tear them down.  It also helps if solutions are provided and those who point out problems are willing to support and help in implementing the changes and solutions.  I’ve seen too many people willing to point out failures but stop from suggesting solutions because they argue that it doesn’t involve them.  If you’re willing to point out then you have to step up and truly support the changes, not just keep pointing out failures.

Or as the T-shirt says: If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

Lent: It’s NOT Punishment

I think that’s where I’ve failed in the past.  Seeing Lent as a time of punishment, of castigating myself, to make up for all my failures.  I had never heard Lent as anything other than as doing without, sacrificing, giving up, abstaining, faster.  Always loss, no gain.  There was no going towards anything, no journey, no path to travel.  Lent was always about wallowing, being stuck, never moving on or letting go.  It was always about being a sinner in the hands of an angry, capricious god who was just waiting for failure.

Everything, everyone was bad.  There was no fun, no laughter, no smiles.  Only tears and it’s too lates and I’m sorrys that were ignored.  It was always gloom and doom and somber and bleakness and failure.  Always failure.  Always never enoughs.

But that’s not what Lent is.  Yes, there is sobriety but not despair, not blackness numbness joylessness unhappiness dull tediousness. It’s one thing to correct one’s course after reflection.  It’s another thing entirely to self-flagelate oneself over tiny, insignificant things to make somebody else happy at your expense. 

Lent is a journey towards a specific destination and specific events: the Tridiuum. Otherwise known as: Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter.  I knew that these days come at the end of Lent, that they are a liturgical season into themselves but I had never heard that Lent was a journey to these days.  They were always separate.  They may be next to each other on the calendar but never the twain shall meet.

It want until recently, as in the last week or so, that I heard of Lent as a journey to Easter.  And that changes things.  Lent becomes less about what we give up and more about how we are related to Jesus.  I never knew that.  Lent was about empty sacrifice, not sanctifying relationship.  There was always doing, never being, especially not in a relationship.

I mean, I’ve heard that Lent is before Easter and that it leads to it but it was always off hand or secondary, never the main thing.  It was always about sacrifice and punishment, always punishment for me.  As I’ve written before, I have this belief, this need to punish myself out of this idea that if I punish myself then God will finally love me.  Punishing myself will make things right, with God, with my mother.

And yet punishing myself only results in me being punished.  I never get loved, nothing ever turns out right.  But I keep punishing myself hoping this time that it will take, that God, my mother will finally love me.  That I won’t be a failure, a mistake.  That things will turn out right.  But they don’t and I keep on punishing myself even though it never works and never will.  It’s all I know how to do.

Being merciful to myself is bad.  Punishing is good.  I deserve to be punished.  Being nice and kind to myself only sets me up for failure.  I can’t trust nice. It’s wrong.  It’s not for me, never for me. 

So Lent isn’t about empty sacrifices and cruel punishments though that is what I learned and accepted for years.  Lent is about the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.  Yet those crucial events in the narrative of Jesus’s life aren’t really emphasized in Lent, not really.  Most of us have only heard about giving up things or adding more prayers or about going to Confession more.  Never about Jesus and what He did for us on the cross.  Or at least very little is heard.

Will things change? I don’t know.  But Lent is not about punishment, about a sinner in the hands of an angry god. God is merciful even if too many people want a god that hates and punishes rather than a loving and merciful God.

Depression Sucks

As the title says, depression sucks.  I’m stuck in a spiral, out of control, everything is getting worse world where no one even notices that I’m hurting or refuses to acknowledge it or want me to hide everything I feel because making them feel bad is the unforgivable sin.

I’m too fat.  Jeans I only bought two months ago have become too small.  I seem to gain weight even though I don’t eat bad food full of sugar.

I’m so bad that I deserve to go to Hell just like my mother and the traditionalists always say.  I starting to really believe it.  I must not be lovable or likable and I certainly don’t have any talents or gifts.  I’m just a useless, worthless, waste of space that deserves to die.  People would be much happier if I was gone.   I’m not even a person.  I don;t matter.  No one notices or cares if I’m here or not.  People say God does but it He cares about everyone so I’m not even a blip on the radar.  People say they at I’m doing this for attention, that I stay this way because I like being a victim.  No I fucking to do not want to be this way.

I want to be loved,  I want to be good at something.  I want to be a person.  I want to be cared for.  I want to be noticed and remember.  I want to go to Heaven not be damned to Hell.  I want to be special.  I want to be the go to person.  I want to be perfect.  I want to be more than a stupid mental illness. I want not to cry anymore.  I want to have actual dreams that actually come true rather than having to squash them in order to make everyone else happy or because I always make bad decisions.  I want to make good decisions.  I want to be thin.  I want to be pretty instead of the real ugly idiot that I am.  I want to be more.  I don’t want to have to settle for scraps.  I want to be free.  I don’t want to be like my mother.  I want to be me whoever that is.  I want to be a real woman not the fake woman everyone else wants me to be.  I don’t want to be the boy my parents wanted and so when they were disappointed that I wasn’t they abused and neglected me.  I don’t want to be abused or hurt.  I want to be accepted for who I am.  I want traditionalists to shut up and get lost.  I want to be something.  I want to be a federal agent.  I want people to take me seriously.  I want people to stop ignoring me.  I want people to acknowledge that a single woman is not a heresy or bad person or a failure or not a person because she isn’t married or has kids or what not.  I don’t want to keep eating emotionally.  I don’t want to be fat.  I want to be real.

 

 

 

Triduum

The three holiest days on the Catholic calendar told in pictures (with passages from the Gospel of Matthew):

Holy (Maundy) Thursday

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

Good Friday

” Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.  Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?”  But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.  And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.  While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.  The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!”  Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”  Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”

When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”  And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”  Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.  And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.  And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.   

Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.  And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,  they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.  Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
“ They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”

Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:

THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.  And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”  Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said,  “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”  Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.

Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!”  Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.  The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.”

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

Holy Saturday

Well, that one you’ll just have to attend Mass for.

Have a blessed Triduum.



Women Hating is Alive and Well and promoted by Traditionalists

In the Traditionalist forum at CAF, there are a couple of threads dealing with the role women play in the Mass and the leadership/servantship roles they play in the parish.  The “Traditionalists” are out in full force in wanting women to be kept in their place aka the kitchen.  They see women as baby factories (Not mothers and wives and with career vocations of their own, no sir) and as slaves of men.  They hate women.  They think women need to learn that their place is silent and unseen not only at Mass but also in the home with a man to make all their decisions for them since they aren’t capable of thinking properly or making good decisions.  Women are not even people worthy of dignity and respect because they are made in the image and likeness of God.  No, they are seducers and prostitutes and drag men into sin.  They need to learn their place and if that means a beating then so be it.

Now, thankfully the CHURCH DOES NOT TEACH that women are inferior or weak or need to stay at home or be uneducated.  Considering the highest example of humanity is a woman (Mary) and that THREE doctors of the Church are women, the Catholic Church is much more welcoming and loving of women.  Many of it’s members are not.  Male and female.  I have met many women who want to go back to having no rights, to not being educated, to having no legal protection, to getting rid of abuse and rape laws, to outlawing divorce, to keeping women at home and under the dictatorship of a man (not a husband that is the spiritual head which is much different).

They think these things are pleasing to God and that the Church has always taught this abuse of women.  She has not.  Yes, there have been men and women who have spoken and written that women are unrepentant seducers, that they are inferior and weak, and not capable of higher learning but they do not speak for the Church.  They Do NOT SPEAK for the Church.  The Church through Pope John Paul II wrote Mulieris Dignitatem that underscored and highlighted the value and dignity that women brought to the Church and to society at large.

The Catholic Church does not teach or endorse the abuse of women, their devaluing as members of the Church and society, or the twisted use of Catholic teaching to hurt women in any way.  By hurting women, you hurt men and you hurt the Church.  If I only knew and met only Traditionalists on my journey in the Catholic faith, I probably wouldn’t want to be Catholic or to remain Catholic if these were the kinds of people I would have to spend my life and eternity with.  They aren’t very happy and they don’t like women and they hate anyone who doesn’t agree with them.  I hate it when people hate women and would do anything to subjugate them or abuse them or even kill them because they don’t fit into their narrow world view.  Sexism is alive and well even in American not just among “Traditionalist.”


A Couple of Things

First, after serious consideration, I am deleting the link to Patty Bonds’ blog.  I don’t agree with some of the content she posts (I find some of it deliberately inflammatory and irresponsible on the part of the the content creator and not Patty Bonds) though I will continue to have a link to her conversion story.  If you want to continue to read her blog, go on ahead.  I have serious issues and reservations about some of the content and their creators that Patty posts.  It’s her blog and she is allowed to post it.  However, I don’t consider it truly representative of what I understand Catholicism  is and what it truly represents and I think some of it is dangerous.  Like I said, it’s her blog and if you want to read it, go ahead.  I can’t make you stop.

Second, I’ve found two really excellent Christian Rock groups that I really like.  One I heard on what used to be our local rock station (it no longer exists as of last Tuesday) and the other I saw on a Protestant Christian music station.  Both are excellent.

Skillet “Awake and Alive”

The Letter Black “Believe”

 

 

Another Week in the Healing Process

If I thought last week was bad, this week was tough.  I had one of my worst crying jags Sunday night/Monday morning at work.  At least the coworker who heard part of it brushed it off as lack of sleep.  (I had chewed him out over something that was not his fault.)  My shift supervisor has issues with me and I have major issues with her.  She decided not to tell me several key things Sunday including a coworker going home sick (the coworker told me and I had to pick up a few of his duties which was wasn’t a big deal but the whole not telling me was), that the coworker I chewed out was doing something she told him to do (I think she made something up just to get him to do some work), and lied to me.  I had every intention of talking to her Monday night but that didn’t work out because she decided to deal with an issue and then hang out with one of my coworkers.

The big problem is that this supervisor hits all my triggers because she acts just like my abuser.  I have talked to her about a month ago about her behavior but it didn’t last because she honestly believes she is doing nothing wrong and won’t take me seriously.  She says that she has to act the way she does because of the work that needs to get done (which she likes to dump on me instead either doing it herself when it is part of her job description or delegating it to other officers who have the time and ability to do it), that I am her most capable officer (like I said she lies)(yet she treats me like dirt; she treats almost all of the female officers like dirt unless they are married or have children) (she hates the position I work), that I’m smart (but only so far as having completed college; being Catholic is the unforgivable sin to her) (actually, believing or even accepting evolution and using science is the unforgivable sin) but I feel that I’ve been singled out for her abuse.  She hates working there and has said so repeatedly.  She lectures about her religious and political views when those are big no-nos at work and especially as a supervisor to a employee.  She has let certain individuals get away with behavior that should have gotten them fired and plays favorites (even though one of her “favorites” can’t stand her).

Except for this supervisor, the job isn’t that bad.  There are a couple of problematic employees but one is switching to the construction side of things, the one I see for only a few minutes, and the only I only have to deal with for six hours though if he screws up like the stories that go around about his last time here, he won’t be here long.  First half of my week is okay.  I  have an excellent supervisor that appreciated what I do and the position I have.  The other half of the week is the bas supervisor and I dread coming to work the second half of my week because I don’t know what will set her off, what she’ll blame me for, what stupid, insane thing she wants me to do now.  She totally stresses me out.  I’m stressing out just writing this, remembering what she does to me, what emotions she evokes in me.

I hate putting myself in a situation where I can only expect stress and fear.  I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop, for her to come up with some imagined slight or mistake on my part and I get fired.  Doesn’t matter if it’s real or not. I wish I had a better job waiting for me.  I wish I didn’t have all the bills to pay that keeps me in this job.  I wish that people who abuse would understand what they are doing and the effect they have on people.  I don’t know what’s going to set her off.  I have to walk on eggshells around her.  It’s just a job but it seems like so much worse than that.

It also doesn’t help that last week I had the fact that my father doesn’t think much of me either.  I was never either of my parents’ favorites but I still has the delusion that my father loved me.  Nope.  My sister K gets all his love and attention.  I got the random backhanded gift out of the blue growing up but K was and is his total favorite.  My sisters S and G are my mother’s favorites though S more because S has a son.  I understand that my mother chose to hurt me and has an undiagnosed mental illness (possibly) but to have consider and possibly accept that my dad chose someone over me still hurts even at 29.  To know that neither parent really loved me really, really hurts and is unimaginable.  I still had that delusion that my dad was on my side, even just a little bit.  Not any more.

This really sucks especially since I don’t have anyone in real life to talk to about all this.

 

 


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