Old-time Catholicism is a bit masochistic, but you gotta love the artwork. I have nothing against Catholics- some of the best Christians I know adhere to Catholicism, and I’m not going to argue the small points- other than to say that by definition I cannot be considered a Catholic because I don’t agree 100% with the Catholic Church. Agreeing with Church teachings 100% is part of the deal. I’ve read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and I agree with a good deal of it- but I do disagree with some key points of what the Catholic Church teaches, and I don’t agree 100% with their theology- especially what I consider to be the bizarre extra-biblical stuff like purgatory and indulgences and praying to saints. It would be dishonest for me to claim to be Catholic when I don’t agree with everything the Church believes and teaches. So those who claim to be Catholic but embrace some very un-Catholic and very un-Christian thought processes are effectively lying their pants off. You either take the whole hog or not at all- that’s the way that Catholicism works.
Joe Biden: claims to be Catholic, but if my grandfather were still alive I think the descriptive would change to “Crazy as a Shithouse Rat.” Though in the end he- and we- are accountable to God alone.
As a confessional Lutheran I don’t fall terribly far away from the core beliefs of Catholicism, and theologically I am well within the sphere of orthodox (small “o”) Christianity. I’m not into weird stuff like God being a space alien (who knows, He might be, but I doubt it) and I don’t believe that I’m part of some elite nerd tribe whose destiny is to be spirited up to heaven in a space ship with Marshall Applewhite and company. I’m definitely more conservative both socially and theologically than most of the people who go to my church, which does give me pause at times, and does cause me some cognitive dissonance, but there’s an important point to be made with that unease. If I were to seek out a very literal, fundamentalist church (at one point I almost became a Southern Baptist) I wouldn’t hear any viewpoints remarkably different from my own. (I do differ with the SB’s on the subject of infant baptism, which is an important point of dissent- but otherwise I can pretty much get right on the bandwagon.) I need to be challenged to see viewpoints that are different than mine, and I need to be challenged to be compassionate to those who are coming from a different perspective. As a confessional Lutheran I have considerable freedom to ask theological questions and to hold differing opinions on non-essential issues without being considered heretical or completely outside the box of Christian orthodoxy.
I don’t like to argue theology with anyone. I will gladly explain what I believe and more importantly in Whom I believe- and why, but I’m not going to pound anyone in the head. It doesn’t work. Some of my closest friends are atheists and agnostics, who likely view my faith as something archaic and quaint- but they still talk to me and there’s still a relationship there. Jesus was all about building relationships with unlikely people in unlikely ways, so if it worked for Him, why not? I learned long ago that the number one way to dissuade people from faith and a relationship with God is to act like Dana Carvey as the Church Lady.
I may differ even with some of my more orthodox cohorts in that I believe Satan is real and that there are real evil forces at work in this world. But most of the ills of this world can be attributed to human beings doing what we do best- screwing up. The sin of the Garden was not so much, “The devil made me do it,” as “I screwed up and did the opposite of what I was told.” Is this not the underlying theme of human history? I know it’s the definitely the story of my life. I am an example, and a good amount of the time I am an example of What Not to Do.
A sin of omission is knowing what you’re supposed to do, but not doing it for whatever reason. I know I should refrain from laughing at Jerry when he can’t find the beer in the fridge because it’s behind the milk, but I laugh anyway. Technically that’s a sin of commission because I did laugh, though. Sins of omission are more like knowing I should iron Jerry’s shirts, but not doing it because I hate ironing, and because I know it’s something his lazy ass can do for himself. He should be happy I’m washing them and hanging them up for him, but if I were really good I would be doing the ironing thing too. That’s the omission thing, sort of, anyway. I should be a missionary in Africa giving out food and water to pitiful orphans, but my selfish ass is too satisfied with sleeping in the A/C and not having dysentery. There’s always something I should be doing but for whatever reason I’m not. Take it right on back to the old Catholic guilt trips perhaps, but there’s a grain of truth there. I know full well I do things I shouldn’t and neglect to do things I should. Which segues quite well into my hit-or-miss parenting.
This won’t be the last time he will be cajoled into sporting his daughter’s clothes- heh-heh!
As far as Steve-o goes I am delighted that he is remarkably normal in many ways. He is gainfully employed, only has a couple of weeks until he graduates from college (YAY!) and is very close to Independence from the Parental Units, which in my mind is the ultimate goal of parenting to begin with. As far as I’m concerned, I did not give birth and work myself into the ground to end up with a thirty five year old acne-ridden, obese couch jockey stinking up the basement with greasy Taco Bell wrappers whilst clogging up his brain cells with assorted online interactive video games 24/7 on my dime. I do wish Steve-o would have listened to Mother a little more intently in regard to abstinence, chastity and so forth, but hindsight is 20/20. I love my granddaughter and wouldn’t trade her for anything, but it would have been better if they would have waited a bit. However, life is such that you wish in one hand, or shit in the other, and we all know which one fills up first.
The two most common elements in the universe are: Shit and Stupidity. Figure out how to convert either into energy, and screw foreign oil.
Today’s playlist is just as awesome as Friday’s:
“Urban Angel” from Neal Schon’s I On You
“Double Vision” – Foreigner
“Evil Woman”- ELO
“After the Fall” – Journey from Greatest Hits Live
“Somebody to Love”- Queen
“Smells Like Teen Spirit”-Nirvana