Isn’t It Ironic?

So today I came across an interesting comment which read:

Isn’t it ironic how Christians/Catholics are “pro-life” in the sense that life is important to them, but if that life happens to be gay, like me, it’s suddently worthless. So you’ll fight for fetuses but applaud Russian men who beat homosexuals?

This certainly reeks of a bad experience with the Church and I actually feel compassion for this guy because while he may be believing a lie it doesn’t mean the lie doesn’t give him genuine sadness. And in light of that revelation it bothers me that I get accused of hating things all the time, whether directly or indirectly, not based on my actions but as a “natural” result of my beliefs.

I would not deny being pro-life after writing so many pieces about the topic but I reject the notion that because I believe in something I must by default hate everything else that is not that something. This is an absolutely baseless assumption because the nature of choice implies exclusion. By choosing to wear my cute gray sweater from Kohls to work today I rejected every other top in my closet not because I’m anti t-shirt or against my navy blue sweaters or because I hate cardigans (I love them), but because I had to pick a top for work today and this one is pretty, weather appropriate, and convenient as I had a limited window to make my choice since I overslept.

But there are more important choices in this world than which top to wear and when it comes to religion I’m never sure whether I chose Catholicism (I did) or it chose me (also true). But to be Catholic is to believe it’s teaching to be the truth revealed to man through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And I do. Call it mindless submission to authority if you like, but it is my free choice to be Catholic and that decision binds me to its teaching because if I profess it as my faith but don’t believe or practice its teachings then I am a hypocrite.

And with Catholicism, it is often explained to me that because I follow Church teaching which upholds traditional marriage I automatically hate all gay people. False. That because I follow Church teachings on chastity I’m a prude who looks down on everyone and has “unrealistic” expectations about life and men. False (and rather jaded). And that because I follow Church teaching on contraception I’m against women’s rights. Also false. The list goes on. I’m thinking you get the idea. The ironic part is those I have argued with and who bring such claims forward are using their own bias to condemn my perceived bias and demanding I apologize for their incorrect perceptions.

I can tell you I’m not against the individuals of the LGBT community, women, etc. but I have no control as to whether or not you believe it. I would hope my words and actions demonstrate as much to you but that’s the tricky part about bias, if people are looking to hate or denounce you they can certainly find a way and once the claim is out there our shallow world cares very little about whether or not it’s actually true so long as it fits the narrative of Christians as bigoted, oppressive, ignorant etc. And to use such a narrative to justify hating me because of my religion, to use that ill will as the basis for assuming that I would do something so callous as to cheer one man beating another solely because of his sexual preference is perhaps the most ironic of all because in that moment this anonymous man becomes the very type of person he is condemning, one who chooses to hate others based on nothing but their life choices.

And that is an irony of the worst kind.


Dear Person Writing a Letter on Behalf of Everyone

Dear Person Writing a Letter on Behalf of Everyone,

Thank you for appointing yourself to write on behalf of all who encompass your demographic. You have truly dismantled the diversity the world claims to long for by homogenizing absolutely everyone, both those for whom you are writing and the people to whom your letter is addressed.

While I confess that I believe your tactic to be so incredibly overused in our media age I can’t argue with your results. You are certainly in good company. History is full of people who discovered that homogenizing a group of people is the first step to fostering a sincere hatred for that group. Look at the Nazis, for example. If you scapegoat the Jews for economic problems not only does it unite your demographic with feelings of superiority, it frees up your time because instead of ever actually having to meet a Jewish person and interact with them you can instead trust the opinions of your news media and your peers and decline to interact with them at all. After all, why should you? Educated people like us know that the members of any given demographic are absolutely the same, so it naturally follows that if you know one you know them all. Those who think differently are clearly not as enlightened as we are and I feel sorry for them because they don’t understand we can’t let anything get in the way of us and whichever cause we have valiantly chosen to represent, not even pesky things like the truth.

In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that humanity is actually meant to be united and that if we let these humans interact on an individual level we run the risk of them discovering a shared humanity or even, God forbid, that they have more similarities than differences. However, if they are allowed to develop a fundamental respect for each other as human beings created by God, our cause is absolutely lost. This is unacceptable and I thank you for working so diligently to put a stop to it. I too shudder to think what would happen if we spent time fostering human community instead of toting our Facebook pages behind non-descript and vaguely hostile causes like ours with our impassioned demands for progress.

If only everyone would conform to our vision, we spend so much time trying to showcase our intellectual prowess through the written word and still they doubt. Fortunately, I’ve found an incredible defense for  work like ours. When people ask you for things like facts free from bias, question why they are being told to hate others in the name of narrative, or even have the audacity to be offended at the words we put into their mouths without consulting them, simply play the victim and tout your innocence for all to hear. Smother your sentences with the language of relativism. We may not be able to prove we are right but by that same token who are they to think they can prove us wrong? If defaming their character by calling them things like ignorant, offensive, behind the times, Christian, or hateful doesn’t work, defiantly insist that you were simply making a stand in order to “get them to think” and accuse them of hindering progress because they refuse to leave their “comfort zones.”If they ask you exactly what progress they were hindering or what we hope to progress towards end the conversation immediately. Such a question reeks of logic and logic could be the string that unravels the whole tapestry of mutual hatred we work so hard to weave. Those traditionalists who cling to their ideals of universal love and brotherhood make me laugh. I prefer the exciting modern world today where there are entire internet comment sections devoted to nothing but name calling and accusation. It brings a tear to my eye to see those individuals putting their free public education to such good use, even if the grammar is sub-par.

I salute you for your bravery anonymous mystery writer and I thank you for giving us all the same voice.


All Catholic Muses

Martin Luther King Jr. 

I really like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
I know we’re taught to like him all throughout public school, but he’s one of those people who I imagine I’d still like even if the curriculum didn’t overflow with praise.

And I get weirdly nostalgic around his holiday because the world is so full of people who try to imitate him instead of realizing that his greatness relied chiefly upon him imitating Christ. To explain, for most of my life I’ve been a student of history and I believe that too often we study acts that make a character in isolation from what forms that character in the first place. For example, Martin Luther King was a minister which means he was familiar with ideas of heaven and the Christian teaching of loving thy neighbor because all are equal in the eyes of God. He was also a Baptist, which I know means he read his Bible. And in the Bible Jesus literally overcomes the world not by dominating it as he could have done, but by choosing heaven over it every single moment of His life even unto death.

I bring this up not because I have some overarching narrative agenda that I’m trying to brainwash you with, but because so many movements that attempt to imitate Martin Luther King Jr. come up woefully short and I would argue that the main reason for that is the misunderstanding of Dr. King himself. Because I would also argue that Dr. King didn’t set out to simply win political rights from a government or garner the adulation of the world. I truly think that he believed that when he died and went to heaven and saw a white person standing next to him he would not be looking not at his superior but at his brother. I believe he recognized this mysterious Divine reality and held on to this truth in his heart throughout his life, and that it was this vision that motivated him.

And I think Dr. King was so determined because he knew that the only thing that can truly overcome the world is the only thing that can truly overcome the nature of man, love. Perfect love. Love in the face of hatred. Love in the face of adversity. Love that provides dignity in scenes that are undignified and makes all mankind brothers and sisters.  And it was Dr. King’s witness to that love that is at the heart of the true Civil Rights Movement, and all civil rights movements throughout history. Because the world does not grant civil rights. The world deals in power, wealth, domination, and servitude. It is love that grants peace, freedom, and the universal brotherhood that comes from being not just citizens of earth, but citizens of heaven. And it is the world’s recognition of that immutable reality that truly changes it for the better, because it is in that act of concession that the world becomes a little more like the heavens, and when we see that happen we remember who we are.

And modern protestors, if they even deserve that title, want the glory without the guts. They take the shell of what is good, while missing the center. They self-importantly champion those the world loves and oppress those whom the world hates. They champion feelings over reason, relativism over absolute truth, and spirituality over religion. They champion not universal love and brotherhood, but a sterile equality, simplifying Dr. King’s message that God creates us equal and His love renders us brothers and sisters to instead say just that Dr. King had a dream that all people should have equal rights under the law, and this does the man a gross disservice. It maximizes a part of his mission at the expense of the whole and turns him from a champion of the heavens to a champion of the times, from a victor who overcame the power of the world to a victim who successfully managed to get a little power back from the system.

And I think he deserves to be remembered not for what he gained, but for the inspiring example of love that he so freely and equally gave away.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.