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Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:34 PM

Back in the 70's, when I was still tethered to my mother, she made it clear that I was to attend

Last edited Fri Mar 1, 2013, 02:20 PM - Edit history (1)

Catholic catechism.

There were many things that I questioned, being that I had already started to explore alternative faiths, stuff that was different from the rote religious experience that was offered by the churches in the Irish and Eastern European neighborhoods where I was raised. So I was skeptical at the onset.

She wanted me to be confirmed even though my parents had divorced and my mother thought that continuing a spiritual upbringing in spite of her being to suffer a de facto excommunication by the Vatican. She felt sure that I should not be tainted by her blasphemous action against god and church for kicking my alcoholic and abusive father to the curb.

Which, of course, of being sound mind, I thought the actions taken by the church against my mom was more than enough for me to walk away, thank you very much. But she wanted me to be confirmed so that I could be sanctioned into the Army of God in case there was a new Crusade against the heathens who control the Holy Land and I had been a problem child, I agreed.

But I never promised my mother that I would suffer the religious rhetoric gladly. So I girded my loins and attended in full ostentation and made it clear I was in attendance against my intellectual protest with the cock assurance only a 10th grader can have.

Now I had just finished studying Inherent the Wind in my 10th grade Honors English as well as reading the bible not as a spiritual exercise but as part of a literary exploration of where story telling developed which also included The Odyssey and The Iliad.

In the classroom, I challenged and compared in every single way I could. The poor woman trying to teach a class after doing what she did all day to earn her keep did not deserve my puffed up chest and posturing and questioning everything and anything.

Finally, she asked why I was bothering to attend the class if I was so dead against these matters of faith.

I told her about my mothers' situation after class and found out that she was in fact a nun who had left the order. She asked me to have my mother call her and she would talk to her about me.

Turns out the woman met with my mother and brought up annulments that were being given in other cities that had Cardinals that are more liberal. My mother had her first marriage annulled and was able to find peace with her faith.

Me, I never went back to those classes but maybe, just maybe, especially looking back from 40 years on, there was a divine spark that set the action leading up to my mother finding peace with her god

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Reply Back in the 70's, when I was still tethered to my mother, she made it clear that I was to attend (Original post)
WCGreen Feb 2013 OP
KoKo Feb 2013 #1
Warpy Feb 2013 #2
WCGreen Feb 2013 #5
Bluenorthwest Feb 2013 #6
MineralMan Mar 2013 #18
Bluenorthwest Mar 2013 #24
MineralMan Mar 2013 #25
madinmaryland Feb 2013 #3
MADem Feb 2013 #4
WCGreen Feb 2013 #7
CaliforniaPeggy Feb 2013 #8
sabrina 1 Feb 2013 #9
ReRe Feb 2013 #10
jerseyjack Feb 2013 #11
TheMastersNemesis Mar 2013 #26
AtheistCrusader Mar 2013 #12
jaysunb Mar 2013 #13
AtheistCrusader Mar 2013 #14
ljm2002 Mar 2013 #15
WCGreen Mar 2013 #17
gvstn Mar 2013 #16
Ikonoklast Mar 2013 #19
WCGreen Mar 2013 #20
Ikonoklast Mar 2013 #21
WCGreen Mar 2013 #22
Ikonoklast Mar 2013 #23
patrice Mar 2013 #27
WCGreen Mar 2013 #28

Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:37 PM

1. K&R...a kindness that you did for your mother...and you look on

it that way is nice to read here on DU.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:39 PM

2. Unless your mother had remarried

she was still a Catholic in good standing. Civil divorce isn't banned. Remarriage is, especially for women. Jesus didn't seem to care much if men went from wife to wife.

My ultra Catholic Irish granny divorced my grandfather back in the 1920s and for good reasons the church didn't recognize. She remained a Catholic in good standing until her death.

My problem with those catechism classes my parents forced me to go to was keeping a straight face.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:51 PM

5. she remarried....

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:00 PM

6. Jesus most certainly did care about men going wife to wife, he forbade it and called it adultery:

 

In Luke 16:18 Jesus says:
"Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery."

There are many such verses.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 02:30 PM

18. So it is reported, anyhow.

Reported by nobody who ever heard Jesus speak. There is much of politics in the Bible.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #18)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 11:54 AM

24. And what has that got to do with anything?

 

If someone said 'Hamlet does not speak with a ghost' they would be incorrect, although there neither ghost nor Prince really ever existed.
The texts about Jesus contain many passages in which he condemned men changing wives. The nature of the character, fictional or actual, is utterly beside that point. Jesus could be a complete construct and it would still be perfectly accurate to say 'Jesus did object to men changing wives' just as it is correct to say 'Hamlet said 'to sleep perchance to dream'.
So what was your point?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #24)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 12:07 PM

25. My point is simple: There is no actual

evidence that anyone named Jesus said any such thing. People believe it, but it's not supported by factual, contemporaneous information. That's my point. Nothing more.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:40 PM

3. Off topic, but I thought you were in your 70's, not a kid in the 1970's!

BTW, I grew up in the 60's and 70's, but not Catholic. I've married two "Catholics" while having a father who is an ordained protestant minister with a PhD in the Old Testament. Go figure.


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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:43 PM

4. I very much enjoyed your story. You are a good kid, even though

you're all grown up now.

They should name someone like your catechism teacher as the next pope!!!

I think those hats and shoes would look better on a woman, anyway!

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Response to MADem (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:07 PM

7. The worked for Dorothy...

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:23 PM

8. It's a wonderful story, Chris...

Perhaps your mom just wanted a better life for you than she had had...

I hope she did find peace with her god.

K&R

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:28 PM

9. That was a nice thing you did for your mom.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:00 PM

10. Thank you for your story...

... raised Protestant, married a Catholic in Civil wedding. Sons baptized in the Catholic Church. Parents take a vow in the Catholic baptism ceremony to raise their children in the church. So she was just keeping her promise when she required you to go to catechism. Your Mamma had good values and you will have to admit that you did learn a few things which have probably kept you out of trouble throughout your life. At the very least it taught you to question TPTB. I think you turned out OK...

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:19 PM

11. I recall my catechism classes. It was 1954. In a small N.J. church.

 

We were to memorize about 5 pages of lessons and nonsense each week and then recite those pages in class. Then it was close to Confirmation and that is when the Bishop shows up at the church, asks a few questions of the kids and having been satisfied the kids knew the tenants of their faith, Confirmed them as soldiers of the church.

Close to Confirmation time, the head nun must have been getting nervous that we weren't up to snuff. We were all marched out into the school's hall and lined up, backs to the wall, facing each other. Then she asked questions of the candidates.

One kid missed a question. She shook the kid and shouted the answer in his ear until he got it right. She came to another kid and by now, we were nervous and scared. The kid mispronounced a word. She began pinching the kid on his cheeks until he got the word right. A third kid was slammed against he wall and blood appeared on the wall. He was taken out of the line and I don't know where he ended up.

I answered my question without incident and went home. I was confirmed a week later.

I don't believe in Jesus as savior, resurrected or any of the other such stuff.

I also have no use for the Catholic Church.

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 12:21 PM

26. I Am With You - I Spent 16 1/2 Years In Catholic Schools With So Much Theology I Could Be Pope!

 

I have enough hours in Catholic Dogma I could qualify for a PHD. In the end I left at 23 and am 69 now.

What is so ironic is that all that time I never became enlightened enough to ask the priest how one could believe in a religion that was founded on the fact that a young woman was raped by God and was with a man she was NOT married to and had a child out of wedlock. And it was ok because GOD did it.

I probably have less use for the Church than you do. Here is why. They have lost their way or never had it. They can preach that you must have all the children you possibly can. Yet they support and do not criticize an economic system that steals your wages, even your life and your dignity. Exploits workers so they cannot feed themselves much less their children. Are against workers pursuing their rights or do not support it. And are tax exempt on top of that.

The fact that they supposedly feed the poor, which I doubt is not good enough. And when they quit protecting pedophiles then they might have some legitimacy.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)


Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 12:09 AM

13. No ! you may not.

Cmon...quit pissin in the punch.

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Response to jaysunb (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 12:16 AM

14. All right, I removed it.

It was an honest question and I think a valid point though...

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 01:16 AM

15. A very nice story...

...and it reminds me of something that happened to me growing up. It was much less serious but still...

When I was 16 I attended a summer watercolor class run by a nun, Sister Rafael. She was a good instructor, but once in awhile she would go off on a rant. One day her rant was about Saint Jerome. She hated Saint Jerome (yes she actually said she hated him). She said his translation of the Adam & Eve story had put all the blame on Eve for the fall from grace...

Well I don't remember all the details of her argument, but I can say two things about it: 1 - it was the first time I had encountered a believer, and a nun no less, who loudly and openly took issue with the Church's teachings; 2 - it once and for all convinced me that it is better to be a free thinker than to be bound by obscure theological arguments that do nothing to help us in our actual Earthly lives.

Anyway, your story reminded me of it because we can forget sometimes that these nuns (and priests, I'm sure) are also individuals and they can surprise us with their thinking on these matters.

Thanks for your story. And thank you, Sister Rafael, for helping me to free my thinking from the bondage of the Catholic Church.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #15)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 02:26 PM

17. I think there really is a Catholic tradition in this country that is far different for

those in other countries.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 01:22 AM

16. Thank you for your story!

It is relevant to my own experience in that my mother was told to "shop around" for a priest that would forgive her for having her "tubes-tied" after she was told she would die if she had another child and did not know how to reconcile this medical fact with her faith.

She lost her faith but continued to take us to "Church" but I wish she had not, so I could have gotten out of the brain-washing before I took it to heart. I have no sympathy for this Pope who goes with doctrine over real life experience.

I do think spirituality is a good aspect of being human but Catholicism has missed the boat.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 02:58 PM

19. The Jesuits at St. Ignatius taught me critical thinking skills.

And soon after that I left the RCC.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 06:35 PM

20. I had a lot of freinds who graduated from Ignatius...

I really wanted to go there but my folks said St. Edwards and I said I'll stay in Westlake...

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 06:45 PM

21. Dad was an alumni. older brother was going there, so...

It wasn't near as exclusive then as it is now; they were just hanging on back in the early seventies.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #21)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 06:53 PM

22. My mom didn't want me to travel all the way downtown, especially with I-90 just starting to be built

My dad went to Cathedral Latin.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #22)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 06:56 PM

23. "Flatten Latin!"

Boy oh boy, those were the days.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 12:21 PM

27. One of the most rad social justice persons I ever met, over 20 years ago now, was an

ex-nun history teacher, in the class-room next to mine. She didn't hate the church; the church left her, because she was a lesbian. The two of us were friends with another teacher who was an ardent practicing Catholic, straight, un-married, and a great lover of humanity. It was fun to listen to them talk church history and critique the pope and some bishops.

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Response to patrice (Reply #27)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 12:55 AM

28. Cool story...

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