Friday, April 08, 2016

That Pope

When I was a grade schooler we were told we would burn in hell for eating meat on Fridays.  Our Dominican nuns loved telling us about hell.  One summer day when we were all swimming at the iconic Coronado club on Sandia Base I ordered a hot dog for lunch.  My sister reminded me it was Friday and walked off.  I ate the hotdog with mustard and relish and did so with a clear conscience, because god would not want me to throw a way a perfectly good tube steak while there were kids starving in China.  It seem logical.  And then the Church, succumbing to the National Beef Council I assume, said it was okay to eat meat on Fridays.  And the Friday night fish filet selection at the old Sigeler's cafeteria became a thing of the past.  They were only good for the delivery of Tartar sauce anyway.  And all of the people who went to hell for eating meat on Friday?  I don't really know what happened to them.

Then years after leaving the church and belief in the white bearded guy who lived in the clouds, I learned that all those babies who died without getting baptized didn't really have to spend their whole eternity in Limbo.  I guess there was some kind of mistake and the Pope heard that they had all really gone to heaven.  Innocents, except for original sin.

Now the Catholic Church is flipping off the more rightwing believers in Opus Dei by saying maybe it  is okay for divorced people to take communion.  And also for Catholics not to be judgmental about gays.  Which is a good thing since as I remember things, half of the priests were gay.

Don't get me wrong.  As a non believer I still like many things about the Catholicism I grew up with, except for that whole guilt thing.  The basic message of kindness and charity was always a winner.  But this other stuff was just politics gone wild.  This new Pope is a likable guy.


Anonymous said...

If this Pope keeps it up, you may just realize your still a Catholic at heart and return for communion one day, at least once. Once baptized a Catholic, always a Catholic, no matter the denial nor the sin. Enjoy those Friday hotdogs!

Anonymous said...

You don't have to be a Catholic or religious to show love and kindness to your fellow human beings. It's in our DNA, yeah it's science. Once baptized a human human being always a human being. Deny all dogma. But don't deny hot dogma.

New Mexican said...

Note to first commenter: If the Pope is wrong ole Jim could still end up in hell over the hot dog. The reason I worry is that I was baptized a Catholic and when I was practicing I would go to confession and omit the lies that would bring the heavy penance. To cover my tracks I would let my last sin I confessed that day be that "I had a tendency to lie". I am not sure if that slipped by God or not, but I tried my best.

Anonymous said...

Half the priests were gay? Politics gone wild? Not sure where you come up with this stuff but its really not that funny. For a non believer, you still have some kind of weird obsession with bashing the Catholic church whenever you get the chance. Even my 8 year old daughter has the discipline and understanding of why traditional Catholics practice fast and abstinence on Fridays in lent. It's not about guilt, it is about spiritual discipline and the importance of Christ. I would not expect an athiest to understand all of this, but I would expect someone that puts themself out as a leader not to constantly ridicule the religious beliefs of others.

Anonymous said...

I think you are the one ridiculing an atheist for being a realist.


The popular belief that a celestial Jewish baby who is also his own father, born from a virgin mother, died for three days so that he could ascend to heaven on a cloud and then make you live forever only if you symbolically eat his flesh, drink his blood and telepathically tell him you accept him as your lord and master so he can remove an evil force from your spiritual being that is present in all humanity because an immoral woman made from a man's rib was hoodwinked by a talking reptile possessed by a malicious angel to secretly eat forbidden fruit from a magical tree.

About as plausible as scientology, just older.

Anonymous said...

Not ridiculing anyone. Just think that Jim is above the sophomoric humor that you obviously think is funny. Believe what you want, I really don't care. I am just going to call him out on the bigotry when I see it.

ColoMichelle said...

From one lapsed Catholic to another - this is one of the funniest things I've ever read on the subject of the Church's changes in viewpoint. Thanks Jim - you made my day!