We all love. And we all love differently. And in many ways we all love badly. Or, at best, we don’t love enough, or we don’t love well enough. But there is hope that we can love better. That is, in essence, what I am always, always, always writing about.
That was the long answer to your question.
Hey, I’m a Catholic, and this is crazy
As one who takes a lot of crap from both my enlightened liberal friends who think that being a Christian is somewhat on par with being a member of the Tea Party, but with more superstitious bunkum, and also from Christians who like to email to tell me I’m a baby murdering Satan, I’m thinking today of what the pope’s resignation means and why I even still bother calling myself Catholic.
I devote a lot of my job to calling out the Catholic church on the subjects of sexual abuse, sexism, and homophobia, and I’m not going to stop pointing out hypocrisy and prejudice within the institution. I disagree vehemently with the Church on several significant and complicated issues, like reproductive choice.
But Christianity — and Catholicism in particular — is still my moral compass. I grew up in a post Vatican II church that taught me that Jesus was a big hippie who liked poor people and outsiders, whose main message boiled down to, don’t be a dick. You can get that philosophy without being Catholic, but that’s where I got it, and that’s what I continue to fight for.
Yesterday when I was at mass with my daughters — in my nice liberal let’s-help-hurricane-victims-and-WTF-gun-violence parish run by Capuchin friars — I snapped to attention when I heard the service’s intention was to speak for those who have the least voice. I have lots of doubts and lots of questions and lots of things that piss me off — and I try to pass along that skepticism and that passion to my children. But getting out in the world and being an advocate for the powerless and disenfranchised — that’s what I believe we’re supposed to do. We’re here to go forth together, as brothers and sisters. We’re here to love each other and forgive each other. That’s what I was taught. And I was taught it by my Church.
Tomorrow marks the last day before the start of lent. Let the good times roll.