Top 3 Myths Christians/Catholics Wish You’d Stop Believing

RosalieContrite
October 18, 2016

Myth#1: We hate science. For some Christian denominations, I have no doubt there exists a hatred of science, but for many mainstream groups, including the Catholic Church, science is beloved.
The Big Bang Theory was hypothesized by a Catholic priest. The father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel, was an Augustinian monk. The first doctor of computer sciences was a Catholic nun. Louis Pasteur, who laid the ground work for vaccines, was a devout Catholic dedicating his life’s work to the mother of Jesus. Heisenberg, the Nobel Laureate in physics, can be quoted saying, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” I can’t speak for all denominations, as I am Catholic, but I can tell you, some Christian denominations embrace science.

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Myth #2: Christians are homophobic. Again, I cannot speak for all Christian denominations, but from a common Christian and Catholic perspective. For Christians, sex has a function and there is natural law.  The fundamental purposes of the sexual union are bonding and babies.
Those are the recognized purposes. One cannot be divorced from the other, though taking advantage of infertile periods is lauded as responsible when having more children is not prudent. For this reason, they do not recognize naturally sterile sexual acts to be moral.  Believing an action to be immoral does not justify cruelty toward those who identify as gay. On the contrary, they are to be loved and respected.
Somewhere along the line, popular culture and media became confused about hatred and intolerance, believing any disagreement to be an issue of bigotry.
Fortunately, this is not a factual assertion. If it were, the logical conclusion would be devastating.  It would be to say every parent disapproving of their child’s actions would be guilty of bigotry or hatred. Obviously, this isn’t true, because humans can disagree or disapprove of something without hating or maligning one another. The real intolerance and hatred would be to say we must stomp out anyone who does not believe as I believe, which is happening to Christians, today.
This is not to say there are no Christians who have acted with hatred and intolerance, which must be condemned.  For their actions, I wish to offer a heartfelt apology that will fall laughably short of the penitence you are owed. No evil should ever be enacted toward another. By the very action, they have not behaved as a Christian. We MUST love one another, love being a verb.
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Myth #3: Christians only hate abortion because of the Bible. There are references in the Bible to humanity and personhood, as is the en vogue distinguishing feature; however, for most Christians/Catholics, the objection is NOT dependent upon the Bible.
I have often said, “If I became an atheist again, tomorrow, I would stay pro-life.” Embryology and other sciences have shown a distinct other exists at the moment of conception, possessing it’s own DNA. As that DNA is human, it logically follows that the life in that entity would be human.

“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization… is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.

Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Miller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

Surely, we can disagree about what this fact means, but do not assume I believe something simply “because the Bible says it.” To do so would be erroneous, an untruth. The Bible being in agreement with embryology certainly spoke to the truth of Christianity for me, but the Bible is not a stand alone reason.

6 weeks after conception.
Six weeks after conception.

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How God is helping me to lose weight

RosalieContrite
July 30, 2016
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^ The video version for lazy readers.

I know what you’re thinking. “Why would God be needed to lose weight? Why would I pray about something so vain?” The fallacy is that losing weight is vain. It is a moral and truly justifiable self-care. I will outline for you briefly how God and my faith is and has helped me to lose weight. There are three main motivations.

  1. My body is a gift from God:
    Just as I must tend to and nourish my soul by attending mass and reading the Bible or other orthodox literary source, I must nourish my body. The ability to be healthy is a gift – one not everyone has been afforded. It is not respecting the gift God gave me, if I’m willfully allowing myself to become overweight or to develop hypertension or hyperlipidemia. Much of these conditions are within my control. I can do a lot to keep them in check.
    I must care for my soul, but not only my soul. My family, children, friends, and co-workers depend on me, and I am not being good steward of my blessings, if I do nothing to care for my health and well-being. Allowing myself to become ill will result in sick days at work, children without a caretaker, and medical bills. I cannot control all of this, but I can control a lot of it. I realized I needed to do the moral thing and help my family and myself when I could. A sound body, often has a sound mind. As my physical body improves, so does my spiritual state.
  2. My body is my gift to my spouse
    In the marital embrace, we make a very real gift of ourselves to our spouse. Our body is the actual, total gift we give to our spouse. What was I saying by giving my spouse a poorly cared for, willfully overweight, and unhealthy body? It seemed insulting to my husband, the more I pondered it. This goes both ways, not just for women. This is not to say that I need to be vain and obsessed with my weight and appearance, but that I want to care for the body God gave me and use this body to be a gift to my spouse. Bottom line: I decided I wanted to give him a good gift – one he’d be excited to receive!
  3. Extra food is food taken from those who have not
    This point will no doubt be hard for some to read, but I do not mean to indict you! I am overweight right now, as I type this, though, working toward not. Here is the premise: to maintain an overweight body, one must continue to over-nourish to one’s detriment, or you will lose weight. Weight must be maintained by steady caloric intake or our body uses it’s own stores, muscle or fat. I realized that the food I was taking in was being taken from someone who had no food. We produce enough food each year for 12 billion people. Why are there people starving, then? Some have too much, some not enough, and some is fed to livestock. I was taking what wasn’t mine and using it to hurt myself by becoming overweight. This was a hard pill to swallow, but now that I have, I can more readily accept and follow portion control. I have also begun cooking more for myself as pre-made foods are widely unhealthy.
    I am using the extra in my food budget to give to a local food bank or soup kitchen to further remind myself of the fact that the extra food I consumed was truly being taken from those who needed it. 


Aside from those three motivations, I also recommend asking for the intercession of the Angelic Doctor, Thomas Aquinas. History records him as being a pleasantly plump fellow. Surely, he can understand the plight of the overweight!
#EatPrayLose
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Why I don’t care if you are PC

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I recently posted this on my Facebook page:
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Extreme political correctness is fascism masquerading as manners. It was originally devised to silence dissenting opinions without the need to formulate an argument. It does this extremely well.

Predictably, this elicited some comments from the closest of friends, aghast at my response! They couldn’t believe I didn’t support something like being cordial or manners! I will share with you what I said. Take it with a grain of salt, if you will!

“Simply labeling everything that we don’t want to hear as hate speech is a lazy tactic. Someone doesn’t agree with me? Oh, well! It doesn’t “harm my physical safety” to have someone hold an opinion different from mine. I don’t need to scream until they are ultimately silenced like a sycophantic infant.
It is a fallacy that others are responsible for how YOU feel. We are all responsible for our own actions and emotional responses. We cannot merely be reactionary, or we aren’t more emotionally mature than my 1 year-old.
There are certainly groups who mean to spew hate and intolerance, but that isn’t what I am referencing. Holding an opinion that does not find its locus in the cultural zeitgeist, will get you labeled as someone who speaks hatred. This is simply false. Someone can have an opinion that isn’t in agreement with mine, much like yours right now, and it’s not hate speech.”

The response came, stating that political correctness and manners are intertwined, stating “I also believe that you can express those opinions in a PC, respectful manner. I don’t think being PC is about what you believe, it’s about how you express what you believe“. To this, I responded:

“I’m definitely talking about political correctness and not manners. Political correctness is the focus on the correct terminology which can change at the whim of any group, and not the decorous or indecorous nature of the address. How do we determine what is politically correct? Is what you deem the correct terms, correct, or is it what I do? Whichever you say, why? How shall we determine moving forward? This is a charge brought against many well-meaning people today.
I’m not talking about monsters who truly mean harm. I’m saying that it is ridiculous (and unfair) to vilify people for using terms when they meant no harm. What is acceptable should not be determined by an outside source. It varies culturally and colloquially, and heaven forbid something I say offends someone unintentionally. I hope they don’t crucify me, just as I will not crucify them for labeling me anything other than bi-racial or whatever designation I’m supposed to promote today.
I’ve had people in my own extended family refer to me as Oriental. Am I going to get bent out of shape and cry oppression and white-privilege because (he or she) doesn’t know that oriental describes inanimate objects and that Asian is the term for a person? Nope. Doesn’t affect me at all.
I’ve certainly been called everything from a “rice cracker” to a “mutt” to “Heinz 57”
. None of these terms came from people who meant any harm by them whatsoever, and I choose not to let it dictate my self-worth, self-esteem, and mood. No one has that much power over me.
No one is responsible for my actions or emotions but me, and I think a good number of people could do with following that attitude of personal responsibility.
Do I think it’s awful when people throw out slurs? I don’t love it, but I don’t think their lives need to be ruined for it”


My ultimate worth is drawn from being made in the image and likeness of God. As the daughter of a King, the opinions of others do not bother me! I am only concerned with the opinion of one being, and I am not above my master. They hated Him, and so they may hate me.

 

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This Catholic Life Episode #4 Eastern Catholicism with Rosie

ThisCatholicLife

Episode#4

This Catholic Life Episode #4: Eastern Catholicism with Rosie

SHOW NOTES:

Episode 0004: Eastern Catholicism with Rosie of “Christmas in January
Topic: Chicken Pox; Eastern Catholicism; Married Priesthood; Abortion/Politics/Faith in the UK
Notes: Find Rosie, at her own blog: Christmas in January; the priest I reference in the show is a man who was a married deacon. His wife died, so he moved onto the priesthood. He is a joyful witness. I have a great respect for the celibate priesthood, so do not take this as a disapproval of that practice.

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The Abortion Debate: How BOTH sides are getting it wrong

RosalieContrite
March 10, 2016
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When it comes to controversy, there is no topic quite like abortion. Best friends can fast become sworn enemies, exchanging hateful rhetoric and stinging venom in a debate that has been around as long as mankind. Christians, as a group, took a stance on contraception and abortion in a document known as the ‘Didache’, around 48AD. That is not in dispute in this post, nor is that the topic of discussion.

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I am not writing to hammer and drill the same tired speech, proclaiming how abortion is wrong. Shouting accusations and judgements has done next to nothing to endear either side of this movement to the public. It has smothered dialogue, leaving nothing more than polarized enemies. In the interest of moving this legal and social discussion forward, I will outline the biggest mistakes that I believe each side is making. It is my hope, regardless of your political or religious affiliation, that these critiques will resonate with you, as a reader. I am not debating the moral status of abortion. That is not in question in this post.

Without further ado, the greatest mistakes in the abortion debate:

Pro-Life:

Graphic Posters: The reality of abortion needs to be recognized, especially by those considering it; however, it does not need to be seen by the general public, who may or may not be very young, be very sensitive to death, have experienced a miscarriage, or may be unable to handle these images. I cannot tell you how many times, in college, I saw the devastating images of dismembered fetal humans. It did nothing to change my mind, and it seemed a strange tactic. Why weren’t there pictures of starving children or any other type of victim being paraded through my college quad? I will tell you why. This is not an appropriate way to get your message disseminated.  People do not parade posters bearing the pictures of the dead body of Gerri Santoro (cautiously view these images), trying to raise awareness about what happens when women try to perform their own abortions. This is just in bad taste, and it does NOT facilitate dialogue.

Vilifying the women in crisis: As a sex, women have struggled for every legal right and faced opposition in the workplace. We face prejudice and rape culture, objectification and slut-shaming. We have been seen as lesser in almost every major civilization, save a few brilliant tribal areas which elevated women. We bear the brunt of the responsibility when it comes to bearing and rearing children. When a pregnancy occurs, a man can walk away, but a woman must grow the child in her body. Ideally, she will go on to nourish the baby with her body (I’m shooting daggers at my pump right now!). Men’s contribution to reproduction is pitiful, frankly (love you, Hubby 🙂 )! With all of this, we do nothing by saying that the women who choose abortion are murderers and monsters. It divides us, when we need to stand together.  We need to be there for one another and empathize with each other in a way that half of the population cannot. Instead of vilifying another woman, look at her as a human being, the same way you want her to look at her unborn child, and see what brought her to this choice. This is the way to meaningful dialogue.

Legal restrictions: Restricting abortion through legal means hurts the poorest of the poor. Rich women will always be able to obtain whatever it is that they wish, be it the latest Hermes bag or an abortion. Make no mistake. It only hurts the most vulnerable women. I have had the experience of speaking with a few women who procured both legal and illegal abortions. The legality had no bearing on whether or not they obtained them. It only effected the quality of the procedure and their later outcomes. One woman explained that she procured an illegal abortion from an unlicensed physician and was later found to be infertile, as a result of an infection. Legal restrictions did not stop her.

Pro-Choice:

Assuming Religious Motivation: As an atheist and a pro-choice woman, I assumed that all pro-life women were these sad, subjugated, little women who were brainwashed into believing in an awful woman-hating God. The fact is, there is a significant sect of the pro-life movement that is atheist. Many are motivated purely by science. Nothing physically changes within a baby, at birth. Nothing special happens, at any point during a pregnancy, demarcating the designation of humanity upon the unborn. Acknowledging this does not make you religious; it makes you objective and scientific. In juxtaposition, at conception, a unique, irrepeatable, genetically distinct genome is present. Essentially, everything that person is and ever will be is present, at that moment. That is the science that drives many on the pro-life side. It does nothing to imagine them as scientifically illiterate morons. This isn’t how you create dialogue.

Lowering standards: The conditions and legal protections surrounding abortion care are abysmal. We are not helping women, by allowing them to be treated in dirty or unregulated facilities. We aren’t helping women by not informing them of the risks or by allowing these procedures to occur in a place one wouldn’t even consider getting a mani-pedi. Lying to women about scientific facts surrounding the procedure is something that would result in serious legal repercussions in ANY other healthcare setting. I personally know two women who were lied to about fetal development at the time of their procedures. Who exactly are you helping when you lie? What motivates that? This does not create an environment of trust, and it does not facilitate dialogue. Lying is not ethical. Abortion may be one of the safest procedures for a woman to have, but we MUST recognize that many complaints are never filed because of embarrassment and stigma surrounding the procedure, and statistics are not reliable when doctors are politically or monetarily motivated to generate pleasing results.

Money: One of the saddest realities of this whole situation, is that someone is profiting off of these women’s crises. Monetarily profiting off of an abortion should be illegal. I know this sounds crazy and radical (maybe best proposed by Bernie Sanders?), but the number of former abortion workers (see Abby Johnson) who claim that they are pressured to boost “sales” and are taught to “sell abortions” is not small. Some facilities have been caught giving bonuses for making sales goals. We need to recognize that money can corrupt any situation, and maybe, this is one area we need to remove this incentive. If money wasn’t so enmeshed in this decision and the political conversation, a more meaningful dialogue could be achieved, and women would be better for it.

BOTH:

In closing, I would leave you with the challenge of not demonizing the other side. It is easy to hate your opposition; it is much harder to try to understand them. Humans are unique because of our ability to extensively communicate and reason. Let us act as humans. Do not demonize the people who should be your ally. BOTH sides want what is best for women. Recognizing this may go farther than we could ever dream.

PAX VOBISCUM, NERDS!

 

I welcome meaningful dialogue in the comments. Hateful, vulgar, or derogatory comments will not be permitted.