Monday, June 11, 2012

Children & Priests & Lesbians... Oh My!

The re-Catholicization of Dana continues.

I don’t know how much I’ve already told you about this, but I am telling you now. There is a Bible on our nightstand. There is a Crucifix in the den. Not a Cross, mind you. No, a Crucifix, which is like the Cross that you would expect Christians to place in prominent locations in their homes, in their courts, and in their classrooms, except that a Crucifix comes with a little something extra.

A Crucifix comes with a tiny dying man-god nailed to it.

He might already be dead. It is sort of difficult to tell.

Either way, he is in the den now. Hanging there. Up until now, I thought we had a tacit agreement to keep dying things and portrayals of dying things out of the den completely. So religion has really already begun to change our household in ways both big and small.

There is a Bible on the nightstand, there is a Crucifix in the den, and this past weekend, there was a priest in the dining room. A Roman Catholic priest came into our home. A real live man of the cloth, with the little collar, the bemused nodding, the whole bit. I believe it might have been part of a surprise home inspection. Do Catholics do those? Nobody expects the Catholic Home Inspection!

To be honest, this priest, he was a perfectly nice man. He did not try to exorcise anything or anyone, but instead shared our food, shared our wine, flipped through the family photo albums… And then he spoke with the kids.

He spoke with the kids one at a time. Alone. [Dear Reader, don’t go there.]

And while he spoke with the kids one at a time and alone, I discovered it was a perfect time for me to iron clothes for the week within listening distance of the conversations. Of course, he mostly seemed to be fishing for ways in which our deviant, deviant lifestyle might be screwing the little tykes up. And furthermore, most of this potential screwing up seemed to involve gender roles, which, as we all know, were invented not by society, but rather by God.

First, he spoke with Rachel, who is our nine-year old. Sadly, the noise from the AC made this conversation virtually inaudible. So for the conversation with Angela, who is our seven-year old, I went and turned the AC up several degrees to keep it off.

What follows is that conversation in relevant part, with commentary where appropriate.

PRIEST:         Where is your mom, Angela?
ANGELA:       She’s upstairs.

PRIEST:         Where is your dad?
ANGELA:       He died.
[NOTE:        This is wrong. Dana’s husband/Rachel’s father died before I met her. Angela came along later.]

PRIEST:         Now, who is that who is ironing clothes in the other room?
ANGELA:       That’s KayKay!

PRIEST:         Is that your dad?
ANGLEA:       No, KayKay is a lady.
[NOTE:           Yay! I’m a lady!]

PRIEST:         Why don’t you call KayKay “Mom”?
ANGELA:     Because. It’s a name. If my name was Angela and your name was Angela and Rachel’s name was Angela, and somebody went, “Angela!”  then everybody would turn around.

PRIEST:         And what are Mom and KayKay to each other?
ANGELA:       My parents.

PRIEST:         Of course. But I mean, what are they to each other? Your mom is KayKay’s...?
ANGELA:       Wife. Where is YOUR wife?

PRIEST:         I don’t have a wife. I chose to marry the Church.
ANGELA [sounding doubtful]:      They let you do that?

PRIEST:         Yes. It is just a different way of spending my life. Instead of giving my life to another person, I have chosen to give my life to God.
ANGELA [pause]:    Okay.

PRIEST:         And Angela, who helps you with your homework?
ANGELA:       Mostly KayKay.

PRIEST:         Who talks to you when you get a bad grade?
ANGELA:       I don’t get bad grades.

PRIEST:         Of course not. Who corrects you when you get into a fight with your sister?
ANGELA:       Whoever is up.

PRIEST:         Whoever is up?
ANGELA:      Yeah, like whosever turn it is. Like [sound of tiny hands slapping together] “It’s your turn! You’re up!”

PRIEST:         Who is your very best friend at school, Angela?
ANGELA:       Paris.

PRIEST:         What does Paris call Mom and KayKay?
ANGELA:       My parents.

PRIEST:         Tell me about Paris’ dad.
ANGELA:       He lives in Mexico. No, wait. New Mexico!

PRIEST:         Does Paris have a boyfriend?
ANGELA:       No.

PRIEST:         Do YOU have a boyfriend?
ANGELA:       Uh-uh. I’m just seven.

PRIEST:         When you get older, do you think you’ll probably have a boyfriend or do you think you will probably have a girlfriend? Which do you think?
ANGELA:       Um… a boyfriend. You don’t have a boyfriend or a girlfriend?

PRIEST:         No, I don’t, because-
ANGELA:       Because you’re married to the Church!

PRIEST:         That’s right.
ANGELA:       If you had a girlfriend, then you would have somebody to eat with. Then you wouldn’t have to come to our house to eat.

I don’t know if those were the right answers or if they were the wrong answers. I don’t know what answers the good padre was expecting to hear. But it has now been two days since our dinner with the priest. We have yet to have Child Protective Services or Opus Dei beating down our door.

It could be that the verdict is just not in yet.

It could be that the Church wants nothing more to do with us. That it’s washing its hands of us and our immortal souls.

It has now been two days since our dinner with the priest and there have been no lightning strikes near our house. No reports of anyone being burned at the stake. Houston has not been burned to the ground.

But who knows what tomorrow will bring? The re-Catholicization of Dana has left everyone way outside of their comfort zones.


  1. I am gonna have to say she gave the right answers, even if Mr. Priest didn't agree with them. Or maybe he did and he just can't say so. Some priests are cool like that. When my cousin adopted her daughter she wanted her godparents to be her brother and his husband. The priest's response to her was that of course that was OK because they are her family. Mind you, the baptism was done with no one else around...

    1. Haha... Yeah, I'd say Angela pretty much nailed it.

      I enjoy talking with priests about religion and theology when it's on the level of theory. They always seem to enjoy it, too.

      It's when we get to where the rubber meets the road that things go haywire. There are certain topics that they could land in hot water about, and right now, one of those is the gay thing.

  2. "The re-Catholicization of Dana has left everyone way outside of their comfort zones."

    Including me. Srsly. You and Dana need a vacation. And when I say "vacation" I'm talking psychedelic tourism. And you get a choice. You can go to Latin American and slip Dana some Ayahuasca, or you can go to Africa and tell her that the Ibogaine clinic you've signed her up for is really a high-end day-spa. I don't really see that you have any other options.

    And where the fuck are the husbands during all this? Jesus H. Christ they are making us men look like wussies. You and the husbands have to act and act quickly to SAVE THIS (polygamous) MARRIAGE!!!

    1. I agree!!!! Come to New Mexico for a full moon party and dance the catholic away. a good dose of full moon shenanigans will set Dana back on a pleasant trajectory!

      My stomach was in a knot while I read that conversation...I really can't stand that smug catholicness. It's so painful!

    2. My life is sort of a vacation. I mean I'm just a tourist here.

      Dana, on the other hand, is never on vacation.

      But Ibogaine?! Hey, it worked for Edmund Muskie!

  3. So darn funny. LOL
    You left a child with a catholic priest alone? Oh girl child.
    You just dont challenge religion, you even challenge science and DNA. Your daughter carries your intelligence and bravery and honesty and courage. Bravo!
    And about the crucifix,have you seen hindu gods, it would look more like opposite of gods - with machetes and weapons over a deadbody or with chopped off blood dripping head.
    Reminds me of movie "Outsourced" dialogue.
    Todd:I'm pretty sure there is a painting of her in my room. It feels like she following me around.
    Asha: That's Kali, the goddess of destruction.
    Todd:Why would you want the goddess of destruction in your car?

    "Married to church and god" - actually in Hinduism - the Indian Geishas - "Dasis" are told to have been married to gods. Once they attain puberty people will place a idol next to the girl as her husband and will tie the knot and that's it, she is married to god and from that day on, she is to sleep with god's own images - Kings, Noble, Royal men and Lords and all.

    Religion - the only place where prostitution, pan handling, violence and inhumaness everything is just not tolerated but revered and encouraged under "holy disguise".

    1. It's pretty damn amazing how so many mythologies and religions carry the same basic archetypes, images, and patterns, isn't it?

      Joseph Campbell's "The Masks of God" is really good in examining that.

      Christianity even had to grapple with that eventually, as it became obvious that the basic Christ event had... reflections in other, earlier religions. I can't remember what they call that. Precursory shadows?

      There are more aspects unique to Christ than critics commonly give him credit for (I'm guessing Apuleius and Bellatrix could point out the pre-Christian pagan parallels well).

      I don't know. I don't pretend to have the answers. I don't even have a position.

      I'm not a teacher. I'm a learner.

    2. Mask of God - I remember that one, I think I read the cliff notes one for that book :(
      But let me check it out this time the whole book.

      You arent a teacher? you are better than any of my teachers I paid to teach me and I learn a lot from your posts than from them.

      Yep, comparative mythology and religion study would confirm that no religion or culture had ever held the patent for Moronoism or Mormonism or pervertism either. They were everywhere, they are everywhere.

    3. On the upside, people who believe in something appear to have the answers. If nothing else, they've convinced themselves, you know?

      I wake up sometimes and I'm not sure I know anything.

      That's usually fun. Not always.

  4. Katy, i think this is the third or fourth time i`ve had to reprimand and tell you off about cluttering-up and polluting your otherwise marvellous site with absurd and idiotic religious hogwash and nonsense, i dont want to have to waste my time doing this again Katy so let this be the last time alright, you have been warned my dear girl ! ! !.

    1. It's probably going to keep happening. I'm incorrigible.

      Plus, some things just blow my mind entirely.

  5. jervaise brooke hamsterJune 11, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Katy, you know where you said "[Dear reader, dont go there]", well you obviously said that because you know the truth about what really goes on in peoples minds (especially the sexual stuff), right ! ! !. Now Katy, why do you think we`ve created such a literal sexually repressed hell-on-earth for ourselves where people actually seem to prefer lies and hypocrisy over the truth ?, i really want to know your opinion Katy. What you wrote proves once again that what i`m always saying is true, future historians will indeed look back and remember our period of history as "THE TIME OF SEXUAL REPRESSION", and we`re the poor bastards who had to live through it ! ! !.

    1. I don't know if "repressed" is the right word. I volunteer at free legal advice clinics with Dana a lot, and these folks come in with child custody cases where there are upwards of 8 potential dads. Or where they are paying child support to five different women.

      Repression doesn't seem to be the issue.

      Sexual hang-ups, maybe.

      People seem to have a weird relationship with sex whether or not they are actually getting it.

      People are too damn wacky for me. I can't help them.

  6. "We have yet to have Child Protective Services or Opus Dei beating down our door. "

    It's not over yet....

    Remember - once you let the camel put his fucking nose in the tent, you've got - like - a camel; in your tent, an' stuf'.

    And we all know that can't end well....

    1. Fortunately for me, Dana and I float.

      You know what else floats?

      A duck!

  7. Angela is a GENIUS! And you two are obviously doing a great job if she was able to confound a priest with her brilliant logic. That's a smart kid. Her response to "why don't you call Kaykay 'mom'," was better than what I would have come up with (but then again, I kill a lot of brain cells on a daily basis).
    By the way, Richard Dawkins comments here!?! Holy crap! I mean, "respectful secular crap"!

    1. It's all fun and games until the kid ends up smarter than Dana and me.

      I don't now what you do after that. "I'm sorry, Angela, but astrophysics is simply not something you talk about in public."

      No, that doesn't sound right.

      I'll figure out what to do when it happens, I guess.

      You know, in a couple months or whatever.

  8. First of all, I'm so impressed that Richard Dawkins drops by to slap your wrist for cluttering up your site with religious nonsense. Wish he'd visit my place, there's so much of that going on lately!

    Having been raised in the church (as in The Church) and served as an altar boy (altar, not altered, thank you...) I can relate to the priestly visits. My dad never set foot in a church as far as I know, but that didn't stop our priest (well, mom's, actually... I went to mass because she outweighed me and threatened the wrath of mom if I bucked her on it) from dropping by to have a beer with the old man. They'd break out a bottle of Jack, go down into the basement and tap dad's keg and shoot pool. We were told to stay upstairs, because it wouldn't do for the altar boy and his little sister to see the priest drunk and singing with my dad the heretic.
    I stopped believing these visits were made in an effort to get my dad to come to church long before mom stopped telling me that was what was going on. Actually, the priest came to see dad because there weren't many places in town he could get hammered and tell dirty jokes with impunity.

    Maybe that's why I'm not on the Vatican's payoff list today, unmolested as a kid? "Can't mess with young Robert, his dad has the best man-cave in the county!"

    Your post made me laugh out loud... and your daughter has it going on, ma'am. Watch her, she's going to change the world for the rest of us!

    1. Hey, Squatlo! I'm running into you everywhere today.

      A priest once said to me: "You know how they say there are no atheists in foxholes? That doesn't hold true in seminaries."

      The scandals notwithstanding, it's an interesting group of guys that choose to go into the priesthood.

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  10. My ex-bro-in-law works for Catholic Social Services and one night he invited me to come over to his place to play poker. One of the players that night was a priest from a church in Nashville, and that guy told some of the raunchiest jokes I've ever heard.
    Like he informed me that night, Priests and Christmas trees both have decorative balls.

    1. There is something about priests and testicles.

      I had a priest as a professor in a class a couple years back. We'd make bets at the beginning of class about how long it would take him during any given class period to work the topic of testicles into whatever he was talking about.

  11. Katy, you do not need religion to blow your mind, all you need is science ! ! !.

    1. I have trouble with science. My mind doesn't work that way.

      I try. About twice a year, I try to plow my way through a physics book or a nature-type book.

      I'm too right-brained or something.

      I keep trying, though. And there have been a couple physics books that have blown me over...

  12. But Katy, once again you didn`t actually address "The Hamster's" specific question, when he said that he thinks future historians will look back at our period of history (the 20th century, and even now well into the 21st century) and remember it as "THE TIME OF SEXUAL REPRESSION", i wanted to know whether you specifically agreed with that or not ?.

    1. Oh, I meant to answer it.

      No, I don't think "repression" is the right word. Sexually hung-up and screwed up, maybe. But not repressed, per se.

  13. Thou art doomed to Hellfire or Salvation. Choose one.

    man, I am SO glad I'm not a Catholic. An ex-girlfriend was one (shudders).

    1. I have a lot of difficulty with revealed religions in general. Any religion that involves the idea of the truth being handed to a select few humans during history and then expected to percolate up from there.

      I have a great deal of difficulty believing that's how the force behind the universe would work.

      I don't eliminate it as a possibility. But it's... counter-intuitive.

  14. Well, I went to a Catholic School. Not necessarily because I was Catholic, but because they were the closest school with a decent hockey team. Anyway, from the teachings they offered at my school, it seems that Catholicism has learned that they need to be accepting of everyone if there is even a prayer of the religion surviving. Despite attending a Catholic school, there were students from all walks of life. The priests never forced religion on anyone and encouraged people to choose their own path.

    That being said, I abandoned Catholicism because I attended the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine when I was younger, and they were all unreformed Catholic teachers, and they were absolute dicks (poetic as it may sound). And, to save you the trouble of reading any more of my fairly pointless rambling, Angela sounds like a very intelligent kid!

    1. Hey, Chiz!

      It's always sounded to me that there is a fairly big mark in the sand across the Sixties with the Church. I mean, I had always heard about how catholic kids weren't allowed to enter the houses of non-Catholic friends and stuff...

      But I think the Vatican II Council in the Sixties changed a lot of the odd stuff that people associated with the Church.

      They are certainly NOT fundamentalists.

      Gays and abortion are real point of contention issues, however.

  15. squatlo, i simply feel that it is my duty to save Katy (and the other 7 billion people on this planet) from the evils of religion.

    1. Everybody thinks I need savin'.

      Regardless of their belief system, they seem to agree on that much.

  16. Mr. Dawkins, I fear your efforts are two thousand years too late. As things currently stand in world affairs, organized religion IS the problem, not the solution. Having been drug to a Catholic Church as a child, despite abandoning the faith with the same certainty with which I abandoned the belief in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, and intelligent life in the state of Alabama, I've spent my adult life baffled that anyone continues to buy into the bullshit. I think I was about ten when I had an epiphany and concluded it was all made up by adults to manipulate children into good behavior. All the last 47 years have done is reaffirm that recognition of coercion.
    I'm convinced we will never become a truly enlightened species until we
    evolve beyond superstition and organized religion.
    When I ask my devout friends to list the positives religion brings to the modern world, then counter their list with the negatives (from jihad to systemic child molestation to the insistence upon denying empirical science- with all of the damage THAT ignorance fuels) the balance scales tend to tilt my direction.
    Personally, I fear that if I were forced to enter a church now my body would react the way Damien's did in "The Omen"... with my head spinning around like Linda Blair's in "The Exorcist"!
    Katy's a saint for putting up with my long-winded pontifications ("Leave the Pope out of this!")
    I'll take my soapbox home as I go... sorry.

    1. Soapboxes are welcome.

      There's no reason that only I ought to be able to express by opinions (or lack thereof) around here.

      I mean, if I'm going to continue to bring up topics of this sort, I really should expect that someone might have an opinion!

  17. I've got the Archdeacon visiting at the moment... but he's Anglican rather than Catholic and is very liberal on most things....and has some wonderfully sarcastic one liners...

    I think Angela gave great answers and showed exactly why the only thing that matters is a loving environment - which has to be Gods greatest gift.

    1. The Anglicans have been in an interesting position as regards the controversial issues of the day, though.

      They've adapted head-on and paid the price for it. They ordain both women and gay folks, don't they?

      I know a Catholic priest here in town who used to be an Anglican bishop, only he apparently thought they were getting a little too progressive, so he bolted - wife in tow! - and became a Catholic priest. He has now been designated by the Vatican as the dude who gets to travel around the country helping entire Anglican PARISHES that feel that Anglicanism is too liberal covert to Catholicism.

      Isn't that amazing?

  18. squatlo, just with regards to "The Exorcist": The power of Linda Blair compels me to pull her knickers down and shove my knob up her bum (as the bird was at the time "The Exorcist" was filmed in 1972, not as the bird is now obviously).

    1. It's the pea soup, isn't it?

      Guys dig girls who spew pea soup.

  19. squatlo, its geat to hear that you`ve completely divorced yourself from the bizarre surrealism of religious belief, i just wish everyone else in the entire world would follow suit.

    1. There are so many bizarre surrealisms, though. Only some of which are entertaining or enlightening...

  20. I LOVE IT!! What, being married to the church isn't a little queer? Never got the whole Cathaholic thing anyway.

    You have a lot of nerve raising perfectly normal children,even by church standards. This also begs the question of why all my gay friends came from "normal" househoulds?

    1. My favorite answer? "I'm just seven."

      But yes, I agree with you on how "married to the Church" sounds. You let men start marrying churches and what's next? Men marrying dogs or squirrels, that's what!

  21. jervaise brooke hamsterJune 13, 2012 at 5:53 AM

    So i could marry Heather O'Rourke and spend all of eternity in paradise with her if i wanted to ?, which i do obviously !.

  22. Katy, did you ever get around to watching Monty Pythons "Upper Class Twit of the Year" sketch on YouTube ?, because thats where "The Hamster" got his name.

    1. I watched a long documentary on Monty Python the other day.

      Somehow, I missed them growing up. I mean, I know Holy Grail and the films of Terry Gilliam, but that's about it.

      I think I'm saving the rest for my old age...

  23. And you say the priest didn't perform an exorcism? Huh. I suppose they only do that for depression and anxiety. At least, that's what happened to me when I was a teen. Most people will never know how cold holy water can be until it's dumped on their heads by a screaming man.

    1. Seriously?

      I don't know how I feel about that sort of thing.

      The Catholics train a few of their priests in how to do exorcisms, which is weird in and of itself. It's relatively rare from my understanding.

      However, there are some of your... independent pentacostal folks who tend to do it more often. If you google "exorcism" and "death", you'll see there have been a few cases of KIDS dying while somebody is trying to exorcise them... including a couple examples in the United States!

      It would have to be scary for a kid, regardless of whether it's done right or not...

  24. i bet you anything that when the priest said he was "married to the church", angela envisioned him in a tux and the church in a bridal gown, smooching as they are pronounced husband and church. because that's what i did.

    1. Of course!

      With a chapel and a garden shed as the bridesmaids.

      And the shed ends up getting drunk and making out with the best man.

  25. My favorite Python sketch is "Johann Gambolputty".

  26. The "GODLESS" liberals Katy ! ? ! ?, the "GODLESS" liberals ! ? ! ?, i think its time for me to slap your gorgeous sexy wrists again.

    1. Be careful! You saw what happened to Hitchens when he crossed me...

  27. Like every good atheist, I was raised catholic. I even was a fancy little altar boy with the whole get up. There's nothing more dreadful than the surprise catholic home inspection!!!

    Sidenote: priests were some of the most profane sons of bitches I had ever heard speak!!

    1. It's inevitable that priests have a bawdy sense of humor.

      No women around to be a positive influence. Only God, and we know how rough that hurricane-loving tyrant can be!

  28. the sayer of the truthJune 13, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Thats all part of they`re ludicrous hypocrisy my old mate.

  29. Angela had some great responses. As the others have mentioned, there are a FEW cool priests out there. I've met a few who were actually a little more liberal with things, such as being gay. "It's not my job to judge people," said one.

    On the other hand, I once went to a funeral with Brandon, and the priest assumed we were a gay couple and scorned us. He also had a huge lisp, though, so I'm assuming there was some repressed feelings there?

    1. If I had you and Brandon show up at an event where I was, the LEAST of my worries would be whether y'all were gay. I could end up in your blog, and that's never a good thing. MS Paint adds ten pounds!

  30. Dont be flippant Katy, "the sayer of the truth" was making an important point.

    1. I didn't have much to say about it.

      People who have their minds 100% made up on a topic aren't a lot of fun. They think they have the answers, so they've stopped thinking.

      Which is sort of brain death, isn't it?

  31. It seems a lot like moral probing to me. It's wrong to guide a child through an agenda she is not conscious of. Hell, the agenda itself is wrong.

    By the way, I accidentally removed my Blogger profile (but not my blog) and I think that deleted all the comments I wrote with it (except, I've found out, Disqus). I'm sorry! I always enjoy our conversations and I hate to think that they are gone.

    1. Well, you know, the kids are fine.

      I hope they are better off with me around than they'd be without me around. No parent is ever sure, I guess, but I really hope that they don't resent us later on.

      I had a friend who installed disqus on his page a while back, and it put all of his old comments into never-neverland. He uninstalled it, and the comments reappeared. I'd hate to lose all of my comments!


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