(easily offended catholics - or others not interested in slightly religious flavored rants)
My wife is Catholic. I'm not. I accepted this at our wedding, and have accepted it since. It's complicated. I'm not a deeply religious person, but I want my kids to have some moral footing. I agree that perhaps the Catholic Church is not the best footing, but it is a structured footing, and it is one that we have contributed to over the years. The alternative is a return to my own Protestant upbringing, which is nearly identical to the Catholic church except for that guy with the funny hat.
Anyway, some of you may have noticed this economic thing that's been going on for the past year or so. Some call it the R-word. Or, please no, the D-word. Either way, it sucks for a lot of people. My immediate family included.
So, I went to get the mail yesterday. I see a letter addressed to me. Not paying attention to the return address, I open it. Start reading the letter. I note then that is from the wife's church. I should have stopped reading. But I didn't. Bad decision.
The opening sentence. "I write to you regarding parish finances". From my wife's parish priest. We're being chided for not keeping up with whatever commitment was made at the beginning of the year. Which is a lifetime ago in so many ways.
My rage was profound. Thankfully, my kids and some of their friends were in the kitchen as I read this, or I would have exploded.
The nerve. The freaking nerve. Rather than try to understand our personal situation, we are sent what appears to be a form letter. Beseeching us to "pray and reflect on your level of commitment to the Church", specifically, "how you support her in areas of treasure (what financial commitment do you make to the parish)."
Hello???? Treasure???? Aren't you a CHURCH? Isn't your goal something nobler than TREASURE????
W. T. F.??????????????????one????????????????????
I had gotten over my rage by sometime after my second cup of coffee today. And then I came upon this story
about local churches and how they are reacting to the R-word. How they are confronting the issue. Exerting efforts. Trying to -- get this -- actually HELP PEOPLE --- who REALLY NEED IT.
Isn't THAT what Christian organizations are supposed to be all about??? I'm not a big bible thumper, but I'm pretty sure the message in the The Dummies Guide to Being Holy is more about Dad, JC and the holy spook helping people than it is about gathering treasure.
I am at loss as to how to react in a meaningful way. Don't get me wrong -- I'm totally at a gain for how to react in many non-meaningful ways - like perhaps going to church on Sunday, and sticking a copy of the letter, a copy of that article, and a COPY of a check for $20 in one of those little pre-printed customized pledge envelopes they mail us every few weeks. (Aside -- Hmmmmmm, are there any ways they might be able to cut some recurring costs over there at the church....)
I have had my issues with religion over the years, and admittedly with this church and priest in particular, but this one has put me over the edge.
[EDIT - anyone wanting to get a group discount on the bus trip to hell is free to email me at bozino at faithless.org]