Posted in Comedy, Tragedy and What the F...?

More of the “Sad” Same

spirituality

New Pope. It was the big world news yesterday. For me, it was curious and sad. Even though I was raised a Catholic, I want nothing to do with institutions that exclude women, or anyone for that matter. An all male church that worships an all male God cannot ever be in balance. Period. And the argument that Jesus didn’t have any women disciples is not necessarily accurate or true. But supposing for a minute that he didn’t, do we really take the message of love and twist it into a “no girls allowed” story? Shouldn’t the spiritual path be one of growth and evolution that serves all of humanity?

I like to read the mystics– St John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart. They speak to a connection with the Divine, devoid of ritual and dogma. They speak to the potential of a personal experience and direct connection to the Divine in all human beings — not just the chosen, the straight, or the exclusively male. This is where I feel comfortable—in the inclusion of human diversity, not the exclusion of it. This is where the Christ consciousness resonates for me, in a sense of oneness. It’s the “oneness” that I view as “holy.”

It is difficult to believe in this time and age that we still have such a big list of who God likes and who he doesn’t. It reminds me more of life in Junior high school than it does something spiritual. Separating out people who the church is afraid of or judging of, just perpetuates a mean message…and no one is as mean as someone who is mean in the name of Jesus.  Once again, it reminds me of Junior High.

There’s an old joke that has something to do with the hard-of-hearing priest kneeling in prayer while God tries to emphasize the message of “celebrate” and the priest hears it as “celibate.”  It’s a good joke–we should be celebrating life!  The exclusion of different groups and the secretive and ritual abuse of children is hardly celebration though, is it?

The exclusion of women in the Catholic Church has led to an infection of perversion that has wrought unspeakable harm to children. Until that mess is cleaned up and the source of it addressed, the problem will perpetuate itself as it has for centuries. With the  albatross of child molestation around its neck, how is this church in a position to condemn anyone?

For me, I don’t believe that Jesus would have excluded anyone from the table. I believe that the message of Divine love is so large and encompassing, that all are welcome. There is a big difference between the politics of church-ianity and the message of the Christ—a big difference between the message of unconditional love and  self-righteous exclusion. So, this new Pope is a big disappointment for me, just more of the same. And more of the same lost step a long time ago.

Author:

Novelist, essayist, blogger, wife, dog-mommy, dancer, dreamer, grateful.

8 thoughts on “More of the “Sad” Same

  1. I personally believe that we lived before we came here as spirit children of our Heavenly Father and they it’s not all male dominance up there. I believe that we have Heavenly parents, yes plural. If we are all children of God it would only make since that we have a glorified Heavenly mother. My first born was a girl and she taught me really quick how amazing women really are!

  2. I lead a singles group for a church I have been attending…or I did, until my co-leader insisted it was “her turn” and introduced a course study that subtly taught much of what you talk about here (didn’t you know that your primary role as a woman is to serve me as a man?). It would make me laugh if it wasn’t so sad – the irony of the contradiction between here teaching a mixed group of men and women, all while upholding much of the teachings regarding a woman’s role according to Paul, is lost on her.

    There are many who are critical of Paul for his teachings on the role of women. I take a different viewpoint from the norm. In that time, women’s suffrage was not even on the horizon. Preaching the gospel was a difficult enough proposition. How much more so if freedom for all was advanced as a primary proposition?

    Bob: “Hey, did you hear about Jack?”
    John: “Naw, what happened?”
    Bob: “He converted to that new religion going around…you know, the one called ‘Christianity’? Now his wife is running around town, telling everyone that, according to her new religion, she’s equal with Jack!”
    John: “Pfft! Well, that ain’t happening here! If that dude Paul comes around, I’m going to punch him in the nose and tell him to get the hell off my property!”

    I think those teachings were appropriate for the time, since teaching otherwise would distract from the core message. But those that advocate this view today forget that, besides the fact that woman’s suffrage did in fact happen, Paul also said that there was neither “male or female” in Christ.

    When I tried to argue with my co-leader that I didn’t agree with her teaching (I’m upholding her position!), she argued against me, all while maintaining the leadership role. I’m in the process of leaving the group, since she dislikes me because I don’t hold to ‘correct doctrine’, while she bugs me because she believes there is such a thing.

    Don’t you just love the staunchly religious?

    1. Yes, “staunchly” equals set in stone. For me the Christ consciousness is fluid, living and breathing. Doesn’t Spirit mean, in fact, “the breath of life?” Both my views and my heart have become much more contemplative as I’ve gotten older. I am much more interested in what connects in Spirit, rather than what separates us. Dogma is just too constricting. Sounds like you and I are pretty much on the same page! Have you read Meister Eckhart?

      1. I think dogma, doctrine, and theology have their place, just as there is a balance between heart and mind (and yes, Meister Eckhart was a favorite, although it’s been a long time…I might have to pick him back up). The problem, IMO, is that theology becomes doctrine, doctrine becomes dogma, and dogma is sufficient reason to execute all of those who don’t agree.

  3. There were lots of ‘hints’ that there were women disciples. I believe that culture invaded the message and therefor women were left out of the story.

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