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Pissing off the Pope and other Charming Childhood Stories

Pissing off the Pope and other Charming Childhood Stories

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I’ve had a problem with religion since I was old enough to think for myself, much to the frustration of my parents, which was probably when I was about eight (See Jesus and His 64 Pointy Disciples, Blog posted on January 2, 2014). Let’s look, in the most basic sense, at the two famous women in the Bible:  one was a virgin and the other a whore.  Actually, more accurately one famous and one infamous.

Extreme and the way religion teaches men how to treat and think about women and how we are supposed to think of ourselves.  Sooo, ladies once you cash in your V-card go on ahead and get after it all Mary Magdalene style-it would be a sin not to, right?  Clearly, there is something missing from the logic but women, manipulated through fear, for centuries have been taught that there are shamefully only two options. Hey they were both named Mary, and if history has taught us anything, it’s a strong possibility that Joseph didn’t want to call out the wrong name (you know-some preemptive damage control).

My older sister, Amy and I are convinced we’re on the Papal’s Most Wanted list for the amount of hours we tortured priests, nuns and catechism teachers—the Crusades had nothing on us.  For instance, when the Catholic Priest, was telling my First Holy Communion class that he was ‘literally married to God?”  Confused and wanting clarification I interjected, asking if he meant ‘figuratively’? (FYI the misuse of literally still ‘literally’ annoys me)

And, my follow up question (oh yeah wait for it), “I thought in the Catholic Church Priests can’t marry and people are only allowed to marry one person, if God is ‘literally married’ to all the Priests, doesn’t that make him a polygamist?*”  Charming, wasn’t I?  He indignantly responded that he was ‘figuratively married to God; and that I was being rude.

*We’d just learned the word polygamy in catechism class when one of the little boys asked why some religions were allowed to have a lot of wives and if that was a ‘thing’ the Catholics could do (wow that starts young, doesn’t it?) And, if we want to take that one step further, God is male form and wouldn’t that make it a homosexual relationship to be married to a Priest. I think that contradiction falls under the 11th Commandment:  Hypocrisy.  

I’m really glad that little voice in my head (which usually gets steamrolled over) told me to quit while I was ahead or else my second follow up would have asked where ‘they’ were registered.  Or perhaps it was my friends, Carrie, Beth, and Amy (not my sister) I whispered that too, who laughed and kicked me, which prevented me from a lifetime of Hail Mary’s.  Oh settle down, I wasn’t being blasphemous, I just wanted clarification of word context.  Blasphemous, at a much different alter, comes much later, I promise.

Thinking quickly is both a blessing and curse. I initially see it as a blessing but it usually ends up with someone cursing (at me).  I remember laughing at the thought of putting a beautiful wedding wrapped toaster at the alter for God and the Priest,  so they could toast morning bagels.  That internal monologue led to a slight giggle and another very UnGodly look from the Priest.   I had bruised shins and, for a long time, a bruised sense of self for being shamed when seeking the truth or clarification.

People of authority love to be corrected and challenged, said no one ever.  None more than a Catholic Priest standing in God’s house.  I think my friends were afraid to sit next to me in the Church pew, you know, in case God had bad aim when smiting me with lightening.  During my childhood, my father was often heard saying to me, ‘Melayna, you could piss of the Pope.’  Oh Dad, you give me too much credit, but at the very least I could piss of a Priest (twice in one day).

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